Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index M > Category: Merely

Merely Quotes (82 quotes)

[In refutation of evolution] There is not enough evidence, consistent evidence to make it as fact, and I say that because for theory to become a fact, it needs to consistently have the same results after it goes through a series of tests. The tests that they put—that they use to support evolution do not have consistent results. Now too many people are blindly accepting evolution as fact. But when you get down to the hard evidence, it’s merely a theory.
[In favor of the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in schools.]
From interview by Miles O'Brien on CNN (30 Mar 1996). Reported from transcript, via Nexis, in New York Magazine (15 Sep 2010).
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (45)  |  Blind (47)  |  Consistency (23)  |  Evidence (181)  |  Evolution (533)  |  Fact (725)  |  Result (376)  |  Support (77)  |  Test (124)  |  Theory (690)

[Probably not a direct quote] Experimental confirmation of a prediction is merely a measurement. An experiment disproving a prediction is a discovery.
Attributed. Found without source, for example, in Jon, Michael and Deborah Fripp, Speaking of Science: Notable Quotes on Science, Engineering, and the Environment. The quote appears to be a rephrasing of: “There are two possible outcomes: If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery”, as seen elsewhere on this page. Webmaster has been unable to find an original source for a direct quote either wording.
Science quotes on:  |  Confirmation (19)  |  Discovery (676)  |  Disprove (16)  |  Experiment (600)  |  Experimental (20)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Prediction (71)

A crowd is not merely impulsive and mobile. Like a savage, it is not prepared to admit that anything can come between its desire and the realisation of its desire.
From Psychologie des Foules (1895), 26. English text in The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1897), Book 1, Chap. 2, 19. Original French text: “La foule n’est pas seulement impulsive et mobile. Comme le sauvage, elle n’admet pas que quelque chose puisse s’interposer entre son désir et la réalisation de ce désir.”
Science quotes on:  |  Admit (44)  |  Crowd (22)  |  Desire (140)  |  Mobile (3)  |  Realisation (3)  |  Savage (28)

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because some one expended effort on them.
In Philip Dorf, Liberty Hyde Bailey: An Informal Biography: a Pioneer Educator in Horticulture (1956), 83.
Science quotes on:  |  Ambition (34)  |  Attention (115)  |  Effort (143)  |  Expend (3)  |  Fulfill (19)  |  Garden (33)  |  Good Intention (2)  |  Grow (98)  |  Horticulture (9)  |  Labor (71)  |  Patient (125)  |  Plant (199)  |  Require (79)  |  Satisfy (27)  |  Thrive (12)

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Great (524)  |  People (388)  |  Prejudice (66)  |  Think (341)

A little science is something that they must have. I should like my nephews to know what air is, and water; why we breathe, and why wood burns; the nutritive elements essential to plant life, and the constituents of the soil. And it is no vague and imperfect knowledge from hearsay I would have them gain of these fundamental truths, on which depend agriculture and the industrial arts and our health itself; I would have them know these things thoroughly from their own observation and experience. Books here are insufficient, and can serve merely as aids to scientific experiment.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (66)  |  Aid (41)  |  Air (188)  |  Art (284)  |  Book (257)  |  Breathe (36)  |  Burn (41)  |  Constituent (16)  |  Depend (87)  |  Element (162)  |  Essential (115)  |  Experience (338)  |  Experiment (600)  |  Fundamental (158)  |  Gain (67)  |  Health (153)  |  Hearsay (5)  |  Imperfect (18)  |  Industrial (12)  |  Insufficient (8)  |  Know (547)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Life (1124)  |  Little (184)  |  Observation (445)  |  Plant (199)  |  Science (2043)  |  Serve (57)  |  Soil (64)  |  Thoroughly (14)  |  Truth (914)  |  Vague (25)  |  Water (292)  |  Wood (49)

An evolutionary view of human health and disease is not surprising or new; it is merely inevitable in the face of evidence and time.
Epigraph, without citation, in Robert Perlman, Evolution and Medicine (2013), xiii. Webmaster has not yet found the primary source; can you help?
Science quotes on:  |  Disease (275)  |  Evidence (181)  |  Evolution (533)  |  Health (153)  |  Inevitable (27)  |  New (483)  |  Surprise (70)  |  Time (594)

Archaeology is the peeping Tom of the sciences. It is the sandbox of men who care not where they are going; they merely want to know where everyone else has been.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Archaeology (48)  |  Care (95)  |  Everyone (34)  |  Know (547)  |  Peep (3)  |  Science (2043)  |  Tom (2)  |  Want (175)

As a graduate student at Columbia University, I remember the a priori derision of my distinguished stratigraphy professor toward a visiting Australian drifter ... Today my own students would dismiss with even more derision anyone who denied the evident truth of continental drift–a prophetic madman is at least amusing; a superannuated fuddy-duddy is merely pitiful.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (22)  |  Amusing (2)  |  Anyone (35)  |  Australian (2)  |  Columbia (2)  |  Continental Drift (9)  |  Deny (41)  |  Derision (7)  |  Dismiss (10)  |  Distinguish (61)  |  Evident (26)  |  Graduate Student (4)  |  Least (74)  |  Madman (5)  |  Pitiful (4)  |  Professor (54)  |  Prophetic (4)  |  Remember (81)  |  Stratigraphy (6)  |  Student (201)  |  Today (117)  |  Toward (45)  |  Truth (914)  |  University (80)  |  Visit (26)

As we discern a fine line between crank and genius, so also (and unfortunately) we must acknowledge an equally graded trajectory from crank to demagogue. When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledge (15)  |  Crank (13)  |  Discern (14)  |  Equally (25)  |  Fine (33)  |  Follow (123)  |  Genius (243)  |  Grade (11)  |  Hope (174)  |  Judgment (98)  |  Learn (281)  |  Line (89)  |  Manipulation (14)  |  People (388)  |  Political (36)  |  Seed (62)  |  Sow (11)  |  Tool (87)  |  Trajectory (4)  |  Unfortunately (18)

Beyond lonely Pluto, dark and shadowless, lies the glittering realm of interstellar space, the silent ocean that rolls on and on, past stars and galaxies alike, to the ends of the Universe. What do men know of this vast infinity, this shoreless ocean? Is it hostile or friendly–or merely indifferent?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alike (22)  |  Beyond (104)  |  Dark (76)  |  End (195)  |  Friendly (3)  |  Galaxy (46)  |  Glitter (8)  |  Hostile (8)  |  Indifferent (16)  |  Infinity (72)  |  Interstellar (6)  |  Know (547)  |  Lie (115)  |  Lonely (15)  |  Ocean (148)  |  Past (150)  |  Pluto (5)  |  Realm (54)  |  Roll (17)  |  Silent (28)  |  Space (257)  |  Star (336)  |  Universe (683)  |  Vast (88)

Conscience is merely our own judgment of the moral rectitude or turpitude of our own actions
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (184)  |  Conscience (39)  |  Judgment (98)  |  Moral (123)

Everything that is written merely to please the author is worthless.
Quoted without citation in W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger (eds.) The Viking Book of Aphorisms (1966), 279. Webmaster has tried without success to locate a primary source. Can you help?
Science quotes on:  |  Author (61)  |  Everything (180)  |  Please (22)  |  Worthless (21)  |  Write (153)

Few will deny that even in the first scientific instruction in mathematics the most rigorous method is to be given preference over all others. Especially will every teacher prefer a consistent proof to one which is based on fallacies or proceeds in a vicious circle, indeed it will be morally impossible for the teacher to present a proof of the latter kind consciously and thus in a sense deceive his pupils. Notwithstanding these objectionable so-called proofs, so far as the foundation and the development of the system is concerned, predominate in our textbooks to the present time. Perhaps it will be answered, that rigorous proof is found too difficult for the pupil’s power of comprehension. Should this be anywhere the case,—which would only indicate some defect in the plan or treatment of the whole,—the only remedy would be to merely state the theorem in a historic way, and forego a proof with the frank confession that no proof has been found which could be comprehended by the pupil; a remedy which is ever doubtful and should only be applied in the case of extreme necessity. But this remedy is to be preferred to a proof which is no proof, and is therefore either wholly unintelligible to the pupil, or deceives him with an appearance of knowledge which opens the door to all superficiality and lack of scientific method.
In 'Stücke aus dem Lehrbuche der Arithmetik', Werke, Bd. 2 (1904), 296.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Anywhere (13)  |  Appearance (85)  |  Apply (76)  |  Base (71)  |  Case (98)  |  Comprehend (39)  |  Comprehension (57)  |  Concern (108)  |  Confession (6)  |  Consciously (6)  |  Consistent (17)  |  Deceive (16)  |  Defect (15)  |  Deny (41)  |  Development (276)  |  Difficult (116)  |  Door (38)  |  Doubtful (9)  |  Especially (30)  |  Extreme (54)  |  Fallacy (25)  |  Far (154)  |  Find (405)  |  First (313)  |  Forego (3)  |  Foundation (105)  |  Frank (4)  |  Give (200)  |  Historic (7)  |  Impossible (108)  |  Indicate (18)  |  Instruction (72)  |  Kind (138)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Lack (77)  |  Latter (21)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Method (230)  |  Morally (2)  |  Necessity (142)  |  Open (66)  |  Plan (87)  |  Power (358)  |  Predominate (5)  |  Prefer (24)  |  Preference (21)  |  Present (174)  |  Proceed (41)  |  Proof (243)  |  Pupil (31)  |  Remedy (54)  |  Rigorous (21)  |  Scientific (232)  |  Scientific Method (166)  |  Sense (315)  |  So-Called (21)  |  State (136)  |  Superficiality (4)  |  System (191)  |  Teacher (119)  |  Teaching of Mathematics (31)  |  Textbook (27)  |  Theorem (88)  |  Time (594)  |  Treatment (100)  |  Unintelligible (9)  |  Vicious Circle (2)  |  Whole (189)  |  Wholly (12)

For all these years you were merely
A smear of light through our telescopes
On the clearest, coldest night; a hint
Of a glint, just a few pixels wide
On even your most perfectly-framed portraits.
But now, now we see you!
Swimming out of the dark - a great
Stone shark, your star-tanned skin pitted
And pocked, scarred after eons of drifting
Silently through the endless ocean of space.
Here on Earth our faces lit up as we saw
You clearly for the first time; eyes wide
With wonder we traced the strangely familiar
Grooves raked across your sides,
Wondering if Rosetta had doubled back to Mars
And raced past Phobos by mistake –
Then you were gone, falling back into the black,
Not to be seen by human eyes again for a thousand
Blue Moons or more. But we know you now,
We know you; you’ll never be just a speck of light again.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Across (32)  |  Back (104)  |  Black (42)  |  Blue (56)  |  Clear (97)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Cold (58)  |  Dark (76)  |  Double (15)  |  Drift (13)  |  Earth (635)  |  Endless (28)  |  Eon (11)  |  Eye (218)  |  Face (108)  |  Fall (119)  |  Familiar (42)  |  First Time (10)  |  Glint (2)  |  Great (524)  |  Groove (3)  |  Hint (11)  |  Know (547)  |  Light (345)  |  Mars (34)  |  Mistake (131)  |  Moon (199)  |  Night (117)  |  Ocean (148)  |  Past (150)  |  Pit (13)  |  Pixel (2)  |  Portrait (4)  |  Race (103)  |  Scar (7)  |  See (369)  |  Shark (7)  |  Side (51)  |  Silently (4)  |  Skin (25)  |  Smear (3)  |  Space (257)  |  Speck (17)  |  Stone (76)  |  Strangely (5)  |  Swim (16)  |  Telescope (82)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Trace (51)  |  Wide (27)  |  Wonder (169)  |  Year (299)

Geometric writings are not rare in which one would seek in vain for an idea at all novel, for a result which sooner or later might be of service, for anything in fact which might be destined to survive in the science; and one finds instead treatises on trivial problems or investigations on special forms which have absolutely no use, no importance, which have their origin not in the science itself but in the caprice of the author; or one finds applications of known methods which have already been made thousands of times; or generalizations from known results which are so easily made that the knowledge of the latter suffices to give at once the former. Now such work is not merely useless; it is actually harmful because it produces a real incumbrance in the science and an embarrassment for the more serious investigators; and because often it crowds out certain lines of thought which might well have deserved to be studied.
From 'On Some Recent Tendencies in Geometric Investigations', Rivista di Matematica (1891), 43. In Bulletin American Mathematical Society (1904), 443.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (166)  |  Author (61)  |  Caprice (4)  |  Deserve (28)  |  Embarrassment (5)  |  Encumbrance (4)  |  Form (308)  |  Generalization (41)  |  Geometry (215)  |  Harmful (12)  |  Idea (577)  |  Importance (216)  |  In Vain (8)  |  Investigation (175)  |  Investigator (35)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Latter (21)  |  Method (230)  |  Novel (19)  |  Problem (490)  |  Rare (47)  |  Result (376)  |  Seek (104)  |  Serious (52)  |  Service (64)  |  Sooner Or Later (6)  |  Special (74)  |  Study (461)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (59)  |  Suffice (7)  |  Survive (46)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Treatise (32)  |  Trivial (41)  |  Useless (32)  |  Work (626)  |  Writing (79)

I acquired such skill in reading Latin and Greek that I could take a page of either, and distinguish which language it was by merely glancing at it.
Quoted, without source, in Des MacHale, Wit (1999, 2003), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (38)  |  Distinguish (61)  |  Glance (19)  |  Greek (71)  |  Language (217)  |  Latin (33)  |  Page (27)  |  Read (144)  |  Skill (65)

I am merely thinking God's thoughts after him.
Attributed. Could be a boiled down version of a longer quote that includes: “God wanted us to … share in his own thoughts.” (Included here; it begins “Those laws [of nature] are…”) This capsulized version is widely seen linked with Kepler’s name, but never with a citation, for example, in Thomas Winthrop Coit, Inaugural Address Delivered in the Chapel of Morrison College (Nov 1835), 32. As far as Webmaster can determine, historians of science have not found any primary source in which Kepler himself expresses this idea in exactly these words. In a 2001 discussion group post, Ted Davis reported: “I know Kepler pretty well and have searched for it. I've also asked Owen Gingerich, who knows Kepler as well as anyone alive, and he can't confirm it either.”
Science quotes on:  |  God (535)  |  Thought (536)

I found out that the main ability to have was a visual, and also an almost tactile, way to imagine the physical situations, rather than a merely logical picture of the problems. … Very soon I discovered that if one gets a feeling for no more than a dozen … radiation and nuclear constants, one can imagine the subatomic world almost tangibly, and manipulate the picture dimensionally and qualitatively, before calculating more precise relationships.
In Adventures of a Mathematician (1976), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (107)  |  Calculate (31)  |  Constant (56)  |  Dimension (38)  |  Dozen (10)  |  Feeling (91)  |  Imagine (74)  |  Logical (54)  |  Manipulate (6)  |  Nuclear (27)  |  Physical (129)  |  Picture (75)  |  Precise (33)  |  Problem (490)  |  Qualitative (13)  |  Radiation (25)  |  Relationship (71)  |  Situation (52)  |  Subatomic (7)  |  Tangible (8)  |  Visual (15)  |  World (892)

I have recently read an article on handwriting and forgeries in which it is stated that ink eradicators do not remove ink: but merely bleach it, and that ink so bleached can be easily brought out by a process of fuming: known to all handwriting experts. Can you give me a description of this process, what chemicals are used: and how it is performed?
Showing his early interest in science, at age 16, while a student at Tulsa Central High School. From the first time Gardner’s writing appeared in print: a query printed in a magazine in Hugo Gernsback (ed.), 'Now It Is Now It Isn’t', Science and Invention (Apr 1930), 1119. As quoted and cited in Dana Richards, 'Martin Gardner: A “Documentary”', collected in Elwyn R. Berlekamp and ‎Tom Rodgers (ed.) The Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler: A Collection in Tribute to Martin Gardner (1999), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Article (22)  |  Bleach (3)  |  Bring Out (4)  |  Chemical (79)  |  Description (84)  |  Expert (50)  |  Forgery (3)  |  Fume (6)  |  Handwriting (2)  |  Ink (10)  |  Know (547)  |  Process (261)  |  Remove (26)

If a lunatic scribbles a jumble of mathematical symbols it does not follow that the writing means anything merely because to the inexpert eye it is indistinguishable from higher mathematics.
In Men of Mathematics (1937), Vol. 2, 232. Also in J.R. Newman (ed.) The World of Mathematics (1956, 1960), Vol. 1, 308.
Science quotes on:  |  Eye (218)  |  Higher Mathematics (6)  |  Indistinguishable (2)  |  Inexpert (2)  |  Jumble (8)  |  Lunatic (7)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Means (171)  |  Scribble (5)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Writing (79)

If our intention had been merely to bring back a handful of soil and rocks from the lunar gravel pit and then forget the whole thing, we would certainly be history's biggest fools. But that is not our intention now—it never will be. What we are seeking in tomorrow's [Apollo 11] trip is indeed that key to our future on earth. We are expanding the mind of man. We are extending this God-given brain and these God-given hands to their outermost limits and in so doing all mankind will benefit. All mankind will reap the harvest…. What we will have attained when Neil Armstrong steps down upon the moon is a completely new step in the evolution of man.
Banquet speech on the eve of the Apollo 11 launch, Royal Oaks Country Club, Titusville (15 Jul 1969). In "Of a Fire on the Moon", Life (29 Aug 1969), 67, No. 9, 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Apollo 11 (6)  |  Neil Armstrong (16)  |  Attainment (40)  |  Benefit (72)  |  Brain (209)  |  Bringing (10)  |  Evolution (533)  |  Expansion (26)  |  Fool (85)  |  Forgetting (13)  |  Future (284)  |  Handful (8)  |  Harvest (17)  |  History (368)  |  Human Mind (80)  |  Intention (28)  |  Key (50)  |  Limit (123)  |  Lunar (9)  |  Mankind (241)  |  Reaping (4)  |  Rock (125)  |  Seeking (31)  |  Soil (64)  |  Step (109)  |  Trip (9)

If “Number rules the universe” as Pythagoras asserted, Number is merely our delegate to the throne, for we rule Number.
In Men of Mathematics (1937), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Assert (21)  |  Delegate (2)  |  Number (276)  |  Pythagoras (34)  |  Rule (173)  |  Throne (7)  |  Universe (683)

It would seem at first sight as if the rapid expansion of the region of mathematics must be a source of danger to its future progress. Not only does the area widen but the subjects of study increase rapidly in number, and the work of the mathematician tends to become more and more specialized. It is, of course, merely a brilliant exaggeration to say that no mathematician is able to understand the work of any other mathematician, but it is certainly true that it is daily becoming more and more difficult for a mathematician to keep himself acquainted, even in a general way, with the progress of any of the branches of mathematics except those which form the field of his own labours. I believe, however, that the increasing extent of the territory of mathematics will always be counteracted by increased facilities in the means of communication. Additional knowledge opens to us new principles and methods which may conduct us with the greatest ease to results which previously were most difficult of access; and improvements in notation may exercise the most powerful effects both in the simplification and accessibility of a subject. It rests with the worker in mathematics not only to explore new truths, but to devise the language by which they may be discovered and expressed; and the genius of a great mathematician displays itself no less in the notation he invents for deciphering his subject than in the results attained. … I have great faith in the power of well-chosen notation to simplify complicated theories and to bring remote ones near and I think it is safe to predict that the increased knowledge of principles and the resulting improvements in the symbolic language of mathematics will always enable us to grapple satisfactorily with the difficulties arising from the mere extent of the subject.
In Presidential Address British Association for the Advancement of Science, Section A., (1890), Nature, 42, 466.
Science quotes on:  |  Access (16)  |  Accessibility (3)  |  Acquaint (9)  |  Additional (6)  |  Area (29)  |  Arise (49)  |  Attain (42)  |  Become (172)  |  Belief (503)  |  Both (81)  |  Branch (102)  |  Brilliant (28)  |  Bring (90)  |  Certainly (31)  |  Communication (75)  |  Complicated (61)  |  Conduct (31)  |  Counteract (4)  |  Daily (29)  |  Danger (78)  |  Decipher (7)  |  Devise (14)  |  Difficult (116)  |  Difficulty (144)  |  Discover (196)  |  Display (24)  |  Ease (35)  |  Effect (165)  |  Enable (44)  |  Exaggeration (11)  |  Exercise (64)  |  Expansion (26)  |  Exploration (122)  |  Express (63)  |  Extent (49)  |  Facility (11)  |  Faith (157)  |  Field (170)  |  First Sight (6)  |  Form (308)  |  Future (284)  |  General (156)  |  Genius (243)  |  Grapple (7)  |  Great (524)  |  Improvement (73)  |  Increase (145)  |  Invent (50)  |  Keep (100)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Labour (45)  |  Language (217)  |  Less (102)  |  Mathematician (364)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Means (171)  |  Mere (78)  |  Method (230)  |  New (483)  |  Notation (19)  |  Number (276)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Open (66)  |  Power (358)  |  Powerful (66)  |  Predict (21)  |  Previously (11)  |  Principle (285)  |  Progress (362)  |  Rapid (30)  |  Rapidly (13)  |  Region (35)  |  Remote (39)  |  Rest (92)  |  Result (376)  |  Safe (27)  |  Satisfactory (16)  |  Say (228)  |  Seem (143)  |  Simplification (15)  |  Simplify (11)  |  Source (90)  |  Specialized (8)  |  Study (461)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (59)  |  Subject (235)  |  Symbolic (15)  |  Tend (36)  |  Territory (16)  |  Theory (690)  |  Think (341)  |  True (201)  |  Truth (914)  |  Understand (326)  |  Well-Chosen (2)  |  Widen (4)  |  Work (626)  |  Worker (30)

Jupiter is the largest of all the solar system’s planets, more than ten times bigger and three hundred times as massive as Earth. Jupiter is so immense it could swallow all the other planets easily. Its Great Red Spot, a storm that has raged for centuries, is itself wider than Earth. And the Spot is merely one feature visible among the innumerable vortexes and streams of Jupiter’s frenetically racing cloud tops. Yet Jupiter is composed mainly of the lightest elements, hydrogen and helium, more like a star than a planet. All that size and mass, yet Jupiter spins on its axis in less than ten hours, so fast that the planet is clearly not spherical: Its poles are noticeably flattened. Jupiter looks like a big, colorfully striped beach ball that’s squashed down as if some invisible child were sitting on it. Spinning that fast, Jupiter’s deep, deep atmosphere is swirled into bands and ribbons of multihued clouds: pale yellow, saffron orange, white, tawny yellow-brown, dark brown, bluish, pink and red. Titanic winds push the clouds across the face of Jupiter at hundreds of kilometers per hour.
Ben Bova
Jupiter
Science quotes on:  |  Across (32)  |  Atmosphere (79)  |  Axis (9)  |  Ball (31)  |  Band (9)  |  Beach (16)  |  Big (48)  |  Brown (7)  |  Century (130)  |  Child (245)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Cloud (69)  |  Compose (17)  |  Dark (76)  |  Deep (121)  |  Down (86)  |  Earth (635)  |  Easily (35)  |  Element (162)  |  Face (108)  |  Fast (43)  |  Feature (43)  |  Great (524)  |  Helium (9)  |  Hour (71)  |  Hundred (64)  |  Hundreds (6)  |  Hydrogen (44)  |  Immense (42)  |  Innumerable (23)  |  Invisible (38)  |  Jupiter (21)  |  Kilometer (4)  |  Large (130)  |  Less (102)  |  Light (345)  |  Mainly (9)  |  Mass (78)  |  Massive (5)  |  Orange (11)  |  Pale (9)  |  Pink (4)  |  Planet (262)  |  Pole (17)  |  Push (29)  |  Race (103)  |  Rage (9)  |  Red (35)  |  Ribbon (2)  |  Sit (47)  |  Size (60)  |  Solar Systems (3)  |  Sphere (58)  |  Spin (15)  |  Spot (17)  |  Squash (2)  |  Star (336)  |  Storm (30)  |  Stream (40)  |  Stripe (4)  |  Swallow (20)  |  Swirl (10)  |  Tawny (3)  |  Time (594)  |  Titanic (4)  |  Top (34)  |  Visible (37)  |  Vortex (5)  |  White (56)  |  Wide (27)  |  Wind (80)  |  Yellow (17)

Many errors, of a truth, consist merely in the application of the wrong names of things. For if a man says that the lines which are drawn from the centre of the circle to the circumference are not equal, he understands by the circle, at all events for the time, something else than mathematicians understand by it.
In 'Prop. 47: The human mind possesses an adequate knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God', Ethic, translated by William Hale White (1883), 93-94. Collected in The English and Foreign Philosophical Library, Vol. 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (166)  |  Center (34)  |  Circle (55)  |  Circumference (16)  |  Consist (45)  |  Definition (191)  |  Drawing (21)  |  Else (4)  |  Equal (77)  |  Error (275)  |  Mathematician (364)  |  Name (165)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  French Saying (67)  |  Thing (37)  |  Truth (914)  |  Understanding (325)  |  Wrong (138)

Many people are shrinking from the future and from participation in the movement toward a new, expanded reality. And, like homesick travelers abroad, they are focusing their anxieties on home. The reasons are not far to seek. We are at a turning point in human history... We could turn our attention to the problems that going to the moon certainly will not solve ... But I think this would be fatal to our future... A society that no longer moves forward does not merely stagnate; it begins to die.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abroad (8)  |  Anxiety (19)  |  Attention (115)  |  Begin (106)  |  Certainly (31)  |  Die (81)  |  Expand (22)  |  Far (154)  |  Fatal (12)  |  Focus (27)  |  Forward (36)  |  Future (284)  |  Home (83)  |  Human History (5)  |  Long (172)  |  Moon (199)  |  Move (94)  |  Movement (82)  |  New (483)  |  Participation (10)  |  People (388)  |  Problem (490)  |  Reality (188)  |  Reason (454)  |  Seek (104)  |  Shrink (15)  |  Society (227)  |  Solve (76)  |  Stagnate (3)  |  Think (341)  |  Toward (45)  |  Traveler (26)  |  Turn (118)  |  Turning Point (5)

Many scientific theories have, for very long periods of time, stood the test of experience until they had to be discarded owing to man’s decision, not merely to make other experiments, but to have different experiences.
In The Disinherited Mind: Essays in Modern German Literature and Thought (1952), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Decision (72)  |  Different (178)  |  Discard (19)  |  Experience (338)  |  Experiment (600)  |  Period (64)  |  Scientific Theory (24)  |  Test (124)  |  Time (594)

Mathematical reasoning is deductive in the sense that it is based upon definitions which, as far as the validity of the reasoning is concerned (apart from any existential import), needs only the test of self-consistency. Thus no external verification of definitions is required in mathematics, as long as it is considered merely as mathematics.
In Universal Algebra (1898), Preface, vi.
Science quotes on:  |  Base (71)  |  Concern (108)  |  Consider (80)  |  Deductive (10)  |  Definition (191)  |  Existential (2)  |  External (55)  |  Far (154)  |  Import (5)  |  Long (172)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (77)  |  Need (283)  |  Reason (454)  |  Require (79)  |  Sense (315)  |  Test (124)  |  Validity (31)  |  Verification (27)

No comfort should be drawn from the spurious belief that because extinction is a natural process, man is merely another Darwinian agent.
In 'Edward O. Wilson: The Biological Diversity Crisis: A Challenge to Science', Issues in Science and Technology (Fall 1985), 2, No. 1, 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (32)  |  Belief (503)  |  Comfort (49)  |  Darwinian (9)  |  Extinction (66)  |  Natural (167)  |  Process (261)  |  Spurious (3)

No more impressive warning can be given to those who would confine knowledge and research to what is apparently useful, than the reflection that conic sections were studied for eighteen hundred years merely as an abstract science, without regard to any utility other than to satisfy the craving for knowledge on the part of mathematicians, and that then at the end of this long period of abstract study, they were found to be the necessary key with which to attain the knowledge of the most important laws of nature.
In Introduction to Mathematics (1911), 136-137.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (79)  |  Apparently (19)  |  Attain (42)  |  Confine (24)  |  Conic Section (7)  |  Crave (9)  |  End (195)  |  Find (405)  |  Give (200)  |  Hundred (64)  |  Important (202)  |  Impressive (20)  |  Key (50)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Law (513)  |  Long (172)  |  Mathematician (364)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Necessary (147)  |  Part (220)  |  Period (64)  |  Reflection (59)  |  Regard (93)  |  Research (589)  |  Satisfy (27)  |  Science (2043)  |  Study (461)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (59)  |  Useful (98)  |  Utility (33)  |  Warn (5)  |  Year (299)

No scientist is admired for failing in the attempt to solve problems that lie beyond his competence. … Good scientists study the most important problems they think they can solve. It is, after all, their professional business to solve problems, not merely to grapple with them.
The Art of the Soluble: Creativity and Originality in Science (1967), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Admiration (44)  |  Attempt (121)  |  Business (84)  |  Competence (7)  |  Failure (138)  |  Grappling (2)  |  Importance (216)  |  Problem (490)  |  Professional (37)  |  Scientist (519)  |  Solution (211)  |  Study (461)

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Desert (38)  |  Enthusiasm (41)  |  Give Up (6)  |  Grow (98)  |  Ideal (69)  |  Live (269)  |  Nobody (49)  |  Number (276)  |  Old (147)  |  Skin (25)  |  Soul (163)  |  Wrinkle (4)  |  Year (299)

Nor do I know any study which can compete with mathematics in general in furnishing matter for severe and continued thought. Metaphysical problems may be even more difficult; but then they are far less definite, and, as they rarely lead to any precise conclusion, we miss the power of checking our own operations, and of discovering whether we are thinking and reasoning or merely fancying and dreaming.
In Conflict of Studies (1873), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Check (24)  |  Compete (6)  |  Conclusion (157)  |  Continue (63)  |  Definite (42)  |  Difficult (116)  |  Discover (196)  |  Dream (165)  |  Fancy (24)  |  Far (154)  |  Furnish (40)  |  General (156)  |  Know (547)  |  Lead (158)  |  Less (102)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Matter (340)  |  Metaphysical (11)  |  Miss (27)  |  Operation (118)  |  Power (358)  |  Precise (33)  |  Problem (490)  |  Rarely (20)  |  Reason (454)  |  Severe (16)  |  Study (461)  |  Think (341)  |  Thought (536)  |  Value Of Mathematics (55)

One of the most impressive discoveries was the origin of the energy of the stars, that makes them continue to burn. One of the men who discovered this was out with his girl friend the night after he realized that nuclear reactions must be going on in the stars in order to make them shine.
She said “Look at how pretty the stars shine!”
He said, “Yes, and right now I am the only man in the world who knows why they shine.”
She merely laughed at him. She was not impressed with being out with the only man who, at that moment, knew why stars shine. Well, it is sad to be alone, but that is the way it is in this world.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (101)  |  Burn (41)  |  Continue (63)  |  Discover (196)  |  Discovery (676)  |  Energy (214)  |  Friend (85)  |  Girl (20)  |  Impressed (15)  |  Impressive (20)  |  Know (547)  |  Laugh (28)  |  Moment (106)  |  Night (117)  |  Nuclear Reaction (2)  |  Order (239)  |  Origin (86)  |  Pretty (20)  |  Realize (90)  |  Right (196)  |  Sadness (34)  |  Say (228)  |  Shine (43)  |  Star (336)  |  World (892)

Our failure to discern a universal good does not record any lack of insight or ingenuity, but merely demonstrates that nature contains no moral messages framed in human terms. Morality is a subject for philosophers, theologians, students of the humanities, indeed for all thinking people. The answers will not be read passively from nature; they do not, and cannot, arise from the data of science. The factual state of the world does not teach us how we, with our powers for good and evil, should alter or preserve it in the most ethical manner.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alter (23)  |  Answer (249)  |  Arise (49)  |  Contain (67)  |  Data (120)  |  Demonstrate (50)  |  Discern (14)  |  Ethical (13)  |  Factual (8)  |  Failure (138)  |  Frame (26)  |  Good (345)  |  Good And Evil (3)  |  Human (548)  |  Humanities (17)  |  Ingenuity (27)  |  Insight (69)  |  Lack (77)  |  Manner (57)  |  Message (35)  |  Moral (123)  |  Morality (42)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Passively (3)  |  People (388)  |  Philosopher (164)  |  Power (358)  |  Preserve (51)  |  Read (144)  |  Record (67)  |  Science (2043)  |  State (136)  |  Student (201)  |  Subject (235)  |  Teach (179)  |  Term (120)  |  Theologian (15)  |  Think (341)  |  Universal (100)  |  World (892)

Perhaps randomness is not merely an adequate description for complex causes that we cannot specify. Perhaps the world really works this way, and many events are uncaused in any conventional sense of the word. Perhaps our gut feeling that it cannot be so reflects only our hopes and prejudices, our desperate striving to make sense of a complex and confusing world, and not the ways of nature.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Adequate (25)  |  Cause (283)  |  Complex (94)  |  Confuse (18)  |  Conventional (18)  |  Description (84)  |  Desperate (5)  |  Event (115)  |  Gut Feeling (2)  |  Hope (174)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Prejudice (66)  |  Randomness (3)  |  Really (78)  |  Reflect (31)  |  Sense (315)  |  Sense Of The Word (4)  |  Specify (6)  |  Strive (43)  |  Work (626)  |  World (892)

Physical science is thus approaching the stage when it will be complete, and therefore uninteresting. Given the laws governing the motions of electrons and protons, the rest is merely geography—a collection of particular facts.
In What I Believe (1925), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (53)  |  Collection (44)  |  Complete (84)  |  Electron (72)  |  Fact (725)  |  Geography (27)  |  Govern (28)  |  Law (513)  |  Motion (158)  |  Particular (75)  |  Physical Science (65)  |  Proton (15)  |  Rest (92)  |  Stage (54)  |  Uninteresting (6)

Presumably, technology has made man increasingly independent of his environment. But, in fact, technology has merely substituted nonrenewable resources for renewables, which is more an increase than a decrease in dependence.
Steady-State Economics (1977).
Science quotes on:  |  Decrease (15)  |  Dependence (37)  |  Environment (180)  |  Fact (725)  |  Increase (145)  |  Increasingly (4)  |  Independent (65)  |  Nonrenewable Resources (2)  |  Presumably (3)  |  Renewable (6)  |  Substitute (27)  |  Technology (221)

Pure mathematics is not concerned with magnitude. It is merely the doctrine of notation of relatively ordered thought operations which have become mechanical.
In Schriften (1901), Zweiter Tail,282.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (172)  |  Concern (108)  |  Definitions and Objects of Mathematics (31)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Magnitude (41)  |  Mechanical (48)  |  Notation (19)  |  Operation (118)  |  Order (239)  |  Pure Mathematics (63)  |  Relatively (6)  |  Thought (536)

Quite distinct from the theoretical question of the manner in which mathematics will rescue itself from the perils to which it is exposed by its own prolific nature is the practical problem of finding means of rendering available for the student the results which have been already accumulated, and making it possible for the learner to obtain some idea of the present state of the various departments of mathematics. … The great mass of mathematical literature will be always contained in Journals and Transactions, but there is no reason why it should not be rendered far more useful and accessible than at present by means of treatises or higher text-books. The whole science suffers from want of avenues of approach, and many beautiful branches of mathematics are regarded as difficult and technical merely because they are not easily accessible. … I feel very strongly that any introduction to a new subject written by a competent person confers a real benefit on the whole science. The number of excellent text-books of an elementary kind that are published in this country makes it all the more to be regretted that we have so few that are intended for the advanced student. As an example of the higher kind of text-book, the want of which is so badly felt in many subjects, I may mention the second part of Prof. Chrystal’s Algebra published last year, which in a small compass gives a great mass of valuable and fundamental knowledge that has hitherto been beyond the reach of an ordinary student, though in reality lying so close at hand. I may add that in any treatise or higher text-book it is always desirable that references to the original memoirs should be given, and, if possible, short historic notices also. I am sure that no subject loses more than mathematics by any attempt to dissociate it from its history.
In Presidential Address British Association for the Advancement of Science, Section A (1890), Nature, 42, 466.
Science quotes on:  |  Accessible (16)  |  Accumulate (26)  |  Add (40)  |  Advance (162)  |  Algebra (92)  |  Already (28)  |  Approach (53)  |  At Hand (4)  |  Attempt (121)  |  Available (25)  |  Avenue (6)  |  Badly (15)  |  Beautiful (138)  |  Benefit (72)  |  Beyond (104)  |  Branch (102)  |  George Chrystal (7)  |  Close (66)  |  Compass (24)  |  Competent (18)  |  Confer (11)  |  Contain (67)  |  Country (144)  |  Department (47)  |  Desirable (11)  |  Difficult (116)  |  Distinct (46)  |  Easily (35)  |  Elementary (45)  |  Example (92)  |  Excellent (26)  |  Expose (16)  |  Far (154)  |  Feel (165)  |  Find (405)  |  Fundamental (158)  |  Give (200)  |  Great (524)  |  High (152)  |  Historic (7)  |  History (368)  |  Hitherto (6)  |  Idea (577)  |  Intend (16)  |  Introduction (34)  |  Journal (19)  |  Kind (138)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Learner (10)  |  Lie (115)  |  Literature (79)  |  Lose (93)  |  Manner (57)  |  Mass (78)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Means (171)  |  Memoir (11)  |  Mention (23)  |  Nature (1211)  |  New (483)  |  Notice (34)  |  Number (276)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Ordinary (71)  |  Original (57)  |  Part (220)  |  Peril (9)  |  Person (153)  |  Possible (155)  |  Practical (129)  |  Present (174)  |  Problem (490)  |  Prof (2)  |  Prolific (5)  |  Publish (33)  |  Question (404)  |  Reach (119)  |  Real (148)  |  Reality (188)  |  Reason (454)  |  Reference (33)  |  Regard (93)  |  Regret (20)  |  Render (30)  |  Rescue (10)  |  Result (376)  |  Science (2043)  |  Second (59)  |  Short (49)  |  Small (161)  |  State (136)  |  Strongly (9)  |  Student (201)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (59)  |  Subject (235)  |  Suffer (40)  |  Technical (40)  |  Textbook (27)  |  Theory (690)  |  Transaction (6)  |  Treatise (32)  |  Useful (98)  |  Value (240)  |  Various (46)  |  Want (175)  |  Whole (189)  |  Write (153)  |  Year (299)

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Illusion (43)  |  Persistent (9)  |  Reality (188)

Simplification of modes of proof is not merely an indication of advance in our knowledge of a subject, but is also the surest guarantee of readiness for farther progress.
In Lord Kelvin and Peter Guthrie Tait Elements of Natural Philosophy (1873), Preface.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (162)  |  Father (57)  |  Guarantee (21)  |  Indication (23)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Mode (40)  |  Progress (362)  |  Proof (243)  |  Readiness (6)  |  Simplification (15)  |  Subject (235)  |  Surest (5)

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.
In Ends and Means: An Inquiry Into the Nature of Ideals and Into Methods (1937), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Backwards (4)  |  Efficiency (30)  |  Go (6)  |  Means (171)  |  Progress (362)  |  Provision (16)  |  Technology (221)

That one must do some work seriously and must be independent and not merely amuse oneself in life—this our mother [Marie Curie] has told us always, but never that science was the only career worth following.
As quoted by Mary Margaret McBride in A Long Way From Missouri (1959), 123.
Science quotes on:  |  Amusement (23)  |  Career (57)  |  Independence (34)  |  Life (1124)  |  Mother (71)  |  Science (2043)  |  Serious (52)  |  Tell (110)  |  Work (626)

The average gambler will say “The player who stakes his whole fortune on a single play is a fool, and the science of mathematics can not prove him to be otherwise.” The reply is obvious: “The science of mathematics never attempts the impossible, it merely shows that other players are greater fools.”
Concluding remarks to his mathematical proof, with certain assumptions, that the best betting strategy for “Gambler’s Ruin” would be to always make his largest stake on his first play. In 'Gambler’s Ruin', Annals of Mathematics (Jul 1909), 2nd Series, 10, No. 4, 189. This is also seen, without primary source, quoted as “It is true that a man who does this is a fool. I have only proved that a man who does anything else is an even bigger fool,” in Harold Eves, Return to Mathematical Circles (1988), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (121)  |  Average (41)  |  Fool (85)  |  Fortune (27)  |  Gambler (7)  |  Greater (42)  |  Impossible (108)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Obvious (79)  |  Other (27)  |  Otherwise (24)  |  Play (110)  |  Player (8)  |  Prove (108)  |  Reply (25)  |  Show (90)  |  Single (119)  |  Stake (19)  |  Strategy (10)  |  Whole (189)

The essential character of a species in biology is, that it is a group of living organisms, separated from all other such groups by a set of distinctive characters, having relations to the environment not identical with those of any other group of organisms, and having the power of continuously reproducing its like. Genera are merely assemblages of a number of these species which have a closer resemblance to each other in certain important and often prominent characters than they have to any other species.
In 'The Method of Organic Evolution', Fortnightly Review (1895), 57, 441.
Science quotes on:  |  Assemblage (7)  |  Biology (168)  |  Certain (125)  |  Character (115)  |  Closer (8)  |  Continuously (7)  |  Distinctive (14)  |  Environment (180)  |  Essential (115)  |  Genus (18)  |  Group (72)  |  Identical (19)  |  Important (202)  |  Living (56)  |  Number (276)  |  Often (106)  |  Organism (150)  |  Power (358)  |  Prominent (5)  |  Relation (149)  |  Resemblance (19)  |  Separate (69)  |  Set (97)  |  Species (220)

The facts proved by geology are briefly these: that during an immense, but unknown period, the surface of the earth has undergone successive changes; land has sunk beneath the ocean, while fresh land has risen up from it; mountain chains have been elevated; islands have been formed into continents, and continents submerged till they have become islands; and these changes have taken place, not once merely, but perhaps hundreds, perhaps thousands of times.
In 'On the Law which has regulated the Introduction of New Species', The Annals and Magazine of Natural History (1855), 16, No. 93, 184.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (172)  |  Beneath (16)  |  Chain (50)  |  Change (363)  |  Continent (52)  |  Elevate (11)  |  Fact (725)  |  Form (308)  |  Fresh (30)  |  Geology (200)  |  Hundred (64)  |  Island (24)  |  Land (115)  |  Mountain (145)  |  Ocean (148)  |  Prove (108)  |  Rise (70)  |  Sink (21)  |  Successive (23)  |  Surface Of The Earth (5)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Undergo (14)

The faculty of resolution is possibly much invigorated by mathematical study, and especially by that highest branch of it which, unjustly, merely on account of its retrograde operations, has been called, as if par excellence, analysis.
In The Murders in Rue Morgue.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (67)  |  Analysis (159)  |  Branch (102)  |  Call (127)  |  Especially (30)  |  Faculty (65)  |  High (152)  |  Invigorate (3)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Operation (118)  |  Par Excellence (2)  |  Possibly (19)  |  Resolution (18)  |  Retrograde (5)  |  Study (461)  |  Unjustly (2)  |  Value Of Mathematics (55)

The great truths with which it [mathematics] deals, are clothed with austere grandeur, far above all purposes of immediate convenience or profit. It is in them that our limited understandings approach nearest to the conception of that absolute and infinite, towards which in most other things they aspire in vain. In the pure mathematics we contemplate absolute truths, which existed in the divine mind before the morning stars sang together, and which will continue to exist there, when the last of their radiant host shall have fallen from heaven. They existed not merely in metaphysical possibility, but in the actual contemplation of the supreme reason. The pen of inspiration, ranging all nature and life for imagery to set forth the Creator’s power and wisdom, finds them best symbolized in the skill of the surveyor. "He meted out heaven as with a span;" and an ancient sage, neither falsely nor irreverently, ventured to say, that “God is a geometer”.
In Orations and Speeches (1870), Vol. 3, 614.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (97)  |  Actual (47)  |  Ancient (103)  |  Approach (53)  |  Aspire (7)  |  Austere (5)  |  Best (172)  |  Conception (88)  |  Contemplate (17)  |  Contemplation (51)  |  Continue (63)  |  Convenience (34)  |  Creator (52)  |  Deal (49)  |  Divine (60)  |  Estimates of Mathematics (30)  |  Exist (147)  |  Fall (119)  |  Falsely (2)  |  Find (405)  |  Forth (13)  |  Geometer (22)  |  God (535)  |  Grandeur (21)  |  Great (524)  |  Heaven (151)  |  Host (16)  |  Imagery (3)  |  Immediate (43)  |  In Vain (8)  |  Infinite (128)  |  Inspiration (59)  |  Irreverent (2)  |  Life (1124)  |  Limit (123)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Metaphysical (11)  |  Mind (743)  |  Morning (43)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Pen (12)  |  Possibility (116)  |  Power (358)  |  Profit (38)  |  Pure Mathematics (63)  |  Purpose (193)  |  Radiant (10)  |  Range (57)  |  Reason (454)  |  Sage (15)  |  Say (228)  |  Set (97)  |  Sing (25)  |  Skill (65)  |  Span (5)  |  Star (336)  |  Supreme (37)  |  Surveyor (4)  |  Symbolize (6)  |  Together (77)  |  Truth (914)  |  Understanding (325)  |  Venture (18)  |  Wisdom (180)

The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest. … The American Beauty rose can be produced in the splendor and fragrance which bring cheer to its beholder only by sacrificing the early buds which grow up around it. This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working-out of a law of nature and a law of God.
From address to the Brown University YMCA, as quoted in 'Young Rockefeller: Defending Trusts, Uses American Beauty Similitude,' Cincinnati Enquirer (9 Feb 1902), 4, citing the New York Journal.
Science quotes on:  |  Business (84)  |  Darwinism (3)  |  Growth (122)  |  Large (130)  |  Survival Of The Fittest (38)

The history of acceptance of new theories frequently shows the following steps: At first the new idea is treated as pure nonsense, not worth looking at. Then comes a time when a multitude of contradictory objections are raised, such as: the new theory is too fancy, or merely a new terminology; it is not fruitful, or simply wrong. Finally a state is reached when everyone seems to claim that he had always followed this theory. This usually marks the last state before general acceptance.
In 'Field Theory and the Phase Space', collected in Melvin Herman Marx, Psychological Theory: Contemporary Readings (1951), 299.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (45)  |  Claim (70)  |  Contradictory (7)  |  Fancy (24)  |  Finally (26)  |  First (313)  |  Following (16)  |  Fruitful (42)  |  General (156)  |  History (368)  |  Idea (577)  |  Multitude (20)  |  New (483)  |  Nonsense (40)  |  Objection (18)  |  Pure (98)  |  Raised (3)  |  Reach (119)  |  State (136)  |  Step (109)  |  Terminology (8)  |  Theory (690)  |  Treatment (100)  |  Wrong (138)

The idea that aptitude for mathematics is rarer than aptitude for other subjects is merely an illusion which is caused by belated or neglected beginners.
In 'Umriss pädagogischer Vorlesungen', Werke [Kehrbach] (1902), Bd. 10, 101. As quoted, cited and translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-Book (1914), 74.
Science quotes on:  |  Aptitude (17)  |  Beginner (8)  |  Cause (283)  |  Idea (577)  |  Illusion (43)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Neglect (33)  |  Rare (47)  |  Subject (235)  |  Teaching of Mathematics (31)

The importance of a result is largely relative, is judged differently by different men, and changes with the times and circumstances. It has often happened that great importance has been attached to a problem merely on account of the difficulties which it presented; and indeed if for its solution it has been necessary to invent new methods, noteworthy artifices, etc., the science has gained more perhaps through these than through the final result. In general we may call important all investigations relating to things which in themselves are important; all those which have a large degree of generality, or which unite under a single point of view subjects apparently distinct, simplifying and elucidating them; all those which lead to results that promise to be the source of numerous consequences; etc.
From 'On Some Recent Tendencies in Geometric Investigations', Rivista di Matematica (1891), 44. In Bulletin American Mathematical Society (1904), 444.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparent (39)  |  Artifice (4)  |  Change (363)  |  Circumstance (66)  |  Consequence (110)  |  Different (178)  |  Difficulty (144)  |  Distinct (46)  |  Elucidate (4)  |  Final (49)  |  Gain (67)  |  General (156)  |  Generality (34)  |  Importance (216)  |  Invent (50)  |  Investigation (175)  |  Judge (61)  |  Method (230)  |  Necessary (147)  |  New (483)  |  Noteworthy (2)  |  Numerous (29)  |  Point Of View (41)  |  Problem (490)  |  Relative (39)  |  Result (376)  |  Science (2043)  |  Simplify (11)  |  Single (119)  |  Solution (211)  |  Source (90)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (59)  |  Subject (235)  |  Unite (21)

The logic of the subject [algebra], which, both educationally and scientifically speaking, is the most important part of it, is wholly neglected. The whole training consists in example grinding. What should have been merely the help to attain the end has become the end itself. The result is that algebra, as we teach it, is neither an art nor a science, but an ill-digested farrago of rules, whose object is the solution of examination problems. … The result, so far as problems worked in examinations go, is, after all, very miserable, as the reiterated complaints of examiners show; the effect on the examinee is a well-known enervation of mind, an almost incurable superficiality, which might be called Problematic Paralysis—a disease which unfits a man to follow an argument extending beyond the length of a printed octavo page.
In Presidential Address British Association for the Advancement of Science (1885), Nature, 32, 447-448.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (92)  |  Argument (81)  |  Art (284)  |  Attain (42)  |  Both (81)  |  Complaint (10)  |  Digest (8)  |  Disease (275)  |  Education (333)  |  Effect (165)  |  End (195)  |  Enervation (2)  |  Examination (65)  |  Examiner (4)  |  Example (92)  |  Far (154)  |  Follow (123)  |  Grind (11)  |  Help (101)  |  Important (202)  |  Incurable (5)  |  Logic (247)  |  Mind (743)  |  Miserable (7)  |  Neglected (3)  |  Object (169)  |  Page (27)  |  Paralysis (8)  |  Part (220)  |  Problem (490)  |  Reiterate (2)  |  Result (376)  |  Rule (173)  |  Science (2043)  |  Science And Art (181)  |  Scientific (232)  |  Show (90)  |  Solution (211)  |  Subject (235)  |  Superficial (11)  |  Teach (179)  |  Teaching of Mathematics (31)  |  Training (64)  |  Unfit (11)  |  Work (626)

The mathematician requires tact and good taste at every step of his work, and he has to learn to trust to his own instinct to distinguish between what is really worthy of his efforts and what is not; he must take care not to be the slave of his symbols, but always to have before his mind the realities which they merely serve to express. For these and other reasons it seems to me of the highest importance that a mathematician should be trained in no narrow school; a wide course of reading in the first few years of his mathematical study cannot fail to influence for good the character of the whole of his subsequent work.
In Presidential Address British Association for the Advancement of Science, Section A, (1890), Nature, 42, 467.
Science quotes on:  |  Care (95)  |  Character (115)  |  Course (83)  |  Distinguish (61)  |  Effort (143)  |  Express (63)  |  Fail (58)  |  First (313)  |  Good (345)  |  High (152)  |  Importance (216)  |  Influence (137)  |  Instinct (65)  |  Learn (281)  |  Mathematician (364)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Mind (743)  |  Narrow (48)  |  Read (144)  |  Reality (188)  |  Really (78)  |  Reason (454)  |  Require (79)  |  School (117)  |  Seem (143)  |  Serve (57)  |  Slave (27)  |  Step (109)  |  Study (461)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (59)  |  Subsequent (19)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Tact (6)  |  Taste (48)  |  Train (45)  |  Trust (49)  |  Whole (189)  |  Wide (27)  |  Work (626)  |  Worthy (34)  |  Year (299)

The observer is not he who merely sees the thing which is before his eyes, but he who sees what parts the thing is composed of. To do this well is a rare talent. One person, from inattention, or attending only in the wrong place, overlooks half of what he sees; another sets down much more than he sees, confounding it with what he imagines, or with what he infers; another takes note of the kind of all the circumstances, but being inexpert in estimating their degree, leaves the quantity of each vague and uncertain; another sees indeed the whole, but makes such an awkward division of it into parts, throwing into one mass things which require to be separated, and separating others which might more conveniently be considered as one, that the result is much the same, sometimes even worse than if no analysis had been attempted at all.
In A System of Logic Ratiocinative and Inductive (1858), 216.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (159)  |  Attempt (121)  |  Attend (9)  |  Awkward (7)  |  Circumstance (66)  |  Composed (3)  |  Confound (14)  |  Consider (80)  |  Convenience (34)  |  Degree (81)  |  Division (33)  |  Estimate (28)  |  Eye (218)  |  Half (56)  |  Imagine (74)  |  Inattention (4)  |  Inexpert (2)  |  Infer (12)  |  Kind (138)  |  Mass (78)  |  Note (33)  |  Observation (445)  |  Observer (42)  |  Overlook (12)  |  Part (220)  |  Person (153)  |  Place (174)  |  Quantity (64)  |  Rare (47)  |  Require (79)  |  Result (376)  |  See (369)  |  Separate (69)  |  Set Down (2)  |  Talent (61)  |  Uncertain (14)  |  Vague (25)  |  Whole (189)  |  Worse (23)  |  Wrong (138)

The origin of a science is usually to be sought for not in any systematic treatise, but in the investigation and solution of some particular problem. This is especially the case in the ordinary history of the great improvements in any department of mathematical science. Some problem, mathematical or physical, is proposed, which is found to be insoluble by known methods. This condition of insolubility may arise from one of two causes: Either there exists no machinery powerful enough to effect the required reduction, or the workmen are not sufficiently expert to employ their tools in the performance of an entirely new piece of work. The problem proposed is, however, finally solved, and in its solution some new principle, or new application of old principles, is necessarily introduced. If a principle is brought to light it is soon found that in its application it is not necessarily limited to the particular question which occasioned its discovery, and it is then stated in an abstract form and applied to problems of gradually increasing generality.
Other principles, similar in their nature, are added, and the original principle itself receives such modifications and extensions as are from time to time deemed necessary. The same is true of new applications of old principles; the application is first thought to be merely confined to a particular problem, but it is soon recognized that this problem is but one, and generally a very simple one, out of a large class, to which the same process of investigation and solution are applicable. The result in both of these cases is the same. A time comes when these several problems, solutions, and principles are grouped together and found to produce an entirely new and consistent method; a nomenclature and uniform system of notation is adopted, and the principles of the new method become entitled to rank as a distinct science.
In A Treatise on Projections (1880), Introduction, xi. Published as United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, Treasury Department Document, No. 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (79)  |  Add (40)  |  Adopt (18)  |  Applicable (11)  |  Application (166)  |  Apply (76)  |  Arise (49)  |  Become (172)  |  Both (81)  |  Bring (90)  |  Case (98)  |  Cause (283)  |  Class (83)  |  Condition (160)  |  Confine (24)  |  Consistent (17)  |  Deem (6)  |  Department (47)  |  Discovery (676)  |  Distinct (46)  |  Effect (165)  |  Employ (35)  |  Entirely (33)  |  Entitle (3)  |  Especially (30)  |  Exist (147)  |  Expert (50)  |  Extension (30)  |  Finally (26)  |  Find (405)  |  First (313)  |  Form (308)  |  Generality (34)  |  Generally (15)  |  Gradually (21)  |  Great (524)  |  Group (72)  |  History (368)  |  Improvement (73)  |  Increase (145)  |  Insoluble (15)  |  Introduce (41)  |  Investigation (175)  |  Know (547)  |  Large (130)  |  Light (345)  |  Limit (123)  |  Machinery (32)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Method (230)  |  Modification (35)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Necessarily (30)  |  Necessary (147)  |  New (483)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Notation (19)  |  Occasion (23)  |  Old (147)  |  Ordinary (71)  |  Origin (86)  |  Original (57)  |  Particular (75)  |  Performance (33)  |  Physical (129)  |  Piece (38)  |  Powerful (66)  |  Principle (285)  |  Problem (490)  |  Process (261)  |  Produce (100)  |  Propose (23)  |  Question (404)  |  Rank (32)  |  Receive (59)  |  Recognize (66)  |  Reduction (41)  |  Require (79)  |  Result (376)  |  Same (155)  |  Science (2043)  |  Seek (104)  |  Several (31)  |  Similar (35)  |  Simple (172)  |  Solution (211)  |  Solve (76)  |  Soon (34)  |  State (136)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (59)  |  Sufficiently (9)  |  System (191)  |  Systematic (32)  |  Thought (536)  |  Time (594)  |  Together (77)  |  Tool (87)  |  Treatise (32)  |  True (201)  |  Uniform (17)  |  Usually (31)  |  Work (626)  |  Workman (13)

The point of mathematics is that in it we have always got rid of the particular instance, and even of any particular sorts of entities. So that for example, no mathematical truths apply merely to fish, or merely to stones, or merely to colours. … Mathematics is thought moving in the sphere of complete abstraction from any particular instance of what it is talking about.
In 'Mathematics', Science and the Modern World (1926, 2011), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (38)  |  Apply (76)  |  Color (99)  |  Complete (84)  |  Entity (31)  |  Fish (95)  |  Instance (32)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Move (94)  |  Particular (75)  |  Point (122)  |  Rid (13)  |  Sort (49)  |  Sphere (58)  |  Stone (76)  |  Thought (536)  |  Truth (914)

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one … I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two thirds of the people of the Earth would be killed.
In interview with Raymond Swing, 'Einstein on the Atomic Bomb' Atlantic Monthly, (Nov 1945), 176, No. 5, 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (107)  |  Atomic Energy (21)  |  Belief (503)  |  Civilization (174)  |  Create (150)  |  Earth (635)  |  Exist (147)  |  Fight (44)  |  Kill (52)  |  Necessity (142)  |  New (483)  |  People (388)  |  Problem (490)  |  Release (21)  |  Solve (76)  |  Urgent (9)  |  War (161)

The theory of evolution has often been perverted so as to indicate that what is merely animal and brutal must gain the ascendancy. The contrary seems to me to be the case, for in man it is the spirit, and not the body, which is the deciding factor.
In Proceedings of Linnean Society of London (1913), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (356)  |  Ascendancy (2)  |  Body (243)  |  Brutal (2)  |  Contrary (34)  |  Decide (40)  |  Evolution (533)  |  Factor (45)  |  Gain (67)  |  Indicate (18)  |  Pervert (2)  |  Spirit (152)  |  Theory (690)

The truly awesome intellectuals in our history have not merely made discoveries; they have woven variegated, but firm, tapestries of comprehensive coverage. The tapestries have various fates: Most burn or unravel in the foot steps of time and the fires of later discovery. But their glory lies in their integrity as unified structures of great complexity and broad implication.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Awesome (11)  |  Broad (27)  |  Burn (41)  |  Complexity (90)  |  Comprehensive (16)  |  Discovery (676)  |  Fate (46)  |  Fire (132)  |  Firm (24)  |  Foot (60)  |  Glory (57)  |  Great (524)  |  History (368)  |  Implication (22)  |  Integrity (13)  |  Intellectual (120)  |  Late (52)  |  Lie (115)  |  Step (109)  |  Structure (221)  |  Tapestry (5)  |  Time (594)  |  Truly (33)  |  Unified (9)  |  Unravel (5)  |  Various (46)  |  Weave (11)

The Truly Healthy environment is not merely safe but stimulating.
Environmental Science and Technology (Feb 1968).
Science quotes on:  |  Environment (180)  |  Health (153)  |  Safety (43)  |  Stimulation (14)

The wonderful structure of the animal system will probably never permit us to look upon it as a merely physical apparatus, yet the demands of science require that the evidently magnified principles of vitality should be reduced to their natural spheres, or if truth requires, wholly subverted in favor of those more cognizable by the human understanding. The spirit of the age will not tolerate in the devotee of science a quiet indifference. ...
In 'An Inquiry, Analogical and Experimental, into the Different Electrical conditions of Arterial and Venous Blood', New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal (1853-4), 10, 584-602 & 738-757. As cited in George B. Roth, 'Dr. John Gorrie—Inventor of Artificial Ice and Mechanical Refrigeration', The Scientific Monthly (May 1936) 42 No. 5, 464-469.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (356)  |  Apparatus (37)  |  Human (548)  |  Indifference (13)  |  Physical (129)  |  Spirit (152)  |  Structure (221)  |  System (191)  |  Truth (914)  |  Understanding (325)  |  Vitality (15)  |  Wonderful (59)

The woof and warp of all thought and all research is symbols, and the life of thought and science is the life inherent in symbols; so that it is wrong to say that a good language is important to good thought, merely; for it is the essence of it.
From 'The Ethics of Terminology', in Collected Papers (1931), Vol. 1, 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Essence (54)  |  Good (345)  |  Important (202)  |  Inherent (30)  |  Language (217)  |  Life (1124)  |  Research (589)  |  Science (2043)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Thought (536)  |  Warp (5)  |  Woof (2)  |  Wrong (138)

Thinking about the universe has now been handed over to specialists. The rest of us merely read about it.
City Aphorisms, Seventh Selection (1990).
Science quotes on:  |  Hand (141)  |  Read (144)  |  Rest (92)  |  Specialist (25)  |  Think (341)  |  Universe (683)

Thinking is merely the comparing of ideas, discerning relations of likeness and of difference between ideas, and drawing inferences. It is seizing general truths on the basis of clearly apprehended particulars. It is but generalizing and particularizing. Who will deny that a child can deal profitably with sequences of ideas like: How many marbles are 2 marbles and 3 marbles? 2 pencils and 3 pencils? 2 balls and 3 balls? 2 children and 3 children? 2 inches and 3 inches? 2 feet and 3 feet? 2 and 3? Who has not seen the countenance of some little learner light up at the end of such a series of questions with the exclamation, “Why it’s always that way. Isn’t it?” This is the glow of pleasure that the generalizing step always affords him who takes the step himself. This is the genuine life-giving joy which comes from feeling that one can successfully take this step. The reality of such a discovery is as great, and the lasting effect upon the mind of him that makes it is as sure as was that by which the great Newton hit upon the generalization of the law of gravitation. It is through these thrills of discovery that love to learn and intellectual pleasure are begotten and fostered. Good arithmetic teaching abounds in such opportunities.
In Arithmetic in Public Education (1909), 13. As quoted and cited in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-book (1914), 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Abound (5)  |  Afford (16)  |  Apprehend (5)  |  Arithmetic (115)  |  Ball (31)  |  Basis (89)  |  Child (245)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Compare (37)  |  Countenance (3)  |  Deal (49)  |  Deny (41)  |  Difference (246)  |  Discern (14)  |  Discovery (676)  |  Effect (165)  |  Exclamation (3)  |  Feel (165)  |  Foster (4)  |  General (156)  |  Generalization (41)  |  Generalize (14)  |  Genuine (26)  |  Glow (14)  |  Great (524)  |  Hit (20)  |  Idea (577)  |  Inference (31)  |  Intellectual (120)  |  Joy (88)  |  Law Of Gravitation (19)  |  Learn (281)  |  Learner (10)  |  Life-Giving (2)  |  Light (345)  |  Likeness (9)  |  Love (221)  |  Marble (14)  |  Mind (743)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (327)  |  Opportunity (63)  |  Particular (75)  |  Pencil (17)  |  Pleasure (130)  |  Question (404)  |  Reality (188)  |  Relation (149)  |  Sequence (41)  |  Step (109)  |  Successful (39)  |  Teach (179)  |  Think (341)  |  Thrill (19)  |  Truth (914)  |  Value Of Mathematics (55)

Though we must not without further consideration condemn a body of reasoning merely because it is easy, nevertheless we must not allow ourselves to be lured on merely by easiness; and we should take care that every problem which we choose for attack, whether it be easy or difficult, shall have a useful purpose, that it shall contribute in some measure to the up-building of the great edifice.
From 'On Some Recent Tendencies in Geometric Investigation', Rivista di Matematica (1891), 63. In Bulletin American Mathematical Society (1904), 465.
Science quotes on:  |  Attack (41)  |  Body (243)  |  Build (117)  |  Choose (59)  |  Condemn (13)  |  Consideration (85)  |  Contribute (26)  |  Difficult (116)  |  Easy (98)  |  Edifice (15)  |  Great (524)  |  Lure (7)  |  Problem (490)  |  Purpose (193)  |  Reasoning (95)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (59)  |  Useful (98)

To be in a world which is a hell, to be of that world and neither to believe in or guess at anything but that world is not merely hell but the only possible damnation: the act of a man damning himself. It may be—I hope it is—redemption to guess and perhaps perceive that the universe, the hell which we see for all its beauty, vastness, majesty, is only part of a whole which is quite unimaginable.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Act (115)  |  Beauty (239)  |  Belief (503)  |  Damn (12)  |  Damnation (4)  |  Guess (48)  |  Hell (32)  |  Hope (174)  |  Majesty (13)  |  Part (220)  |  Perceive (40)  |  Possible (155)  |  Redemption (3)  |  See (369)  |  Unimaginable (6)  |  Universe (683)  |  Vastness (11)  |  Whole (189)  |  World (892)

To emphasize this opinion that mathematicians would be unwise to accept practical issues as the sole guide or the chief guide in the current of their investigations, ... let me take one more instance, by choosing a subject in which the purely mathematical interest is deemed supreme, the theory of functions of a complex variable. That at least is a theory in pure mathematics, initiated in that region, and developed in that region; it is built up in scores of papers, and its plan certainly has not been, and is not now, dominated or guided by considerations of applicability to natural phenomena. Yet what has turned out to be its relation to practical issues? The investigations of Lagrange and others upon the construction of maps appear as a portion of the general property of conformal representation; which is merely the general geometrical method of regarding functional relations in that theory. Again, the interesting and important investigations upon discontinuous two-dimensional fluid motion in hydrodynamics, made in the last twenty years, can all be, and now are all, I believe, deduced from similar considerations by interpreting functional relations between complex variables. In the dynamics of a rotating heavy body, the only substantial extension of our knowledge since the time of Lagrange has accrued from associating the general properties of functions with the discussion of the equations of motion. Further, under the title of conjugate functions, the theory has been applied to various questions in electrostatics, particularly in connection with condensers and electrometers. And, lastly, in the domain of physical astronomy, some of the most conspicuous advances made in the last few years have been achieved by introducing into the discussion the ideas, the principles, the methods, and the results of the theory of functions. … the refined and extremely difficult work of Poincare and others in physical astronomy has been possible only by the use of the most elaborate developments of some purely mathematical subjects, developments which were made without a thought of such applications.
In Presidential Address British Association for the Advancement of Science, Section A, (1897), Nature, 56, 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (65)  |  Accrue (3)  |  Achieve (63)  |  Advance (162)  |  Appear (115)  |  Applicability (6)  |  Application (166)  |  Apply (76)  |  Associate (14)  |  Astronomy (203)  |  Belief (503)  |  Body (243)  |  Build (117)  |  Certainly (31)  |  Chief (37)  |  Choose (59)  |  Complex (94)  |  Condenser (4)  |  Connection (107)  |  Consideration (85)  |  Conspicuous (7)  |  Construction (83)  |  Current (54)  |  Deduce (22)  |  Deem (6)  |  Develop (103)  |  Development (276)  |  Difficult (116)  |  Discontinuous (5)  |  Discussion (47)  |  Domain (40)  |  Dominate (19)  |  Dynamics (9)  |  Elaborate (20)  |  Electrostatic (5)  |  Emphasize (12)  |  Equation (93)  |  Extension (30)  |  Extremely (15)  |  Far (154)  |  Fluid Motion (2)  |  Function (128)  |  Functional (10)  |  General (156)  |  Geometrical (10)  |  Guide (62)  |  Heavy (22)  |  Hydrodynamics (4)  |  Idea (577)  |  Important (202)  |  Initiate (6)  |  Instance (32)  |  Interest (235)  |  Interpret (18)  |  Introduce (41)  |  Investigation (175)  |  Issue (42)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (24)  |  Least (74)  |  Let (61)  |  Map (30)  |  Mathematician (364)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Method (230)  |  Motion (158)  |  Natural (167)  |  Opinion (176)  |  Paper (82)  |  Particularly (21)  |  Phenomenon (276)  |  Physical (129)  |  Plan (87)  |  Henri Poincaré (93)  |  Portion (24)  |  Possible (155)  |  Practical (129)  |  Principle (285)  |  Property (123)  |  Pure Mathematics (63)  |  Purely (28)  |  Question (404)  |  Refine (4)  |  Regard (93)  |  Region (35)  |  Relation (149)  |  Representation (35)  |  Result (376)  |  Rotate (6)  |  Score (7)  |  Similar (35)  |  Sole (20)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (59)  |  Subject (235)  |  Substantial (14)  |  Supreme (37)  |  Theory (690)  |  Thought (536)  |  Time (594)  |  Title (18)  |  Turned Out (4)  |  Unwise (4)  |  Variable (16)  |  Various (46)  |  Work (626)  |  Year (299)

To really know is science; to merely believe you know is ignorance.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (503)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Know (547)  |  Really (78)  |  Science (2043)

Very few people, including authors willing to commit to paper, ever really read primary sources–certainly not in necessary depth and contemplation, and often not at all ... When writers close themselves off to the documents of scholarship, and then rely only on seeing or asking, they become conduits and sieves rather than thinkers. When, on the other hand, you study the great works of predecessors engaged in the same struggle, you enter a dialogue with human history and the rich variety of our own intellectual traditions. You insert yourself, and your own organizing powers, into this history–and you become an active agent, not merely a ‘reporter.’
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Active (25)  |  Agent (32)  |  Ask (157)  |  Author (61)  |  Become (172)  |  Certainly (31)  |  Close (66)  |  Commit (21)  |  Conduit (2)  |  Contemplation (51)  |  Depth (50)  |  Dialogue (8)  |  Document (7)  |  Engage (25)  |  Enter (30)  |  Great (524)  |  History (368)  |  Human (548)  |  Include (40)  |  Insert (3)  |  Intellectual (120)  |  Necessary (147)  |  Often (106)  |  On The Other Hand (32)  |  Organize (20)  |  Paper (82)  |  People (388)  |  Power (358)  |  Predecessor (21)  |  Primary (39)  |  Read (144)  |  Really (78)  |  Rely (11)  |  Reporter (4)  |  Rich (61)  |  Same (155)  |  Scholarship (14)  |  See (369)  |  Sieve (3)  |  Source (90)  |  Struggle (77)  |  Study (461)  |  Themselves (44)  |  Thinker (18)  |  Tradition (49)  |  Variety (69)  |  Work (626)  |  Writer (45)

We all know, from what we experience with and within ourselves, that our conscious acts spring from our desires and our fears. Intuition tells us that that is true also of our fellows and of the higher animals. We all try to escape pain and death, while we seek what is pleasant. We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organized that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race. Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual’s instinct for self preservation. At the same time, as social beings, we are moved in the relations with our fellow beings by such feelings as sympathy, pride, hate, need for power, pity, and so on. All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man’s actions. All such action would cease if those powerful elemental forces were to cease stirring within us. Though our conduct seems so very different from that of the higher animals, the primary instincts are much alike in them and in us. The most evident difference springs from the important part which is played in man by a relatively strong power of imagination and by the capacity to think, aided as it is by language and other symbolical devices. Thought is the organizing factor in man, intersected between the causal primary instincts and the resulting actions. In that way imagination and intelligence enter into our existence in the part of servants of the primary instincts. But their intervention makes our acts to serve ever less merely the immediate claims of our instincts.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Act (115)  |  Action (184)  |  Aid (41)  |  Alike (22)  |  Animal (356)  |  Capacity (62)  |  Causal (7)  |  Cease (37)  |  Claim (70)  |  Conduct (31)  |  Conscious (43)  |  Death (302)  |  Describe (56)  |  Desire (140)  |  Device (28)  |  Difference (246)  |  Different (178)  |  Easily (35)  |  Elemental (3)  |  Enter (30)  |  Escape (46)  |  Evident (26)  |  Existence (296)  |  Experience (338)  |  Factor (45)  |  Fear (141)  |  Feelings (14)  |  Fellow (37)  |  Force (249)  |  General (156)  |  Hate (38)  |  High (152)  |  Hunger (14)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Immediate (43)  |  Important (202)  |  Impulse (33)  |  Individual (215)  |  Inner (39)  |  Instinct (65)  |  Intelligence (165)  |  Intersect (4)  |  Intervention (12)  |  Intuition (57)  |  Know (547)  |  Language (217)  |  Less (102)  |  Love (221)  |  Move (94)  |  Need (283)  |  Organize (20)  |  Ourselves (51)  |  Pain (100)  |  Part (220)  |  Pity (13)  |  Play (110)  |  Pleasant (20)  |  Power (358)  |  Powerful (66)  |  Preservation (33)  |  Pride (64)  |  Primary (39)  |  Race (103)  |  Relation (149)  |  Relatively (6)  |  Result (376)  |  Rule (173)  |  Same (155)  |  Seek (104)  |  Seem (143)  |  Self (47)  |  Servant (17)  |  Serve (57)  |  Social (108)  |  Spring (70)  |  Stir (14)  |  Strong (72)  |  Symbolic (15)  |  Sympathy (23)  |  Tell (110)  |  Think (341)  |  Thought (536)  |  Time (594)  |  True (201)  |  Try (141)  |  Word (299)

We believe in the possibility of a theory which is able to give a complete description of reality, the laws of which establish relations between the things themselves and not merely between their probabilities ... God does not play dice.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (503)  |  Complete (84)  |  Description (84)  |  Dice (18)  |  Establish (55)  |  Give (200)  |  God (535)  |  Law (513)  |  Play (110)  |  Possibility (116)  |  Probability (106)  |  Reality (188)  |  Relation (149)  |  Themselves (44)  |  Theory (690)

We shall not have a complete theory until we can do more than merely say that “Things are as they are because they were as they were.”
From Inaugural Lecture (29 Apr 1980) as Lucasian Professor at Cambridge University, 'Is the End in Sight for Theoretical Physics?', collected in Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays (1993), 51.
Science quotes on:  |  Complete (84)  |  Say (228)  |  Theory (690)

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 (157)  |  Creature (154)  |  Fellow (37)  |  Human Life (29)  |  Imply (15)  |  Life (1124)  |  Mean (101)  |  Meaningless (17)  |  Organic Life (2)  |  Question (404)  |  Regard (93)  |  Religion (239)  |  Sense (315)  |  Unfortunate (14)

When Cayley had reached his most advanced generalizations he proceeded to establish them directly by some method or other, though he seldom gave the clue by which they had first been obtained: a proceeding which does not tend to make his papers easy reading. …
His literary style is direct, simple and clear. His legal training had an influence, not merely upon his mode of arrangement but also upon his expression; the result is that his papers are severe and present a curious contrast to the luxuriant enthusiasm which pervades so many of Sylvester’s papers. He used to prepare his work for publication as soon as he carried his investigations in any subject far enough for his immediate purpose. … A paper once written out was promptly sent for publication; this practice he maintained throughout life. … The consequence is that he has left few arrears of unfinished or unpublished papers; his work has been given by himself to the world.
In Proceedings of London Royal Society (1895), 58, 23-24.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (162)  |  Arrangement (58)  |  Arrears (2)  |  Carry (59)  |  Arthur Cayley (17)  |  Clear (97)  |  Clue (16)  |  Consequence (110)  |  Contrast (28)  |  Curious (41)  |  Direct (82)  |  Directly (21)  |  Easy (98)  |  Enthusiasm (41)  |  Establish (55)  |  Expression (104)  |  Far (154)  |  First (313)  |  Generalization (41)  |  Give (200)  |  Immediate (43)  |  Influence (137)  |  Investigation (175)  |  Leave (127)  |  Legal (8)  |  Life (1124)  |  Literary (12)  |  Maintain (32)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (123)  |  Method (230)  |  Mode (40)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Paper (82)  |  Pervade (9)  |  Practice (92)  |  Prepare (34)  |  Present (174)  |  Proceed (41)  |  Prompt (6)  |  Publication (90)  |  Purpose (193)  |  Reach (119)  |  Read (144)  |  Result (376)  |  Seldom (28)  |  Send (22)  |  Severe (16)  |  Simple (172)  |  Soon (34)  |  Style (22)  |  Subject (235)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (48)  |  Tend (36)  |  Training (64)  |  Unfinished (4)  |  Unpublished (2)  |  Work (626)  |  World (892)  |  Write (153)

While the method of the natural sciences is... analytic, the method of the social sciences is better described as compositive or synthetic. It is the so-called wholes, the groups of elements which are structurally connected, which we learn to single out from the totality of observed phenomena... Insofar as we analyze individual thought in the social sciences the purpose is not to explain that thought, but merely to distinguish the possible types of elements with which we shall have to reckon in the construction of different patterns of social relationships. It is a mistake... to believe that their aim is to explain conscious action ... The problems which they try to answer arise only insofar as the conscious action of many men produce undesigned results... If social phenomena showed no order except insofar as they were consciously designed, there would indeed be no room for theoretical sciences of society and there would be, as is often argued, only problems of psychology. It is only insofar as some sort of order arises as a result of individual action but without being designed by any individual that a problem is raised which demands a theoretical explanation... people dominated by the scientistic prejudice are often inclined to deny the existence of any such order... it can be shown briefly and without any technical apparatus how the independent actions of individuals will produce an order which is no part of their intentions... The way in which footpaths are formed in a wild broken country is such an instance. At first everyone will seek for himself what seems to him the best path. But the fact that such a path has been used once is likely to make it easier to traverse and therefore more likely to be used again; and thus gradually more and more clearly defined tracks arise and come to be used to the exclusion of other possible ways. Human movements through the region come to conform to a definite pattern which, although the result of deliberate decision of many people, has yet not be consciously designed by anyone.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (184)  |  Aim (88)  |  Analytic (10)  |  Analyze (10)  |  Answer (249)  |  Anyone (35)  |  Apparatus (37)  |  Argue (23)  |  Arise (49)  |  Belief (503)  |  Best (172)  |  Better (190)  |  Break (54)  |  Briefly (5)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Conform (11)  |  Connect (30)  |  Conscious (43)  |  Consciously (6)  |  Construction (83)  |  Country (144)  |  Decision (72)  |  Define (49)  |  Definite (42)  |  Deliberate (12)  |  Demand (74)  |  Deny (41)  |  Describe (56)  |  Design (113)  |  Different (178)  |  Distinguish (61)  |  Dominate (19)  |  Easy (98)  |  Element (162)  |  Everyone (34)  |  Exclusion (13)  |  Existence (296)  |  Explain (105)  |  Explanation (177)  |  Fact (725)  |  First (313)  |  Form (308)  |  Gradually (21)  |  Group (72)  |  Human (548)  |  Inclined (12)  |  Independent (65)  |  Individual (215)  |  Instance (32)  |  Intention (28)  |  Learn (281)  |  Likely (33)  |  Method (230)  |  Mistake (131)  |  Movement (82)  |  Natural Science (89)  |  Observe (75)  |  Often (106)  |  Order (239)  |  Part (220)  |  Path (84)  |  Pattern (79)  |  People (388)  |  Phenomenon (276)  |  Possible (155)  |  Prejudice (66)  |  Problem (490)  |  Produce (100)  |  Psychology (143)  |  Purpose (193)  |  Raise (34)  |  Reckon (14)  |  Region (35)  |  Relationship (71)  |  Result (376)  |  Room (38)  |  Seek (104)  |  Seem (143)  |  Show (90)  |  Single (119)  |  So-Called (21)  |  Social (108)  |  Social Science (31)  |  Society (227)  |  Sort (49)  |  Structurally (2)  |  Synthetic (16)  |  Technical (40)  |  Theoretical (21)  |  Theoretical Science (4)  |  Thought (536)  |  Totality (10)  |  Track (14)  |  Traverse (5)  |  Try (141)  |  Type (51)  |  Whole (189)  |  Wild (48)

You cannot become a nuclear physicist capable of real work in the field merely by studying alone in a library, any more than you can become a Jesuit without a certain number of years spent in company with Jesuit scholars. This, and the fact that scientists are among the most international-minded of men, may well be the most important factor in our survival.
As quoted in Michael Amrine, 'I’m A Frightened Man', Collier’s (1946), 117, 51.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (101)  |  Become (172)  |  Capable (49)  |  Company (30)  |  Fact (725)  |  Factor (45)  |  Field (170)  |  Important (202)  |  International (23)  |  Jesuit (2)  |  Library (40)  |  Mind (743)  |  Nuclear Physicist (3)  |  Real (148)  |  Scholar (37)  |  Scientist (519)  |  Study (461)  |  Survival (60)  |  Work (626)

[After science lost] its mystical inspiration … man’s destiny was no longer determined from “above” by a super-human wisdom and will, but from “below” by the sub-human agencies of glands, genes, atoms, or waves of probability. … A puppet of the Gods is a tragic figure, a puppet suspended on his chromosomes is merely grotesque.
In 'Epilogue', The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe (1959), 539.
Science quotes on:  |  Above (5)  |  Below (23)  |  Chromosome (19)  |  Figure (68)  |  Gene (72)  |  Gland (8)  |  God (535)  |  Grotesque (6)  |  Inspiration (59)  |  Mystic (12)  |  Probability (106)  |  Puppet (3)  |  Science And Religion (302)  |  Suspended (5)  |  Tragic (10)  |  Wave (67)  |  Will (31)  |  Wisdom (180)

[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 (178)  |  Discovery (676)  |  Element (162)  |  Guarantee (21)  |  Homogeneity (5)  |  Isotope (4)  |  Mean (101)  |  Mixture (26)  |  Number (276)  |  Periodic Table (14)  |  Process (261)  |  Radioactive (8)  |  Several (31)  |  Supposed (5)

… just as the astronomer, the physicist, the geologist, or other student of objective science looks about in the world of sense, so, not metaphorically speaking but literally, the mind of the mathematician goes forth in the universe of logic in quest of the things that are there; exploring the heights and depths for facts—ideas, classes, relationships, implications, and the rest; observing the minute and elusive with the powerful microscope of his Infinitesimal Analysis; observing the elusive and vast with the limitless telescope of his Calculus of the Infinite; making guesses regarding the order and internal harmony of the data observed and collocated; testing the hypotheses, not merely by the complete induction peculiar to mathematics, but, like his colleagues of the outer world, resorting also to experimental tests and incomplete induction; frequently finding it necessary, in view of unforeseen disclosures, to abandon one hopeful hypothesis or to transform it by retrenchment or by enlargement:—thus, in his own domain, matching, point for point, the processes, methods and experience familiar to the devotee of natural science.
In Lectures on Science, Philosophy and Art (1908), 26
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (48)  |  Analysis (159)  |  Astronomer (68)  |  Calculus (48)  |  Class (83)  |  Colleague (23)  |  Complete (84)  |  Data (120)  |  Depth (50)  |  Devotee (5)  |  Disclosure (5)  |  Domain (40)  |  Elusive (8)  |  Enlargement (7)  |  Experience (338)  |  Experimental (20)  |  Exploration (122)  |  Fact (725)  |  Familiar (42)  |  Find (405)  |  Forth (13)  |  Frequently (21)  |  Geologist (47)  |  Guess (48)  |  Harmony (70)  |  Height (32)  |  Hopeful (2)  |  Hypothesis (249)  |  Idea (577)  |  Implication (22)  |  Incomplete (15)  |  Induction (59)  |  Infinite (128)  |  Infinitesimal (15)  |  Internal (23)  |  Limitless (8)  |  Literally (8)  |  Located (2)  |  Logic (247)  |  Match (16)  |  Mathematician (364)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Metaphor (25)  |  Method (230)  |  Microscope (74)  |  Mind (743)  |  Minute (43)  |  Natural Science (89)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (77)  |  Necessary (147)  |  Objective (63)  |  Observe (75)  |  Order (239)  |  Outer (13)  |  Peculiar (43)  |  Physicist (160)  |  Point (122)  |  Powerful (66)  |  Process (261)  |  Quest (32)  |  Regard (93)  |  Relationship (71)  |  Resort (8)  |  Rest (92)  |  Science (2043)  |  Sense (315)  |  Speak (90)  |  Student (201)  |  Telescope (82)  |  Test (124)  |  Transform (35)  |  Unforeseen (6)  |  Universe (683)  |  Vast (88)  |  View (171)  |  World (892)


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.