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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “We are here to celebrate the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome. Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by human kind.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Past

Past Quotes (337 quotes)


'Normal science' means research firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Acknowledge (33)  |  Community (104)  |  Foundation (171)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  More (2559)  |  Practice (204)  |  Research (664)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Time (1877)

Πάντα ῥεῖ : all things are in flux. It is inevitable that you are indebted to the past. You are fed and formed by it. The old forest is decomposed for the composition of the new forest. The old animals have given their bodies to the earth to furnish through chemistry the forming race, and every individual is only a momentary fixation of what was yesterday another’s, is today his and will belong to a third to-morrow. So it is in thought.
In Lecture, second in a series given at Freeman Place Chapel, Boston (Mar 1859), 'Quotation and Originality', collected in Letters and Social Aims (1875, 1917), 200. The Greek expression, “panta rei” is a quote from Heraclitus.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Belong (162)  |  Body (537)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Composition (84)  |  Debt (13)  |  Decompose (9)  |  Earth (996)  |  Feed (27)  |  Fixation (5)  |  Flux (21)  |  Forest (150)  |  Form (959)  |  Forming (42)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Individual (404)  |  Inevitable (49)  |  Momentary (4)  |  New (1216)  |  Old (481)  |  Race (268)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thought (953)  |  Through (849)  |  Today (314)  |  Tomorrow (60)  |  Will (2355)  |  Yesterday (36)

... there is an external world which can in principle be exhaustively described in scientific language. The scientist, as both observer and language-user, can capture the external facts of the world in prepositions that are true if they correspond to the facts and false if they do not. Science is ideally a linguistic system in which true propositions are in one-to-one relation to facts, including facts that are not directly observed because they involve hidden entities or properties, or past events or far distant events. These hidden events are described in theories, and theories can be inferred from observation, that is the hidden explanatory mechnism of the world can be discovered from what is open to observation. Man as scientist is regarded as standing apart from the world and able to experiment and theorize about it objectively and dispassionately.
'Introduction', Revolutions and Reconstructions in the Philosophy of Science (1981), xii. In John Templeton and Robert L. Herrmann, Is God the Only Reality (1994), 11-12.
Science quotes on:  |  Both (493)  |  Discover (553)  |  Do (1908)  |  Event (216)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Involve (90)  |  Language (293)  |  Man (2251)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observed (149)  |  Open (274)  |  Principle (507)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Regard (305)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  System (537)  |  Theory (970)  |  World (1774)

...conscience looks backwards and judges past actions, inducing that kind of dissatisfaction, which if weak we call regret, and if severe remorse.
Descent of Man
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Backwards (17)  |  Call (769)  |  Conscience (50)  |  Dissatisfaction (10)  |  Judge (108)  |  Kind (557)  |  Look (582)  |  Regret (30)  |  Remorse (9)  |  Weak (71)

...they have never affirm'd any thing, concerning the Cause, till the Trial was past: whereas, to do it before, is a most venomous thing in the making of Sciences; for whoever has fix'd on his Cause, before he experimented; can hardly avoid fitting his Experiment to his Observations, to his own Cause, which he had before imagin'd; rather than the Cause to the Truth of the Experiment itself.
Referring to experiments of the Aristotelian mode, whereby a preconceived truth would be illustrated merely to convince people of the validity of the original thought.
Thomas Sprat, Abraham Cowley, History of the Royal Society (1667, 1734), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (163)  |  Avoid (116)  |  Bias (20)  |  Cause (541)  |  Convince (41)  |  Do (1908)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Making (300)  |  Merely (316)  |  Most (1731)  |  Never (1087)  |  Observation (555)  |  People (1005)  |  Preconceive (3)  |  Science (3879)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thought (953)  |  Trial (57)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Validity (47)  |  Venom (2)  |  Whoever (42)

Clarke's Second Law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
Profiles of the Future: An Enquiry into the Limits of the Possible (1962, rev. 1973), 21.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Law (894)  |  Limit (280)  |  Little (707)  |  Possible (552)  |  Research (664)  |  Way (1217)

Natura non facit saltum or, Nature does not make leaps… If you assume continuity, you can open the well-stocked mathematical toolkit of continuous functions and differential equations, the saws and hammers of engineering and physics for the past two centuries (and the foreseeable future).
From Benoit B. Mandelbrot and Richard Hudson, The (Mis)Behaviour of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward (2004,2010), 85-86.
Science quotes on:  |  Assume (38)  |  Century (310)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Continuous (82)  |  Differential (7)  |  Differential Equation (18)  |  Engineering (175)  |  Equation (132)  |  Foreseeable (3)  |  Function (228)  |  Future (429)  |  Hammer (25)  |  Leap (53)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Natura Non Facit Saltum (3)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Open (274)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Saw (160)  |  Two (937)

Ron Hutcheson, a Knight-Ridder reporter: [Mr. President, what are your] personal views [about the theory of] intelligent design?
President George W. Bush: [Laughing. You're] doing a fine job of dragging me back to the past [days as governor of Texas]. ... Then, I said that, first of all, that decision should be made to local school districts, but I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught...”
Hutcheson: Both sides ought to be properly taught?
President: Yes ... so people can understand what the debate is about.
Hutcheson: So the answer accepts the validity of “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution?
President: I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought, and I'm not suggesting—you're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.
Hutcheson: So we've got to give these groups—...
President: [interrupting] Very interesting question, Hutch. [Laughter from other reporters]
From conversation with reporters at the White House (1 Aug 2005), as quoted by Matthew Cooper in 'Fanning the Controversy Over “Intelligent Design”', Time (3 Aug 2005). The Time writer stated, “The president has gone farther in questioning the widely-taught theories of evolution and natural selection than any president since Ronald Reagan, who advocated teaching creationism in public schools alongside evolution.” Just a few months later, in the nation's first case on that point, on 20 Dec 2005, “a federal judge [John E. Jones] ruled it was unconstitutional for a Pennsylvania school district to present intelligent design as an alternative in high school biology courses, because it is a religious viewpoint,” as reported by Laurie Goodstein in 'Judge Rejects Teaching Intelligent Design', New York Times (21 Dec 2005). Goodstein also wrote “Judge Jones, a Republican appointed by President Bush, concluded that intelligent design was not science,” and that “the evidence in the trial proved that intelligent design was 'creationism relabeled.' The Supreme Court has already ruled that creationism ... cannot be taught as science in a public school.”
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  All (4108)  |  Alternative (29)  |  Answer (366)  |  Asking (73)  |  Back (390)  |  Both (493)  |  Debate (38)  |  Decision (91)  |  Design (195)  |  Different (577)  |  District (9)  |  Doing (280)  |  Dragging (6)  |  Education (378)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Expose (23)  |  Exposed (33)  |  First (1283)  |  Governor (13)  |  Idea (843)  |  Intelligent (100)  |  Intelligent Design (5)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Job (82)  |  Laughter (31)  |  Local (19)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Personal (67)  |  President (31)  |  Question (621)  |  School (219)  |  Side (233)  |  Teach (277)  |  Texas (4)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Understand (606)  |  Validity (47)  |  View (488)

[As Chief Scientific Adviser to the British Ministry of Defence] We persist in regarding ourselves as a Great Power, capable of everything and only temporarily handicapped by economic difficulties. We are not a great power and never will be again. We are a great nation, but if we continue to behave like a Great Power we shall soon cease to be a great nation. Let us take warning from the fate of the Great Powers of the past and not burst ourselves with pride (see Aesop’s fable of the frog). (1949)
As quoted by Peter Hennessy, Whitehall (1989), 155.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Behave (17)  |  British (41)  |  Burst (39)  |  Capable (168)  |  Cease (79)  |  Chief (97)  |  Continue (165)  |  Defence (14)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Economic (81)  |  Economy (55)  |  Everything (476)  |  Fable (12)  |  Fate (72)  |  Frog (38)  |  Great (1574)  |  Handicap (6)  |  Handicapped (7)  |  Nation (193)  |  Never (1087)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Persist (11)  |  Power (746)  |  Pride (78)  |  Scientific (941)  |  See (1081)  |  Soon (186)  |  Warning (17)  |  Will (2355)

[On Typhoid Fever] How often have I seen in past days, in the single narrow chamber of the day-labourer’s cottage, the father in the coffin, the mother in the sick-bed in muttering delirium, and nothing to relieve the desolation of the children but the devotion of some poor neighbour, who in too many cases paid the penalty of her kindness in becoming herself the victim of the same disorder.
As quoted by John Tyndall in Lecture (19 Oct 1876) to Glasgow Science Lectures Association. Printed in 'Address Delivered Before The British Association Assembled at Belfast', The Fortnightly Review (1 Nov 1876), 26 N.S., No. 119, 572.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Child (307)  |  Children (200)  |  Coffin (7)  |  Cottage (4)  |  Delirium (3)  |  Desolation (3)  |  Devotion (34)  |  Disorder (41)  |  Father (110)  |  Fever (29)  |  Kindness (14)  |  Laborer (7)  |  Mother (114)  |  Narrow (84)  |  Neighbour (5)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Penalty (6)  |  Poor (136)  |  Relieve (5)  |  Sick (81)  |  Single (353)  |  Typhoid (7)  |  Victim (35)

A few days afterwards, I went to him [the same actuary referred to in another quote] and very gravely told him that I had discovered the law of human mortality in the Carlisle Table, of which he thought very highly. I told him that the law was involved in this circumstance. Take the table of the expectation of life, choose any age, take its expectation and make the nearest integer a new age, do the same with that, and so on; begin at what age you like, you are sure to end at the place where the age past is equal, or most nearly equal, to the expectation to come. “You don’t mean that this always happens?”—“Try it.” He did try, again and again; and found it as I said. “This is, indeed, a curious thing; this is a discovery!” I might have sent him about trumpeting the law of life: but I contented myself with informing him that the same thing would happen with any table whatsoever in which the first column goes up and the second goes down.
In Budget of Paradoxes (1872), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Actuary (2)  |  Age (499)  |  Begin (260)  |  Choose (112)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Column (15)  |  Content (69)  |  Curious (91)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Do (1908)  |  Down (456)  |  End (590)  |  Equal (83)  |  Expectation (65)  |  Find (998)  |  First (1283)  |  Gravely (2)  |  Happen (274)  |  Highly (16)  |  Human (1468)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Inform (47)  |  Informing (5)  |  Integer (10)  |  Involve (90)  |  Involved (90)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mean (809)  |  Mortality (15)  |  Most (1731)  |  Myself (212)  |  Nearly (137)  |  New (1216)  |  New Age (6)  |  Place (177)  |  Quote (42)  |  Send (22)  |  Table (104)  |  Tell (340)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thought (953)  |  Trumpet (2)  |  Try (283)  |  Up (5)  |  Whatsoever (41)

A few days ago, a Master of Arts, who is still a young man, and therefore the recipient of a modern education, stated to me that until he had reached the age of twenty he had never been taught anything whatever regarding natural phenomena, or natural law. Twelve years of his life previously had been spent exclusively amongst the ancients. The case, I regret to say, is typical. Now we cannot, without prejudice to humanity, separate the present from the past.
'On the Study of Physics', From a Lecture delivered in the Royal Institution of Great Britain in the Spring of 1854. Fragments of Science for Unscientific People: A Series of Detached Essays, Lectures, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 1, 284-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Art (657)  |  Education (378)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Master (178)  |  Modern (385)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Law (41)  |  Never (1087)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Prejudice (87)  |  Present (619)  |  Previous (12)  |  Reach (281)  |  Recipient (3)  |  Regret (30)  |  Say (984)  |  Separate (143)  |  Separation (57)  |  Spent (85)  |  Statement (142)  |  Still (613)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Twelve (4)  |  Twenty (4)  |  Typical (13)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Year (933)  |  Young (227)

A hundred years ago … an engineer, Herbert Spencer, was willing to expound every aspect of life, with an effect on his admiring readers which has not worn off today.
Things do not happen quite in this way nowadays. This, we are told, is an age of specialists. The pursuit of knowledge has become a profession. The time when a man could master several sciences is past. He must now, they say, put all his efforts into one subject. And presumably, he must get all his ideas from this one subject. The world, to be sure, needs men who will follow such a rule with enthusiasm. It needs the greatest numbers of the ablest technicians. But apart from them it also needs men who will converse and think and even work in more than one science and know how to combine or connect them. Such men, I believe, are still to be found today. They are still as glad to exchange ideas as they have been in the past. But we cannot say that our way of life is well-fitted to help them. Why is this?
In 'The Unification of Biology', New Scientist (11 Jan 1962), 13, No. 269, 72.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Become (815)  |  Combine (57)  |  Connect (125)  |  Do (1908)  |  Effect (393)  |  Effort (227)  |  Engineer (121)  |  Enthusiasm (52)  |  Exchange (37)  |  Follow (378)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Happen (274)  |  Help (105)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Idea (843)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Master (178)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Need (290)  |  Number (699)  |  Profession (99)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Rule (294)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Several (32)  |  Specialist (28)  |  Herbert Spencer (37)  |  Still (613)  |  Subject (521)  |  Technician (9)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Time (1877)  |  Today (314)  |  Way (1217)  |  Way Of Life (12)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2355)  |  Willing (44)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)

A strict materialist believes that everything depends on the motion of matter. He knows the form of the laws of motion though he does not know all their consequences when applied to systems of unknown complexity.
Now one thing in which the materialist (fortified with dynamical knowledge) believes is that if every motion great & small were accurately reversed, and the world left to itself again, everything would happen backwards the fresh water would collect out of the sea and run up the rivers and finally fly up to the clouds in drops which would extract heat from the air and evaporate and afterwards in condensing would shoot out rays of light to the sun and so on. Of course all living things would regrede from the grave to the cradle and we should have a memory of the future but not of the past.
The reason why we do not expect anything of this kind to take place at any time is our experience of irreversible processes, all of one kind, and this leads to the doctrine of a beginning & an end instead of cyclical progression for ever.
Letter to Mark Pattison (7 Apr 1868). In P. M. Hannan (ed.), The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1995), Vol. 2, 1862-1873, 360-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (347)  |  All (4108)  |  Applied (177)  |  Backwards (17)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Course (409)  |  Cradle (19)  |  Cycle (40)  |  Depend (228)  |  Do (1908)  |  Drop (76)  |  Dynamical (15)  |  End (590)  |  Everything (476)  |  Expect (200)  |  Experience (467)  |  Extract (40)  |  Fly (146)  |  Form (959)  |  Fresh (67)  |  Future (429)  |  Grave (52)  |  Great (1574)  |  Happen (274)  |  Heat (174)  |  Irreversible (12)  |  Kind (557)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Laws Of Motion (10)  |  Lead (384)  |  Light (607)  |  Living (491)  |  Materialist (4)  |  Matter (798)  |  Memory (134)  |  Motion (310)  |  Process (423)  |  Progression (23)  |  Ray (114)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reverse (33)  |  River (119)  |  Run (174)  |  Sea (308)  |  Small (477)  |  Sun (385)  |  System (537)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Water (481)  |  Why (491)  |  World (1774)

A troubling question for those of us committed to the widest application of intelligence in the study and solution of the problems of men is whether a general understanding of the social sciences will be possible much longer. Many significant areas of these disciplines have already been removed by the advances of the past two decades beyond the reach of anyone who does not know mathematics; and the man of letters is increasingly finding, to his dismay, that the study of mankind proper is passing from his hands to those of technicians and specialists. The aesthetic effect is admittedly bad: we have given up the belletristic “essay on man” for the barbarisms of a technical vocabulary, or at best the forbidding elegance of mathematical syntax.
Opening paragraph of 'The Study of Man: Sociology Learns the Language of Mathematics' in Commentary (1 Sep 1952). Reprinted in James Roy Newman, The World of Mathematics (1956), Vol. 2, 1294.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Aesthetic (46)  |  Already (222)  |  Application (242)  |  Bad (180)  |  Barbarism (7)  |  Best (459)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Decade (59)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Dismay (5)  |  Effect (393)  |  Elegance (37)  |  Essay (27)  |  General (511)  |  Intelligence (211)  |  Know (1518)  |  Letter (109)  |  Man (2251)  |  Man Of Letters (3)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Passing (76)  |  Possible (552)  |  Problem (676)  |  Proper (144)  |  Question (621)  |  Reach (281)  |  Remove (45)  |  Science (3879)  |  Significant (74)  |  Social (252)  |  Social Science (35)  |  Solution (267)  |  Specialist (28)  |  Study (653)  |  Syntax (2)  |  Technical (43)  |  Technician (9)  |  Two (937)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Vocabulary (8)  |  Will (2355)

After Gibbs, one the most distinguished [American scientists] was Langley, of the Smithsonian. … He had the physicist’s heinous fault of professing to know nothing between flashes of intense perception. … Rigidly denying himself the amusement of philosophy, which consists chiefly in suggesting unintelligible answers to insoluble problems, and liked to wander past them in a courteous temper, even bowing to them distantly as though recognizing their existence, while doubting their respectability.
The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography? (1918), 377.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Amusement (33)  |  Answer (366)  |  Chiefly (47)  |  Consist (223)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Distinguished (83)  |  Existence (456)  |  Fault (54)  |  J. Willard Gibbs (8)  |  Himself (461)  |  Insoluble (15)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Samuel Pierpont Langley (3)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Perception (97)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Problem (676)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Unintelligible (15)  |  Wander (35)

After the birth of printing books became widespread. Hence everyone throughout Europe devoted himself to the study of literature... Every year, especially since 1563, the number of writings published in every field is greater than all those produced in the past thousand years. Through them there has today been created a new theology and a new jurisprudence; the Paracelsians have created medicine anew and the Copernicans have created astronomy anew. I really believe that at last the world is alive, indeed seething, and that the stimuli of these remarkable conjunctions did not act in vain.
De Stella Nova, On the New Star (1606), Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 1, 330-2. Quoted in N. Jardine, The Birth of History and Philosophy of Science: Kepler's A Defence of Tycho Against Ursus With Essays on its Provenance and Significance (1984), 277-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Alive (90)  |  All (4108)  |  Anew (18)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Birth (147)  |  Book (392)  |  Conjunction (10)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (48)  |  Devoted (59)  |  Field (364)  |  Greater (288)  |  Himself (461)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Last (426)  |  Literature (103)  |  Medicine (378)  |  New (1216)  |  Number (699)  |  Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus (19)  |  Printing (22)  |  Produced (187)  |  Publication (101)  |  Study (653)  |  Theology (52)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Through (849)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Today (314)  |  Vain (83)  |  Widespread (22)  |  World (1774)  |  Writing (189)  |  Year (933)

All of us are interested in our roots. Generally this interest is latent in youth, and grows with age. Until I reached fifty I thought that history of science was a refuge for old scientists whose creative juices had dried up. Now of course I know that I was wrong! As we grow older, we become more interested in the past, in family history, local history, etc. Astronomy is, or was when I started in it, almost a family.
In Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy (2002), Vol. 3, 206.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Become (815)  |  Course (409)  |  Creative (137)  |  Dried (2)  |  Family (94)  |  Fifty (15)  |  Grow (238)  |  History (673)  |  History Of Science (63)  |  Interest (386)  |  Juice (7)  |  Know (1518)  |  Latent (12)  |  Local (19)  |  More (2559)  |  Old (481)  |  Older (7)  |  Reach (281)  |  Refuge (15)  |  Root (120)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Start (221)  |  Thought (953)  |  Wrong (234)  |  Youth (101)

All palaetiological sciences, all speculations which attempt to ascend from the present to the remote past, by the chain of causation, do also, by an inevitable consequence, urge us to look for the beginning of the state of things which we thus contemplate; but in none of these cases have men been able, by the aid of science, to arrive at a beginning which is homogeneous with the known course of events. The first origin of language, of civilization, of law and government, cannot be clearly made out by reasoning and research; and just as little, we may expect, will a knowledge of the origin of the existing and extinct species of plants and animals, be the result of physiological and geological investigation.
In History of the Inductive Sciences (1837), Vol. 3, 581.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (97)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Ascend (30)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Causation (14)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Course (409)  |  Do (1908)  |  Event (216)  |  Expect (200)  |  Extinct (21)  |  First (1283)  |  Geology (220)  |  Government (110)  |  Homogeneous (16)  |  Inevitable (49)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Known (454)  |  Language (293)  |  Law (894)  |  Little (707)  |  Look (582)  |  Origin (239)  |  Palaetiology (2)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Plant (294)  |  Present (619)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Remote (83)  |  Research (664)  |  Result (677)  |  Science (3879)  |  Species (401)  |  Speculation (126)  |  State (491)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Will (2355)

All that comes above that surface [of the globe] lies within the province of Geography. All that comes below that surface lies inside the realm of Geology. The surface of the earth is that which, so to speak, divides them and at the same time “binds them together in indissoluble union.” We may, perhaps, put the case metaphorically. The relationships of the two are rather like that of man and wife. Geography, like a prudent woman, has followed the sage advice of Shakespeare and taken unto her “an elder than herself;” but she does not trespass on the domain of her consort, nor could she possibly maintain the respect of her children were she to flaunt before the world the assertion that she is “a woman with a past.”
From Anniversary Address to Geological Society of London (20 Feb 1903), 'The Relations of Geology', published in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London (22 May 1903), 59, Part 2, lxxviii. As reprinted in Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution (1904), 373.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (55)  |  All (4108)  |  Children (200)  |  Divide (75)  |  Domain (69)  |  Earth (996)  |  Elder (8)  |  Follow (378)  |  Geography (36)  |  Geology (220)  |  Lie (364)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Man (2251)  |  Metaphor (33)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Province (35)  |  Realm (85)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Respect (207)  |  Sage (23)  |  William Shakespeare (102)  |  Speak (232)  |  Surface (209)  |  Surface Of The Earth (36)  |  Time (1877)  |  Together (387)  |  Trespass (5)  |  Two (937)  |  Union (51)  |  Wife (41)  |  Woman (151)  |  World (1774)

Among the current discussions, the impact of new and sophisticated methods in the study of the past occupies an important place. The new 'scientific' or 'cliometric' history—born of the marriage contracted between historical problems and advanced statistical analysis, with economic theory as bridesmaid and the computer as best man—has made tremendous advances in the last generation.
Co-author with Geoffrey Rudolph Elton (1921-94), British historian. Which Road to the Past? Two Views of History (1983), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Best (459)  |  Computer (127)  |  Current (118)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Economic (81)  |  Economics (37)  |  Generation (242)  |  Historical (70)  |  History (673)  |  Impact (42)  |  Last (426)  |  Man (2251)  |  Marriage (39)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  New (1216)  |  Problem (676)  |  Science History (3)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Study (653)  |  Theory (970)  |  Tremendous (26)

An archaeologist is a scientist who seeks to discover past civilizations while the present one is still around.
Anonymous
In Evan Esar, 20,000 Quips & Quotes (1968, 1995), 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Archaeologist (17)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Discover (553)  |  Present (619)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Seek (213)  |  Still (613)

Anything made out of destructible matter
Infinite time would have devoured before.
But if the atoms that make and replenish the world
Have endured through the immense span of the past
Their natures are immortal—that is clear.
Never can things revert to nothingness!
On the Nature of Things, trans. Anthony M. Esolen (1995), Book I, lines 232-7, 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Devour (29)  |  Endure (20)  |  Immense (86)  |  Immortal (35)  |  Indestructible (12)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Matter (798)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Nothingness (12)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  World (1774)

As an empiricist I continue to think of the conceptual scheme of science as a tool, ultimately, for predicting future experience in the light of past experience. Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries—not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer. For my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer's gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conception only as cultural posits. The myth of physical objects is epistemologically superior to most in that it has proved more efficacious than other myths as a device for working a manageable structure into the flux of experience.
From A Logical Point of View (1953), 44. [Note: “qua” means “in the character or role of,” thus “qua lay physicist” means “in the role of lay physicist,” or perhaps even (?) “putting on my lay physicist hat.” —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Belief (578)  |  Both (493)  |  Concept (221)  |  Conception (154)  |  Consider (416)  |  Continue (165)  |  Culture (143)  |  Definition (221)  |  Degree (276)  |  Device (70)  |  Differ (85)  |  Difference (337)  |  Do (1908)  |  Empiricist (3)  |  Enter (141)  |  Entity (35)  |  Epistemology (8)  |  Error (321)  |  Experience (467)  |  Flux (21)  |  Footing (2)  |  Future (429)  |  God (757)  |  Homer (9)  |  Import (5)  |  Intermediary (2)  |  Kind (557)  |  Light (607)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Myth (56)  |  Object (422)  |  Other (2236)  |  Otherwise (24)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Point (580)  |  Posit (2)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Scheme (57)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Situation (113)  |  Structure (344)  |  Superior (81)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Think (1086)  |  Tool (117)  |  Ultimately (55)

As every circumstance relating to so capital a discovery as this (the greatest, perhaps, that has been made in the whole compass of philosophy, since the time of Sir Isaac Newton) cannot but give pleasure to all my readers, I shall endeavour to gratify them with the communication of a few particulars which I have from the best authority. The Doctor [Benjamin Franklin], after having published his method of verifying his hypothesis concerning the sameness of electricity with the matter lightning, was waiting for the erection of a spire in Philadelphia to carry his views into execution; not imagining that a pointed rod, of a moderate height, could answer the purpose; when it occurred to him, that, by means of a common kite, he could have a readier and better access to the regions of thunder than by any spire whatever. Preparing, therefore, a large silk handkerchief, and two cross sticks, of a proper length, on which to extend it, he took the opportunity of the first approaching thunder storm to take a walk into a field, in which there was a shed convenient for his purpose. But dreading the ridicule which too commonly attends unsuccessful attempts in science, he communicated his intended experiment to no body but his son, who assisted him in raising the kite.
The kite being raised, a considerable time elapsed before there was any appearance of its being electrified. One very promising cloud passed over it without any effect; when, at length, just as he was beginning to despair of his contrivance, he observed some loose threads of the hempen string to stand erect, and to avoid one another, just as if they had been suspended on a common conductor. Struck with this promising appearance, he inmmediately presented his knuckle to the key, and (let the reader judge of the exquisite pleasure he must have felt at that moment) the discovery was complete. He perceived a very evident electric spark. Others succeeded, even before the string was wet, so as to put the matter past all dispute, and when the rain had wetted the string, he collected electric fire very copiously. This happened in June 1752, a month after the electricians in France had verified the same theory, but before he had heard of any thing that they had done.
The History and Present State of Electricity, with Original Experiments (1767, 3rd ed. 1775), Vol. 1, 216-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Access (20)  |  All (4108)  |  Answer (366)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Attend (65)  |  Authority (95)  |  Avoid (116)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Best (459)  |  Better (486)  |  Body (537)  |  Carry (127)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Common (436)  |  Communication (94)  |  Compass (34)  |  Complete (204)  |  Conductor (16)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Despair (40)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Dispute (32)  |  Doctor (187)  |  Effect (393)  |  Electric (76)  |  Electrician (6)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Endeavour (63)  |  Evident (91)  |  Execution (25)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Exquisite (25)  |  Extend (128)  |  Field (364)  |  Fire (189)  |  First (1283)  |  France (27)  |  Benjamin Franklin (91)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happened (88)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Judge (108)  |  Key (50)  |  Kite (4)  |  Large (394)  |  Lightning (45)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Method (505)  |  Moment (253)  |  Month (88)  |  Must (1526)  |  Observed (149)  |  Opportunity (87)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pass (238)  |  Philadelphia (3)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Point (580)  |  Preparing (21)  |  Present (619)  |  Proper (144)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Rain (62)  |  Ridicule (23)  |  Sameness (3)  |  Science (3879)  |  Silk (13)  |  Spark (31)  |  Spire (5)  |  Stand (274)  |  Storm (51)  |  String (21)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thread (32)  |  Thunder (20)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)  |  Verification (31)  |  View (488)  |  Waiting (43)  |  Walk (124)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Whole (738)

As geology is essentially a historical science, the working method of the geologist resembles that of the historian. This makes the personality of the geologist of essential importance in the way he analyzes the past.
In 'The Scientific Character of Geology', The Journal of Geology (Jul 1961), 69, No. 4, 453.
Science quotes on:  |  Analyze (10)  |  Essential (199)  |  Essentially (14)  |  Geologist (75)  |  Geology (220)  |  Historian (54)  |  Historical (70)  |  Importance (286)  |  Method (505)  |  Personality (62)  |  Resemble (63)  |  Science (3879)  |  Way (1217)  |  Working (20)

As historians, we refuse to allow ourselves these vain speculations which turn on possibilities that, in order to be reduced to actuality, suppose an overturning of the Universe, in which our globe, like a speck of abandoned matter, escapes our vision and is no longer an object worthy of our regard. In order to fix our vision, it is necessary to take it such as it is, to observe well all parts of it, and by indications infer from the present to the past.
'Second Discours: Histoire et Theorie de la Terre', Histoire Naturelle, Ginerale et Particulière, Avec la Description du Cabinet du Roi (1749), Vol. 1, 98-9. Trans. Phillip R. Sloan.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Actuality (6)  |  All (4108)  |  Escape (80)  |  Historian (54)  |  Indication (33)  |  Matter (798)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Object (422)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observe (168)  |  Order (632)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Present (619)  |  Refuse (42)  |  Regard (305)  |  Speck (23)  |  Speculation (126)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Turn (447)  |  Universe (857)  |  Vain (83)  |  Vision (123)

Astronomers work always with the past; because light takes time to move from one place to another, they see things as they were, not as they are.
The Telescope Handbook and Star Atlas (1967), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (93)  |  History (673)  |  Light (607)  |  Move (216)  |  See (1081)  |  Star (427)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Work (1351)

Astronomy, as the science of cyclical motions, has nothing in common with Geology. But look at Astronomy where she has an analogy with Geology; consider our knowledge of the heavens as a palaetiological science;—as the study of a past condition, from which the present is derived by causes acting in time. Is there no evidence of a beginning, or of a progress?
In History of the Inductive Sciences (1857), Vol. 3, 516.
Science quotes on:  |  Acting (5)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Cause (541)  |  Common (436)  |  Condition (356)  |  Consider (416)  |  Cycle (40)  |  Derived (5)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Geology (220)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Look (582)  |  Motion (310)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Present (619)  |  Progress (465)  |  Science (3879)  |  Study (653)  |  Time (1877)

At the beginning of its existence as a science, biology was forced to take cognizance of the seemingly boundless variety of living things, for no exact study of life phenomena was possible until the apparent chaos of the distinct kinds of organisms had been reduced to a rational system. Systematics and morphology, two predominantly descriptive and observational disciplines, took precedence among biological sciences during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. More recently physiology has come to the foreground, accompanied by the introduction of quantitative methods and by a shift from the observationalism of the past to a predominance of experimentation.
In Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937, 1982), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  18th Century (21)  |  19th Century (33)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Boundless (26)  |  Chaos (91)  |  Description (84)  |  Descriptive (17)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Distinct (97)  |  Existence (456)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Foreground (3)  |  Introduction (35)  |  Kind (557)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  More (2559)  |  Morphology (22)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observational (15)  |  Organism (220)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Possible (552)  |  Precedence (4)  |  Predominance (3)  |  Quantitative (29)  |  Rational (90)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seemingly (28)  |  Shift (44)  |  Study (653)  |  System (537)  |  Systematic (57)  |  Systematics (4)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Two (937)  |  Variety (132)

Basic research may seem very expensive. I am a well-paid scientist. My hourly wage is equal to that of a plumber, but sometimes my research remains barren of results for weeks, months or years and my conscience begins to bother me for wasting the taxpayer’s money. But in reviewing my life’s work, I have to think that the expense was not wasted.
Basic research, to which we owe everything, is relatively very cheap when compared with other outlays of modern society. The other day I made a rough calculation which led me to the conclusion that if one were to add up all the money ever spent by man on basic research, one would find it to be just about equal to the money spent by the Pentagon this past year.
In The Crazy Ape (1971).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Barren (30)  |  Basic (138)  |  Basic Research (14)  |  Begin (260)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Conscience (50)  |  Everything (476)  |  Find (998)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Modern (385)  |  Money (170)  |  Month (88)  |  Other (2236)  |  Owe (71)  |  Plumber (10)  |  Remain (349)  |  Research (664)  |  Result (677)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Society (326)  |  Spent (85)  |  Think (1086)  |  Week (70)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

Beyond lonely Pluto, dark and shadowless, lies the glittering realm of interstellar space, the silent ocean that rolls on and on, past stars and galaxies alike, to the ends of the Universe. What do men know of this vast infinity, this shoreless ocean? Is it hostile or friendly–or merely indifferent?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alike (60)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Dark (140)  |  Do (1908)  |  End (590)  |  Friendly (4)  |  Galaxies (29)  |  Galaxy (51)  |  Glitter (8)  |  Hostile (8)  |  Indifferent (16)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Interstellar (8)  |  Know (1518)  |  Lie (364)  |  Lonely (24)  |  Merely (316)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Pluto (6)  |  Realm (85)  |  Roll (40)  |  Silent (29)  |  Space (500)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Universe (857)  |  Vast (177)

Biological disciplines tend to guide research into certain channels. One consequence is that disciplines are apt to become parochial, or at least to develop blind spots, for example, to treat some questions as “interesting” and to dismiss others as “uninteresting.” As a consequence, readily accessible but unworked areas of genuine biological interest often lie in plain sight but untouched within one discipline while being heavily worked in another. For example, historically insect physiologists have paid relatively little attention to the behavioral and physiological control of body temperature and its energetic and ecological consequences, whereas many students of the comparative physiology of terrestrial vertebrates have been virtually fixated on that topic. For the past 10 years, several of my students and I have exploited this situation by taking the standard questions and techniques from comparative vertebrate physiology and applying them to insects. It is surprising that this pattern of innovation is not more deliberately employed.
In 'Scientific innovation and creativity: a zoologist’s point of view', American Zoologist (1982), 22, 233.
Science quotes on:  |  Accessible (25)  |  Apply (160)  |  Apt (9)  |  Area (31)  |  Attention (190)  |  Become (815)  |  Behavioral (6)  |  Being (1278)  |  Biological (137)  |  Blind (95)  |  Blind Spot (2)  |  Body (537)  |  Certain (550)  |  Channel (21)  |  Comparative (13)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Control (167)  |  Deliberately (6)  |  Develop (268)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Dismiss (10)  |  Ecological (7)  |  Employ (113)  |  Energetic (6)  |  Example (94)  |  Exploit (19)  |  Genuine (52)  |  Guide (97)  |  Heavily (14)  |  Historically (3)  |  Innovation (42)  |  Insect (77)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Least (75)  |  Lie (364)  |  Little (707)  |  More (2559)  |  Often (106)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Pay (43)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Physiologist (29)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Plain (33)  |  Question (621)  |  Readily (10)  |  Relatively (7)  |  Research (664)  |  Several (32)  |  Sight (132)  |  Situation (113)  |  Standard (57)  |  Student (300)  |  Surprise (86)  |  Technique (80)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Tend (124)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Topic (21)  |  Treat (35)  |  Uninteresting (9)  |  Untouched (4)  |  Unworked (2)  |  Vertebrate (20)  |  Virtually (6)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

But as Geographers use to place Seas upon that place of the Globe which they know not: so chronologers, who are near of kin to them, use to blot out ages past, which they know not. They drown those Countries which they know not: These with cruel pen kill the times they heard not of, and deny which they know not.
Prae-Adamitae (1655), trans. Men Before Adam (1656), 164, published anonymously.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Chronology (9)  |  Cruel (25)  |  Deny (66)  |  Geographer (6)  |  Globe (47)  |  Kill (100)  |  Kin (10)  |  Know (1518)  |  Map (44)  |  Pen (20)  |  Sea (308)  |  Time (1877)  |  Use (766)

But for the persistence of a student of this university in urging upon me his desire to study with me the modern algebra I should never have been led into this investigation; and the new facts and principles which I have discovered in regard to it (important facts, I believe), would, so far as I am concerned, have remained still hidden in the womb of time. In vain I represented to this inquisitive student that he would do better to take up some other subject lying less off the beaten track of study, such as the higher parts of the calculus or elliptic functions, or the theory of substitutions, or I wot not what besides. He stuck with perfect respectfulness, but with invincible pertinacity, to his point. He would have the new algebra (Heaven knows where he had heard about it, for it is almost unknown in this continent), that or nothing. I was obliged to yield, and what was the consequence? In trying to throw light upon an obscure explanation in our text-book, my brain took fire, I plunged with re-quickened zeal into a subject which I had for years abandoned, and found food for thoughts which have engaged my attention for a considerable time past, and will probably occupy all my powers of contemplation advantageously for several months to come.
In Johns Hopkins Commemoration Day Address, Collected Mathematical Papers, Vol. 3, 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Advantageous (10)  |  Algebra (113)  |  All (4108)  |  Attention (190)  |  Beaten Track (4)  |  Belief (578)  |  Better (486)  |  Book (392)  |  Brain (270)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Concern (228)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Contemplation (73)  |  Continent (76)  |  Desire (204)  |  Discover (553)  |  Do (1908)  |  Ellipse (8)  |  Engage (39)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Far (154)  |  Find (998)  |  Fire (189)  |  Food (199)  |  Function (228)  |  Hear (139)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Hide (69)  |  High (362)  |  Important (209)  |  In Vain (9)  |  Inquisitive (5)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Invincible (6)  |  Know (1518)  |  Lead (384)  |  Less (103)  |  Lie (364)  |  Light (607)  |  Lying (55)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Modern (385)  |  Month (88)  |  Never (1087)  |  New (1216)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Obliged (6)  |  Obscure (62)  |  Occupy (26)  |  Other (2236)  |  Part (222)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Persistence (24)  |  Pertinacity (2)  |  Plunge (11)  |  Point (580)  |  Power (746)  |  Principle (507)  |  Probably (49)  |  Quicken (7)  |  Regard (305)  |  Remain (349)  |  Represent (155)  |  Several (32)  |  Stick (24)  |  Still (613)  |  Student (300)  |  Study (653)  |  Subject (521)  |  Substitution (13)  |  Text-Book (5)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thought (953)  |  Throw (43)  |  Time (1877)  |  Track (38)  |  Try (283)  |  Trying (144)  |  University (121)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Urge (17)  |  Vain (83)  |  Will (2355)  |  Womb (24)  |  Year (933)  |  Yield (81)  |  Zeal (11)

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Certain (550)  |  Change (593)  |  Future (429)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Look (582)  |  Miss (51)  |  Present (619)

Chemistry is the study of material transformations. Yet a knowledge of the rate, or time dependence, of chemical change is of critical importance for the successful synthesis of new materials and for the utilization of the energy generated by a reaction. During the past century it has become clear that all macroscopic chemical processes consist of many elementary chemical reactions that are themselves simply a series of encounters between atomic or molecular species. In order to understand the time dependence of chemical reactions, chemical kineticists have traditionally focused on sorting out all of the elementary chemical reactions involved in a macroscopic chemical process and determining their respective rates.
'Molecular Beam Studies of Elementary Chemical Processes', Nobel Lecture, 8 Dec 1986. In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1981-1990 (1992), 320.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Become (815)  |  Century (310)  |  Change (593)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Chemical Change (8)  |  Chemical Reaction (16)  |  Chemical Reactions (13)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Consist (223)  |  Critical (66)  |  Dependence (45)  |  Elementary (96)  |  Energy (344)  |  Focus (35)  |  Importance (286)  |  Involved (90)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Material (353)  |  Matter (798)  |  New (1216)  |  Order (632)  |  Process (423)  |  Rate (29)  |  Reaction (104)  |  Series (149)  |  Species (401)  |  Study (653)  |  Successful (123)  |  Synthesis (57)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Time (1877)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Understand (606)  |  Utilization (15)

Concerned to reconstruct past ideas, historians must approach the generation that held them as the anthropologist approaches an alien culture. They must, that is, be prepared at the start to find that natives speak a different language and map experience into different categories from those they themselves bring from home. And they must take as their object the discovery of those categories and the assimilation of the corresponding language.
'Revisiting Planck', Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences (1984), 14, 246.
Science quotes on:  |  Alien (34)  |  Anthropologist (6)  |  Approach (108)  |  Assimilation (13)  |  Category (18)  |  Concern (228)  |  Culture (143)  |  Different (577)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Experience (467)  |  Find (998)  |  Generation (242)  |  Historian (54)  |  History (673)  |  Home (170)  |  Idea (843)  |  Language (293)  |  Map (44)  |  Must (1526)  |  Native (38)  |  Object (422)  |  Reconstruction (14)  |  Speak (232)  |  Start (221)  |  Themselves (433)

Cosmology does, I think, affect the way that we perceive humanity’s role in nature. One thing we’ve learnt from astronomy is that the future lying ahead is more prolonged than the past. Even our sun is less than halfway through its life.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Affect (19)  |  Ahead (19)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Cosmology (25)  |  Future (429)  |  Halfway (2)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Learn (629)  |  Less (103)  |  Lie (364)  |  Life (1795)  |  Lying (55)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Perceive (40)  |  Prolong (29)  |  Prolonged (6)  |  Role (86)  |  Sun (385)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Through (849)  |  Way (1217)

Create a vision and never let the environment, other people’s beliefs, or the limits of what has been done in the past shape your decisions. Ignore conventional wisdom.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Belief (578)  |  Conventional (30)  |  Conventional Wisdom (3)  |  Create (235)  |  Decision (91)  |  Environment (216)  |  Ignore (45)  |  Let (61)  |  Limit (280)  |  Never (1087)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Shape (72)  |  Vision (123)  |  Wisdom (221)

Does it mean, if you don’t understand something, and the community of physicists don’t understand it, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, here’s a list of the things in the past that the physicists—at the time—didn’t understand … [but now we do understand.] If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance, that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller, as time moves on. So just be ready for that to happen, if that’s how you want to come at the problem. That’s simply the “God of the Gaps” argument that’s been around for ever.
From interview, The Science Studio video series of The Science Network website, episode 'The Moon, the Tides and why Neil DeGrasse Tyson is Colbert’s God' (20 Jan 2011), time 26:58-27:55.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Argument (138)  |  Community (104)  |  Do (1908)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Game (101)  |  Gap (33)  |  God (757)  |  Happen (274)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Invoke (6)  |  List (10)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Move (216)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Play (112)  |  Pocket (11)  |  Problem (676)  |  Ready (39)  |  Receding (2)  |  Science And God (5)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Small (477)  |  Something (719)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Understand (606)  |  Want (497)

During my stay in London I resided for a considerable time in Clapham Road in the neighbourhood of Clapham Common... One fine summer evening I was returning by the last bus 'outside' as usual, through the deserted streets of the city, which are at other times so full of life. I fell into a reverie (Träumerei), and 10, the atoms were gambolling before my eyes! Whenever, hitherto, these diminutive beings had appeared to me, they had always been in motion: but up to that time I had never been able to discern the nature of their motion. Now, however, I saw how, frequently, two smaller atoms united to form a pair: how the larger one embraced the two smaller ones: how still larger ones kept hold of three or even four of the smaller: whilst the whole kept whirling in a giddy dance. I saw how the larger ones formed a chain, dragging the smaller ones after them but only at the ends of the chain. I saw what our past master, Kopp, my highly honoured teacher and friend has depicted with such charm in his Molekular-Welt: but I saw it long before him. The cry of the conductor 'Clapham Road', awakened me from my dreaming: but I spent part of the night in putting on paper at least sketches of these dream forms. This was the origin of the 'Structural Theory'.
Kekule at Benzolfest in Berichte (1890), 23, 1302.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Being (1278)  |  Chain (50)  |  Charm (51)  |  City (78)  |  Common (436)  |  Compound (113)  |  Conductor (16)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Cry (29)  |  Dance (32)  |  Desert (56)  |  Discern (33)  |  Dragging (6)  |  Dream (208)  |  End (590)  |  Eye (419)  |  Form (959)  |  Friend (168)  |  Honour (56)  |  Hermann Franz Moritz Kopp (2)  |  Last (426)  |  Life (1795)  |  Long (790)  |  Master (178)  |  Motion (310)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Origin (239)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outside (141)  |  Paper (182)  |  Saw (160)  |  Spent (85)  |  Still (613)  |  Structural (29)  |  Structure (344)  |  Summer (54)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Theory (970)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)  |  Whenever (81)  |  Whole (738)

Dust consisting of fine fibers of asbestos, which are insoluble and virtually indestructible, may become a public health problem in the near future. At a recent international conference on the biological effects of asbestos sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences, participants pointed out on the one hand that workers exposed to asbestos dust are prone in later life to develop lung cancer, and on the other hand that the use of this family of fibrous silicate compounds has expanded enormously during the past few decades. A laboratory curiosity 100 years ago, asbestos today is a major component of building materials.
Magazine
In Scientific American (Sep 1964). As cited in '50, 100 & 150 Years Ago', Scientific American (Dec 2014), 311, No. 6, 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Academy (35)  |  Asbestos (3)  |  Become (815)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Building (156)  |  Cancer (55)  |  Century (310)  |  Component (48)  |  Compound (113)  |  Conference (17)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Decade (59)  |  Develop (268)  |  Development (422)  |  Dust (64)  |  Effect (393)  |  Expand (53)  |  Exposed (33)  |  Exposure (7)  |  Family (94)  |  Fiber (16)  |  Future (429)  |  Hand (143)  |  Health (193)  |  Indestructible (12)  |  Insoluble (15)  |  International (37)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Later (18)  |  Life (1795)  |  Lung (34)  |  Lung Cancer (7)  |  Major (84)  |  Material (353)  |  New (1216)  |  Other (2236)  |  Participant (6)  |  Point (580)  |  Point Out (8)  |  Problem (676)  |  Prone (7)  |  Public (96)  |  Public Health (10)  |  Recent (77)  |  Science (3879)  |  Silicate (2)  |  Sponsor (5)  |  Today (314)  |  Use (766)  |  Virtually (6)  |  Worker (31)  |  Year (933)

Earlier theories … were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past. [Coining the “big bang” expression.]
From microfilmed Speaker's Copy of a radio script held at the BBC Written Archive Centre, for Hoyle's radio talk on the BBC Third Programme (28 Mar 1949). The date and time of the broadcast, 6:30pm, are given in that week’s Radio Times. The quote, with these references given in footnotes, in Simon Mitton, Fred Hoyle: A Life in Science (2011), 127-128 and 332. The text of the talk, the first printed use of the “big bang” expression, in the BBC’s The Listener magazine (7 Apr 1949), Vol.41, 568.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Bang (29)  |  Big Bang (39)  |  Creation (327)  |  Early (185)  |  Expression (175)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Matter (798)  |  Nomenclature (146)  |  Remote (83)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)

Even a god cannot change the past.
Agathon
As loosely translated from a quote by Aristotle: “Hence Agathon is right in saying ‘This only is denied even to God, The power to make what has been done undone.’”. As quoted by Aristotle in Nicomachean Ethics, Book 6, Chap. 2, translation by H. Rackham (1934). Also seen as “The one thing which even God cannot do is to make undone what has been done,” in Susan Ratcliffe (ed.), Oxford Treasury of Sayings and Quotations (2011), 329.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (593)  |  God (757)

Even the mind depends so much on temperament and the disposition of one’s bodily organs that, if it is possible to find a way to make people generally more wise and more skilful than they have been in the past, I believe that we should look for it in medicine. It is true that medicine as it is currently practiced contains little of much use.
In Discourse on Method as translated by Desmond M. Clarke, in Discourse on Method and Related Writings (1999), 44. Also see an earlier translation that begins “For the mind…” on this web page.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Depend (228)  |  Disposition (42)  |  Find (998)  |  Little (707)  |  Look (582)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Mind (1338)  |  More (2559)  |  Organ (115)  |  People (1005)  |  Possible (552)  |  Temperament (17)  |  Use (766)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wise (131)

Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter. This is what makes the trade of historian so attractive.
Dean Inge
In 'Prognostications', Assessments and Anticipations (1929), 149.
Science quotes on:  |  Attractive (23)  |  Divide (75)  |  Divided (50)  |  Do (1908)  |  Event (216)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happened (88)  |  Historian (54)  |  Matter (798)  |  Never (1087)  |  Probably (49)  |  Trade (31)

Every generation has the right to build its own world out of the materials of the past, cemented by the hopes of the future.
Speech, Republican National Convention, Chicago (27 Jun 1944), 'Freedom in America and the World', collected in Addresses Upon the American Road: 1941-1945 (1946), 254.
Science quotes on:  |  Build (204)  |  Building (156)  |  Cement (9)  |  Future (429)  |  Generation (242)  |  Hope (299)  |  Material (353)  |  Right (452)  |  World (1774)

Every Man being conscious to himself, That he thinks, and that which his Mind is employ'd about whilst thinking, being the Ideas, that are there, 'tis past doubt, that Men have in their Minds several Ideas, such as are those expressed by the words, Whiteness, Hardness, Sweetness, Thinking, Motion, Man, Elephant, Army, Drunkenness, and others: It is in the first place then to be inquired, How he comes by them? I know it is a received Doctrine, That Men have native Ideas, and original Characters stamped upon their Minds, in their very first Being.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 2, Chapter 1, Section 1, 104.
Science quotes on:  |  Army (33)  |  Being (1278)  |  Character (243)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Elephant (31)  |  Employ (113)  |  Express (186)  |  First (1283)  |  Himself (461)  |  Idea (843)  |  Know (1518)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Motion (310)  |  Native (38)  |  Other (2236)  |  Stamp (36)  |  Sweetness (12)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Word (619)

Every new theory as it arises believes in the flush of youth that it has the long sought goal; it sees no limits to its applicability, and believes that at last it is the fortunate theory to achieve the 'right' answer. This was true of electron theory—perhaps some readers will remember a book called The Electrical Theory of the Universe by de Tunzelman. It is true of general relativity theory with its belief that we can formulate a mathematical scheme that will extrapolate to all past and future time and the unfathomed depths of space. It has been true of wave mechanics, with its first enthusiastic claim a brief ten years ago that no problem had successfully resisted its attack provided the attack was properly made, and now the disillusionment of age when confronted by the problems of the proton and the neutron. When will we learn that logic, mathematics, physical theory, are all only inventions for formulating in compact and manageable form what we already know, like all inventions do not achieve complete success in accomplishing what they were designed to do, much less complete success in fields beyond the scope of the original design, and that our only justification for hoping to penetrate at all into the unknown with these inventions is our past experience that sometimes we have been fortunate enough to be able to push on a short distance by acquired momentum.
The Nature of Physical Theory (1936), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquired (78)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Already (222)  |  Answer (366)  |  Arise (158)  |  Attack (84)  |  Belief (578)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Book (392)  |  Brief (36)  |  Call (769)  |  Claim (146)  |  Compact (13)  |  Complete (204)  |  Depth (94)  |  Design (195)  |  Disillusionment (2)  |  Distance (161)  |  Do (1908)  |  Electrical (57)  |  Electron (93)  |  Enough (340)  |  Experience (467)  |  Field (364)  |  First (1283)  |  Form (959)  |  Fortunate (26)  |  Future (429)  |  General (511)  |  General Relativity (10)  |  Goal (145)  |  Invention (369)  |  Justification (48)  |  Know (1518)  |  Last (426)  |  Learn (629)  |  Limit (280)  |  Logic (287)  |  Long (790)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mechanic (119)  |  Mechanics (131)  |  Momentum (9)  |  Neutron (17)  |  New (1216)  |  Penetrate (67)  |  Physical (508)  |  Problem (676)  |  Proton (21)  |  Push (62)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Remember (179)  |  Right (452)  |  Scheme (57)  |  Scope (45)  |  See (1081)  |  Short (197)  |  Space (500)  |  Success (302)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Wave (107)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)  |  Youth (101)

Every scientist is an agent of cultural change. He may not be a champion of change; he may even resist it, as scholars of the past resisted the new truths of historical geology, biological evolution, unitary chemistry, and non-Euclidean geometry. But to the extent that he is a true professional, the scientist is inescapably an agent of change. His tools are the instruments of change—skepticism, the challenge to establish authority, criticism, rationality, and individuality.
In Science in Russian Culture: A History to 1860 (1963).
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (70)  |  Authority (95)  |  Biological (137)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Change (593)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Extent (139)  |  Geology (220)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Historical (70)  |  Individuality (22)  |  Instrument (144)  |  New (1216)  |  Non-Euclidean (7)  |  Professional (70)  |  Rationality (24)  |  Scholar (48)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Skepticism (28)  |  Tool (117)  |  Truth (1057)

Evolution: At the Mind's Cinema
I turn the handle and the story starts:
Reel after reel is all astronomy,
Till life, enkindled in a niche of sky,
Leaps on the stage to play a million parts.
Life leaves the slime and through all ocean darts;
She conquers earth, and raises wings to fly;
Then spirit blooms, and learns how not to die,-
Nesting beyond the grave in others' hearts.
I turn the handle: other men like me
Have made the film: and now I sit and look
In quiet, privileged like Divinity
To read the roaring world as in a book.
If this thy past, where shall they future climb,
O Spirit, built of Elements and Time?
'Evolution: At the Mind's Cinema' (1922), in The Captive Shrew and Other Poems of a Biologist (1932), 55.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Book (392)  |  Conquer (37)  |  Death (388)  |  Divinity (23)  |  Earth (996)  |  Element (310)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Film (10)  |  Fly (146)  |  Future (429)  |  Grave (52)  |  Handle (28)  |  Heart (229)  |  Leap (53)  |  Learn (629)  |  Life (1795)  |  Look (582)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Niche (9)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Other (2236)  |  Poem (96)  |  Quiet (36)  |  Read (287)  |  Sky (161)  |  Slime (6)  |  Spirit (265)  |  Stage (143)  |  Start (221)  |  Story (118)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Turn (447)  |  Wing (75)  |  World (1774)

Experiments in geology are far more difficult than in physics and chemistry because of the greater size of the objects, commonly outside our laboratories, up to the earth itself, and also because of the fact that the geologic time scale exceeds the human time scale by a million and more times. This difference in time allows only direct observations of the actual geologic processes, the mind having to imagine what could possibly have happened in the past.
In 'The Scientific Character of Geology', The Journal of Geology (Jul 1961), 69, No. 4, 455-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Difference (337)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Direct (225)  |  Earth (996)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Geology (220)  |  Greater (288)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happened (88)  |  Human (1468)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Million (114)  |  Mind (1338)  |  More (2559)  |  Object (422)  |  Observation (555)  |  Outside (141)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Process (423)  |  Scale (121)  |  Size (60)  |  Time (1877)

Faced with a new mutation in an organism, or a fundamental change in its living conditions, the biologist is frequently in no position whatever to predict its future prospects. He has to wait and see. For instance, the hairy mammoth seems to have been an admirable animal, intelligent and well-accoutered. Now that it is extinct, we try to understand why it failed. I doubt that any biologist thinks he could have predicted that failure. Fitness and survival are by nature estimates of past performance.
In Scientific American (Sep 1958). As cited in '50, 100 & 150 years ago', Scientific American (Sep 2008), 299, No. 3, 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (19)  |  Animal (617)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Change (593)  |  Condition (356)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Extinct (21)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  Fitness (9)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Future (429)  |  Hairy (2)  |  Intelligent (100)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Mammoth (9)  |  Mutation (37)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Organism (220)  |  Performance (48)  |  Predict (79)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Prospect (30)  |  See (1081)  |  Survival (94)  |  Think (1086)  |  Try (283)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Why (491)

Faced with the widespread destruction of the environment, people everywhere are coming to understand that we cannot continue to use the goods of the earth as we have in the past … [A] new ecological awareness is beginning to emerge which rather than being downplayed, ought to be encouraged to develop into concrete programs and initiatives. (8 Dec 1989)
The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility. Quoted in Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (2000), 262.
Science quotes on:  |  Awareness (36)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Coming (114)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Continue (165)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Develop (268)  |  Earth (996)  |  Environment (216)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Good (889)  |  Initiative (17)  |  New (1216)  |  People (1005)  |  Understand (606)  |  Use (766)  |  Widespread (22)

Facts may belong to the past history of mankind, to the social statistics of our great cities, to the atmosphere of the most distant stars, to the digestive organs of a worm, or to the life of a scarcely visible bacillus. It is not the facts themselves which form science, but the method in which they are dealt with.
From The Grammar of Science (1892), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Atmosphere (103)  |  Bacillus (9)  |  Belong (162)  |  City (78)  |  Digestion (28)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Form (959)  |  Great (1574)  |  History (673)  |  History Of Mankind (13)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Method (505)  |  Microscopic (26)  |  Most (1731)  |  Organ (115)  |  Scarcely (74)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Social (252)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Visible (84)  |  Worm (42)

Faraday thinks from day to day, against a background of older thinking, and anticipating new facts of tomorrow. In other words, he thinks in three dimensions of time; past, present, and future.
In 'The Scientific Grammar of Michael Faraday’s Diaries', Part I, 'The Classic of Science', A Classic and a Founder (1937), collected in Rosenstock-Huessy Papers (1981), Vol. 1, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  Anticipate (18)  |  Background (43)  |  Dimension (61)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Michael Faraday (85)  |  Future (429)  |  In Other Words (9)  |  New (1216)  |  Old (481)  |  Other (2236)  |  Past Present and Future (2)  |  Present (619)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Time (1877)  |  Tomorrow (60)  |  Word (619)

For a billion years the patient earth amassed documents and inscribed them with signs and pictures which lay unnoticed and unused. Today, at last, they are waking up, because man has come to rouse them. Stones have begun to speak, because an ear is there to hear them. Layers become history and, released from the enchanted sleep of eternity, life's motley, never-ending dance rises out of the black depths of the past into the light of the present.
Conversation with the Earth (1954), 4
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Amass (6)  |  Become (815)  |  Billion (95)  |  Dance (32)  |  Depth (94)  |  Ear (68)  |  Earth (996)  |  Eternity (63)  |  Geology (220)  |  Hear (139)  |  History (673)  |  Last (426)  |  Layer (40)  |  Life (1795)  |  Light (607)  |  Man (2251)  |  Never (1087)  |  Patient (199)  |  Picture (143)  |  Present (619)  |  Rise (166)  |  Rock (161)  |  Sleep (76)  |  Speak (232)  |  Stone (162)  |  Today (314)  |  Waking (17)  |  Year (933)

For all these years you were merely
A smear of light through our telescopes
On the clearest, coldest night; a hint
Of a glint, just a few pixels wide
On even your most perfectly-framed portraits.
But now, now we see you!
Swimming out of the dark - a great
Stone shark, your star-tanned skin pitted
And pocked, scarred after eons of drifting
Silently through the endless ocean of space.
Here on Earth our faces lit up as we saw
You clearly for the first time; eyes wide
With wonder we traced the strangely familiar
Grooves raked across your sides,
Wondering if Rosetta had doubled back to Mars
And raced past Phobos by mistake –
Then you were gone, falling back into the black,
Not to be seen by human eyes again for a thousand
Blue Moons or more. But we know you now,
We know you; you’ll never be just a speck of light again.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Across (32)  |  All (4108)  |  Back (390)  |  Black (42)  |  Blue (56)  |  Clear (100)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Cold (112)  |  Dark (140)  |  Double (15)  |  Drift (13)  |  Earth (996)  |  Endless (56)  |  Eon (11)  |  Eye (419)  |  Face (212)  |  Fall (230)  |  Familiar (43)  |  First (1283)  |  First Time (10)  |  Glint (2)  |  Great (1574)  |  Groove (3)  |  Hint (21)  |  Human (1468)  |  Know (1518)  |  Light (607)  |  Mars (44)  |  Merely (316)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Moon (237)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Never (1087)  |  Night (120)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Pit (19)  |  Pixel (2)  |  Portrait (4)  |  Race (268)  |  Saw (160)  |  Scar (7)  |  See (1081)  |  Shark (10)  |  Side (233)  |  Silently (4)  |  Skin (47)  |  Smear (3)  |  Space (500)  |  Speck (23)  |  Star (427)  |  Stone (162)  |  Strangely (5)  |  Swim (30)  |  Swimming (17)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Trace (103)  |  Wide (96)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Year (933)

For it is the duty of an astronomer to compose the history of the celestial motions or hypotheses about them. Since he cannot in any certain way attain to the true causes, he will adopt whatever suppositions enable the motions to be computed correctly from the principles of geometry for the future as well as for the past.
From unauthorized preface Osiander anonymously added when he was entrusted with arranging the printing of the original work by Copernicus. As translated in Nicolaus Copernicus and Jerzy Dobrzycki (ed.), Nicholas Copernicus on the Revolutions (1978), xvi.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Attain (125)  |  Attainment (47)  |  Cause (541)  |  Celestial (53)  |  Certain (550)  |  Computation (24)  |  Correct (86)  |  Duty (68)  |  Enable (119)  |  Enabling (7)  |  Future (429)  |  Geometry (255)  |  History (673)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Motion (310)  |  Principle (507)  |  Supposition (50)  |  Way (1217)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Will (2355)

For the past 10 years I have had the interesting experience of observing the development of Parkinson's syndrome on myself. As a matter of fact, this condition does not come under my special medical interests or I would have had it solved long ago. … The condition has its compensations: one is not yanked from interesting work to go to the jungles of Burma ... one avoids all kinds of deadly committee meetings, etc.
Article for his 25th anniversary class report. In Barry G. Firkin, Judith A. Whitworth, Dictionary of Medical Eponyms (1996), 5.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Avoid (116)  |  Condition (356)  |  Deadly (21)  |  Development (422)  |  Experience (467)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Jungle (22)  |  Kind (557)  |  Long (790)  |  Matter (798)  |  Myself (212)  |  Special (184)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

For these two years I have been gravitating towards your doctrines, and since the publication of your primula paper with accelerated velocity. By about this time next year I expect to have shot past you, and to find you pitching into me for being more Darwinian than yourself. However, you have set me going, and must just take the consequences, for I warn you I will stop at no point so long as clear reasoning will take me further.
Thomas Henry Huxley, Leonard Huxley, Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (1901), 211.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Expect (200)  |  Find (998)  |  Long (790)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Next (236)  |  Paper (182)  |  Point (580)  |  Publication (101)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Set (394)  |  Stop (80)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)  |  Velocity (48)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Change (593)  |  Enlarge (35)  |  Forgiveness (2)  |  Future (429)

FORTRAN —’the infantile disorder’—, by now nearly 20 years old, is hopelessly inadequate for whatever computer application you have in mind today: it is now too clumsy, too risky, and too expensive to use. PL/I —’the fatal disease’— belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration. The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offence. APL is a mistake, carried through to perfection. It is the language of the future for the programming techniques of the past: it creates a new generation of coding bums.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Application (242)  |  Basic (138)  |  Belong (162)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Bum (3)  |  Carry (127)  |  Clumsy (6)  |  Code (31)  |  Computer (127)  |  Create (235)  |  Criminal (19)  |  Cripple (3)  |  Disease (328)  |  Disorder (41)  |  Expensive (10)  |  Exposure (7)  |  Fatal (12)  |  Fortran (3)  |  Future (429)  |  Generation (242)  |  Good (889)  |  Hope (299)  |  Hopelessly (3)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Inadequate (19)  |  Infantile (4)  |  Language (293)  |  Mentally (3)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mistake (169)  |  More (2559)  |  Mutilated (2)  |  Nearly (137)  |  New (1216)  |  Offence (4)  |  Old (481)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Potential (69)  |  Practically (10)  |  Prior (5)  |  Problem (676)  |  Program (52)  |  Programmer (4)  |  Regard (305)  |  Regeneration (5)  |  Risky (4)  |  Set (394)  |  Solution (267)  |  Student (300)  |  Teach (277)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Technique (80)  |  Through (849)  |  Today (314)  |  Use (766)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Year (933)

Genetics has enticed a great many explorers during the past two decades. They have labored with fruit-flies and guinea-pigs, with sweet peas and corn, with thousands of animals and plants in fact, and they have made heredity no longer a mystery but an exact science to be ranked close behind physics and chemistry in definiteness of conception. One is inclined to believe, however, that the unique magnetic attraction of genetics lies in the vision of potential good which it holds for mankind rather than a circumscribed interest in the hereditary mechanisms of the lowly species used as laboratory material. If man had been found to be sharply demarcated from the rest of the occupants of the world, so that his heritage of physical form, of physiological function, and of mental attributes came about in a superior manner setting him apart as lord of creation, interest in the genetics of the humbler organisms—if one admits the truth—would have flagged severely. Biologists would have turned their attention largely to the ways of human heredity, in spite of the fact that the difficulties encountered would have rendered progress slow and uncertain. Since this was not the case, since the laws ruling the inheritance of the denizens of the garden and the inmates of the stable were found to be applicable to prince and potentate as well, one could shut himself up in his laboratory and labor to his heart's content, feeling certain that any truth which it fell to his lot to discover had a real human interest, after all.
Mankind at the Crossroads (1923), v-vi.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Applicable (31)  |  Attention (190)  |  Attraction (56)  |  Attribute (61)  |  Behind (137)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Conception (154)  |  Corn (19)  |  Creation (327)  |  Decade (59)  |  Discover (553)  |  Explorer (28)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Form (959)  |  Fruit (102)  |  Function (228)  |  Garden (60)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Good (889)  |  Great (1574)  |  Heart (229)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Heritage (20)  |  Himself (461)  |  Human (1468)  |  Inclined (41)  |  Inheritance (34)  |  Interest (386)  |  Labor (107)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Law (894)  |  Lie (364)  |  Lord (93)  |  Lot (151)  |  Magnetic (44)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Material (353)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Mental (177)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Organism (220)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physics (533)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Plant (294)  |  Potential (69)  |  Progress (465)  |  Rank (67)  |  Render (93)  |  Rest (280)  |  Science (3879)  |  Setting (44)  |  Shut (41)  |  Slow (101)  |  Species (401)  |  Spite (55)  |  Stable (30)  |  Superior (81)  |  Sweet (39)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Turn (447)  |  Two (937)  |  Uncertain (44)  |  Unique (67)  |  Vision (123)  |  Way (1217)  |  World (1774)

Geologists have not been slow to admit that they were in error in assuming that they had an eternity of past time for the evolution of the earth's history. They have frankly acknowledged the validity of the physical arguments which go to place more or less definite limits to the antiquity of the earth. They were, on the whole, disposed to acquiesce in the allowance of 100 millions of years granted to them by Lord Kelvin, for the transaction of the whole of the long cycles of geological history. But the physicists have been insatiable and inexorable. As remorseless as Lear's daughters, they have cut down their grant of years by successive slices, until some of them have brought the number to something less than ten millions. In vain have the geologists protested that there must somewhere be a flaw in a line of argument which tends to results so entirely at variance with the strong evidence for a higher antiquity, furnished not only by the geological record, but by the existing races of plants and animals. They have insisted that this evidence is not mere theory or imagination, but is drawn from a multitude of facts which become hopelessly unintelligible unless sufficient time is admitted for the evolution of geological history. They have not been able to disapprove the arguments of the physicists, but they have contended that the physicists have simply ignored the geological arguments as of no account in the discussion.
'Twenty-five years of Geological Progress in Britain', Nature, 1895, 51, 369.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Account (192)  |  Age Of The Earth (12)  |  Allowance (6)  |  Animal (617)  |  Antiquity (33)  |  Argument (138)  |  Become (815)  |  Controversy (29)  |  Cut (114)  |  Cycle (40)  |  Daughter (29)  |  Definite (110)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Down (456)  |  Earth (996)  |  Error (321)  |  Eternity (63)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Flaw (17)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Geologist (75)  |  Grant (73)  |  History (673)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Inexorable (10)  |  Insatiable (7)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (71)  |  Limit (280)  |  Long (790)  |  Lord (93)  |  More (2559)  |  More Or Less (68)  |  Multitude (47)  |  Must (1526)  |  Number (699)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Plant (294)  |  Protest (9)  |  Race (268)  |  Record (154)  |  Result (677)  |  Slow (101)  |  Something (719)  |  Strong (174)  |  Successive (73)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Tend (124)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Transaction (13)  |  Unintelligible (15)  |  Vain (83)  |  Validity (47)  |  Variance (12)  |  Whole (738)  |  Year (933)

Geology got into the hands of the theoreticians who were conditioned by the social and political history of their day more than by observations in the field. … We have allowed ourselves to be brainwashed into avoiding any interpretation of the past that involves extreme and what might be termed “catastrophic” processes. However, it seems to me that the stratigraphical record is full of examples of processes that are far from “normal” in the usual sense of the word. In particular we must conclude that sedimentation in the past has often been very rapid indeed and very spasmodic. This may be called the “Phenomenon of the Catastrophic Nature of the Stratigraphic Record.”
In The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record (3rd ed., 1993), 70.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoidance (11)  |  Call (769)  |  Catastrophe (31)  |  Catastrophic (9)  |  Conclude (65)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Condition (356)  |  Conditioning (3)  |  Example (94)  |  Extreme (75)  |  Field (364)  |  Geology (220)  |  Hand (143)  |  History (673)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Involve (90)  |  Involving (2)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Normal (28)  |  Observation (555)  |  Often (106)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Political (121)  |  Politics (112)  |  Process (423)  |  Rapid (33)  |  Record (154)  |  Sedimentation (3)  |  Sense (770)  |  Social (252)  |  Spasmodic (2)  |  Stratigraphy (7)  |  Term (349)  |  Theorist (44)  |  Word (619)

Given for one instant an intelligence which could comprehend all the forces by which nature is animated and the respective situation of the beings which compose it—an intelligence sufficiently vast to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in the same formula the movements of the greatest bodies in the universe and those of the lightest atom; to it nothing would be uncertain, and the future as the past would be present to its eyes.
Introduction to Oeuvres vol. VII, Theorie Analytique de Probabilites (1812-1820). As translated by Frederick Wilson Truscott and Frederick Lincoln Emory in A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities (1902), 4. [LaPlace is here expressing his belief in causal determinism.] From the original French, “Une intelligence qui, pour un instant donné, connaîtrait toutes les forces dont la nature est animée, et la situation respective des êtres qui la composent, si d’ailleurs elle était assez vaste pour soumettre ces données a l’analyse, embrasserait dans la même formula les mouvements des plus grand corps de l’univers et ceux du plus léger atome: rien ne serait incertain pour elle, et l’avenir comme le passé serait présent à ses yeux.”
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Atom (355)  |  Being (1278)  |  Data (156)  |  Embrace (46)  |  Eye (419)  |  Force (487)  |  Formula (98)  |  Future (429)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Instant (45)  |  Intelligence (211)  |  Law (894)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Movement (155)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Present (619)  |  Situation (113)  |  Uncertain (44)  |  Universe (857)  |  Vast (177)

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
Opening statement of 'A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace' (8 Feb 1996). Published on Electronic Frontier Foundation website. Reproduced in Lawrence Lessig, Code: Version 2.0) (2008), 302.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (311)  |  Ask (411)  |  Cyberspace (3)  |  Flesh (27)  |  Future (429)  |  Gather (72)  |  Giant (67)  |  Government (110)  |  Home (170)  |  Industrial (13)  |  Leave (130)  |  Mind (1338)  |  New (1216)  |  Sovereignty (6)  |  Steel (21)  |  Weary (11)  |  Welcome (16)  |  World (1774)

Guided only by their feeling for symmetry, simplicity, and generality, and an indefinable sense of the fitness of things, creative mathematicians now, as in the past, are inspired by the art of mathematics rather than by any prospect of ultimate usefulness.
In The Queen of the Sciences (1938), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Creative (137)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Fitness (9)  |  Generality (45)  |  Guide (97)  |  Indefinable (5)  |  Inspire (52)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Prospect (30)  |  Sense (770)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Symmetry (43)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Usefulness (86)

Hardly a pure science, history is closer to animal husbandry than it is to mathematics, in that it involves selective breeding. The principal difference between the husbandryman and the historian is that the former breeds sheep or cows or such, and the latter breeds (assumed) facts. The husbandryman uses his skills to enrich the future; the historian uses his to enrich the past. Both are usually up to their ankles in bullshit.
Another Roadside Attraction (1990), 127.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (617)  |  Both (493)  |  Breed (24)  |  Breeding (21)  |  Bullshit (2)  |  Closer (43)  |  Cow (39)  |  Difference (337)  |  Enrich (24)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Former (137)  |  Future (429)  |  Historian (54)  |  History (673)  |  Involve (90)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Principal (63)  |  Pure (291)  |  Pure Science (27)  |  Science (3879)  |  Selective (19)  |  Sheep (11)  |  Skill (109)  |  Use (766)  |  Usually (176)

Have you ever plunged into the immensity of space and time by reading the geological treatises of Cuvier? Borne away on the wings of his genius, have you hovered over the illimitable abyss of the past as if a magician’s hand were holding you aloft?
From 'La Peau de Chagrin' (1831). As translated by Herbert J. Hunt in The Wild Ass’s Skin (1977), 40-41.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Abyss (29)  |  Aloft (5)  |  Baron Georges Cuvier (30)  |  Genius (284)  |  Geological (11)  |  Hover (8)  |  Immensity (30)  |  Limitless (12)  |  Magician (14)  |  Plunge (11)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Space (500)  |  Space And Time (36)  |  Time (1877)  |  Treatise (44)  |  Wing (75)

Have you ever plunged into the immensity of time and space by reading the geological tracts of Cuvier? Transported by his genius, have you hovered over the limitless abyss of the past, as if held aloft by a magician’s hand?
From 'La Peau de Chagrin' (1831). As translated as by Helen Constantine The Wild Ass’s Skin (2012), 19.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Abyss (29)  |  Aloft (5)  |  Baron Georges Cuvier (30)  |  Genius (284)  |  Geological (11)  |  Hand (143)  |  Hold (95)  |  Hover (8)  |  Immensity (30)  |  Limitless (12)  |  Magician (14)  |  Plunge (11)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Space (500)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time And Space (39)  |  Tract (5)  |  Transport (30)

He who lacks a sense of the past is condemned to live in the narrow darkness of his own generation
Quoted, and described as “an old Armenian saying”, in Differential Equations: With Applications and Historical Notes (1972), ix.
Science quotes on:  |  Condemn (44)  |  Darkness (68)  |  Generation (242)  |  Lack (119)  |  Live (628)  |  Narrow (84)  |  Sense (770)

He who neglects learning in his youth loses the past and is dead for the future
Euripides
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Dead (59)  |  Future (429)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Lose (159)  |  Neglect (63)  |  Youth (101)

His mind illumined the Past and the Future and wrought greatly for the present. By his genius distant lands converse and men sail unafraid upon the deep.
Epitaph
Inscription on the tomb of Reginald and Helen Fessenden in Bermuda. In Frederick Seitz, The Cosmic Inventor: Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (1866-1932) (1999), 61, being Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Held at Philadelphia For Promoting Useful Knowledge, Vol. 86, Pt. 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Converse (8)  |  Deep (233)  |  Distance (161)  |  Fear (197)  |  Future (429)  |  Genius (284)  |  Illumination (15)  |  Land (115)  |  Men (20)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Present (619)  |  Sail (36)  |  Sailor (16)

Historians constantly rewrite history, reinterpreting (reorganizing) the records of the past. So, too, when the brain's coherent responses become part of a memory, they are organized anew as part of the structure of consciousness. What makes them memories is that they become part of that structure and thus form part of the sense of self; my sense of self derives from a certainty that my experiences refer back to me, the individual who is having them. Hence the sense of the past, of history, of memory, is in part the creation of the self.
The Strange, Familiar, and Forgotten: An Anatomy of Consciousness (1995), 87.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Anew (18)  |  Back (390)  |  Become (815)  |  Brain (270)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  Creation (327)  |  Derive (65)  |  Experience (467)  |  Form (959)  |  Historian (54)  |  History (673)  |  Individual (404)  |  Memory (134)  |  Organization (114)  |  Record (154)  |  Response (53)  |  Self (267)  |  Sense (770)  |  Structure (344)  |  Write (230)

Historical science is not worse, more restricted, or less capable of achieving firm conclusions because experiment, prediction, and subsumption under invariant laws of nature do not represent its usual working methods. The sciences of history use a different mode of explanation, rooted in the comparative and observational richness in our data. We cannot see a past event directly, but science is usually based on inference, not unvarnished observation (you don’t see electrons, gravity, or black holes either).
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (66)  |  Badly (32)  |  Base (117)  |  Black Hole (17)  |  Black Holes (4)  |  Capable (168)  |  Comparative (13)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Data (156)  |  Different (577)  |  Directly (22)  |  Do (1908)  |  Electron (93)  |  Event (216)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Firm (47)  |  Gravity (132)  |  Historical (70)  |  History (673)  |  Inference (45)  |  Invariant (10)  |  Law (894)  |  Less (103)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Mode (41)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observational (15)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Represent (155)  |  Restrict (12)  |  Richness (14)  |  Root (120)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Subsumption (3)  |  Unvarnished (2)  |  Use (766)  |  Usually (176)  |  Work (1351)

History, human or geological, represents our hypothesis, couched in terms of past events, devised to explain our present-day observations.
'Critique of the Principle of Uniformity', in C. C. Albritton (ed.), Uniformity and Simplicity (1967), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Event (216)  |  Explain (322)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Observation (555)  |  Present (619)  |  Represent (155)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)

How bright and beautiful a comet is as it flies past our planet—provided it does fly past it.
Epigraph in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 47.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Bright (79)  |  Comet (54)  |  Fly (146)  |  Planet (356)

How can you shorten the subject? That stern struggle with the multiplication table, for many people not yet ended in victory, how can you make it less? Square root, as obdurate as a hardwood stump in a pasture nothing but years of effort can extract it. You can’t hurry the process. Or pass from arithmetic to algebra; you can’t shoulder your way past quadratic equations or ripple through the binomial theorem. Instead, the other way; your feet are impeded in the tangled growth, your pace slackens, you sink and fall somewhere near the binomial theorem with the calculus in sight on the horizon. So died, for each of us, still bravely fighting, our mathematical training; except for a set of people called “mathematicians”—born so, like crooks.
In Too Much College: Or, Education Eating up Life, with Kindred Essays in Education and Humour (1939), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (113)  |  Arithmetic (136)  |  Binomial (6)  |  Binomial Theorem (5)  |  Brave (12)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Call (769)  |  Crook (2)  |  Die (86)  |  Effort (227)  |  End (590)  |  Equation (132)  |  Extract (40)  |  Fall (230)  |  Fight (44)  |  Foot (60)  |  Growth (187)  |  Horizon (45)  |  Hurry (15)  |  Impede (4)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Multiplication (43)  |  Multiplication Table (16)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pace (14)  |  Pass (238)  |  Pasture (13)  |  People (1005)  |  Process (423)  |  Ripple (9)  |  Root (120)  |  Set (394)  |  Shorten (5)  |  Shoulder (33)  |  Sight (132)  |  Sink (37)  |  Square (70)  |  Square Root (12)  |  Stern (3)  |  Still (613)  |  Struggle (105)  |  Stump (3)  |  Subject (521)  |  Table (104)  |  Tangle (6)  |  Theorem (112)  |  Through (849)  |  Training (80)  |  Victory (39)  |  Way (1217)  |  Year (933)

How peacefully he sleep!
Yet may his ever-questing spirit, freed at length
from all the frettings of this little world,
Wander at will among the uncharted stars.
Fairfield his name. Perchance celestial fields
disclosing long sought secrets of the past
Spread 'neath his enraptured gaze
And beasts and men that to his earthly sight
were merely bits of stone shall live again to
gladden those eager eyes.
o let us picture him—enthusiast—scientist—friend—
Seeker of truth and light through all eternity!
New York Sun (13 Nov 1935). Reprinted in 'Henry Fairfield Osborn', Supplement to Natural History (Feb 1936), 37:2, 135. Bound in Kofoid Collection of Pamphlets on Biography, University of California.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Beast (55)  |  Celestial (53)  |  Enthusiast (7)  |  Eternity (63)  |  Eulogy (2)  |  Eye (419)  |  Field (364)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Friend (168)  |  Gaze (21)  |  Gladness (5)  |  Life (1795)  |  Light (607)  |  Little (707)  |  Live (628)  |  Long (790)  |  Merely (316)  |  Name (333)  |  Henry Fairfield Osborn (16)  |  Picture (143)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Secret (194)  |  Sight (132)  |  Sleep (76)  |  Spirit (265)  |  Spread (83)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Stone (162)  |  Through (849)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Uncharted (10)  |  Wander (35)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

However much we may enlarge our ideas of the time which has elapsed since the Niagara first began to drain the waters of the upper lakes, we have seen that this period was one only of a series, all belonging to the present zoological epoch; or that in which the living testaceous fauna, whether freshwater or marine, had already come into being. If such events can take place while the zoology of the earth remains almost stationary and unaltered, what ages may not be comprehended in those successive tertiary periods during which the Flora and Fauna of the globe have been almost entirely changed. Yet how subordinate a place in the long calendar of geological chronology do the successive tertiary periods themselves occupy! How much more enormous a duration must we assign to many antecedent revolutions of the earth and its inhabitants! No analogy can be found in the natural world to the immense scale of these divisions of past time, unless we contemplate the celestial spaces which have been measured by the astronomer.
Travels in North America (1845), Vol. 1, 51-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Already (222)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belonging (37)  |  Calendar (9)  |  Celestial (53)  |  Chronology (9)  |  Division (65)  |  Do (1908)  |  Drain (11)  |  Earth (996)  |  Enlarge (35)  |  Epoch (45)  |  Event (216)  |  First (1283)  |  Freshwater (3)  |  Idea (843)  |  Immense (86)  |  Inhabitant (49)  |  Lake (32)  |  Living (491)  |  Long (790)  |  Marine Biology (24)  |  Marine Geology (2)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural (796)  |  Niagara (8)  |  Niagara Falls (4)  |  Period (198)  |  Present (619)  |  Remain (349)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Scale (121)  |  Series (149)  |  Space (500)  |  Stationary (10)  |  Successive (73)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Time (1877)  |  Water (481)  |  World (1774)  |  Zoology (36)

Hubble's observations suggested that there was a time, called the big bang, when the universe was infinitesimally small and infinitely dense. Under such conditions all the laws of science, and therefore all ability to predict the future, would break down. If there were events earlier than this time, then they could not affect what happens at the present time. Their existence can be ignored because it would have no observational consequences. One may say that time had a beginning at the big bang, in the sense that earlier times simply would not be defined. It should be emphasized that this beginning in time is very different from those that had been considered previously. In an unchanging universe a beginning in time is something that has to be imposed by some being outside the universe; there is no physical necessity for a beginning. One can imagine that God created the universe at literally any time in the past. On the other hand, if the universe is expanding, there may be physical reasons why there had to be a beginning. One could still imagine that God created the universe at the instant of the big bang, or even afterwards in just such a way as to make it look as though there had been a big bang, but it would be meaningless to suppose that it was created before the big bang. An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job!
A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988), 8-9.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ability (152)  |  All (4108)  |  Bang (29)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Big Bang (39)  |  Break (99)  |  Call (769)  |  Condition (356)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Consider (416)  |  Creator (91)  |  Different (577)  |  Down (456)  |  Event (216)  |  Existence (456)  |  Future (429)  |  God (757)  |  Happen (274)  |  Edwin Powell Hubble (20)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Instant (45)  |  Job (82)  |  Law (894)  |  Limit (280)  |  Literally (30)  |  Look (582)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observational (15)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outside (141)  |  Physical (508)  |  Predict (79)  |  Present (619)  |  Reason (744)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sense (770)  |  Small (477)  |  Something (719)  |  Still (613)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  Why (491)

Human behaviour reveals uniformities which constitute natural laws. If these uniformities did not exist, then there would be neither social science nor political economy, and even the study of history would largely be useless. In effect, if the future actions of men having nothing in common with their past actions, our knowledge of them, although possibly satisfying our curiosity by way of an interesting story, would be entirely useless to us as a guide in life.
In Cours d’Economie Politique (1896-7), Vol. 2, 397.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Common (436)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Economy (55)  |  Effect (393)  |  Exist (443)  |  Existence (456)  |  Future (429)  |  Guide (97)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Law (41)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Political (121)  |  Politics (112)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Revelation (48)  |  Science (3879)  |  Social (252)  |  Social Science (35)  |  Story (118)  |  Study (653)  |  Uniformity (37)  |  Uselessness (22)  |  Way (1217)

I am a Christian which means that I believe in the deity of Christ, like Tycho de Brahe, Copernicus, Descartes, Newton, Leibnitz, Pascal ... like all great astronomers mathematicians of the past.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Belief (578)  |  Christ (17)  |  Christian (43)  |  De (3)  |  Deity (22)  |  René Descartes (81)  |  Great (1574)  |  Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (49)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Newton (10)  |  Pascal (2)

I am acutely aware of the fact that the marriage between mathematics and physics, which was so enormously fruitful in past centuries, has recently ended in divorce.
From 'Missed Opportunities', Josiah Willard Gibbs Lecture (17 Jan 1972), as published in Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society (Sep 1972), 78, No. 5. Collected in Jong-Ping Hsu and Dana Fine (eds.), 100 Years of Gravity and Accelerated Frames: The Deepest Insights of Einstein and Yang-Mills (2005), 347.
Science quotes on:  |  Divorce (6)  |  End (590)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Fruitful (58)  |  Marriage (39)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)

I am mindful that scientific achievement is rooted in the past, is cultivated to full stature by many contemporaries and flourishes only in favorable environment. No individual is alone responsible for a single stepping stone along the path of progress, and where the path is smooth progress is most rapid. In my own work this has been particularly true.
Nobel Prize banquet speech (29 Feb 1940)
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Alone (311)  |  Environment (216)  |  Favorable (24)  |  Individual (404)  |  Most (1731)  |  Path (144)  |  Progress (465)  |  Root (120)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Single (353)  |  Smooth (32)  |  Stepping Stone (2)  |  Stone (162)  |  Work (1351)

I believe that the Dayton trial marked the beginning of the decline of fundamentalism. … I feel that restrictive legislation on academic freedom is forever a thing of the past, that religion and science may now address one another in an atmosphere of mutual respect and of a common quest for truth. I like to think that the Dayton trial had some part in bringing to birth this new era.
From 'Reflections—Forty Years After', in Jerry R. Tompkins (ed.), D-Days at Dayton: Reflections on the Scopes Trial(1965), 31. As quoted in Stephen Jay Gould, Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History (1983), 274.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (18)  |  Atmosphere (103)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Birth (147)  |  Common (436)  |  Decline (26)  |  Era (51)  |  Feel (367)  |  Forever (103)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Fundamentalism (4)  |  Legislation (10)  |  Marked (55)  |  Mutual (52)  |  New (1216)  |  Quest (39)  |  Religion (361)  |  Respect (207)  |  Restrictive (4)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Scopes Monkey Trial (7)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Trial (57)  |  Truth (1057)

I can hear the sizzle of newborn stars, and know anything of meaning, of the fierce magic emerging here. I am witness to flexible eternity, the evolving past, and I know we will live forever, as dust or breathe in the face of stars, in the shifting pattern of winds.
Joy Harjo
In Secrets from the Center of the World (1989), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Breathe (45)  |  Dust (64)  |  Emerge (22)  |  Eternity (63)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Face (212)  |  Fierce (7)  |  Flexible (6)  |  Forever (103)  |  Hear (139)  |  Know (1518)  |  Live (628)  |  Magic (86)  |  Mean (809)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Newborn (5)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Shift (44)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wind (128)  |  Witness (54)

I cannot but be astonished that Sarsi should persist in trying to prove by means of witnesses something that I may see for myself at any time by means of experiment. Witnesses are examined in doutbful matters which are past and transient, not in those which are actual and present. A judge must seek by means of witnesses to determine whether Peter injured John last night, but not whether John was injured, since the judge can see that for himself.
'The Assayer' (1623), trans. Stillman Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (1957), 271.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  Astonish (37)  |  Determine (144)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Himself (461)  |  Judge (108)  |  Last (426)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Must (1526)  |  Myself (212)  |  Observation (555)  |  Present (619)  |  Prove (250)  |  See (1081)  |  Seek (213)  |  Something (719)  |  Time (1877)  |  Transient (12)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Trying (144)

I cannot separate land and sea: to me they interfinger like a pattern in a moss agate, positive and negative shapes irrevocably interlocked. My knowledge of this peninsula depends on that understanding: of underwater canyons that are continuations of the land, of the shell fossils far inland that measure continuations of the sea in eons past.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Agate (2)  |  Canyon (9)  |  Continuation (20)  |  Depend (228)  |  Eon (11)  |  Far (154)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Inland (3)  |  Interlock (3)  |  Irrevocably (2)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Land (115)  |  Measure (232)  |  Moss (10)  |  Negative (63)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Peninsula (2)  |  Positive (94)  |  Sea (308)  |  Separate (143)  |  Shape (72)  |  Shell (63)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Underwater (5)

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past.
Speech (Mar 1775) at the Virginia Convention. In W. Thomson (ed.), The Chartist Circular (), 244
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (467)  |  Feet (5)  |  Future (429)  |  Guided (3)  |  Know (1518)  |  Lamp (36)  |  Way (1217)

I have no doubt that certain learned men, now that the novelty of the hypotheses in this work has been widely reported—for it establishes that the Earth moves, and indeed that the Sun is motionless in the middle of the universe—are extremely shocked, and think that the scholarly disciplines, rightly established once and for all, should not be upset. But if they are willing to judge the matter thoroughly, they will find that the author of this work has committed nothing which deserves censure. For it is proper for an astronomer to establish a record of the motions of the heavens with diligent and skilful observations, and then to think out and construct laws for them, or rather hypotheses, whatever their nature may be, since the true laws cannot be reached by the use of reason; and from those assumptions the motions can be correctly calculated, both for the future and for the past. Our author has shown himself outstandingly skilful in both these respects. Nor is it necessary that these hypotheses should be true, nor indeed even probable, but it is sufficient if they merely produce calculations which agree with the observations. … For it is clear enough that this subject is completely and simply ignorant of the laws which produce apparently irregular motions. And if it does work out any laws—as certainly it does work out very many—it does not do so in any way with the aim of persuading anyone that they are valid, but only to provide a correct basis for calculation. Since different hypotheses are sometimes available to explain one and the same motion (for instance eccentricity or an epicycle for the motion of the Sun) an astronomer will prefer to seize on the one which is easiest to grasp; a philosopher will perhaps look more for probability; but neither will grasp or convey anything certain, unless it has been divinely revealed to him. Let us therefore allow these new hypotheses also to become known beside the older, which are no more probable, especially since they are remarkable and easy; and let them bring with them the vast treasury of highly learned observations. And let no one expect from astronomy, as far as hypotheses are concerned, anything certain, since it cannot produce any such thing, in case if he seizes on things constructed for another other purpose as true, he departs from this discipline more foolish than he came to it.
Although this preface would have been assumed by contemporary readers to be written by Copernicus, it was unsigned. It is now believed to have been written and added at press time by Andreas Osiander (who was then overseeing the printing of the book). It suggests the earth’s motion as described was merely a mathematical device, and not to be taken as absolute reality. Text as given in 'To the Reader on the Hypotheses in this Work', Copernicus: On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (1543), translated by ‎Alistair Matheson Duncan (1976), 22-3. By adding this preface, Osiander wished to stave off criticism by theologians. See also the Andreas Osiander Quotes page of this website.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (165)  |  All (4108)  |  Assumption (92)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Author (167)  |  Available (78)  |  Basis (173)  |  Become (815)  |  Both (493)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Censure (5)  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Completely (135)  |  Concern (228)  |  Construct (124)  |  Deserve (65)  |  Different (577)  |  Diligent (19)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Earth (996)  |  Easy (204)  |  Enough (340)  |  Expect (200)  |  Explain (322)  |  Find (998)  |  Foolish (40)  |  Future (429)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Himself (461)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Judge (108)  |  Known (454)  |  Law (894)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Look (582)  |  Matter (798)  |  Merely (316)  |  More (2559)  |  Motion (310)  |  Move (216)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Necessary (363)  |  New (1216)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Novelty (29)  |  Observation (555)  |  Other (2236)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Probability (130)  |  Proper (144)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reach (281)  |  Reason (744)  |  Record (154)  |  Respect (207)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Revealed (60)  |  Shock (37)  |  Solar System (77)  |  Subject (521)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Sun (385)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thoroughly (67)  |  Universe (857)  |  Upset (18)  |  Use (766)  |  Vast (177)  |  Way (1217)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Will (2355)  |  Willing (44)  |  Work (1351)

I like to find mavericks, students who don’t know what they’re looking for, who are sensitive and vulnerable and have unusual pasts. If you do enough work with these students you can often transform their level of contribution. After all, the real breakthroughs come from the mavericks.
As quoted in Frances Glennon, 'Student and Teacher of Human Ways', Life (14 Sep 1959), 143. Mead attributes her own pioneering approach to being educated at home by her grandmother, a retired schoolteacher, whom she said “was about 50 years ahead of her time—for instance, she taught me algebra before arithmetic.”
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Breakthrough (15)  |  Contribution (89)  |  Do (1908)  |  Enough (340)  |  Find (998)  |  Know (1518)  |  Look (582)  |  Looking (189)  |  Real (149)  |  Sensitive (14)  |  Student (300)  |  Transform (73)  |  Unusual (37)  |  Vulnerable (5)  |  Work (1351)

I never found it easy. People say I was lucky twice but I resent that. We stuck with [cimetidine] for four years with no progress until we eventually succeeded. It was not luck, it was bloody hard work.
[Rejecting that drug discovery was easier in the past.]
Quoted in Andrew Jack, "An Acute Talent for Innovation", Financial Times (1 Feb 2009).
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (780)  |  Drug (57)  |  Easier (53)  |  Easy (204)  |  Eventually (65)  |  Hard (243)  |  Hard Work (20)  |  Luck (42)  |  Never (1087)  |  People (1005)  |  Progress (465)  |  Say (984)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Success (302)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

I think it would be just to say the most essential characteristic of mind is memory, using this word in its broadest sense to include every influence of past experience on present reactions.
In Portraits from Memory: and Other Essays (1956), 143.
Science quotes on:  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Essential (199)  |  Experience (467)  |  Include (90)  |  Influence (222)  |  Memory (134)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Present (619)  |  Reaction (104)  |  Say (984)  |  Sense (770)  |  Think (1086)  |  Word (619)

I was at my best at a little past forty, when I was a professor at Oxford.
In A Mathematician’s Apology (1940, reprint with Foreward by C.P. Snow 1992), 148.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (459)  |  Biography (240)  |  Little (707)  |  Oxford (16)  |  Professor (128)

If ... the past may be no Rule for the future, all Experience becomes useless and can give rise to no Inferences or Conclusions.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), 65.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Become (815)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Experience (467)  |  Future (429)  |  Inference (45)  |  Rise (166)  |  Rule (294)

If a mathematician of the past, an Archimedes or even a Descartes, could view the field of geometry in its present condition, the first feature to impress him would be its lack of concreteness. There are whole classes of geometric theories which proceed not only without models and diagrams, but without the slightest (apparent) use of spatial intuition. In the main this is due, to the power of the analytic instruments of investigations as compared with the purely geometric.
In 'The Present Problems in Geometry', Bulletin American Mathematical Society (1906), 286.
Science quotes on:  |  Analytic (10)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Archimedes (55)  |  Class (164)  |  Compare (69)  |  Concreteness (5)  |  Condition (356)  |  René Descartes (81)  |  Diagram (20)  |  Due (141)  |  Feature (44)  |  Field (364)  |  First (1283)  |  Geometric (5)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Impress (64)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Intuition (75)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Lack (119)  |  Main (28)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Model (102)  |  Modern Mathematics (50)  |  Power (746)  |  Present (619)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Purely (109)  |  Slight (31)  |  Spatial (8)  |  Theory (970)  |  Use (766)  |  View (488)  |  Whole (738)

If I choose to impose individual blame for all past social ills, there will be no one left to like in some of the most fascinating periods of our history. For example ... if I place every Victorian anti-Semite beyond the pale of my attention, my compass of available music and literature will be pitifully small. Though I hold no shred of sympathy for active persecution, I cannot excoriate individuals who acquiesced passively in a standard societal judgment. Rail instead against the judgment, and try to understand what motivates men of decent will.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Acquiesce (2)  |  Active (76)  |  Against (332)  |  All (4108)  |  Attention (190)  |  Available (78)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Blame (30)  |  Choose (112)  |  Compass (34)  |  Decent (10)  |  Example (94)  |  Fascinating (37)  |  History (673)  |  Hold (95)  |  Impose (22)  |  Individual (404)  |  Instead (21)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Leave (130)  |  Literature (103)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motivate (6)  |  Music (129)  |  Pale (9)  |  Passively (3)  |  Period (198)  |  Persecution (13)  |  Place (177)  |  Rail (4)  |  Shred (7)  |  Small (477)  |  Social (252)  |  Standard (57)  |  Sympathy (30)  |  Try (283)  |  Understand (606)  |  Victorian (6)  |  Will (2355)

If physicists could not quote in the text, they would not feel that much was lost with respect to advancement of knowledge of the natural world. If historians could not quote, they would deem it a disastrous impediment to the communication of knowledge about the past. A luxury for physicists, quotation is a necessity for historians, indispensable to historiography.
Historiography (1968), 385.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (62)  |  Communication (94)  |  Feel (367)  |  Historian (54)  |  History (673)  |  Impediment (11)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Luxury (21)  |  Natural (796)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Quotation (18)  |  Quote (42)  |  Respect (207)  |  World (1774)

If time is treated in modern physics as a dimension on a par with the dimensions of space, why should we a priori exclude the possibility that we are pulled as well as pushed along its axis? The future has, after all, as much or as little reality as the past, and there is nothing logically inconceivable in introducing, as a working hypothesis, an element of finality, supplementary to the element of causality, into our equations. It betrays a great lack of imagination to believe that the concept of “purpose” must necessarily be associated with some anthropomorphic deity.
In 'Epilogue', The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe (1959, 1968), 537.
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (26)  |  All (4108)  |  Anthropomorphic (3)  |  Associate (25)  |  Belief (578)  |  Causality (11)  |  Concept (221)  |  Deity (22)  |  Dimension (61)  |  Element (310)  |  Equation (132)  |  Finality (7)  |  Future (429)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Inconceivable (12)  |  Lack (119)  |  Little (707)  |  Modern (385)  |  Modern Physics (23)  |  Must (1526)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Pull (43)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Push (62)  |  Reality (261)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Space (500)  |  Supplementary (4)  |  Time (1877)  |  Why (491)

If you care to be a master or to make a true success of your profession, the smallest detail of your work must be done with thoroughness. To be thorough in medicine means that in the ever alluring present, we do not forget the past.
Opening address to the Medical Department of the University of Michigan, Sep 1914. Quoted by Howard Markel in 'When it Rains it Pours' : Endemic Goiter, Iodized Salt, and David Murray Cowie, M.D. American Journal of Public Health, Feb 1987, vol.77, No.2, page 227.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Alluring (5)  |  Care (186)  |  Detail (146)  |  Do (1908)  |  Forget (115)  |  Master (178)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Must (1526)  |  Present (619)  |  Profession (99)  |  Success (302)  |  Thorough (40)  |  Thoroughness (3)  |  Work (1351)

If you’ve got one foot in the past and one foot in the future, you’re pissing on the present.
Greg Ames
Aphorism seen used by various writers, for example, in Buffalo Lockjaw (2009), 276-277. Variants also seen attributed to Michael J. Fox in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future (2010), 96; P.J. Parrish in The Killing Song (2011), 126; and Malachy McCourt. Webmaster has as yet not found a distinct primary source, and believes it may be an aphorism of unknown origin.
Science quotes on:  |  Foot (60)  |  Future (429)  |  Piss (3)  |  Present (619)

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)  |  Mud (26)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Particle (194)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Radiation (44)  |  Required (108)  |  Solid (116)  |  Thermal (15)  |  Universe (857)  |  Water (481)  |  Waterfall (4)  |  Yield (81)

Imagine the chaos that would arise if time machines were as common as automobiles, with tens of millions of them commercially available. Havoc would soon break loose, tearing at the fabric of our universe. Millions of people would go back in time to meddle with their own past and the past of others, rewriting history in the process. … It would thus be impossible to take a simple census to see how many people there were at any given time.
In Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and The Tenth Dimension (1994, 1995), 234.
Science quotes on:  |  Arise (158)  |  Automobile (22)  |  Available (78)  |  Back (390)  |  Break (99)  |  Census (4)  |  Chaos (91)  |  Common (436)  |  Fabric (27)  |  Havoc (7)  |  History (673)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Machine (257)  |  Meddle (3)  |  Millions (17)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Process (423)  |  Rewriting (2)  |  See (1081)  |  Simple (406)  |  Soon (186)  |  Tear (42)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time Machine (4)  |  Universe (857)

In a famous passage, René Descartes tells us that he considered himself to be placed in three simultaneous domiciles, patiently recognizing his loyalties to the social past, fervidly believing in a final solution of nature’s secrets and in the meantime consecrated to the pursuit of scientific doubt. Here we have the half way house of the scientific laboratory, of the scientific mind in the midst of its campaign.
In 'The Three Dimensions of Time', Part I, 'The Classic of Science', A Classic and a Founder (1937), collected in Rosenstock-Huessy Papers (1981), Vol. 1, 14.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Belief (578)  |  Campaign (6)  |  Consecrate (3)  |  Consider (416)  |  René Descartes (81)  |  Domicile (2)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Final (118)  |  Himself (461)  |  House (140)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Loyalty (9)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Passage (50)  |  Patiently (3)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Mind (13)  |  Secret (194)  |  Simultaneous (22)  |  Social (252)  |  Solution (267)  |  Tell (340)  |  Way (1217)

In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
In Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (593)  |  Drastic (2)  |  Equipped (17)  |  Exist (443)  |  Find (998)  |  Future (429)  |  Inherit (33)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Learner (10)  |  Live (628)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Time (1877)  |  Usually (176)  |  World (1774)

In fact, the history of North America has been perhaps more profoundly influenced by man's inheritance from his past homes than by the physical features of his present home.
The Red Man's Continent: A Chronicle of Aboriginal America (1919), 3.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  America (127)  |  Environment (216)  |  Fact (1210)  |  History (673)  |  Home (170)  |  Inheritance (34)  |  Man (2251)  |  More (2559)  |  Physical (508)  |  Present (619)

In light of new knowledge ... an eventual world state is not just desirable in the name of brotherhood, it is necessary for survival ... Today we must abandon competition and secure cooperation. This must be the central fact in all our considerations of international affairs; otherwise we face certain disaster. Past thinking and methods did not prevent world wars. Future thinking must prevent wars.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Affair (29)  |  All (4108)  |  Brotherhood (6)  |  Central (80)  |  Certain (550)  |  Competition (39)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Cooperation (32)  |  Desirable (33)  |  Disaster (51)  |  Eventual (9)  |  Face (212)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Future (429)  |  International (37)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Light (607)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Must (1526)  |  Name (333)  |  Necessary (363)  |  New (1216)  |  Otherwise (24)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Secure (22)  |  State (491)  |  Survival (94)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Today (314)  |  War (225)  |  World (1774)

In my work on Fossil Bones, I set myself the task of recognizing to which animals the fossilized remains which fill the surface strata of the earth belong. ... As a new sort of antiquarian, I had to learn to restore these memorials to past upheavals and, at the same time, to decipher their meaning. I had to collect and put together in their original order the fragments which made up these animals, to reconstruct the ancient creatures to which these fragments belonged, to create them once more with their proportions and characteristics, and finally to compare them to those alive today on the surface of the earth. This was an almost unknown art, which assumed a science hardly touched upon up until now, that of the laws which govern the coexistence of forms of the various parts in organic beings.
Discours sur les révolutions du globe, (Discourse on the Revolutions of the Surface of the Globe), originally the introduction to Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles des quadrupèdes (1812). Translated by Ian Johnston from the 1825 edition. Online at Vancouver Island University website.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (90)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Animal (617)  |  Antiquarian (2)  |  Art (657)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belong (162)  |  Bone (95)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Compare (69)  |  Create (235)  |  Creature (233)  |  Earth (996)  |  Form (959)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Fragment (54)  |  Govern (64)  |  Law (894)  |  Learn (629)  |  Meaning (233)  |  More (2559)  |  Myself (212)  |  New (1216)  |  Order (632)  |  Organic (158)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Remain (349)  |  Science (3879)  |  Set (394)  |  Strata (35)  |  Surface (209)  |  Surface Of The Earth (36)  |  Task (147)  |  Time (1877)  |  Today (314)  |  Together (387)  |  Touch (141)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Various (200)  |  Work (1351)

In preparing the present volume, it has been the aim of the author to do full justice to the ample material at his command, and, where possible, to make the illustrations tell the main story to anatomists. The text of such a memoir may soon lose its interest, and belong to the past, but good figures are of permanent value. [Justifying elaborate illustrations in his monographs.]
In Dinocerata: a monograph of an extinct order of gigantic mammals (1884), Preface, xvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (165)  |  Anatomist (23)  |  Author (167)  |  Belong (162)  |  Command (58)  |  Do (1908)  |  Elaborate (28)  |  Figure (160)  |  Good (889)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Interest (386)  |  Justice (39)  |  Lose (159)  |  Material (353)  |  Memoir (13)  |  Permanent (64)  |  Possible (552)  |  Preparing (21)  |  Present (619)  |  Soon (186)  |  Story (118)  |  Tell (340)  |  Text (14)  |  Value (365)

In science the insights of the past are digested and incorporated into the present in the same way that the genetic material of our ancestors is incorporated into the fabric of our body.
In ‘Tradition and Understanding’, School and Society (Nov 1969). As cited by Raymond Hide in 'A Note on Aspects of Classical Physics in the Twentieth Century', The Cultural Values of Science (2002), 357.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancestor (60)  |  Body (537)  |  Digested (2)  |  Fabric (27)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Insight (102)  |  Material (353)  |  Present (619)  |  Science (3879)  |  Way (1217)

In terms of the way a geologist operates, there is no past until after the assumption of uniformity has been made.
'The Theory of Geology', in C. C. Albritton (ed.), The Fabric of Geology (1963), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Assumption (92)  |  Geologist (75)  |  History (673)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Uniformity (37)  |  Way (1217)

In the past century, there were more changes than in the previous thousand years. The new century will see changes that will dwarf those of the last.
Referring to the 19th and 20th centuries.
Lecture, 'Discovery of the Future' at the Royal Institution (1902). Quoted in Martin J. Rees, Our Final Hour: a Scientist's Warning (2004), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Century (310)  |  Change (593)  |  Dwarf (7)  |  Last (426)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1216)  |  See (1081)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

In the past we see that periods of great intellectual activity have followed certain events which have acted by freeing the mind from dogma, extending the domain in which knowledge can be sought, and stimulating the imagination. … [For example,] the development of the cell theory and the theory of evolution.
From address, 'A Medical Retrospect'. Published in Yale Medical Journal (Oct 1910), 17, No. 2, 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Activity (210)  |  Cell Theory (4)  |  Certain (550)  |  Development (422)  |  Dogma (48)  |  Domain (69)  |  Event (216)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Extend (128)  |  Follow (378)  |  Free (232)  |  Freeing (6)  |  Great (1574)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Period (198)  |  See (1081)  |  Seek (213)  |  Stimulate (18)  |  Theory (970)  |  Theory Of Evolution (3)

In the past, few women have tried and even fewer have succeeded.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Women Scientists (13)

In the past, you wouldn’t have had any problem in getting a countryman to explain the difference between a blackbird and a song thrush, but you might have that difficulty with a kid now. Equally, if you asked a chap about gorillas in the 19th-century, he wouldn’t have heard of the creatures, but today an urban boy knows all about them.
Explaining how the success of nature documentaries may result in children who know more about gorillas than the wildlife in their own gardens. As reported by Adam Lusher in 'Sir David Attenborough', Daily Mail (28 Feb 2014).
Science quotes on:  |  19th Century (33)  |  All (4108)  |  Ask (411)  |  Blackbird (4)  |  Boy (94)  |  Century (310)  |  Countryman (4)  |  Creature (233)  |  Difference (337)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Equally (130)  |  Explain (322)  |  Gorilla (18)  |  Kid (15)  |  Know (1518)  |  Problem (676)  |  Song (37)  |  Thrush (2)  |  Today (314)  |  Urban (10)

In the temple of science are many mansions, and various indeed are they that dwell therein and the motives that have led them thither. Many take to science out of a joyful sense of superior intellectual power; science is their own special sport to which they look for vivid experience and the satisfaction of ambition; many others are to be found in the temple who have offered the products of their brains on this altar for purely utilitarian purposes. Were an angel of the Lord to come and drive all the people belonging to these two categories out of the temple, the assemblage would be seriously depleted, but there would still be some men, of both present and past times, left inside. Our Planck is one of them, and that is why we love him.
Address at Physical Society, Berlin (1918), for Max Planck’s 60th birthday, 'Principles of Research' in Essays in Science (1934, 2004), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Altar (10)  |  Ambition (43)  |  Angel (44)  |  Assemblage (17)  |  Belonging (37)  |  Both (493)  |  Brain (270)  |  Depletion (3)  |  Experience (467)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Joy (107)  |  Look (582)  |  Lord (93)  |  Love (309)  |  Motive (59)  |  Offer (141)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Max Planck (64)  |  Power (746)  |  Present (619)  |  Product (160)  |  Purely (109)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Satisfaction (74)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sense (770)  |  Special (184)  |  Sport (22)  |  Still (613)  |  Superior (81)  |  Temple (42)  |  Temple Of Science (8)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)  |  Utility (49)  |  Various (200)  |  Vivid (23)  |  Why (491)

In using the present in order to reveal the past, we assume that the forces in the world are essentially the same through all time; for these forces are based on the very nature of matter, and could not have changed. The ocean has always had its waves, and those waves have always acted in the same manner. Running water on the land has ever had the same power of wear and transportation and mathematical value to its force. The laws of chemistry, heat, electricity, and mechanics have been the same through time. The plan of living structures has been fundamentally one, for the whole series belongs to one system, as much almost as the parts of an animal to the one body; and the relations of life to light and heat, and to the atmosphere, have ever been the same as now.
In Manual of Geology, Treating of the Principles of the Science (1863), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Atmosphere (103)  |  Belong (162)  |  Body (537)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Force (487)  |  Heat (174)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Light (607)  |  Living (491)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mechanic (119)  |  Mechanics (131)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Order (632)  |  Plan (117)  |  Power (746)  |  Present (619)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Running (61)  |  Series (149)  |  Structure (344)  |  System (537)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Transportation (14)  |  Uniformitarianism (8)  |  Value (365)  |  Water (481)  |  Wave (107)  |  Whole (738)  |  World (1774)

Inexact method of observation, as I believe, is one flaw in clinical pathology to-day. Prematurity of conclusion is another, and in part follows from the first; but in chief part an unusual craving and veneration for hypothesis, which besets the minds of most medical men, is responsible. Except in those sciences which deal with the intangible or with events of long past ages, no treatises are to be found in which hypothesis figures as it does in medical writings. The purity of a science is to be judged by the paucity of its recorded hypotheses. Hypothesis has its right place, it forms a working basis; but it is an acknowledged makeshift, and, at the best, of purpose unaccomplished. Hypothesis is the heart which no man with right purpose wears willingly upon his sleeve. He who vaunts his lady love, ere yet she is won, is apt to display himself as frivolous or his lady a wanton.
The Mechanism and Graphic Registration of the Heart Beat (1920), vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Basis (173)  |  Best (459)  |  Chief (97)  |  Clinical (15)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Craving (5)  |  Deal (188)  |  Display (56)  |  Event (216)  |  Figure (160)  |  First (1283)  |  Flaw (17)  |  Follow (378)  |  Form (959)  |  Frivolous (7)  |  Heart (229)  |  Himself (461)  |  History (673)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Inexact (3)  |  Intangible (6)  |  Long (790)  |  Love (309)  |  Makeshift (2)  |  Man (2251)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Method (505)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Observation (555)  |  Pathology (18)  |  Paucity (3)  |  Physician (273)  |  Premature (20)  |  Purity (14)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Record (154)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3879)  |  Treatise (44)  |  Unusual (37)  |  Wanton (2)  |  Writing (189)

Instead of saying that a man behaves because of the consequences which are to follow his behavior, we simply say that he behaves because of the consequences which have followed similar behavior in the past. This is, of course, the Law of Effect or operant conditioning.
In Science and Human Behavior (1953), 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Behavior (84)  |  Conditioning (3)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Course (409)  |  Effect (393)  |  Follow (378)  |  Law (894)  |  Man (2251)  |  Say (984)

Investigating the conditions under which mutations occur … requires studies of mutation frequency under various methods of handling the organisms. As yet, extremely little has been done along this line. That is because, in the past, a mutation was considered a windfall, and the expression “mutation frequency” would have seemed a contradiction in terms. To attempt to study it would have seemed as absurd as to study the conditions affecting the distribution of dollar bills on the sidewalk. You were simply fortunate if you found one. … Of late, however, we may say that certain very exceptional banking houses have been found, in front of which the dollars fall more frequently—in other words, specially mutable genes have been discovered, that are beginning to yield abundant data at the hands of Nilsson-Ehle, Zeleny, Emerson, Anderson and others.
In 'Variation Due to Change in the Individual Gene', The American Naturalist (Jan-Feb 1922), 56, No. 642, 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (59)  |  Abundant (22)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Certain (550)  |  Condition (356)  |  Consider (416)  |  Contradiction (68)  |  Data (156)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Exceptional (18)  |  Expression (175)  |  Fall (230)  |  Fortunate (26)  |  Frequency (22)  |  Gene (98)  |  House (140)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Late (118)  |  Little (707)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  More (2559)  |  Mutation (37)  |  Occur (150)  |  Organism (220)  |  Other (2236)  |  Require (219)  |  Say (984)  |  Sidewalk (2)  |  Study (653)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Various (200)  |  Windfall (2)  |  Word (619)  |  Yield (81)

Is not Cuvier the great poet of our era? Byron has given admirable expression to certain moral conflicts, but our immortal naturalist has reconstructed past worlds from a few bleached bones; has rebuilt cities, like Cadmus, with monsters’ teeth; has animated forests with all the secrets of zoology gleaned from a piece of coal; has discovered a giant population from the footprints of a mammoth.
From 'La Peau de Chagrin' (1831). As translated by Ellen Marriage in The Wild Ass’s Skin (1906), 21-22.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (19)  |  All (4108)  |  Animated (5)  |  Bleached (4)  |  Bone (95)  |  Lord George Gordon Byron (27)  |  Certain (550)  |  Coal (57)  |  Conflict (73)  |  Baron Georges Cuvier (30)  |  Discover (553)  |  Era (51)  |  Expression (175)  |  Footprint (15)  |  Forest (150)  |  Giant (67)  |  Glean (2)  |  Great (1574)  |  Immortal (35)  |  Mammoth (9)  |  Monster (31)  |  Moral (195)  |  Naturalist (70)  |  Poet (83)  |  Population (110)  |  Reconstruct (5)  |  Secret (194)  |  Teeth (43)  |  Tooth (29)  |  World (1774)  |  Zoology (36)

It has been long considered possible to explain the more ancient revolutions on... [the Earth's] surface by means of these still existing causes; in the same manner as it is found easy to explain past events in political history, by an acquaintance with the passions and intrigues of the present day. But we shall presently see that unfortunately this is not the case in physical history:—the thread of operation is here broken, the march of nature is changed, and none of the agents that she now employs were sufficient for the production of her ancient works.
'Preliminary discourse', to Recherches sur les Ossemens Fossiles (1812), trans. R. Kerr Essay on the Theory of the Earth (1813), 24.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Acquaintance (37)  |  Agent (70)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Broken (56)  |  Cause (541)  |  Consider (416)  |  Earth (996)  |  Easy (204)  |  Employ (113)  |  Event (216)  |  Explain (322)  |  Fossil (136)  |  History (673)  |  Long (790)  |  March (46)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Operation (213)  |  Passion (114)  |  Physical (508)  |  Political (121)  |  Possible (552)  |  Present (619)  |  Production (183)  |  Revolution (129)  |  See (1081)  |  Still (613)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Surface (209)  |  Thread (32)  |  Unfortunately (38)  |  Work (1351)

It has been proposed (in despair) to define mathematics as “what mathematicians do.” Only such a broad definition, it was felt, would cover all the things that might become embodied in mathematics; for mathematicians today attack many problems not regarded as mathematics in the past, and what they will do in the future there is no saying.
In 'The Extent of Mathematics', Prelude to Mathematics (1955), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Attack (84)  |  Become (815)  |  Broad (27)  |  Cover (37)  |  Define (49)  |  Definition (221)  |  Despair (40)  |  Do (1908)  |  Embody (16)  |  Future (429)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Problem (676)  |  Propose (23)  |  Regard (305)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Today (314)  |  Will (2355)

It is always, our eyes alone, our way of looking at things. Nature alone knows what she means now, and what she had meant in the past.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 203.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (311)  |  Eye (419)  |  Know (1518)  |  Looking (189)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Way (1217)

It is bad enough to know the past; it would be intolerable to know the future.
As quoted in Richard Hughes, Foreign Devil: Thirty Years of Reporting From the Far East (1972) 209.
Science quotes on:  |  Bad (180)  |  Enough (340)  |  Future (429)  |  Intolerable (3)  |  Know (1518)

It is because simplicity and vastness are both beautiful that we seek by preference simple facts and vast facts; that we take delight, now in following the giant courses of the stars, now in scrutinizing the microscope that prodigious smallness which is also a vastness, and now in seeking in geological ages the traces of a past that attracts us because of its remoteness.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Attract (23)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Both (493)  |  Course (409)  |  Delight (108)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Follow (378)  |  Geological (11)  |  Giant (67)  |  Microscope (80)  |  Preference (28)  |  Prodigious (20)  |  Remoteness (9)  |  Scrutinize (7)  |  Seek (213)  |  Simple (406)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Smallness (7)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Trace (103)  |  Vast (177)  |  Vastness (15)

It is both a sad and a happy fact of engineering history that disasters have been powerful instruments of change. Designers learn from failure. Industrial society did not invent grand works of engineering, and it was not the first to know design failure. What it did do was develop powerful techniques for learning from the experience of past disasters. It is extremely rare today for an apartment house in North America, Europe, or Japan to fall down. Ancient Rome had large apartment buildings too, but while its public baths, bridges and aqueducts have lasted for two thousand years, its big residential blocks collapsed with appalling regularity. Not one is left in modern Rome, even as ruin.
In Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences (1997), 23.
Science quotes on:  |  America (127)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Apartment (4)  |  Appalling (10)  |  Aqueduct (4)  |  Bath (10)  |  Both (493)  |  Bridge (47)  |  Bridge Engineering (8)  |  Building (156)  |  Change (593)  |  Collapse (17)  |  Design (195)  |  Designer (6)  |  Develop (268)  |  Disaster (51)  |  Do (1908)  |  Down (456)  |  Engineering (175)  |  Experience (467)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Failure (161)  |  Fall (230)  |  First (1283)  |  Grand (27)  |  Happiness (115)  |  Happy (105)  |  History (673)  |  House (140)  |  Industry (137)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Invention (369)  |  Know (1518)  |  Large (394)  |  Last (426)  |  Lasting (7)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Modern (385)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Rare (89)  |  Rarity (11)  |  Regularity (40)  |  Residence (2)  |  Rome (19)  |  Ruin (42)  |  Sadness (35)  |  Society (326)  |  Technique (80)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Today (314)  |  Two (937)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

It is for such inquiries the modern naturalist collects his materials; it is for this that he still wants to add to the apparently boundless treasures of our national museums, and will never rest satisfied as long as the native country, the geographical distribution, and the amount of variation of any living thing remains imperfectly known. He looks upon every species of animal and plant now living as the individual letters which go to make up one of the volumes of our earth’s history; and, as a few lost letters may make a sentence unintelligible, so the extinction of the numerous forms of life which the progress of cultivation invariably entails will necessarily render obscure this invaluable record of the past. It is, therefore, an important object, which governments and scientific institutions should immediately take steps to secure, that in all tropical countries colonised by Europeans the most perfect collections possible in every branch of natural history should be made and deposited in national museums, where they may be available for study and interpretation. If this is not done, future ages will certainly look back upon us as a people so immersed in the pursuit of wealth as to be blind to higher considerations. They will charge us with having culpably allowed the destruction of some of those records of Creation which we had it in our power to preserve; and while professing to regard every living thing as the direct handiwork and best evidence of a Creator, yet, with a strange inconsistency, seeing many of them perish irrecoverably from the face of the earth, uncared for and unknown.
In 'On the Physical Geography of the Malay Archipelago', Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1863), 33, 234.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Add (40)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Allowed (3)  |  Amount (151)  |  Animal (617)  |  Apparently (20)  |  Available (78)  |  Back (390)  |  Best (459)  |  Blind (95)  |  Boundless (26)  |  Branch (150)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Charge (59)  |  Collect (16)  |  Collection (64)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Country (251)  |  Creation (327)  |  Creator (91)  |  Cultivation (35)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Direct (225)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Earth (996)  |  Entail (4)  |  European (5)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Extinction (74)  |  Face (212)  |  Form (959)  |  Future (429)  |  Geographical (6)  |  Government (110)  |  Handiwork (6)  |  Higher (37)  |  History (673)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Imperfectly (2)  |  Important (209)  |  Inconsistency (4)  |  Individual (404)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Institution (69)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Invaluable (11)  |  Invariably (35)  |  Known (454)  |  Letter (109)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Long (790)  |  Look (582)  |  Lost (34)  |  Made (14)  |  Material (353)  |  Modern (385)  |  Most (1731)  |  Museum (31)  |  National (26)  |  Native (38)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural History (70)  |  Naturalist (70)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Never (1087)  |  Numerous (68)  |  Object (422)  |  Obscure (62)  |  People (1005)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Perish (50)  |  Person (363)  |  Plant (294)  |  Possible (552)  |  Power (746)  |  Preserve (83)  |  Professing (2)  |  Progress (465)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Record (154)  |  Regard (305)  |  Remain (349)  |  Render (93)  |  Rest (280)  |  Satisfied (23)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Secure (22)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Sentence (29)  |  Species (401)  |  Step (231)  |  Still (613)  |  Strange (157)  |  Study (653)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Treasure (57)  |  Tropical (8)  |  Unintelligible (15)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Variation (90)  |  Volume (19)  |  Want (497)  |  Wealth (94)  |  Will (2355)

It is perhaps difficult for a modern student of Physics to realize the basic taboo of the past period (before 1956) … it was unthinkable that anyone would question the validity of symmetries under “space inversion,” “charge conjugation” and “time reversal.” It would have been almost sacrilegious to do experiments to test such unholy thoughts.
In paper presented to the International Conference on the History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries, Erice, Sicily (27 Jul-4 Aug 1994), 'Parity Violation' collected in Harvey B. Newman, Thomas Ypsilantis History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries in Particle Physics (1996), 381.
Science quotes on:  |  Basic (138)  |  Charge (59)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Do (1908)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Modern (385)  |  Period (198)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Question (621)  |  Realize (147)  |  Space (500)  |  Student (300)  |  Symmetry (43)  |  Taboo (5)  |  Test (211)  |  Thought (953)  |  Time (1877)  |  Unthinkable (8)  |  Validity (47)

It is popular to believe that the age of the individual and, above all, of the free individual, is past in science. There are many administrators of science and a large component of the general population who believe that mass attacks can do anything, and even that ideas are obsolete. Behind this drive to the mass attack there are a number of strong psychological motives. Neither the public or the big administrator has too good an understanding of the inner continuity of science, but they both have seen its world-shaking consequences, and they are afraid of it. Both of them wish to decerebrate the scientist, even as the Byzantine State emasculated its civil servants. Moreover, the great administrator who is not sure of his own intellectual level can aggrandize himself only by cutting his scientific employees down to size.
In I am a Mathematician (1956), Epilogue, 363-364.
Science quotes on:  |  Administrator (11)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Attack (84)  |  Behind (137)  |  Both (493)  |  Civil (26)  |  Component (48)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Cutting (6)  |  Do (1908)  |  Down (456)  |  Free (232)  |  General (511)  |  Good (889)  |  Great (1574)  |  Himself (461)  |  Idea (843)  |  Individual (404)  |  Inner (71)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Large (394)  |  Mass (157)  |  Motive (59)  |  Number (699)  |  Obsolete (15)  |  Population (110)  |  Psychological (42)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Servant (39)  |  Size (60)  |  State (491)  |  Strong (174)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Wish (212)  |  World (1774)

It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations - past and present - are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual’s hunger, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia. Thus, we are up against the paradox that the individual who is more complex, unpredictable, and mysterious than any communal entity is the one nearest to our understanding; so near that even the interval of millennia cannot weaken our feeling of kinshiIf in some manner the voice of an individual reaches us from the remotest distance of time, it is a timeless voice speaking about ourselves.
In Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), 97.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Against (332)  |  Anxiety (30)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Communal (7)  |  Complex (188)  |  Culture (143)  |  Distance (161)  |  Dream (208)  |  Entity (35)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Hunger (21)  |  Incomprehensible (29)  |  Individual (404)  |  Interval (13)  |  Manner (58)  |  Millennia (4)  |  More (2559)  |  Mysterious (79)  |  Often (106)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Outsider (6)  |  Paradox (50)  |  Preoccupation (7)  |  Present (619)  |  Reach (281)  |  Remain (349)  |  Remote (83)  |  Society (326)  |  Speak (232)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Timeless (8)  |  Unchanged (3)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Unpredictable (17)  |  Voice (52)  |  Weaken (4)

It is the reciprocity of these appearances—that each party should think the other has contracted—that is so difficult to realise. Here is a paradox beyond even the imagination of Dean Swift. Gulliver regarded the Lilliputians as a race of dwarfs; and the Lilliputians regarded Gulliver as a giant. That is natural. If the Lilliputians had appeared dwarfs to Gulliver, and Gulliver had appeared a dwarf to the Lilliputians—but no! that is too absurd for fiction, and is an idea only to be found in the sober pages of science. …It is not only in space but in time that these strange variations occur. If we observed the aviator carefully we should infer that he was unusually slow in his movements; and events in the conveyance moving with him would be similarly retarded—as though time had forgotten to go on. His cigar lasts twice as long as one of ours. …But here again reciprocity comes in, because in the aviator’s opinion it is we who are travelling at 161,000 miles a second past him; and when he has made all allowances, he finds that it is we who are sluggish. Our cigar lasts twice as long as his.
In Space, Time and Gravitation: An Outline of the General Relativity Theory (1920, 1921), 23-24.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Absurd (59)  |  All (4108)  |  Allowance (6)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Carefully (65)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Event (216)  |  Find (998)  |  Forgotten (53)  |  Giant (67)  |  Idea (843)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Last (426)  |  Long (790)  |  Movement (155)  |  Natural (796)  |  Observed (149)  |  Occur (150)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paradox (50)  |  Race (268)  |  Regard (305)  |  Science (3879)  |  Slow (101)  |  Space (500)  |  Strange (157)  |  Think (1086)  |  Time (1877)  |  Travelling (17)  |  Variation (90)

It is time, therefore, to abandon the superstition that natural science cannot be regarded as logically respectable until philosophers have solved the problem of induction. The problem of induction is, roughly speaking, the problem of finding a way to prove that certain empirical generalizations which are derived from past experience will hold good also in the future.
Language, Truth and Logic (1960), 49.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Certain (550)  |  Empirical (54)  |  Experience (467)  |  Future (429)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Good (889)  |  Induction (77)  |  Logic (287)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Problem (676)  |  Prove (250)  |  Regard (305)  |  Science (3879)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Superstition (66)  |  Time (1877)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)

It is with our entire past ... that we desire, will and act ... from this survival of the past it follows that consciousness cannot go through the same state twice. The circumstances may still be the same, but they will act no longer on the same person ... that is why our duration is irreversible.
Creative Evolution (1911), trans. Arthur Mitchell, 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Circumstances (108)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  Desire (204)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Follow (378)  |  Irreversible (12)  |  Person (363)  |  State (491)  |  Still (613)  |  Survival (94)  |  Through (849)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2355)

It may be said of many palaeontologists, as Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper said recently of 18th century historians: “Their most serious error was to measure the past by the present”.
In The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record (1973), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  18th Century (21)  |  Century (310)  |  Error (321)  |  Historian (54)  |  Measure (232)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Most (1731)  |  Paleontologist (19)  |  Present (619)  |  Professor (128)  |  Serious (91)

It usually develops that after much laborious and frustrating effort the investigator of environmental physiology succeeds in proving that the animal in question can actually exist where it lives. It is always somewhat discouraging for an investigator to realize that his efforts can be made to appear so trite, but this statement does not belittle the ecological physiologist. If his data assist the understanding of the ways in which an animal manages to live where it does, he makes an important contribution to the study of distribution, for the present is necessarily a key to the past.”
From 'The role of physiology in the distribution of terrestrial vertebrates', collected in C.L. Hubbs (ed.), Zoogeography: Publ. 51 (1958), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Actually (27)  |  Animal (617)  |  Appear (118)  |  Assist (9)  |  Belittle (2)  |  Contribution (89)  |  Data (156)  |  Develop (268)  |  Discourage (13)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Ecological (7)  |  Effort (227)  |  Environment (216)  |  Exist (443)  |  Frustrate (4)  |  Important (209)  |  Investigator (67)  |  Key (50)  |  Laborious (14)  |  Live (628)  |  Manage (23)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Physiologist (29)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Present (619)  |  Prove (250)  |  Question (621)  |  Realize (147)  |  Statement (142)  |  Study (653)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Trite (4)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Usually (176)  |  Way (1217)

It was shortly after midday on December 12, 1901, [in a hut on the cliffs at St. John's, Newfoundland] that I placed a single earphone to my ear and started listening. The receiver on the table before me was very crude—a few coils and condensers and a coherer—no valves [vacuum tubes], no amplifiers, not even a crystal. I was at last on the point of putting the correctness of all my beliefs to test. ... [The] answer came at 12:30. ... Suddenly, about half past twelve there sounded the sharp click of the “tapper” ... Unmistakably, the three sharp clicks corresponding to three dots sounded in my ear. “Can you hear anything, Mr. Kemp?” I asked, handing the telephone to my assistant. Kemp heard the same thing as I. ... I knew then that I had been absolutely right in my calculations. The electric waves which were being sent out from Poldhu [Cornwall, England] had travelled the Atlantic, serenely ignoring the curvature of the earth which so many doubters considered a fatal obstacle. ... I knew that the day on which I should be able to send full messages without wires or cables across the Atlantic was not far distant.
Quoted in Degna Marconi, My Father, Marconi (2000), 93.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Amplifier (3)  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Atlantic Ocean (7)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belief (578)  |  Cable (11)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Click (4)  |  Cliff (19)  |  Coil (3)  |  Condenser (4)  |  Consider (416)  |  Correctness (12)  |  Crude (31)  |  Crystal (68)  |  Curvature (8)  |  Dot (16)  |  Ear (68)  |  Earth (996)  |  Electric (76)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Hear (139)  |  Ignoring (11)  |  Last (426)  |  Listening (25)  |  Message (49)  |  Midday (4)  |  Obstacle (42)  |  Point (580)  |  Radio (50)  |  Receiver (5)  |  Right (452)  |  Single (353)  |  Sound (183)  |  Start (221)  |  Success (302)  |  Suddenly (88)  |  Table (104)  |  Telephone (27)  |  Test (211)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Transmission (34)  |  Vacuum (39)  |  Vacuum Tube (2)  |  Valve (2)  |  Wave (107)  |  Wire (35)

It would be our worst enemy who would wish us to live only on the glories of the past and die off from the face of the earth in sheer passivity. By continuous achievement alone we can justify our great ancestry. We do not honour our ancestors by the false claim that they are omniscient and had nothing more to learn.
From 'Sir J.C. Bose’s Address', Benares Hindu University 1905-1935 (1936), 423. Collected in J. Lourdusamy, Science and National Consciousness in Bengal: 1870-1930 (2004), 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Alone (311)  |  Ancestor (60)  |  Ancestry (12)  |  Claim (146)  |  Continuous (82)  |  Die (86)  |  Do (1908)  |  Earth (996)  |  Enemy (82)  |  Face (212)  |  Face Of The Earth (4)  |  False (100)  |  Glory (58)  |  Great (1574)  |  Honour (56)  |  Justify (24)  |  Learn (629)  |  Live (628)  |  More (2559)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Omniscient (6)  |  Passivity (2)  |  Wish (212)  |  Worst (57)  |  Worst Enemy (4)

It would take a civilization far more advanced than ours, unbelievably advanced, to begin to manipulate negative energy to create gateways to the past. But if you could obtain large quantities of negative energy—and that's a big “IF”—then you could create a time machine that apparently obeys Einstein's equation and perhaps the laws of quantum theory.
Quoted by J.R. Minkel in 'Borrowed Time: Interview with Michio Kaku', Scientific American (23 Nov 2003).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Begin (260)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Create (235)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Energy (344)  |  Equation (132)  |  Gateway (6)  |  Large (394)  |  Law (894)  |  Machine (257)  |  Manipulate (10)  |  More (2559)  |  Negative (63)  |  Obey (40)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time Machine (4)  |  Time Travel (4)

I’ll change my state with any wretch
Thou canst from gaol of dunghill fetch.
My pain’s past cure, another hell;
I may not in this torment dwell.
Now desperate I hate my life,
Lend me a halter or a knife!
All my griefs to this are jolly,
Naught so damned as melancholy.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Change (593)  |  Cure (122)  |  Grief (18)  |  Hate (64)  |  Jail (4)  |  Knife (23)  |  Life (1795)  |  Melancholy (17)  |  Naught (10)  |  Pain (136)  |  Psychology (154)  |  State (491)  |  Torment (18)  |  Wretch (5)

I’m not an historian but I can get interested—obsessively interested—with any aspect of the past, whether it’s palaeontology or archaeology or the very recent past.
Interview with Robert McCrum, in The Observer (26 Aug 2001).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Archaeology (49)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Historian (54)  |  Interest (386)  |  Paleontologist (19)  |  Recent (77)

Keep some souvenirs of your past, or how will you ever prove it wasn’t all a dream?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Dream (208)  |  Keep (101)  |  Prove (250)  |  Souvenir (2)  |  Will (2355)

Know thyself! This is the source of all wisdom, said the great thinkers of the past, and the sentence was written in golden letters on the temple of the gods. To know himself, Linnæus declared to be the essential indisputable distinction of man above all other creatures. I know, indeed, in study nothing more worthy of free and thoughtful man than the study of himself. For if we look for the purpose of our existence, we cannot possibly find it outside ourselves. We are here for our own sake.
As translated and quoted in Ernst Haeckel and E. Ray Lankester (trans.) as epigraph for Chap. 9, The History of Creation (1886), Vol. 1, 244.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Creature (233)  |  Declare (45)  |  Declared (24)  |  Distinction (72)  |  Essential (199)  |  Existence (456)  |  Find (998)  |  Free (232)  |  God (757)  |  Golden (45)  |  Great (1574)  |  Himself (461)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Indisputable (8)  |  Know (1518)  |  Letter (109)  |  Carolus Linnaeus (31)  |  Look (582)  |  Man (2251)  |  More (2559)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Other (2236)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Outside (141)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Sake (58)  |  Sentence (29)  |  Source (93)  |  Study (653)  |  Temple (42)  |  Thinker (39)  |  Thoughtful (15)  |  Thyself (2)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Writing (189)

Learn to reverence night and to put away the vulgar fear of it, for, with the banishment of night from the experience of man, there vanishes as well a religious emotion, a poetic mood, which gives depth to the adventure of humanity. By day, space is one with the earth and with man - it is his sun that is shining, his clouds that are floating past; at night, space is his no more. When the great earth, abandoning day, rolls up the deeps of the heavens and the universe, a new door opens for the human spirit, and there are few so clownish that some awareness of the mystery of being does not touch them as they gaze. For a moment of night we have a glimpse of ourselves and of our world islanded in its stream of stars - pilgrims of mortality, voyaging between horizons across eternal seas of space and time. Fugitive though the instant be, the spirit of man is, during it, ennobled by a genuine moment of emotional dignity, and poetry makes its own both the human spirit and experience.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Across (32)  |  Adventure (56)  |  Awareness (36)  |  Banishment (3)  |  Being (1278)  |  Both (493)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Clown (2)  |  Deep (233)  |  Depth (94)  |  Dignity (42)  |  Door (93)  |  Earth (996)  |  Emotion (100)  |  Emotional (17)  |  Ennoble (8)  |  Eternal (110)  |  Experience (467)  |  Fear (197)  |  Float (30)  |  Fugitive (3)  |  Gaze (21)  |  Genuine (52)  |  Give (202)  |  Glimpse (13)  |  Great (1574)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Horizon (45)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Spirit (12)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Instant (45)  |  Island (46)  |  Learn (629)  |  Man (2251)  |  Moment (253)  |  Mood (13)  |  More (2559)  |  Mortality (15)  |  Mystery (177)  |  New (1216)  |  Night (120)  |  Open (274)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Pilgrim (4)  |  Poetic (7)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Religious (126)  |  Reverence (28)  |  Roll (40)  |  Sea (308)  |  Shine (45)  |  Shining (35)  |  Space (500)  |  Space And Time (36)  |  Spirit (265)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Stream (81)  |  Sun (385)  |  Time (1877)  |  Touch (141)  |  Universe (857)  |  Vanish (18)  |  Voyage (11)  |  Vulgar (33)  |  World (1774)

Let us draw an arrow arbitrarily. If as we follow the arrow we find more and more of the random element in the state of the world, then the arrow is pointing towards the future; if the random element decreases the arrow points towards the past … I shall use the phrase “time's arrow” to express this one-way property of time which has no analogue in space.
Gifford Lectures (1927), The Nature of The Physical World (1928), 69.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Arrow (20)  |  Draw (137)  |  Element (310)  |  Entropy (44)  |  Express (186)  |  Find (998)  |  Follow (378)  |  Future (429)  |  More (2559)  |  Phrase (61)  |  Point (580)  |  Property (168)  |  Random (41)  |  Space (500)  |  State (491)  |  Time (1877)  |  Use (766)  |  Way (1217)  |  World (1774)

Life through many long periods has been manifested in a countless host of varying structures, all circumscribed by one general plan, each appointed to a definite place, and limited to an appointed duration. On the whole the earth has been thus more and more covered by the associated life of plants and animals, filling all habitable space with beings capable of enjoying their own existence or ministering to the enjoyment of others; till finally, after long preparation, a being was created capable of the wonderful power of measuring and weighing all the world of matter and space which surrounds him, of treasuring up the past history of all the forms of life, and considering his own relation to the whole. When he surveys this vast and co-ordinated system, and inquires into its history and origin, can he be at a loss to decide whether it be a work of Divine thought and wisdom, or the fortunate offspring of a few atoms of matter, warmed by the anima mundi, a spark of electricity, or an accidental ray of sunshine?
Life on the Earth: Its Origin and Succession (1860), 216-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (88)  |  Accidental (27)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Appointment (12)  |  Association (46)  |  Atom (355)  |  Being (1278)  |  Capability (41)  |  Capable (168)  |  Coordination (9)  |  Countless (36)  |  Cover (37)  |  Decision (91)  |  Definite (110)  |  Divine (112)  |  Duration (10)  |  Earth (996)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Enjoyment (35)  |  Existence (456)  |  Fill (61)  |  Form (959)  |  Fortunate (26)  |  Fortune (49)  |  General (511)  |  Habitat (16)  |  History (673)  |  Host (16)  |  Inquire (23)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Life (1795)  |  Limit (280)  |  Limitation (47)  |  Limited (101)  |  Long (790)  |  Loss (110)  |  Manifestation (58)  |  Matter (798)  |  Measurement (174)  |  More (2559)  |  Offspring (27)  |  Origin (239)  |  Other (2236)  |  Period (198)  |  Place (177)  |  Plan (117)  |  Plant (294)  |  Power (746)  |  Preparation (58)  |  Ray (114)  |  Space (500)  |  Spark (31)  |  Structure (344)  |  Sunshine (10)  |  Survey (33)  |  System (537)  |  Thought (953)  |  Through (849)  |  Variation (90)  |  Vast (177)  |  Warm (69)  |  Weight (134)  |  Whole (738)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Wonderful (149)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

Lift off! We have a lift off 32 minutes past the hour!
NASA
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Hour (186)  |  Lift (55)  |  Lift Off (3)  |  Minute (125)

Lift off! We have a lift off
Thirty five minutes past the hour!
O.M.D.
Song lyrics, Apollo XI by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (O.M.D.)
Science quotes on:  |  Apollo 11 (6)  |  Hour (186)  |  Lift (55)  |  Lift Off (3)  |  Minute (125)  |  Rocket (43)  |  Space Flight (25)

Look into the past as guidance for the future.
Quoted, without citation as epigraph in Claus Grupen, Astroparticle Physics (2005), 1. Need primary source. Can you help?
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Future (429)  |  Guidance (28)  |  Look (582)

Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future.
In The Time Machine (1898), 144.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Distance (161)  |  Drift (13)  |  Dwarf (7)  |  Future (429)  |  Gravity (132)  |  Inevitable (49)  |  Life (1795)  |  Looking (189)  |  Movement (155)  |  Slow (101)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Sudden (67)  |  Suddenly (88)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Thought (953)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Unfathomable (10)  |  Unknown (182)

Looking back across the long cycles of change through which the land has been shaped into its present form, let us realise that these geographical revolutions are not events wholly of the dim past, but that they are still in progress. So slow and measured has been their march, that even from the earliest times of human history they seem hardly to have advanced at all. But none the less are they surely and steadily transpiring around us. In the fall of rain and the flow of rivers, in the bubble of springs and the silence of frost, in the quiet creep of glaciers and the tumultuous rush of ocean waves, in the tremor of the earthquake and the outburst of the volcano, we may recognise the same play of terrestrial forces by which the framework of the continents has been step by step evolved.
Lecture at the Evening Meeting, Royal Geographical Society (24 Mar 1879), 'Discussion on Geographical Evolution', in Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record (1879), New Monthly Series, 1, 443.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Back (390)  |  Bubble (22)  |  Change (593)  |  Continent (76)  |  Creep (15)  |  Cycle (40)  |  Earthquake (34)  |  Eruption (9)  |  Event (216)  |  Fall (230)  |  Flow (83)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Framework (31)  |  Frost (14)  |  Glacier (17)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Long (790)  |  Looking (189)  |  March (46)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Present (619)  |  Progress (465)  |  Quiet (36)  |  Rain (62)  |  Revolution (129)  |  River (119)  |  Silence (56)  |  Slow (101)  |  Spring (133)  |  Step (231)  |  Step By Step (11)  |  Still (613)  |  Surely (101)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Tremor (2)  |  Volcano (39)  |  Wave (107)  |  Wholly (88)

Medicinal discovery,
It moves in mighty leaps,
It leapt straight past the common cold
And gave it us for keeps.
Pam Ayres
'Oh no! I got a cold', Some of Me Poetry (1976).
Science quotes on:  |  Cold (112)  |  Common (436)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Leap (53)  |  Move (216)  |  Straight (73)

Medicine has made all its progress during the past fifty years. ... How many operations that are now in use were known fifty years ago?—they were not operations, they were executions.
Speech at the Twentieth Anniversary Dinner of the Society of Medical Jurisprudence, New York (8 Mar 1902). In Mark Twain and Paul Fatout (ed.,) Mark Twain Speaking (2006), 429-430.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Execution (25)  |  Known (454)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Progress (465)  |  Use (766)  |  Year (933)

Men make their own history, but not just as they please. They do not choose the circumstances for themselves, but have to work upon circumstances as they find them, have to fashion the material handed down by the past. The legacy of the dead generations weighs like an alp upon the brains of the living.
Karl Marx
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852).
Science quotes on:  |  Alp (9)  |  Brain (270)  |  Choose (112)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Circumstances (108)  |  Death (388)  |  Do (1908)  |  Down (456)  |  Find (998)  |  Generation (242)  |  History (673)  |  Legacy (14)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Material (353)  |  Please (65)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Weigh (49)  |  Work (1351)

More than 90 percent of the forests of western Ecuador have been destroyed during the past four decades.The loss is estimated to have extinguished or doomed over half of the species of the area’s plants and animals. Many other biologically diverse areas of the world are under similar assault.
In The Diversity of Life (1992), 265.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Animal (617)  |  Area (31)  |  Assault (12)  |  Biodiversity (11)  |  Decade (59)  |  Deforestation (45)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Diverse (17)  |  Doom (32)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Extinguish (8)  |  Forest (150)  |  Half (56)  |  Loss (110)  |  More (2559)  |  Other (2236)  |  Plant (294)  |  Rain Forest (29)  |  Similar (36)  |  Species (401)  |  Western (45)  |  World (1774)

More than ever before in the history of science and invention, it is safe now to say what is possible and what is impossible. No one would claim for a moment that during the next five hundred years the accumulated stock of knowledge of geography will increase as it has during the last five hundred In the same way it may safely be affirmed that in electricity the past hundred years is not likely to be duplicated in the next, at least as to great, original, and far-reaching discoveries, or novel and almost revolutionary applications.
In A Century of Electricity (1890), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulate (26)  |  Application (242)  |  Claim (146)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Geography (36)  |  Great (1574)  |  History (673)  |  History Of Science (63)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Increase (210)  |  Invention (369)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Last (426)  |  Moment (253)  |  More (2559)  |  Next (236)  |  Novel (32)  |  Possible (552)  |  Revolutionary (31)  |  Safe (54)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

Mr. [Granville T.] Woods says that he has been frequently refused work because of the previous condition of his race, but he has had great determination and will and never despaired because of disappointments. He always carried his point by persistent efforts. He says the day is past when colored boys will be refused work only because of race prejudice. There are other causes. First, the boy has not the nerve to apply for work after being refused at two or three places. Second, the boy should have some knowledge of mechanics. The latter could be gained at technical schools, which should be founded for the purpose. And these schools must sooner or later be established, and thereby, we should be enabled to put into the hands of our boys and girls the actual means of livelihood.
From William J. Simmons, Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising (1887), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  African American (6)  |  Application (242)  |  Apply (160)  |  Being (1278)  |  Boy (94)  |  Cause (541)  |  Color (137)  |  Condition (356)  |  Despair (40)  |  Determination (78)  |  Disappointment (16)  |  Effort (227)  |  Establishment (47)  |  First (1283)  |  Gain (145)  |  Girl (37)  |  Great (1574)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Livelihood (12)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mechanic (119)  |  Mechanics (131)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Never (1087)  |  Other (2236)  |  Persistence (24)  |  Persistent (18)  |  Point (580)  |  Prejudice (87)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Race (268)  |  Refusal (22)  |  Say (984)  |  School (219)  |  Two (937)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wood (92)  |  Work (1351)

Much of the geographical work of the past hundred years... has either explicitly or implicitly taken its inspiration from biology, and in particular Darwin. Many of the original Darwinians, such as Hooker, Wallace, Huxley, Bates, and Darwin himself, were actively concerned with geographical exploration, and it was largely facts of geographical distribution in a spatial setting which provided Darwin with the germ of his theory.
'Darwin's Impact on Geography', Annals of the Association of American Geographers (1966), 56, 683.
Science quotes on:  |  H. W. Bates (3)  |  Biology (216)  |  Concern (228)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Exploration (134)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Geography (36)  |  Germ (53)  |  Himself (461)  |  Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (12)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Thomas Henry Huxley (126)  |  Inspiration (75)  |  Setting (44)  |  Theory (970)  |  Alfred Russel Wallace (40)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker, with no past at my back.
Science quotes on:  |  Back (390)  |  Endless (56)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Profane (6)  |  Sacred (45)  |  Seeker (8)

No mathematician should ever allow him to forget that mathematics, more than any other art or science, is a young man's game. … Galois died at twenty-one, Abel at twenty-seven, Ramanujan at thirty-three, Riemann at forty. There have been men who have done great work later; … [but] I do not know of a single instance of a major mathematical advance initiated by a man past fifty. … A mathematician may still be competent enough at sixty, but it is useless to expect him to have original ideas.
In A Mathematician's Apology (1941, reprint with Foreward by C.P. Snow 1992), 70-71.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Niels Henrik Abel (15)  |  Advance (280)  |  Age (499)  |  Art (657)  |  Do (1908)  |  Enough (340)  |  Expect (200)  |  Forget (115)  |  Évariste Galois (4)  |  Game (101)  |  Great (1574)  |  Idea (843)  |  Know (1518)  |  Major (84)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  More (2559)  |  Other (2236)  |  Srinivasa Ramanujan (17)  |  Science (3879)  |  Single (353)  |  Still (613)  |  Work (1351)  |  Young (227)  |  Youth (101)

No scientist or student of science, need ever read an original work of the past. As a general rule, he does not think of doing so. Rutherford was one of the greatest experimental physicists, but no nuclear scientist today would study his researches of fifty years ago. Their substance has all been infused into the common agreement, the textbooks, the contemporary papers, the living present.
Attempting to distinguish between science and the humanities in which original works like Shakespeare's must be studied verbatim. 'The Case of Leavis and the Serious Case', (1970), reprinted in Public Affairs (1971), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Agreement (53)  |  All (4108)  |  Common (436)  |  Contemporary (30)  |  Doing (280)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Experimental Physicist (10)  |  General (511)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Living (491)  |  Nuclear (107)  |  Original (58)  |  Paper (182)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Present (619)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Research (664)  |  Rule (294)  |  Sir Ernest Rutherford (53)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Student (300)  |  Study (653)  |  Substance (248)  |  Textbook (36)  |  Think (1086)  |  Today (314)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

Nobody knows more than a tiny fragment of science well enough to judge its validity and value at first hand. For the rest he has to rely on views accepted at second hand on the authority of a community of people accredited as scientists. But this accrediting depends in its turn on a complex organization. For each member of the community can judge at first hand only a small number of his fellow members, and yet eventually each is accredited by all. What happens is that each recognizes as scientists a number of others by whom he is recognized as such in return, and these relations form chains which transmit these mutual recognitions at second hand through the whole community. This is how each member becomes directly or indirectly accredited by all. The system extends into the past. Its members recognize the same set of persons as their masters and derive from this allegiance a common tradition, of which each carries on a particular strand.
Personal Knowledge (1958), 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  Acceptance (52)  |  All (4108)  |  Allegiance (4)  |  Authority (95)  |  Become (815)  |  Carrying (7)  |  Chain (50)  |  Common (436)  |  Community (104)  |  Complex (188)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Depend (228)  |  Dependance (4)  |  Derivation (13)  |  Derive (65)  |  Directly (22)  |  Enough (340)  |  Eventually (65)  |  Extend (128)  |  Extension (59)  |  Fellow (88)  |  First (1283)  |  Form (959)  |  Fragment (54)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happening (58)  |  Indirectly (7)  |  Judge (108)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Master (178)  |  Member (41)  |  More (2559)  |  Mutual (52)  |  Nobody (104)  |  Number (699)  |  Organization (114)  |  Other (2236)  |  Particular (76)  |  People (1005)  |  Person (363)  |  Recognition (88)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Rest (280)  |  Return (124)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Secondhand (6)  |  Set (394)  |  Small (477)  |  Strand (9)  |  System (537)  |  Through (849)  |  Tiny (72)  |  Tradition (69)  |  Transmission (34)  |  Turn (447)  |  Validity (47)  |  Value (365)  |  View (488)  |  Whole (738)

Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge.
In Samuel Johnson and Arthur Murphy, The works of Samuel Johnson (1837), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Child (307)  |  Former (137)  |  History (673)  |  Infancy (12)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Labor (107)  |  Labour (98)  |  Must (1526)  |  Remain (349)  |  Time (1877)  |  Transact (2)  |  Use (766)  |  World (1774)

Now [Michele Besso] has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That signifies nothing. For us believing in physicists, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
Letter of condolence to the family of Michele Besso, his lifelong friend (21 Mar 1955). In Tabatha Yeatts, Albert Einstein (2007), 116. (Besso died on 15 Mar 1955. Einstein died 18 Apr 1955.)
Science quotes on:  |  Distinction (72)  |  Future (429)  |  Illusion (66)  |  Little (707)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Persistent (18)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Present (619)  |  Strange (157)  |  World (1774)

Official science is fully committed to the principle of muddling through and not looking beyond the tip of your nose. All past experience, it is said, teaches us to take only one step at a time.
From transcript of BBC radio Reith Lecture (12 Nov 1967), 'A Runaway World', on the bbc.co.uk website.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Commit (41)  |  Experience (467)  |  Looking (189)  |  Muddle (3)  |  Nose (11)  |  Official (6)  |  Principle (507)  |  Science (3879)  |  Step (231)  |  Teach (277)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Tip (2)

On the basis of the results recorded in this review, it can be claimed that the average sand grain has taken many hundreds of millions of years to lose 10 per cent. of its weight by abrasion and become subangular. It is a platitude to point to the slowness of geological processes. But much depends on the way things are put. For it can also be said that a sand grain travelling on the bottom of a river loses 10 million molecules each time it rolls over on its side and that representation impresses us with the high rate of this loss. The properties of quartz have led to the concentration of its grains on the continents, where they could now form a layer averaging several hundred metres thick. But to my mind the most astounding numerical estimate that follows from the present evaluations, is that during each and every second of the incredibly long geological past the number of quartz grains on earth has increased by 1,000 million.
'Sand-its Origin, Transportation, Abrasion and Accumulation', The Geological Society of South Africa (1959), Annexure to Volume 62, 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Astounding (9)  |  Average (82)  |  Basis (173)  |  Become (815)  |  Claim (146)  |  Concentration (29)  |  Continent (76)  |  Depend (228)  |  Earth (996)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Evaluation (10)  |  Follow (378)  |  Form (959)  |  Geology (220)  |  Grain (50)  |  High (362)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Layer (40)  |  Long (790)  |  Lose (159)  |  Loss (110)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Most (1731)  |  Number (699)  |  Numerical (39)  |  Point (580)  |  Present (619)  |  Process (423)  |  Quartz (2)  |  Record (154)  |  Representation (53)  |  Result (677)  |  Review (26)  |  River (119)  |  Roll (40)  |  Sand (62)  |  Side (233)  |  Slowness (5)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Travelling (17)  |  Way (1217)  |  Weight (134)  |  Year (933)

On the theory of natural selection we can clearly understand the full meaning of that old canon in natural history, “Natura non facit saltum.” This canon, if we look only to the present inhabitants of the world, is not strictly correct, but if we include all those of past times, it must by my theory be strictly true.
From On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1861), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  History (673)  |  Include (90)  |  Inhabitant (49)  |  Look (582)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natura Non Facit Saltum (3)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural History (70)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Old (481)  |  Origin Of Species (42)  |  Present (619)  |  Selection (128)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Understand (606)  |  World (1774)

One precept for the scientist-to-be is already obvious. Do not place yourself in an environment where your advisor is already suffering from scientific obsolescence. If one is so unfortunate as to receive his training under a person who is either technically or intellectually obsolescent, one finds himself to be a loser before he starts. It is difficult to move into a position of leadership if one’s launching platform is a scientific generation whose time is already past.
In 'Scientific innovation and creativity: a zoologist’s point of view', American Zoologist (1982), 22, 229.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Advisor (3)  |  Already (222)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Do (1908)  |  Environment (216)  |  Find (998)  |  Generation (242)  |  Himself (461)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Launch (20)  |  Leadership (9)  |  Loser (3)  |  Move (216)  |  Obsolescence (4)  |  Obsolescent (2)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Person (363)  |  Place (177)  |  Platform (3)  |  Position (77)  |  Precept (10)  |  Receive (114)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Start (221)  |  Suffer (41)  |  Suffering (67)  |  Technically (5)  |  Time (1877)  |  Training (80)  |  Unfortunate (19)

Organisms ... are directed and limited by their past. They must remain imperfect in their form and function, and to that extent unpredictable since they are not optimal machines. We cannot know their future with certainty, if only because a myriad of quirky functional shifts lie within the capacity of any feature, however well adapted to a present role.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (66)  |  Capacity (100)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Direct (225)  |  Extent (139)  |  Feature (44)  |  Form (959)  |  Function (228)  |  Functional (10)  |  Future (429)  |  Imperfect (45)  |  Know (1518)  |  Lie (364)  |  Limit (280)  |  Limited (101)  |  Machine (257)  |  Must (1526)  |  Myriad (31)  |  Optimal (4)  |  Organism (220)  |  Present (619)  |  Quirky (3)  |  Remain (349)  |  Role (86)  |  Shift (44)  |  Unpredictable (17)

Our commercial and mercantile law was no sudden invention. It was not the work of a day, or of one set of minds… In the incipient, the early existence of this system, a single maxim obtained force, others succeeded; one rule of right formed a nucleus around which other kindred rules might cling; the necessities of trade originated customs, customs ripened into law; a few feeble decisions of courts laid the foundation for others; the wisdom and experience of each succeeding generation improved upon the wisdom and experience of generations that were past; and thus the edifice arose, perfect in its parts, beautiful in its proportions.
From biographical preface by T. Bigelow to Austin Abbott (ed.), Official Report of the Trial of Henry Ward Beecher (1875), Vol. 1, xi-xii.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Commercial (26)  |  Court (33)  |  Custom (42)  |  Decision (91)  |  Early (185)  |  Edifice (26)  |  Existence (456)  |  Experience (467)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Foundation (171)  |  Generation (242)  |  Improve (58)  |  Invention (369)  |  Kindred (12)  |  Law (894)  |  Maxim (17)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Nucleus (49)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Right (452)  |  Ripen (4)  |  Rule (294)  |  Set (394)  |  Single (353)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Succeeding (14)  |  Sudden (67)  |  System (537)  |  Trade (31)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Work (1351)

Our educational system is like an automobile which has strong rear lights, brightly illuminating the past. But looking forward things are barely discernible.
As quoted by his daughter, as given in Marsha Freeman, How We Got to the Moon: The Story of the German Space Pioneers (1993), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Automobile (22)  |  Barely (5)  |  Bright (79)  |  Discernible (9)  |  Education (378)  |  Forward (102)  |  Illuminate (24)  |  Illuminating (12)  |  Light (607)  |  Looking (189)  |  Rear (7)  |  Strong (174)  |  System (537)  |  Thing (1915)

Our experience shows that not everything that is observable and measurable is predictable, no matter how complete our past observations may have been.
In Presidential Address (8 Feb 1963), Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society (Mar 1963), 4, 197.
Science quotes on:  |  Complete (204)  |  Completion (22)  |  Everything (476)  |  Experience (467)  |  Matter (798)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Observable (21)  |  Observation (555)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Show (346)

Our world is not an optimal place, fine tuned by omnipotent forces of selection. It is a quirky mass of imperfections, working well enough (often admirably); a jury-rigged set of adaptations built of curious parts made available by past histories in different contexts ... A world optimally adapted to current environments is a world without history, and a world without history might have been created as we find it. History matters; it confounds perfection and proves that current life transformed its own past.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (66)  |  Adaptation (58)  |  Admirably (3)  |  Available (78)  |  Build (204)  |  Confound (21)  |  Context (29)  |  Create (235)  |  Curious (91)  |  Current (118)  |  Different (577)  |  Enough (340)  |  Environment (216)  |  Find (998)  |  Fine (33)  |  Force (487)  |  History (673)  |  Imperfection (31)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mass (157)  |  Matter (798)  |  Often (106)  |  Omnipotent (12)  |  Optimal (4)  |  Optimally (2)  |  Part (222)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Place (177)  |  Prove (250)  |  Quirky (3)  |  Selection (128)  |  Set (394)  |  Transform (73)  |  Tune (19)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

Ours is a golden age of minorities. At no time in the past have dissident minorities felt so much at home and had so much room to throw their weight around. They speak and act as if they were “the people,” and what they abominate most is the dissent of the majority.
In 'The Trend Toward Anarchy', In Our Time (1976), 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Age (499)  |  Dissent (7)  |  Feel (367)  |  Golden (45)  |  Golden Age (10)  |  Home (170)  |  Majority (66)  |  Minority (21)  |  Most (1731)  |  Ours (4)  |  People (1005)  |  Room (40)  |  Speak (232)  |  Throw (43)  |  Time (1877)  |  Weight (134)

Over the past fifty years or so, scientists have allowed the conventions of expression available to them to become entirely too confining. too confining. The insistence on bland impersonality and the widespread indifference to anything like the display of a unique human author in scientific exposition, have transformed the reading of most scientific papers into an act of tedious drudgery.
In Boojums All the Way Through: Communicating Science in a Prosaic Age (1990), Preface, xi-xii.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Author (167)  |  Available (78)  |  Become (815)  |  Convention (14)  |  Display (56)  |  Drudgery (6)  |  Exposition (15)  |  Expression (175)  |  Human (1468)  |  Indifference (13)  |  Insistence (12)  |  Most (1731)  |  Paper (182)  |  Reading (133)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Tedious (14)  |  Transform (73)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Unique (67)  |  Widespread (22)  |  Year (933)

Overfishing—really easy to do with megaships equipped with sonar for fast fish finding—and the eventual result is no fish. When smaller boats were still in use, fisheries were sustainable, more or less. But in the past forty years, hyper-efficient hi-tech practices have put paid to a third of the productive ocean. … Now you've got bigger and bigger boats chasing smaller and fewer fish.
In Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Do (1908)  |  Easy (204)  |  Efficient (26)  |  Equipped (17)  |  Fish (120)  |  More (2559)  |  More Or Less (68)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Overfishing (25)  |  Practice (204)  |  Productive (32)  |  Result (677)  |  Sonar (2)  |  Still (613)  |  Sustainable (12)  |  Use (766)  |  Year (933)

Palaeontology is the Aladdin’s lamp of the most deserted and lifeless regions of the earth; it touches the rocks and there spring forth in orderly succession the monarchs of the past and the ancient river streams and savannahs wherein they flourished. The rocks usually hide their story in the most difficult and inaccessible places.
In On the Trail of Ancient Man (1926), x.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Desert (56)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Earth (996)  |  Flourish (34)  |  Hide (69)  |  Inaccessible (18)  |  Lamp (36)  |  Lifeless (14)  |  Most (1731)  |  Orderly (38)  |  Paleontologist (19)  |  River (119)  |  Rock (161)  |  Spring (133)  |  Story (118)  |  Stream (81)  |  Succession (77)  |  Usually (176)

Past time is finite, future time is infinite.
The Observational Approach to Cosmology (1937), 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Finite (59)  |  Future (429)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Time (1877)

Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence—by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the heartless strife of commercial existence. ... So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combatted, suppressed—only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.
'The Transmission of Electrical Energy Without Wires As a Means for Furthering Peace', Electrical World and Engineer (7 Jan 1905), 24. Reproduced in John T. Ratzlaff, editor, Tesla Said (1984), 86. Also reprinted in Nikola Tesla, Miscellaneous Writings (2007), 58.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Attack (84)  |  Being (1278)  |  Better (486)  |  Bitter (30)  |  Commercial (26)  |  Condemn (44)  |  Condemnation (15)  |  Emerge (22)  |  Existence (456)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hamper (4)  |  Heartless (3)  |  Help (105)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Interest (386)  |  Invention (369)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  More (2559)  |  Pass (238)  |  Pedantry (5)  |  Present (619)  |  Revolutionary (31)  |  Ridicule (23)  |  Selfish (11)  |  Selfishness (8)  |  Stifle (5)  |  Strife (9)  |  Struggle (105)  |  Stupidity (39)  |  Through (849)  |  Trial (57)  |  Tribulation (2)  |  Triumph (73)  |  Want (497)  |  World (1774)

Perhaps the majority of paleontologists of the present time, who believe in orthogenesis, the irreversibility of evolution and the polyphyletic origin families, will assume that a short molar must keep on getting shorter, that it can never get longer and then again grow relatively shorter and therefore that Propliopithecus with its extremely short third molar and Dryopithecus its long m3 are alike excluded from ancestry of the Gorilla, in which the is a slight retrogression in length of m3. After many years reflection and constant study of the evolution of the vertebrates however, I conclude that 'orthogenesis' should mean solely that structures and races evolve in a certain direction, or toward a certain goal, only until the direction of evolution shifts toward some other goal. I believe that the 'irreversibility of evolution' means only that past changes irreversibly limit and condition future possibilities, and that, as a matter of experience, if an organ is once lost the same (homogenous) organ can be regained, although nature is fertile in substituting imitations. But this not mean, in my judgement, that if one tooth is smaller than its fellows it will in all cases continue to grow smaller.
'Studies on the Evolution of the Primates’, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 1916, 35, 307.
Science quotes on:  |  Alike (60)  |  All (4108)  |  Ancestry (12)  |  Certain (550)  |  Change (593)  |  Conclude (65)  |  Condition (356)  |  Constant (144)  |  Continue (165)  |  Direction (175)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Experience (467)  |  Fellow (88)  |  Fertile (29)  |  Future (429)  |  Goal (145)  |  Gorilla (18)  |  Grow (238)  |  Irreversibility (4)  |  Limit (280)  |  Long (790)  |  Majority (66)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Organ (115)  |  Origin (239)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paleontologist (19)  |  Present (619)  |  Race (268)  |  Reflection (90)  |  Retrogression (6)  |  Shift (44)  |  Short (197)  |  Structure (344)  |  Study (653)  |  Time (1877)  |  Tooth (29)  |  Vertebrate (20)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

Permanence of instinct must go with permanence of form. … The history of the present must teach us the history of the past.
Referring to studying fossil remains of the weevil, largely unchanged to the present day. In Jean-Henri Fabre and Alexander Teixeira de Mattos (trans.), The Life and Love of the Insect, (1911, 1914), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Form (959)  |  Fossil (136)  |  History (673)  |  Instinct (88)  |  Must (1526)  |  Permanence (24)  |  Present (619)  |  Teach (277)

Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars—mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is “mere.” I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination—stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern—of which I am a part. … What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the “why?” It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?
In 'Astronomy', The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1961), Vol. 1, 3-6, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Ammonia (15)  |  Artist (90)  |  Atom (355)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Desert (56)  |  Do (1908)  |  Eye (419)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Gas (83)  |  Harm (39)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Immense (86)  |  Jupiter (26)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Light (607)  |  Little (707)  |  Man (2251)  |  Marvelous (29)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Mere (84)  |  Methane (7)  |  Million (114)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Night (120)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Old (481)  |  Part (222)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Poet (83)  |  Present (619)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Silent (29)  |  Speak (232)  |  Sphere (116)  |  Spinning (18)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Stretch (39)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Vast (177)  |  Vastness (15)  |  Why (491)  |  Year (933)

Procrustes in modern dress, the nuclear scientist will prepare the bed on which mankind must lie; and if mankind doesn’t fit—well, that will be just too bad for mankind. There will have to be some stretching and a bit of amputation—the same sort of stretching and amputations as have been going on ever since applied science really got going into its stride, only this time they will be a good deal more drastic than in the past. These far from painless operations will be directed by highly centralized totalitarian governments.
Brave New World (1932, 1998), Preface, xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied (177)  |  Applied Science (34)  |  Bad (180)  |  Deal (188)  |  Direct (225)  |  Fit (134)  |  Good (889)  |  Government (110)  |  Lie (364)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Modern (385)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nuclear (107)  |  Nuclear Science (2)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Stride (15)  |  Time (1877)  |  Will (2355)

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
The Life of Reason, or the Phases of Human Progress (1954), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (145)  |  Being (1278)  |  Change (593)  |  Condemn (44)  |  Condemnation (15)  |  Depend (228)  |  Direction (175)  |  Experience (467)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Perpetual (57)  |  Possible (552)  |  Progress (465)  |  Remain (349)  |  Remember (179)  |  Repeat (42)  |  Retain (56)  |  Retention (5)  |  Set (394)

Psychology has a long past, yet its real history is short.
Psychology (1885), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  History (673)  |  Long (790)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Short (197)

Relatively few benefits have flowed to the people who live closest to the more than 3,000 protected areas that have been established in tropical countries during the past 50 years. For this reason, the preservation of biodiversity is often thought of as something that poor people are asked to do to fulfill the wishes of rich people living in comfort thousands of miles away.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Area (31)  |  Ask (411)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Biodiversity (11)  |  Close (69)  |  Comfort (59)  |  Country (251)  |  Do (1908)  |  Establish (57)  |  Flow (83)  |  Fulfill (19)  |  Live (628)  |  Living (491)  |  Mile (39)  |  More (2559)  |  Often (106)  |  People (1005)  |  Poor (136)  |  Preservation (33)  |  Protect (58)  |  Reason (744)  |  Relatively (7)  |  Rich (62)  |  Something (719)  |  Thought (953)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Tropical (8)  |  Wish (212)  |  Year (933)

Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response. Expelled from individual consciousness by the rush of change, history finds its revenge by stamping the collective unconsciousness with habits, values, expectations, dreams. The dialectic between past and future will continue to form our lives.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Change (593)  |  Collective (24)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  Continue (165)  |  Dialectic (5)  |  Dream (208)  |  Expectation (65)  |  Expel (4)  |  Find (998)  |  Form (959)  |  Frame (26)  |  Future (429)  |  Habit (168)  |  History (673)  |  Individual (404)  |  Live (628)  |  Memory (134)  |  Myth (56)  |  Response (53)  |  Revenge (10)  |  Revolutionize (8)  |  Rush (18)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Technology (45)  |  Stamp (36)  |  Technology (257)  |  Tradition (69)  |  Unconsciousness (2)  |  Value (365)  |  Will (2355)

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)  |  Mob (9)  |  Modern (385)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Number (699)  |  Occupation (48)  |  Organization (114)  |  Possible (552)  |  Power (746)  |  Principle (507)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Scale (121)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Success (302)  |  Transportation (14)  |  Tremendous (26)  |  Work (1351)

Science has now been for a long time—and to an ever-increasing extent—a collective enterprise. Actually, new results are always, in fact, the work of specific individuals; but, save perhaps for rare exceptions, the value of any result depends on such a complex set of interrelations with past discoveries and possible future researches that even the mind of the inventor cannot embrace the whole.
In Oppression and Liberty (1955, 1958), 109.
Science quotes on:  |  Collective (24)  |  Complex (188)  |  Depend (228)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Embrace (46)  |  Enterprise (54)  |  Exception (73)  |  Extent (139)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Future (429)  |  Increase (210)  |  Individual (404)  |  Interrelation (8)  |  Inventor (71)  |  Long (790)  |  Mind (1338)  |  New (1216)  |  Possible (552)  |  Rare (89)  |  Research (664)  |  Result (677)  |  Save (118)  |  Science (3879)  |  Set (394)  |  Specific (95)  |  Time (1877)  |  Value (365)  |  Whole (738)  |  Work (1351)

Science only advances by renouncing its past.
Webmaster is suspicious of the authenticity of this quote. An epigraph, without citation, in Chandler Burr, Separate Creation: The Search for the Biological Origins of Sexual Orientation (1997), 309. Seen in only a few recent places. It does not seem to appear in earlier decades, as might be expected for such a snappy quote. Perhaps it is a restatement of another quote. Please contact if you know the primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Renounce (5)  |  Science (3879)

Scientific training gives its votaries freedom from the impositions of modern quackery. Those who know nothing of the laws and processes of Nature fall an easy prey to quacks and impostors. Perfectionism in the realm of religion; a score of frauds in the realm of medicine, as electric shoe soles, hair brushes and belts, electropises, oxydonors, insulating bed casters, and the like; Christian science. In the presence of whose unspeakable stillness and self-stultifying idealism a wise man knows not whether to laugh or cry; Prof. Weltmer's magnetic treatment of disease; divine healing and miracle working by long-haired peripatetics—these and a score of other contagious fads and rank impostures find their followers among those who have no scientific training. Among their deluded victims are thousands of men and women of high character, undoubted piety, good intentions, charitable impulses and literary culture, but none trained to scientific research. Vaccinate the general public with scientific training and these epidemics will become a thing of the past.
As quoted by S.D. Van Meter, Chairman, closing remarks for 'Report of Committee on Public Policy and Legislation', to the Colorado State Medical Society in Denver, printed in Colorado Medicine (Oct 1904), 1, No. 12, 363. Van Meter used the quote following his statement, “In conclusion, allow me to urge once more the necessity of education of the public as well as the profession if we ever expect to correct the evils we are striving to reach by State and Society legislation. Much can be accomplished toward this end by the publication of well edited articles in the secular press upon medical subjects the public is eager to know about.” Prof. Weitmer is presumably Sidney A. Weltmer, founder of The Weltmer Institute of Suggestive Therapeutics, who offered a Course in Magnetic Healing by mail order correspondance (1899).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Become (815)  |  Bed (23)  |  Belt (3)  |  Brush (5)  |  Character (243)  |  Charity (11)  |  Christian (43)  |  Christian Science (3)  |  Contagious (4)  |  Cry (29)  |  Culture (143)  |  Deluded (7)  |  Disease (328)  |  Divine (112)  |  Eager (15)  |  Easy (204)  |  Education (378)  |  Electric (76)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Epidemic (7)  |  Fad (10)  |  Fall (230)  |  Find (998)  |  Follower (11)  |  Fraud (15)  |  Freedom (129)  |  General (511)  |  General Public (7)  |  Good (889)  |  Good Intention (2)  |  Hair (25)  |  Healing (25)  |  High (362)  |  Idealism (4)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Imposition (5)  |  Impostor (3)  |  Imposture (6)  |  Impulse (48)  |  Insulating (3)  |  Intelligent Design (5)  |  Intention (46)  |  Know (1518)  |  Laugh (47)  |  Law (894)  |  Literary (13)  |  Long (790)  |  Magnetic (44)  |  Man (2251)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Miracle (83)  |  Modern (385)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perfectionism (2)  |  Peripatetic (3)  |  Piety (4)  |  Presence (63)  |  Prey (13)  |  Process (423)  |  Quack (18)  |  Quackery (4)  |  Rank (67)  |  Realm (85)  |  Religion (361)  |  Research (664)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Self (267)  |  Shoe (11)  |  Sole (49)  |  Stillness (5)  |  Stultify (5)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Train (114)  |  Trained (5)  |  Training (80)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Victim (35)  |  Votary (3)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wise (131)  |  Wise Man (15)  |  Woman (151)  |  Work (1351)

Sedimentation in the past has often been very rapid indeed and very spasmodic. This may be called the Phenomenon of the Catastrophic Nature of the Stratigraphical Record.
In The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record, (1973), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Call (769)  |  Catastrophic (9)  |  Geology (220)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Record (154)  |  Sedimentation (3)  |  Stratigraphy (7)

Signs and symptoms indicate the present, past and future states of the three states of the body (health, illness, neutrality). According to Galen, knowledge of the present state is of advantage only to the patient as it helps him to follow the proper course of management. Knowledge of the past state is useful only to the physician inasmuch as its disclosure by him to the patient brings him a greater respect for his professional advice. Knowledge of the future state is useful to both. It gives an opportunity to the patient to be forewarned to adopt necessary preventative measures and it enhances the reputation of the physician by correctly forecasting the future developments.
Avicenna
'The Signs and Symptoms (Diagnosis): General Remarks,' in The Canon of Medicine, adapted by L. Bakhtiar (1999), 259.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  Advantage (134)  |  Advice (55)  |  Body (537)  |  Both (493)  |  Course (409)  |  Development (422)  |  Diagnosis (64)  |  Disclosure (6)  |  Enhance (16)  |  Follow (378)  |  Future (429)  |  Greater (288)  |  Health (193)  |  Illness (34)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Management (21)  |  Measure (232)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Neutrality (5)  |  Opportunity (87)  |  Patient (199)  |  Physician (273)  |  Present (619)  |  Professional (70)  |  Proper (144)  |  Reputation (33)  |  Respect (207)  |  State (491)  |  Symptom (34)  |  Useful (250)

Simple as the law of gravity now appears, and beautifully in accordance with all the observations of past and of present times, consider what it has cost of intellectual study. Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Euler, Lagrange, Laplace, all the great names which have exalted the character of man, by carrying out trains of reasoning unparalleled in every other science; these, and a host of others, each of whom might have been the Newton of another field, have all labored to work out, the consequences which resulted from that single law which he discovered. All that the human mind has produced—the brightest in genius, the most persevering in application, has been lavished on the details of the law of gravity.
in The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise: A Fragment (1838), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Application (242)  |  Brightest (12)  |  Carrying Out (13)  |  Character (243)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Consider (416)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (48)  |  Cost (86)  |  Detail (146)  |  Discover (553)  |  Leonhard Euler (35)  |  Exalt (27)  |  Exalted (22)  |  Field (364)  |  Galileo Galilei (122)  |  Genius (284)  |  Gravity (132)  |  Great (1574)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Johannes Kepler (91)  |  Labor (107)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (26)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (62)  |  Law (894)  |  Law Of Gravity (15)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Name (333)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Observation (555)  |  Other (2236)  |  Present (619)  |  Produced (187)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Result (677)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simple (406)  |  Single (353)  |  Study (653)  |  Time (1877)  |  Train (114)  |  Work (1351)

Simultaneous discovery is utterly commonplace, and it was only the rarity of scientists, not the inherent improbability of the phenomenon, that made it remarkable in the past. Scientists on the same road may be expected to arrive at the same destination, often not far apart.
From review '[Arthur] Koestler’s Theory of the Creative Act: “The Act of Creation”', in New Statesman (19 Jun 1964). According to Michael Scammell in his biography (Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic (2009), 491 and 654), Medawar eviscerated the book as “amateurish” with “overstretched metaphors” and “fatuous epigrams” while Koestler’s psychological insights were “in the style of the nineteenth century.” The review, with follow-ups, were reprinted in Medawar’s The Art of the Soluble: Creativity and Originality in Science (1967), 85-98.
Science quotes on:  |  Apart (7)  |  Arriving (2)  |  Commonplace (23)  |  Destination (14)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Expect (200)  |  Expectation (65)  |  Far (154)  |  Improbability (11)  |  Inherent (42)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Rarity (11)  |  Remarkable (48)  |  Road (64)  |  Same (157)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Simultaneous (22)  |  Utterly (15)

Since natural selection demands only adequacy, elegance of design is not relevant; any combination of behavioural adjustment, physiological regulation, or anatomical accommodation that allows survival and reproduction may be favoured by selection. Since all animals are caught in a phylogenetic trap by the nature of past evolutionary adjustments, it is to be expected that a given environmental challenge will be met in a variety of ways by different animals. The delineation of the patterns of the accommodations of diverse types of organisms to the environment contributes much of the fascination of ecologically relevant physiology.
In 'The roles of physiology and behaviour in the maintenance of homeostasis in the desert environment.', Symposia of the Society for Experimental Biology (1964), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Accommodation (9)  |  Adequacy (9)  |  Adjustment (20)  |  All (4108)  |  Allow (45)  |  Anatomical (3)  |  Animal (617)  |  Catch (31)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Combination (144)  |  Contribute (27)  |  Demand (123)  |  Design (195)  |  Different (577)  |  Diverse (17)  |  Elegance (37)  |  Environment (216)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  Expect (200)  |  Fascination (32)  |  Favor (63)  |  Give (202)  |  Meet (31)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Organism (220)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Phylogenetic (3)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Regulation (24)  |  Relevant (5)  |  Reproduction (72)  |  Selection (128)  |  Survival (94)  |  Trap (6)  |  Type (167)  |  Variety (132)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)

Since you are now studying geometry and trigonometry, I will give you a problem. A ship sails the ocean. It left Boston with a cargo of wool. It grosses 200 tons. It is bound for Le Havre. The mainmast is broken, the cabin boy is on deck, there are 12 passengers aboard, the wind is blowing East-North-East, the clock points to a quarter past three in the afternoon. It is the month of May. How old is the captain?
Letter (14 Aug 1853) to Louise Colet. As quote and cited in Robert A. Nowlan, Masters of Mathematics: The Problems They Solved, Why These Are Important, and What You Should Know about Them (2017), 271.
Science quotes on:  |  Afternoon (5)  |  Blow (44)  |  Blowing (22)  |  Boston (7)  |  Bound (119)  |  Boy (94)  |  Break (99)  |  Broken (56)  |  Cabin (4)  |  Captain (14)  |  Cargo (5)  |  Clock (47)  |  Deck (3)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Give (202)  |  Gross (7)  |  Leave (130)  |  Month (88)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Old (481)  |  Passenger (10)  |  Point (580)  |  Problem (676)  |  Quarter (5)  |  Sail (36)  |  Ship (62)  |  Study (653)  |  Studying (70)  |  Ton (21)  |  Trigonometry (6)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wind (128)  |  Wool (4)

So I want to admit the assumption which the astronomer—and indeed any scientist—makes about the Universe he investigates. It is this: that the same physical causes give rise to the same physical results anywhere in the Universe, and at any time, past, present, and future. The fuller examination of this basic assumption, and much else besides, belongs to philosophy. The scientist, for his part, makes the assumption I have mentioned as an act of faith; and he feels confirmed in that faith by his increasing ability to build up a consistent and satisfying picture of the universe and its behavior.
From Science and the Nation (1957), 49. Also quoted in Ronald Keast, Dancing in the Dark: The Waltz in Wonder of Quantum Metaphysics (2009), 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (152)  |  Act (272)  |  Act Of Faith (4)  |  Anywhere (13)  |  Assumption (92)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Basic (138)  |  Behavior (84)  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Belong (162)  |  Build (204)  |  Cause (541)  |  Confirm (57)  |  Confirmation (22)  |  Consistent (48)  |  Examination (98)  |  Faith (203)  |  Feel (367)  |  Future (429)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Mention (82)  |  Past Present and Future (2)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Physical (508)  |  Picture (143)  |  Present (619)  |  Result (677)  |  Rise (166)  |  Satisfying (5)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  Want (497)

So the dividing line between the wave or particle nature of matter and radiation is the moment “Now”. As this moment steadily advances through time, it coagulates a wavy future into a particle past.
In The Development of X-ray analysis (1975) 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Coagulate (2)  |  Division (65)  |  Future (429)  |  Matter (798)  |  Moment (253)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Particle (194)  |  Radiation (44)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Wave (107)

Society expresses its sympathy for the geniuses of the past to distract attention from the fact that it has no intention of being sympathetic to the geniuses of the present.
In The Decline and Fall of Science (1976), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (190)  |  Being (1278)  |  Distract (5)  |  Express (186)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Genius (284)  |  Intention (46)  |  Present (619)  |  Society (326)  |  Sympathetic (10)  |  Sympathy (30)

Lord Byron Quote: Newton declared himself “like a youth Picking up shells by the great ocean—Truth.”
Background of ocean and rocky outcrop with kelp on sandy shore in foreground, at Channel Islands NMS, California. , Photo by Claire Fackler, NOAA (source)
Socrates said, our only knowledge was
“To know that nothing could be known;” a pleasant
Science enough, which levels to an ass
Each Man of Wisdom, future, past, or present.
Newton, (that Proverb of the Mind,) alas!
Declared, with all his grand discoveries recent,
That he himself felt only “like a youth
Picking up shells by the great Ocean—Truth.”
From poem, 'Don Juan,' (1822), canto 7, verse V. In Lord Byron, Don Juan: Cantos VI, VII and VIII (1823), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Ass (5)  |  Declaration (10)  |  Declared (24)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Enough (340)  |  Future (429)  |  Grand (27)  |  Great (1574)  |  Himself (461)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Known (454)  |  Man (2251)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Pick (16)  |  Pleasant (20)  |  Present (619)  |  Proverb (27)  |  Recent (77)  |  Science (3879)  |  Shell (63)  |  Socrates (16)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Youth (101)

Some blessings have been ours in the past, and these may be repeated or even multiplied.
Quoted, without citation, in front matter to T. A. Edison Foundation, Lewis Howard Latimer: A Black Inventor: a Biography and Related Experiments You Can Do (1973). If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Blessing (24)  |  Blessings (16)  |  Hope (299)  |  Multiply (37)  |  Repeat (42)

Such propositions are therefore called Eternal Truths, not because they are Eternal Truths, not because they are External Propositions actually formed, and antecedent to the Understanding, that at any time makes them; nor because they are imprinted on the Mind from any patterns, that are any where out of the mind, and existed before: But because, being once made, about abstract Ideas, so as to be true, they will, whenever they can be supposed to be made again at any time, past or to come, by a Mind having those Ideas, always actually be true. For names being supposed to stand perpetually for the same ideas, and the same ideas having immutably the same habitudes one to another, Propositions concerning any abstract Ideas that are once true, must needs be eternal Verities.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 4, Chapter 11, Section 14, 638-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (124)  |  Being (1278)  |  Call (769)  |  Eternal (110)  |  Exist (443)  |  Form (959)  |  Idea (843)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Must (1526)  |  Name (333)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Perpetually (20)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Stand (274)  |  Time (1877)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Whenever (81)  |  Will (2355)

Suppose the results of a line of study are negative. It might save a lot of otherwise wasted money to know a thing won’t work. But how do you accurately evaluate negative results? ... The power plant in [the recently developed streamline trains] is a Diesel engine of a type which was tried out many [around 25] years ago and found to be a failure. … We didn’t know how to build them. The principle upon which it operated was sound. [Since then much has been] learned in metallurgy [and] the accuracy with which parts can be manufactured
When this type of engine was given another chance it was an immediate success [because now] an accuracy of a quarter of a tenth of a thousandth of an inch [prevents high-pressure oil leaks]. … If we had taken the results of past experience without questioning the reason for the first failure, we would never have had the present light-weight, high-speed Diesel engine which appears to be the spark that will revitalize the railroad business.
'Industrial Prospecting', an address to the Founder Societies of Engineers (20 May 1935). In National Research Council, Reprint and Circular Series of the National Research Council (1933), No. 107, 2-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (78)  |  Build (204)  |  Business (149)  |  Chance (239)  |  Develop (268)  |  Do (1908)  |  Engine (98)  |  Experience (467)  |  Failure (161)  |  First (1283)  |  High (362)  |  Immediate (95)  |  Know (1518)  |  Leak (3)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Light (607)  |  Lot (151)  |  Manufacturing (27)  |  Metallurgy (3)  |  Money (170)  |  Negative (63)  |  Never (1087)  |  Oil (59)  |  Plant (294)  |  Power (746)  |  Present (619)  |  Pressure (63)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Principle (507)  |  Railroad (32)  |  Reason (744)  |  Result (677)  |  Save (118)  |  Sound (183)  |  Spark (31)  |  Speed (65)  |  Study (653)  |  Success (302)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Train (114)  |  Type (167)  |  Weight (134)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

Taking a very gloomy view of the future of the human race, let us suppose that it can only expect to survive for two thousand millions years longer, a period about equal to the past age of the earth. Then, regarded as a being destined to live for three-score years and ten, humanity although it has been born in a house seventy years old, is itself only three days old. But only in the last few minutes has it become conscious that the whole world does not centre round its cradle and its trappings, and only in the last few ticks of the clock has any adequate conception of the size of the external world dawned upon it. For our clock does not tick seconds, but years; its minutes are the lives of men.
EOS: Or the Wider Aspects of Cosmology (1928), 12-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequate (46)  |  Age (499)  |  Age Of The Earth (12)  |  Become (815)  |  Being (1278)  |  Clock (47)  |  Conception (154)  |  Cradle (19)  |  Dawn (31)  |  Destined (42)  |  Earth (996)  |  Expect (200)  |  Future (429)  |  House (140)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Nature (64)  |  Human Race (100)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Last (426)  |  Live (628)  |  Minute (125)  |  Old (481)  |  Period (198)  |  Race (268)  |  Regard (305)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Survive (79)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Tick (9)  |  Two (937)  |  View (488)  |  Whole (738)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)

Telescopes are in some ways like time machines. They reveal galaxies so far away that their light has taken billions of years to reach us. We in astronomy have an advantage in studying the universe, in that we can actually see the past.
We owe our existence to stars, because they make the atoms of which we are formed. So if you are romantic you can say we are literally starstuff. If you’re less romantic you can say we’re the nuclear waste from the fuel that makes stars shine.
We’ve made so many advances in our understanding. A few centuries ago, the pioneer navigators learnt the size and shape of our Earth, and the layout of the continents. We are now just learning the dimensions and ingredients of our entire cosmos, and can at last make some sense of our cosmic habitat.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Actually (27)  |  Advance (280)  |  Advantage (134)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Atom (355)  |  Billion (95)  |  Billions (6)  |  Century (310)  |  Continent (76)  |  Cosmic (72)  |  Cosmos (63)  |  Dimension (61)  |  Earth (996)  |  Entire (47)  |  Existence (456)  |  Far (154)  |  Form (959)  |  Fuel (32)  |  Galaxies (29)  |  Galaxy (51)  |  Habitat (16)  |  Ingredient (15)  |  Last (426)  |  Layout (2)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Less (103)  |  Light (607)  |  Literally (30)  |  Machine (257)  |  Navigator (8)  |  Nuclear (107)  |  Nuclear Waste (3)  |  Owe (71)  |  Pioneer (33)  |  Reach (281)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Romantic (13)  |  Say (984)  |  See (1081)  |  Sense (770)  |  Shape (72)  |  Shine (45)  |  Size (60)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Starstuff (5)  |  Study (653)  |  Studying (70)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time Machine (4)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Universe (857)  |  Waste (101)  |  Way (1217)  |  Year (933)

The admirable perfection of the adaptations of organisms and of their parts to the functions they perform has detracted attention from the fact that adaptedness does not consist of perfect fit, but capacity to fit or to adapt in a variety of ways: only in this sense is adaptedness a guarantee of further survival and evolutionary progress, for too perfect a fit is fatal to the species if not to the individual. This, I think, sets phylogeny and ontogeny in the correct perspective. It is the genotype which bears the marks of past experience of the species and defines the range of possible fits. What fit is actually chosen, what phenotype is actually evolved, is determined by the ever renewed individual history.
'The Interplay of Heredity and Environment in the Synthesis of Respiratory Enzymes in Yeast', The Harvey Lectures: Delivered under the auspices of The Harvey Society of New York 1950-1951, 1951, 156, 45-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (66)  |  Adaptation (58)  |  Attention (190)  |  Bear (159)  |  Capacity (100)  |  Chosen (48)  |  Consist (223)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Experience (467)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Fit (134)  |  Function (228)  |  Genotype (8)  |  Guarantee (30)  |  Heredity (60)  |  History (673)  |  Individual (404)  |  Ontogeny (10)  |  Organism (220)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Perform (121)  |  Perspective (28)  |  Phenotype (5)  |  Phylogeny (10)  |  Possible (552)  |  Progress (465)  |  Range (99)  |  Renew (19)  |  Sense (770)  |  Set (394)  |  Species (401)  |  Survival (94)  |  Think (1086)  |  Variety (132)  |  Way (1217)

The advance from the simple to the complex, through a process of successive differentiations, is seen alike in the earliest changes of the Universe to which we can reason our way back, and in the earliest changes which we can inductively establish; it is seen in the geologic and climatic evolution of the Earth; it is seen in the unfolding of every single organism on its surface, and in the multiplication of kinds of organisms; it is seen in the evolution of Humanity, whether contemplated in the civilized individual, or in the aggregate of races; it is seen in the evolution of Society in respect alike of its political, its religious, and its economical organization; and it is seen in the evolution of all those endless concrete and abstract products of human activity which constitute the environment of our daily life. From the remotest past which Science can fathom, up to the novelties of yesterday, that in which Progress essentially consists, is the transformation of the homogeneous into the heterogeneous.
Progress: Its Law and Cause (1857), 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (124)  |  Activity (210)  |  Advance (280)  |  Advancement (62)  |  Aggregate (23)  |  Aggregation (6)  |  Alike (60)  |  All (4108)  |  Back (390)  |  Change (593)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Climate (97)  |  Complex (188)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Consist (223)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Contemplation (73)  |  Daily (87)  |  Daily Life (17)  |  Differentiation (25)  |  Early (185)  |  Earth (996)  |  Economy (55)  |  Endless (56)  |  Environment (216)  |  Establishment (47)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Fathom (15)  |  Geology (220)  |  Heterogeneity (4)  |  Homogeneity (8)  |  Homogeneous (16)  |  Human (1468)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Individual (404)  |  Induction (77)  |  Kind (557)  |  Life (1795)  |  Multiplication (43)  |  Novelty (29)  |  Organism (220)  |  Organization (114)  |  Political (121)  |  Politics (112)  |  Process (423)  |  Product (160)  |  Progress (465)  |  Race (268)  |  Reason (744)  |  Religion (361)  |  Religious (126)  |  Remoteness (9)  |  Respect (207)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simple (406)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Single (353)  |  Society (326)  |  Succession (77)  |  Successive (73)  |  Surface (209)  |  Through (849)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Unfolding (16)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  Yesterday (36)

The advance of science is not comparable to the changes of a city, where old edifices are pitilessly torn down to give place to new, but to the continuous evolution of zoologic types which develop ceaselessly and end by becoming unrecognisable to the common sight, but where an expert eye finds always traces of the prior work of the centuries past. One must not think then that the old-fashioned theories have been sterile and vain.
The Value of Science (1905), in The Foundations of Science: Science and Hypothesis, The Value of Science, Science and Method(1946), trans. by George Bruce Halsted, 208.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Century (310)  |  Change (593)  |  City (78)  |  Common (436)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Continuous (82)  |  Demolition (4)  |  Develop (268)  |  Development (422)  |  Down (456)  |  Edifice (26)  |  End (590)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Expert (65)  |  Eye (419)  |  Find (998)  |  Must (1526)  |  New (1216)  |  Old (481)  |  Old-Fashioned (8)  |  Pity (14)  |  Prior (5)  |  Replacement (12)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sight (132)  |  Sterile (21)  |  Sterility (10)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Torn (17)  |  Trace (103)  |  Type (167)  |  Vain (83)  |  Vanity (19)  |  Work (1351)  |  Zoology (36)

The advanced course in physics began with Rutherford’s lectures. I was the only woman student who attended them and the regulations required that women should sit by themselves in the front row. There had been a time when a chaperone was necessary but mercifully that day was past. At every lecture Rutherford would gaze at me pointedly, as I sat by myself under his very nose, and would begin in his stentorian voice: “Ladies and Gentlemen”. All the boys regularly greeted this witticism with thunderous applause, stamping with their feet in the traditional manner, and at every lecture I wished I could sink into the earth. To this day I instinctively take my place as far back as possible in a lecture room.
In Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: An Autobiography and Other Recollections (1996), 118.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Applause (9)  |  Attend (65)  |  Back (390)  |  Begin (260)  |  Boy (94)  |  Course (409)  |  Earth (996)  |  Foot (60)  |  Front (16)  |  Gaze (21)  |  Gentleman (26)  |  Lady (11)  |  Lecture (105)  |  Manner (58)  |  Myself (212)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Possible (552)  |  Regulation (24)  |  Regulations (3)  |  Required (108)  |  Row (9)  |  Sir Ernest Rutherford (53)  |  Sink (37)  |  Stamp (36)  |  Student (300)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Time (1877)  |  Traditional (15)  |  Voice (52)  |  Wish (212)  |  Witticism (2)  |  Woman (151)

The advances of biology during the past 20 years have been breathtaking, particularly in cracking the mystery of heredity. Nevertheless, the greatest and most difficult problems still lie ahead. The discoveries of the 1970‘s about the chemical roots of memory in nerve cells or the basis of learning, about the complex behavior of man and animals, the nature of growth, development, disease and aging will be at least as fundamental and spectacular as those of the recent past.
As quoted in 'H. Bentley Glass', New York Times (12 Jan 1970), 96.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Advance (280)  |  Aging (9)  |  Animal (617)  |  Basis (173)  |  Behavior (84)  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Biology (216)  |  Breathtaking (4)  |  Cell (138)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Complex (188)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Decade (59)  |  Development (422)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Disease (328)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Future (429)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Growth (187)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Learning (274)  |  Lie (364)  |  Man (2251)  |  Man And Animals (5)  |  Memory (134)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Nevertheless (90)  |  Problem (676)  |  Recent (77)  |  Root (120)  |  Spectacular (18)  |  Still (613)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

The aim of scientific thought, then, is to apply past experience to new circumstances; the instrument is an observed uniformity in the course of events. By the use of this instrument it gives us information transcending our experience, it enables us to infer things that we have not seen from things that we have seen; and the evidence for the truth of that information depends on our supposing that the uniformity holds good beyond our experience.
'On the Aims and Instruments of Scientific Thought,' a Lecture delivered before the members of the British Association, at Brighton, on 19 Aug 1872, in Leslie Stephen and Frederick Pollock (eds.), Lectures and Essays, by the Late William Kingdon Clifford (1886), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (165)  |  Apply (160)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Circumstances (108)  |  Course (409)  |  Depend (228)  |  Enable (119)  |  Event (216)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Experience (467)  |  Good (889)  |  Information (166)  |  Instrument (144)  |  New (1216)  |  Observed (149)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Thought (17)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thought (953)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Uniformity (37)  |  Use (766)

The alchemists of past centuries tried hard to make the elixir of life: ... Those efforts were in vain; it is not in our power to obtain the experiences and the views of the future by prolonging our lives forward in this direction. However, it is well possible in a certain sense to prolong our lives backwards by acquiring the experiences of those who existed before us and by learning to know their views as well as if we were their contemporaries. The means for doing this is also an elixir of life.
Foreword to Die Entwicklung der Chemie in der neueren Zeit (1873), trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemist (22)  |  Backwards (17)  |  Certain (550)  |  Direction (175)  |  Doing (280)  |  Effort (227)  |  Elixir (5)  |  Exist (443)  |  Experience (467)  |  Forward (102)  |  Future (429)  |  Hard (243)  |  History (673)  |  Know (1518)  |  Learning (274)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Possible (552)  |  Power (746)  |  Prolong (29)  |  Sense (770)  |  Vain (83)  |  View (488)

The Archetypal idea was manifested in the flesh, under divers such modifications, upon this planet, long prior to the existence of those animal species that actually exemplify it. To what natural laws or secondary causes the orderly succession and progression of such organic phaenomena may have been committed we as yet are ignorant. But if, without derogation of the Divine power, we may conceive the existence of such ministers, and personify them by the term 'Nature,' we learn from the past history of our globe that she has advanced with slow and stately steps, guided by the archetypal light, amidst the wreck of worlds, from the first embodiment of the Vertebrate idea under its old Ichthyic vestment, until it became arrayed in the glorious garb of the Human form.
On the Nature of Limbs (1849), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (62)  |  Animal (617)  |  Archetype (5)  |  Array (5)  |  Cause (541)  |  Commitment (27)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Conception (154)  |  Divine (112)  |  Embodiment (9)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Example (94)  |  Existence (456)  |  First (1283)  |  Form (959)  |  Garb (6)  |  Globe (47)  |  Glorious (48)  |  Glory (58)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Law (894)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Light (607)  |  Long (790)  |  Manifestation (58)  |  Minister (9)  |  Modification (55)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Law (41)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Old (481)  |  Orderly (38)  |  Organic (158)  |  Personification (3)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Planet (356)  |  Power (746)  |  Progression (23)  |  Secondary (14)  |  Slow (101)  |  Species (401)  |  Stately (12)  |  Step (231)  |  Succession (77)  |  Term (349)  |  Vertebrate (20)  |  Vestment (2)  |  World (1774)  |  Wreck (7)

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:  |  Age (499)  |  Assurance (17)  |  Author (167)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Carry (127)  |  Catastrophe (31)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Determination (78)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Duration (10)  |  Element (310)  |  End (590)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Estimation (7)  |  Existence (456)  |  Future (429)  |  Great (1574)  |  Indication (33)  |  Infancy (12)  |  Institution (69)  |  Law (894)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Old (481)  |  Old Age (33)  |  Perception (97)  |  Period (198)  |  Permission (7)  |  Present (619)  |  Rest (280)  |  Sign (58)  |  Symptom (34)  |  System (537)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

The belief that mathematics, because it is abstract, because it is static and cold and gray, is detached from life, is a mistaken belief. Mathematics, even in its purest and most abstract estate, is not detached from life. It is just the ideal handling of the problems of life, as sculpture may idealize a human figure or as poetry or painting may idealize a figure or a scene. Mathematics is precisely the ideal handling of the problems of life, and the central ideas of the science, the great concepts about which its stately doctrines have been built up, are precisely the chief ideas with which life must always deal and which, as it tumbles and rolls about them through time and space, give it its interests and problems, and its order and rationality. That such is the case a few indications will suffice to show. The mathematical concepts of constant and variable are represented familiarly in life by the notions of fixedness and change. The concept of equation or that of an equational system, imposing restriction upon variability, is matched in life by the concept of natural and spiritual law, giving order to what were else chaotic change and providing partial freedom in lieu of none at all. What is known in mathematics under the name of limit is everywhere present in life in the guise of some ideal, some excellence high-dwelling among the rocks, an “ever flying perfect” as Emerson calls it, unto which we may approximate nearer and nearer, but which we can never quite attain, save in aspiration. The supreme concept of functionality finds its correlate in life in the all-pervasive sense of interdependence and mutual determination among the elements of the world. What is known in mathematics as transformation—that is, lawful transfer of attention, serving to match in orderly fashion the things of one system with those of another—is conceived in life as a process of transmutation by which, in the flux of the world, the content of the present has come out of the past and in its turn, in ceasing to be, gives birth to its successor, as the boy is father to the man and as things, in general, become what they are not. The mathematical concept of invariance and that of infinitude, especially the imposing doctrines that explain their meanings and bear their names—What are they but mathematicizations of that which has ever been the chief of life’s hopes and dreams, of that which has ever been the object of its deepest passion and of its dominant enterprise, I mean the finding of the worth that abides, the finding of permanence in the midst of change, and the discovery of a presence, in what has seemed to be a finite world, of being that is infinite? It is needless further to multiply examples of a correlation that is so abounding and complete as indeed to suggest a doubt whether it be juster to view mathematics as the abstract idealization of life than to regard life as the concrete realization of mathematics.
In 'The Humanization of Teaching of Mathematics', Science, New Series, 35, 645-46.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Abide (12)  |  Abound (17)  |  Abstract (124)  |  All (4108)  |  Approximate (25)  |  Aspiration (32)  |  Attain (125)  |  Attention (190)  |  Bear (159)  |  Become (815)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belief (578)  |  Birth (147)  |  Boy (94)  |  Build (204)  |  Call (769)  |  Case (99)  |  Cease (79)  |  Central (80)  |  Change (593)  |  Chaotic (2)  |  Chief (97)  |  Cold (112)  |  Complete (204)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Concept (221)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Constant (144)  |  Content (69)  |  Correlate (6)  |  Correlation (18)  |  Deal (188)  |  Deep (233)  |  Detach (5)  |  Determination (78)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Dominant (26)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Dream (208)  |  Element (310)  |  Ralph Waldo Emerson (150)  |  Enterprise (54)  |  Equation (132)  |  Especially (31)  |  Estate (5)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Example (94)  |  Excellence (39)  |  Explain (322)  |  Far (154)  |  Fashion (30)  |  Father (110)  |  Figure (160)  |  Find (998)  |  Finite (59)  |  Fixed (17)  |  Flux (21)  |  Fly (146)  |  Flying (72)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Functionality (2)  |  General (511)  |  Give (202)  |  Gray (8)  |  Great (1574)  |  Guise (5)  |  Handle (28)  |  High (362)  |  Hope (299)  |  Human (1468)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Idealization (3)  |  Impose (22)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Indication (33)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Infinitude (3)  |  Interdependence (4)  |  Interest (386)  |  Invariance (4)  |  Know (1518)  |  Known (454)  |  Law (894)  |  Lawful (7)  |  Life (1795)  |  Limit (280)  |  Man (2251)  |  Match (29)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mean (809)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Meanings (5)  |  Midst (7)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Most (1731)  |  Multiply (37)  |  Must (1526)  |  Mutual (52)  |  Name (333)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Nearer (45)  |  Needless (4)  |  Never (1087)  |  Notion (113)  |  Object (422)  |  Order (632)  |  Orderly (38)  |  Painting (44)  |  Partial (10)  |  Passion (114)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Permanence (24)  |  Pervasive (5)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Presence (63)  |  Present (619)  |  Problem (676)  |  Process (423)  |  Provide (69)  |  Pure (291)  |  Rationality (24)  |  Realization (43)  |  Regard (305)  |  Represent (155)  |  Restriction (11)  |  Rock (161)  |  Roll (40)  |  Save (118)  |  Scene (36)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sculpture (12)  |  Seem (145)  |  Sense (770)  |  Serve (59)  |  Serving (15)  |  Show (346)  |  Space (500)  |  Spiritual (91)  |  Stately (12)  |  Static (8)  |  Successor (14)  |  Suffice (7)  |  Suggest (34)  |  Supreme (71)  |  System (537)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time And Space (39)  |  Transfer (20)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Transmutation (22)  |  Tumble (2)  |  Turn (447)  |  Unto (8)  |  Variability (5)  |  Variable (34)  |  View (488)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)  |  Worth (169)

The capital ... shall form a fund, the interest of which shall be distributed annually as prizes to those persons who shall have rendered humanity the best services during the past year. ... One-fifth to the person having made the most important discovery or invention in the science of physics, one-fifth to the person who has made the most eminent discovery or improvement in chemistry, one-fifth to the one having made the most important discovery with regard to physiology or medicine, one-fifth to the person who has produced the most distinguished idealistic work of literature, and one-fifth to the person who has worked the most or