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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Proverb

Proverb Quotes (22 quotes)

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Perhaps an older adage, but an example of its use appears in Pennsylvania Gazette (4 Feb 1734-5), about fire prevention, including taking care, moving live coals from a fireplace between rooms, for safety in a closed warming-pan. A midnight fire from a spilled ember might set your stairs on fire: “You may be forced, as I once was, to leap out of your windows, and hazard your necks to avoid being over-roasted.” As cited in Benjamin Franklin and J. Sparks (ed.), The Works of Benjamin Franklin (1840), Vol. 1, 134, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Cure (69)  |  Ounce (4)  |  Pound (4)  |  Prevention (29)  |  Worth (51)

As the proverb says, “You cannot fly like an eagle with the wings of a wren.”
In Afoot in England (1909, 1922), 80. He might have originated this specific wording, but as this full sentence shows, Hudson was quoting a proverb. Many sources simply attribute the quote to him. Yet, in fact, the expression goes back to at least 1607, for it appears in Thomas Walkington, 'To the Reader', The Optick Glasse of Humors as “I have soared also above my pitch, attempting an Eagles flight with the wing of a Wrenne.”
Science quotes on:  |  Eagle (5)  |  Fly (48)  |  Wing (28)  |  Wren (2)

Exercise is good for your health, but like everything else it can be overdone.
Anonymous
Arabic Proverb. In Shape Magazine. In Dr. Paul C. Bragg, Dr. Patricia Bragg, Super Power Breathing (1999), 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Exercise (33)  |  Health (119)

Filthy water cannot be washed.
Anonymous
African proverb. As given in William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (ed.), The Crisis: A Record Of The Darker Races (1969), Vol. 30-31, 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Filth (3)  |  Pollution (27)  |  Wash (5)  |  Water (209)  |  Water Pollution (5)

For most diagnoses all that is needed is an ounce of knowledge, an ounce of intelligence, and a pound of thoroughness.
Anonymous
Arabic Proverb. In Lancet (1951). In John Murtagh, General Practice (1998), 125.
Science quotes on:  |  Diagnosis (56)  |  Intelligence (111)  |  Knowledge (982)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.
Anonymous
Arabic proverb.
Science quotes on:  |  Health (119)  |  Hope (87)

Hence when a person is in great pain, the cause of which he cannot remove, he sets his teeth firmly together, or bites some substance between them with great vehemence, as another mode of violent exertion to produce a temporary relief. Thus we have the proverb where no help can be has in pain, 'to grin and abide;' and the tortures of hell are said to be attended with 'gnashing of teeth.'Describing a suggestion of the origin of the grin in the present form of a proverb, 'to grin and bear it.'
Zoonomia, Or, The Laws of Organic Life, in three parts (1803), Vol. 1, 330.
Science quotes on:  |  Pain (71)

If you are too smart to pay the doctor, you had better be too smart to get ill.
Anonymous
African proverb, Transvaal
Science quotes on:  |  Money (107)  |  Physician (210)

If you intend to give a sick man medicine, let him get very ill first, so that he may see the benefit of your medicine.
Anonymous
African proverb, Nupe
Science quotes on:  |  Medicine (254)

In logic, A asserts and B denies. Assertions being proverbially untrue, the presumption would be in favor of B’s innocence were it not that denials are notoriously false.
The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary (2000), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Assertion (22)  |  Denial (11)  |  False (55)  |  Favor (10)  |  Innocence (8)  |  Logic (169)  |  Notorious (5)  |  Presumption (9)  |  Untrue (3)

In the midst of your illness you will promise a goat, but when you have recovered, a chicken will seem sufficient.
Anonymous
African proverb, Jukun
Science quotes on:  |  Disease (223)  |  Money (107)

Inventive genius requires pleasurable mental activity as a condition for its vigorous exercise. “Necessity is the mother of invention” is a silly proverb. “Necessity is the mother of futile dodges” is much closer to the truth. The basis of growth of modern invention is science, and science is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity.
The Aims of Education and other Essays (1929, 1967), 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Curiosity (75)  |  Dodge (2)  |  Futile (4)  |  Genius (150)  |  Intellect (146)  |  Invention (258)  |  Mother (46)  |  Mother Of Invention (6)  |  Necessity (111)  |  Pleasure (85)  |  Progress (278)

It has been said that [William Gull] “seldom delivered a lecture which was not remarkable for some phrase full of wise teaching, which from its point and conciseness became almost a proverb amongst his pupils.”
Stated in Sir William Withey Gull and Theodore Dyke Acland (ed.), A Collection of the Published Writings of William Withey Gull (1896), xxiv.
Science quotes on:  |  Concise (4)  |  Sir William Withey Gull (39)  |  Lecture (48)  |  Phrase (14)  |  Point (43)  |  Remarkable (29)  |  Teaching (98)  |  Wise (28)

Loss of teeth and marriage spoil a woman’s beauty.
Anonymous
African proverb
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (141)  |  Marriage (27)  |  Teeth (11)

Love and pregnancy and riding on a camel cannot be hid.
Anonymous
Arabic proverb.
Science quotes on:  |  Camel (6)  |  Love (111)  |  Pregnancy (5)

No man is a good physician who has never been sick.
Anonymous
Arabic proverb.
Science quotes on:  |  Physician (210)

Poison should be tried out on a frog.
Anonymous
African proverb, Bantu
Science quotes on:  |  Poison (28)

Lord Byron Quote: Newton declared himself “like a youth Picking up shells by the great ocean—Truth.”
Background of ocean and rocky outcrop with kelp on sandy shore in foreground, at Channel Islands NMS, California. , Photo by Claire Fackler, NOAA (source)
Socrates said, our only knowledge was
“To know that nothing could be known;” a pleasant
Science enough, which levels to an ass
Each Man of Wisdom, future, past, or present.
Newton, (that Proverb of the Mind,) alas!
Declared, with all his grand discoveries recent,
That he himself felt only “like a youth
Picking up shells by the great Ocean—Truth.”
From poem, 'Don Juan,' (1822), canto 7, verse V. In Lord Byron, Don Juan: Cantos VI, VII and VIII (1823), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Ass (3)  |  Declaration (5)  |  Discovery (522)  |  Future (169)  |  Grand (11)  |  Great (155)  |  Knowledge (982)  |  Man Of Science (24)  |  Mind (417)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (233)  |  Nothing (174)  |  Ocean (91)  |  Past (80)  |  Pick (10)  |  Pleasant (12)  |  Present (72)  |  Recent (17)  |  Shell (31)  |  Socrates (10)  |  Truth (636)  |  Wisdom (125)  |  Youth (52)

The California climate makes the sick well and the well sick, the old young and the young old.
Anonymous
American saying
Science quotes on:  |  Age (100)  |  Climate (35)  |  Health (119)

Visitor’s footfalls are like medicine; they heal the sick.
Anonymous
African proverb, Bantu
Science quotes on:  |  Healing (16)  |  Medicine (254)

We quote not only books and proverbs, but arts, sciences, religion, customs and laws; nay, we quote temples and houses, tables and chairs by imitation.
In Lecture, second in a series given at Freeman Place Chapel, Boston (Mar 1859), 'Quotation and Originality', Letters and Social Aims (1875, 1917), 178-179.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (144)  |  Chair (8)  |  Custom (17)  |  House (29)  |  Imitation (12)  |  Law (363)  |  Quote (9)  |  Religion (152)  |  Science And Art (148)  |  Table (18)  |  Temple (18)

When fate arrives the physician becomes a fool.
Anonymous
Arabic Proverb. In James Long, Eastern Proverbs and Emblems (2001), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Fate (29)  |  Physician (210)


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