Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index M > Category: Mean

Mean Quotes (101 quotes)

...it is not to be taken in the sense of our day, which we reckon by the course of the sun; but it must have another meaning, applicable to the
three days mentioned before the creation of the heavenly bodies.
iv.26
Science quotes on:  |  Applicable (11)  |  Body (247)  |  Course (84)  |  Creation (242)  |  Heavenly (8)  |  Mention (23)  |  Reckon (16)  |  Sense (321)  |  Sun (276)

A few days afterwards, I went to him [the same actuary referred to in another quote] and very gravely told him that I had discovered the law of human mortality in the Carlisle Table, of which he thought very highly. I told him that the law was involved in this circumstance. Take the table of the expectation of life, choose any age, take its expectation and make the nearest integer a new age, do the same with that, and so on; begin at what age you like, you are sure to end at the place where the age past is equal, or most nearly equal, to the expectation to come. “You don’t mean that this always happens?”—“Try it.” He did try, again and again; and found it as I said. “This is, indeed, a curious thing; this is a discovery!” I might have sent him about trumpeting the law of life: but I contented myself with informing him that the same thing would happen with any table whatsoever in which the first column goes up and the second goes down.
In Budget of Paradoxes (1872), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (178)  |  Begin (108)  |  Choose (60)  |  Circumstance (66)  |  Column (15)  |  Content (69)  |  Curious (43)  |  Discover (199)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Down (86)  |  End (195)  |  Equal (83)  |  Expectation (55)  |  Find (408)  |  Gravely (2)  |  Happen (82)  |  Highly (16)  |  Human (550)  |  Inform (16)  |  Integer (10)  |  Involve (48)  |  Law (515)  |  Life (1131)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mortality (15)  |  Nearly (26)  |  New Age (5)  |  Past (152)  |  Place (175)  |  Send (22)  |  Table (36)  |  Tell (110)  |  Thought (546)  |  Trumpet (2)  |  Try (141)  |  Up (5)

A metaphysician is one who, when you remark that twice two makes four, demands to know what you mean by twice, what by two, what by makes, and what by four. For asking such questions metaphysicians are supported in oriental luxury in the universities, and respected as educated and intelligent men.
A previously unpublished epigram, added in A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949, 1956), 13-14.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (160)  |  Demand (76)  |  Educated (11)  |  Intelligent (47)  |  Know (556)  |  Luxury (16)  |  Metaphysician (7)  |  Question (404)  |  Remark (27)  |  Respect (86)  |  Supported (2)  |  Twice (17)  |  University (81)

A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.
Anonymous
Widely found in varied accounts, so is most likely proverbial. Seen misattributed (?) to George Bernard Shaw, but Webmaster has not yet found a primary source as verification.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (160)  |  Describe (57)  |  Dog (44)  |  Elder (4)  |  Evil (79)  |  Feed (27)  |  Fight (44)  |  Good (345)  |  Inner (39)  |  Inside (26)  |  Manner (57)  |  Moment (107)  |  Native American (3)  |  Psychology (143)  |  Reflect (31)  |  Reply (25)  |  Struggle (78)  |  Win (38)

A principle of induction would be a statement with the help of which we could put inductive inferences into a logically acceptable form. In the eyes of the upholders of inductive logic, a principle of induction is of supreme importance for scientific method: “... this principle”, says Reichenbach, “determines the truth of scientific theories. To eliminate it from science would mean nothing less than to deprive science of the power to decide the truth or falsity of its theories. Without it, clearly, science would no longer have the right to distinguish its theories from the fanciful and arbitrary creations of the poet’s mind.” Now this principle of induction cannot be a purely logical truth like a tautology or an analytic statement. Indeed, if there were such a thing as a purely logical principle of induction, there would be no problem of induction; for in this case, all inductive inferences would have to be regarded as purely logical or tautological transformations, just like inferences in inductive logic. Thus the principle of induction must be a synthetic statement; that is, a statement whose negation is not self-contradictory but logically possible. So the question arises why such a principle should be accepted at all, and how we can justify its acceptance on rational grounds.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (65)  |  Acceptable (6)  |  Acceptance (45)  |  Analytic (10)  |  Arbitrary (21)  |  Arise (49)  |  Case (99)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Creation (242)  |  Decide (40)  |  Deprive (11)  |  Determine (76)  |  Distinguish (64)  |  Eliminate (21)  |  Eye (222)  |  Falsity (13)  |  Fanciful (6)  |  Form (314)  |  Ground (90)  |  Help (103)  |  Importance (218)  |  Induction (60)  |  Inductive (10)  |  Inference (32)  |  Justify (23)  |  Less (102)  |  Logic (260)  |  Logical (55)  |  Long (174)  |  Mind (760)  |  Negation (2)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Poet (83)  |  Possible (158)  |  Power (366)  |  Principle (292)  |  Problem (497)  |  Purely (28)  |  Question (404)  |  Rational (57)  |  Regard (95)  |  Right (197)  |  Say (228)  |  Science (2067)  |  Scientific (236)  |  Scientific Method (166)  |  Scientific Theory (24)  |  Statement (76)  |  Supreme (37)  |  Synthetic (16)  |  Tautological (2)  |  Tautology (4)  |  Theory (696)  |  Transformation (54)  |  Truth (928)

Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that for which he has no grounds for professing to believe.
In Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (1913), Vol. 3, 98, footnote 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Agnosticism (2)  |  Ancient (106)  |  Belief (504)  |  Essence (55)  |  Grounds (2)  |  Know (556)  |  Modern (162)  |  Profess (10)  |  Say (228)  |  Science (2067)

All true science must aim at objective truth, and that means that the human observer must never allow himself to get emotionally mixed up with his subject-matter. His concern is to understand the universe, not to improve it. Detachment is obligatory.
From transcript of BBC radio Reith Lecture (12 Nov 1967), 'A Runaway World', on the bbc.co.uk website.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (89)  |  Concern (110)  |  Detachment (7)  |  Emotion (78)  |  Human (550)  |  Improve (56)  |  Mix (19)  |  Objective (66)  |  Obligatory (3)  |  Observer (42)  |  Science (2067)  |  Subject (240)  |  True (208)  |  True Science (22)  |  Truth (928)  |  Understand (340)  |  Universe (686)

An individual can’t be judged by his group mean.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Group (72)  |  Individual (221)  |  Judge (63)

But, you might say, “none of this shakes my belief that 2 and 2 are 4.” You are quite right, except in marginal cases—and it is only in marginal cases that you are doubtful whether a certain animal is a dog or a certain length is less than a meter. Two must be two of something, and the proposition “2 and 2 are 4” is useless unless it can be applied. Two dogs and two dogs are certainly four dogs, but cases arise in which you are doubtful whether two of them are dogs. “Well, at any rate there are four animals,” you may say. But there are microorganisms concerning which it is doubtful whether they are animals or plants. “Well, then living organisms,” you say. But there are things of which it is doubtful whether they are living organisms or not. You will be driven into saying: “Two entities and two entities are four entities.” When you have told me what you mean by “entity,” we will resume the argument.
In Basic Writings, 1903-1959 (1961), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (359)  |  Apply (77)  |  Argument (82)  |  Belief (504)  |  Case (99)  |  Concern (110)  |  Correct (85)  |  Dog (44)  |  Doubt (160)  |  Entity (31)  |  Length (22)  |  Live (272)  |  Marginal (3)  |  Meter (9)  |  Microorganism (22)  |  Organism (150)  |  Plant (200)  |  Proposition (83)  |  Resume (3)  |  Shake (29)  |  Tell (110)  |  Useless (32)

By the classification of any series of objects, is meant the actual or ideal arrangement together of those which are like and the separation of those which are unlike ; the purpose of this arrangement being to facilitate the operations of the mind in clearly conceiving and retaining in the memory the characters of the objects in question.‎
In 'Lecture I: On the Classification of Animals', Lectures on the Elements of Comparative Anatomy: On the ... - (1864), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (48)  |  Arrangement (60)  |  Character (118)  |  Classification (87)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Conceive (39)  |  Facilitate (5)  |  Ideal (72)  |  Like (21)  |  Memory (106)  |  Mind (760)  |  Object (175)  |  Operation (121)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Retain (19)  |  Separation (36)  |  Series (51)  |  Unlike (8)

Can any thoughtful person admit for a moment that, in a society so constituted that these overwhelming contrasts of luxury and privation are looked upon as necessities, and are treated by the Legislature as matters with which it has practically nothing do, there is the smallest probability that we can deal successfully with such tremendous social problems as those which involve the marriage tie and the family relation as a means of promoting the physical and moral advancement of the race? What a mockery to still further whiten the sepulchre of society, in which is hidden ‘all manner of corruption,’ with schemes for the moral and physical advancement of the race!
In 'Human Selection', Fortnightly Review (1890),48, 330.
Science quotes on:  |  Admit (45)  |  Advancement (40)  |  Constituted (5)  |  Contrast (29)  |  Corruption (10)  |  Deal (49)  |  Family (47)  |  Further (6)  |  Hidden (42)  |  Involve (48)  |  Legislature (4)  |  Luxury (16)  |  Manner (57)  |  Marriage (35)  |  Matter (343)  |  Mockery (2)  |  Moment (107)  |  Moral (124)  |  Necessity (143)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Overwhelming (21)  |  Person (154)  |  Physical (134)  |  Practically (10)  |  Privation (5)  |  Probability (106)  |  Problem (497)  |  Promoting (7)  |  Race (104)  |  Relation (154)  |  Scheme (25)  |  Sepulchre (3)  |  Smallest (9)  |  Social (108)  |  Society (228)  |  Successfully (5)  |  Thoughtful (10)  |  Tie (24)  |  Treated (2)  |  Tremendous (17)

Careful and correct use of language is a powerful aid to straight thinking, for putting into words precisely what we mean necessitates getting our own minds quite clear on what we mean.
In The Art of Scientific Investigation (1950,1957), 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (42)  |  Care (95)  |  Clear (98)  |  Correct (85)  |  Language (228)  |  Mind (760)  |  Necessity (143)  |  Powerful (68)  |  Precise (34)  |  Straight (19)  |  Thinking (231)  |  Word (302)

Cayley was singularly learned in the work of other men, and catholic in his range of knowledge. Yet he did not read a memoir completely through: his custom was to read only so much as would enable him to grasp the meaning of the symbols and understand its scope. The main result would then become to him a subject of investigation: he would establish it (or test it) by algebraic analysis and, not infrequently, develop it so to obtain other results. This faculty of grasping and testing rapidly the work of others, together with his great knowledge, made him an invaluable referee; his services in this capacity were used through a long series of years by a number of societies to which he was almost in the position of standing mathematical advisor.
In Proceedings of London Royal Society (1895), 58, 11-12.
Science quotes on:  |  Advisor (3)  |  Algebraic (5)  |  Analysis (166)  |  Capacity (64)  |  Catholic (8)  |  Arthur Cayley (17)  |  Completely (32)  |  Custom (30)  |  Develop (107)  |  Enable (46)  |  Establish (56)  |  Faculty (70)  |  Grasp (60)  |  Great (534)  |  Infrequent (2)  |  Invaluable (7)  |  Investigation (176)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Learned (24)  |  Main (28)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Memoir (13)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Position (76)  |  Range (57)  |  Rapid (32)  |  Read (145)  |  Referee (6)  |  Result (389)  |  Scope (23)  |  Service (64)  |  Society (228)  |  Stand (108)  |  Subject (240)  |  Symbol (73)  |  Test (125)  |  Together (79)  |  Understand (340)  |  Work (635)

Chief Seattle, of the Indians that inhabited the Seattle area, wrote a wonderful paper that has to do with putting oneself in tune with the universe. He said, “Why should I lament the disappearance of my people! All things end, and the white man will find this out also.” And this goes for the universe. One can be at peace with that. This doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t participate in efforts to correct the situation. But underlying the effort to change must be an “at peace.” To win a dog sled race is great. To lose is okay too.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Area (29)  |  Change (364)  |  Correct (85)  |  Disappearance (22)  |  Dog (44)  |  Effort (144)  |  End (195)  |  Find (408)  |  Great (534)  |  Indian (20)  |  Inhabit (16)  |  Lament (9)  |  Lose (94)  |  Oneself (5)  |  Paper (83)  |  Participate (8)  |  Peace (84)  |  People (390)  |  Race (104)  |  Say (228)  |  Situation (52)  |  Sled (2)  |  Tune (14)  |  Underlying (18)  |  Universe (686)  |  White (56)  |  Win (38)  |  Wonderful (60)  |  Write (154)

Darwin grasped the philosophical bleakness with his characteristic courage. He argued that hope and morality cannot, and should not, be passively read in the construction of nature. Aesthetic and moral truths, as human concepts, must be shaped in human terms, not ‘discovered’ in nature. We must formulate these answers for ourselves and then approach nature as a partner who can answer other kinds of questions for us–questions about the factual state of the universe, not about the meaning of human life. If we grant nature the independence of her own domain–her answers unframed in human terms–then we can grasp her exquisite beauty in a free and humble way. For then we become liberated to approach nature without the burden of an inappropriate and impossible quest for moral messages to assuage our hopes and fears. We can pay our proper respect to nature’s independence and read her own ways as beauty or inspiration in our different terms.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Aesthetic (35)  |  Answer (249)  |  Approach (54)  |  Argue (23)  |  Beauty (248)  |  Become (172)  |  Burden (27)  |  Characteristic (96)  |  Concept (146)  |  Construction (83)  |  Courage (55)  |  Darwin (14)  |  Different (186)  |  Discover (199)  |  Domain (42)  |  Exquisite (15)  |  Factual (8)  |  Fear (142)  |  Formulate (15)  |  Free (92)  |  Grant (32)  |  Grasp (60)  |  Hope (174)  |  Human (550)  |  Human Life (29)  |  Humble (31)  |  Impossible (113)  |  Inappropriate (3)  |  Independence (34)  |  Inspiration (61)  |  Kind (140)  |  Liberate (10)  |  Message (35)  |  Moral (124)  |  Morality (42)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Ourselves (51)  |  Partner (5)  |  Passively (3)  |  Pay (43)  |  Philosophical (23)  |  Proper (38)  |  Quest (32)  |  Question (404)  |  Read (145)  |  Respect (86)  |  Shape (70)  |  State (137)  |  Term (122)  |  Truth (928)  |  Universe (686)

Does it mean, if you don’t understand something, and the community of physicists don’t understand it, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, here’s a list of the things in the past that the physicists—at the time—didn’t understand … [but now we do understand.] If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance, that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller, as time moves on. So just be ready for that to happen, if that’s how you want to come at the problem. That’s simply the “God of the Gaps” argument that’s been around for ever.
From interview, The Science Studio video series of The Science Network website, episode 'The Moon, the Tides and why Neil DeGrasse Tyson is Colbert’s God' (20 Jan 2011), time 26:58-27:55.
Science quotes on:  |  Community (82)  |  Evidence (183)  |  Game (61)  |  God (535)  |  Happen (82)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Invoke (6)  |  List (10)  |  Means (176)  |  Move (94)  |  Past (152)  |  Physicist (161)  |  Play (112)  |  Pocket (11)  |  Problem (497)  |  Ready (38)  |  Receding (2)  |  Science And God (5)  |  Scientific (236)  |  Small (163)  |  Time (595)  |  Understand (340)  |  Want (176)

Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology. Only if symbols are construed to mean what they are not intended to mean can there arise imaginary, insoluble conflicts. ... the blunder leads to blasphemy: the Creator is accused of systematic deceitfulness.
In 'Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution', The American Biology Teacher (Mar 1973), 125-129.
Science quotes on:  |  Accused (3)  |  Anthropology (56)  |  Arise (49)  |  Astronomy (204)  |  Biology (168)  |  Blasphemy (6)  |  Blunder (17)  |  Clash (8)  |  Conflict (55)  |  Construed (2)  |  Creator (55)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Elementary (45)  |  Evolution (535)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  Faith (157)  |  Geology (201)  |  Holy (17)  |  Imaginary (16)  |  Insoluble (15)  |  Intended (3)  |  Lead (160)  |  Mistake (132)  |  Religious (49)  |  Science And Religion (302)  |  Scripture (12)  |  Symbol (73)  |  Systematic (33)  |  Textbook (27)

Does there truly exist an insuperable contradiction between religion and science? Can religion be superseded by science? The answers to these questions have, for centuries, given rise to considerable dispute and, indeed, bitter fighting. Yet, in my own mind there can be no doubt that in both cases a dispassionate consideration can only lead to a negative answer. What complicates the solution, however, is the fact that while most people readily agree on what is meant by ‘science,’ they are likely to differ on the meaning of ‘religion.’
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Agree (26)  |  Answer (249)  |  Bitter (14)  |  Both (81)  |  Case (99)  |  Century (131)  |  Complicate (3)  |  Considerable (20)  |  Consideration (85)  |  Contradiction (54)  |  Differ (22)  |  Dispassionate (8)  |  Dispute (22)  |  Doubt (160)  |  Exist (148)  |  Fact (733)  |  Fight (44)  |  Give (201)  |  Insuperable (3)  |  Lead (160)  |  Likely (33)  |  Mind (760)  |  Negative (34)  |  People (390)  |  Question (404)  |  Readily (10)  |  Religion (239)  |  Rise (70)  |  Science (2067)  |  Science And Religion (302)  |  Solution (216)  |  Supersede (7)  |  Truly (33)

For Linnaeus, Homo sapiens was both special and not special ... Special and not special have come to mean nonbiological and biological, or nurture and nature. These later polarizations are nonsensical. Humans are animals and everything we do lies within our biological potential ... the statement that humans are animals does not imply that our specific patterns of behavior and social arrangements are in any way directly determined by our genes. Potentiality and determination are different concepts.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (359)  |  Arrangement (60)  |  Behavior (60)  |  Biological (35)  |  Both (81)  |  Concept (146)  |  Determination (57)  |  Determine (76)  |  Different (186)  |  Directly (22)  |  Everything (181)  |  Gene (72)  |  Homo Sapiens (20)  |  Human (550)  |  Imply (16)  |  Late (52)  |  Lie (115)  |  Carolus Linnaeus (31)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Nurture (16)  |  Pattern (79)  |  Polarization (4)  |  Potential (39)  |  Potentiality (7)  |  Social (108)  |  Special (77)  |  Specific (37)  |  Statement (76)

Former arbiters of taste must have felt (as so many apostles of ‘traditional values’ and other highminded tags for restriction and conformity do today) that maintaining the social order required a concept of unalloyed heroism. Human beings so designated as role models had to embody all virtues of the paragon–which meant, of course, that they could not be described in their truly human and ineluctably faulted form.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Apostle (3)  |  Arbiter (5)  |  Concept (146)  |  Conformity (12)  |  Describe (57)  |  Designation (10)  |  Embody (16)  |  Fault (33)  |  Feel (167)  |  Form (314)  |  Former (25)  |  Heroism (7)  |  Human (550)  |  Human Beings (21)  |  Ineluctably (2)  |  Maintain (33)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Paragon (4)  |  Require (85)  |  Restriction (9)  |  Social Order (7)  |  Taste (48)  |  Today (117)  |  Traditional (15)  |  Truly (33)  |  Value (242)  |  Virtue (61)

Fullness of knowledge always means some understanding of the depths of our ignorance; and that is always conducive to humility and reverence.
In 'What I Believe: Living Philosophies II', The Forum (Oct 1929), 82, No. 4, 199.
Science quotes on:  |  Conducive (3)  |  Depth (51)  |  Fullness (2)  |  Humility (23)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Reverence (28)  |  Understand (340)

Goethe said that he who cannot draw on 3,000 years of learning is living hand to mouth. It could just as well be said that individuals who do tap deeply into this rich cultural legacy are wealthy indeed. Yet the paradox is that much of this wisdom is buried in a sea of lesser books or like lost treasure beneath an ocean of online ignorance and trivia. That doesn’t mean that with a little bit of diligence you can’t tap into it. Yet many people, perhaps most, never take advantage of all this human experience. They aren’t obtaining knowledge beyond what they need to know for work or to get by. As a result, their view of our amazing world is diminished and their lives greatly circumscribed.
In An Embarrassment of Riches: Tapping Into the World's Greatest Legacy of Wealth (2013), 65.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (77)  |  Amazing (21)  |  Arent (5)  |  Beneath (16)  |  Beyond (105)  |  Bit (22)  |  Book (257)  |  Bury (16)  |  Circumscribe (2)  |  Cultural (23)  |  Deeply (17)  |  Diligence (16)  |  Diminish (17)  |  Draw (55)  |  Experience (342)  |  Goethe (3)  |  Greatly (12)  |  Hand (142)  |  Human (550)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Individual (221)  |  Know (556)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Learn (288)  |  Legacy (11)  |  Lesser (5)  |  Little (188)  |  Live (272)  |  Lose (94)  |  Mouth (21)  |  Need (287)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Ocean (149)  |  Online (4)  |  Paradox (43)  |  People (390)  |  Result (389)  |  Rich (61)  |  Say (228)  |  Sea (188)  |  Tap (10)  |  Treasure (45)  |  Trivia (2)  |  View (171)  |  Wealthy (5)  |  Wisdom (182)  |  Work (635)  |  World (898)  |  Year (299)

Have you ever watched an eagle held captive in a zoo, fat and plump and full of food and safe from danger too?
Then have you seen another wheeling high up in the sky, thin and hard and battle-scarred, but free to soar and fly?
Well, which have you pitied the caged one or his brother? Though safe and warm from foe or storm, the captive, not the other!
There’s something of the eagle in climbers, don’t you see; a secret thing, perhaps the soul, that clamors to be free.
It’s a different sort of freedom from the kind we often mean, not free to work and eat and sleep and live in peace serene.
But freedom like a wild thing to leap and soar and strive, to struggle with the icy blast, to really be alive.
That’s why we climb the mountain’s peak from which the cloud-veils flow, to stand and watch the eagle fly, and soar, and wheel... below...
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (49)  |  Below (24)  |  Blast (10)  |  Brother (22)  |  Cage (8)  |  Captive (2)  |  Climb (34)  |  Climber (7)  |  Danger (78)  |  Different (186)  |  Eagle (13)  |  Eat (52)  |  Fat (11)  |  Flow (42)  |  Fly (99)  |  Foe (7)  |  Food (154)  |  Free (92)  |  Freedom (102)  |  Full (63)  |  Hard (99)  |  High (153)  |  Hold (94)  |  Icy (3)  |  Kind (140)  |  Leap (34)  |  Live (272)  |  Mountain (145)  |  Often (106)  |  Peace (84)  |  Peak (20)  |  Pity (13)  |  Really (78)  |  Safe (28)  |  Secret (131)  |  See (369)  |  Serene (5)  |  Sky (124)  |  Sleep (58)  |  Soar (15)  |  Sort (49)  |  Soul (166)  |  Stand (108)  |  Storm (30)  |  Strive (45)  |  Struggle (78)  |  Thin (16)  |  Warm (34)  |  Watch (65)  |  Wheel (22)  |  Wild (49)  |  Work (635)  |  Zoo (8)

I am particularly concerned to determine the probability of causes and results, as exhibited in events that occur in large numbers, and to investigate the laws according to which that probability approaches a limit in proportion to the repetition of events. That investigation deserves the attention of mathematicians because of the analysis required. It is primarily there that the approximation of formulas that are functions of large numbers has its most important applications. The investigation will benefit observers in identifying the mean to be chosen among the results of their observations and the probability of the errors still to be apprehended. Lastly, the investigation is one that deserves the attention of philosophers in showing how in the final analysis there is a regularity underlying the very things that seem to us to pertain entirely to chance, and in unveiling the hidden but constant causes on which that regularity depends. It is on the regularity of the main outcomes of events taken in large numbers that various institutions depend, such as annuities, tontines, and insurance policies. Questions about those subjects, as well as about inoculation with vaccine and decisions of electoral assemblies, present no further difficulty in the light of my theory. I limit myself here to resolving the most general of them, but the importance of these concerns in civil life, the moral considerations that complicate them, and the voluminous data that they presuppose require a separate work.
Philosophical Essay on Probabilities (1825), trans. Andrew I. Dale (1995), Introduction.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (166)  |  Application (170)  |  Approximation (22)  |  Cause (285)  |  Chance (160)  |  Complication (24)  |  Concern (110)  |  Data (120)  |  Determine (76)  |  Difficulty (146)  |  Error (277)  |  Event (116)  |  Formula (80)  |  Function (131)  |  Government (93)  |  Inoculation (8)  |  Institution (39)  |  Insurance (9)  |  Investigation (176)  |  Law (515)  |  Limit (126)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Morality (42)  |  Outcome (13)  |  Philosopher (166)  |  Probability (106)  |  Proportion (72)  |  Regularity (29)  |  Result (389)  |  Theory (696)  |  Vaccine (9)

I can hear the sizzle of newborn stars, and know anything of meaning, of the fierce magic emerging here. I am witness to flexible eternity, the evolving past, and I know we will live forever, as dust or breathe in the face of stars, in the shifting pattern of winds.
Joy Harjo
In Secrets from the Center of the World (1989), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Breathe (36)  |  Dust (49)  |  Emerge (21)  |  Eternity (49)  |  Evolution (535)  |  Face (108)  |  Fierce (7)  |  Flexible (6)  |  Forever (60)  |  Hear (63)  |  Know (556)  |  Live (272)  |  Magic (78)  |  Newborn (3)  |  Past (152)  |  Pattern (79)  |  Shift (29)  |  Star (336)  |  Wind (80)  |  Witness (32)

I can see him [Sylvester] now, with his white beard and few locks of gray hair, his forehead wrinkled o’er with thoughts, writing rapidly his figures and formulae on the board, sometimes explaining as he wrote, while we, his listeners, caught the reflected sounds from the board. But stop, something is not right, he pauses, his hand goes to his forehead to help his thought, he goes over the work again, emphasizes the leading points, and finally discovers his difficulty. Perhaps it is some error in his figures, perhaps an oversight in the reasoning. Sometimes, however, the difficulty is not elucidated, and then there is not much to the rest of the lecture. But at the next lecture we would hear of some new discovery that was the outcome of that difficulty, and of some article for the Journal, which he had begun. If a text-book had been taken up at the beginning, with the intention of following it, that text-book was most likely doomed to oblivion for the rest of the term, or until the class had been made listeners to every new thought and principle that had sprung from the laboratory of his mind, in consequence of that first difficulty. Other difficulties would soon appear, so that no text-book could last more than half of the term. In this way his class listened to almost all of the work that subsequently appeared in the Journal. It seemed to be the quality of his mind that he must adhere to one subject. He would think about it, talk about it to his class, and finally write about it for the Journal. The merest accident might start him, but once started, every moment, every thought was given to it, and, as much as possible, he read what others had done in the same direction; but this last seemed to be his real point; he could not read without finding difficulties in the way of understanding the author. Thus, often his own work reproduced what had been done by others, and he did not find it out until too late.
A notable example of this is in his theory of cyclotomic functions, which he had reproduced in several foreign journals, only to find that he had been greatly anticipated by foreign authors. It was manifest, one of the critics said, that the learned professor had not read Rummer’s elementary results in the theory of ideal primes. Yet Professor Smith’s report on the theory of numbers, which contained a full synopsis of Kummer’s theory, was Professor Sylvester’s constant companion.
This weakness of Professor Sylvester, in not being able to read what others had done, is perhaps a concomitant of his peculiar genius. Other minds could pass over little difficulties and not be troubled by them, and so go on to a final understanding of the results of the author. But not so with him. A difficulty, however small, worried him, and he was sure to have difficulties until the subject had been worked over in his own way, to correspond with his own mode of thought. To read the work of others, meant therefore to him an almost independent development of it. Like the man whose pleasure in life is to pioneer the way for society into the forests, his rugged mind could derive satisfaction only in hewing out its own paths; and only when his efforts brought him into the uncleared fields of mathematics did he find his place in the Universe.
In Florian Cajori, Teaching and History of Mathematics in the United States (1890), 266-267.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (66)  |  Adhere (3)  |  Anticipate (10)  |  Appear (118)  |  Article (22)  |  Author (62)  |  Beard (7)  |  Begin (108)  |  Board (12)  |  Bring (90)  |  Class (84)  |  Companion (13)  |  Consequence (114)  |  Constant (58)  |  Contain (67)  |  Correspond (9)  |  Critic (20)  |  Derive (33)  |  Development (289)  |  Difficulty (146)  |  Direction (76)  |  Discover (199)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Doom (15)  |  Effort (144)  |  Elementary (45)  |  Elucidate (4)  |  Emphasize (12)  |  Error (277)  |  Example (94)  |  Explain (107)  |  Field (171)  |  Figure (69)  |  Final (50)  |  Finally (26)  |  Find (408)  |  First (314)  |  Follow (124)  |  Forehead (2)  |  Foreign (26)  |  Forest (107)  |  Formula (80)  |  Full (63)  |  Function (131)  |  Genius (249)  |  Give (201)  |  Greatly (12)  |  Hair (25)  |  Half (56)  |  Hand (142)  |  Hear (63)  |  Help (103)  |  Hew (3)  |  Ideal (72)  |  Independent (67)  |  Intention (28)  |  Journal (19)  |  Ernst Eduard Kummer (3)  |  Laboratory (132)  |  Late (52)  |  Lead (160)  |  Learn (288)  |  Lecture (68)  |  Life (1131)  |  Likely (33)  |  Listen (41)  |  Listener (5)  |  Little (188)  |  Manifest (21)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mere (82)  |  Mind (760)  |  Mode (40)  |  Moment (107)  |  New (496)  |  Next (35)  |  Notable (5)  |  Oblivion (10)  |  Often (106)  |  Outcome (13)  |  Oversight (4)  |  Pass (93)  |  Path (84)  |  Pause (6)  |  Peculiar (45)  |  Pioneer (27)  |  Place (175)  |  Pleasure (133)  |  Point (123)  |  Possible (158)  |  Prime (11)  |  Principle (292)  |  Professor (54)  |  Quality (95)  |  Rapidly (13)  |  Read (145)  |  Real (149)  |  Reason (471)  |  Report (37)  |  Reproduce (11)  |  Rest (93)  |  Result (389)  |  Right (197)  |  Rugged (7)  |  Rum (3)  |  Same (156)  |  Satisfaction (56)  |  Say (228)  |  Seem (143)  |  Several (31)  |  Small (163)  |  Smith (3)  |  Society (228)  |  Soon (34)  |  Sound (90)  |  Spring (71)  |  Start (97)  |  Stop (76)  |  Subject (240)  |  Subsequently (2)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (58)  |  Synopsis (2)  |  Talk (100)  |  Term (122)  |  Textbook (27)  |  Theory (696)  |  Theory Of Numbers (5)  |  Think (347)  |  Thought (546)  |  Trouble (72)  |  Understand (340)  |  Universe (686)  |  Weakness (36)  |  Work (635)  |  Worry (33)  |  Wrinkle (4)  |  Write (154)

I do not claim that intelligence, however defined, has no genetic basis–I regard it as trivially true, uninteresting, and unimportant that it does. The expression of any trait represents a complex interaction of heredity and environment ... a specific claim purporting to demonstrate a mean genetic deficiency in the intelligence of American blacks rests upon no new facts whatever and can cite no valid data in its support. It is just as likely that blacks have a genetic advantage over whites. And, either way, it doesn’t matter a damn. An individual can’t be judged by his group mean.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (77)  |  American (46)  |  Basis (91)  |  Black (42)  |  Cite (6)  |  Claim (71)  |  Complex (95)  |  Damn (12)  |  Data (120)  |  Deficiency (8)  |  Define (49)  |  Demonstrate (53)  |  Environment (181)  |  Expression (110)  |  Fact (733)  |  Genetic (12)  |  Group (72)  |  Heredity (53)  |  Individual (221)  |  Intelligence (168)  |  Interaction (31)  |  Judge (63)  |  Likely (33)  |  Matter (343)  |  New (496)  |  Purport (3)  |  Regard (95)  |  Represent (43)  |  Rest (93)  |  Specific (37)  |  Support (78)  |  Trait (22)  |  True (208)  |  Unimportant (6)  |  Uninteresting (6)  |  Valid (11)  |  White (56)

I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis of our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accentuate (2)  |  Asset (6)  |  Become (172)  |  Briefly (5)  |  Concern (110)  |  Conscious (45)  |  Constantly (27)  |  Constitute (29)  |  Crisis (19)  |  Dependence (37)  |  Deprive (11)  |  Deteriorate (3)  |  Deterioration (8)  |  Devote (35)  |  Drive (55)  |  Economic (26)  |  Enjoyment (29)  |  Essence (55)  |  Existence (299)  |  Experience (342)  |  Feel (167)  |  Find (408)  |  Force (249)  |  Human Beings (21)  |  Indicate (18)  |  Individual (221)  |  Insecure (4)  |  Life (1131)  |  Lonely (16)  |  Moreover (3)  |  Naive (10)  |  Natural (173)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Organic (55)  |  Perilous (4)  |  Point (123)  |  Position (76)  |  Positive (44)  |  Prisoner (7)  |  Process (267)  |  Progressively (3)  |  Protective (5)  |  Reach (121)  |  Relationship (71)  |  Right (197)  |  Short (51)  |  Simple (178)  |  Social (108)  |  Society (228)  |  Suffer (40)  |  Threat (29)  |  Tie (24)  |  Time (595)  |  Unsophisticated (2)  |  Weak (44)

I mean, if 10 years from now, when you are doing something quick and dirty, you suddenly visualize that I am looking over your shoulders and say to yourself ‘Dijkstra would not have liked this’, well, that would be enough immortality for me.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Dirty (10)  |  Immortality (11)  |  Quick (13)  |  Say (228)  |  Shoulder (18)  |  Suddenly (17)  |  Visualize (8)  |  Year (299)

I never could make out what those damned dots meant.
Referring to decimal points. “But this was surely only to tease.” Quoted in W.S. Churchill, Lord Randolph Churchill (1906), Vol. 2, 184.
Science quotes on:  |  Damn (12)  |  Decimal (15)  |  Dot (11)  |  Point (123)  |  Refer (14)

I wrote a fair amount of poetry in college. It was really, really bad. I mean, bad. And that’s how I found out—by doing it.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Amount (31)  |  Bad (99)  |  College (35)  |  Fair (15)  |  Find (408)  |  Poetry (124)  |  Really (78)  |  Write (154)

If any philosopher had been asked for a definition of infinity, he might have produced some unintelligible rigmarole, but he would certainly not have been able to give a definition that had any meaning at all.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (160)  |  Certainly (31)  |  Definition (192)  |  Give (201)  |  Infinity (72)  |  Philosopher (166)  |  Produce (102)  |  Unintelligible (10)

If the creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out.
Essay in magazine, Encounter (May 1970), collected in Kaleidoscope: Essays from Drinkers of Infinity, and The heel of Achilles and Later Pieces and Stories (May 1981), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Creator (55)  |  Neck (13)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Stick (24)

If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Creature (155)  |  Dark (77)  |  Eye (222)  |  Find (408)  |  Know (556)  |  Light (347)  |  Universe (686)  |  Whole (192)

In defining an element let us not take an external boundary, Let us say, e.g., the smallest ponderable quantity of yttrium is an assemblage of ultimate atoms almost infinitely more like each other than they are to the atoms of any other approximating element. It does not necessarily follow that the atoms shall all be absolutely alike among themselves. The atomic weight which we ascribe to yttrium, therefore, merely represents a mean value around which the actual weights of the individual atoms of the “element” range within certain limits. But if my conjecture is tenable, could we separate atom from atom, we should find them varying within narrow limits on each side of the mean.
Address to Annual General Meeting of the Chemical Society (28 Mar 1888), printed in Journal of the Chemical Society (1888), 491.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (39)  |  Actual (48)  |  Alike (22)  |  Approximation (22)  |  Ascribe (17)  |  Assemblage (7)  |  Atom (280)  |  Boundary (38)  |  Conjecture (32)  |  Definition (192)  |  Element (162)  |  External (57)  |  Find (408)  |  Individual (221)  |  Infinitely (13)  |  Limit (126)  |  Narrow (48)  |  Ponderable (3)  |  Quantity (65)  |  Range (57)  |  Separate (74)  |  Smallest (9)  |  Ultimate (84)  |  Value (242)  |  Variation (63)  |  Yttrium (3)

In the beginning there was an explosion. Not an explosion like those familiar on earth, starting from a definite center and spreading out to engulf more and more of the circumambient air, but an explosion which occurred simultaneously everywhere, filling all space from the beginning, with every particle of matter rushing apart from every other particle. ‘All space’ in this context may mean either all of an infinite universe, or all of a finite universe which curves back on itself like the surface of a sphere. Neither possibility is easy to comprehend, but this will not get in our way; it matters hardly at all in the early universe whether space is finite or infinite. At about one-hundredth of a second, the earliest time about which we can speak with any confidence, the temperature of the universe was about a hundred thousand million (1011) degrees Centigrade. This is much hotter than in the center of even the hottest star, so hot, in fact, that none of the components of ordinary matter, molecules, or atoms, or even the nuclei of atoms, could have held together. Instead, the matter rushing apart in this explosion consisted of various types of the so-called elementary particles, which are the subject of modern high­energy nuclear physics.
The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1977), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (280)  |  Atomic Bomb (107)  |  Comprehension (57)  |  Confidence (41)  |  Explosion (27)  |  Fact (733)  |  Hottest (2)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Matter (343)  |  Million (111)  |  Nucleus (33)  |  Particle Physics (10)  |  Space (257)  |  Star (336)  |  Temperature (47)  |  Universe (686)

Inspiration in the field of science by no means plays any greater role, as academic conceit fancies, than it does in the field of mastering problems of practical life by a modern entrepreneur. On the other hand, and this also is often misconstrued, inspiration plays no less a role in science than it does in the realm of art.
Max Weber
From a Speech (1918) presented at Munich University, published in 1919, and collected in 'Wissenschaft als Beruf', Gessammelte Aufsätze zur Wissenschaftslehre (1922), 524-525. As given in H.H. Gerth and C. Wright-Mills (translators and eds.), 'Science as a Vocation', Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (1946), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (18)  |  Art (294)  |  Conceit (12)  |  Entrepreneur (5)  |  Fancy (24)  |  Field (171)  |  Greater (42)  |  Hand (142)  |  Inspiration (61)  |  Less (102)  |  Life (1131)  |  Mastering (4)  |  Modern (162)  |  Often (106)  |  Play (112)  |  Practical (133)  |  Problem (497)  |  Realm (55)  |  Role (49)  |  Science (2067)

It is admitted by all that a finished or even a competent reasoner is not the work of nature alone; the experience of every day makes it evident that education develops faculties which would otherwise never have manifested their existence. It is, therefore, as necessary to learn to reason before we can expect to be able to reason, as it is to learn to swim or fence, in order to attain either of those arts. Now, something must be reasoned upon, it matters not much what it is, provided it can be reasoned upon with certainty. The properties of mind or matter, or the study of languages, mathematics, or natural history, may be chosen for this purpose. Now of all these, it is desirable to choose the one which admits of the reasoning being verified, that is, in which we can find out by other means, such as measurement and ocular demonstration of all sorts, whether the results are true or not. When the guiding property of the loadstone was first ascertained, and it was necessary to learn how to use this new discovery, and to find out how far it might be relied on, it would have been thought advisable to make many passages between ports that were well known before attempting a voyage of discovery. So it is with our reasoning faculties: it is desirable that their powers should be exerted upon objects of such a nature, that we can tell by other means whether the results which we obtain are true or false, and this before it is safe to trust entirely to reason. Now the mathematics are peculiarly well adapted for this purpose, on the following grounds:
1. Every term is distinctly explained, and has but one meaning, and it is rarely that two words are employed to mean the same thing.
2. The first principles are self-evident, and, though derived from observation, do not require more of it than has been made by children in general.
3. The demonstration is strictly logical, taking nothing for granted except self-evident first principles, resting nothing upon probability, and entirely independent of authority and opinion.
4. When the conclusion is obtained by reasoning, its truth or falsehood can be ascertained, in geometry by actual measurement, in algebra by common arithmetical calculation. This gives confidence, and is absolutely necessary, if, as was said before, reason is not to be the instructor, but the pupil.
5. There are no words whose meanings are so much alike that the ideas which they stand for may be confounded. Between the meaning of terms there is no distinction, except a total distinction, and all adjectives and adverbs expressing difference of degrees are avoided.
In On the Study and Difficulties of Mathematics (1898), chap. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (39)  |  Actual (48)  |  Adapt (28)  |  Adjective (2)  |  Admit (45)  |  Adverb (2)  |  Algebra (104)  |  Alike (22)  |  Alone (106)  |  Arithmetical (11)  |  Art (294)  |  Ascertain (15)  |  Attain (45)  |  Attempt (126)  |  Authority (66)  |  Avoid (55)  |  Calculation (100)  |  Certainty (131)  |  Child (252)  |  Choose (60)  |  Common (122)  |  Competent (20)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Confidence (41)  |  Confound (14)  |  Degree (82)  |  Demonstration (86)  |  Derive (33)  |  Desirable (11)  |  Develop (107)  |  Difference (246)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Distinction (46)  |  Distinctly (5)  |  Education (347)  |  Employ (35)  |  Entirely (33)  |  Evident (29)  |  Exert (14)  |  Existence (299)  |  Expect (44)  |  Experience (342)  |  Explain (107)  |  Express (65)  |  Faculty (70)  |  False (99)  |  Falsehood (26)  |  Far (154)  |  Fence (9)  |  Find Out (20)  |  Finish (25)  |  First (314)  |  Follow (124)  |  General (160)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Give (201)  |  Grant (32)  |  Ground (90)  |  Guide (65)  |  Idea (580)  |  Independent (67)  |  Instructor (5)  |  Know (556)  |  Language (228)  |  Learn (288)  |  Lodestone (6)  |  Logical (55)  |  Manifest (21)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Matter (343)  |  Meanings (5)  |  Means (176)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Mind (760)  |  Natural History (50)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Necessary (154)  |  New (496)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Object (175)  |  Observation (450)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Ocular (3)  |  Opinion (176)  |  Order (242)  |  Passage (20)  |  Peculiarly (4)  |  Port (2)  |  Power (366)  |  Principle (292)  |  Probability (106)  |  Property (126)  |  Provide (69)  |  Pupil (36)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Rarely (20)  |  Reason (471)  |  Rely (11)  |  Require (85)  |  Rest (93)  |  Result (389)  |  Safe (28)  |  Same (156)  |  Say (228)  |  Self-Evident (12)  |  Sort (49)  |  Stand (108)  |  Strictly (13)  |  Study (476)  |  Swim (16)  |  Tell (110)  |  Term (122)  |  Thought (546)  |  Total (36)  |  True (208)  |  Trust (49)  |  Truth (928)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Verify (17)  |  Voyage (11)  |  Word (302)  |  Work (635)

It is always, our eyes alone, our way of looking at things. Nature alone knows what she means now, and what she had meant in the past.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 203.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (106)  |  Eye (222)  |  Know (556)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Past (152)

It is not failure but success that is forcing man off this earth. It is not sickness but the triumph of health... Our capacity to survive has expanded beyond the capacity of Earth to support us. The pains we are feeling are growing pains. We can solve growth problems in direct proportion to our capacity to find new worlds... If man stays on Earth, his extinction is sure even if he lasts till the sun expands and destroys him... It is no longer reasonable to assume that the meaning of life lies on this earth alone. If Earth is all there is for man, we are reaching the foreseeable end of man.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (106)  |  Assume (38)  |  Beyond (105)  |  Capacity (64)  |  Destroy (80)  |  Direct (84)  |  Earth (638)  |  End (195)  |  Expand (23)  |  Extinction (66)  |  Failure (138)  |  Feel (167)  |  Find (408)  |  Force (249)  |  Foreseeable (3)  |  Grow (99)  |  Growth (124)  |  Health (156)  |  Lie (115)  |  Life (1131)  |  Long (174)  |  New Worlds (5)  |  Pain (101)  |  Problem (497)  |  Proportion (72)  |  Reach (121)  |  Reasonable (27)  |  Sickness (22)  |  Solve (78)  |  Stay (25)  |  Success (250)  |  Sun (276)  |  Support (78)  |  Survive (46)  |  Triumph (46)

It [mathematics] is in the inner world of pure thought, where all entia dwell, where is every type of order and manner of correlation and variety of relationship, it is in this infinite ensemble of eternal verities whence, if there be one cosmos or many of them, each derives its character and mode of being,—it is there that the spirit of mathesis has its home and its life.
Is it a restricted home, a narrow life, static and cold and grey with logic, without artistic interest, devoid of emotion and mood and sentiment? That world, it is true, is not a world of solar light, not clad in the colours that liven and glorify the things of sense, but it is an illuminated world, and over it all and everywhere throughout are hues and tints transcending sense, painted there by radiant pencils of psychic light, the light in which it lies. It is a silent world, and, nevertheless, in respect to the highest principle of art—the interpenetration of content and form, the perfect fusion of mode and meaning—it even surpasses music. In a sense, it is a static world, but so, too, are the worlds of the sculptor and the architect. The figures, however, which reason constructs and the mathematic vision beholds, transcend the temple and the statue, alike in simplicity and in intricacy, in delicacy and in grace, in symmetry and in poise. Not only are this home and this life thus rich in aesthetic interests, really controlled and sustained by motives of a sublimed and supersensuous art, but the religious aspiration, too, finds there, especially in the beautiful doctrine of invariants, the most perfect symbols of what it seeks—the changeless in the midst of change, abiding things hi a world of flux, configurations that remain the same despite the swirl and stress of countless hosts of curious transformations.
In 'The Universe and Beyond', Hibbert Journal (1904-1906), 3, 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Abide (12)  |  Aesthetic (35)  |  Alike (22)  |  Architect (21)  |  Art (294)  |  Artistic (15)  |  Aspiration (27)  |  Beautiful (144)  |  Behold (18)  |  Change (364)  |  Character (118)  |  Cold (58)  |  Color (99)  |  Configuration (7)  |  Construct (41)  |  Content (69)  |  Control (114)  |  Correlation (11)  |  Cosmos (52)  |  Countless (22)  |  Curious (43)  |  Delicacy (3)  |  Derive (33)  |  Despite (7)  |  Devoid (11)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Dwell (15)  |  Emotion (78)  |  Ensemble (5)  |  Especially (31)  |  Eternal (67)  |  Everywhere (24)  |  Figure (69)  |  Find (408)  |  Flux (13)  |  Form (314)  |  Fusion (13)  |  Glorify (6)  |  Grace (18)  |  Grey (10)  |  High (153)  |  Home (84)  |  Host (16)  |  Hue (3)  |  Illuminate (24)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Inner (39)  |  Interest (237)  |  Intricacy (7)  |  Invariant (7)  |  Lie (115)  |  Life (1131)  |  Light (347)  |  Logic (260)  |  Manner (57)  |  Midst (7)  |  Mode (40)  |  Mood (12)  |  Motive (33)  |  Music (106)  |  Narrow (48)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Order (242)  |  Paint (21)  |  Pencil (17)  |  Penetration (18)  |  Perfect (89)  |  Poise (4)  |  Principle (292)  |  Psychic (6)  |  Pure (103)  |  Radiant (10)  |  Really (78)  |  Reason (471)  |  Relationship (71)  |  Religious (49)  |  Remain (113)  |  Respect (86)  |  Restrict (12)  |  Rich (61)  |  Same (156)  |  Sculptor (9)  |  Seek (107)  |  Sense (321)  |  Sensuous (5)  |  Sentiment (14)  |  Silent (28)  |  Simplicity (147)  |  Solar (8)  |  Spirit (154)  |  Static (8)  |  Statue (11)  |  Stress (12)  |  Sublime (27)  |  Surpass (19)  |  Sustain (23)  |  Swirl (10)  |  Symbol (73)  |  Symmetry (37)  |  Temple (25)  |  Thought (546)  |  Tint (2)  |  Transcend (17)  |  Transformation (54)  |  True (208)  |  Type (52)  |  Variety (71)  |  Verity (5)  |  Vision (94)  |  World (898)

It’s not quite as exhilarating a feeling as orbiting the earth, but it’s close. In addition, it has an exotic, bizarre quality due entirely to the nature of the surface below. The earth from orbit is a delight - offering visual variety and an emotional feeling of belonging “down there.” Not so with this withered, sun-seared peach pit out of my window. There is no comfort to it; it is too stark and barren; its invitation is monotonous and meant for geologists only.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (29)  |  Barren (15)  |  Belong (53)  |  Below (24)  |  Bizarre (6)  |  Close (67)  |  Comfort (49)  |  Delight (66)  |  Down (86)  |  Due (20)  |  Earth (638)  |  Emotional (17)  |  Entirely (33)  |  Exhilarating (3)  |  Exotic (6)  |  Feel (167)  |  Geologist (47)  |  Invitation (10)  |  Monotonous (3)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Offer (43)  |  Orbit (69)  |  Peach (3)  |  Pit (13)  |  Quality (95)  |  Sear (2)  |  Stark (3)  |  Sun (276)  |  Surface (101)  |  Variety (71)  |  Visual (15)  |  Window (40)  |  Wither (8)

Let us now declare the means whereby our understanding can rise to knowledge without fear of error. There are two such means: intuition and deduction. By intuition I mean not the varying testimony of the senses, nor the deductive judgment of imagination naturally extravagant, but the conception of an attentive mind so distinct and so clear that no doubt remains to it with regard to that which it comprehends; or, what amounts to the same thing, the self-evidencing conception of a sound and attentive mind, a conception which springs from the light of reason alone, and is more certain, because more simple, than deduction itself. …
It may perhaps be asked why to intuition we add this other mode of knowing, by deduction, that is to say, the process which, from something of which we have certain knowledge, draws consequences which necessarily follow therefrom. But we are obliged to admit this second step; for there are a great many things which, without being evident of themselves, nevertheless bear the marks of certainty if only they are deduced from true and incontestable principles by a continuous and uninterrupted movement of thought, with distinct intuition of each thing; just as we know that the last link of a long chain holds to the first, although we can not take in with one glance of the eye the intermediate links, provided that, after having run over them in succession, we can recall them all, each as being joined to its fellows, from the first up to the last. Thus we distinguish intuition from deduction, inasmuch as in the latter case there is conceived a certain progress or succession, while it is not so in the former; … whence it follows that primary propositions, derived immediately from principles, may be said to be known, according to the way we view them, now by intuition, now by deduction; although the principles themselves can be known only by intuition, the remote consequences only by deduction.
In Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Philosophy of Descartes. [Torrey] (1892), 64-65.
Science quotes on:  |  Accord (36)  |  Add (40)  |  Admit (45)  |  Alone (106)  |  Amount (31)  |  Ask (160)  |  Attentive (5)  |  Bear (67)  |  Case (99)  |  Certain (126)  |  Certainty (131)  |  Chain (50)  |  Clear (98)  |  Comprehend (39)  |  Conceive (39)  |  Conception (92)  |  Consequence (114)  |  Continuous (38)  |  Declare (27)  |  Deduce (25)  |  Deduction (69)  |  Deductive (11)  |  Derive (33)  |  Distinct (46)  |  Distinguish (64)  |  Doubt (160)  |  Draw (55)  |  Error (277)  |  Evident (29)  |  Extravagant (4)  |  Eye (222)  |  Fear (142)  |  Fellow (37)  |  First (314)  |  Follow (124)  |  Former (25)  |  Glance (20)  |  Great (534)  |  Hold (94)  |  Imagination (275)  |  Immediately (23)  |  Inasmuch (5)  |  Incontestable (2)  |  Intermediate (20)  |  Intuition (57)  |  Join (25)  |  Judgment (101)  |  Know (556)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Latter (21)  |  Let (61)  |  Light (347)  |  Link (42)  |  Long (174)  |  Mark (42)  |  Means (176)  |  Mind (760)  |  Mode (40)  |  Movement (83)  |  Naturally (11)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Necessarily (30)  |  Obliged (6)  |  Primary (41)  |  Principle (292)  |  Process (267)  |  Progress (368)  |  Proposition (83)  |  Provide (69)  |  Reason (471)  |  Recall (10)  |  Regard (95)  |  Remain (113)  |  Remote (42)  |  Rise (70)  |  Run (57)  |  Same (156)  |  Say (228)  |  Second (59)  |  Sense (321)  |  Simple (178)  |  Sound (90)  |  Spring (71)  |  Step (110)  |  Succession (45)  |  Testimony (13)  |  Therefrom (2)  |  Thought (546)  |  True (208)  |  Understand (340)  |  Uninterrupted (3)  |  Vary (26)  |  View (171)  |  Whereby (2)

Lives with no more sense of spiritual meaning than that provided by shopping malls, ordinary television, and stagnant workplaces are barren lives indeed.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 29
Science quotes on:  |  Barren (15)  |  Live (272)  |  Mall (2)  |  Ordinary (73)  |  Provide (69)  |  Sense (321)  |  Shop (11)  |  Spiritual (57)  |  Stagnant (4)  |  Television (29)  |  Workplace (2)

My veins are filled, once a week with a Neapolitan carpet cleaner distilled from the Adriatic and I am as bald as an egg. However I still get around and am mean to cats.
In Letter (10 May 1982) to Philip Roth describing his cancer treatment, collected in Benjamin H. Cheever (ed.), The Letters of John Cheever (1988, 2009). (He died of cancer.)
Science quotes on:  |  Cancer (49)  |  Cat (36)  |  Cleaner (2)  |  Distilled (2)  |  Egg (45)  |  Vein (13)

Nature never wears a mean appearance. Neither does the wisest man extort her secret, and lose his curiosity by finding out all her perfection.
In Emerson’s Complete Works: Volume 1, Nature, Addresses and Lectures (1855, 1889), 13-14.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (85)  |  Curiosity (106)  |  Extort (2)  |  Finding (30)  |  Lose (94)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Perfection (89)  |  Secret (131)  |  Wear (18)

No more harmful nonsense exists than the common supposition that deepest insight into great questions about the meaning of life or the structure of reality emerges most readily when a free, undisciplined, and uncluttered (read, rather, ignorant and uneducated) mind soars above mere earthly knowledge and concern.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Common (122)  |  Concern (110)  |  Deep (124)  |  Earthly (8)  |  Emerge (21)  |  Exist (148)  |  Free (92)  |  Great (534)  |  Harmful (12)  |  Ignorant (40)  |  Insight (73)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Life (1131)  |  Mere (82)  |  Mind (760)  |  Nonsense (41)  |  Question (404)  |  Read (145)  |  Readily (10)  |  Reality (190)  |  Soar (15)  |  Structure (225)  |  Supposition (37)  |  Undisciplined (2)  |  Uneducated (6)

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
From his autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams (1907, 1918), 451.
Science quotes on:  |  Say (228)  |  Slippery (2)  |  Thought (546)  |  Word (302)

No! What we need are not prohibitory marriage laws, but a reformed society, an educated public opinion which will teach individual duty in these matters. And it is to the women of the future that I look for the needed reformation. Educate and train women so that they are rendered independent of marriage as a means of gaining a home and a living, and you will bring about natural selection in marriage, which will operate most beneficially upon humanity. When all women are placed in a position that they are independent of marriage, I am inclined to think that large numbers will elect to remain unmarried—in some cases, for life, in others, until they encounter the man of their ideal. I want to see women the selective agents in marriage; as things are, they have practically little choice. The only basis for marriage should be a disinterested love. I believe that the unfit will be gradually eliminated from the race, and human progress secured, by giving to the pure instincts of women the selective power in marriage. You can never have that so long as women are driven to marry for a livelihood.
In 'Heredity and Pre-Natal Influences. An Interview With Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace', Humanitarian (1894), 4, 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (32)  |  Basis (91)  |  Belief (504)  |  Bring (90)  |  Case (99)  |  Choice (79)  |  Disinterest (6)  |  Driven (3)  |  Duty (68)  |  Educate (12)  |  Educated (11)  |  Elect (4)  |  Encounter (22)  |  Future (287)  |  Gaining (2)  |  Giving (11)  |  Gradually (21)  |  Home (84)  |  Human (550)  |  Humanity (125)  |  Ideal (72)  |  Inclined (12)  |  Independent (67)  |  Individual (221)  |  Instinct (66)  |  Large (130)  |  Law (515)  |  Life (1131)  |  Little (188)  |  Livelihood (8)  |  Living (56)  |  Long (174)  |  Love (224)  |  Marriage (35)  |  Marry (8)  |  Matter (343)  |  Natural (173)  |  Need (287)  |  Number (282)  |  Operate (17)  |  Opinion (176)  |  Other (27)  |  Position (76)  |  Power (366)  |  Practically (10)  |  Progress (368)  |  Public (94)  |  Pure (103)  |  Race (104)  |  Reformation (4)  |  Remain (113)  |  Rendered (2)  |  See (369)  |  Selection (33)  |  Selective (8)  |  Society (228)  |  Teach (188)  |  Thing (37)  |  Think (347)  |  Train (45)  |  Unfit (12)  |  Unmarried (3)  |  Want (176)  |  Woman (111)

Obviously, what our age has in common with the age of the Reformation is the fallout of disintegrating values. What needs explaining is the presence of a receptive audience. More significant than the fact that poets write abstrusely, painters paint abstractly, and composers compose unintelligible music is that people should admire what they cannot understand; indeed, admire that which has no meaning or principle.
In Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Admire (18)  |  Age (178)  |  Audience (17)  |  Common (122)  |  Compose (17)  |  Composer (6)  |  Disintegrate (3)  |  Explain (107)  |  Fact (733)  |  Fallout (2)  |  Music (106)  |  Need (287)  |  Obviously (11)  |  Paint (21)  |  Painter (23)  |  People (390)  |  Poet (83)  |  Presence (33)  |  Principle (292)  |  Receptive (4)  |  Reformation (4)  |  Significant (36)  |  Understand (340)  |  Unintelligible (10)  |  Value (242)  |  Write (154)

One has a feeling that one has a kind of home in this timeless community of human beings that strive for truth ... I have always believed that Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God the small group scattered all through time of intellectually and ethically valuable people.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (504)  |  Community (82)  |  Ethically (4)  |  Feel (167)  |  God (535)  |  Group (72)  |  Home (84)  |  Human Beings (21)  |  Intellect (192)  |  Jesus (9)  |  Kind (140)  |  Kingdom (38)  |  People (390)  |  Scatter (6)  |  Small (163)  |  Strive (45)  |  Time (595)  |  Timeless (6)  |  Truth (928)  |  Value (242)

Philosophy is written in that great book that lies before our gaze—I mean the universe—but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written.
In Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis: the Scientific Search for the Soul (1995), 203.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (257)  |  First (314)  |  Gaze (16)  |  Grasp (60)  |  Great (534)  |  Language (228)  |  Learn (288)  |  Lie (115)  |  Philosophy (259)  |  Symbol (73)  |  Understand (340)  |  Universe (686)  |  Write (154)

Physicists and astronomers see their own implications in the world being round, but to me it means that only one-third of the world is asleep at any given time and the other two-thirds is up to something.
Dean Rusk
Speech to American Bar Association, Atlanta, Ga. (22 Oct 1964), quoted in The Atlanta Constitution (23 Oct 1964), 10. In James H. Billington, Respectfully Quoted (2010), 380.
Science quotes on:  |  Asleep (3)  |  Astronomer (68)  |  Implication (22)  |  Physicist (161)  |  Round (26)  |  See (369)  |  Time (595)  |  World (898)

Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision.
From Orthodoxy (1908, 1909), 195.
Science quotes on:  |  Changing (7)  |  Fit (48)  |  Instead (19)  |  Progress (368)  |  Vision (94)  |  World (898)

Religion and science ... constitute deep-rooted and ancient efforts to find richer experience and deeper meaning than are found in the ordinary biological and social satisfactions. As pointed out by Whitehead, religion and science have similar origins and are evolving toward similar goals. Both started from crude observations and fanciful concepts, meaningful only within a narrow range of conditions for the people who formulated them of their limited tribal experience. But progressively, continuously, and almost simultaneously, religious and scientific concepts are ridding themselves of their coarse and local components, reaching higher and higher levels of abstraction and purity. Both the myths of religion and the laws of science, it is now becoming apparent, are not so much descriptions of facts as symbolic expressions of cosmic truths.
'On Being Human,' A God Within, Scribner (1972).
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (38)  |  Ancient (106)  |  Apparent (39)  |  Become (172)  |  Biological (35)  |  Both (81)  |  Coarse (3)  |  Component (16)  |  Concept (146)  |  Condition (163)  |  Constitute (29)  |  Continuously (7)  |  Cosmic (47)  |  Crude (17)  |  Deep (124)  |  Description (84)  |  Effort (144)  |  Evolution (535)  |  Experience (342)  |  Expression (110)  |  Fact (733)  |  Fanciful (6)  |  Find (408)  |  Formulate (15)  |  Goal (100)  |  High (153)  |  Law (515)  |  Level (67)  |  Limit (126)  |  Local (19)  |  Meaningful (16)  |  Myth (48)  |  Narrow (48)  |  Observation (450)  |  Ordinary (73)  |  Origin (88)  |  People (390)  |  Point (123)  |  Progressively (3)  |  Purity (14)  |  Range (57)  |  Reach (121)  |  Religion (239)  |  Religious (49)  |  Rich (61)  |  Rid (13)  |  Satisfaction (56)  |  Science (2067)  |  Science And Religion (302)  |  Scientific (236)  |  Similar (35)  |  Simultaneous (18)  |  Social (108)  |  Start (97)  |  Symbolic (15)  |  Themselves (44)  |  Toward (45)  |  Truth (928)  |  Whitehead (2)

Rulers and generals muster their troops. Magnates muster the sums of money which give them power. The fascist dictators muster the irrational human reactions which make it possible for them to attain and maintain their power over the masses. The scientists muster knowledge and means of research. But, thus far, no organization fighting for freedom has ever mustered the biological arsenal where the weapons are to be found for the establishment and the maintenance of human freedom. All precision of our social existence notwithstanding, there is as yet no definition of the word freedom which would be in keeping with natural science. No word is more misused and misunderstood. To define freedom is the same as to define sexual health. But nobody will openly admit this. The advocacy of personal and social freedom is connected with anxiety and guilt feelings. As if to be free were a sin or at least not quite as it should be. Sex-economy makes this guilt feeling comprehensible: freedom without sexual self-determination is in itself a contradiction. But to be sexual means—according to the prevailing human structure—to be sinful or guilty. There are very few people who experience sexual love without guilt feeling. “Free love” has acquired a degrading meaning: it lost the meaning given it by the old fighters for freedom. In films and in books, to be genital and to be criminal are presented as the same thing.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accord (36)  |  Acquire (39)  |  Admit (45)  |  Anxiety (20)  |  Arsenal (6)  |  Attain (45)  |  Biological (35)  |  Book (257)  |  Comprehensible (4)  |  Connect (33)  |  Contradiction (54)  |  Criminal (15)  |  Define (49)  |  Definition (192)  |  Degrade (8)  |  Dictator (4)  |  Establishment (35)  |  Existence (299)  |  Experience (342)  |  Far (154)  |  Fascist (2)  |  Feel (167)  |  Feelings (14)  |  Fight (44)  |  Fighter (4)  |  Film (10)  |  Find (408)  |  Free (92)  |  Freedom (102)  |  General (160)  |  Give (201)  |  Guilt (9)  |  Guilty (9)  |  Health (156)  |  Human (550)  |  Irrational (13)  |  Keep (100)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Least (74)  |  Lose (94)  |  Love (224)  |  Maintain (33)  |  Maintenance (14)  |  Mass (78)  |  Means (176)  |  Misunderstand (4)  |  Misuse (10)  |  Money (142)  |  Muster (2)  |  Natural Science (90)  |  Nobody (49)  |  Old (147)  |  Openly (2)  |  Organization (84)  |  People (390)  |  Personal (66)  |  Possible (158)  |  Power (366)  |  Precision (52)  |  Present (176)  |  Prevail (17)  |  Reaction (62)  |  Research (590)  |  Ruler (15)  |  Same (156)  |  Scientist (522)  |  Sexual (4)  |  Sin (30)  |  Sinful (2)  |  Social (108)  |  Structure (225)  |  Sum (41)  |  Troop (5)  |  Weapon (66)  |  Word (302)

Science gives us the grounds of premises from which religious truths are to be inferred; but it does not set about inferring them, much less does it reach the inference; that is not its province. It brings before us phenomena, and it leaves us, if we will, to call them works of design, wisdom, or benevolence; and further still, if we will, to proceed to confess an Intelligent Creator. We have to take its facts, and to give them a meaning, and to draw our own conclusions from them. First comes Knowledge, then a view, then reasoning, then belief. This is why Science has so little of a religious tendency; deductions have no power of persuasion. The heart is commonly reached, not through the reason, but through the imagination, by means of direct impressions, by the testimony of facts and events, by history, by description. Persons influence us, voices melt us, looks subdue us, deeds inflame us. Many a man will live and die upon a dogma; no man will be a martyr for a conclusion.
Letter collected in Tamworth Reading Room: Letters on an Address Delivered by Sir Robert Peel, Bart., M.P. on the Establishment of a Reading Room at Tamworth (1841), 32. Excerpted in John Henry Newman, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (1870), 89 & 94 footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (504)  |  Benevolence (6)  |  Bring (90)  |  Call (128)  |  Commonly (9)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Confess (15)  |  Creator (55)  |  Deduction (69)  |  Deed (21)  |  Description (84)  |  Design (115)  |  Die (82)  |  Direct (84)  |  Dogma (32)  |  Draw (55)  |  Event (116)  |  Fact (733)  |  Far (154)  |  First (314)  |  Give (201)  |  Ground (90)  |  Heart (139)  |  History (369)  |  Imagination (275)  |  Impression (72)  |  Infer (12)  |  Inference (32)  |  Inflame (2)  |  Influence (140)  |  Intelligent (47)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Leave (128)  |  Less (102)  |  Little (188)  |  Live (272)  |  Martyr (3)  |  Means (176)  |  Melt (16)  |  Person (154)  |  Persuasion (3)  |  Phenomenon (278)  |  Power (366)  |  Premise (27)  |  Proceed (42)  |  Province (14)  |  Reach (121)  |  Reason (471)  |  Religious (49)  |  Science (2067)  |  Set (99)  |  Subdue (6)  |  Tendency (56)  |  Testimony (13)  |  Truth (928)  |  View (171)  |  Voice (51)  |  Wisdom (182)  |  Work (635)

Suppose then I want to give myself a little training in the art of reasoning; suppose I want to get out of the region of conjecture and probability, free myself from the difficult task of weighing evidence, and putting instances together to arrive at general propositions, and simply desire to know how to deal with my general propositions when I get them, and how to deduce right inferences from them; it is clear that I shall obtain this sort of discipline best in those departments of thought in which the first principles are unquestionably true. For in all our thinking, if we come to erroneous conclusions, we come to them either by accepting false premises to start with—in which case our reasoning, however good, will not save us from error; or by reasoning badly, in which case the data we start from may be perfectly sound, and yet our conclusions may be false. But in the mathematical or pure sciences,—geometry, arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, the calculus of variations or of curves,— we know at least that there is not, and cannot be, error in our first principles, and we may therefore fasten our whole attention upon the processes. As mere exercises in logic, therefore, these sciences, based as they all are on primary truths relating to space and number, have always been supposed to furnish the most exact discipline. When Plato wrote over the portal of his school. “Let no one ignorant of geometry enter here,” he did not mean that questions relating to lines and surfaces would be discussed by his disciples. On the contrary, the topics to which he directed their attention were some of the deepest problems,— social, political, moral,—on which the mind could exercise itself. Plato and his followers tried to think out together conclusions respecting the being, the duty, and the destiny of man, and the relation in which he stood to the gods and to the unseen world. What had geometry to do with these things? Simply this: That a man whose mind has not undergone a rigorous training in systematic thinking, and in the art of drawing legitimate inferences from premises, was unfitted to enter on the discussion of these high topics; and that the sort of logical discipline which he needed was most likely to be obtained from geometry—the only mathematical science which in Plato’s time had been formulated and reduced to a system. And we in this country [England] have long acted on the same principle. Our future lawyers, clergy, and statesmen are expected at the University to learn a good deal about curves, and angles, and numbers and proportions; not because these subjects have the smallest relation to the needs of their lives, but because in the very act of learning them they are likely to acquire that habit of steadfast and accurate thinking, which is indispensable to success in all the pursuits of life.
In Lectures on Teaching (1906), 891-92.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (65)  |  Accurate (35)  |  Acquire (39)  |  Act (117)  |  Algebra (104)  |  Angle (20)  |  Arithmetic (121)  |  Arrive (35)  |  Art (294)  |  Attention (121)  |  Badly (15)  |  Base (71)  |  Best (173)  |  Calculus (51)  |  Case (99)  |  Clear (98)  |  Clergy (4)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Conjecture (32)  |  Contrary (34)  |  Country (147)  |  Curve (33)  |  Data (120)  |  Deal (49)  |  Deduce (25)  |  Deep (124)  |  Department (47)  |  Desire (142)  |  Destiny (36)  |  Difficult (121)  |  Direct (84)  |  Disciple (7)  |  Discipline (53)  |  Discuss (22)  |  Discussion (48)  |  Draw (55)  |  Duty (68)  |  England (40)  |  Enter (32)  |  Erroneous (5)  |  Error (277)  |  Evidence (183)  |  Exact (68)  |  Exercise (69)  |  Expect (44)  |  False (99)  |  First (314)  |  Follower (10)  |  Formulate (15)  |  Free (92)  |  Furnish (42)  |  Future (287)  |  General (160)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Give (201)  |  God (535)  |  Good (345)  |  Habit (112)  |  High (153)  |  Ignorant (40)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Inference (32)  |  Instance (32)  |  Know (556)  |  Lawyer (23)  |  Learn (288)  |  Least (74)  |  Legitimate (14)  |  Let (61)  |  Life (1131)  |  Likely (33)  |  Line (90)  |  Little (188)  |  Live (272)  |  Logic (260)  |  Logical (55)  |  Long (174)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mere (82)  |  Mind (760)  |  Moral (124)  |  Myself (36)  |  Need (287)  |  Number (282)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Perfectly (10)  |  Plato (76)  |  Political (36)  |  Portal (4)  |  Premise (27)  |  Primary (41)  |  Principle (292)  |  Probability (106)  |  Problem (497)  |  Process (267)  |  Proportion (72)  |  Proposition (83)  |  Pure Science (24)  |  Pursuit (79)  |  Question (404)  |  Reason (471)  |  Reduce (53)  |  Region (36)  |  Relate (20)  |  Relation (154)  |  Respect (86)  |  Right (197)  |  Rigorous (23)  |  Same (156)  |  Save (56)  |  School (119)  |  Science (2067)  |  Simply (53)  |  Small (163)  |  Social (108)  |  Sort (49)  |  Sound (90)  |  Space (257)  |  Stand (108)  |  Start (97)  |  Statesman (18)  |  Steadfast (3)  |  Subject (240)  |  Success (250)  |  Suppose (49)  |  Surface (101)  |  System (191)  |  Systematic (33)  |  Task (83)  |  Think (347)  |  Thought (546)  |  Time (595)  |  Together (79)  |  Topic (12)  |  Training (66)  |  Trigonometry (6)  |  True (208)  |  Truth (928)  |  Try (141)  |  Undergo (14)  |  Unfitted (3)  |  University (81)  |  Unquestionably (3)  |  Unseen (10)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Variation (63)  |  Want (176)  |  Weigh (14)  |  Whole (192)  |  World (898)  |  Write (154)

The arithmetization of mathematics … which began with Weierstrass … had for its object the separation of purely mathematical concepts, such as number and correspondence and aggregate, from intuitional ideas, which mathematics had acquired from long association with geometry and mechanics. These latter, in the opinion of the formalists, are so firmly entrenched in mathematical thought that in spite of the most careful circumspection in the choice of words, the meaning concealed behind these words, may influence our reasoning. For the trouble with human words is that they possess content, whereas the purpose of mathematics is to construct pure thought. But how can we avoid the use of human language? The … symbol. Only by using a symbolic language not yet usurped by those vague ideas of space, time, continuity which have their origin in intuition and tend to obscure pure reason—only thus may we hope to build mathematics on the solid foundation of logic.
In Tobias Dantzig and Joseph Mazur (ed.), Number: The Language of Science (1930, ed. by Joseph Mazur 2007), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (39)  |  Aggregate (14)  |  Association (21)  |  Avoid (55)  |  Begin (108)  |  Behind (38)  |  Build (117)  |  Careful (24)  |  Choice (79)  |  Circumspection (3)  |  Conceal (18)  |  Concept (146)  |  Construct (41)  |  Content (69)  |  Continuity (30)  |  Correspondence (15)  |  Entrench (2)  |  Firmly (6)  |  Foundation (108)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Hope (174)  |  Human (550)  |  Idea (580)  |  Influence (140)  |  Intuition (57)  |  Language (228)  |  Latter (21)  |  Logic (260)  |  Long (174)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mechanics (57)  |  Number (282)  |  Object (175)  |  Obscure (32)  |  Opinion (176)  |  Origin (88)  |  Possess (56)  |  Pure (103)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Reason (471)  |  Separation (36)  |  Solid (50)  |  Space (257)  |  Spite (13)  |  Symbol (73)  |  Thought (546)  |  Time (595)  |  Trouble (72)  |  Vague (26)  |  Karl Weierstrass (9)  |  Word (302)

The argument of the ‘long view’ may be correct in some meaninglessly abstract sense, but it represents a fundamental mistake in categories and time scales. Our only legitimate long view extends to our children and our children’s children’s children–hundreds or a few thousands of years down the road. If we let the slaughter continue, they will share a bleak world with rats, dogs, cockroaches, pigeons, and mosquitoes. A potential recovery millions of years later has no meaning at our appropriate scale.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (86)  |  Appropriate (28)  |  Argument (82)  |  Bleak (2)  |  Category (12)  |  Child (252)  |  Cockroach (6)  |  Continue (65)  |  Correct (85)  |  Dog (44)  |  Down (86)  |  Extend (44)  |  Fundamental (164)  |  Hundreds (6)  |  Late (52)  |  Legitimate (14)  |  Let (61)  |  Long (174)  |  Millions (17)  |  Mistake (132)  |  Pigeon (4)  |  Potential (39)  |  Rat (21)  |  Recovery (18)  |  Represent (43)  |  Road (64)  |  Scale (63)  |  Sense (321)  |  Share (49)  |  Slaughter (6)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Time (595)  |  View (171)  |  World (898)  |  Year (299)

The belief that mathematics, because it is abstract, because it is static and cold and gray, is detached from life, is a mistaken belief. Mathematics, even in its purest and most abstract estate, is not detached from life. It is just the ideal handling of the problems of life, as sculpture may idealize a human figure or as poetry or painting may idealize a figure or a scene. Mathematics is precisely the ideal handling of the problems of life, and the central ideas of the science, the great concepts about which its stately doctrines have been built up, are precisely the chief ideas with which life must always deal and which, as it tumbles and rolls about them through time and space, give it its interests and problems, and its order and rationality. That such is the case a few indications will suffice to show. The mathematical concepts of constant and variable are represented familiarly in life by the notions of fixedness and change. The concept of equation or that of an equational system, imposing restriction upon variability, is matched in life by the concept of natural and spiritual law, giving order to what were else chaotic change and providing partial freedom in lieu of none at all. What is known in mathematics under the name of limit is everywhere present in life in the guise of some ideal, some excellence high-dwelling among the rocks, an “ever flying perfect” as Emerson calls it, unto which we may approximate nearer and nearer, but which we can never quite attain, save in aspiration. The supreme concept of functionality finds its correlate in life in the all-pervasive sense of interdependence and mutual determination among the elements of the world. What is known in mathematics as transformation—that is, lawful transfer of attention, serving to match in orderly fashion the things of one system with those of another—is conceived in life as a process of transmutation by which, in the flux of the world, the content of the present has come out of the past and in its turn, in ceasing to be, gives birth to its successor, as the boy is father to the man and as things, in general, become what they are not. The mathematical concept of invariance and that of infinitude, especially the imposing doctrines that explain their meanings and bear their names—What are they but mathematicizations of that which has ever been the chief of life’s hopes and dreams, of that which has ever been the object of its deepest passion and of its dominant enterprise, I mean the finding of the worth that abides, the finding of permanence in the midst of change, and the discovery of a presence, in what has seemed to be a finite world, of being that is infinite? It is needless further to multiply examples of a correlation that is so abounding and complete as indeed to suggest a doubt whether it be juster to view mathematics as the abstract idealization of life than to regard life as the concrete realization of mathematics.
In 'The Humanization of Teaching of Mathematics', Science, New Series, 35, 645-46.
Science quotes on:  |  Abide (12)  |  Abound (5)  |  Abstract (86)  |  Approximate (10)  |  Aspiration (27)  |  Attain (45)  |  Attention (121)  |  Become (172)  |  Belief (504)  |  Birth (93)  |  Boy (46)  |  Build (117)  |  Call (128)  |  Case (99)  |  Cease (39)  |  Central (34)  |  Change (364)  |  Chaotic (2)  |  Chief (38)  |  Cold (58)  |  Complete (87)  |  Conceive (39)  |  Concept (146)  |  Concrete (32)  |  Constant (58)  |  Content (69)  |  Correlate (6)  |  Correlation (11)  |  Deal (49)  |  Deep (124)  |  Detach (5)  |  Determination (57)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Dominant (14)  |  Doubt (160)  |  Dream (167)  |  Element (162)  |  Ralph Waldo Emerson (150)  |  Enterprise (33)  |  Equation (96)  |  Especially (31)  |  Estate (5)  |  Everywhere (24)  |  Example (94)  |  Excellence (33)  |  Explain (107)  |  Far (154)  |  Fashion (30)  |  Father (60)  |  Figure (69)  |  Find (408)  |  Finite (32)  |  Fixed (17)  |  Flux (13)  |  Fly (99)  |  Freedom (102)  |  Functionality (2)  |  General (160)  |  Give (201)  |  Gray (8)  |  Great (534)  |  Guise (5)  |  Handle (16)  |  Hope (174)  |  Human (550)  |  Idea (580)  |  Ideal (72)  |  Idealization (3)  |  Impose (22)  |  Indication (23)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Infinitude (3)  |  Interdependence (4)  |  Interest (237)  |  Invariance (4)  |  Know (556)  |  Law (515)  |  Lawful (7)  |  Life (1131)  |  Limit (126)  |  Match (16)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Meanings (5)  |  Midst (7)  |  Mistake (132)  |  Multiply (18)  |  Mutual (27)  |  Name (170)  |  Natural (173)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Needless (4)  |  Notion (59)  |  Object (175)  |  Order (242)  |  Orderly (14)  |  Painting (43)  |  Partial (10)  |  Passion (71)  |  Past (152)  |  Perfect (89)  |  Permanence (17)  |  Pervasive (5)  |  Poetry (124)  |  Precisely (23)  |  Presence (33)  |  Present (176)  |  Problem (497)  |  Process (267)  |  Provide (69)  |  Pure (103)  |  Rationality (16)  |  Realization (37)  |  Regard (95)  |  Represent (43)  |  Restriction (9)  |  Rock (125)  |  Roll (17)  |  Save (56)  |  Scene (14)  |  Science (2067)  |  Sculpture (12)  |  Seem (143)  |  Sense (321)  |  Serve (58)  |  Show (93)  |  Spiritual (57)  |  Stately (9)  |  Static (8)  |  Successor (9)  |  Suffice (7)  |  Suggest (33)  |  Supreme (37)  |  System (191)  |  Time And Space (31)  |  Transfer (12)  |  Transformation (54)  |  Transmutation (18)  |  Tumble (2)  |  Turn (118)  |  Unto (8)  |  Variability (5)  |  Variable (16)  |  View (171)  |  World (898)  |  Worth (99)

The dexterous management of terms and being able to fend and prove with them, I know has and does pass in the world for a great part of learning; but it is learning distinct from knowledge, for knowledge consists only in perceiving the habitudes and relations of ideas one to another, which is done without words; the intervention of sounds helps nothing to it. And hence we see that there is least use of distinction where there is most knowledge: I mean in mathematics, where men have determined ideas with known names to them; and so, there being no room for equivocations, there is no need of distinctions.
In Conduct of the Understanding, Sect. 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Consist (46)  |  Determine (76)  |  Distinct (46)  |  Distinction (46)  |  Great (534)  |  Habit (112)  |  Help (103)  |  Idea (580)  |  Intervention (12)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Learn (288)  |  Least (74)  |  Management (12)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Name (170)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Need (287)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Part (222)  |  Pass (93)  |  Perceive (40)  |  Prove (109)  |  Relation (154)  |  Room (39)  |  See (369)  |  Sound (90)  |  Term (122)  |  Word (302)  |  World (898)

The Earth was small, light blue, and so touchingly alone, our home that must be defended like a holy relic. The Earth was absolutely round. I believe I never knew what the word round meant until I saw Earth from space.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (39)  |  Alone (106)  |  Belief (504)  |  Blue (56)  |  Defend (29)  |  Earth (638)  |  Holy (17)  |  Home (84)  |  Know (556)  |  Light (347)  |  Relic (6)  |  Round (26)  |  See (369)  |  Small (163)  |  Space (257)  |  Word (302)

The great thing about being an astronaut is you kind of get to do a little bit of everything. I mean, we’re going to ride a rocket uphill.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Astronaut (29)  |  Bit (22)  |  Everything (181)  |  Great (534)  |  Kind (140)  |  Little (188)  |  Ride (11)  |  Rocket (34)  |  Uphill (3)

The human mind delights in finding pattern–so much so that we often mistake coincidence or forced analogy for profound meaning. No other habit of thought lies so deeply within the soul of a small creature trying to make sense of a complex world not constructed for it.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (60)  |  Coincidence (13)  |  Complex (95)  |  Construct (41)  |  Creature (155)  |  Deeply (17)  |  Delight (66)  |  Find (408)  |  Force (249)  |  Habit (112)  |  Human Mind (82)  |  Lie (115)  |  Mistake (132)  |  Often (106)  |  Pattern (79)  |  Profound (59)  |  Sense (321)  |  Small (163)  |  Soul (166)  |  Thought (546)  |  Try (141)  |  World (898)

The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Contain (67)  |  Creation (242)  |  Exist (148)  |  Expression (110)  |  Form (314)  |  Infinity (72)  |  Life (1131)  |  Phenomenon (278)  |  Present (176)  |  Single (120)

The root of the matter the thing I mean is love, Christian love, or compassion. If you feel this, you have a motive for existence, a guide for action, a reason for courage, an imperative necessity for intellectual honesty.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (185)  |  Christian (22)  |  Compassion (9)  |  Courage (55)  |  Existence (299)  |  Feel (167)  |  Guide (65)  |  Honesty (19)  |  Imperative (11)  |  Intellectual (121)  |  Love (224)  |  Matter (343)  |  Motive (33)  |  Necessity (143)  |  Reason (471)  |  Root (61)

The student should read his author with the most sustained attention, in order to discover the meaning of every sentence. If the book is well written, it will endure and repay his close attention: the text ought to be fairly intelligible, even without illustrative examples. Often, far too often, a reader hurries over the text without any sincere and vigorous effort to understand it; and rushes to some example to clear up what ought not to have been obscure, if it had been adequately considered. The habit of scrupulously investigating the text seems to me important on several grounds. The close scrutiny of language is a very valuable exercise both for studious and practical life. In the higher departments of mathematics the habit is indispensable: in the long investigations which occur there it would be impossible to interpose illustrative examples at every stage, the student must therefore encounter and master, sentence by sentence, an extensive and complicated argument.
In 'Private Study of Mathematics', Conflict of Studies and other Essays (1873), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequately (3)  |  Argument (82)  |  Attention (121)  |  Author (62)  |  Book (257)  |  Both (81)  |  Clear (98)  |  Close (67)  |  Complicated (62)  |  Consider (81)  |  Department (47)  |  Discover (199)  |  Effort (144)  |  Encounter (22)  |  Endure (20)  |  Example (94)  |  Exercise (69)  |  Extensive (18)  |  Fairly (4)  |  Far (154)  |  Ground (90)  |  Habit (112)  |  High (153)  |  Hurry (9)  |  Important (205)  |  Impossible (113)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Intelligible (19)  |  Investigate (65)  |  Investigation (176)  |  Language (228)  |  Life (1131)  |  Long (174)  |  Master (98)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Obscure (32)  |  Occur (43)  |  Often (106)  |  Order (242)  |  Practical (133)  |  Read (145)  |  Reader (40)  |  Repay (3)  |  Rush (18)  |  Scrupulous (5)  |  Scrutiny (14)  |  Seem (143)  |  Sentence (28)  |  Several (31)  |  Sincere (4)  |  Stage (55)  |  Student (203)  |  Studious (2)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (61)  |  Sustain (23)  |  Text (14)  |  Understand (340)  |  Value (242)  |  Vigorous (20)  |  Write (154)

The ‘mad idea’ which will lie at the basis of a future fundamental physical theory will come from a realization that physical meaning has some mathematical form not previously associated with reality. From this point of view the problem of the ‘mad idea’ is the problem of choosing, not of generating, the right idea. One should not understand that too literally. In the 1960s it was said (in a certain connection) that the most important discovery of recent years in physics was the complex numbers. The author [Yuri Manin] has something like that in mind.
Mathematics and Physics (1981), Foreward. Reprinted in Mathematics as Metaphor: Selected Essays of Yuri I. Manin (2007), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Associate (16)  |  Author (62)  |  Basis (91)  |  Certain (126)  |  Choose (60)  |  Complex Number (3)  |  Connection (111)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Form (314)  |  Fundamental (164)  |  Future (287)  |  Generate (14)  |  Idea (580)  |  Important (205)  |  Lie (115)  |  Literally (8)  |  Mad (25)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mind (760)  |  Physical (134)  |  Physics (348)  |  Point Of View (41)  |  Previously (11)  |  Problem (497)  |  Reality (190)  |  Realization (37)  |  Recent (30)  |  Right (197)  |  Say (228)  |  Theory (696)  |  Understand (340)  |  Year (299)

Then you should say what you mean, the March Hare went on.
I do, Alice hastily replied; “at least I mean what I say, that’s the same thing, you know.”
Not the same thing a bit! said the Hatter. “Why, you might just as well say that “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see!”
From Alice in Wonderland. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland And, Through the Looking Glass (1898), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Eat (52)  |  Hare (3)  |  Know (556)  |  March (23)  |  Say (228)

There are many fine things which you mean to do some day, under what you think will be more favorable circumstances. But the only time that is yours is the present.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Circumstance (66)  |  Favorable (12)  |  Fine (33)  |  Present (176)  |  Think (347)  |  Time (595)

There is no area in our minds reserved for superstition, such as the Greeks had in their mythology; and superstition, under cover of an abstract vocabulary, has revenged itself by invading the entire realm of thought. Our science is like a store filled with the most subtle intellectual devices for solving the most complex problems, and yet we are almost incapable of applying the elementary principles of rational thought. In every sphere, we seem to have lost the very elements of intelligence: the ideas of limit, measure, degree, proportion, relation, comparison, contingency, interdependence, interrelation of means and ends. To keep to the social level, our political universe is peopled exclusively by myths and monsters; all it contains is absolutes and abstract entities. This is illustrated by all the words of our political and social vocabulary: nation, security, capitalism, communism, fascism, order, authority, property, democracy. We never use them in phrases such as: There is democracy to the extent that… or: There is capitalism in so far as… The use of expressions like “to the extent that” is beyond our intellectual capacity. Each of these words seems to represent for us an absolute reality, unaffected by conditions, or an absolute objective, independent of methods of action, or an absolute evil; and at the same time we make all these words mean, successively or simultaneously, anything whatsoever. Our lives are lived, in actual fact, among changing, varying realities, subject to the casual play of external necessities, and modifying themselves according to specific conditions within specific limits; and yet we act and strive and sacrifice ourselves and others by reference to fixed and isolated abstractions which cannot possibly be related either to one another or to any concrete facts. In this so-called age of technicians, the only battles we know how to fight are battles against windmills.
From 'The Power of Words', collected in Siân Miles (ed.), Simone Weil: An Anthology (2000), 222-223.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (98)  |  Abstract (86)  |  Abstraction (38)  |  Accord (36)  |  Act (117)  |  Action (185)  |  Actual (48)  |  Age (178)  |  Apply (77)  |  Area (29)  |  Authority (66)  |  Battle (34)  |  Beyond (105)  |  Capacity (64)  |  Capitalism (7)  |  Casual (7)  |  Change (364)  |  Communism (10)  |  Comparison (64)  |  Complex (95)  |  Concrete (32)  |  Condition (163)  |  Contain (67)  |  Contingency (11)  |  Cover (37)  |  Degree (82)  |  Democracy (26)  |  Device (28)  |  Element (162)  |  Elementary (45)  |  End (195)  |  Entire (47)  |  Entity (31)  |  Evil (79)  |  Exclusively (10)  |  Expression (110)  |  Extent (51)  |  External (57)  |  Fact (733)  |  Far (154)  |  Fascism (3)  |  Fight (44)  |  Fill (61)  |  Fix (25)  |  Greek (73)  |  Idea (580)  |  Illustrate (10)  |  Incapable (17)  |  Independent (67)  |  Intellectual (121)  |  Intelligence (168)  |  Interdependence (4)  |  Interrelation (8)  |  Invade (5)  |  Isolate (22)  |  Keep (100)  |  Know (556)  |  Level (67)  |  Limit (126)  |  Live (272)  |  Lose (94)  |  Means (176)  |  Measure (104)  |  Method (239)  |  Mind (760)  |  Modify (15)  |  Monster (24)  |  Myth (48)  |  Mythology (13)  |  Nation (134)  |  Necessity (143)  |  Objective (66)  |  Order (242)  |  Ourselves (51)  |  P (2)  |  People (390)  |  Phrase (29)  |  Play (112)  |  Political (36)  |  Possibly (19)  |  Principle (292)  |  Problem (497)  |  Property (126)  |  Proportion (72)  |  Rational (57)  |  Reality (190)  |  Realm (55)  |  Reference (33)  |  Relate (20)  |  Relation (154)  |  Represent (43)  |  Reserve (15)  |  Revenge (8)  |  Sacrifice (32)  |  Same (156)  |  Science (2067)  |  Security (33)  |  Seem (143)  |  Simultaneous (18)  |  So-Called (21)  |  Social (108)  |  Solve (78)  |  Specific (37)  |  Sphere (58)  |  Store (21)  |  Strive (45)  |  Subject (240)  |  Subtle (34)  |  Superstition (57)  |  Technician (8)  |  Themselves (44)  |  Thought (546)  |  Time (595)  |  Unaffected (4)  |  Universe (686)  |  Vary (26)  |  Vocabulary (5)  |  Whatsoever (9)  |  Windmill (4)  |  Word (302)

There is no supernatural, there is only nature. Nature alone exists and contains all. All is. There is the part of nature that we perceive, and the part of nature that we do not perceive. … If you abandon these facts, beware; charlatans will light upon them, also the imbecile. There is no mean: science, or ignorance. If science does not want these facts, ignorance will take them up. You have refused to enlarge human intelligence, you augment human stupidity. When Laplace withdraws Cagliostro appears.
In Victor Hugo and Lorenzo O'Rourke (trans.) Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography: (Postscriptum de ma vie) (1907), 320.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (48)  |  All (8)  |  Alone (106)  |  Augmentation (4)  |  Beware (10)  |  Charlatan (8)  |  Contain (67)  |  Enlargement (7)  |  Existence (299)  |  Fact (733)  |  Human (550)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Imbecile (4)  |  Intelligence (168)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (62)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Perception (64)  |  Refusal (20)  |  Science (2067)  |  Stupidity (34)  |  Supernatural (21)

There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.
From interview, 'Atom Energy Hope is Spiked By Einstein: Efforts at Loosing Vast Force is Called Fruitless,' Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (29 Dec 1934), 13. As quoted in John Finney (ed.), Hiroshima Plus 20 (1965), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (280)  |  Indication (23)  |  Nuclear Energy (11)  |  Shatter (8)  |  Slight (31)

There is, I conceive, no contradiction in believing that mind is at once the cause of matter and of the development of individualised human minds through the agency of matter. And when, further on, [Mr Frederick F. Cook] asks, ‘Does mortality give consciousness to spirit, or does spirit give consciousness for a limited period to mortality?’ I would reply, ‘Neither the one nor the other; but, mortality is the means by which a permanent individuality is given to spirit.’
In 'Harmony of Spiritualism and Science', Light (1885), 5, 352.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (504)  |  Cause (285)  |  Development (289)  |  Individuality (13)  |  Limited (18)  |  Matter (343)  |  Mind (760)  |  Mortality (15)  |  Period (66)  |  Permanent (29)  |  Reply (25)  |  Spirit (154)

These machines [used in the defense of the Syracusans against the Romans under Marcellus] he [Archimedes] had designed and contrived, not as matters of any importance, but as mere amusements in geometry; in compliance with king Hiero’s desire and request, some time before, that he should reduce to practice some part of his admirable speculation in science, and by accommodating the theoretic truth to sensation and ordinary use, bring it more within the appreciation of people in general. Eudoxus and Archytas had been the first originators of this far-famed and highly-prized art of mechanics, which they employed as an elegant illustration of geometrical truths, and as means of sustaining experimentally, to the satisfaction of the senses, conclusions too intricate for proof by words and diagrams. As, for example, to solve the problem, so often required in constructing geometrical figures, given the two extremes, to find the two mean lines of a proportion, both these mathematicians had recourse to the aid of instruments, adapting to their purpose certain curves and sections of lines. But what with Plato’s indignation at it, and his invectives against it as the mere corruption and annihilation of the one good of geometry,—which was thus shamefully turning its back upon the unembodied objects of pure intelligence to recur to sensation, and to ask help (not to be obtained without base supervisions and depravation) from matter; so it was that mechanics came to be separated from geometry, and, repudiated and neglected by philosophers, took its place as a military art.
Plutarch
In John Dryden (trans.), Life of Marcellus.
Science quotes on:  |  Accommodate (10)  |  Adapt (28)  |  Admirable (19)  |  Aid (42)  |  Amusement (23)  |  Annihilation (7)  |  Appreciation (26)  |  Archimedes (55)  |  Art (294)  |  Ask (160)  |  Back (104)  |  Base (71)  |  Both (81)  |  Bring (90)  |  Certain (126)  |  Compliance (5)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Construct (41)  |  Contrive (6)  |  Corruption (10)  |  Curve (33)  |  Defense (18)  |  Design (115)  |  Desire (142)  |  Diagram (13)  |  Elegant (16)  |  Embody (16)  |  Employ (35)  |  Example (94)  |  Experimental (20)  |  Extreme (56)  |  Figure (69)  |  Find (408)  |  First (314)  |  General (160)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Good (345)  |  Help (103)  |  Hiero (2)  |  Illustration (29)  |  Importance (218)  |  Indignation (4)  |  Instrument (95)  |  Intelligence (168)  |  Intricate (21)  |  Invective (2)  |  King (35)  |  Line (90)  |  Machine (157)  |  Marcellus (2)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Matter (343)  |  Means (176)  |  Mechanic (23)  |  Mere (82)  |  Military (29)  |  Neglect (33)  |  Object (175)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Ordinary (73)  |  Originator (3)  |  Part (222)  |  People (390)  |  Philosopher (166)  |  Place (175)  |  Plato (76)  |  Practice (94)  |  Problem (497)  |  Proof (245)  |  Proportion (72)  |  Pure (103)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Recourse (12)  |  Recur (4)  |  Reduce (53)  |  Repudiate (3)  |  Request (7)  |  Require (85)  |  Roman (27)  |  Satisfaction (56)  |  Science (2067)  |  Section (11)  |  Sensation (29)  |  Sense (321)  |  Separate (74)  |  Shameful (3)  |  Solve (78)  |  Speculation (104)  |  Supervision (4)  |  Sustain (23)  |  Syracuse (5)  |  Time (595)  |  Truth (928)  |  Turn (118)  |  Word (302)

This theme of mutually invisible life at widely differing scales bears an important implication for the ‘culture wars’ that supposedly now envelop our universities and our intellectual discourse in general ... One side of this false dichotomy features the postmodern relativists who argue that all culturally bound modes of perception must be equally valid, and that no factual truth therefore exists. The other side includes the benighted, old-fashioned realists who insist that flies truly have two wings, and that Shakespeare really did mean what he thought he was saying. The principle of scaling provides a resolution for the false parts of this silly dichotomy. Facts are facts and cannot be denied by any rational being. (Often, facts are also not at all easy to determine or specify–but this question raises different issues for another time.) Facts, however, may also be highly scale dependent–and the perceptions of one world may have no validity or expression in the domain of another. The one-page map of Maine cannot recognize the separate boulders of Acadia, but both provide equally valid representations of a factual coastline.
The World as I See It (1999)
Science quotes on:  |  Argue (23)  |  Bear (67)  |  Benighted (2)  |  Bind (25)  |  Both (81)  |  Boulder (7)  |  Coastline (2)  |  Culturally (2)  |  Culture (104)  |  Deny (42)  |  Dependent (24)  |  Determine (76)  |  Dichotomy (4)  |  Differ (22)  |  Different (186)  |  Discourse (18)  |  Domain (42)  |  Easy (102)  |  Envelop (5)  |  Equally (26)  |  Exist (148)  |  Expression (110)  |  Fact (733)  |  Factual (8)  |  False (99)  |  Feature (44)  |  Fly (99)  |  General (160)  |  Highly (16)  |  Implication (22)  |  Important (205)  |  Include (40)  |  Insist (19)  |  Intellectual (121)  |  Invisible (38)  |  Issue (42)  |  Life (1131)  |  Map (30)  |  Mode (40)  |  Mutually (7)  |  Often (106)  |  Old-Fashioned (5)  |  Part (222)  |  Perception (64)  |  Principle (292)  |  Provide (69)  |  Question (404)  |  Raise (35)  |  Rational (57)  |  Realist (2)  |  Really (78)  |  Recognize (69)  |  Relativist (2)  |  Representation (36)  |  Resolution (18)  |  Say (228)  |  Scale (63)  |  Separate (74)  |  Shakespeare (5)  |  Side (51)  |  Silly (12)  |  Specify (6)  |  Supposedly (2)  |  Theme (12)  |  Thought (546)  |  Time (595)  |  Truly (33)  |  Truth (928)  |  University (81)  |  Valid (11)  |  Validity (31)  |  War (161)  |  Widely (8)  |  Wing (48)  |  World (898)

This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of the herd nature, the military system, which I abhor. That a man can take pleasure in marching in formation to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed. This plague-spot of civilisation ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism by order, senseless violence, and all the pestilent nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism–how I hate them! War seems to me a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abhor (5)  |  Abolish (12)  |  Abominable (4)  |  Backbone (8)  |  Bad (99)  |  Band (9)  |  Big (48)  |  Brain (213)  |  Bring (90)  |  Business (84)  |  Civilisation (20)  |  Contemptible (8)  |  Despise (13)  |  Formation (59)  |  Give (201)  |  Hack (3)  |  Hate (38)  |  Herd (14)  |  Heroism (7)  |  March (23)  |  Military (29)  |  Mistake (132)  |  Name (170)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Need (287)  |  Nonsense (41)  |  Order (242)  |  Part (222)  |  Patriotism (6)  |  Pestilent (2)  |  Piece (38)  |  Pleasure (133)  |  Possible (158)  |  Seem (143)  |  Senseless (3)  |  Speed (35)  |  Strain (11)  |  System (191)  |  Topic (12)  |  Violence (23)  |  War (161)

Those who assert that the mathematical sciences make no affirmation about what is fair or good make a false assertion; for they do speak of these and frame demonstrations of them in the most eminent sense of the word. For if they do not actually employ these names, they do not exhibit even the results and the reasons of these, and therefore can be hardly said to make any assertion about them. Of what is fair, however, the most important species are order and symmetry, and that which is definite, which the mathematical sciences make manifest in a most eminent degree. And since, at least, these appear to be the causes of many things—now, I mean, for example, order, and that which is a definite thing, it is evident that they would assert, also, the existence of a cause of this description, and its subsistence after the same manner as that which is fair subsists in.
Aristotle
In Metaphysics [MacMahon] Bk. 12, chap. 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Actually (27)  |  Affirmation (6)  |  Appear (118)  |  Assert (21)  |  Assertion (32)  |  Cause (285)  |  Definite (43)  |  Degree (82)  |  Demonstration (86)  |  Description (84)  |  Eminent (17)  |  Employ (35)  |  Estimates of Mathematics (30)  |  Example (94)  |  Exhibit (20)  |  Existence (299)  |  Fair (15)  |  False (99)  |  Frame (26)  |  Good (345)  |  Hardly (19)  |  Important (205)  |  It Is Evident (5)  |  Least (74)  |  Manifest (21)  |  Manner (57)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Name (170)  |  Order (242)  |  Reason (471)  |  Result (389)  |  Same (156)  |  Say (228)  |  Science (2067)  |  Sense Of The Word (4)  |  Speak (92)  |  Species (221)  |  Subsist (5)  |  Subsistence (7)  |  Symmetry (37)

Thus the system of the world only oscillates around a mean state from which it never departs except by a very small quantity. By virtue of its constitution and the law of gravity, it enjoys a stability that can be destroyed only by foreign causes, and we are certain that their action is undetectable from the time of the most ancient observations until our own day. This stability in the system of the world, which assures its duration, is one of the most notable among all phenomena, in that it exhibits in the heavens the same intention to maintain order in the universe that nature has so admirably observed on earth for the sake of preserving individuals and perpetuating species.
'Sur l'Équation Séculaire de la Lune' (1786, published 1788). In Oeuvres complètes de Laplace, 14 Vols. (1843-1912), Vol. 11, 248-9, trans. Charles Coulston Gillispie, Pierre-Simon Laplace 1749-1827: A Life in Exact Science (1997), 145.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (185)  |  Ancient (106)  |  Cause (285)  |  Certainty (131)  |  The Constitution of the United States (7)  |  Destroy (80)  |  Duration (10)  |  Exhibit (20)  |  Foreign (26)  |  Gravity (100)  |  Heaven (153)  |  Individual (221)  |  Intention (28)  |  Law (515)  |  Maintain (33)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Observation (450)  |  Order (242)  |  Oscillation (6)  |  Perpetuate (5)  |  Phenomenon (278)  |  Preservation (33)  |  Species (221)  |  Stability (20)  |  State (137)  |  System (191)  |  Time (595)  |  Undetectable (3)  |  Universe (686)  |  World (898)

To mean understandings, it is sufficient honour to be numbered amongst the lowest labourers of learning; but different abilities must find different tasks. To hew stone, would have been unworthy of Palladio; and to have rambled in search of shells and flowers, had but ill suited with the capacity of Newton.
From 'Numb. 83, Tuesday, January 1, 1750', The Rambler (1756), Vol. 2, 154. (Italian architect Palladio, 1509-80, is widely considered the most influential in the history of Western architecture.)
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (108)  |  Capacity (64)  |  Different (186)  |  Find (408)  |  Flower (77)  |  Genius (249)  |  Hew (3)  |  Honour (25)  |  Laborer (6)  |  Learning (177)  |  Lowest (10)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Search (105)  |  Shell (41)  |  Stone (76)  |  Sufficient (42)  |  Suited (2)  |  Task (83)  |  Understanding (325)  |  Unworthy (12)

To pray is to think about the meaning of life.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 178
Science quotes on:  |  Life (1131)  |  Pray (16)  |  Think (347)

War should mean research.
In Letter (1917) to Vary T. Hutchinson, in GEH Papers, Box 23. As quoted an cited in Daniel J. Kevles, The Physicists (1977, 1995), 116. (Hale was Chairman of the National Research Council, 1916–1919.)
Science quotes on:  |  Research (590)  |  War (161)

We all agree now - by “we” I mean intelligent people under sixty - that a work of art is like a rose. A rose is not beautiful because it is like something else. Neither is a work of art. Roses and works of art are beautiful in themselves.
In Since Cezanne (1922), 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Agree (26)  |  Art (294)  |  Beautiful (144)  |  Intelligent (47)  |  People (390)  |  Rise (70)  |  Roses (3)  |  Sixty (6)  |  Themselves (44)  |  Work (635)

We fooled ourselves into thinking this thing wouldn’t crash. When I was in astronaut training I asked, “what is the likelihood of another accident?” The answer I got was: one in 10,000, with an asterisk. The asterisk meant, “we don’t know.”
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (66)  |  Answer (249)  |  Ask (160)  |  Astronaut (29)  |  Crash (9)  |  Fool (85)  |  Know (556)  |  Likelihood (10)  |  Ourselves (51)  |  Think (347)  |  Training (66)

We have corrupted the term research to mean study and experiment and development toward selected objectives, and we have even espoused secret and classified projects. This was not the old meaning of university research. We need a new term, or the revival of a still older one, to refer to the dedicated activities of the scholar, the intensive study of special aspects of a subject for its own sake, motivated by the love of knowledge and truth.
In 'Technology and National Research Policy', Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Oct 1953), 292.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (135)  |  Aspect (58)  |  Corrupt (4)  |  Dedicated (5)  |  Development (289)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Intensive (8)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Love (224)  |  Motivation (26)  |  Need (287)  |  New (496)  |  Objective (66)  |  Old (147)  |  Project (31)  |  Research (590)  |  Sake (23)  |  Scholar (38)  |  Secret (131)  |  Select (12)  |  Special (77)  |  Study (476)  |  Term (122)  |  Truth (928)  |  University (81)

We have only indirect means of knowing the courage and activity of the Neanderthals in the chase, through the bones of animals hunted for food which are found intermingled with the flints around their ancient hearths.
In 'Customs of the Chase and of cave Life', Men of the Old Stone Age: Their Environment, Life and Art (1921), 211.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (135)  |  Ancient (106)  |  Animal (359)  |  Anthropolgy (2)  |  Around (6)  |  Bone (63)  |  Chase (13)  |  Courage (55)  |  Flint (6)  |  Food (154)  |  Hearth (2)  |  Hunt (18)  |  Indirect (10)  |  Know (556)  |  Neanderthal (3)  |  Paleontology (30)

We may see how unexpectedly recondite parts of pure mathematics may bear upon physical science, by calling to mind the circumstance that Fresnel obtained one of the most curious confirmations of the theory (the laws of Circular Polarization by reflection) through an interpretation of an algebraical expression, which, according to the original conventional meaning of the symbols, involved an impossible quantity.
In History of Scientific Ideas, Bk. 2, chap. 14, sect. 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Accord (36)  |  Algebra (104)  |  Bear (67)  |  Call (128)  |  Circular (5)  |  Circumstance (66)  |  Confirmation (19)  |  Conventional (18)  |  Curious (43)  |  Expression (110)  |  Impossible (113)  |  Interpretation (70)  |  Involve (48)  |  Law (515)  |  Mind (760)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Original (57)  |  Part (222)  |  Physical Science (66)  |  Polarization (4)  |  Pure Mathematics (65)  |  Quantity (65)  |  Recondite (5)  |  Reflection (60)  |  See (369)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (61)  |  Symbol (73)  |  Theory (696)  |  Unexpected (36)

We receive it as a fact, that some minds are so constituted as absolutely to require for their nurture the severe logic of the abstract sciences; that rigorous sequence of ideas which leads from the premises to the conclusion, by a path, arduous and narrow, it may be, and which the youthful reason may find it hard to mount, but where it cannot stray; and on which, if it move at all, it must move onward and upward… . Even for intellects of a different character, whose natural aptitude is for moral evidence and those relations of ideas which are perceived and appreciated by taste, the study of the exact sciences may be recommended as the best protection against the errors into which they are most likely to fall. Although the study of language is in many respects no mean exercise in logic, yet it must be admitted that an eminently practical mind is hardly to be formed without mathematical training.
In Orations and Speeches (1870), Vol. 8, 510.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (39)  |  Abstract (86)  |  Admit (45)  |  Appreciate (30)  |  Aptitude (17)  |  Arduous (3)  |  Best (173)  |  Character (118)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Constitute (29)  |  Different (186)  |  Eminent (17)  |  Error (277)  |  Evidence (183)  |  Exact Science (10)  |  Exercise (69)  |  Fact (733)  |  Fall (120)  |  Find (408)  |  Form (314)  |  Hard (99)  |  Hardly (19)  |  Idea (580)  |  Intellect (192)  |  Language (228)  |  Lead (160)  |  Likely (33)  |  Logic (260)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mind (760)  |  Moral (124)  |  Mount (10)  |  Move (94)  |  Narrow (48)  |  Natural (173)  |  Nurture (16)  |  Path (84)  |  Perceive (40)  |  Practical (133)  |  Premise (27)  |  Protection (25)  |  Reason (471)  |  Receive (60)  |  Recommend (7)  |  Relation (154)  |  Require (85)  |  Respect (86)  |  Rigorous (23)  |  Science (2067)  |  Sequence (41)  |  Severe (16)  |  Stray (6)  |  Study (476)  |  Taste (48)  |  Training (66)  |  Upward (11)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Youthful (2)

What is man in nature? A Nothing in comparison with the Infinite, an All in comparison with the Nothing, a mean between nothing and everything.
In Pensées (1670), Section 1, No. 1. As translated in Blaise Pascal and W.F. Trotter (trans.), 'Thoughts', No. 72, collected in Charles W. Eliot (ed.), The Harvard Classics (1910), Vol. 48, 27. From the original French, “Qu’est-ce que l’homme dans la nature? Un néant à l’égard de l’infini, un tout à l’égard du néant, un milieu entre rien et tout,” in Ernest Havet (ed.), Pensées de Pascal (1892), 102-103.
Science quotes on:  |  Everything (181)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Relation (154)

What is the meaning of human life, or for that matter, of the life of any creature? To know an answer to this question means to be religious. Does it make any sense, then, to pose this question? I answer: The man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life.
In Ideas and Opinions (1954), 11. A different translation is given in The World As I See It (1935), 1. From the original German in Mein Weltbild (1934).
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Creature (155)  |  Fellow (37)  |  Fit (48)  |  Hardly (19)  |  Human Life (29)  |  Know (556)  |  Life (1131)  |  Meaningless (17)  |  Mere (82)  |  Pose (9)  |  Question (404)  |  Regard (95)  |  Religious (49)  |  Sense (321)  |  Unhappy (8)

What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.
In The World As I See It (1935), 1. A different translation is given in Ideas and Opinions (1954), 11. From the original German in Mein Weltbild (1934).
Science quotes on:  |  Altogether (9)  |  Answer (249)  |  Ask (160)  |  Creature (155)  |  Fellow (37)  |  Human Life (29)  |  Imply (16)  |  Life (1131)  |  Meaningless (17)  |  Merely (82)  |  Organic Life (2)  |  Question (404)  |  Regard (95)  |  Religion (239)  |  Sense (321)  |  Unfortunate (14)

Whatever answers faith gives.. .such answers always give an infinite meaning to the finite existence of man; a meaning that is not destroyed by suffering, deprivation or death. This means only in faith can we find the meaning and possibility of life.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 19
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Death (302)  |  Deprivation (5)  |  Destroy (80)  |  Existence (299)  |  Faith (157)  |  Find (408)  |  Finite (32)  |  Give (201)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Life (1131)  |  Means (176)  |  Possibility (116)  |  Suffer (40)

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me that my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (16)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Examine (44)  |  Fantasy (11)  |  Gift (61)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Method (239)  |  Myself (36)  |  Positive (44)  |  Talent (63)  |  Thought (546)

When people talk about “the sanctity of the individual” they mean “the sanctity of the statistical norm”.
In The Decline and Fall of Science (1976), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Individual (221)  |  Norm (5)  |  People (390)  |  Sanctity (3)  |  Statistics (147)  |  Talk (100)

When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Completion (17)  |  Deep (124)  |  Dream (167)  |  Express (65)  |  Goal (100)  |  Life (1131)  |  Live (272)  |  Love (224)  |  Motivate (6)  |  Need (287)  |  Pure (103)  |  Truly (33)

When we say that scientific knowledge is unlimited, we mean that there is no question whose answer is in principle unattainable by science.
The Logical Structure of the World, trans. R. George (1967), 290. In Vinoth Ramachandra, Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues Shaping our World (2008), 171.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Principle (292)  |  Question (404)  |  Say (228)  |  Science (2067)  |  Scientific Knowledge (9)  |  Unattainable (6)  |  Unlimited (12)

Whenever anyone says, “theoretically,” they really mean, “not really.”
As quoted, without citation in Jon Fripp, ‎Michael Fripp and, ‎Deborah Fripp, Speaking of Science (2000), 54.
Science quotes on:  |  Anyone (35)  |  Really (78)  |  Say (228)  |  Theoretically (2)  |  Whenever (9)

[This] may prove to be the beginning of some embracing generalization, which will throw light, not only on radioactive processes, but on elements in general and the Periodic Law.... Chemical homogeneity is no longer a guarantee that any supposed element is not a mixture of several of different atomic weights, or that any atomic weight is not merely a mean number.
From Chemical Society's Annual Reports (1910), Vol. 7, 285. As quoted in Francis Aston in Lecture (1936) on 'Forty Years of Atomic Theory', collected in Needham and Pagel (eds.) in Background to Modern Science: Ten Lectures at Cambridge Arranged by the History of Science Committee, (1938), 100. Cited in Alfred Walter Stewart, Recent Advances in Physical and Inorganic Chemistry (1920), 198.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Weight (6)  |  Chemical (79)  |  Different (186)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Element (162)  |  Guarantee (21)  |  Homogeneity (5)  |  Isotope (4)  |  Merely (82)  |  Mixture (26)  |  Number (282)  |  Periodic Table (14)  |  Process (267)  |  Radioactive (8)  |  Several (31)  |  Supposed (5)

…what is man in the midst of nature? A nothing in comparison with the infinite, an all in comparison with nothingness: a mean between nothing and all. Infinitely far from comprehending the extremes, the end of things and their principle are for him inevitably concealed in an impenetrable secret; equally incapable of seeing the nothingness whence he is derived, and the infinity in which he is swallowed up.
Pensées. Collected in Blaise Pascal and O.W. Wright (trans.), The Thoughts, Letters and Opuscules of Blaise Pascal (1859), 160. There are versions by other translators. For example, an alternate translation for the last sentence is: [Man is] “equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.”
Science quotes on:  |  All (8)  |  Comparison (64)  |  Comprehension (57)  |  Concealment (8)  |  Deriving (2)  |  Emergence (25)  |  Equal (83)  |  Extreme (56)  |  Impenetrable (5)  |  Incapability (2)  |  Inevitability (8)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Man (373)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Nothingness (5)  |  Principle (292)  |  Secret (131)  |  Seeing (47)  |  Thing (37)

“Wu Li” was more than poetic. It was the best definition of physics that the conference would produce. It caught that certain something, that living quality that we were seeking to express in a book, that thing without which physics becomes sterile. “Wu” can mean either “matter” or “energy.” “Li” is a richly poetic word. It means “universal order” or “universal law.” It also means “organic patterns.” The grain in a panel of wood is Li. The organic pattern on the surface of a leaf is also Li, and so is the texture of a rose petal. In short, Wu Li, the Chinese word for physics, means “patterns of organic energy” (“matter/ energy” [Wu] + “universal order/organic patterns” [Li]). This is remarkable since it reflects a world view which the founders of western science (Galileo and Newton) simply did not comprehend, but toward which virtually every physical theory of import in the twentieth century is pointing!
In The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (1979), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (33)  |  Book (257)  |  Catch (30)  |  Chinese (7)  |  Comprehend (39)  |  Conference (11)  |  Definition (192)  |  Energy (214)  |  Express (65)  |  Founder (16)  |  Galileo Galilei (122)  |  Grain (28)  |  Law (515)  |  Leaf (49)  |  Matter (343)  |  Means (176)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Order (242)  |  Organic (55)  |  Panel (2)  |  Pattern (79)  |  Petal (4)  |  Physics (348)  |  Poem (92)  |  Produce (102)  |  Quality (95)  |  Remarkable (48)  |  Rose (9)  |  Science (2067)  |  Seek (107)  |  Sterile (12)  |  Surface (101)  |  Texture (7)  |  Theory (696)  |  Universal (105)  |  Western (19)  |  Wood (49)  |  Word (302)  |  World View (2)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.