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

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

Mud Quotes (26 quotes)

Evidence of this [transformation of animals into fossils] is that parts of aquatic animals and perhaps of naval gear are found in rock in hollows on mountains, which water no doubt deposited there enveloped in sticky mud, and which were prevented by coldness and dryness of the stone from petrifying completely. Very striking evidence of this kind is found in the stones of Paris, in which one very often meets round shells the shape of the moon.
De Causis Proprietatum Elementorum (On the Causes of the Properties of the Elements) [before 1280], Book II, tract 3, chapter 5, quoted in A. C. Crombie, Augustine to Galileo (1959), Vol. 1, 126.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (617)  |  Aquatic (5)  |  Completely (135)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Dryness (5)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Kind (557)  |  Moon (237)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Petrification (5)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Rock (161)  |  Shell (63)  |  Stone (162)  |  Striking (48)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Water (481)

Evolution ever climbing after some ideal good,
And Reversion ever dragging Evolution in the mud.
'Locksley Hall Sixty Years After' (1886), collected in Alfred Tennyson and William James Rolfe (ed.) The Poetic and Dramatic Works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1898), 522.
Science quotes on:  |  Climbing (4)  |  Dragging (6)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Good (889)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Reversion (3)

I can still recall vividly how Freud said to me, “My dear Jung, promise me never to abandon the sexual theory. That is the most essential thing of all. You see, we must make a dogma of it, an unshakable bulwark” … In some astonishment I asked him, “A bulwark-against what?” To which he replied, “Against the black tide of mud”—and here he hesitated for a moment, then added—“of occultism.”
Carl Jung
Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1963), 147-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Against (332)  |  All (4108)  |  Ask (411)  |  Astonishment (30)  |  Biography (240)  |  Dogma (48)  |  Essential (199)  |  Sigmund Freud (69)  |  Moment (253)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Never (1087)  |  Promise (67)  |  See (1081)  |  Sexual (26)  |  Still (613)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Tide (34)  |  Vividly (11)

If, then, the motion of every particle of matter in the universe were precisely reversed at any instant, the course of nature would be simply reversed for ever after. The bursting bubble of foam at the foot of a waterfall would reunite and descend into the water; the thermal motions would reconcentrate their energy, and throw the mass up the fall in drops re-forming into a close column of ascending water. Heat which had been generated by the friction of solids and dissipated by conduction, and radiation, and radiation with absorption, would come again to the place of contact, and throw the moving body back against the force to which it had previously yielded. Boulders would recover from the mud materials required to rebuild them into their previous jagged forms, and would become reunited to the mountain peak from which they had formerly broken away. And if also the materialistic hypothesis of life were true, living creatures would grow backwards, with conscious knowledge of the future but no memory of the past, and would become again unborn.
In 'The Kinetic Theory of the Dissipation of Energy', Nature (1874), 9, 442.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorption (12)  |  Against (332)  |  Back (390)  |  Backwards (17)  |  Become (815)  |  Body (537)  |  Boulder (8)  |  Broken (56)  |  Bubble (22)  |  Conduction (8)  |  Contact (65)  |  Course (409)  |  Creature (233)  |  Descend (47)  |  Drop (76)  |  Energy (344)  |  Fall (230)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Forming (42)  |  Friction (14)  |  Future (429)  |  Grow (238)  |  Heat (174)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Instant (45)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Mass (157)  |  Material (353)  |  Matter (798)  |  Memory (134)  |  Motion (310)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Particle (194)  |  Past (337)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Radiation (44)  |  Required (108)  |  Solid (116)  |  Thermal (15)  |  Universe (857)  |  Water (481)  |  Waterfall (4)  |  Yield (81)

It is not children who ought to read the words of Lewis Carroll; they are far better employed making mud-pies.
In 'The Library of the Nursery', in Lunacy and Letters (1958), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (486)  |  Lewis Carroll (45)  |  Child (307)  |  Children (200)  |  Employ (113)  |  Making (300)  |  Read (287)  |  Word (619)

It is scientists, not sceptics, who are most willing to consider explanations that conflict with their own. And far from quashing dissent, it is the scientists, not the sceptics, who do most to acknowledge gaps in their studies and point out the limitations of their data—which is where sceptics get much of the mud they fling at the scientists. By contrast, the [sceptics] are not trying to build a theory of anything. They have set the bar much lower, and are happy muddying the waters.
Editorial, Nature (28 Jul 2011), 475, 423-424.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledge (33)  |  Acknowledgment (12)  |  Build (204)  |  Climate Change (61)  |  Conflict (73)  |  Consider (416)  |  Contrast (44)  |  Data (156)  |  Dissent (7)  |  Do (1908)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Gap (33)  |  Global Warming (27)  |  Happiness (115)  |  Happy (105)  |  Limitation (47)  |  Most (1731)  |  Point (580)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Set (394)  |  Skeptic (8)  |  Study (653)  |  Theory (970)  |  Trying (144)  |  Water (481)  |  Willing (44)

It would indeed be a great delusion, if we stated that those sports of Nature [we find] enclosed in rocks are there by chance or by some vague creative power. Ah, that would be superficial indeed! In reality, those shells, which once were alive in water and are now dead and decomposed, were made thus by time not Nature; and what we now find as very hard, figured stone, was once soft mud and which received the impression of the shape of a shell, as I have frequently demonstrated.
La vana speculazione disingannata del senso (1670), trans. Ezio Vaccari, 83-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (90)  |  Chance (239)  |  Creation (327)  |  Creative (137)  |  Dead (59)  |  Decomposition (18)  |  Delusion (25)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Figure (160)  |  Find (998)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hard (243)  |  Impression (114)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Life (1795)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Power (746)  |  Reality (261)  |  Rock (161)  |  Shape (72)  |  Shell (63)  |  Soft (29)  |  Sport (22)  |  Stone (162)  |  Superficial (12)  |  Time (1877)  |  Vague (47)  |  Water (481)

Never leave an unsolved difficulty behind. I mean, don’t go any further in that book till the difficulty is conquered. In this point, Mathematics differs entirely from most other subjects. Suppose you are reading an Italian book, and come to a hopelessly obscure sentence—don’t waste too much time on it, skip it, and go on; you will do very well without it. But if you skip a mathematical difficulty, it is sure to crop up again: you will find some other proof depending on it, and you will only get deeper and deeper into the mud.
From letter to Edith Rix with hints for studying (about Mar 1885), in Stuart Dodgson Collingwood, The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll (1898), 241.
Science quotes on:  |  Behind (137)  |  Book (392)  |  Conquer (37)  |  Crop (25)  |  Deep (233)  |  Depend (228)  |  Differ (85)  |  Difference (337)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Do (1908)  |  Find (998)  |  Hopeless (16)  |  Italian (12)  |  Learning (274)  |  Leave (130)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mean (809)  |  Most (1731)  |  Never (1087)  |  Obscure (62)  |  Other (2236)  |  Point (580)  |  Proof (287)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Sentence (29)  |  Skip (4)  |  Studying (70)  |  Subject (521)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Time (1877)  |  Unsolved (15)  |  Waste (101)  |  Will (2355)

Ninety-nine and nine-tenths of the earth’s volume must forever remain invisible and untouchable. Because more than 97 per cent of it is too hot to crystallize, its body is extremely weak. The crust, being so thin, must bend, if, over wide areas, it becomes loaded with glacial ice, ocean water or deposits of sand and mud. It must bend in the opposite sense if widely extended loads of such material be removed. This accounts for … the origin of chains of high mountains … and the rise of lava to the earth’s surface.
Presidential speech to the Geological Society of America at Cambridge, Mass. (1932). As quoted in New York Times (20 Sep 1957), 23. Also summarized in Popular Mechanics (Apr 1933), 513.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Account (192)  |  Become (815)  |  Being (1278)  |  Bend (12)  |  Body (537)  |  Chain (50)  |  Crust (38)  |  Crystal (68)  |  Crystallize (12)  |  Deposit (12)  |  Earth (996)  |  Extend (128)  |  Forever (103)  |  Glacier (17)  |  High (362)  |  Hot (60)  |  Ice (54)  |  Invisible (63)  |  Lava (9)  |  Load (11)  |  Material (353)  |  More (2559)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Must (1526)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Opposite (104)  |  Origin (239)  |  Remain (349)  |  Removal (11)  |  Rise (166)  |  Sand (62)  |  Sense (770)  |  Surface (209)  |  Water (481)  |  Weak (71)  |  Wide (96)

Now, all causes of natural effects must be expressed by means of lines, angles and figures, for otherwise it is impossible to grasp their explanation. This is evident as follows. A natural agent multiplies its power from itself to the recipient, whether it acts on sense or on matter. This power is sometimes called species, sometimes a likeness, and it is the same thing whatever it may be called; and the agent sends the same power into sense and into matter, or into its own contrary, as heat sends the same thing into the sense of touch and into a cold body. For it does not act, by deliberation and choice, and therefore it acts in a single manner whatever it encounters, whether sense or something insensitive, whether something animate or inanimate. But the effects are diversified by the diversity of the recipient, for when this power is received by the senses, it produces an effect that is somehow spiritual and noble; on the other hand, when it is received by matter, it produces a material effect. Thus the sun produces different effects in different recipients by the same power, for it cakes mud and melts ice.
De Uneis, Angulis et Figuris seu Fractionibus Reflexionibus Radiorum (On Lines, Angles and Figures or On the Refraction and Reflection of Rays) [1230/31], trans. D. C. Lindberg, quoted in E. Grant (ed.), A Source Book in Medieval Science (1974), 385-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Agent (70)  |  All (4108)  |  Body (537)  |  Call (769)  |  Cause (541)  |  Choice (110)  |  Cold (112)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Deliberation (5)  |  Different (577)  |  Diversity (73)  |  Effect (393)  |  Evident (91)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Express (186)  |  Figure (160)  |  Follow (378)  |  Heat (174)  |  Ice (54)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Light (607)  |  Likeness (18)  |  Material (353)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural (796)  |  Noble (90)  |  Optics (23)  |  Other (2236)  |  Power (746)  |  Sense (770)  |  Single (353)  |  Somehow (48)  |  Something (719)  |  Species (401)  |  Spiritual (91)  |  Sun (385)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Touch (141)  |  Whatever (234)

One of Darwin’s reviewers put the alternative strongly by asking “whether we are to believe that man is modified mud or modified monkey”.
In Letter to Thomas S. Spedding (19 May 1863), Life, Letters and Journals of Sir Charles Lyell (1881), Vol. 2, 376. [The mud is a reference to the Bible’s description in Genesis (2:7) that God formed man of the dust of the ground.]
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Alternative (29)  |  Asking (73)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Man (2251)  |  Modification (55)  |  Monkey (52)

ORGANIC LIFE beneath the shoreless waves
Was born and nurs'd in Ocean's pearly caves;
First, forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
These, as successive generations bloom,
New powers acquire, and larger limbs assume;
Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
And breathing realms of fin, and feet, and wing.
Thus the tall Oak, the giant of the wood,
Which bears Britannia's thunders on the flood;
The Whale, unmeasured monster of the main,
The lordly Lion, monarch of the plain,
The Eagle soaring in the realms of air,
Whose eye undazzled drinks the solar glare,
Imperious man, who rules the bestial crowd,
Of language, reason, and reflection proud,
With brow erect, who scorns this earthy sod,
And styles himself the image of his God;
Arose from rudiments of form and sense,
An embryon point, or microscopic ens!
The Temple of Nature (1803), canto 1, lines 295-314, pages 26-8.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Air (347)  |  Bear (159)  |  Beneath (64)  |  Breathing (23)  |  Countless (36)  |  Drink (53)  |  Eagle (19)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Eye (419)  |  First (1283)  |  Flood (50)  |  Form (959)  |  Generation (242)  |  Giant (67)  |  Glass (92)  |  God (757)  |  Himself (461)  |  Image (96)  |  Language (293)  |  Life (1795)  |  Lion (22)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mass (157)  |  Microscopic (26)  |  Minute (125)  |  Monster (31)  |  Move (216)  |  New (1216)  |  Oak (14)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Organic (158)  |  Poem (96)  |  Point (580)  |  Power (746)  |  Realm (85)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reflection (90)  |  Rudiment (6)  |  Rule (294)  |  Scorn (12)  |  Sense (770)  |  Soaring (9)  |  Spring (133)  |  Successive (73)  |  Thunder (20)  |  Unseen (22)  |  Vegetation (23)  |  Wave (107)  |  Whale (32)  |  Wing (75)  |  Wood (92)

Paris ... On this side of the ocean it is difficult to understand the susceptibility of American citizens on the subject and precisely why they should so stubbornly cling to the biblical version. It is said in Genesis the first man came from mud and mud is not anything very clean. In any case if the Darwinian hypothesis should irritate any one it should only be the monkey. The monkey is an innocent animal—a vegetarian by birth. He never placed God on a cross, knows nothing of the art of war, does not practice lynch law and never dreams of assassinating his fellow beings. The day when science definitely recognizes him as the father of the human race the monkey will have no occasion to be proud of his descendants. That is why it must be concluded that the American Association which is prosecuting the teacher of evolution can be no other than the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
[A cynical article in the French press on the Scopes Monkey Trial, whether it will decide “a monkey or Adam was the grandfather of Uncle Sam.”]
Newspaper
Article from a French daily newspaper on the day hearings at the Scopes Monkey Trial began, Paris Soir (13 Jul 1925), quoted in 'French Satirize the Case', New York Times (14 Jul 1925), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  America (127)  |  Animal (617)  |  Art (657)  |  Association (46)  |  Being (1278)  |  Bible (91)  |  Birth (147)  |  Citizen (51)  |  Clean (50)  |  Clinging (3)  |  Cruelty (23)  |  Cynical (2)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Descendant (17)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Dream (208)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Father (110)  |  Fellow (88)  |  First (1283)  |  France (27)  |  Genesis (23)  |  God (757)  |  Grandfather (14)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Race (100)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Know (1518)  |  Law (894)  |  Lynching (2)  |  Man (2251)  |  Monkey (52)  |  Must (1526)  |  Never (1087)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Occasion (85)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Other (2236)  |  Practice (204)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Prevention (35)  |  Prosecution (2)  |  Race (268)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scope (45)  |  Scopes Monkey Trial (7)  |  Side (233)  |  Society (326)  |  Subject (521)  |  Susceptibility (3)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Trial (57)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Vegetarian (13)  |  War (225)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2355)

Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud.
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and even I in this.
Sonnet 35.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Both (493)  |  Bud (6)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Eclipse (23)  |  Fault (54)  |  Fountain (16)  |  Live (628)  |  Loathsome (3)  |  Moon (237)  |  Rose (34)  |  Silver (46)  |  Stain (9)  |  Sun (385)  |  Thorn (5)

Science, which cuts its way through the muddy pond of daily life without mingling with it, casts its wealth to right and left, but the puny boatmen do not know how to fish for it.
My Past and Thoughts: the Memoirs of Alexander Herzen (revised translation 1968, 1982), 594.
Science quotes on:  |  Boatman (2)  |  Cast (66)  |  Cut (114)  |  Daily (87)  |  Daily Life (17)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fish (120)  |  Know (1518)  |  Life (1795)  |  Pond (15)  |  Puny (8)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3879)  |  Through (849)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wealth (94)

The bird which is drawn to the water by its need of finding there the prey on which it lives, separates the digits of its feet in trying to strike the water and move about on the surface. The skin which unites these digits at their base acquires the habit of being stretched by these continually repeated separations of the digits; thus in course of time there are formed large webs which unite the digits of ducks, geese, etc., as we actually find them. In the same way efforts to swim, that is to push against the water so as to move about in it, have stretched the membranes between the digits of frogs, sea-tortoises, the otter, beaver, etc.
On the other hand, a bird which is accustomed to perch on trees and which springs from individuals all of whom had acquired this habit, necessarily has longer digits on its feet and differently shaped from those of the aquatic animals that I have just named. Its claws in time become lengthened, sharpened and curved into hooks, to clasp the branches on which the animal so often rests.
We find in the same way that the bird of the water-side which does not like swimming and yet is in need of going to the water's edge to secure its prey, is continually liable to sink into the mud. Now this bird tries to act in such a way that its body should not be immersed in the liquid, and hence makes its best efforts to stretch and lengthen its legs. The long-established habit acquired by this bird and all its race of continually stretching and lengthening its legs, results in the individuals of this race becoming raised as though on stilts, and gradually obtaining long, bare legs, denuded of feathers up to the thighs and often higher still.
Philosophie Zoologique (1809), Vol. 1, 249-50, trans. Hugh Elliot (1914), 119-20.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accustom (52)  |  Accustomed (46)  |  Acquired (78)  |  Act (272)  |  Against (332)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Aquatic (5)  |  Bare (33)  |  Base (117)  |  Beaver (7)  |  Become (815)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Being (1278)  |  Best (459)  |  Bird (149)  |  Body (537)  |  Claw (8)  |  Course (409)  |  Duck (3)  |  Edge (47)  |  Effort (227)  |  Find (998)  |  Foot (60)  |  Form (959)  |  Frog (38)  |  Goose (12)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Habit (168)  |  Individual (404)  |  Large (394)  |  Leg (34)  |  Liquid (50)  |  Live (628)  |  Long (790)  |  Membrane (21)  |  Move (216)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Other (2236)  |  Otter (2)  |  Perch (7)  |  Push (62)  |  Race (268)  |  Rest (280)  |  Result (677)  |  Sea (308)  |  Separate (143)  |  Separation (57)  |  Sharpen (22)  |  Side (233)  |  Sink (37)  |  Skin (47)  |  Spring (133)  |  Still (613)  |  Stretch (39)  |  Strike (68)  |  Surface (209)  |  Swim (30)  |  Swimming (17)  |  Time (1877)  |  Tortoise (10)  |  Tree (246)  |  Trying (144)  |  Unite (42)  |  Water (481)  |  Way (1217)

The book of Nature is the book of Fate. She turns the gigantic pages,—leaf after leaf,—never re-turning one. One leaf she lays down, a floor of granite; then a thousand ages, and a bed of slate; a thousand ages, and a measure of coal; a thousand ages, and a layer of marl and mud: vegetable forms appear; her first misshapen animals, zoophyte, trilobium, fish; then, saurians,—rude forms, in which she has only blocked her future statue, concealing under these unwieldy monsters the fine type of her coming king. The face of the planet cools and dries, the races meliorate, and man is born. But when a race has lived its term, it comes no more again.
From 'Fate', collected in The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume 6: The Conduct of Life (1860), 15. This paragraph is the prose version of his poem, 'Song of Nature'.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Animal (617)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Bed (23)  |  Birth (147)  |  Block (12)  |  Book (392)  |  Book Of Fate (2)  |  Book Of Nature (12)  |  Coal (57)  |  Coming (114)  |  Concealing (2)  |  Cool (13)  |  Down (456)  |  Dry (57)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Face (212)  |  Fate (72)  |  Fine (33)  |  First (1283)  |  Fish (120)  |  Floor (20)  |  Form (959)  |  Future (429)  |  Gigantic (40)  |  Granite (7)  |  King (35)  |  Layer (40)  |  Leaf (66)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Measure (232)  |  Monster (31)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Page (30)  |  Planet (356)  |  Race (268)  |  Returning (2)  |  Rude (6)  |  Saurian (2)  |  Slate (6)  |  Statue (16)  |  Term (349)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Trilobite (6)  |  Turn (447)  |  Type (167)  |  Unwieldy (2)  |  Vegetable (46)  |  Zoophyte (4)

The doctrine of Darwinism had been tritely summed up in the saying, “from mud to monkey, from monkey up to man.”
Anonymous
Quoted by J.J. Morse in a lecture at Cardiff, reported by A.J. Smith in 'Spiritualism in the Principality: Mr Morse at Cardiff', The Medium and Daybreak (17 May 1878), 307.
Science quotes on:  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Man (2251)  |  Monkey (52)  |  French Saying (67)

The first drizzling shower is born...
[Then] the flood comes down,
Threatening with deluge this devoted town. ...
Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow,
And bear their trophies with them as they go:
Filth of all hues and odors seem to tell
What street they sailed from, by their sight and smell.
They, as each torrent drives with rapid force,
From Smithfield or St. Pulchre’s shape their course,
And in huge confluence joined at Snow Hill ridge,
Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn Bridge.
Sweepings from butchers’ stalls, dung, guts, and blood.
Drowned puppies, stinking sprats, all drenched in mud,
Dead cats, and turnip tops, come tumbling down the flood.
Poem, 'A Description of a City Shower', first published in the Tatler, No. 238 (17 Oct 1710). Reprinted in Pope and Swift's Miscellanies in Prose and Verse (1711, 1721), 225-227. Swift wrote at the time in London that the street surface open gutters (kennels) were the primary means for handling stormwater flows and disposing of every kind of human and animal waste. “Devoted” means overwhelmed. Smithfield was a market with butchers' shops and cattle and sheep pens. St. Sepulchre refers to a church in Holborn. The Holborn Conduit was taken down in 1746. Below Holborn Bridge ran the Fleet Ditch (a stagnant remnant of the former Fleet River after its water supply had been diverted). It was joined by a stream called Snow Hill. Notes printed with the poem collected in Jay Parini, The Wadsworth Anthology Of Poetry (2005), 723-724.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Bear (159)  |  Blood (134)  |  Bridge (47)  |  Butcher (9)  |  Cat (47)  |  Conduit (3)  |  Course (409)  |  Deluge (14)  |  Devoted (59)  |  Down (456)  |  Dung (7)  |  Fall (230)  |  Filth (4)  |  First (1283)  |  Flood (50)  |  Flow (83)  |  Force (487)  |  Guts (2)  |  Odor (10)  |  Puppy (2)  |  Sail (36)  |  Sewer (5)  |  Shower (6)  |  Sight (132)  |  Smell (27)  |  Snow (37)  |  Stall (3)  |  Sweeping (2)  |  Tell (340)  |  Top (96)  |  Torrent (5)  |  Tumbling (2)  |  Turnip (3)  |  Water (481)

The stories of Whitney’s love for experimenting are legion. At one time he received a letter asking if insects could live in a vacuum. Whitney took the letter to one of the members of his staff and asked the man if he cared to run an experiment on the subject. The man replied that there was no point in it, since it was well established that life could not exist without a supply of oxygen. Whitney, who was an inveterate student of wild life, replied that on his farm he had seen turtles bury themselves in mud each fall, and, although the mud was covered with ice and snow for months, emerge again in the spring. The man exclaimed, “Oh, you mean hibernation!” Whitney answered, “I don’t know what I mean, but I want to know if bugs can live in a vacuum.”
He proceeded down the hall and broached the subject to another member of the staff. Faced with the same lack of enthusiasm for pursuing the matter further, Whitney tried another illustration. “I’ve been told that you can freeze a goldfish solidly in a cake of ice, where he certainly can’t get much oxygen, and can keep him there for a month or two. But if you thaw him out carefully he seems none the worse for his experience.” The second scientist replied, “Oh, you mean suspended animation.” Whitney once again explained that his interest was not in the terms but in finding an answer to the question.
Finally Whitney returned to his own laboratory and set to work. He placed a fly and a cockroach in a bell jar and removed the air. The two insects promptly keeled over. After approximately two hours, however, when he gradually admitted air again, the cockroach waved its feelers and staggered to its feet. Before long, both the cockroach and the fly were back in action.
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 357-358.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Action (327)  |  Air (347)  |  Animation (6)  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Asking (73)  |  Back (390)  |  Bell (35)  |  Both (493)  |  Burial (7)  |  Car (71)  |  Carefully (65)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Cockroach (6)  |  Down (456)  |  Emergence (33)  |  Enthusiasm (52)  |  Exclaim (13)  |  Exist (443)  |  Experience (467)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Explain (322)  |  Fall (230)  |  Farm (26)  |  Feeler (3)  |  Fly (146)  |  Freeze (5)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Hibernation (3)  |  Hour (186)  |  Ice (54)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Insect (77)  |  Interest (386)  |  Know (1518)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Lack (119)  |  Legion (4)  |  Letter (109)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Long (790)  |  Love (309)  |  Man (2251)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Month (88)  |  Oxygen (66)  |  Point (580)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Pursuing (27)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Question (621)  |  Removal (11)  |  Return (124)  |  Run (174)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Set (394)  |  Snow (37)  |  Spring (133)  |  Student (300)  |  Subject (521)  |  Supply (93)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Thaw (2)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Time (1877)  |  Turtle (8)  |  Two (937)  |  Vacuum (39)  |  Want (497)  |  Willis R. Whitney (17)  |  Wild (87)  |  Work (1351)

There is more evidence to prove that saltiness [of the sea] is due to the admixture of some substance ... It is this stuff which makes salt water heavy (it weighs more than fresh water) and thick. The difference in consistency is such that ships with the same cargo very nearly sink in a river when they are quite fit to navigate in the sea. This circumstance has before now caused loss to shippers freighting their ships in a river. That the thicker consistency is due to an admixture of something is proved by the fact that if you make strong brine by the admixture of salt, eggs, even when they are full, float in it. It almost becomes like mud; such a quantity of earthy matter is there in the sea.
[Aristotle recognised the different density of fresh (river) or salty (sea) water. He describes an experiment using an egg (which sinks in fresh water) that floats in a strong brine solution.]
Aristotle
Meteorology (350 B.C.), Book II, translated by E. W. Webster. Internet Classics Archive, (classics.mit.edu).
Science quotes on:  |  Admixture (2)  |  Become (815)  |  Brine (3)  |  Buoyancy (7)  |  Cargo (5)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Consistency (31)  |  Density (25)  |  Describe (128)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Due (141)  |  Egg (69)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Fit (134)  |  Float (30)  |  Fresh (67)  |  Loss (110)  |  Matter (798)  |  More (2559)  |  Navigate (3)  |  Navigation (25)  |  Nearly (137)  |  Prove (250)  |  Quantity (132)  |  River (119)  |  Salt (46)  |  Sea (308)  |  Ship (62)  |  Sink (37)  |  Sinking (6)  |  Solution (267)  |  Something (719)  |  Strong (174)  |  Substance (248)  |  Water (481)  |  Weigh (49)

Two men stood looking through the bars,
One saw the mud, the other saw the stars.
Anonymous
As given in Richard A. Gregory, Discovery: Or, The Spirit and Service of Science (1916), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Looking (189)  |  Other (2236)  |  Saw (160)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Through (849)  |  Two (937)

Where the untrained eye will see nothing but mire and dirt, Science will often reveal exquisite possibilities. The mud we tread under our feet in the street is a grimy mixture of clay and sand, soot and water. Separate the sand, however, as Ruskinn observes—let the atoms arrange themselves in peace according to their nature—and you have the opal. Separate the clay, and it becomes a white earth, fit for the finest porcelain; or if it still further purifies itself, you have a sapphire. Take the soot, and it properly treated it will give you a diamond. While lastly, the water, purified and distilled, will become a dew-drop, or crystallize into a lovely star. Or, again, you may see as you will in any shallow pool either the mud lying at the bottom, or the image of the heavens above.
The Pleasures of Life (1887, 2007), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  Arrange (30)  |  Atom (355)  |  Become (815)  |  Crystallize (12)  |  Dew (9)  |  Diamond (21)  |  Dirt (15)  |  Drop (76)  |  Earth (996)  |  Exquisite (25)  |  Eye (419)  |  Fit (134)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Image (96)  |  Lying (55)  |  Mixture (41)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observe (168)  |  Peace (108)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Sand (62)  |  Sapphire (3)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Separate (143)  |  Soot (9)  |  Star (427)  |  Still (613)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Tread (17)  |  Untrained (2)  |  Water (481)  |  White (127)  |  Will (2355)

Wherever we seek to find constancy we discover change. Having looked at the old woodlands in Hutcheson Forest, at Isle Royale, and in the wilderness of the boundary waters, in the land of the moose and the wolf, and having uncovered the histories hidden within the trees and within the muds, we find that nature undisturbed is not constant in form, structure, or proportion, but changes at every scale of time and space. The old idea of a static landscape, like a single musical chord sounded forever, must be abandoned, for such a landscape never existed except in our imagination. Nature undisturbed by human influence seems more like a symphony whose harmonies arise from variation and change over many scales of time and space, changing with individual births and deaths, local disruptions and recoveries, larger scale responses to climate from one glacial age to another, and to the slower alterations of soils, and yet larger variations between glacial ages.
Discordant Harmonies (1990), 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Age (499)  |  Alteration (30)  |  Arise (158)  |  Birth (147)  |  Boundary (51)  |  Change (593)  |  Climate (97)  |  Constancy (12)  |  Constant (144)  |  Death (388)  |  Discover (553)  |  Exist (443)  |  Find (998)  |  Forest (150)  |  Forever (103)  |  Form (959)  |  Glaciation (2)  |  Human (1468)  |  Idea (843)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Individual (404)  |  Influence (222)  |  Landscape (39)  |  Look (582)  |  Moose (4)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Old (481)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Response (53)  |  Scale (121)  |  Seek (213)  |  Single (353)  |  Soil (86)  |  Sound (183)  |  Space (500)  |  Structure (344)  |  Succession (77)  |  Symphony (9)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time And Space (39)  |  Tree (246)  |  Uncover (20)  |  Variation (90)  |  Water (481)  |  Wherever (51)  |  Wilderness (45)  |  Wolf (8)

Xenophanes of Kolophon ... believes that once the earth was mingled with the sea, but in the course of time it became freed from moisture; and his proofs are such as these: that shells are found in the midst of the land and among the mountains, that in the quarries of Syracuse the imprints of a fish and of seals had been found, and in Paros the imprint of an anchovy at some depth in the stone, and in Melite shallow impressions of all sorts of sea products. He says that these imprints were made when everything long ago was covered with mud, and then the imprint dried in the mud.
Doxographists, Zeller, Vorsokr. Phil. 543, n. 1. Quoted in Arthur Fairbanks (ed. And trans.), The First Philosophers of Greece (1898), 83.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Course (409)  |  Depth (94)  |  Earth (996)  |  Everything (476)  |  Fish (120)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Impression (114)  |  Long (790)  |  Moisture (20)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Paleontology (31)  |  Product (160)  |  Proof (287)  |  Say (984)  |  Sea (308)  |  Seal (18)  |  Shell (63)  |  Stone (162)  |  Time (1877)  |  Xenophanes (13)

You can always tell the pioneers because they are face down in the mud with arrows in their backs.
Anonymous
Seen in various paraphrases, such as $ldquo;in the dirt”.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrow (20)  |  Back (390)  |  Dirt (15)  |  Down (456)  |  Face (212)  |  Pioneer (33)  |  Tell (340)


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.