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

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

Plot Quotes (10 quotes)

Thomasina: Every week I plot your equations dot for dot, x’s against y’s in all manner of algebraical relation, and every week they draw themselves as commonplace geometry, as if the world of forms were nothing but arcs and angles. God’s truth, Septimus, if there is an equation for a curve like a bell, there must be an equation for one like a bluebell, and if a bluebell, why not a rose? Do we believe nature is written in numbers?
Septimus: We do.
Thomasina: Then why do your shapes describe only the shapes of manufacture?
Septimus: I do not know.
Thomasina: Armed thus, God could only make a cabinet.
In the play, Acadia (1993), Scene 3, 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (104)  |  Angle (20)  |  Arc (8)  |  Armed (2)  |  Belief (504)  |  Bell (15)  |  Cabinet (4)  |  Commonplace (13)  |  Curve (33)  |  Describe (57)  |  Dot (11)  |  Draw (55)  |  Equation (96)  |  Form (314)  |  Geometry (232)  |  God (535)  |  Manufacture (15)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Number (282)  |  Relation (154)  |  Rose (9)  |  Shape (70)  |  Truth (928)  |  World (898)  |  Written (6)

Euler was a believer in God, downright and straightforward. The following story is told by Thiebault, in his Souvenirs de vingt ans de séjour à Berlin, … Thiebault says that he has no personal knowledge of the truth of the story, but that it was believed throughout the whole of the north of Europe. Diderot paid a visit to the Russian Court at the invitation of the Empress. He conversed very freely, and gave the younger members of the Court circle a good deal of lively atheism. The Empress was much amused, but some of her counsellors suggested that it might be desirable to check these expositions of doctrine. The Empress did not like to put a direct muzzle on her guest’s tongue, so the following plot was contrived. Diderot was informed that a learned mathematician was in possession of an algebraical demonstration of the existence of God, and would give it him before all the Court, if he desired to hear it. Diderot gladly consented: though the name of the mathematician is not given, it was Euler. He advanced toward Diderot, and said gravely, and in a tone of perfect conviction:
Monsieur, (a + bn) / n = x, donc Dieu existe; repondez!

Diderot, to whom algebra was Hebrew, was embarrassed and disconcerted; while peals of laughter rose on all sides. He asked permission to return to France at once, which was granted.
In Budget of Paradoxes (1878), 251. [The declaration in French expresses, “therefore God exists; please answer!” This Euler-Diderot anecdote, as embellished by De Morgan, is generally regarded as entirely fictional. Diderot before he became an encyclopedist was an accomplished mathematician and fully capable of recognizing—and responding to—the absurdity of an algebraic expression in proving the existence of God. See B.H. Brown, 'The Euler-Diderot Anecdote', The American Mathematical Monthly (May 1942), 49, No. 5, 392-303. —Webmaster.]
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (165)  |  Algebra (104)  |  Amused (3)  |  Atheism (8)  |  Belief (504)  |  Believer (11)  |  Check (24)  |  Circle (56)  |  Consent (10)  |  Contrive (6)  |  Converse (7)  |  Conviction (71)  |  Court (20)  |  Deal (49)  |  Demonstration (86)  |  Desirable (11)  |  Desire (142)  |  Denis Diderot (6)  |  Direct (84)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Leonhard Euler (35)  |  Europe (43)  |  Existence (299)  |  Exposition (15)  |  Follow (124)  |  France (27)  |  Freely (13)  |  Gladly (2)  |  God (535)  |  Good (345)  |  Grant (32)  |  Gravely (2)  |  Guest (5)  |  Hear (63)  |  Hebrew (7)  |  Inform (16)  |  Invitation (10)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Laughter (23)  |  Learn (288)  |  Lively (7)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Member (40)  |  Name (170)  |  North (11)  |  Peal (2)  |  Perfect (89)  |  Permission (7)  |  Personal (66)  |  Possession (46)  |  Return (55)  |  Russia (13)  |  Story (73)  |  Straightforward (7)  |  Suggest (33)  |  Tell (110)  |  Tone (11)  |  Tongue (19)  |  Toward (45)  |  Truth (928)  |  Visit (26)  |  Whole (192)  |  Young (100)

In India we have clear evidence that administrative statistics had reached a high state of organization before 300 B.C. In the Arthasastra of Kautilya … the duties of the Gopa, the village accountant, [include] “by setting up boundaries to villages, by numbering plots of grounds as cultivated, uncultivated, plains, wet lands, gardens, vegetable gardens, fences (váta), forests altars, temples of gods, irrigation works, cremation grounds, feeding houses (sattra), places where water is freely supplied to travellers (prapá), places of pilgrimage, pasture grounds and roads, and thereby fixing the boundaries of various villages, of fields, of forests, and of roads, he shall register gifts, sales, charities, and remission of taxes regarding fields.”
Editorial, introducing the new statistics journal of the Indian Statistical Institute, Sankhayā (1933), 1, No. 1. Also reprinted in Sankhyā: The Indian Journal of Statistics (Feb 2003), 65, No. 1, viii.
Science quotes on:  |  Accountant (3)  |  Administration (11)  |  Altar (7)  |  Boundary (38)  |  Charity (9)  |  Clear (98)  |  Cremation (2)  |  Cultivated (7)  |  Duty (68)  |  Evidence (183)  |  Fence (9)  |  Field (171)  |  Fix (25)  |  Forest (107)  |  Garden (34)  |  Gift (61)  |  God (535)  |  Ground (90)  |  India (16)  |  Irrigation (10)  |  Land (115)  |  Number (282)  |  Organization (84)  |  Pasture (13)  |  Pilgrimage (2)  |  Place (175)  |  Plain (33)  |  Register (10)  |  Remission (3)  |  Road (64)  |  Sale (3)  |  Statistics (147)  |  Tax (22)  |  Temple (25)  |  Traveler (26)  |  Uncultivated (2)  |  Various (47)  |  Vegetable (25)  |  Village (7)  |  Water (293)  |  Wet (6)

In the preface to his great History of Europe, H. A. L. Fisher wrote: “Men wiser than and more learned than I have discerned in history a plot, a rhythm, a predetermined pattern. These harmonies are concealed from me. I can see only one emergency following upon another as wave follows upon wave …” It seems to me that the same is true of the much older [geological stratigraphical] history of Europe.
In The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record (1973), 79.
Science quotes on:  |  Concealed (3)  |  Discerning (7)  |  Emergency (7)  |  Following (16)  |  Geology (201)  |  Harmony (72)  |  History (369)  |  Learned (24)  |  Pattern (79)  |  Predetermined (3)  |  Rhythm (18)  |  Stratigraphy (7)  |  Wave (68)  |  Wisdom (182)

Logarithmic plots are a device of the devil.
From interview with Henry Spall, as in an abridged version of Earthquake Information Bulletin (Jan-Feb 1980), 12, No. 1, that is on the USGS website.
Science quotes on:  |  Device (28)  |  Devil (21)  |  Logarithmic (5)

Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous…
From Richard III (Nov 1633), Act 1, Scene 1. In The Plays of William Shakespeare (1804), Vol. 5, 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Dangerous (60)  |  Induction (60)

The news today about ‘Atomic bombs’ is so horrifying one is stunned. The utter folly of these lunatic physicists to consent to do such work for war-purposes: calmly plotting the destruction of the world!
From Letter (No. 102) to Christopher Tolkien (9 Aug 1945). In Humphrey Carpenter (ed.) assisted by Christopher Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1995, 2014), 116, Letter No. 102.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (107)  |  Consent (10)  |  Destruction (85)  |  Folly (32)  |  Horrifying (2)  |  Lunatic (7)  |  News (13)  |  Physicist (161)  |  Purpose (194)  |  War (161)  |  Work (635)  |  World (898)

There is only one subject matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations. Instead of this single unity, we offer children—Algebra, from which nothing follows; Geometry, from which nothing follows; Science, from which nothing follows; History, from which nothing follows; a Couple of Languages, never mastered; and lastly, most dreary of all, Literature, represented by plays of Shakespeare, with philological notes and short analyses of plot and character to be in substance committed to memory.
In 'The Aims of Education', The Aims of Education: & Other Essays (1917), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (104)  |  Analysis (166)  |  Character (118)  |  Dreary (5)  |  Education (347)  |  Geometry (232)  |  History (369)  |  Language (228)  |  Life (1131)  |  Literature (79)  |  Manifestation (35)  |  Mastery (28)  |  Memory (106)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Science (2067)  |  William Shakespeare (102)  |  Subject (240)

To connect the dinosaurs, creatures of interest to everyone but the veriest dullard, with a spectacular extra­terrestrial event like the deluge of meteors … seems a little like one of those plots that a clever publisher might concoct to guarantee enormous sales. All the Alvarez-Raup theories lack is some sex and the involvement of the Royal family and the whole world would be paying attention to them.
In The Canberra Times (20 May 1984).
Science quotes on:  |  Luis W. Alvarez (24)  |  Attention (121)  |  Clever (19)  |  Concoct (2)  |  Connect (33)  |  Creature (155)  |  Deluge (8)  |  Dinosaur (23)  |  Dullard (2)  |  Enormous (41)  |  Event (116)  |  Extraterrestrial (5)  |  Family (47)  |  Guarantee (21)  |  Interest (237)  |  Involvement (4)  |  Lack (77)  |  Little (188)  |  Meteor (14)  |  Publisher (3)  |  David Malcolm Raup (2)  |  Royal (12)  |  Sale (3)  |  Sex (49)  |  Spectacular (10)  |  Theory (696)  |  World (898)

[In plotting earthquake measurements] the range between the largest and smallest magnitudes seemed unmanageably large. Dr. Beno Gutenberg then made the natural suggestion to plot the amplitudes logarithmically.
From interview with Henry Spall, as in an abridged version of Earthquake Information Bulletin (Jan-Feb 1980), 12, No. 1, that is on the USGS website.
Science quotes on:  |  Amplitude (3)  |  Earthquake (29)  |  Beno Gutenberg (2)  |  Large (130)  |  Largest (7)  |  Magnitude (45)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Natural (173)  |  Plotting (2)  |  Range (57)  |  Smallest (9)  |  Suggestion (30)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

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

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

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



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