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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index O > Category: Old Age

Old Age Quotes (18 quotes)

Get up at five, have lunch at nine,
Supper at five, retire at nine,
And you will live to ninety-nine.
Anonymous

I fully expect that NASA will send me back to the Moon as they treated Senator [John] Glenn, and if they don't do otherwise, why, then I'll have to do it myself.
About looking forward to the day he turned 77.
Interview with Associated Press, as quoted in Peter Bond, 'Obituary: Charles Conrad Jnr', The Independent (10 Jul 1999).
Science quotes on:  |  Expectation (46)  |  John Glenn, Jr. (31)  |  Moon (132)  |  Space Flight (21)

I have had a fairly long life, above all a very happy one, and I think that I shall be remembered with some regrets and perhaps leave some reputation behind me. What more could I ask? The events in which I am involved will probably save me from the troubles of old age. I shall die in full possession of my faculties, and that is another advantage that I should count among those that I have enjoyed. If I have any distressing thoughts, it is of not having done more for my family; to be unable to give either to them or to you any token of my affection and my gratitude is to be poor indeed.
Letter to Augez de Villiers, undated. Quoted in D. McKie, Antoine Lavoisier: Scientist, Economist, Social Reformer (1952), 303.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (42)  |  Affection (14)  |  Death (270)  |  Event (97)  |  Family (37)  |  Gratitude (10)  |  Letter (36)  |  Life (917)  |  Regret (16)  |  Reputation (17)  |  Trouble (55)

I know of nothing more laughable than a doctor who does not die of old age.
Letter to Charles Augustin Ferriol, comte d'Argental (1767). In Raymond C. Rowe, Joseph Chamberlain, A Spoonful of Sugar (2007), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Die (46)  |  Doctor (100)  |  Laugh (18)

I think if a physician wrote on a death certificate that old age was the cause of death, he’d be thrown out of the union. There is always some final event, some failure of an organ, some last attack of pneumonia, that finishes off a life. No one dies of old age.
In talk, 'Origin of Death' (1970). Evolution began with one-celled organisms reproducing indefinitely by cell division.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (231)  |  Certificate (2)  |  Death (270)  |  Failure (118)  |  Final (33)  |  Finish (16)  |  Life (917)  |  Organ (60)  |  Physician (232)  |  Pneumonia (6)

In old age, you realise that while you're divided from your youth by decades, you can close your eyes and summon it at will. As a writer it puts one at a distinct advantage.
Interview with Sarah Crown, in The Guardian (25 Jul 2009).
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (42)  |  Close (40)  |  Decade (19)  |  Distinct (29)  |  Eye (159)  |  Summon (4)  |  Writer (35)  |  Youth (57)

In the animal world we have seen that the vast majority of species live in societies, and that they find in association the best arms for the struggle for life: understood, of course, in its wide Darwinian sense—not as a struggle for the sheer means of existence, but as a struggle against all natural conditions unfavourable to the species. The animal species, in which individual struggle has been reduced to its narrowest limits, and the practice of mutual aid has attained the greatest development, are invariably the most numerous, the most prosperous, and the most open to further progress. The mutual protection which is obtained in this case, the possibility of attaining old age and of accumulating experience, the higher intellectual development, and the further growth of sociable habits, secure the maintenance of the species, its extension, and its further progressive evolution. The unsociable species, on the contrary, are doomed to decay.
Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902), 293.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Charles Darwin (284)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Experience (268)  |  Society (188)  |  Survival Of The Fittest (34)

It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.
Quoted, without citation, as a column filler, in New York State Department of Mental Hygiene, Mental Hygiene News (1949), Volumes 20-26, 20. Webmaster has so far been unable to find a primary source, so please contact if you know the primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Arbitrary (16)  |  Childhood (23)  |  Cruel (10)  |  False (79)  |  Learning (174)  |  Middle Age (6)  |  Play (60)  |  Regret (16)  |  Utterly (13)  |  Work (457)

Learning is ever in the freshness of its youth, even for the old.
Aeschylus
Agamemnon, 584. In John Bartlett, Familar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs (1891), 695.
Science quotes on:  |  Freshness (5)  |  Learning (174)  |  Youth (57)

No old Men (excepting Dr. Wallis) love Mathematicks.
Comment made by Newton to William Whiston. Quoted in Richard Westfall, Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (1980), 139.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (587)  |  John Wallis (2)  |  William Whiston (2)

Old age is but a second childhood.
In Aristophanes and Thomas Mitchell (trans.), 'The Clouds', The Comedies of Aristophanes (1822), 148.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (189)

Profundity of thought belongs to youth, clarity of thought to old age.
Human, All-To-Human, Vol. 2, Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions (1879), 140. In Willard Huntington Wright, What Nietzsche Taught? (1917), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Clarity (31)  |  Old (104)  |  Profundity (5)  |  Thought (374)  |  Youth (57)

The Author of nature has not given laws to the universe, which, like the institutions of men, carry in themselves the elements of their own destruction; he has not permitted in his works any symptom of infancy or of old age, or any sign by which we may estimate either their future or their past duration. He may put an end, as he no doubt gave a beginning, to the present system at some determinate period of time; but we may rest assured, that this great catastrophe will not be brought about by the laws now existing, and that it is not indicated by any thing which we perceive.
'Biographical Account of the Late Dr James Hutton, F.R.S. Edin.' (read 1803), Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1805), 5, 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Assurance (8)  |  Author (39)  |  Beginning (114)  |  Catastrophe (17)  |  Destruction (80)  |  Determination (53)  |  Doubt (121)  |  Duration (9)  |  Estimation (7)  |  Existence (254)  |  Future (229)  |  Indication (21)  |  Infancy (6)  |  Institution (32)  |  Law (418)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Perception (53)  |  Period (49)  |  Permission (5)  |  Present (103)  |  Sign (36)  |  Symptom (16)  |  System (141)  |  Time (439)  |  Universe (563)  |  Work (457)

The fact that death from cancer is on the increase is not only a problem of medicine, but its at the same time testifies to the wonderful efficiency of medical science... [as it] enables more persons top live long enough to develop some kind of cancer in old and less resistant tissues.
Charles H. Mayo and William A. Hendricks, 'Carcinoma of the Right Segment of the Colon', presented to Southern Surgical Assoc. (15 Dec 1925). In Annals of Surgery (Mar 1926), 83, 357.
Science quotes on:  |  Cancer (44)  |  Death (270)  |  Development (228)  |  Efficiency (25)  |  Increase (107)  |  Life (917)  |  Medical Science (4)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Problem (362)  |  Resistance (23)  |  Testimony (10)  |  Tissue (24)  |  Wonder (134)

The principal objection to old age is that there is no future in it.
Anonymous

To me old age is always fifteen years older than I am.
Commenting on his 85th birthday.
Quoted in Newsweek (29 Aug 1955). In Alfred J. Kolatch, Great Jewish Quotations (1996), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)

Young men should prove theorems, old men should write books.
Quoted by Freeman Dyson as the answer from G.H. Hardy about the book An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers. Dyson, while at Cambridge, had asked him why “he spent so much time and effort writing that marvellous book when he might be doing serious mathematics.” In Freeman Dyson 'A Walk Through Ramanujan's Garden', Lecture by Dyson at Ramanujan Centenary Conference (2 Jun 1987). Collected in Selected Papers of Freeman Dyson with Commentary (1996), 189. Also as quoted in 'Mathematician, Physicist, and Writer.' Interview (Jun 1990) with Donald J. Albers, The College Mathematics Journal (Jan 1994), 25, No. 1, 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Theorem (46)  |  Youth (57)

Youth disserves; middle age conserves; old age preserves.
Science quotes on:  |  Conserve (5)  |  Middle Age (6)  |  Preserve (38)  |  Youth (57)


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
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- 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



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