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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Sage

Sage Quotes (15 quotes)

As, pricked out with less and greater lights, between the poles of the universe, the Milky Way so gleameth white as to set very sages questioning.
In The Paradiso of Dante Alighieri (1899, 1904), 175.
Science quotes on:  |  Gleam (12)  |  Greater (42)  |  Less (102)  |  Light (345)  |  Milky Way (24)  |  Pole (17)  |  Pricking (2)  |  Question (404)  |  Universe (683)  |  White (56)

At times the mathematician has the passion of a poet or a conqueror, the rigor of his arguments is that of a responsible statesman or, more simply, of a concerned father, and his tolerance and resignation are those of an old sage; he is revolutionary and conservative, skeptical and yet faithfully optimistic.
Max Dehn
Address (18 Jan 1928) at the University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Trans. by Abe Schenitzer, and published in 'The Mentality of the Mathematician: A Characterization', The Mathematical Intelligencer (1983), 5, No. 2. As quoted in Michael Fitzgerald and Ioan James, The Mind of the Mathematician (2007), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (81)  |  Concern (108)  |  Conqueror (6)  |  Conservative (11)  |  Faithfully (3)  |  Father (57)  |  Mathematician (364)  |  Old (147)  |  Passion (70)  |  Poet (78)  |  Resignation (3)  |  Responsible (17)  |  Revolutionary (16)  |  Rigor (21)  |  Skeptical (11)  |  Statesman (18)  |  Tolerance (8)

Call Archimedes from his buried tomb
Upon the plain of vanished Syracuse,
And feelingly the sage shall make report
How insecure, how baseless in itself,
Is the philosophy, whose sway depends
On mere material instruments—how weak
Those arts, and high inventions, if unpropped
By virtue.
In 'The Excursion', as quoted in review, 'The Excursion, Being a Portion of the Recluse, a Poem, The Edinburgh Review (Nov 1814), 24, No. 47, 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Archimedes (53)  |  Art (284)  |  Bury (16)  |  Call (127)  |  Depend (87)  |  High (152)  |  Insecure (4)  |  Instrument (92)  |  Invention (318)  |  Material (154)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (123)  |  Mere (78)  |  Philosophy (257)  |  Plain (33)  |  Report (37)  |  Sway (3)  |  Syracuse (5)  |  Tomb (11)  |  Vanish (18)  |  Virtue (61)  |  Weak (43)

Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher. …
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
From poem, 'The Tables Turned', collected in Lyrical Ballads, With a Few Other Poems (1798), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Evil (78)  |  Forestry (15)  |  Good (345)  |  Impulse (33)  |  Light (345)  |  Moral (123)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Teacher (119)  |  Wood (49)

From very ancient times, the question of the constitution of matter with respect to divisibility has been debated, some adopting the opinion that this divisibility is infinite …. We have absolutely no means at our disposal for deciding such a question, which remains at the present day in the same state as when it first engaged the attention of the Greek philosophers, or perhaps that of the sages of Egypt and Hindostan long before them.
In Elementary Chemistry, Theoretical and Practical (1854), 206. Note: this was the limit of knowledge, or even speculation, decades before the discovery of the nucleus, electron, proton and other particles.
Science quotes on:  |  Constitution (31)  |  Debate (24)  |  Divisible (4)  |  Egypt (22)  |  Greek (71)  |  Matter (340)  |  Philosopher (164)  |  Question (404)

Has Matter more than Motion? Has it Thought,
Judgment, and Genius? Is it deeply learn’d
In Mathematics? Has it fram’d such Laws,
Which, but to guess, a Newton made immortal?—
If so, how each sage Atom laughs at me,
Who think a Clod inferior to a Man!
The Complaint: or, Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (1742, 1750), Night 9, 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (280)  |  Clod (3)  |  Genius (243)  |  Guess (48)  |  Immortal (19)  |  Inferior (19)  |  Judgment (98)  |  Laugh (28)  |  Law (513)  |  Learn (281)  |  Mankind (241)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Matter (340)  |  Motion (158)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (327)  |  Think (341)  |  Thought (536)

If the God of revelation is most appropriately worshipped in the temple of religion, the God of nature may be equally honored in the temple of science. Even from its lofty minarets the philosopher may summon the faithful to prayer, and the priest and sage exchange altars without the compromise of faith or knowledge.
In Tryon Edwards (ed.), A Dictionary of Thoughts: Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Best Authors of the World, Both Ancient and Modern (1891), 507.
Science quotes on:  |  Altar (7)  |  Appropriate (26)  |  Compromise (7)  |  Faith (157)  |  Faithful (10)  |  God (535)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Philosopher (164)  |  Prayer (23)  |  Priest (20)  |  Religion (239)  |  Revelation (34)  |  Science (2043)  |  Science And Religion (302)  |  Summon (6)  |  Temple (25)  |  Temple Of Science (8)  |  Worship (25)

It is sages and grey-haired philosophers who ought to sit up all night reading Alice in Wonderland in order to study that darkest problem of metaphysics, the borderland between reason and unreason, and the nature of the most erratic of spiritual forces, humour, which eternally dances between the two. That we do find a pleasure in certain long and elaborate stories, in certain complicated and curious forms of diction, which have no intelligible meaning whatever, is not a subject for children to play with; it is a subject for psychologists to go mad over.
In 'The Library of the Nursery', in Lunacy and Letters (1958), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Alice In Wonderland (5)  |  Borderland (4)  |  Lewis Carroll (44)  |  Certain (125)  |  Child (245)  |  Complicated (61)  |  Curious (41)  |  Dance (26)  |  Dark (76)  |  Elaborate (20)  |  Erratic (3)  |  Eternal (67)  |  Force (249)  |  Humour (103)  |  Intelligible (18)  |  Long (172)  |  Mad (24)  |  Meaning (111)  |  Metaphysic (6)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Philosopher (164)  |  Play (110)  |  Pleasure (130)  |  Problem (490)  |  Psychologist (15)  |  Read (144)  |  Reason (454)  |  Spiritual (55)  |  Story (72)  |  Study (461)  |  Subject (235)  |  Unreason (2)

Students of the heavens are separable into astronomers and astrologers as readily as the minor domestic ruminants into sheep and goats, but the separation of philosophers into sages and cranks seems to be more sensitive to frames of reference.
Theories and Things (1981), 192.
Science quotes on:  |  Astrologer (10)  |  Astronomer (68)  |  Crank (13)  |  Domestic (13)  |  Frame of Reference (4)  |  Goat (5)  |  Heaven (151)  |  Minor (10)  |  Philosopher (164)  |  Separation (36)  |  Sheep (11)  |  Student (201)

The earth itself assures us it is a living entity. Deep below surface one can hear its slow pulse, feel its vibrant rhythm. The great breathing mountains expand and contract. The vast sage desert undulates with almost imperceptible tides like the oceans. From the very beginning, throughout all its cataclysmic upthrusts and deep sea submergences, the planet Earth seems to have maintained an ordered rhythm.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Assure (15)  |  Begin (106)  |  Below (23)  |  Breathe (36)  |  Contract (11)  |  Deep (121)  |  Deep Sea (9)  |  Desert (38)  |  Earth (635)  |  Entity (31)  |  Expand (22)  |  Feel (165)  |  Great (524)  |  Hear (60)  |  Imperceptible (8)  |  Live (269)  |  Maintain (32)  |  Mountain (145)  |  Ocean (148)  |  Order (239)  |  Planet (262)  |  Pulse (10)  |  Rhythm (18)  |  Seem (143)  |  Slow (55)  |  Surface (101)  |  Tide (24)  |  Vast (88)  |  Vibrant (2)

The entire mathematical arsenal that our modern sages command cannot establish facts. Practical people should always keep this in mind when they ask mathematicians for help.
As translated from Literaturnaya Gazeta (5 Dec 1979), 49, 12, in 'Miscellanea', The American Mathematical Monthly (Aug-Sep 1980), 87, No. 7, 589.
Science quotes on:  |  Arsenal (6)  |  Ask (157)  |  Command (27)  |  Entire (46)  |  Establish (55)  |  Fact (725)  |  Help (101)  |  Keep (100)  |  Mathematician (364)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Mind (743)  |  Modern (159)  |  Person (153)  |  Practical (129)

The great truths with which it [mathematics] deals, are clothed with austere grandeur, far above all purposes of immediate convenience or profit. It is in them that our limited understandings approach nearest to the conception of that absolute and infinite, towards which in most other things they aspire in vain. In the pure mathematics we contemplate absolute truths, which existed in the divine mind before the morning stars sang together, and which will continue to exist there, when the last of their radiant host shall have fallen from heaven. They existed not merely in metaphysical possibility, but in the actual contemplation of the supreme reason. The pen of inspiration, ranging all nature and life for imagery to set forth the Creator’s power and wisdom, finds them best symbolized in the skill of the surveyor. "He meted out heaven as with a span;" and an ancient sage, neither falsely nor irreverently, ventured to say, that “God is a geometer”.
In Orations and Speeches (1870), Vol. 3, 614.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (97)  |  Actual (47)  |  Ancient (103)  |  Approach (53)  |  Aspire (8)  |  Austere (5)  |  Best (172)  |  Conception (88)  |  Contemplate (17)  |  Contemplation (51)  |  Continue (63)  |  Convenience (34)  |  Creator (52)  |  Deal (49)  |  Divine (60)  |  Estimates of Mathematics (30)  |  Exist (147)  |  Fall (119)  |  Falsely (2)  |  Find (405)  |  Forth (13)  |  Geometer (22)  |  God (535)  |  Grandeur (21)  |  Great (524)  |  Heaven (151)  |  Host (16)  |  Imagery (3)  |  Immediate (43)  |  In Vain (8)  |  Infinite (128)  |  Inspiration (59)  |  Irreverent (2)  |  Life (1124)  |  Limit (123)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Merely (82)  |  Metaphysical (11)  |  Mind (743)  |  Morning (43)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Pen (12)  |  Possibility (116)  |  Power (358)  |  Profit (38)  |  Pure Mathematics (63)  |  Purpose (193)  |  Radiant (10)  |  Range (57)  |  Reason (454)  |  Say (228)  |  Set (97)  |  Sing (25)  |  Skill (65)  |  Span (5)  |  Star (336)  |  Supreme (37)  |  Surveyor (4)  |  Symbolize (6)  |  Together (77)  |  Truth (914)  |  Understanding (325)  |  Venture (18)  |  Wisdom (180)

Those who are good at archery learnt from the bow and not from Yi the Archer. Those who know how to manage boats learnt from boats and not from Wo (the legendary mighty boatman). Those who can think learnt for themselves and not from the sages.
Kuan-Yin
As quoted in Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 2: History of Scientific Thought (1956), 73, citing “in the Kuan Yin Tzu, a Taoist book of Thang (perhaps + 8th century).” Also in Alan L. Mackay, A Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1991), 144, citing Needham.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (184)  |  Boat (15)  |  Bow (10)  |  Good (345)  |  Know (547)  |  Learn (281)  |  Manage (15)  |  Practice (92)  |  Self-Taught (5)  |  Think (341)

To every Form of being is assigned’
Thus calmly spoke the venerable Sage,
An active Principle:—howe’er remove!
From sense and observation, it subsists.
In all things, in all natures; in the stars
Of azure heaven, the unenduring clouds,
In flower and tree, in every pebbly stone
That paves the brooks, the stationary rocks,
The moving waters, and the invisible air.’
In The Excursion (1814). In The Works of William Wordsworth (1994), Book 9, 884.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (188)  |  Assignment (10)  |  Brook (6)  |  Cloud (69)  |  Flower (76)  |  Form (308)  |  Heaven (151)  |  Observation (445)  |  Pebble (19)  |  Principle (285)  |  Rock (125)  |  Star (336)  |  Stone (76)  |  Tree (170)  |  Water (292)

We have before us the restoration of that ancient land whose name was a synonym for abundance, prosperity, and grandeur for many generations. Records as old as those of Egypt and as well attested tell of fertile lands and teeming populations, mighty kings and warriors, sages and wise men, over periods of thousands of years. ... A land such as this is worth resuscitating. Once we have apprehended the true cause of its present desolate and abandoned condition, we are on our way to restoring it to its ancient fertility. A land which so readily responded to ancient science, and gave a return which sufficed for the maintenance of a Persian Court in all its splendor, will surely respond to the efforts of modern science and return manifold the money and talent spent on its regeneration.
From The Restoration of the Ancient Irrigation Works on the Tigris: or, The Re-creation of Chaldea (1903), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (48)  |  Abundance (21)  |  Ancient (103)  |  Apprehend (5)  |  Attest (3)  |  Cause (283)  |  Condition (160)  |  Court (20)  |  Desolation (3)  |  Egypt (22)  |  Fertility (15)  |  Generation (137)  |  Grandeur (21)  |  King (32)  |  Land (115)  |  Maintenance (14)  |  Manifold (9)  |  Mighty (13)  |  Modern (159)  |  Money (142)  |  Name (165)  |  Population (78)  |  Prosperity (15)  |  Record (67)  |  Regeneration (4)  |  Restoration (4)  |  Return (55)  |  Science (2043)  |  Splendor (12)  |  Suffice (7)  |  Synonym (2)  |  Talent (61)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Warrior (6)  |  Wise (60)  |  Year (299)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.