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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Precursor

Precursor Quotes (5 quotes)

Prospero: Hast thou, spirit,
Performed, to point, the tempest that I bade thee?
Ariel: To every article.
I boarded the king’s ship. Now on the beak,
Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin,
I flamed amazement.
Sometime I’d divide
And burn in many places; on the topmast,
The yards, and bowsprit would I flame distinctly,
Then meet and join. Jove’s lightnings, the precursors
O’ th’ dreadful thunderclaps, more momentary
And sight-outrunning were not. The fire and cracks
Of sulphurous roaring the most mighty Neptune
Seem to besiege, and make his bold waves tremble;
Yea, his dread trident shake.
In The Tempest (1611), Act 1, Scene 2, line 193-206.
Science quotes on:  |  Amazement (16)  |  Bold (22)  |  Burn (87)  |  Divide (76)  |  Dreadful (14)  |  Fire (189)  |  Flame (41)  |  Lightning (45)  |  Meteorology (33)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1729)  |  Neptune (13)  |  Perform (121)  |  Point (580)  |  Shake (41)  |  Ship (64)  |  Sight (132)  |  Spirit (265)  |  Sulphur (18)  |  Tempest (6)  |  Thunder (20)  |  Wave (107)

Thomas Robert Malthus quote Famine … the most dreadful resource of nature.
colorization © todayinsci (Terms of Use) (source)

Please respect the colorization artist’s wishes and do not copy this image for ONLINE use anywhere else.

Thank you.

For offline use, click Terms of Use tab on top menu.

Famine seems to be the last, the most dreadful resource of nature. The power of population is so superior to the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction; and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague, advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and ten thousands. Should success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow, levels the population with the food of the world.
In An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), 140, and in new enlarged edition (1803), 350.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (153)  |  Active (76)  |  Advance (280)  |  Advancement (62)  |  Army (33)  |  Array (5)  |  Blow (44)  |  Death (391)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Dreadful (14)  |  Earth (998)  |  Epidemic (7)  |  Extermination (14)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  Famine (15)  |  Finish (59)  |  Food (199)  |  Gigantic (40)  |  Great (1575)  |  Human (1470)  |  Human Race (103)  |  Incomplete (30)  |  Inevitability (10)  |  Inevitable (49)  |  Last (426)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mankind (340)  |  Minister (9)  |  Most (1729)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pestilence (14)  |  Plague (41)  |  Population (110)  |  Power (747)  |  Premature (20)  |  Production (183)  |  Race (268)  |  Resource (63)  |  Season (47)  |  Sickness (26)  |  Stalk (6)  |  Still (613)  |  Subsistence (9)  |  Success (303)  |  Superior (82)  |  Superiority (19)  |  Sweep (19)  |  Terrific (4)  |  Themself (3)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Vice (40)  |  War (226)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1778)

In the year of our Lord 729, two comets appeared around the sun, striking terror into all who saw them. One comet rose early and preceded the sun, while the other followed the setting sun at evening, seeming to portend awful calamity to east and west alike. Or else, since one comet was the precursor of day and the other of night, they indicated that mankind was menaced by evils at both times. They appeared in the month of January, and remained visible for about a fortnight, pointing their fiery torches northward as though to set the welkin aflame. At this time, a swarm of Saracens ravaged Gaul with horrible slaughter; … Both the outset and course of Ceolwulfs reign were filled by so many grave disturbances that it is quite impossible to know what to write about them or what the outcome will be.
Bede
From Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, Book V, Chap. XXIII., as translated by Leo Sherley-Price, revised by R.E. Latham, Ecclesiastical History of the English People (1955, 1990), 323. Note: The observation likely was on a single comet seen twice each day. The event is also in both the Laud and Parker manuscripts of The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Science quotes on:  |  Alike (60)  |  All (4107)  |  Appear (118)  |  Awful (8)  |  Both (494)  |  Calamity (11)  |  Comet (61)  |  Course (408)  |  Day (42)  |  Disturbance (31)  |  Early (186)  |  Evil (116)  |  Fiery (5)  |  Follow (379)  |  Fortnight (3)  |  Grave (52)  |  Horrible (10)  |  Impossible (253)  |  Know (1519)  |  Lord (93)  |  Mankind (340)  |  Menace (5)  |  Month (88)  |  Night (120)  |  Other (2236)  |  Portend (2)  |  Ravage (7)  |  Reign (24)  |  Remain (349)  |  Rose (34)  |  Saracen (2)  |  Saw (160)  |  Set (394)  |  Setting (44)  |  Slaughter (7)  |  Striking (48)  |  Sun (387)  |  Swarm (14)  |  Terror (30)  |  Time (1877)  |  Torch (12)  |  Two (937)  |  Visible (84)  |  Will (2354)  |  Write (231)  |  Year (932)

It is a vulgar belief that our astronomical knowledge dates only from the recent century when it was rescued from the monks who imprisoned Galileo; but Hipparchus … who among other achievements discovered the precession of the eqinoxes, ranks with the Newtons and the Keplers; and Copernicus, the modern father of our celestial science, avows himself, in his famous work, as only the champion of Pythagoras, whose system he enforces and illustrates. Even the most modish schemes of the day on the origin of things, which captivate as much by their novelty as their truth, may find their precursors in ancient sages, and after a careful analysis of the blended elements of imagination and induction which charaterise the new theories, they will be found mainly to rest on the atom of Epicurus and the monad of Thales. Scientific, like spiritual truth, has ever from the beginning been descending from heaven to man.
Lothair (1879), preface, xvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (180)  |  Analysis (234)  |  Ancient (191)  |  Astronomy (231)  |  Atom (358)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Belief (578)  |  Celestial (53)  |  Century (310)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (49)  |  Discover (553)  |  Element (310)  |  Epicurus (6)  |  Father (110)  |  Find (999)  |  Galileo Galilei (125)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Himself (461)  |  Hipparchus (3)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Imprison (10)  |  Induction (77)  |  Johannes Kepler (92)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Man (2249)  |  Modern (385)  |  Most (1729)  |  New (1217)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (335)  |  Novelty (29)  |  Origin (241)  |  Other (2236)  |  Precession (4)  |  Pythagoras (38)  |  Rank (67)  |  Recent (77)  |  Rest (281)  |  Sage (24)  |  Scheme (57)  |  Science (3880)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Spiritual (92)  |  System (537)  |  Thales (9)  |  Theory (972)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Vulgar (33)  |  Will (2354)  |  Work (1351)

[The compass needle] as the guide of Vasco de Gama to the East Indies, and of Columbus to the West Indies and the New World, it was pre-eminently the precursor and pioneer of the telegraph. Silently, and as with finger on its lips, it led them across the waste of waters to the new homes of the world; but when these were largely filled, and houses divided between the old and new hemispheres longed to exchange affectionate greetings, it removed its finger and broke silence. The quivering magnetic needle which lies in the coil of the galvanometer is the tongue of the electric telegraph, and already engineers talk of it as speaking.
'Progress of the Telegraph.' In Jesse Aitken Wilson, Memoirs of George Wilson. Quoted in Natural History Society of Montreal, 'Reviews and Notices of Books,' The Canadian Naturalist and Geologist (1861) Vol. 6, 392.
Science quotes on:  |  Already (222)  |  Compass (34)  |  Divided (50)  |  Electric (76)  |  Engineer (123)  |  Exchange (37)  |  Galvanometer (4)  |  Greeting (9)  |  Guide (98)  |  Home (170)  |  House (140)  |  Lie (364)  |  Long (789)  |  Magnetic (44)  |  New (1217)  |  Old (480)  |  Pioneer (33)  |  Silence (56)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Telegraph (38)  |  Tongue (43)  |  Waste (101)  |  Water (482)  |  World (1778)


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.