Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

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

Primary Quotes (32 quotes)

Les causes primordiales ne nous sont point connues; mais elles sont assujetties à des lois simples et constantes, que l’on peut découvrir par l’observation, et dont l’étude est l’objet de la philosophie naturelle.
Primary causes are unknown to us; but are subject to simple and constant laws, which may be discovered by observation, the study of them being the object of natural philosophy.
Opening statement from 'Discours Préliminaire' to Théorie Analytique de la Chaleur (1822), i, translated by Alexander Freeman in The Analytical Theory of Heat (1878), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (242)  |  Constant (43)  |  Discover (128)  |  Law (425)  |  Natural Philosophy (21)  |  Object (117)  |  Observation (421)  |  Simple (123)  |  Study (349)  |  Subject (133)  |  Unknown (92)

Although species may be discrete, they have no immutable essence. Variation is the raw material of evolutionary change. It represents the fundamental reality of nature, not an accident about a created norm. Variation is primary; essences are illusory. Species must be defined as ranges of irreducible variation.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (58)  |  Change (324)  |  Create (114)  |  Define (31)  |  Discrete (6)  |  Essence (43)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  Fundamental (124)  |  Immutable (9)  |  Irreducible (5)  |  Material (129)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Norm (3)  |  Range (44)  |  Raw (11)  |  Reality (155)  |  Represent (28)  |  Species (198)  |  Variation (52)

Behavioral avoidance, not physiological adaptations, is an organism’s primary response to an environmental challenge. This point is elementary, but it is by no means trivial.
From 'Interspecific comparison as a tool for ecological physiologists', collected in M.E. Feder, A.F. Bennett, W.W. Burggren, and R.B. Huey, (eds.), New Directions in Ecological Physiology (1987), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Adaptation (46)  |  Avoidance (10)  |  Behavioral (4)  |  Challenge (47)  |  Elementary (32)  |  Environmental (13)  |  Means (119)  |  Organism (144)  |  Physiological (16)  |  Point (88)  |  Response (27)  |  Trivial (34)

Evolution is the conviction that organisms developed their current forms by an extended history of continual transformation, and that ties of genealogy bind all living things into one nexus. Panselectionism is a denial of history, for perfection covers the tracks of time. A perfect wing may have evolved to its current state, but it may have been created just as we find it. We simply cannot tell if perfection be our only evidence. As Darwin himself understood so well, the primary proofs of evolution are oddities and imperfections that must record pathways of historical descent–the panda’s thumb and the flamingo’s smile of my book titles (chosen to illustrate this paramount principle of history).
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Bind (23)  |  Book (188)  |  Choose (41)  |  Continual (16)  |  Conviction (58)  |  Cover (32)  |  Create (114)  |  Current (44)  |  Darwin (13)  |  Denial (13)  |  Descent (15)  |  Develop (70)  |  Evidence (158)  |  Evolution (500)  |  Extend (27)  |  Find (297)  |  Flamingo (2)  |  Form (223)  |  Genealogy (4)  |  Historical (13)  |  History (314)  |  Illustrate (5)  |  Imperfection (19)  |  Living Things (5)  |  Nexus (3)  |  Oddity (4)  |  Organism (144)  |  Panda (2)  |  Paramount (6)  |  Pathway (11)  |  Perfect (48)  |  Perfection (75)  |  Principle (232)  |  Proof (192)  |  Record (59)  |  Simply (40)  |  Smile (17)  |  State (104)  |  Tell (84)  |  Thumb (9)  |  Tie (21)  |  Time (491)  |  Title (10)  |  Track (11)  |  Transformation (48)  |  Understand (223)  |  Wing (44)

From the level of pragmatic, everyday knowledge to modern natural science, the knowledge of nature derives from man’s primary coming to grips with nature; at the same time it reacts back upon the system of social labour and stimulates its development.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Back (84)  |  Derive (19)  |  Development (231)  |  Everyday (15)  |  Grip (9)  |  Knowledge (1148)  |  Labour (36)  |  Level (57)  |  Modern (110)  |  Natural Science (64)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Pragmatic (2)  |  React (7)  |  Same (107)  |  Social (95)  |  Stimulate (10)  |  System (154)  |  Time (491)

How have people come to be taken in by The Phenomenon of Man? Just as compulsory primary education created a market catered for by cheap dailies and weeklies, so the spread of secondary and latterly of tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought … [The Phenomenon of Man] is written in an all but totally unintelligible style, and this is construed as prima-facie evidence of profundity.
Medawar’s book review of The Phenomenon of Man by Teilhard de Chardin first appeared as 'Critical Notice' in the journal Mind (1961), 70, No. 277, 105. The book review was reprinted in The Art of the Soluble: Creativity and Originality in Science (1967).
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (124)  |  Capacity (51)  |  Cheap (9)  |  Compulsory (6)  |  Construed (2)  |  Created (6)  |  Daily (22)  |  Developed (9)  |  Educated (6)  |  Education (286)  |  Evidence (158)  |  Large (96)  |  Literary (7)  |  Market (10)  |  Person (126)  |  Phenomenon (223)  |  Population (74)  |  Profundity (5)  |  Secondary (12)  |  Spread (27)  |  Style (15)  |  Taste (37)  |  Tertiary (3)  |  Thought (400)  |  Undertake (16)  |  Unintelligible (7)  |  Written (3)

I want to note that, because there is the aforementioned difference between mountain and mountain, it will be appropriate, to avoid confusion, to distinguish one [type] from another by different terms; so I shall call the first Primary and the second Secondary.
De' Crostacei e degli altri Marini Corpi che si truovana su' monti (1740), 263, trans. Ezio Vaccari.
Science quotes on:  |  Difference (214)  |  Mountain (132)  |  Nomenclature (132)  |  Secondary (12)  |  Type (38)

In all disciplines in which there is systematic knowledge of things with principles, causes, or elements, it arises from a grasp of those: we think we have knowledge of a thing when we have found its primary causes and principles, and followed it back to its elements. Clearly, then, systematic knowledge of nature must start with an attempt to settle questions about principles.
Aristotle
In Physics Book 1, Chap 1, as translated in J.L. Ackrill, A New Aristotle Reader (1988), 81.
Science quotes on:  |  Arise (35)  |  Attempt (95)  |  Cause (242)  |  Discipline (42)  |  Element (137)  |  Find (297)  |  Grasp (46)  |  Knowledge (1148)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Principle (232)  |  Question (327)  |  Scientific Method (156)  |  Settle (11)  |  Start (80)  |  Systematic (25)  |  Think (249)  |  Understand (223)

In science the primary duty of ideas is to be useful and interesting even more than to be “true.”
Lecture delivered to Anthropological Society of University College, London (25 Jan 1929). Published in 'The Functions of the Human Skull', Nature (6 Apr 1929), 123, No. 3101, 533-537. Collected in The Collected Papers of Wilfred Trotter, FRS (1941), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Duty (57)  |  Hypothesis (231)  |  Idea (457)  |  Interesting (42)  |  Science (1741)  |  True (139)  |  Usefulness (71)

In teaching man, experimental science results in lessening his pride more and more by proving to him every day that primary causes, like the objective reality of things, will be hidden from him forever and that he can only know relations.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (242)  |  Experimental (12)  |  Forever (52)  |  Hide (43)  |  Know (394)  |  Lessen (4)  |  Objective (51)  |  Pride (50)  |  Prove (69)  |  Reality (155)  |  Relation (98)  |  Result (267)  |  Science (1741)  |  Teach (112)

Lately we have been getting facts pointing to the “oceanic” nature of the floor of so-called inland seas. Through geological investigations it has been definitely established that in its deepest places, for instance, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, the Earth's crust is devoid of granite stratum. The same may be said quite confidently about the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Could the interpretation of these data be that inland seas were the primary stage of the formation of oceanic basins?
From 'O geologicheskom stroyenii i razvitii okeanicheskikh vpadm' (The Geological Structure and Development of Ocean Hollows ), News of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Geology Series (1955), 3, 3-18. As given in N. Zhirov, Atlantis: Atlantology: Basic Problems (2001), 139.
Science quotes on:  |  Basin (2)  |  Caribbean Sea (2)  |  Crust (17)  |  Earth (582)  |  Floor (17)  |  Formation (56)  |  Geology (190)  |  Granite (7)  |  Gulf Of Mexico (4)  |  Interpretation (63)  |  Investigation (124)  |  Mediterranean Sea (5)  |  Ocean (138)  |  Stage (43)  |  Stratum (7)

Newton was probably responsible for the concept that there are seven primary colours in the spectrum—he had a strong interest in musical harmonies and, since there are seven distinct notes in the musical scale, he divided up the spectrum into spectral bands with widths corresponding to the ratios of the small whole numbers found in the just scale.
In 'Light and Colour', Trevor Lamb and Janine Bourriau, Colour: Art & Science (1995), 72.
Science quotes on:  |  Color (88)  |  Concept (103)  |  Distinct (31)  |  Divide (28)  |  Harmony (59)  |  Interest (182)  |  Music (75)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (261)  |  Note (24)  |  Ratio (16)  |  Responsible (13)  |  Scale (52)  |  Seven (5)  |  Spectrum (24)

Philosophy would long ago have reached a high level if our predecessors and fathers had put this into practice; and we would not waste time on the primary difficulties, which appear now as severe as in the first centuries which noticed them. We would have the experience of assured phenomena, which would serve as principles for a solid reasoning; truth would not be so deeply sunken; nature would have taken off most of her envelopes; one would see the marvels she contains in all her individuals. ...
Les Préludes de l'Harmonie Universelle (1634), 135-139. In Charles Coulston Gillispie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1974), Vol. 9, 316.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (78)  |  Century (103)  |  Contain (42)  |  Difficulty (117)  |  Envelope (5)  |  Experience (288)  |  Father (47)  |  High (99)  |  Individual (185)  |  Marvel (24)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Notice (21)  |  Phenomenon (223)  |  Philosophy (217)  |  Practice (67)  |  Predecessor (18)  |  Principle (232)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Severity (5)  |  Sinking (6)  |  Solid (37)  |  Time (491)  |  Truth (764)  |  Waste (61)

Television will enormously enlarge the eye's range, and, like radio, will advertise the Elsewhere. Together with the tabs, the mags, and the movies, it will insist that we forget the primary and the near in favor of the secondary and the remote.
In 'Removal' (Jul 1938), collected in One Man's Meat (1942), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Elsewhere (10)  |  Enlarge (17)  |  Enormous (35)  |  Eye (190)  |  Favor (25)  |  Forget (47)  |  Insist (14)  |  Magazine (21)  |  Movie (14)  |  Radio (29)  |  Range (44)  |  Remote (30)  |  Secondary (12)  |  Tabloid (2)  |  Television (28)

The carbon output that melts the ice in the Arctic also causes ocean acidification, which results from the ocean absorbing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (the same carbon dioxide that is the primary cause of global warming, hence the nickname “the other carbon problem”).
In 'What do the Arctic, a Thermostat and COP15 Have in Common?', Huffington Post (18 Mar 2010).
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (13)  |  Acidification (3)  |  Arctic (5)  |  Atmosphere (69)  |  Carbon (48)  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Cause (242)  |  Excess (9)  |  Global Warming (26)  |  Ice (31)  |  Melt (16)  |  Nickname (2)  |  Ocean (138)  |  Output (9)  |  Problem (382)  |  Result (267)

The most important and urgent problems of the technology of today are no longer the satisfactions of the primary needs or of archetypal wishes, but the reparation of the evils and damages by technology of yesterday.
Innovations: Scientific Technological and Social (1970), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Archetype (4)  |  Damage (20)  |  Evil (69)  |  Importance (186)  |  Need (226)  |  Problem (382)  |  Repair (7)  |  Satisfaction (48)  |  Technology (205)  |  Today (100)  |  Urgent (9)  |  Wish (71)  |  Yesterday (16)

The oceans are the life support system of this planet, providing us with up to 70 percent of our oxygen, as well as a primary source of protein for billions of people, not to mention the regulation of our climate.
In 'Why Exploring the Ocean is Mankind’s Next Giant Leap', contributed to CNN 'Lightyears Blog' (13 Mar 2012).
Science quotes on:  |  Billion (56)  |  Climate (40)  |  Life (993)  |  Mention (14)  |  Ocean (138)  |  Oxygen (50)  |  People (316)  |  Planet (237)  |  Protein (43)  |  Provide (49)  |  Regulation (20)  |  Source (75)  |  Support (67)  |  System (154)

The philosophy that I have worked under most of my life is that the serious study of natural history is an activity which has far-reaching effects in every aspect of a person's life. It ultimately makes people protective of the environment in a very committed way. It is my opinion that the study of natural history should be the primary avenue for creating environmentalists.
As quoted in William V. Mealy, Peter Friederici and Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Value in American Wildlife Art: Proceedings of the 1992 Forum (1992), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (101)  |  Aspect (43)  |  Avenue (5)  |  Create (114)  |  Effect (140)  |  Environment (152)  |  Environmentalist (5)  |  Far-Reaching (4)  |  Life (993)  |  Make (23)  |  Natural History (47)  |  Opinion (150)  |  Person (126)  |  Philosophy (217)  |  Protective (4)  |  Serious (40)  |  Study (349)  |  Ultimately (11)  |  Work (493)

The primary aim, object, and purpose of consciousness is control. Consciousness in a mere automaton is a useless and unnecessary epiphenomenon.
An Introduction to Comparative Psychology (1894), 182.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (60)  |  Automaton (8)  |  Consciousness (73)  |  Control (99)  |  Epiphenomenon (2)  |  Unnecessary (11)  |  Uselessness (21)

The University of Cambridge, in accordance with that law of its evolution, by which, while maintaining the strictest continuity between the successive phases of its history, it adapts itself with more or less promptness to the requirements of the times, has lately instituted a course of Experimental Physics.
'Introductory Lecture on Experimental Physics', (1871). In W. D. Niven (ed.), The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890), Vol. 2, 241.Course;Experiment;Cambridge;History;Promptness;Adapt;Requirement
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (22)  |  Continuity (23)  |  Discovery (601)  |  Enquiry (75)  |  Evolution (500)  |  Feature (36)  |  History (314)  |  Law (425)  |  Phase (15)  |  Promptness (2)  |  Quality (71)  |  Quantity (36)  |  Requirement (45)  |  Strict (8)  |  Successive (15)  |  University (54)

The worst primary school scolding I ever received was for ridiculing a classmate who asked, ‘What’s an atom?’ To my third grader’s mind, the question betrayed a level of ignorance more befitting a preschooler, but the teacher disagreed and banned me from recess for a week. I had forgotten the incident until a few years ago, while sitting in on a quantum mechanics class taught by a Nobel Prizewinning physicist. Midway through a brutally abstract lecture on the hydrogen atom, a plucky sophomore raised his hand and asked the very same question. To the astonishment of all, our speaker fell silent. He stared out the window for what seemed like an eternity before answering, ‘I don’t know.’
'The Secret Life of Atoms'. Discover (Jun 2007), 28:6, 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (45)  |  Answer (210)  |  Ask (117)  |  Astonishment (20)  |  Atom (265)  |  Bad (82)  |  Ban (9)  |  Betray (7)  |  Class (64)  |  Disagree (9)  |  Eternity (48)  |  Fall (99)  |  Forget (47)  |  Hand (116)  |  Hydrogen (39)  |  Ignorance (194)  |  Incident (4)  |  Know (394)  |  Lecture (54)  |  Level (57)  |  Midway (3)  |  Mind (576)  |  Physicist (132)  |  Quantum Mechanics (32)  |  Question (327)  |  Raise (23)  |  Receive (46)  |  Recess (6)  |  Ridicule (14)  |  Same (107)  |  School (88)  |  Scold (5)  |  Seem (109)  |  Silent (23)  |  Sit (35)  |  Speaker (5)  |  Stare (5)  |  Teach (112)  |  Teacher (98)  |  Third (13)  |  Week (10)  |  Window (35)  |  Year (240)

There is no kind of material, no body, and no thing that can be produced or conceived of, which is not made up of elementary particles; and nature does not admit of a truthful exploration in accordance with the doctrines of the physicists without an accurate demonstration of the primary causes of things, showing how and why they are as they are.
Vitruvius
In De Architectura, Book 2, Chap 1, Sec. 9. As translated in Morris Hicky Morgan (trans.), Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture (1914), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (21)  |  Atom (265)  |  Cause (242)  |  Demonstration (52)  |  Doctrine (55)  |  Elementary (32)  |  Experiment (548)  |  Exploration (105)  |  Material (129)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Particle (91)  |  Physicist (132)  |  Research (530)  |  Truth (764)

Thus we conclude, that the strata both primary and secondary, both those of ancient and those of more recent origin, have had their materials furnished from the ruins of former continents, from the dissolution of rocks, or the destruction of animal or vegetable bodies, similar, at least in some respects, to those that now occupy the surface of the earth.
Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth (1802), 14-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (71)  |  Animal (325)  |  Conclusion (124)  |  Continent (48)  |  Destruction (81)  |  Dissolution (4)  |  Earth (582)  |  Furnishing (4)  |  Material (129)  |  Origin (78)  |  Recent (24)  |  Rock (118)  |  Ruin (24)  |  Secondary (12)  |  Similarity (17)  |  Stratum (7)  |  Surface (87)  |  Vegetable (19)

Very few people, including authors willing to commit to paper, ever really read primary sources–certainly not in necessary depth and contemplation, and often not at all ... When writers close themselves off to the documents of scholarship, and then rely only on seeing or asking, they become conduits and sieves rather than thinkers. When, on the other hand, you study the great works of predecessors engaged in the same struggle, you enter a dialogue with human history and the rich variety of our own intellectual traditions. You insert yourself, and your own organizing powers, into this history–and you become an active agent, not merely a ‘reporter.’
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Active (18)  |  Agent (28)  |  Ask (117)  |  Author (39)  |  Become (130)  |  Certainly (22)  |  Close (56)  |  Commit (17)  |  Conduit (2)  |  Contemplation (37)  |  Depth (37)  |  Dialogue (7)  |  Document (7)  |  Engage (13)  |  Enter (26)  |  Great (355)  |  History (314)  |  Human (472)  |  Include (31)  |  Insert (2)  |  Intellectual (85)  |  Merely (43)  |  Necessary (92)  |  Often (81)  |  On The Other Hand (17)  |  Organize (16)  |  Paper (55)  |  People (316)  |  Power (286)  |  Predecessor (18)  |  Read (88)  |  Really (62)  |  Rely (7)  |  Reporter (3)  |  Rich (52)  |  Same (107)  |  Scholarship (13)  |  See (307)  |  Sieve (3)  |  Source (75)  |  Struggle (66)  |  Study (349)  |  Themselves (44)  |  Thinker (15)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Variety (59)  |  Work (493)  |  Writer (35)

We all know, from what we experience with and within ourselves, that our conscious acts spring from our desires and our fears. Intuition tells us that that is true also of our fellows and of the higher animals. We all try to escape pain and death, while we seek what is pleasant. We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organized that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race. Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual’s instinct for self preservation. At the same time, as social beings, we are moved in the relations with our fellow beings by such feelings as sympathy, pride, hate, need for power, pity, and so on. All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man’s actions. All such action would cease if those powerful elemental forces were to cease stirring within us. Though our conduct seems so very different from that of the higher animals, the primary instincts are much alike in them and in us. The most evident difference springs from the important part which is played in man by a relatively strong power of imagination and by the capacity to think, aided as it is by language and other symbolical devices. Thought is the organizing factor in man, intersected between the causal primary instincts and the resulting actions. In that way imagination and intelligence enter into our existence in the part of servants of the primary instincts. But their intervention makes our acts to serve ever less merely the immediate claims of our instincts.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Act (86)  |  Action (163)  |  Aid (24)  |  Alike (13)  |  Animal (325)  |  Capacity (51)  |  Causal (7)  |  Cease (27)  |  Claim (55)  |  Conduct (26)  |  Conscious (27)  |  Death (277)  |  Describe (40)  |  Desire (114)  |  Device (25)  |  Difference (214)  |  Different (132)  |  Easily (20)  |  Elemental (3)  |  Enter (26)  |  Escape (37)  |  Evident (16)  |  Existence (265)  |  Experience (288)  |  Factor (35)  |  Fear (124)  |  Feelings (13)  |  Fellow (32)  |  Force (208)  |  General (99)  |  Hate (31)  |  High (99)  |  Hunger (14)  |  Imagination (222)  |  Immediate (31)  |  Important (135)  |  Impulse (29)  |  Individual (185)  |  Inner (29)  |  Instinct (54)  |  Intelligence (144)  |  Intersect (3)  |  Intervention (11)  |  Intuition (41)  |  Know (394)  |  Language (161)  |  Less (72)  |  Love (193)  |  Merely (43)  |  Move (75)  |  Need (226)  |  Organize (16)  |  Ourselves (45)  |  Pain (90)  |  Part (163)  |  Pity (11)  |  Play (74)  |  Pleasant (18)  |  Power (286)  |  Powerful (54)  |  Preservation (29)  |  Pride (50)  |  Race (85)  |  Relation (98)  |  Relatively (5)  |  Result (267)  |  Rule (140)  |  Same (107)  |  Seek (69)  |  Seem (109)  |  Self (40)  |  Servant (13)  |  Serve (38)  |  Social (95)  |  Spring (52)  |  Stir (13)  |  Strong (56)  |  Symbolic (8)  |  Sympathy (17)  |  Tell (84)  |  Think (249)  |  Thought (400)  |  Time (491)  |  True (139)  |  Try (118)  |  Word (235)

We live in a capitalist economy, and I have no particular objection to honorable self-interest. We cannot hope to make the needed, drastic improvement in primary and secondary education without a dramatic restructuring of salaries. In my opinion, you cannot pay a good teacher enough money to recompense the value of talent applied to the education of young children. I teach an hour or two a day to tolerably well-behaved near-adults–and I come home exhausted. By what possible argument are my services worth more in salary than those of a secondary-school teacher with six classes a day, little prestige, less support, massive problems of discipline, and a fundamental role in shaping minds. (In comparison, I only tinker with intellects already largely formed.)
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Already (24)  |  Apply (40)  |  Argument (60)  |  Capitalist (6)  |  Child (208)  |  Class (64)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Discipline (42)  |  Dramatic (5)  |  Drastic (2)  |  Economy (47)  |  Education (286)  |  Exhaust (17)  |  Form (223)  |  Fundamental (124)  |  Good (255)  |  Home (76)  |  Honorable (5)  |  Hope (146)  |  Hour (54)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Intellect (158)  |  Largely (13)  |  Less (72)  |  Little (150)  |  Live (230)  |  Massive (3)  |  Mind (576)  |  Money (131)  |  Need (226)  |  Objection (16)  |  Opinion (150)  |  Particular (55)  |  Pay (34)  |  Possible (112)  |  Prestige (9)  |  Problem (382)  |  Recompense (2)  |  Restructuring (2)  |  Role (36)  |  Salary (4)  |  Secondary (12)  |  Self-Interest (3)  |  Service (56)  |  Shape (60)  |  Support (67)  |  Talent (52)  |  Teach (112)  |  Teacher (98)  |  Tinker (5)  |  Value (188)  |  Worth (83)  |  Young (83)

We often think, naïvely, that missing data are the primary impediments to intellectual progress–just find the right facts and all problems will dissipate. But barriers are often deeper and more abstract in thought. We must have access to the right metaphor, not only to the requisite information. Revolutionary thinkers are not, primarily, gatherers of fact s, but weavers of new intellectual structures.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (45)  |  Access (12)  |  Barrier (19)  |  Data (103)  |  Deep (99)  |  Dissipate (5)  |  Fact (628)  |  Find (297)  |  Gather (30)  |  Impediment (7)  |  Information (106)  |  Intellectual (85)  |  Iuml (3)  |  Metaphor (20)  |  Miss (23)  |  Na (3)  |  New (380)  |  Often (81)  |  Primarily (10)  |  Problem (382)  |  Progress (320)  |  Requisite (6)  |  Revolutionary (14)  |  Right (158)  |  Structure (193)  |  Think (249)  |  Thinker (15)  |  Thought (400)

What attracted me to immunology was that the whole thing seemed to revolve around a very simple experiment: take two different antibody molecules and compare their primary sequences. The secret of antibody diversity would emerge from that. Fortunately at the time I was sufficiently ignorant of the subject not to realise how naive I was being.
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 248.
Science quotes on:  |  Antibody (5)  |  Attraction (32)  |  Autobiography (55)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Diversity (47)  |  Experiment (548)  |  Fortunately (8)  |  Ignorance (194)  |  Immunology (13)  |  Molecule (127)  |  Naive (8)  |  Realisation (2)  |  Secret (104)  |  Sequence (32)  |  Simplicity (128)

When puzzled, it never hurts to read the primary documents–a rather simple and self-evident principle that has, nonetheless, completely disappeared from large sectors of the American experience.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  American (39)  |  Completely (23)  |  Disappear (22)  |  Document (7)  |  Experience (288)  |  Hurt (11)  |  Large (96)  |  Nonetheless (2)  |  Principle (232)  |  Puzzle (31)  |  Read (88)  |  Sector (3)  |  Self-Evident (6)  |  Simple (123)

When we talk mathematics, we may be discussing a secondary language built on the primary language of the nervous system.
As quoted in John C. Oxtoby and B. J. Pettis (eds.), 'John von Neumann, 1903-1957', Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society (May 1958), 64, No. 3, Part 2, 128.
Science quotes on:  |  Build (89)  |  Discuss (15)  |  Language (161)  |  Mathematics (597)  |  Nervous System (12)  |  Secondary (12)  |  Talk (68)

Yet I also appreciate that we cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well–for we will not fight to save what we do not love (but only appreciate in some abstract sense). So let them all continue–the films, the books, the television programs, the zoos, the little half acre of ecological preserve in any community, the primary school lessons, the museum demonstrations, even ... the 6:00 A.M. bird walks. Let them continue and expand because we must have visceral contact in order to love. We really must make room for nature in our hearts.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (45)  |  Acre (7)  |  Appreciate (19)  |  Battle (30)  |  Bird (108)  |  Bond (22)  |  Book (188)  |  Community (73)  |  Contact (29)  |  Continue (45)  |  Demonstration (52)  |  Ecological (7)  |  Emotional (16)  |  Environment (152)  |  Expand (20)  |  Fight (40)  |  Film (9)  |  Forge (2)  |  Half (42)  |  Heart (125)  |  Lesson (33)  |  Let (47)  |  Little (150)  |  Love (193)  |  Museum (23)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Order (173)  |  Ourselves (45)  |  Preserve (43)  |  Program (34)  |  Really (62)  |  Room (32)  |  Save (48)  |  School (88)  |  Sense (258)  |  Species (198)  |  Television (28)  |  Visceral (3)  |  Walk (64)  |  Win (29)  |  Zoo (7)

Zoocentrism is the primary fallacy of human sociobiology, for this view of human behavior rests on the argument that if the actions of ‘lower’ animals with simple nervous systems arise as genetic products of natural selection, then human behavior should have a similar basis.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (163)  |  Animal (325)  |  Argument (60)  |  Arise (35)  |  Basis (66)  |  Fallacy (19)  |  Genetic (11)  |  Human (472)  |  Human Behavior (4)  |  Low (19)  |  Natural Selection (85)  |  Product (74)  |  Rest (72)  |  Similar (23)  |  Simple (123)  |  Sociobiology (4)  |  View (131)


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.