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: Predict

Predict Quotes (79 quotes)

A discovery must be, by definition, at variance with existing knowledge. During my lifetime, I made two. Both were rejected offhand by the popes of the field. Had I predicted these discoveries in my applications, and had those authorities been my judges, it is evident what their decisions would have been.
In 'Dionysians and Apollonians', Science (2 Jun 1972), 176, 966. Reprinted in Mary Ritchie Key, The Relationship of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication (1980), 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (242)  |  Authority (95)  |  Both (493)  |  Decision (91)  |  Definition (221)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Evident (91)  |  Existence (456)  |  Field (364)  |  Judge (108)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lifetime (31)  |  Must (1526)  |  Pope (10)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Reject (63)  |  Rejected (26)  |  Rejection (34)  |  Two (937)  |  Variance (12)

A moment's consideration of this case shows what a really great advance in the theory and practise of breeding has been obtained through the discovery of Mendel's law. What a puzzle this case would have presented to the biologist ten years ago! Agouti crossed with chocolate gives in the second filial generation (not in the first) four varieties, viz., agouti, chocolate, black and cinnamon. We could only have shaken our heads and looked wise (or skeptical).
Then we had no explanation to offer for such occurrences other than the 'instability of color characters under domestication,' the 'effects of inbreeding,' 'maternal impressions.' Serious consideration would have been given to the proximity of cages containing both black and cinnamon-agouti mice.
Now we have a simple, rational explanation, which anyone can put to the test. We are able to predict the production of new varieties, and to produce them.
We must not, of course, in our exuberance, conclude that the powers of the hybridizer know no limits. The result under consideration consists, after all, only in the making of new combinations of unit characters, but it is much to know that these units exist and that all conceivable combinations of them are ordinarily capable of production. This valuable knowledge we owe to the discoverer and to the rediscoverers of Mendel's law.
'New Colour Variety of the Guinea Pig', Science, 1908, 28, 250-252.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Advance (280)  |  All (4108)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Both (493)  |  Breeding (21)  |  Cage (12)  |  Capable (168)  |  Character (243)  |  Chocolate (4)  |  Color (137)  |  Combination (144)  |  Conceivable (28)  |  Conclude (65)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Consist (223)  |  Course (409)  |  Discoverer (42)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Domestication (5)  |  Effect (393)  |  Exist (443)  |  Explanation (234)  |  First (1283)  |  Generation (242)  |  Great (1574)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Hybrid (14)  |  Impression (114)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Limit (280)  |  Look (582)  |  Making (300)  |  Gregor Mendel (21)  |  Moment (253)  |  Mouse (32)  |  Must (1526)  |  New (1216)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Offer (141)  |  Other (2236)  |  Owe (71)  |  Power (746)  |  Present (619)  |  Production (183)  |  Puzzle (44)  |  Rational (90)  |  Result (677)  |  Serious (91)  |  Show (346)  |  Simple (406)  |  Skeptical (20)  |  Test (211)  |  Theory (970)  |  Through (849)  |  Wise (131)  |  Year (933)

A very small cause which escapes our notice determines a considerable effect that we cannot fail to see, and then we say that the effect is due to chance. If we knew exactly the laws of nature and the situation of the universe at the initial moment, we could predict exactly the situation of that same universe at a succeeding moment.
In 'Chance', Science et Méthode (1908). Quoted in Richard Kautz, Chaos: The Science of Predictable Random Motion (2011), 167 as translated in Science and Method by F. Maitland (1918).
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (541)  |  Chance (239)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Determine (144)  |  Due (141)  |  Effect (393)  |  Escape (80)  |  Exactly (13)  |  Fail (185)  |  Initial (17)  |  Know (1518)  |  Law (894)  |  Law Of Nature (72)  |  Moment (253)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Notice (77)  |  Say (984)  |  See (1081)  |  Situation (113)  |  Small (477)  |  Succeeding (14)  |  Universe (857)

All science is concerned with the relationship of cause and effect. Each scientific discovery increases man’s ability to predict the consequences of his actions and thus his ability to control future events.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ability (152)  |  Action (327)  |  All (4108)  |  Cause (541)  |  Cause And Effect (20)  |  Concern (228)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Control (167)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Effect (393)  |  Event (216)  |  Future (429)  |  Increase (210)  |  Man (2251)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)

All stable processes we shall predict. All unstable processes we shall control.
Describing John von Neumann's aspiration for the application of computers sufficiently large to solve the problems of meteorology, despite the sensitivity of the weather to small perturbations.
Infinite in All Directions (2004), 182. Dyson wrote his recollection of a talk given by Neumann at Princeton around 1950. The words are not a direct quotation, merely Dyson's description of Neumann's idea.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Application (242)  |  Aspiration (32)  |  Computer (127)  |  Control (167)  |  Large (394)  |  Meteorology (33)  |  Perturbation (7)  |  Problem (676)  |  Process (423)  |  Sensitivity (10)  |  Small (477)  |  Solve (130)  |  Stable (30)  |  Unstable (8)  |  Weather (44)

All the scientist creates in a fact is the language in which he enunciates it. If he predicts a fact, he will employ this language, and for all those who can speak and understand it, his prediction is free from ambiguity. Moreover, this prediction once made, it evidently does not depend upon him whether it is fulfilled or not.
The Value of Science (1905), in The Foundations of Science: Science and Hypothesis, The Value of Science, Science and Method(1946), trans. by George Bruce Halsted, 332.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Ambiguity (17)  |  Create (235)  |  Creation (327)  |  Depend (228)  |  Dependence (45)  |  Employ (113)  |  Employment (32)  |  Enunciation (7)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Evidently (26)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Free (232)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Fulfillment (18)  |  Language (293)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Speak (232)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Will (2355)

An experiment is never a failure solely because it fails to achieve predicted results. An experiment is a failure only when it also fails adequately to test the hypothesis in question, when the data it produces don’t prove anything one way or another.
In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (1974), 102.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Adequate (46)  |  Data (156)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Never (1087)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Production (183)  |  Proof (287)  |  Prove (250)  |  Prove Anything (7)  |  Question (621)  |  Result (677)  |  Sole (49)  |  Test (211)  |  Way (1217)

An old medical friend gave me some excellent practical advice. He said: “You will have for some time to go much oftener down steps than up steps. Never mind! win the good opinions of washerwomen and such like, and in time you will hear of their recommendations of you to the wealthier families by whom they are employed.” I did so, and found it succeed as predicted.
[On beginning a medical practice.]
From Reminiscences of a Yorkshire Naturalist (1896), 94. Going “down steps” refers to the homes of lower-class workers of the era that were often in basements and entered by exterior steps down from street level.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (55)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Down (456)  |  Employ (113)  |  Employment (32)  |  Family (94)  |  Friend (168)  |  Good (889)  |  Hear (139)  |  Medical (26)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Never (1087)  |  Old (481)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Practical (200)  |  Practice (204)  |  Recommendation (12)  |  Step (231)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Success (302)  |  Time (1877)  |  Up (5)  |  Wealth (94)  |  Will (2355)  |  Win (52)

As was predicted at the beginning of the Human Genome Project, getting the sequence will be the easy part as only technical issues are involved. The hard part will be finding out what it means, because this poses intellectual problems of how to understand the participation of the genes in the functions of living cells.
Loose Ends from Current Biology (1997), 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (305)  |  Easy (204)  |  Function (228)  |  Gene (98)  |  Genome (15)  |  Hard (243)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Genome (12)  |  Human Genome Project (5)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Involved (90)  |  Living (491)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Participation (15)  |  Problem (676)  |  Project (73)  |  Research (664)  |  Sequence (68)  |  Understand (606)  |  Will (2355)

Astronomy may be revolutionized more than any other field of science by observations from above the atmosphere. Study of the planets, the Sun, the stars, and the rarified matter in space should all be profoundly influenced by measurements from balloons, rockets, probes and satellites. ... In a new adventure of discovery no one can foretell what will be found, and it is probably safe to predict that the most important new discovery that will be made with flying telescopes will be quite unexpected and unforeseen. (1961)
Opening and closing of 'Flying Telescopes', Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (May 1961), Vol. 17, No. 5, 191 and 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (56)  |  All (4108)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Atmosphere (103)  |  Balloon (15)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Field (364)  |  Flying (72)  |  Foretell (11)  |  Matter (798)  |  Measurement (174)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  New (1216)  |  Observation (555)  |  Other (2236)  |  Planet (356)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Probe (12)  |  Profound (104)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Rocket (43)  |  Safe (54)  |  Satellite (28)  |  Science (3879)  |  Space (500)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Study (653)  |  Sun (385)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Unexpected (52)  |  Unforeseen (10)  |  Will (2355)

At the voice of comparative anatomy, every bone, and fragment of a bone, resumed its place. I cannot find words to express the pleasure I have in seeing, as I discovered one character, how all the consequences, which I predicted from it, were successively confirmed; the feet were found in accordance with the characters announced by the teeth; the teeth in harmony with those indicated beforehand by the feet; the bones of the legs and thighs, and every connecting portion of the extremities, were found set together precisely as I had arranged them, before my conjectures were verified by the discovery of the parts entire: in short, each species was, as it were, reconstructed from a single one of its component elements.
Geology and Mineralogy (1836), Vol. I, 83-4.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Anatomy (69)  |  Bone (95)  |  Character (243)  |  Component (48)  |  Confirm (57)  |  Conjecture (49)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Element (310)  |  Express (186)  |  Find (998)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Fragment (54)  |  Harmony (102)  |  Leg (34)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Portion (84)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Set (394)  |  Short (197)  |  Single (353)  |  Species (401)  |  Teeth (43)  |  Together (387)  |  Word (619)

Break the chains of your prejudices and take up the torch of experience, and you will honour nature in the way she deserves, instead of drawing derogatory conclusions from the ignorance in which she has left you. Simply open your eyes and ignore what you cannot understand, and you will see that a labourer whose mind and knowledge extend no further than the edges of his furrow is no different essentially from the greatest genius, as would have been proved by dissecting the brains of Descartes and Newton; you will be convinced that the imbecile or the idiot are animals in human form, in the same way as the clever ape is a little man in another form; and that, since everything depends absolutely on differences in organisation, a well-constructed animal who has learnt astronomy can predict an eclipse, as he can predict recovery or death when his genius and good eyesight have benefited from some time at the school of Hippocrates and at patients' bedsides.
Machine Man (1747), in Ann Thomson (ed.), Machine Man and Other Writings (1996), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (617)  |  Ape (53)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Brain (270)  |  Break (99)  |  Clever (38)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Construct (124)  |  Death (388)  |  Depend (228)  |  Derogatory (3)  |  René Descartes (81)  |  Deserve (65)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Drawing (56)  |  Eclipse (23)  |  Edge (47)  |  Everything (476)  |  Experience (467)  |  Extend (128)  |  Eye (419)  |  Eyesight (5)  |  Form (959)  |  Genius (284)  |  Good (889)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Hippocrates (49)  |  Honour (56)  |  Human (1468)  |  Idiot (22)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Ignore (45)  |  Imbecile (4)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Little (707)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Open (274)  |  Patient (199)  |  Prejudice (87)  |  Recovery (23)  |  School (219)  |  See (1081)  |  Time (1877)  |  Torch (12)  |  Understand (606)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)

But ... the working scientist ... is not consciously following any prescribed course of action, but feels complete freedom to utilize any method or device whatever which in the particular situation before him seems likely to yield the correct answer. ... No one standing on the outside can predict what the individual scientist will do or what method he will follow.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Answer (366)  |  Complete (204)  |  Consciously (6)  |  Correct (86)  |  Course (409)  |  Device (70)  |  Do (1908)  |  Feel (367)  |  Follow (378)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Individual (404)  |  Likely (34)  |  Method (505)  |  Outside (141)  |  Particular (76)  |  Prescribe (10)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Seem (145)  |  Situation (113)  |  Stand (274)  |  Utilize (9)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  Yield (81)

Every great anthropologic and paleontologic discovery fits into its proper place, enabling us gradually to fill out, one after another, the great branching lines of human ascent and to connect with the branches definite phases of industry and art. This gives us a double means of interpretation, archaeological and anatomical. While many branches and links in the chain remain to be discovered, we are now in a position to predict with great confidence not only what the various branches will be like but where they are most like to be found.
In Henry Fairfield Osborn, 'Osborn States the Case For Evolution', New York Times (12 Jul 1925), XX1
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (69)  |  Anthropology (58)  |  Archaeology (49)  |  Art (657)  |  Branch (150)  |  Branching (10)  |  Chain (50)  |  Confidence (69)  |  Connect (125)  |  Definite (110)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Fit (134)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Great (1574)  |  Human (1468)  |  Industry (137)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Link (43)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Most (1731)  |  Paleontology (31)  |  Phase (36)  |  Position (77)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Proper (144)  |  Remain (349)  |  Tree Of Life (10)  |  Various (200)  |  Will (2355)

Faced with a new mutation in an organism, or a fundamental change in its living conditions, the biologist is frequently in no position whatever to predict its future prospects. He has to wait and see. For instance, the hairy mammoth seems to have been an admirable animal, intelligent and well-accoutered. Now that it is extinct, we try to understand why it failed. I doubt that any biologist thinks he could have predicted that failure. Fitness and survival are by nature estimates of past performance.
In Scientific American (Sep 1958). As cited in '50, 100 & 150 years ago', Scientific American (Sep 2008), 299, No. 3, 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (19)  |  Animal (617)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Change (593)  |  Condition (356)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Extinct (21)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  Fitness (9)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Future (429)  |  Hairy (2)  |  Intelligent (100)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Mammoth (9)  |  Mutation (37)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Organism (220)  |  Past (337)  |  Performance (48)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Prospect (30)  |  See (1081)  |  Survival (94)  |  Think (1086)  |  Try (283)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Why (491)

From a drop of water a logician could predict an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. So all life is a great chain, the nature of which is known whenever we are shown a single link of it.
In A Study in Scarlet (1887, 1892), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Atlantic (8)  |  Chain (50)  |  Drop (76)  |  Great (1574)  |  Known (454)  |  Life (1795)  |  Link (43)  |  Logic (287)  |  Logician (17)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Niagara (8)  |  Other (2236)  |  Single (353)  |  Water (481)  |  Whenever (81)

Historically, science has pursued a premise that Nature can be understood fully, its future predicted precisely, and its behavior controlled at will. However, emerging knowledge indicates that the nature of Earth and biological systems transcends the limits of science, questioning the premise of knowing, prediction, and control. This knowledge has led to the recognition that, for civilized human survival, technological society has to adapt to the constraints of these systems.
As quoted in Chris Maser, Decision-Making for a Sustainable Environment: A Systemic Approach (2012), 4, citing N. Narasimhan, 'Limitations of Science and Adapting to Nature', Environmental Research Letters (Jul-Sep 2007), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (66)  |  Adaptation (58)  |  Behavior (84)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Constraint (13)  |  Control (167)  |  Earth (996)  |  Future (429)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Limit (280)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Premise (37)  |  Recognition (88)  |  Science (3879)  |  Society (326)  |  Survival (94)  |  System (537)  |  Technological (61)  |  Technology (257)  |  Transcend (26)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Understood (156)  |  Will (2355)

Hubble's observations suggested that there was a time, called the big bang, when the universe was infinitesimally small and infinitely dense. Under such conditions all the laws of science, and therefore all ability to predict the future, would break down. If there were events earlier than this time, then they could not affect what happens at the present time. Their existence can be ignored because it would have no observational consequences. One may say that time had a beginning at the big bang, in the sense that earlier times simply would not be defined. It should be emphasized that this beginning in time is very different from those that had been considered previously. In an unchanging universe a beginning in time is something that has to be imposed by some being outside the universe; there is no physical necessity for a beginning. One can imagine that God created the universe at literally any time in the past. On the other hand, if the universe is expanding, there may be physical reasons why there had to be a beginning. One could still imagine that God created the universe at the instant of the big bang, or even afterwards in just such a way as to make it look as though there had been a big bang, but it would be meaningless to suppose that it was created before the big bang. An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job!
A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988), 8-9.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ability (152)  |  All (4108)  |  Bang (29)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Big Bang (39)  |  Break (99)  |  Call (769)  |  Condition (356)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Consider (416)  |  Creator (91)  |  Different (577)  |  Down (456)  |  Event (216)  |  Existence (456)  |  Future (429)  |  God (757)  |  Happen (274)  |  Edwin Powell Hubble (20)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Instant (45)  |  Job (82)  |  Law (894)  |  Limit (280)  |  Literally (30)  |  Look (582)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observational (15)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outside (141)  |  Past (337)  |  Physical (508)  |  Present (619)  |  Reason (744)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sense (770)  |  Small (477)  |  Something (719)  |  Still (613)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  Why (491)

I confess that Fermat’s Theorem as an isolated proposition has very little interest for me, for a multitude of such theorems can easily be set up, which one could neither prove nor disprove. But I have been stimulated by it to bring our again several old ideas for a great extension of the theory of numbers. Of course, this theory belongs to the things where one cannot predict to what extent one will succeed in reaching obscurely hovering distant goals. A happy star must also rule, and my situation and so manifold distracting affairs of course do not permit me to pursue such meditations as in the happy years 1796-1798 when I created the principal topics of my Disquisitiones arithmeticae. But I am convinced that if good fortune should do more than I expect, and make me successful in some advances in that theory, even the Fermat theorem will appear in it only as one of the least interesting corollaries.
In reply to Olbers' attempt in 1816 to entice him to work on Fermat's Theorem. The hope Gauss expressed for his success was never realised.
Letter to Heinrich Olbers (21 Mar 1816). Quoted in G. Waldo Dunnington, Carl Friedrich Gauss: Titan of Science (2004), 413.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Advance (280)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Belong (162)  |  Confess (42)  |  Course (409)  |  Disprove (23)  |  Do (1908)  |  Expect (200)  |  Express (186)  |  Extension (59)  |  Extent (139)  |  Pierre de Fermat (15)  |  Fortune (49)  |  Goal (145)  |  Good (889)  |  Great (1574)  |  Happy (105)  |  Hope (299)  |  Hovering (5)  |  Idea (843)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Little (707)  |  Manifold (22)  |  Meditation (19)  |  More (2559)  |  Multitude (47)  |  Must (1526)  |  Never (1087)  |  Number (699)  |  Old (481)  |  Permit (58)  |  Principal (63)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Prove (250)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Reply (56)  |  Rule (294)  |  Set (394)  |  Situation (113)  |  Star (427)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Success (302)  |  Successful (123)  |  Theorem (112)  |  Theory (970)  |  Theory Of Numbers (7)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Topic (21)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

I consider that I understand an equation when I can predict the properties of its solutions, without actually solving it.
Quoted in F Wilczek, B Devine, Longing for the Harmonies.
Science quotes on:  |  Consider (416)  |  Equation (132)  |  Solution (267)  |  Solution. (53)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)

I did enjoy the [CCNY geology] field trips. We went upstate and clambered over formations of synclines and anticlines. We had to diagram them, and figure out their mirror images. If you had an anticline here, you should be able to predict a complementing syncline bulging out somewhere else. Very satisfying when I got it right. Geology allowed me to display my brilliance to my non-college friends. “You know, the Hudson really isn't a river.” “What are you talking about? … Everybody knows the Hudson River's a river.” I would explain that the Hudson was a “drowned” river, up to about Poughkeepsie. The Ice Age had depressed the riverbed to a depth that allowed the Atlantic Ocean to flood inland. Consequently, the lower Hudson was really a saltwater estuary.[Powell graduated with a B.S. degree in Geology.]
My American Journey (1996), 30-31.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Age (499)  |  Atlantic Ocean (7)  |  Autobiography (56)  |  Brilliance (13)  |  College (66)  |  Degree (276)  |  Depth (94)  |  Diagram (20)  |  Display (56)  |  Estuary (3)  |  Everybody (70)  |  Explain (322)  |  Field (364)  |  Figure (160)  |  Flood (50)  |  Formation (96)  |  Friend (168)  |  Geology (220)  |  Ice (54)  |  Ice Age (9)  |  Image (96)  |  Know (1518)  |  Mirror (41)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Right (452)  |  River (119)  |  Talking (76)

If it were possible for us to have so deep an insight into a man's character as shown both in inner and in outer actions, that every, even the least, incentive to these actions and all external occasions which affect them were so known to us that his future conduct could be predicted with as great a certainty as the occurrence of a solar or lunar eclipse, we could nevertheless still assert that the man is free.
Critique of Practical Reason (1788). In L. W. Beck (ed. & trans.), Critique of Practical Reason and Other Writings in Moral Philosophy (1949), 204-5.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Action (327)  |  All (4108)  |  Assert (66)  |  Both (493)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Character (243)  |  Conduct (69)  |  Deep (233)  |  Eclipse (23)  |  Free (232)  |  Future (429)  |  Great (1574)  |  Incentive (9)  |  Inner (71)  |  Insight (102)  |  Known (454)  |  Man (2251)  |  Nevertheless (90)  |  Occasion (85)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Possible (552)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Still (613)

If one of these people, in whom the chance-worship of our remoter ancestors thus strangely survives, should be within reach of the sea when a heavy gale is blowing, let him betake himself to the shore and watch the scene. Let him note the infinite variety of form and size of the tossing waves out at sea; or against the curves of their foam-crested breakers, as they dash against the rocks; let him listen to the roar and scream of the shingle as it is cast up and torn down the beach; or look at the flakes of foam as they drive hither and thither before the wind: or note the play of colours, which answers a gleam of sunshine as it falls upon their myriad bubbles. Surely here, if anywhere, he will say that chance is supreme, and bend the knee as one who has entered the very penetralia of his divinity. But the man of science knows that here, as everywhere, perfect order is manifested; that there is not a curve of the waves, not a note in the howling chorus, not a rainbow-glint on a bubble, which is other than a necessary consequence of the ascertained laws of nature; and that with a sufficient knowledge of the conditions, competent physico-mathematical skill could account for, and indeed predict, every one of these 'chance' events.
In 'On the Reception of the Origin of Species'. In Francis Darwin (ed.), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Including an Autobiographical Chapter (1888), Vol. 2, 200-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  Against (332)  |  Ancestor (60)  |  Answer (366)  |  Ascertain (38)  |  Beach (21)  |  Blowing (22)  |  Bubble (22)  |  Cast (66)  |  Chance (239)  |  Chorus (6)  |  Condition (356)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Curve (49)  |  Divinity (23)  |  Down (456)  |  Enter (141)  |  Event (216)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Fall (230)  |  Form (959)  |  Himself (461)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Listen (73)  |  Look (582)  |  Man (2251)  |  Myriad (31)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Rainbow (16)  |  Reach (281)  |  Rock (161)  |  Say (984)  |  Scene (36)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sea (308)  |  Skill (109)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Supreme (71)  |  Surely (101)  |  Survive (79)  |  Torn (17)  |  Variety (132)  |  Watch (109)  |  Wave (107)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wind (128)  |  Worship (32)

If there had been a computer in 1872 it would have predicted that by now there would be so many horse-drawn vehicles that the entire surface of the earth would be ten feet deep in horse manure.
Karl Kapp
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Computer (127)  |  Deep (233)  |  Earth (996)  |  Entire (47)  |  Foot (60)  |  Horse (74)  |  Manure (8)  |  Surface (209)  |  Surface Of The Earth (36)  |  Vehicle (11)

In both social and natural sciences, the body of positive knowledge grows by the failure of a tentative hypothesis to predict phenomena the hypothesis professes to explain; by the patching up of that hypothesis until someone suggests a new hypothesis that more elegantly or simply embodies the troublesome phenomena, and so on ad infinitum. In both, experiment is sometimes possible, sometimes not (witness meteorology). In both, no experiment is ever completely controlled, and experience often offers evidence that is the equivalent of controlled experiment. In both, there is no way to have a self-contained closed system or to avoid interaction between the observer and the observed. The Gödel theorem in mathematics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in physics, the self-fulfilling or self-defeating prophecy in the social sciences all exemplify these limitations.
Inflation and Unemployment (1976), 348.
Science quotes on:  |  Ad Infinitum (5)  |  All (4108)  |  Avoid (116)  |  Body (537)  |  Both (493)  |  Closed (38)  |  Completely (135)  |  Equivalent (45)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Experience (467)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Explain (322)  |  Failure (161)  |  Kurt Gödel (8)  |  Grow (238)  |  Werner Heisenberg (42)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Interaction (46)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Limitation (47)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Meteorology (33)  |  More (2559)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  New (1216)  |  Observed (149)  |  Offer (141)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Positive (94)  |  Possible (552)  |  Principle (507)  |  Prophecy (13)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Self (267)  |  Social (252)  |  Social Science (35)  |  System (537)  |  Tentative (16)  |  Theorem (112)  |  Uncertainty (56)  |  Uncertainty Principle (8)  |  Way (1217)  |  Witness (54)

In scientific thought we adopt the simplest theory which will explain all the facts under consideration and enable us to predict new facts of the same kind. The catch in this criterion lies in the world “simplest.” It is really an aesthetic canon such as we find implicit in our criticisms of poetry or painting. The layman finds such a law as dx/dt = κ(d²x/dy²) much less simple than “it oozes,” of which it is the mathematical statement. The physicist reverses this judgment, and his statement is certainly the more fruitful of the two, so far as prediction is concerned. It is, however, a statement about something very unfamiliar to the plain man, namely the rate of change of a rate of change.
In 'Science and Theology as Art-Forms', Possible Worlds (1927), 227.
Science quotes on:  |  Adopt (19)  |  Aesthetic (46)  |  All (4108)  |  Catch (31)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Change (593)  |  Concern (228)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Criterion (27)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Differential Equation (18)  |  Enable (119)  |  Explain (322)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Find (998)  |  Fruitful (58)  |  Implicit (12)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Kind (557)  |  Law (894)  |  Layman (21)  |  Lie (364)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1216)  |  Ooze (2)  |  Painting (44)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Reverse (33)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Thought (17)  |  Simple (406)  |  Simplest (10)  |  Something (719)  |  Statement (142)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thought (953)  |  Two (937)  |  Unfamiliar (16)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

In the next twenty centuries … humanity may begin to understand its most baffling mystery—where are we going? The earth is, in fact, traveling many thousands of miles per hour in the direction of the constellation Hercules—to some unknown destination in the cosmos. Man must understand his universe in order to understand his destiny. Mystery, however, is a very necessary ingredient in our lives. Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis for man’s desire to understand. Who knows what mysteries will be solved in our lifetime, and what new riddles will become the challenge of the new generation? Science has not mastered prophesy. We predict too much for the next year yet far too little for the next ten. Responding to challenges is one of democracy’s great strengths. Our successes in space can be used in the next decade in the solution of many of our planet’s problems.
In a speech to a Joint Meeting of the Two Houses of Congress to Receive the Apollo 11 Astronauts (16 Sep 1969), in the Congressional Record.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Baffling (5)  |  Basis (173)  |  Become (815)  |  Begin (260)  |  Century (310)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Constellation (17)  |  Cosmos (63)  |  Create (235)  |  Decade (59)  |  Democracy (33)  |  Desire (204)  |  Destination (14)  |  Destiny (50)  |  Direction (175)  |  Earth (996)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Generation (242)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hercules (9)  |  Hour (186)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Ingredient (15)  |  Know (1518)  |  Life (1795)  |  Lifetime (31)  |  Little (707)  |  Live (628)  |  Man (2251)  |  Master (178)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Necessary (363)  |  New (1216)  |  Next (236)  |  Order (632)  |  Planet (356)  |  Problem (676)  |  Prophesy (10)  |  Respond (12)  |  Riddle (28)  |  Science (3879)  |  Solution (267)  |  Solve (130)  |  Space (500)  |  Strength (126)  |  Success (302)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Travel (114)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Year (933)

It is a test of true theories not only to account for but to predict phenomena.
Aphorism 12, 'Aphorisms Concerning Science', The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840), Vol. 1, xxxvi.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Test (211)  |  Theory (970)  |  True (212)

It is as if Cleopatra fell off her barge in 40 BC and hasn't hit the water yet.
[Illustrating how strange the behaviour of kaon particles, when first found in cosmic rays, which lived without predicted decay for a surprisingly long time—seemingly postponed a million billion times longer than early theory expected.]
Anonymous
In Frank Close, Michael Marten, Christine Sutton, The Particle Odyssey: a Journey to the Heart of the Matter (2004),75.
Science quotes on:  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Billion (95)  |  Cosmic (72)  |  Cosmic Ray (7)  |  Decay (53)  |  Early (185)  |  Expect (200)  |  Fall (230)  |  First (1283)  |  Long (790)  |  Particle (194)  |  Ray (114)  |  Seemingly (28)  |  Strange (157)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Water (481)

It is never possible to predict a physical occurrence with unlimited precision.
In 'The Meaning of Causality in Physics' (1953), collected in Max Planck and Frank Gaynor (trans.), Scientific Autobiography: and Other Papers (1949, 2007), 124.
Science quotes on:  |  Never (1087)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Physical (508)  |  Possible (552)  |  Precision (68)  |  Probability (130)  |  Unlimited (22)

It is quite possible that mathematics was invented in the ancient Middle East to keep track of tax receipts and grain stores. How odd that out of this should come a subtle scientific language that can effectively describe and predict the most arcane aspects of the Universe.
Epigraph in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 265.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (189)  |  Arcane (4)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Describe (128)  |  Grain (50)  |  Invent (51)  |  Language (293)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Middle East (3)  |  Most (1731)  |  Possible (552)  |  Science And Mathematics (10)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Store (48)  |  Tax (26)  |  Track (38)  |  Universe (857)

It may be said of some very old places, as of some very old books, that they are destined to be forever new. The nearer we approach them, the more remote they seem: the more we study them, the more we have yet to learn. Time augments rather than diminishes their everlasting novelty; and to our descendants of a thousand years hence it may safely be predicted that they will be even more fascinating than to ourselves. This is true of many ancient lands, but of no place is it so true as of Egypt.
Opening remark in Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers (1891), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (189)  |  Approach (108)  |  Augment (12)  |  Book (392)  |  Descendant (17)  |  Destined (42)  |  Diminish (17)  |  Egypt (29)  |  Everlasting (8)  |  Fascinating (37)  |  Forever (103)  |  Land (115)  |  Learn (629)  |  More (2559)  |  Nearer (45)  |  New (1216)  |  Novelty (29)  |  Old (481)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Place (177)  |  Remote (83)  |  Seem (145)  |  Study (653)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Time (1877)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

It would seem at first sight as if the rapid expansion of the region of mathematics must be a source of danger to its future progress. Not only does the area widen but the subjects of study increase rapidly in number, and the work of the mathematician tends to become more and more specialized. It is, of course, merely a brilliant exaggeration to say that no mathematician is able to understand the work of any other mathematician, but it is certainly true that it is daily becoming more and more difficult for a mathematician to keep himself acquainted, even in a general way, with the progress of any of the branches of mathematics except those which form the field of his own labours. I believe, however, that the increasing extent of the territory of mathematics will always be counteracted by increased facilities in the means of communication. Additional knowledge opens to us new principles and methods which may conduct us with the greatest ease to results which previously were most difficult of access; and improvements in notation may exercise the most powerful effects both in the simplification and accessibility of a subject. It rests with the worker in mathematics not only to explore new truths, but to devise the language by which they may be discovered and expressed; and the genius of a great mathematician displays itself no less in the notation he invents for deciphering his subject than in the results attained. … I have great faith in the power of well-chosen notation to simplify complicated theories and to bring remote ones near and I think it is safe to predict that the increased knowledge of principles and the resulting improvements in the symbolic language of mathematics will always enable us to grapple satisfactorily with the difficulties arising from the mere extent of the subject.
In Presidential Address British Association for the Advancement of Science, Section A., (1890), Nature, 42, 466.
Science quotes on:  |  Access (20)  |  Accessibility (3)  |  Acquaint (9)  |  Additional (6)  |  Area (31)  |  Arise (158)  |  Arising (22)  |  Attain (125)  |  Become (815)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Belief (578)  |  Both (493)  |  Branch (150)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Bring (90)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Chosen (48)  |  Communication (94)  |  Complicated (115)  |  Conduct (69)  |  Counteract (4)  |  Course (409)  |  Daily (87)  |  Danger (115)  |  Decipher (7)  |  Devise (14)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Discover (553)  |  Display (56)  |  Ease (35)  |  Effect (393)  |  Enable (119)  |  Exaggeration (15)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Expansion (41)  |  Exploration (134)  |  Express (186)  |  Extent (139)  |  Facility (11)  |  Faith (203)  |  Field (364)  |  First (1283)  |  First Sight (6)  |  Form (959)  |  Future (429)  |  General (511)  |  Genius (284)  |  Grapple (10)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Himself (461)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Increase (210)  |  Invent (51)  |  Keep (101)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Labour (98)  |  Language (293)  |  Less (103)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mere (84)  |  Merely (316)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  New (1216)  |  Notation (27)  |  Number (699)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Open (274)  |  Other (2236)  |  Power (746)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Previously (11)  |  Principle (507)  |  Progress (465)  |  Rapid (33)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Region (36)  |  Remote (83)  |  Rest (280)  |  Result (677)  |  Safe (54)  |  Satisfactory (17)  |  Say (984)  |  Seem (145)  |  Sight (132)  |  Simplification (20)  |  Simplify (13)  |  Source (93)  |  Specialized (8)  |  Study (653)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (61)  |  Subject (521)  |  Symbolic (15)  |  Tend (124)  |  Territory (24)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  True (212)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understand (606)  |  Way (1217)  |  Well-Chosen (2)  |  Widen (10)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  Worker (31)

Mathematicians … believed that prediction was just a function of keeping track of things. If you knew enough, you could predict anything. … Chaos theory throws it right out the window because … in fact there are great categories of phenomena that are inherently unpredictable.
In novel, Jurassic Park (1990, 1991), 158.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (578)  |  Chaos (91)  |  Chaos Theory (4)  |  Enough (340)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Function (228)  |  Great (1574)  |  Inherently (5)  |  Know (1518)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Right (452)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Track (38)  |  Unpredictable (17)  |  Window (58)

My colleagues in elementary particle theory in many lands [and I] are driven by the usual insatiable curiosity of the scientist, and our work is a delightful game. I am frequently astonished that it so often results in correct predictions of experimental results. How can it be that writing down a few simple and elegant formulae, like short poems governed by strict rules such as those of the sonnet or the waka, can predict universal regularities of Nature?
Nobel Banquet Speech (10 Dec 1969), in Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.),Les Prix Nobel en 1969 (1970).
Science quotes on:  |  Astonish (37)  |  Astonishment (30)  |  Colleague (50)  |  Correctness (12)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Delight (108)  |  Delightful (17)  |  Down (456)  |  Drive (55)  |  Elegance (37)  |  Elegant (36)  |  Elementary (96)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Formula (98)  |  Frequently (21)  |  Game (101)  |  Govern (64)  |  Government (110)  |  Insatiable (7)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Particle (194)  |  Particle Physics (13)  |  Poem (96)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Regularity (40)  |  Result (677)  |  Rule (294)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Short (197)  |  Simple (406)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Sonnet (4)  |  Strict (17)  |  Theory (970)  |  Universal (189)  |  Universality (22)  |  Work (1351)  |  Writing (189)

Notwithstanding, therefore, that we have not witnessed of a large continent, yet, as we may predict the future occurrence of such catastrophes, we are authorized to regard them as part of the present order of Nature.
Principles of Geology (1837), Vol. 1, 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Catastrophe (31)  |  Continent (76)  |  Deluge (14)  |  Devastation (6)  |  Future (429)  |  Geology (220)  |  Large (394)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Order (632)  |  Present (619)  |  Regard (305)  |  Science (3879)  |  Witness (54)

Ohm found that the results could be summed up in such a simple law that he who runs may read it, and a schoolboy now can predict what a Faraday then could only guess at roughly. By Ohm's discovery a large part of the domain of electricity became annexed by Coulomb's discovery of the law of inverse squares, and completely annexed by Green's investigations. Poisson attacked the difficult problem of induced magnetisation, and his results, though differently expressed, are still the theory, as a most important first approximation. Ampere brought a multitude of phenomena into theory by his investigations of the mechanical forces between conductors supporting currents and magnets. Then there were the remarkable researches of Faraday, the prince of experimentalists, on electrostatics and electrodynamics and the induction of currents. These were rather long in being brought from the crude experimental state to a compact system, expressing the real essence. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Faraday was not a mathematician. It can scarely be doubted that had he been one, he would have anticipated much later work. He would, for instance, knowing Ampere's theory, by his own results have readily been led to Neumann’s theory, and the connected work of Helmholtz and Thomson. But it is perhaps too much to expect a man to be both the prince of experimentalists and a competent mathematician.
From article 'Electro-magnetic Theory II', in The Electrician (16 Jan 1891), 26, No. 661, 331.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  André-Marie Ampère (11)  |  Approximation (31)  |  Attack (84)  |  Being (1278)  |  Both (493)  |  Compact (13)  |  Completely (135)  |  Conductor (16)  |  Connect (125)  |  Charles-Augustin Coulomb (3)  |  Crude (31)  |  Current (118)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Domain (69)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Electrodynamics (10)  |  Electromagnetism (18)  |  Electrostatic (7)  |  Electrostatics (6)  |  Essence (82)  |  Expect (200)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Experimentalist (20)  |  Express (186)  |  Michael Faraday (85)  |  First (1283)  |  Force (487)  |  Green (63)  |  Guess (61)  |  Hermann von Helmholtz (28)  |  Induction (77)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Large (394)  |  Law (894)  |  Long (790)  |  Magnet (20)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Most (1731)  |  Multitude (47)  |  Ohm (5)  |  Georg Simon Ohm (3)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Siméon-Denis Poisson (7)  |  Problem (676)  |  Read (287)  |  Result (677)  |  Run (174)  |  Simple (406)  |  Square (70)  |  State (491)  |  Still (613)  |  System (537)  |  Theory (970)  |  Sir J.J. Thomson (18)  |  Unfortunately (38)  |  Work (1351)

On a perfect planet such as might be acceptable to a physicist, one might predict that from its origin the diversity of life would grow exponentially until the carrying capacity, however defined, was reached. The fossil record on Earth, however, tells a very different story.
In 'The Evolution of Diversity in AAncient Ecosystems: a Review', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (28 Feb 1998), 353, No. 1366, 327.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptable (13)  |  Capacity (100)  |  Carrying capacity (3)  |  Different (577)  |  Diversity (73)  |  Earth (996)  |  Exponential (3)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Fossil Record (10)  |  Grow (238)  |  Life (1795)  |  Origin (239)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Planet (356)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Reach (281)  |  Record (154)  |  Story (118)  |  Tell (340)

One-story intellects, two-story intellects, three-story intellects with skylights. All fact-collectors, who have no aim beyond their facts, are one-story men. Two-story men compare, reason, generalize, using the labors of the fact-collectors as well as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, predict; their best illumination comes from above, through the skylight. There are minds with large ground-floors, that can store an infinite amount of knowledge; some librarians, for instance, who know enough of books to help other people, without being able to make much other use of their knowledge, have intellects of this class. Your great working lawyer has two spacious stories; his mind is clear, because his mental floors are large, and he has room to arrange his thoughts so that lie can get at them,—facts below, principles above, and all in ordered series; poets are often narrow below, incapable of clear statement, and with small power of consecutive reasoning, but full of light, if sometimes rather bare of furniture, in the attics.
The Poet at the Breakfast Table (1883), 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (165)  |  All (4108)  |  Amount (151)  |  Arrange (30)  |  Bare (33)  |  Being (1278)  |  Best (459)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Book (392)  |  Class (164)  |  Collector (9)  |  Compare (69)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Enough (340)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Furniture (8)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Generalize (19)  |  Great (1574)  |  Ground (217)  |  Idealization (3)  |  Illumination (15)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Incapable (40)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Labor (107)  |  Large (394)  |  Lawyer (27)  |  Librarian (2)  |  Lie (364)  |  Light (607)  |  Mental (177)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Narrow (84)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Poet (83)  |  Power (746)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Principle (507)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Series (149)  |  Small (477)  |  Statement (142)  |  Store (48)  |  Story (118)  |  Thought (953)  |  Through (849)  |  Two (937)  |  Use (766)

Philosophers have said that if the same circumstances don't always produce the same results, predictions are impossible and science will collapse. Here is a circumstance—identical photons are always coming down in the same direction to the piece of glass—that produces different results. We cannot predict whether a given photon will arrive at A or B. All we can predict is that out of 100 photons that come down, an average of 4 will be reflected by the front surface. Does this mean that physics, a science of great exactitude, has been reduced to calculating only the probability of an event, and not predicting exactly what will happen? Yes. That's a retreat, but that's the way it is: Nature permits us to calculate only probabilities. Yet science has not collapsed.
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (1985), 19.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Average (82)  |  Calculate (54)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Circumstances (108)  |  Coming (114)  |  Different (577)  |  Direction (175)  |  Down (456)  |  Event (216)  |  Exactitude (10)  |  Glass (92)  |  Great (1574)  |  Happen (274)  |  Identical (53)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Mean (809)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Permit (58)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Photon (11)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Probability (130)  |  Result (677)  |  Science (3879)  |  Surface (209)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)

Placed in a universe of constant change, on an isolated globe surrounded by distant celestial objects on all sides, subjected to influences of various kinds, it is a sublime occupation to measure the earth and weigh the planets, to predict their changes, and even to discover the materials of which they are composed; to investigate the causes of the tempest and volcano; to bring the lightning from the clouds; to submit it to experiment by which it shall reveal its character; and to estimate the size and weight of those invisible atoms which constitute the universe of things.
In Letter (3 Feb 1873) to the Committee of Arrangements, in Proceedings of the Farewell Banquet to Professor Tyndall (4 Feb 1873), 19. Reprinted as 'On the Importance of the Cultivation of Science', The Popular Science Monthly (1873), Vol. 2, 645.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Atom (355)  |  Cause (541)  |  Celestial (53)  |  Change (593)  |  Character (243)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Composition (84)  |  Constant (144)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Discover (553)  |  Earth (996)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Globe (47)  |  Influence (222)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Invisible (63)  |  Isolated (14)  |  Kind (557)  |  Lightning (45)  |  Material (353)  |  Measure (232)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Object (422)  |  Occupation (48)  |  Planet (356)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Side (233)  |  Star (427)  |  Subject (521)  |  Sublime (46)  |  Tempest (6)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Universe (857)  |  Various (200)  |  Volcano (39)  |  Weigh (49)  |  Weight (134)

Science is the construction of parsimonious, internally consistent models that can reliably predict future observations.
As quoted in Mark Buchanan, 'Thesis: Madness in the Method', Nature Physics (1 Feb 2009), 5, No. 2, 83.
Science quotes on:  |  Consistent (48)  |  Construction (112)  |  Future (429)  |  Internal (66)  |  Model (102)  |  Observation (555)  |  Parsimonious (3)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Reliable (12)  |  Science (3879)

Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in.
[Answer to question: You've said there is no reason to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper. Is our existence all down to luck?]
'Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven; it's a fairy story"', interview in newspaper The Guardian (15 May 2011).
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Answer (366)  |  Chance (239)  |  Creation (327)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Down (456)  |  Existence (456)  |  God (757)  |  Kind (557)  |  Light (607)  |  Luck (42)  |  Matter (798)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Question (621)  |  Reason (744)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Spontaneity (5)  |  Universe (857)  |  Which (2)  |  Will (2355)

Some of my cousins who had the great advantage of University education used to tease me with arguments to prove that nothing has any existence except what we think of it. … These amusing mental acrobatics are all right to play with. They are perfectly harmless and perfectly useless. ... I always rested on the following argument. … We look up to the sky and see the sun. Our eyes are dazzled and our senses record the fact. So here is this great sun standing apparently on no better foundation than our physical senses. But happily there is a method, apart altogether from our physical senses, of testing the reality of the sun. It is by mathematics. By means of prolonged processes of mathematics, entirely separate from the senses, astronomers are able to calculate when an eclipse will occur. They predict by pure reason that a black spot will pass across the sun on a certain day. You go and look, and your sense of sight immediately tells you that their calculations are vindicated. So here you have the evidence of the senses reinforced by the entirely separate evidence of a vast independent process of mathematical reasoning. We have taken what is called in military map-making “a cross bearing.” When my metaphysical friends tell me that the data on which the astronomers made their calculations, were necessarily obtained originally through the evidence of the senses, I say, “no.” They might, in theory at any rate, be obtained by automatic calculating-machines set in motion by the light falling upon them without admixture of the human senses at any stage. When it is persisted that we should have to be told about the calculations and use our ears for that purpose, I reply that the mathematical process has a reality and virtue in itself, and that onie discovered it constitutes a new and independent factor. I am also at this point accustomed to reaffirm with emphasis my conviction that the sun is real, and also that it is hot— in fact hot as Hell, and that if the metaphysicians doubt it they should go there and see.
In My Early Life (1930).
Science quotes on:  |  Accustom (52)  |  Accustomed (46)  |  Advantage (134)  |  All (4108)  |  Argument (138)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Better (486)  |  Calculate (54)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Call (769)  |  Certain (550)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Conviction (97)  |  Cousin (12)  |  Data (156)  |  Discover (553)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Ear (68)  |  Eclipse (23)  |  Education (378)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Existence (456)  |  Eye (419)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Foundation (171)  |  Friend (168)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hot (60)  |  Human (1468)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Light (607)  |  Look (582)  |  Machine (257)  |  Making (300)  |  Map (44)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mental (177)  |  Metaphysical (38)  |  Method (505)  |  Military (40)  |  Motion (310)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  New (1216)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Occur (150)  |  Pass (238)  |  Physical (508)  |  Point (580)  |  Process (423)  |  Prolong (29)  |  Prove (250)  |  Pure (291)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reality (261)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Record (154)  |  Reply (56)  |  Rest (280)  |  Right (452)  |  Say (984)  |  See (1081)  |  Sense (770)  |  Separate (143)  |  Set (394)  |  Sight (132)  |  Sky (161)  |  Stage (143)  |  Sun (385)  |  Tell (340)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  Through (849)  |  University (121)  |  Use (766)  |  Vast (177)  |  Virtue (109)  |  Will (2355)

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Quoted in Financial Times (1 Nov1982).
Science quotes on:  |  Best (459)  |  Future (429)  |  Invention (369)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Way (1217)

The difficulties connected with my criterion of demarcation (D) are important, but must not be exaggerated. It is vague, since it is a methodological rule, and since the demarcation between science and nonscience is vague. But it is more than sharp enough to make a distinction between many physical theories on the one hand, and metaphysical theories, such as psychoanalysis, or Marxism (in its present form), on the other. This is, of course, one of my main theses; and nobody who has not understood it can be said to have understood my theory.
The situation with Marxism is, incidentally, very different from that with psychoanalysis. Marxism was once a scientific theory: it predicted that capitalism would lead to increasing misery and, through a more or less mild revolution, to socialism; it predicted that this would happen first in the technically highest developed countries; and it predicted that the technical evolution of the 'means of production' would lead to social, political, and ideological developments, rather than the other way round.
But the (so-called) socialist revolution came first in one of the technically backward countries. And instead of the means of production producing a new ideology, it was Lenin's and Stalin's ideology that Russia must push forward with its industrialization ('Socialism is dictatorship of the proletariat plus electrification') which promoted the new development of the means of production.
Thus one might say that Marxism was once a science, but one which was refuted by some of the facts which happened to clash with its predictions (I have here mentioned just a few of these facts).
However, Marxism is no longer a science; for it broke the methodological rule that we must accept falsification, and it immunized itself against the most blatant refutations of its predictions. Ever since then, it can be described only as nonscience—as a metaphysical dream, if you like, married to a cruel reality.
Psychoanalysis is a very different case. It is an interesting psychological metaphysics (and no doubt there is some truth in it, as there is so often in metaphysical ideas), but it never was a science. There may be lots of people who are Freudian or Adlerian cases: Freud himself was clearly a Freudian case, and Adler an Adlerian case. But what prevents their theories from being scientific in the sense here described is, very simply, that they do not exclude any physically possible human behaviour. Whatever anybody may do is, in principle, explicable in Freudian or Adlerian terms. (Adler's break with Freud was more Adlerian than Freudian, but Freud never looked on it as a refutation of his theory.)
The point is very clear. Neither Freud nor Adler excludes any particular person's acting in any particular way, whatever the outward circumstances. Whether a man sacrificed his life to rescue a drowning, child (a case of sublimation) or whether he murdered the child by drowning him (a case of repression) could not possibly be predicted or excluded by Freud's theory; the theory was compatible with everything that could happen—even without any special immunization treatment.
Thus while Marxism became non-scientific by its adoption of an immunizing strategy, psychoanalysis was immune to start with, and remained so. In contrast, most physical theories are pretty free of immunizing tactics and highly falsifiable to start with. As a rule, they exclude an infinity of conceivable possibilities.
'The Problem of Demarcation' (1974). Collected in David Miller (ed.) Popper Selections (1985), 127-128.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accept (191)  |  Alfred Adler (3)  |  Against (332)  |  Anybody (42)  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Being (1278)  |  Blatant (3)  |  Break (99)  |  Call (769)  |  Capitalism (10)  |  Child (307)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Circumstances (108)  |  Conceivable (28)  |  Connect (125)  |  Contrast (44)  |  Course (409)  |  Criterion (27)  |  Cruel (25)  |  Develop (268)  |  Development (422)  |  Different (577)  |  Distinction (72)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Dream (208)  |  Enough (340)  |  Everything (476)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Falsification (10)  |  First (1283)  |  Form (959)  |  Forward (102)  |  Free (232)  |  Sigmund Freud (69)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happened (88)  |  Himself (461)  |  Human (1468)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ideology (14)  |  Immunization (2)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Lead (384)  |  Life (1795)  |  Look (582)  |  Lot (151)  |  Man (2251)  |  Marxism (3)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mention (82)  |  Metaphysical (38)  |  Metaphysics (50)  |  Methodology (12)  |  Mild (7)  |  Misery (30)  |  More (2559)  |  More Or Less (68)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Never (1087)  |  New (1216)  |  Nobody (104)  |  Non-Science (2)  |  Non-Scientific (7)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Person (363)  |  Physical (508)  |  Plus (43)  |  Point (580)  |  Political (121)  |  Possible (552)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Present (619)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Principle (507)  |  Production (183)  |  Psychoanalysis (37)  |  Psychological (42)  |  Push (62)  |  Reality (261)  |  Refutation (12)  |  Remain (349)  |  Rescue (13)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Rule (294)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Theory (24)  |  Sense (770)  |  Situation (113)  |  So-Called (71)  |  Social (252)  |  Special (184)  |  Start (221)  |  Strategy (13)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Theory (970)  |  Through (849)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understood (156)  |  Vague (47)  |  Way (1217)  |  Whatever (234)

The doctrine called Philosophical Necessity is simply this: that, given the motives which are present to an individual’s mind, and given likewise the character and disposition of the individual, the manner in which he will act might be unerringly inferred: that if we knew the person thoroughly, and knew all the inducements which are acting upon him, we could foretell his conduct with as much certainty as we can predict any physical event.
A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive (1858), 522.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Act (272)  |  All (4108)  |  Call (769)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Character (243)  |  Conduct (69)  |  Disposition (42)  |  Event (216)  |  Foretell (11)  |  Individual (404)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Motive (59)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Person (363)  |  Physical (508)  |  Present (619)  |  Thoroughly (67)  |  Will (2355)

The dogma of the impossibility of determining the atomic constitution of substances, which until recently was advocated with such fervor by the most able chemists, is beginning to be abandoned and forgotten; and one can predict that the day is not far in the future when a sufficient collection of facts will permit determination of the internal architecture of molecules. A series of experiments directed toward such a goal is the object of this paper.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Architecture (48)  |  Atom (355)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Collection (64)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Determination (78)  |  Direct (225)  |  Dogma (48)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fervor (7)  |  Forgotten (53)  |  Future (429)  |  Goal (145)  |  Impossibility (61)  |  Internal (66)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Most (1731)  |  Object (422)  |  Paper (182)  |  Permit (58)  |  Series (149)  |  Substance (248)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Will (2355)

The faculty of art is to change events; the faculty of science is to foresee them. The phenomena with which we deal are controlled by art; they are predicted by science.
'The Influence of Women on the Progress of Knowledge,', a discourse delivered at the Royal Institution (19 Mar 1858) reprinted from Fraser's Magazine (Apr 1858) in The Miscellaneous and Posthumous Works of Henry Thomas Buckle (1872), Vol. 1, 4. Quoted in James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 426:46.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Change (593)  |  Deal (188)  |  Event (216)  |  Foresee (19)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Art (184)

The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Function (228)  |  Future (429)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science Fiction (31)  |  Sometimes (45)

The generalized theory of relativity has furnished still more remarkable results. This considers not only uniform but also accelerated motion. In particular, it is based on the impossibility of distinguishing an acceleration from the gravitation or other force which produces it. Three consequences of the theory may be mentioned of which two have been confirmed while the third is still on trial: (1) It gives a correct explanation of the residual motion of forty-three seconds of arc per century of the perihelion of Mercury. (2) It predicts the deviation which a ray of light from a star should experience on passing near a large gravitating body, the sun, namely, 1".7. On Newton's corpuscular theory this should be only half as great. As a result of the measurements of the photographs of the eclipse of 1921 the number found was much nearer to the prediction of Einstein, and was inversely proportional to the distance from the center of the sun, in further confirmation of the theory. (3) The theory predicts a displacement of the solar spectral lines, and it seems that this prediction is also verified.
Studies in Optics (1927), 160-1.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Acceleration (12)  |  Arc (12)  |  Body (537)  |  Century (310)  |  Confirm (57)  |  Confirmation (22)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Consider (416)  |  Corpuscle (13)  |  Deviation (17)  |  Displacement (9)  |  Distance (161)  |  Eclipse (23)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Experience (467)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Force (487)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Gravitation (70)  |  Great (1574)  |  Impossibility (61)  |  Inversely Proportional (7)  |  Large (394)  |  Light (607)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Mention (82)  |  Mercury (49)  |  More (2559)  |  Motion (310)  |  Nearer (45)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Number (699)  |  Other (2236)  |  Passing (76)  |  Photograph (19)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Ray (114)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Residual (5)  |  Result (677)  |  Spectral Line (5)  |  Star (427)  |  Still (613)  |  Sun (385)  |  Theory (970)  |  Theory Of Relativity (33)  |  Trial (57)  |  Two (937)

The hypotheses which we accept ought to explain phenomena which we have observed. But they ought to do more than this; our hypotheses ought to foretell phenomena which have not yet been observed; ... because if the rule prevails, it includes all cases; and will determine them all, if we can only calculate its real consequences. Hence it will predict the results of new combinations, as well as explain the appearances which have occurred in old ones. And that it does this with certainty and correctness, is one mode in which the hypothesis is to be verified as right and useful.
Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1847), Vol. 2, 62-63.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  Acceptance (52)  |  All (4108)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Calculate (54)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Combination (144)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Correctness (12)  |  Determine (144)  |  Do (1908)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Foretell (11)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Include (90)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1216)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observed (149)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Old (481)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Prevail (46)  |  Result (677)  |  Right (452)  |  Rule (294)  |  Useful (250)  |  Will (2355)

The importance of group theory was emphasized very recently when some physicists using group theory predicted the existence of a particle that had never been observed before, and described the properties it should have. Later experiments proved that this particle really exists and has those properties.
Groups in the New Mathematics (1967), 7. Quoted in Rosemary Schmalz, Out of the Mouths of Mathematicians: A Quotation Book for Philomaths (1993), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Exist (443)  |  Existence (456)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Group Theory (5)  |  Importance (286)  |  Never (1087)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observed (149)  |  Particle (194)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Property (168)  |  Theory (970)

The incomplete knowledge of a system must be an essential part of every formulation in quantum theory. Quantum theoretical laws must be of a statistical kind. To give an example: we know that the radium atom emits alpha-radiation. Quantum theory can give us an indication of the probability that the alpha-particle will leave the nucleus in unit time, but it cannot predict at what precise point in time the emission will occur, for this is uncertain in principle.
The Physicist's Conception of Nature (1958), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Alpha Particle (5)  |  Atom (355)  |  Emit (15)  |  Essential (199)  |  Formulation (36)  |  Incomplete (30)  |  Indication (33)  |  Kind (557)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nucleus (49)  |  Occur (150)  |  Particle (194)  |  Point (580)  |  Precise (68)  |  Principle (507)  |  Probability (130)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Physics (18)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Radiation (44)  |  Radioactivity (30)  |  Radium (25)  |  System (537)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Uncertain (44)  |  Uncertainty (56)  |  Will (2355)

The inherent unpredictability of future scientific developments—the fact that no secure inference can be drawn from one state of science to another—has important implications for the issue of the limits of science. It means that present-day science cannot speak for future science: it is in principle impossible to make any secure inferences from the substance of science at one time about its substance at a significantly different time. The prospect of future scientific revolutions can never be precluded. We cannot say with unblinking confidence what sorts of resources and conceptions the science of the future will or will not use. Given that it is effectively impossible to predict the details of what future science will accomplish, it is no less impossible to predict in detail what future science will not accomplish. We can never confidently put this or that range of issues outside “the limits of science”, because we cannot discern the shape and substance of future science with sufficient clarity to be able to say with any assurance what it can and cannot do. Any attempt to set “limits” to science—any advance specification of what science can and cannot do by way of handling problems and solving questions—is destined to come to grief.
The Limits of Science (1984), 102-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (93)  |  Advance (280)  |  Assurance (17)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Clarity (47)  |  Conception (154)  |  Confidence (69)  |  Destined (42)  |  Detail (146)  |  Development (422)  |  Different (577)  |  Discern (33)  |  Discerning (16)  |  Do (1908)  |  Effectiveness (12)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Future (429)  |  Grief (18)  |  Handling (7)  |  Implication (23)  |  Importance (286)  |  Impossibility (61)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Inference (45)  |  Inherent (42)  |  Issue (42)  |  Limit (280)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Never (1087)  |  Outside (141)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Present (619)  |  Principle (507)  |  Problem (676)  |  Prospect (30)  |  Question (621)  |  Range (99)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Revolution (12)  |  Security (47)  |  Set (394)  |  Shape (72)  |  Speak (232)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Specification (7)  |  State (491)  |  Substance (248)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Time (1877)  |  Unpredictability (7)  |  Use (766)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)

The mind can quickly scan not only the past, but also the projected future consequences of a choice. Its dynamics transcend the time and space of brain physiology.
From interview collected in Pamela Weintraub (ed.), The Omni Interviews (1984), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (270)  |  Choice (110)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Dynamics (9)  |  Future (429)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Past (337)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Project (73)  |  Scan (3)  |  Space (500)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time And Space (39)  |  Transcend (26)

The most fundamental difference between compounds of low molecular weight and macromolecular compounds resides in the fact that the latter may exhibit properties that cannot be deduced from a close examination of the low molecular weight materials. Not very different structures can be obtained from a few building blocks; but if 10,000 or 100,000 blocks are at hand, the most varied structures become possible, such as houses or halls, whose special structure cannot be predicted from the constructions that are possible with only a few building blocks... Thus, a chromosome can be viewed as a material whose macromolecules possess a well defined arrangement, like a living room in which each piece of furniture has its place and not, as in a warehouse, where the pieces of furniture are placed together in a heap without design.
Quoted, without citation, in Ralph E. Oesper (ed.), The Human Side of Scientists (1975), 175.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (91)  |  Become (815)  |  Building (156)  |  Building Block (8)  |  Chromosome (23)  |  Compound (113)  |  Construction (112)  |  Deduction (82)  |  Design (195)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Examination (98)  |  Exhibit (20)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Furniture (8)  |  Hall (5)  |  House (140)  |  Living (491)  |  Living Room (3)  |  Low (80)  |  Macromolecule (3)  |  Material (353)  |  Most (1731)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Place (177)  |  Possess (156)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Possible (552)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Property (168)  |  Reside (25)  |  Special (184)  |  Structure (344)  |  Together (387)  |  Varied (6)  |  View (488)  |  Weight (134)

The nineteenth century will ever be known as the one in which the influences of science were first fully realised in civilised communities; the scientific progress was so gigantic that it seems rash to predict that any of its successors can be more important in the life of any nation.
From Inaugural Address as President of the British Association, published Nature (10 Sep 1903),439. (Lockyer was editor of the journal at the time.)
Science quotes on:  |  19th Century (33)  |  Century (310)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Community (104)  |  First (1283)  |  Gigantic (40)  |  Important (209)  |  Influence (222)  |  Known (454)  |  Life (1795)  |  More (2559)  |  Nation (193)  |  Progress (465)  |  Rash (14)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Progress (14)  |  Successor (14)  |  Will (2355)

The notion of evolution predicts the nested pattern of relationships we find in the living world; supernatural creation, on the other hand, predicts nothing. It is concepts of this latter kind that are truly untestable.
In The Monkey in the Mirror: Essays on the Science of What Makes Us Human (2003), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Concept (221)  |  Creation (327)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Find (998)  |  Kind (557)  |  Living (491)  |  Nest (23)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Notion (113)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Supernatural (25)  |  Truly (116)  |  World (1774)

The trick in discovering evolutionary laws is the same as it is in discovering laws of physics or chemistry—namely, finding the right level of generalization to make prediction possible. We do not try to find a law that says when and where explosions will occur. We content ourselves with saying that certain sorts of compounds are explosive under the right conditions, and we predict that explosions will occur whenever those conditions are realized.
In 'Paleoanthropology: Science or Mythical Charter?', Journal of Anthropological Research (Summer 2002), 58, No. 2, 193.
Science quotes on:  |  Certain (550)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Compound (113)  |  Condition (356)  |  Contentment (11)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Do (1908)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Explosion (44)  |  Explosive (23)  |  Find (998)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Law (894)  |  Level (67)  |  Occur (150)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Possible (552)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Realization (43)  |  Right (452)  |  Say (984)  |  Trick (35)  |  Try (283)  |  Whenever (81)  |  Will (2355)

The value of mathematical instruction as a preparation for those more difficult investigations, consists in the applicability not of its doctrines but of its methods. Mathematics will ever remain the past perfect type of the deductive method in general; and the applications of mathematics to the simpler branches of physics furnish the only school in which philosophers can effectually learn the most difficult and important of their art, the employment of the laws of simpler phenomena for explaining and predicting those of the more complex. These grounds are quite sufficient for deeming mathematical training an indispensable basis of real scientific education, and regarding with Plato, one who is … as wanting in one of the most essential qualifications for the successful cultivation of the higher branches of philosophy
In System of Logic, Bk. 3, chap. 24, sect. 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Applicability (6)  |  Application (242)  |  Art (657)  |  Basis (173)  |  Branch (150)  |  Complex (188)  |  Consist (223)  |  Cultivation (35)  |  Deductive (11)  |  Deem (6)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Education (378)  |  Effectually (2)  |  Employment (32)  |  Essential (199)  |  Explain (322)  |  Furnish (96)  |  General (511)  |  Ground (217)  |  High (362)  |  Important (209)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Instruction (91)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Law (894)  |  Learn (629)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Past (337)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Plato (76)  |  Preparation (58)  |  Qualification (14)  |  Real (149)  |  Regard (305)  |  Remain (349)  |  School (219)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Simple (406)  |  Successful (123)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Training (80)  |  Type (167)  |  Value (365)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Want (497)  |  Will (2355)

The vast outpourings of publications by Professor Djerassi and his cohorts marks him as one of the most prolific scientific writers of our day... a plot of N, the papers published by Professor Djerassi in a given year, against T, the year (starting with 1945, T = 0) gives a good straight-line relationship. This line follows the equation N = 2.413T + 1.690 ... Assuming that the inevitable inflection point on the logistic curve is still some 10 years away, this equation predicts (a) a total of about 444 papers by the end of this year, (b) the average production of one paper per week or more every year beginning in 1966, and (c) the winning of the all-time productivity world championship in 10 years from now, in 1973. In that year Professor Djerassi should surpass the record of 995 items held by ...
Steroids Made it Possible (1990), 11-12.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  All (4108)  |  Average (82)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Curve (49)  |  End (590)  |  Equation (132)  |  Follow (378)  |  Good (889)  |  Inevitable (49)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Paper (182)  |  Point (580)  |  Production (183)  |  Productivity (21)  |  Professor (128)  |  Publication (101)  |  Record (154)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Still (613)  |  Straight (73)  |  Surpass (32)  |  Time (1877)  |  Total (94)  |  Vast (177)  |  Week (70)  |  Winning (19)  |  World (1774)  |  Writer (86)  |  Year (933)

The world won’t come to an end, but the incidence of disasters will have a very big impact, and in ways we can't predict. … Rises in seas levels will displace millions of people. It’s estimated there will be 150 million refugees by 2050, homeless as a result of global warming. It’s how we deal with these problems that is as much the challenge as tackling the causes of global warming.
In The Independent (10 Aug 2003).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Cause (541)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Deal (188)  |  Disaster (51)  |  Displace (8)  |  End (590)  |  Global (35)  |  Global Warming (27)  |  Impact (42)  |  People (1005)  |  Problem (676)  |  Refugee (2)  |  Result (677)  |  Rise (166)  |  Sea (308)  |  Warming (23)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

This is the element that distinguishes applied science from basic. Surprise is what makes the difference. When you are organized to apply knowledge, set up targets, produce a usable product, you require a high degree of certainty from the outset. All the facts on which you base protocols must be reasonably hard facts with unambiguous meaning. The challenge is to plan the work and organize the workers so that it will come out precisely as predicted. For this, you need centralized authority, elaborately detailed time schedules, and some sort of reward system based on speed and perfection. But most of all you need the intelligible basic facts to begin with, and these must come from basic research. There is no other source. In basic research, everything is just the opposite. What you need at the outset is a high degree of uncertainty; otherwise it isn’t likely to be an important problem. You start with an incomplete roster of facts, characterized by their ambiguity; often the problem consists of discovering the connections between unrelated pieces of information. You must plan experiments on the basis of probability, even bare possibility, rather than certainty.
The Planning of Science, The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, (1974) .
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Ambiguity (17)  |  Applied (177)  |  Applied Science (34)  |  Apply (160)  |  Authority (95)  |  Bare (33)  |  Base (117)  |  Basic (138)  |  Basic Research (14)  |  Basis (173)  |  Begin (260)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Connection (162)  |  Consist (223)  |  Degree (276)  |  Detail (146)  |  Difference (337)  |  Element (310)  |  Everything (476)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Hard (243)  |  High (362)  |  Incomplete (30)  |  Information (166)  |  Intelligible (34)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Opposite (104)  |  Organize (29)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Plan (117)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Probability (130)  |  Problem (676)  |  Product (160)  |  Require (219)  |  Research (664)  |  Reward (68)  |  Science (3879)  |  Set (394)  |  Speed (65)  |  Start (221)  |  Surprise (86)  |  System (537)  |  Target (9)  |  Time (1877)  |  Uncertainty (56)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

Understanding a theory has, indeed, much in common with understanding a human personality. We may know or understand a man's system of dispositions pretty well; that is to say, we may be able to predict how he would act in a number of different situations. But since there are infinitely many possible situations, of infinite variety, a full understanding of a man's dispositions does not seem to be possible.
Objective Knowledge: an Evolutionary Approach (1972), 299.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Act (272)  |  Action (327)  |  Common (436)  |  Different (577)  |  Disposition (42)  |  Human (1468)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Know (1518)  |  Man (2251)  |  Number (699)  |  Personality (62)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Possible (552)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Say (984)  |  Situation (113)  |  Solution (267)  |  System (537)  |  Theory (970)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Variety (132)

We already know the physical laws that govern everything we experience in everyday life … It is a tribute to how far we have come in theoretical physics that it now takes enormous machines and a great deal of money to perform an experiment whose results we cannot predict.
From Inaugural Lecture (29 Apr 1980) as Lucasian Professor at Cambridge University, 'Is the End in Sight for Theoretical Physics?', collected in Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays (1993), 50 & 64.
Science quotes on:  |  Already (222)  |  Deal (188)  |  Enormous (41)  |  Everyday (32)  |  Everyday Life (14)  |  Everything (476)  |  Expensive (10)  |  Experience (467)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Govern (64)  |  Great (1574)  |  Know (1518)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Machine (257)  |  Money (170)  |  Perform (121)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Law (14)  |  Physics (533)  |  Result (677)  |  Theoretical Physics (25)  |  Tribute (10)

We have reason not to be afraid of the machine, for there is always constructive change, the enemy of machines, making them change to fit new conditions.
We suffer not from overproduction but from undercirculation. You have heard of technocracy. I wish I had those fellows for my competitors. I'd like to take the automobile it is said they predicted could be made now that would last fifty years. Even if never used, this automobile would not be worth anything except to a junkman in ten years, because of the changes in men's tastes and ideas. This desire for change is an inherent quality in human nature, so that the present generation must not try to crystallize the needs of the future ones.
We have been measuring too much in terms of the dollar. What we should do is think in terms of useful materials—things that will be of value to us in our daily life.
In 'Quotation Marks: Against Technocracy', New York Times (1 Han 1933), E4.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Afraid (21)  |  Automobile (22)  |  Change (593)  |  Circulation (24)  |  Competitor (4)  |  Condition (356)  |  Construction (112)  |  Constructive (14)  |  Crystallization (2)  |  Crystallize (12)  |  Daily (87)  |  Daily Life (17)  |  Desire (204)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doing (280)  |  Dollar (22)  |  Enemy (82)  |  Fellow (88)  |  Fifty (15)  |  Fit (134)  |  Future (429)  |  Generation (242)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Nature (64)  |  Idea (843)  |  Inherent (42)  |  Junk (6)  |  Last (426)  |  Life (1795)  |  Machine (257)  |  Making (300)  |  Material (353)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Need (290)  |  Never (1087)  |  New (1216)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Present (619)  |  Production (183)  |  Quality (135)  |  Reason (744)  |  Suffering (67)  |  Taste (90)  |  Technocracy (2)  |  Ten (3)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Try (283)  |  Use (766)  |  Useful (250)  |  Usefulness (86)  |  Value (365)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wish (212)  |  Worth (169)  |  Year (933)

What appear to be the most valuable aspects of the theoretical physics we have are the mathematical descriptions which enable us to predict events. These equations are, we would argue, the only realities we can be certain of in physics; any other ways we have of thinking about the situation are visual aids or mnemonics which make it easier for beings with our sort of macroscopic experience to use and remember the equations.
In The Lost Cause: Causation and the Mind-body Problem (2003).
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (97)  |  Appear (118)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Being (1278)  |  Certain (550)  |  Description (84)  |  Easier (53)  |  Enable (119)  |  Equation (132)  |  Event (216)  |  Experience (467)  |  Macroscopic (2)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mnemonic (2)  |  Most (1731)  |  Other (2236)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Reality (261)  |  Remember (179)  |  Situation (113)  |  Sort (49)  |  Theoretical Physics (25)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Use (766)  |  Value (365)  |  Way (1217)

What the use of P [the significance level] implies, therefore, is that a hypothesis that may be true may be rejected because it has not predicted observable results that have not occurred.
Theory of Probability (1939), 316.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (695)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Observable (21)  |  Observation (555)  |  Probability (130)  |  Reject (63)  |  Rejected (26)  |  Result (677)  |  Significance (113)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Use (766)

When a physician is called to a patient, he should decide on the diagnosis, then the prognosis, and then the treatment. … Physicians must know the evolution of the disease, its duration and gravity in order to predict its course and outcome. Here statistics intervene to guide physicians, by teaching them the proportion of mortal cases, and if observation has also shown that the successful and unsuccessful cases can be recognized by certain signs, then the prognosis is more certain.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 213.
Science quotes on:  |  Call (769)  |  Certain (550)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Course (409)  |  Diagnosis (64)  |  Disease (328)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Find (998)  |  Fragment (54)  |  Gravity (132)  |  Guide (97)  |  Know (1518)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  More (2559)  |  Mortal (54)  |  Must (1526)  |  Observation (555)  |  Order (632)  |  Patient (199)  |  Physician (273)  |  Prognosis (5)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Rising (44)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seeking (31)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Successful (123)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Universal (189)  |  Wholeness (9)

When I saw the alpha-helix and saw what a beautiful, elegant structure it was, I was thunderstruck and was furious with myself for not having built this, but on the other hand, I wondered, was it really right?
So I cycled home for lunch and was so preoccupied with the turmoil in my mind that didn’t respond to anything. Then I had an idea, so I cycled back to the lab. I realized that I had a horse hair in a drawer. I set it up on the X-ray camera and gave it a two hour exposure, then took the film to the dark room with my heart in my mouth, wondering what it showed, and when I developed it, there was the 1.5 angstrom reflection which I had predicted and which excluded all structures other than the alpha-helix.
So on Monday morning I stormed into my professor’s office, into Bragg’s office and showed him this, and Bragg said, 'Whatever made you think of that?' And I said, 'Because I was so furious with myself for having missed that beautiful structure.' To which Bragg replied coldly, 'I wish I had made you angry earlier.'
From transcript of audio of Max Perutz in BBC programme, 'Lifestory: Linus Pauling' (1997). On 'Linus Pauling and the Race for DNA' webpage 'I Wish I Had Made You Angry Earlier.'
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Anger (20)  |  Back (390)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Sir William Bragg (9)  |  Dark (140)  |  Develop (268)  |  Earlier (9)  |  Elegance (37)  |  Elegant (36)  |  Fury (6)  |  Heart (229)  |  Helix (10)  |  Home (170)  |  Horse (74)  |  Hour (186)  |  Idea (843)  |  Lunch (6)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Miss (51)  |  Morning (94)  |  Mouth (53)  |  Myself (212)  |  Office (71)  |  Other (2236)  |  Professor (128)  |  Ray (114)  |  Reflection (90)  |  Right (452)  |  Saw (160)  |  Set (394)  |  Show (346)  |  Storm (51)  |  Structure (344)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Turmoil (8)  |  Two (937)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Wish (212)  |  Wonder (236)  |  X-ray (37)  |  X-ray Crystallography (12)

When we make the photon meet a tourmaline crystal, we are subjecting it to an observation. We are observing whether it is polarised parallel or perpendicular to the optic axis. The effect of making the observation is to force the photon entirely into the state of perpendicular polarisation. It has to make a sudden jump from being partly in each of these two states to being entirely in one or other of them. Which of the two states it will jump into cannot be predicted, but is governed only by probability laws. If it jumps into the perpendicular state it passes through the crystal and appears on the other side preserving this state of polarisation.
The Principles of Quantum Mechanics (1930).
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Crystal (68)  |  Effect (393)  |  Force (487)  |  Govern (64)  |  Jump (29)  |  Law (894)  |  Making (300)  |  Observation (555)  |  Other (2236)  |  Parallel (43)  |  Photon (11)  |  Preserving (18)  |  Probability (130)  |  Quantum Mechanics (46)  |  Side (233)  |  State (491)  |  Sudden (67)  |  Through (849)  |  Two (937)  |  Will (2355)

While we cannot accurately predict the course of climate change in the coming decades, the risks we run if we don’t change our course are enormous. Prudent risk management does not equate uncertainty with inaction.
In letter (1 Feb 2013) to Energy Department employees announcing his decision not to serve a second term.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurately (7)  |  Change (593)  |  Climate (97)  |  Climate Change (61)  |  Coming (114)  |  Course (409)  |  Decade (59)  |  Enormous (41)  |  Equate (3)  |  Inaction (3)  |  Management (21)  |  Prudent (5)  |  Risk (61)  |  Run (174)  |  Uncertainty (56)

Why, it is asked, since the scientist, by means of classification and experiment, can predict the “action of the physical world, shall not the historian do as much for the moral world”! The analogy is false at many points; but the confusion arises chiefly from the assumption that the scientist can predict the action of the physical world. Certain conditions precisely given, the scientist can predict the result; he cannot say when or where in the future those conditions will obtain.
In 'A New Philosophy of History', The Dial (2 Sep 1915), 148. This is Becker’s review of a book by L. Cecil Jane, The Interpretation of History. Becker refutes Jane’s idea that the value of history lies in whether it consists in furnishing “some clue as to what the future will bring.”
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Arise (158)  |  Ask (411)  |  Assumption (92)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chiefly (47)  |  Classification (97)  |  Condition (356)  |  Confusion (57)  |  Do (1908)  |  Experiment (695)  |  False (100)  |  Future (429)  |  Historian (54)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Moral (195)  |  Morality (52)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical World (28)  |  Point (580)  |  Precise (68)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Result (677)  |  Say (984)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

Will it be possible to solve these problems? It is certain that nobody has thus far observed the transformation of dead into living matter, and for this reason we cannot form a definite plan for the solution of this problem of transformation. But we see that plants and animals during their growth continually transform dead into living matter, and that the chemical processes in living matter do not differ in principle from those in dead matter. There is, therefore, no reason to predict that abiogenesis is impossible, and I believe that it can only help science if the younger investigators realize that experimental abiogenesis is the goal of biology.
The Dynamics of Living Matter (1906), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (617)  |  Biochemistry (49)  |  Biology (216)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Death (388)  |  Decay (53)  |  Definite (110)  |  Differ (85)  |  Do (1908)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Form (959)  |  Goal (145)  |  Growth (187)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Investigator (67)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Matter (798)  |  Nobody (104)  |  Observed (149)  |  Plan (117)  |  Plant (294)  |  Possible (552)  |  Principle (507)  |  Problem (676)  |  Realize (147)  |  Reason (744)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Solution (267)  |  Solve (130)  |  Transform (73)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Will (2355)  |  Younger (21)

[A contemporary study] predicted the loss of two-thirds of all tropical forests by the turn of the century. Hundreds of thousands of species will perish, and this reduction of 10 to 20 percent of the earth’s biota will occur in about half a human life span. … This reduction of the biological diversity of the planet is the most basic issue of our time.
Foreword, written for Michael Soulé and Bruce Wilcox (eds.), papers from the 1978 International Conference on Conservation Biology, collected as Conservation Biology (1980), ix. As quoted and cited in Timothy J. Farnham, Saving Nature's Legacy: Origins of the Idea of Biological Diversity (2007), 208.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Basic (138)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biological Diversity (5)  |  Century (310)  |  Diversity (73)  |  Earth (996)  |  Forest (150)  |  Human (1468)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Issue (42)  |  Life (1795)  |  Lifespan (7)  |  Loss (110)  |  Most (1731)  |  Occur (150)  |  Perish (50)  |  Planet (356)  |  Rain Forest (29)  |  Reduction (51)  |  Species (401)  |  Study (653)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Time (1877)  |  Turn (447)  |  Two (937)  |  Will (2355)

[I predict] the electricity generated by water power is the only thing that is going to keep future generations from freezing. Now we use coal whenever we produce electric power by steam engine, but there will be a time when there’ll be no more coal to use. That time is not in the very distant future. … Oil is too insignificant in its available supply to come into much consideration.
As quoted in 'Electricity Will Keep The World From Freezing Up', New York Times (12 Nov 1911), SM4.
Science quotes on:  |  Available (78)  |  Coal (57)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Distant (33)  |  Electric (76)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Engine (98)  |  Freezing (16)  |  Future (429)  |  Generation (242)  |  Generator (2)  |  Hydroelectricity (2)  |  Insignificant (32)  |  More (2559)  |  Oil (59)  |  Power (746)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Produce (104)  |  Steam (80)  |  Steam Engine (45)  |  Supply (93)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Use (766)  |  Water (481)  |  Water Power (6)  |  Whenever (81)  |  Will (2355)

[Philosopher Lao-tse] is not dogmatic, and he does not go in for big, universal ideas. For instance, I like what he says about failure and success, “Failure is the foundation of success and the means by which it is achieved. Success is the lurking place of failure; but who can tell when the turning point will come?”
As quoted in Robert Coughlan, 'Dr. Edward Teller’s Magnificent Obsession', Life (6 Sep 1954), 74.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (66)  |  Dogmatic (7)  |  Failure (161)  |  Foundation (171)  |  Idea (843)  |  Lao-Tse (2)  |  Lurk (5)  |  Lurking (7)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Place (177)  |  Point (580)  |  Say (984)  |  Success (302)  |  Tell (340)  |  Turning Point (8)  |  Universal (189)  |  Will (2355)

[The infinitely small] neither have nor can have theory; it is a dangerous instrument in the hands of beginners [ ... ] anticipating, for my part, the judgement of posterity, I would dare predict that this method will be accused one day, and rightly, of having retarded the progress of the mathematical sciences.
Annales des Mathematiques Pures et Appliquées (1814-5), 5, 148.
Science quotes on:  |  Accusation (6)  |  Anticipation (18)  |  Beginner (11)  |  Danger (115)  |  Dangerous (105)  |  Dare (50)  |  Differentiation (25)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Method (505)  |  Posterity (29)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Progress (465)  |  Retardation (5)  |  Science (3879)  |  Small (477)  |  Theory (970)  |  Will (2355)


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.