Renovation Quotes (2 quotes)
The full impact of the Lobatchewskian method of challenging axioms has probably yet to be felt. It is no exaggeration to call Lobatchewsky the Copernicus of Geometry,* for geometry is only a part of the vaster domain which he renovated; it might even be just to designate him as a Copernicus of all thought.
In Men of Mathematics (1937), 306. [It was William Kingdom Clifford who first specified that the originality of Lobachevsky’s geometry had a revolutionary effect in mathematics akin to the Copernican revolution in astronomy. * Note the absense of quotation marks. As far as I can find, so far, Clifford, himself, did not use the explicit phrase “Corpernicus of Geometry.” Please make contact if you find a primary source for Clifford writing that exact phase. Other quote collections that are copying each other with a parenthetical “[as did Clifford]” are NOT “primary sources.” That parenthetical remark AFAIK is not even attributed to Clifford, as verbatim, in the text of Bell’s book, at least not the one I checked. So far, I attribute the invention of that exact phrase to Bell, as his chapter title. It might, however, be in a paper by Clifford, or a transcript of a lecture, or a colleague’s recollection — none of which, so far, have I found —Webmaster]
Who shall declare the time allotted to the human race, when the generations of the most insignificant insect also existed for unnumbered ages? Yet man is also to vanish in the ever-changing course of events. The earth is to be burnt up, and the elements are to melt with fervent heat—to be again reduced to chaos—possibly to be renovated and adorned for other races of beings. These stupendous changes may be but cycles in those great laws of the universe, where all is variable but the laws themselves and He who has ordained them.
Physical Geography (1848), Vol. 1, 2-3.