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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index M > Category: Misunderstanding

Misunderstanding Quotes (9 quotes)

Making mathematics accessible to the educated layman, while keeping high scientific standards, has always been considered a treacherous navigation between the Scylla of professional contempt and the Charybdis of public misunderstanding.
In Rota's 'Introduction' written (1980) to preface Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh, The Mathematical Experience (1981, 2012), xxiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Accessible (16)  |  Contempt (14)  |  Educated (11)  |  Layman (18)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Navigation (16)  |  Professional (37)  |  Public (93)  |  Standard (55)  |  Treacherous (2)

Not everything is an idea. Otherwise psychology would contain all the sciences within it or at least it would be the highest judge over all the sciences. Otherwise psychology would rule over logic and mathematics. But nothing would be a greater misunderstanding of mathematics than its subordination to psychology.
In Elmer Daniel Klemke, Essays on Frege (1968), 531.
Science quotes on:  |  Idea (577)  |  Judge (61)  |  Logic (247)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Psychology (143)  |  Rule (173)  |  Science (2043)  |  Subordination (5)

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Arena (4)  |  Become (172)  |  Blood (104)  |  Corner (29)  |  Cosmic (47)  |  Cruelty (16)  |  Distinguishable (2)  |  Dot (11)  |  Eager (15)  |  Earth (635)  |  Emperor (6)  |  Endless (28)  |  Fervent (4)  |  Fraction (12)  |  Frequent (18)  |  General (156)  |  Glory (57)  |  Hatred (19)  |  Inhabitant (28)  |  Kill (52)  |  Master (93)  |  Momentary (3)  |  Pixel (2)  |  River (79)  |  Scarcely (13)  |  Small (161)  |  Spill (2)  |  Stage (54)  |  Think (341)  |  Triumph (45)  |  Vast (88)  |  Visit (26)

The relative importance of the white and gray matter is often misunderstood. Were it not for the manifold connection of the nerve cells in the cortex by the tens of millions of fibres which make up the under-estimated white matter, such a brain would be useless as a telephone or telegraph station with all the interconnecting wires destroyed.
Address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Philadelphia (28 Dec 1904), as quoted in 'Americans of Future Will Have Best Brains', New York Times (29 Dec 1904), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (209)  |  Cell (137)  |  Connection (107)  |  Cortex (3)  |  Fibre (5)  |  Importance (216)  |  Nerve (69)  |  Telegraph (32)  |  Telephone (23)

The whole question of imagination in science is often misunderstood by people in other disciplines. ... They overlook the fact that whatever we are allowed to imagine in science must be consistent with everything else we know.
In The Feynman Lectures in Physics (1964), Vol. 2, Lecture 20, p.20-10. As quoted by James Gleick in Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (1992), 324.
Science quotes on:  |  Consistency (23)  |  Discipline (53)  |  Everything (180)  |  Fact (725)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Overlook (12)  |  Question (404)  |  Science (2043)

There are still psychologists who, in a basic misunderstanding, think that gestalt theory tends to underestimate the role of past experience. Gestalt theory tries to differentiate between and-summative aggregates, on the one hand, and gestalten, structures, on the other, both in sub-wholes and in the total field, and to develop appropriate scientific tools for investigating the latter. It opposes the dogmatic application to all cases of what is adequate only for piecemeal aggregates. The question is whether an approach in piecemeal terms, through blind connections, is or is not adequate to interpret actual thought processes and the role of the past experience as well. Past experience has to be considered thoroughly, but it is ambiguous in itself; so long as it is taken in piecemeal, blind terms it is not the magic key to solve all problems.
In Productive Thinking (1959), 65.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (47)  |  Adequate (25)  |  Aggregate (14)  |  Ambiguous (5)  |  Application (166)  |  Approach (53)  |  Appropriate (26)  |  Basic (66)  |  Blind (47)  |  Connection (107)  |  Consider (80)  |  Develop (103)  |  Differentiate (12)  |  Dogmatic (7)  |  Experience (338)  |  Field (170)  |  Gestalt (3)  |  Interpret (18)  |  Investigate (65)  |  Key (50)  |  Magic (77)  |  Oppose (23)  |  Past (150)  |  Piecemeal (3)  |  Problem (490)  |  Process (261)  |  Psychologist (15)  |  Question (404)  |  Role (49)  |  Scientific (232)  |  Solve (76)  |  Structure (221)  |  Theory (690)  |  Think (341)  |  Thoroughly (14)  |  Thought (536)  |  Tool (87)  |  Total (36)  |  Try (141)  |  Underestimate (5)

Throughout his last half-dozen books, for example, Arthur Koestler has been conducting a campaign against his own misunderstanding of Darwinism. He hopes to find some ordering force, constraining evolution to certain directions and overriding the influence of natural selection ... Darwinism is not the theory of capricious change that Koestler imagines. Random variation may be the raw material of change, but natural selection builds good design by rejecting most variants while accepting and accumulating the few that improve adaptation to local environments.
In The Panda’s Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History (1990, 2010), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (65)  |  Accumulate (26)  |  Adaptation (49)  |  Book (257)  |  Build (117)  |  Campaign (6)  |  Capricious (4)  |  Certain (125)  |  Change (363)  |  Conduct (31)  |  Constrain (8)  |  Darwinism (3)  |  Design (113)  |  Direction (74)  |  Environment (180)  |  Evolution (533)  |  Example (92)  |  Find (405)  |  Force (249)  |  Good (345)  |  Hope (174)  |  Imagine (74)  |  Improve (54)  |  Influence (137)  |  Arthur Koestler (39)  |  Local (19)  |  Material (154)  |  Natural Selection (90)  |  Order (239)  |  Random (25)  |  Raw (13)  |  Reject (28)  |  Theory (690)  |  Variant (2)  |  Variation (61)

When a scientist is ahead of his times, it is often through misunderstanding of current, rather than intuition of future truth. In science there is never any error so gross that it won't one day, from some perspective, appear prophetic.
Pensιes d'un Biologiste (1939). Translated in The Substance of Man (1962), Chap. 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Ahead (19)  |  Appearance (85)  |  Current (54)  |  Error (275)  |  Future (284)  |  Gross (7)  |  Intuition (57)  |  Perspective (22)  |  Prophetic (4)  |  Scientist (519)  |  Time (594)  |  Truth (914)

[Presently, science undergraduates] do not learn to write clearly and briefly, marshalling their points in due and aesthetically satisfying order, and eliminating inessentials. They are inept at those turns of phrase or happy analogy which throw a flying bridge across a chasm of misunderstanding and make contact between mind and mind.
From essay in Thomas Rice Henn, The Apple and the Spectroscope: Being Lectures on Poetry Designed (in the Main) for Science Students (1951), 142.
Science quotes on:  |  Across (32)  |  Analogy (56)  |  Bridge (30)  |  Chasm (8)  |  Clarity (41)  |  Contact (34)  |  Elimination (18)  |  Flying (20)  |  Inept (4)  |  Mind (743)  |  Science (2043)  |  Throw (43)  |  Undergraduate (9)  |  Write (153)


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



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