Celebrating 20 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The Columbia is lost; there are no survivors.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index M > Category: Mischievous

Mischievous Quotes (11 quotes)

And it has been sarcastically said, that there is a wide difference between a good physician and a bad one, but a small difference between a good physician and no physician at all; by which it is meant to insinuate, that the mischievous officiousness of art does commonly more than counterbalance any benefit derivable from it.
Elements of Medical Logic (1819), 8-9.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Art (657)  |  Bad (180)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Counterbalance (4)  |  Difference (337)  |  Doctor (187)  |  Good (889)  |  Medicine (378)  |  More (2559)  |  Physician (273)  |  Small (479)  |  Wide (96)

I hardly know of a great physical truth whose universal reception has not been preceded by an epoch in which the most estimable persons have maintained that the phenomena investigated were directly dependent on the Divine Will, and that the attempt to investigate them was not only futile but blasphemous. And there is a wonderful tenacity of life about this sort of opposition to physical science. Crushed and maimed in every battle, it yet seems never to be slain; and after a hundred defeats it is at this day as rampant, though happily not so mischievous, as in the time of Galileo.
In Address (10 Feb 1860) to weekly evening meeting, 'On Species and Races, and their Origin', Notices of the Proceedings at the Meetings of the Members of the Royal Institution: Vol. III: 1858-1862 (1862), 199.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (251)  |  Battle (34)  |  Crush (18)  |  Defeat (29)  |  Divine (112)  |  Epoch (45)  |  Futile (11)  |  Galileo Galilei (125)  |  Great (1575)  |  Hundred (228)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Know (1519)  |  Life (1799)  |  Maim (3)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Most (1729)  |  Never (1087)  |  Opposition (48)  |  Person (363)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Science (101)  |  Rampant (2)  |  Reception (15)  |  Science (3880)  |  Tenacity (10)  |  Time (1877)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Universal (189)  |  Will (2354)  |  Wonderful (149)

In New England they once thought blackbirds useless, and mischievous to the corn. They made efforts to destroy them. The consequence was, the blackbirds were diminished; but a kind of worm, which devoured their grass, and which the blackbirds used to feed on, increased prodigiously; then, finding their loss in grass much greater than their saving in corn, they wished again for their blackbirds.
Letter to Richard Jackson, 5 May 1753. In Albert Henry Smyth, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1905), Vol. 3, 135.
Science quotes on:  |  Consequence (207)  |  Corn (19)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Devour (29)  |  Ecology (74)  |  Effort (227)  |  Grass (46)  |  Greater (288)  |  Kind (557)  |  Loss (110)  |  New (1217)  |  Thought (954)  |  Wish (212)  |  Worm (42)

It surely can be no offence to state, that the progress of science has led to new views, and that the consequences that can be deduced from the knowledge of a hundred facts may be very different from those deducible from five. It is also possible that the facts first known may be the exceptions to a rule and not the rule itself, and generalisations from these first-known facts, though useful at the time, may be highly mischievous, and impede the progress of the science if retained when it has made some advance.
Sections and Views Illustrative of Geological Phenomena (1830), viii.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Consequence (207)  |  Different (577)  |  Exception (73)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Facts (553)  |  First (1284)  |  Hundred (228)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Known (454)  |  New (1217)  |  Possible (554)  |  Progress (468)  |  Progress Of Science (34)  |  Retain (56)  |  Rule (295)  |  Science (3880)  |  State (491)  |  Surely (101)  |  Theory (972)  |  Time (1877)  |  Useful (250)  |  View (488)

Learning is like mercury, one of the most powerful and excellent things in the world in skillful hands; in unskillful, the most mischievous.
'Thoughts On Various Subjects', The Works of Alexander Pope (1806), Vol. 6, 406.
Science quotes on:  |  Learning (274)  |  Mercury (49)  |  Most (1729)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Skillful (14)  |  Thing (1915)  |  World (1778)

Science aims at constructing a world which shall be symbolic of the world of commonplace experience. It is not at all necessary that every individual symbol that is used should represent something in common experience or even something explicable in terms of common experience. The man in the street is always making this demand for concrete explanation of the things referred to in science; but of necessity he must be disappointed. It is like our experience in learning to read. That which is written in a book is symbolic of a story in real life. The whole intention of the book is that ultimately a reader will identify some symbol, say BREAD, with one of the conceptions of familiar life. But it is mischievous to attempt such identifications prematurely, before the letters are strung into words and the words into sentences. The symbol A is not the counterpart of anything in familiar life.
From 'Introduction', The Nature of the Physical World (1928), xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (165)  |  All (4107)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Book (394)  |  Bread (39)  |  Common (436)  |  Commonplace (23)  |  Conception (154)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Counterpart (9)  |  Demand (123)  |  Disappoint (14)  |  Experience (470)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Identification (16)  |  Individual (404)  |  Intention (46)  |  Learning (274)  |  Letter (109)  |  Life (1799)  |  Making (300)  |  Man (2249)  |  Must (1526)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Read (288)  |  Represent (154)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3880)  |  Something (719)  |  Story (118)  |  Symbol (94)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Ultimately (55)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2354)  |  Word (622)  |  World (1778)

Such startling announcements as these should be deprecated as being unworthy of science and mischievous to its true progress.
(1880), commenting on the manner in which Edison announced a successful light bulb. In Charles William Siemens and ‎Edward Fisher Bamber (ed.), The Scientific Works of C. William Siemens: A Collection of Addresses, lectures, etc. (1889), Vol. 3, 221.
Science quotes on:  |  Announcement (15)  |  Being (1278)  |  Deprecate (2)  |  Progress (468)  |  Science (3880)  |  Startle (4)  |  Startling (15)  |  True (214)  |  Unworthy (18)

The Christians who engaged in infamous persecutions and shameful inquisitions were not evil men but misguided men. The churchmen who felt they had an edict from God to withstand the progress of science, whether in the form of a Copernican revolution or a Darwinian theory of natural selection, were not mischievous men but misinformed men. And so Christ’s words from the cross are written in sharp-edged terms across some of the most inexpressible tragedies of history: 'They know not what they do'.
'Love in Action', Strength To Love (1963, 1981), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Christ (17)  |  Christian (44)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (49)  |  Charles Darwin (304)  |  Do (1908)  |  Evil (116)  |  Form (960)  |  God (758)  |  History (675)  |  Inquisition (8)  |  Know (1519)  |  Most (1729)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Persecution (13)  |  Progress (468)  |  Progress Of Science (34)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Science (3880)  |  Science And Religion (310)  |  Selection (128)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Theory (972)  |  Word (622)

THE OATH. I swear by Apollo [the healing God], the physician and Aesclepius [son of Apollo], and Health [Hygeia], and All-heal [Panacea], and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath and this stipulation—to reckon him who taught me this Art equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substance with him, and relieve his necessities if required; to look upon his offspring in the same footing as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation; and that by precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the Art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath according to the law of medicine, but to none others. I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion. With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my Art. I will not cut persons laboring under the stone, but will leave this to be done by men who are practitioners of this work. Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and, further, from the seduction of females or males, of freemen and slaves. Whatever, in connection with my professional practice or not, in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret. While I continue to keep this Oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected by all men, in all times! But should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot!
The Genuine Works of Hippocrates, trans. Francis Adams (1886), Vol. 2, 344-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (153)  |  Abortion (4)  |  Abroad (18)  |  Abstain (7)  |  According (237)  |  Act (272)  |  All (4107)  |  Art (657)  |  Ask (411)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Bound (119)  |  Brother (44)  |  Connection (162)  |  Consider (416)  |  Continue (165)  |  Corruption (15)  |  Counsel (11)  |  Cut (114)  |  Deadly (21)  |  Enter (142)  |  Equally (130)  |  Female (50)  |  Follow (379)  |  God (758)  |  Grant (73)  |  Healing (25)  |  Health (193)  |  Hear (139)  |  Holiness (6)  |  House (140)  |  Impart (23)  |  Instruction (91)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Law (895)  |  Learn (632)  |  Lecture (106)  |  Life (1799)  |  Look (582)  |  Lot (151)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Mischief (13)  |  Oath (10)  |  Offspring (27)  |  Other (2236)  |  Parent (76)  |  Pass (238)  |  Patient (199)  |  Person (363)  |  Physician (273)  |  Practice (204)  |  Practitioner (20)  |  Precept (10)  |  Professional (70)  |  Reckon (31)  |  Reckoning (19)  |  Required (108)  |  Respect (207)  |  Reverse (33)  |  Secret (195)  |  Seduction (3)  |  See (1082)  |  Share (75)  |  Sick (81)  |  Slave (37)  |  Stone (162)  |  Substance (248)  |  Swear (6)  |  System (537)  |  Teach (278)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Time (1877)  |  Trespass (5)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Will (2354)  |  Wish (212)  |  Woman (152)  |  Work (1351)

Tobacco, in its various forms, is one of the most mischievous of all drugs. There is perhaps no other drug which injures the body in so many ways and so universally as does tobacco. Some drugs offer a small degree of compensation for the evil effects which they produce; but tobacco has not a single redeeming feature and gives nothing in return.
In Tobaccoism: or, How Tobacco Kills (1922), Preface, 7.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Body (537)  |  Compensation (7)  |  Degree (275)  |  Drug (57)  |  Effect (394)  |  Evil (116)  |  Feature (44)  |  Form (960)  |  Injury (36)  |  Most (1729)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Offer (141)  |  Other (2236)  |  Return (125)  |  Single (354)  |  Small (479)  |  Tobacco (18)  |  Universal (189)  |  Various (200)  |  Way (1216)

True and constant vigour of body is the effect of health, which is much better preserved with watery, herbaceous, frugal, and tender food, than with vinous, abundant, hard, and gross flesh (che col cameo vinoso ed unto abundante e duro). And in a sound body, a clear intelligence, and desire to suppress the mischievous inclinations (voglie dannose), and to conquer the irrational passions, produces true worth.
From Dell Vitto Pitagorico (1743), (The Pythagorean Diet: for the Use of the Medical Faculty), as translated quotes in Howard Williams, The Ethics of Diet: A Catena of Authorities Deprecatory of the Practice of Flesh-Eating (1883), 158.
Science quotes on:  |  Abundant (22)  |  Better (488)  |  Body (537)  |  Conquer (38)  |  Constant (144)  |  Desire (204)  |  Effect (394)  |  Flesh (27)  |  Food (199)  |  Hard (243)  |  Health (193)  |  Herbaceous (2)  |  Inclination (34)  |  Intelligence (213)  |  Irrational (13)  |  Passion (114)  |  Preserve (83)  |  Sound (183)  |  Suppress (6)  |  Tender (4)  |  Vegetarian (13)  |  Vigour (18)  |  Water (482)  |  Worth (169)


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 Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (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


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