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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it... That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index M > Category: Mob

Mob Quotes (9 quotes)

A great nation is any mob of people which produces at least one honest man a century.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Century (310)  |  Great (1574)  |  Honest (50)  |  Least (75)  |  Man (2251)  |  Nation (193)  |  People (1005)  |  Produce (104)

Even in Europe a change has sensibly taken place in the mind of man. Science has liberated the ideas of those who read and reflect, and the American example has kindled feelings of right in the people. An insurrection has consequently begun of science talents and courage against rank and birth, which have fallen into contempt. It has failed in its first effort, because the mobs of the cities, the instrument used for its accomplishment, debased by ignorance, poverty and vice, could not be restrained to rational action. But the world will soon recover from the panic of this first catastrophe.
Letter to John Adams (Monticello, 1813). In Thomas Jefferson and John P. Foley (ed.), The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), 49. From Paul Leicester Ford (ed.), The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1892-99). Vol 4, 439.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (93)  |  Action (327)  |  Against (332)  |  America (127)  |  Birth (147)  |  Catastrophe (31)  |  Change (593)  |  Contempt (20)  |  Courage (69)  |  Effort (227)  |  Fail (185)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Feelings (52)  |  First (1283)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  People (1005)  |  Poverty (37)  |  Rank (67)  |  Rational (90)  |  Read (287)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3879)  |  Soon (186)  |  Talent (94)  |  Vice (40)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

I know of scarcely anything so apt to impress the imagination as the wonderful form of cosmic order expressed by the “Law of Frequency of Error.” The law would have been personified by the Greeks and deified, if they had known of it. It reigns with serenity and in complete self-effacement, amidst the wildest confusion. The huger the mob, and the greater the apparent anarchy, the more perfect is its sway. It is the supreme law of Unreason. Whenever a large sample of chaotic elements are taken in hand and marshaled in the order of their magnitude, an unsuspected and most beautiful form of regularity proves to have been latent all along.
In Natural Inheritance (1894), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Anarchy (6)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Chaos (91)  |  Complete (204)  |  Confusion (57)  |  Cosmic (72)  |  Element (310)  |  Error (321)  |  Express (186)  |  Form (959)  |  Frequency (22)  |  Greater (288)  |  Greek (107)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Impress (64)  |  Know (1518)  |  Known (454)  |  Large (394)  |  Latent (12)  |  Law (894)  |  Magnitude (83)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Order (632)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Prove (250)  |  Regularity (40)  |  Reign (23)  |  Sample (19)  |  Scarcely (74)  |  Self (267)  |  Serenity (9)  |  Supreme (71)  |  Unsuspected (7)  |  Whenever (81)  |  Wonderful (149)

I wish, my dear Kepler, that we could have a good laugh together at the extraordinary stupidity of the mob. What do you think of the foremost philosophers of this University? In spite of my oft-repeated efforts and invitations, they have refused, with the obstinacy of a glutted adder, to look at the planets or the Moon or my glass [telescope].
Opere ed Nas. X, 423. As cited in Alan Mackay, A Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1991), 99. Galileo wished others to use his telescope to see for themselves the moons of Jupiter which he had himself first seen in Jan 1610. If you have a primary source for this letter giving the date it was written, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Adder (3)  |  Do (1908)  |  Effort (227)  |  Extraordinary (79)  |  Foremost (11)  |  Glass (92)  |  Good (889)  |  Invitation (11)  |  Johannes Kepler (91)  |  Laugh (47)  |  Look (582)  |  Moon (237)  |  Obstinacy (3)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Planet (356)  |  Refusal (22)  |  Spite (55)  |  Stupidity (39)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Think (1086)  |  Together (387)  |  University (121)  |  Wish (212)

It startled him even more when just after he was awarded the Galactic Institute’s Prize for Extreme Cleverness he got lynched by a rampaging mob of respectable physicists who had finally realized that the one thing they really couldn't stand was a smart-ass.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979, 1997), 78.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Award (13)  |  Cleverness (15)  |  Extreme (75)  |  Finally (26)  |  Galactic (6)  |  Institute (7)  |  Lynching (2)  |  More (2559)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Prize (13)  |  Realization (43)  |  Respectable (6)  |  Smart (26)  |  Stand (274)  |  Startle (4)  |  Thing (1915)

Modern war, even from the consideration of physical welfare, is not creative. Soldiers and civilians alike are supposed to put on mental khaki. … War means the death of that fertile war which consists of the free, restless conflict of ideas. The war which matters is that of the scientist with nature; of the farmer with the tawny desert; of … philosopher against … mob stupidity. Such war is creative. … Inventions that further life and joy; freedom; new knowledge, whether Luther Burbank’s about the breeding of fruits or Einstein's about relativity; great cathedrals and Beethoven's music: these modern mechanical war can destroy but never produce. At its most inventive height, war creates the Maxim gun, the submarine, disseminable germs of disease, life-blasting gases. Spiritually and intellectually, modern war is not creative.
From ‘The Stagnation of War’, in Allen D. Hole (ed.) The Messenger of Peace (Nov 1924), 49, No. 11, 162-163.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Against (332)  |  Alike (60)  |  Beethoven (13)  |  Beethoven_Ludwig (8)  |  Biological Warfare (2)  |  Breeding (21)  |  Luther Burbank (14)  |  Cathedral (27)  |  Conflict (73)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Consist (223)  |  Create (235)  |  Creative (137)  |  Death (388)  |  Desert (56)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Disease (328)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Albert Einstein (605)  |  Farmer (32)  |  Fertile (29)  |  Free (232)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Fruit (102)  |  Germ (53)  |  Great (1574)  |  Idea (843)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Invention (369)  |  Joy (107)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Life (1795)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Mental (177)  |  Modern (385)  |  Most (1731)  |  Music (129)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  New (1216)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Physical (508)  |  Produce (104)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Soldier (26)  |  Spiritually (3)  |  Stupidity (39)  |  Submarine (12)  |  Tawny (3)  |  War (225)  |  Welfare (25)

Oh! But I have better news for you, Madam, if you have any patriotism as citizen of this world and wish its longevity. Mr. Herschel has found out that our globe is a comely middle-aged personage, and has not so many wrinkles as seven stars, who are evidently our seniors. Nay, he has discovered that the Milky Way is not only a mob of stars, but that there is another dairy of them still farther off, whence, I conclude, comets are nothing but pails returning from milking, instead of balloons filled with inflammable air.
Letter to the Countess of Upper Ossory (4 Jul 1785) in W. S. Lewis (ed.), Horace Walpole's Correspondence with the Countess of Upper Ossory (1965), Vol. 33, 474.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (347)  |  Balloon (15)  |  Better (486)  |  Citizen (51)  |  Comet (54)  |  Conclude (65)  |  Dairy (2)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Evidently (26)  |  Farther (51)  |  Find (998)  |  Globe (47)  |  Sir John Herschel (23)  |  Inflammable (5)  |  Longevity (6)  |  Milky Way (26)  |  New (1216)  |  News (36)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Pail (3)  |  Patriotism (7)  |  Person (363)  |  Personage (4)  |  Senior (6)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Still (613)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wish (212)  |  World (1774)  |  Wrinkle (4)

Science has been arranging, classifying, methodizing, simplifying, everything except itself. It has made possible the tremendous modern development of power of organization which has so multiplied the effective power of human effort as to make the differences from the past seem to be of kind rather than of degree. It has organized itself very imperfectly. Scientific men are only recently realizing that the principles which apply to success on a large scale in transportation and manufacture and general staff work to apply them; that the difference between a mob and an army does not depend upon occupation or purpose but upon human nature; that the effective power of a great number of scientific men may be increased by organization just as the effective power of a great number of laborers may be increased by military discipline.
'The Need for Organization in Scientific Research', in Bulletin of the National Research Council: The National Importance of Scientific and Industrial Research (Oct 1919), Col 1, Part 1, No. 1, 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Apply (160)  |  Army (33)  |  Classification (97)  |  Degree (276)  |  Depend (228)  |  Development (422)  |  Difference (337)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Effective (59)  |  Effort (227)  |  Everything (476)  |  General (511)  |  Great (1574)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Nature (64)  |  Kind (557)  |  Laborer (7)  |  Large (394)  |  Manufacture (29)  |  Manufacturing (27)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Military (40)  |  Modern (385)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Number (699)  |  Occupation (48)  |  Organization (114)  |  Past (337)  |  Possible (552)  |  Power (746)  |  Principle (507)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Scale (121)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Success (302)  |  Transportation (14)  |  Tremendous (26)  |  Work (1351)

The psychology of committees is a special case of the psychology of mobs.
In The Decline and Fall of Science (1976), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Committee (15)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Special (184)  |  Special Case (9)


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.