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Who said: “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, ... finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell ... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index O > Category: Oyster

Oyster Quotes (7 quotes)

Question: Account for the delicate shades of colour sometimes seen on the inside of an oyster shell. State and explain the appearance presented when a beam of light falls upon a sheet of glass on which very fine equi-distant parallel lines have been scratched very close to one another.
Answer: The delicate shades are due to putrefaction; the colours always show best when the oyster has been a bad one. Hence they are considered a defect and are called chromatic aberration.
The scratches on the glass will arrange themselves in rings round the light, as any one may see at night in a tram car.
Genuine student answer* to an Acoustics, Light and Heat paper (1880), Science and Art Department, South Kensington, London, collected by Prof. Oliver Lodge. Quoted in Henry B. Wheatley, Literary Blunders (1893), 182, Question 27. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.)
Science quotes on:  |  Aberration (2)  |  Account (45)  |  Answer (201)  |  Appearance (77)  |  Bad (78)  |  Beam (9)  |  Closeness (4)  |  Color (78)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Defect (14)  |  Delicate (11)  |  Diffraction (3)  |  Examination (60)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Fine (24)  |  Glass (35)  |  Howler (15)  |  Inside (16)  |  Light (246)  |  Line (44)  |  Night (73)  |  Parallel (16)  |  Putrefaction (4)  |  Question (315)  |  Ring (14)  |  Scratch (6)  |  Seeing (48)  |  Shade (12)  |  Sheet (6)  |  Shell (35)  |  State (96)  |  Tram (3)

But the life of a man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster.
'On Suicide' (written 1755, published postumously). In Essays On Suicide And The Immortality Of The Soul: (1777, New Ed. 1799), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Importance (183)  |  Life (917)  |  Suicide (16)  |  Universe (563)

In the Choice of … Things, neglect not any, tho’ the most ordinary and trivial; the Commonest Peble or Flint, Cockle or Oyster-shell, Grass, Moss, Fern or Thistle, will be as useful, and as proper to be gathered and sent, as any the rarest production of the Country. Only take care to choose of each the fairest of its kind, and such as are perfect or whole.
In Brief Instructions for Making Observations in all Parts of the World (1696), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Fern (4)  |  Flint (6)  |  Grass (30)  |  Moss (8)  |  Neglect (23)  |  Ordinary (44)  |  Pebble (17)  |  Shell (35)  |  Thistle (5)  |  Trivial (30)

Man … begins life as an ambiguous speck of matter which can in no way be distinguished from the original form of the lowest animal or plant. He next becomes a cell; his life is precisely that of the animalcule. Cells cluster round this primordial cell, and the man is so far advanced that he might be mistaken for an undeveloped oyster; he grows still more, and it is clear that he might even be a fish; he then passes into a stage which is common to all quadrupeds, and next assumes a form which can only belong to quadrupeds of the higher type. At last the hour of birth approaches; coiled within the dark womb he sits, the image of an ape; a caricature of the man that is to be. He is born, and for some time he walks only on all fours; he utters only inarticulate sounds; and even in his boyhood his fondness for climbing trees would seem to be a relic of the old arboreal life.
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 393.
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Often referred to as osteoporosis of the ocean, [ocean acidification] prevents shell building creatures such as lobster, oyster, crab, shrimp, and coral from extracting the calcium carbonate from the water that they need to build their shells and are thus unable to survive.
In 'What do the Arctic, a Thermostat and COP15 Have in Common?', Huffington Post (18 Mar 2010).
Science quotes on:  |  Build (80)  |  Coral (9)  |  Crab (4)  |  Creature (127)  |  Extract (13)  |  Lobster (4)  |  Need (211)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Shell (35)  |  Shrimp (5)  |  Survive (28)  |  Unable (12)  |  Water (244)

The idea that we shall be welcomed as new members into the galactic community is as unlikely as the idea that the oyster will be welcomed as a new member into the human community. We're probably not even edible.
John Ball
In Joseph Silk, The Infinite Cosmos: Questions from the Frontiers of Cosmology (2006), 199.
Science quotes on:  |  Community (65)  |  Edible (3)  |  Galaxy (38)  |  Human (445)  |  Idea (440)  |  Welcome (6)

Why are the bones of great fishes, and oysters and corals and various other shells and sea-snails, found on the high tops of mountains that border the sea, in the same way in which they are found in the depths of the sea?
'Physical Geography', in The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, trans. E. MacCurdy (1938), Vol. 1, 361.
Science quotes on:  |  Bone (57)  |  Coral (9)  |  Fish (85)  |  Fossil (107)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Sea (143)  |  Shell (35)


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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- 90 -
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