Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Politics is more difficult than physics.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Phantom

Phantom Quotes (5 quotes)

Art has a double face, of expression and illusion, just like science has a double face: the reality of error and the phantom of truth.
'The Lie of the Truth'. (1938) translated by Phil Powrie (1989). In Carol A. Dingle, Memorable Quotations (2000), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Double (12)  |  Error (230)  |  Expression (82)  |  Face (69)  |  Illusion (38)  |  Reality (140)  |  Science And Art (157)  |  Truth (750)

But nature is remarkably obstinate against purely logical operations; she likes not schoolmasters nor scholastic procedures. As though she took a particular satisfaction in mocking at our intelligence, she very often shows us the phantom of an apparently general law, represented by scattered fragments, which are entirely inconsistent. Logic asks for the union of these fragments; the resolute dogmatist, therefore, does not hesitate to go straight on to supply, by logical conclusions, the fragments he wants, and to flatter himself that he has mastered nature by his victorious intelligence.
'On the Principles of Animal Morphology', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2 Apr 1888), 15, 289. Original as Letter to Mr John Murray, communicated to the Society by Professor Sir William Turner. Page given as in collected volume published 1889.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparently (11)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Dogmatist (4)  |  Fragment (24)  |  General (92)  |  Hesitate (5)  |  Inconsistent (7)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Law (418)  |  Like (18)  |  Logic (187)  |  Master (55)  |  Mocking (4)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Obstinate (4)  |  Operation (96)  |  Procedure (16)  |  Remarkably (3)  |  Resolute (2)  |  Satisfaction (48)  |  Scattered (4)  |  Schoolmaster (4)  |  Union (16)

Mathematical research, with all its wealth of hidden treasure, is all too apt to yield nothing to our research: for it is haunted by certain ignes fatui—delusive phantoms, that float before us, and seem so fair, and are all but in our grasp, so nearly that it never seems to need more than one step further, and the prize shall be ours! Alas for him who has been turned aside from real research by one of these spectres—who has found a music in its mocking laughter—and who wastes his life and energy on the desperate chase!
Written without pseudonym as Charles L. Dodgson, in Introduction to A New Theory of Parallels (1888, 1890), xvi. Note: Ignes fatui, the plural of ignes fatuus (foolish fire), refers to a will-o'-the-wisp: something deceptive or deluding.
Science quotes on:  |  Chase (11)  |  Delusion (13)  |  Desperate (4)  |  Energy (185)  |  Float (12)  |  Hidden (34)  |  Laughter (22)  |  Life (917)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Mocking (4)  |  Prize (9)  |  Research (517)  |  Spectre (3)  |  Treasure (35)  |  Waste (57)  |  Wealth (50)

So numerous are the objects which meet our view in the heavens, that we cannot imagine a point of space where some light would not strike the eye;—innumerable stars, thousands of double and multiple systems, clusters in one blaze with their tens of thousands of stars, and the nebulae amazing us by the strangeness of their forms and the incomprehensibility of their nature, till at last, from the limit of our senses, even these thin and airy phantoms vanish in the distance.
On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1858), 420.
Science quotes on:  |  Amazement (9)  |  Blaze (9)  |  Cluster (10)  |  Distance (54)  |  Eye (159)  |  Form (210)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Incomprehensibility (2)  |  Innumerable (17)  |  Light (246)  |  Limit (86)  |  Multiple (9)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Nebula (15)  |  Numerous (21)  |  Object (110)  |  Point (72)  |  Sense (240)  |  Space (154)  |  Star (251)  |  Strangeness (10)  |  System (141)  |  Thin (7)  |  Vanish (10)  |  View (115)

[Modern science] passed through a long period of uncertainty and inconclusive experiment, but as the instrumental aids to research improved, and the results of observation accumulated, phantoms of the imagination were exorcised, idols of the cave were shattered, trustworthy materials were obtained for logical treatment, and hypotheses by long and careful trial were converted into theories.
In The Present Relations of Science and Religion (1913, 2004), 3
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (29)  |  Aid (23)  |  Careful (12)  |  Cave (12)  |  Conversion (14)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Idol (3)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Inconclusive (2)  |  Instrument (73)  |  Logic (187)  |  Long (95)  |  Material (124)  |  Observation (418)  |  Obtain (21)  |  Pass (60)  |  Period (49)  |  Result (250)  |  Shatter (5)  |  Theory (582)  |  Treatment (88)  |  Trial (23)  |  Trustworthy (6)  |  Uncertainty (37)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.