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Who said: “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, ... finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell ... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
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Pot Quotes (2 quotes)

Don't go to the doctor with every distemper, nor to the lawyer with every quarrel, nor to the pot for every thirst.
In Poor Richard's Almanack (1737).
Science quotes on:  |  Distemper (5)  |  Doctor (100)  |  Going (6)  |  Lawyer (18)  |  Quarrel (9)  |  Thirst (9)

Occurrences that other men would have noted only with the most casual interest became for Whitney exciting opportunities to experiment. Once he became disturbed by a scientist's seemingly endless pursuit of irrelevant details in the course of an experiment, and criticized this as being as pointless as grabbing beans out of a pot, recording the numbers, and then analyzing the results. Later that day, after he had gone home, his simile began to intrigue him, and he asked himself whether it would really be pointless to count beans gathered in such a random manner. Another man might well have dismissed this as an idle fancy, but to Whitney an opportunity to conduct an experiment was not to be overlooked. Accordingly, he set a pot of beans beside his bed, and for several days each night before retiring he would take as many beans as he could grasp in one hand and make a note of how many were in the handful. After several days had passed he was intrigued to find that the results were not as unrewarding as he had expected. He found that each handful contained more beans than the one before, indicating that with practice he was learning to grasp more and more beans. “This might be called research in morphology, the science of animal structure,” he mused. “My hand was becoming webbed … so I said to myself: never label a real experiment useless, it may reveal something unthought of but worth knowing.”
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 358-359.
Science quotes on:  |  Bean (3)  |  Count (34)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Detail (65)  |  Dismissal (2)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fancy (16)  |  Grab (2)  |  Hand (103)  |  Idleness (8)  |  Irrelevance (3)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Label (11)  |  Morphology (18)  |  Practice (67)  |  Revelation (29)  |  Simile (4)  |  Uselessness (21)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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Bible
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
Carl Sagan
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- 10 -
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