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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Dangerous... to take shelter under a tree, during a thunder-gust. It has been fatal to many, both men and beasts.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Pre-Scientific

Pre-Scientific Quotes (5 quotes)

One of the main purposes of scientific inference is to justify beliefs which we entertain already; but as a rule they are justified with a difference. Our pre-scientific general beliefs are hardly ever without exceptions; in science, a law with exceptions can only be tolerated as a makeshift. Scientific laws, when we have reason to think them accurate, are different in form from the common-sense rules which have exceptions: they are always, at least in physics, either differential equations, or statistical averages. It might be thought that a statistical average is not very different from a rule with exceptions, but this would be a mistake. Statistics, ideally, are accurate laws about large groups; they differ from other laws only in being about groups, not about individuals. Statistical laws are inferred by induction from particular statistics, just as other laws are inferred from particular single occurrences.
The Analysis of Matter (1927), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (78)  |  Accurate (86)  |  Already (222)  |  Average (82)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belief (578)  |  Common (436)  |  Common Sense (130)  |  Differ (85)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Differential Equation (18)  |  Entertain (24)  |  Entertainment (18)  |  Equation (132)  |  Exception (73)  |  Form (959)  |  General (511)  |  Group (78)  |  Individual (404)  |  Induction (77)  |  Inference (45)  |  Justification (48)  |  Large (394)  |  Law (894)  |  Makeshift (2)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Other (2236)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reason (744)  |  Rule (294)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Sense (770)  |  Single (353)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Toleration (6)

Psychology appeared to be a jungle of confusing, conflicting, and arbitrary concepts. These pre-scientific theories doubtless contained insights which still surpass in refinement those depended upon by psychiatrists or psychologists today. But who knows, among the many brilliant ideas offered, which are the true ones? Some will claim that the statements of one theorist are correct, but others will favour the views of another. Then there is no objective way of sorting out the truth except through scientific research.
From The Scientific Analysis of Personality (1965), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Arbitrary (26)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Claim (146)  |  Concept (221)  |  Conflicting (13)  |  Confusing (2)  |  Correct (86)  |  Depend (228)  |  Idea (843)  |  Insight (102)  |  Jungle (22)  |  Know (1518)  |  Objective (91)  |  Offer (141)  |  Other (2236)  |  Psychiatrist (15)  |  Psychologist (15)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Refinement (17)  |  Research (664)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Theory (24)  |  Statement (142)  |  Still (613)  |  Surpass (32)  |  Theorist (44)  |  Theory (970)  |  Through (849)  |  Today (314)  |  True (212)  |  Truth (1057)  |  View (488)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)

Science can have a purifying effect on religion, freeing it from beliefs of a pre-scientific age and helping us to a truer conception of God. At the same time, I am far from believing that science will ever give us the answers to all our questions.
Essay 'Science Will Never Give Us the Answers to All Our Questions', collected in Henry Margenau, and Roy Abraham Varghese (eds.), Cosmos, Bios, Theos (1992), 65.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Answer (366)  |  Belief (578)  |  Conception (154)  |  Effect (393)  |  Freeing (6)  |  God (757)  |  Help (105)  |  Purify (9)  |  Question (621)  |  Religion (361)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Time (1877)  |  Will (2355)

The scientific tradition is distinguished from the pre-scientific tradition by having two layers. Like the latter, it passes on its theories; but it also passes on a critical attitude towards them.
Conjectures and Refutations: the Growth of Scientific Knowledge (2002), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (82)  |  Critical (66)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Distinguished (83)  |  Layer (40)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Tradition (69)  |  Two (937)

Therefore, these [geotectonic] models cannot be expected to assume that the deeper parts of the earth’s crust were put together and built in a simpler way. The myth about the increasing simplicity with depth results from a general pre-scientific trend according to which the unknown or little known has to be considered simpler than the known. Many examples of this myth occur in the history of geology as, for instance, the development of views on the nature of the seafloor from the past to the present.
In 'Stockwerktektonik und Madelle van Esteinsdifferentiation', in Geotektonisches Symposium zu Ehren von Hans Stille, als Festschrift zur Vollendung seines 80, Lebensjahres (1956), 17, trans. Albert V. and Marguerite Carozzi.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  According (237)  |  Consider (416)  |  Crust (38)  |  Depth (94)  |  Development (422)  |  Earth (996)  |  Example (94)  |  Expect (200)  |  General (511)  |  Geology (220)  |  History (673)  |  Known (454)  |  Little (707)  |  Model (102)  |  Myth (56)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Occur (150)  |  Past (337)  |  Plate Tectonics (20)  |  Present (619)  |  Result (677)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Seafloor (2)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Together (387)  |  Trend (22)  |  Unknown (182)  |  View (488)  |  Way (1217)


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.