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 S > Category: Satisfaction

Satisfaction Quotes (48 quotes)

Bernard: Oh, you’re going to zap me with penicillin and pesticides. Spare me that and I’ll spare you the bomb and aerosols. But don’t confuse progress with perfectibility. A great poet is always timely. A great philosopher is an urgent need. There’s no rush for Isaac Newton. We were quite happy with Aristotle’s cosmos. Personally, I preferred it. Fifty-five crystal spheres geared to God’s crankshaft is my idea of a satisfying universe. I can’t think of anything more trivial than the speed of light. Quarks, quasars—big bangs, black holes—who [cares]? How did you people con us out of all that status? All that money? And why are you so pleased with yourselves?
Chloe: Are you against penicillin, Bernard?
Bernard: Don’t feed the animals.
In the play, Acadia (1993), Act 2, Scene 5, 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Aerosol (2)  |  Animal (309)  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Big Bang (38)  |  Black Hole (14)  |  Bomb (17)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Cosmos (39)  |  Crystal (47)  |  Feed (22)  |  Gear (4)  |  God (454)  |  Greatness (34)  |  Happiness (82)  |  Idea (440)  |  Money (125)  |  Need (211)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Penicillin (10)  |  Perfectibility (2)  |  Pesticide (4)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Poet (59)  |  Progress (317)  |  Quark (6)  |  Quasar (4)  |  Rush (12)  |  Sparing (2)  |  Speed Of Light (11)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Status (18)  |  Timely (2)  |  Trivial (30)  |  Universe (563)  |  Urgency (8)

Although my Aachen colleagues and students at first regarded the “pure mathematician” with suspicion, I soon had the satisfaction of being accepted a useful member not merely in teaching but also engineering practice; thus I was requested to render expert opinions and to participate in the Ingenieurverein [engineering association].
As quoted in Paul Forman and Armin Hermann, 'Sommerfeld, Arnold (Johannes Wilhelm)', Biography in Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1975), Vol. 12, 527. Cited from 'Autobiographische Skizze', Gesammelte Schriften, Vol 4, 673–682.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (37)  |  Association (15)  |  Colleague (19)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Expert (42)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Member (27)  |  Mere (41)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Participate (4)  |  Practice (67)  |  Regard (58)  |  Render (17)  |  Request (2)  |  Student (131)  |  Suspicion (25)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Useful (66)

As the nineteenth century drew to a close, scientists could reflect with satisfaction that they had pinned down most of the mysteries of the physical world: electricity, magnetism, gases, optics, acoustics, kinetics and statistical mechanics ... all had fallen into order before the. They had discovered the X ray, the cathode ray, the electron, and radioactivity, invented the ohm, the watt, the Kelvin, the joule, the amp, and the little erg.
A Short History of Nearly Everything. In Clifford A. Pickover, Archimedes to Hawking: Laws of Science and the Great Minds Behind Them (2008), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Cathode (2)  |  Century (95)  |  Close (40)  |  Discover (115)  |  Down (44)  |  Draw (25)  |  Electricity (121)  |  Electron (66)  |  Fall (89)  |  Gas (46)  |  Invent (30)  |  Joule (2)  |  Little (126)  |  Magnetism (26)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nineteenth (6)  |  Ohm (2)  |  Optics (15)  |  Order (167)  |  Physical World (6)  |  Pin (6)  |  Radioactivity (26)  |  Ray (32)  |  Reflect (17)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Statistical Mechanics (5)  |  X (2)

But nature is remarkably obstinate against purely logical operations; she likes not schoolmasters nor scholastic procedures. As though she took a particular satisfaction in mocking at our intelligence, she very often shows us the phantom of an apparently general law, represented by scattered fragments, which are entirely inconsistent. Logic asks for the union of these fragments; the resolute dogmatist, therefore, does not hesitate to go straight on to supply, by logical conclusions, the fragments he wants, and to flatter himself that he has mastered nature by his victorious intelligence.
'On the Principles of Animal Morphology', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2 Apr 1888), 15, 289. Original as Letter to Mr John Murray, communicated to the Society by Professor Sir William Turner. Page given as in collected volume published 1889.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparently (11)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Dogmatist (4)  |  Fragment (24)  |  General (92)  |  Hesitate (5)  |  Inconsistent (7)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Law (418)  |  Like (18)  |  Logic (187)  |  Master (55)  |  Mocking (4)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Obstinate (4)  |  Operation (96)  |  Phantom (5)  |  Procedure (16)  |  Remarkably (3)  |  Resolute (2)  |  Scattered (4)  |  Schoolmaster (4)  |  Union (16)

Every occurrence in Nature is preceded by other occurrences which are its causes, and succeeded by others which are its effects. The human mind is not satisfied with observing and studying any natural occurrence alone, but takes pleasure in connecting every natural fact with what has gone before it, and with what is to come after it.
In Forms of Water in Clouds and Rivers, Ice and Glaciers (1872), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Before (6)  |  Cause (231)  |  Connection (86)  |  Effect (133)  |  Fact (609)  |  Human Mind (51)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Observation (418)  |  Occurrence (30)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Preceding (8)  |  Study (331)  |  Succeeding (2)

Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development. Feeling and longing are the motive force behind all human endeavor and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present themselves to us.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Behind (25)  |  Concern (76)  |  Constantly (19)  |  Creation (211)  |  Deeply (13)  |  Development (228)  |  Endeavor (33)  |  Everything (120)  |  Exalted (8)  |  Feel (93)  |  Force (194)  |  Guise (4)  |  Human (445)  |  Human Race (49)  |  Keep (47)  |  Latter (13)  |  Long (95)  |  Mind (544)  |  Motive (26)  |  Movement (65)  |  Need (211)  |  Pain (82)  |  Present (103)  |  Spiritual (45)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Thought (374)  |  Understand (189)  |  Wish (62)

For five hundred dollars, I'll name a subatomic particle after you. Some of my satisfied customers include Arthur C. Quark and George Meson.
Spoken by the character Dogbert in Dilbert comic strip (26 Jul 2003).
Science quotes on:  |  Customer (5)  |  Dollar (19)  |  Meson (2)  |  Name (118)  |  Particle (90)  |  Quark (6)  |  Subatomic (6)

Frequently, I have been asked if an experiment I have planned is pure or applied science; to me it is more important to know if the experiment will yield new and probably enduring knowledge about nature. If it is likely to yield such knowledge, it is, in my opinion, good fundamental research; and this is more important than whether the motivation is purely aesthetic satisfaction on the part of the experimenter on the one hand or the improvement of the stability of a high-power transistor on the other.
Quoted in Richard R. Nelson, 'The Link Between Science and Invention: The Case of the Transistor,' The Rate and Direction of the Inventive Activity (1962). In Daniel S. Greenberg, The Politics of Pure Science (1999), 32, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Aesthetic (26)  |  Applied Science (28)  |  Asking (23)  |  Enduring (5)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Experimenter (18)  |  Frequently (13)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Importance (183)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Likelihood (8)  |  Motivation (21)  |  Nature (1029)  |  New (340)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Plan (69)  |  Pure Science (18)  |  Research (517)  |  Stability (17)  |  Yield (23)

I am convinced that this is the only means of advancing science, of clearing the mind from a confused heap of contradictory observations, that do but perplex and puzzle the Student, when he compares them, or misguide him if he gives himself up to their authority; but bringing them under one general head, can alone give rest and satisfaction to an inquisitive mind.
From 'A Discourse Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy, on the Distribution of Prizes' (11 Dec 1770), in Seven Discourses Delivered in the Royal Academy (1778), 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (36)  |  Authority (50)  |  Compare (15)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Contradiction (44)  |  General (92)  |  Head (52)  |  Heap (12)  |  Inquisitiveness (4)  |  Mind (544)  |  Observation (418)  |  Perplex (2)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  Rest (64)  |  Science (1699)  |  Student (131)

I can assure you, reader, that in a very few hours, even during the first day, you will learn more natural philosophy about things contained in this book, than you could learn in fifty years by reading the theories and opinions of the ancient philosophers. Enemies of science will scoff at the astrologers: saying, where is the ladder on which they have climbed to heaven, to know the foundation of the stars? But in this respect I am exempt from such scoffing; for in proving my written reason, I satisfy sight, hearing, and touch: for this reason, defamers will have no power over me: as you will see when you come to see me in my little Academy.
The Admirable Discourses (1580), trans. Aurele La Rocque (1957), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Academy (11)  |  Ancient (68)  |  Assurance (8)  |  Astrologer (6)  |  Book (181)  |  Climb (14)  |  Contain (37)  |  Day (38)  |  Enemy (52)  |  Exemption (2)  |  Fifty (15)  |  First (174)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Hearing (27)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Hour (42)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Ladder (7)  |  Learning (174)  |  Natural Philosophy (21)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Power (273)  |  Proof (192)  |  Reader (22)  |  Reading (51)  |  Reason (330)  |  Respect (57)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sight (25)  |  Star (251)  |  Theory (582)  |  Touch (48)  |  Writing (72)  |  Year (214)

I can never satisfy myself until I can make a mechanical model of a thing. If I can make a mechanical model, I can understand it. As long as I cannot make a mechanical model all the way through I cannot understand.
From stenographic report by A.S. Hathaway of the Lecture 20 Kelvin presented at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, on 'Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light' (1884), 270-271. (Hathaway was a Mathematics fellow there.) This remark is not included in the first typeset publication—a revised version, printed twenty years later, in 1904, as Lord Kelvin’s Baltimore Lectures on Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light. The original notes were reproduced by the “papyrograph” process. They are excerpted in Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem, Essays in the History and Philosophy of Science (1996), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (41)  |  Long (95)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Model (64)  |  Understand (189)

I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe, and especially the nature of man, and to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me. I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can.
Letter to Asa Gray (22 May 1860). In Charles Darwin and Francis Darwin (ed.), Charles Darwin: His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of His Published Letters (1892), 236.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Brute (12)  |  Brute Force (2)  |  Chance (122)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Content (39)  |  Design (92)  |  Detail (65)  |  Dog (39)  |  Hope (129)  |  Inclination (20)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Law (418)  |  Mind (544)  |  Nature Of Man (4)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Notion (32)  |  Profound (46)  |  Result (250)  |  Speculation (77)  |  Universe (563)  |  Wonder (134)

I feel more confident and more satisfied when I reflect that I have two professions and not one. Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress. When I get tired of one I spend the night with the other. Though it's disorderly it's not so dull, and besides, neither really loses anything, through my infidelity.
In letter to A.S. Suvorin (11 Sep 1888).
Science quotes on:  |  Confidence (32)  |  Disorder (19)  |  Dullness (4)  |  Infidelity (3)  |  Literature (64)  |  Loss (62)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Mistress (6)  |  Profession (54)  |  Wife (18)

I have been branded with folly and madness for attempting what the world calls impossibilities, and even from the great engineer, the late James Watt, who said ... that I deserved hanging for bringing into use the high-pressure engine. This has so far been my reward from the public; but should this be all, I shall be satisfied by the great secret pleasure and laudable pride that I feel in my own breast from having been the instrument of bringing forward new principles and new arrangements of boundless value to my country, and however much I may be straitened in pecuniary circumstances, the great honour of being a useful subject can never be taken from me, which far exceeds riches.
From letter to Davies Gilbert, written a few months before Trevithick's last illness. Quoted in Francis Trevithick, Life of Richard Trevithick: With an Account of his Inventions (1872), Vol. 2, 395-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (94)  |  Biography (227)  |  Boundless (11)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Folly (27)  |  Hanging (4)  |  Honour (23)  |  Impossibility (50)  |  Invention (283)  |  Madness (26)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Poverty (29)  |  Pressure (31)  |  Pride (45)  |  Public (82)  |  Reward (38)  |  Riches (9)  |  Steam Engine (41)  |  Use (70)  |  Value (180)  |  James Watt (11)

I have no patience with attempts to identify science with measurement, which is but one of its tools, or with any definition of the scientist which would exclude a Darwin, a Pasteur or a Kekulé. The scientist is a practical man and his are practical aims. He does not seek the ultimate but the proximate. He does not speak of the last analysis but rather of the next approximation. His are not those beautiful structures so delicately designed that a single flaw may cause the collapse of the whole. The scientist builds slowly and with a gross but solid kind of masonry. If dissatisfied with any of his work, even if it be near the very foundations, he can replace that part without damage to the remainder. On the whole, he is satisfied with his work, for while science may never be wholly right it certainly is never wholly wrong; and it seems to be improving from decade to decade.
The Anatomy of Science (1926), 6-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Approximation (16)  |  Collapse (16)  |  Damage (18)  |  Definition (152)  |  Dissatisfaction (4)  |  Flaw (8)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Improvement (67)  |  August Kekulé (13)  |  Masonry (2)  |  Measurement (148)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Louis Pasteur (79)  |  Practical (93)  |  Progress (317)  |  Right (144)  |  Structure (191)  |  Ultimate (61)  |  Wrong (116)

I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.
From Lecture 7, (7 Oct 1884), in Baltimore Lectures on Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light (1904), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Formula (51)  |  Magnitude (21)

If any student comes to me and says he wants to be useful to mankind and go into research to alleviate human suffering, I advise him to go into charity instead. Research wants real egotists who seek their own pleasure and satisfaction, but find it in solving the puzzles of nature.
In Science Today (May 1980), 35. In Vladimir Burdyuzha, The Future of Life and the Future of Our Civilization (2006), 374.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (33)  |  Alleviate (4)  |  Charity (8)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  Research (517)  |  Solution (168)  |  Student (131)  |  Suffering (26)  |  Useful (66)

If someday they say of me that in my work I have contributed something to the welfare and happiness of my fellow man, I shall be satisfied.
In Quentin R. Skrabec, Jr., George Westinghouse: Gentle Genius (2007), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Contribution (49)  |  Fellow (29)  |  Happiness (82)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Welfare (16)  |  Work (457)

If the love of surgery is a proof of a person’s being adapted for it, then certainly I am fitted to he a surgeon; for thou can’st hardly conceive what a high degree of enjoyment I am from day to day experiencing in this bloody and butchering department of the healing art. I am more and more delighted with my profession.
Letter to his father (1853). In John Vaughan, 'Lord Lister', The Living Age (1918), 297, 361. Reprinted from The Fortnightly Review (1918), 109, 417- .
Science quotes on:  |  Blood (95)  |  Delight (51)  |  Enjoyment (27)  |  Healing (16)  |  Profession (54)  |  Surgeon (43)  |  Surgery (39)

If you ask me whether science has solved, or is likely to solve, the problem of this universe, I must shake my head in doubt. We have been talking of matter and force; but whence came matter, and whence came force? You remember the first Napoleon’s question, when the savans who accompanied him to Egypt discussed in his presence the problem of the universe, and solved it to their apparent satisfaction. He looked aloft to the starry heavens, and said—“It is all very well, gentlemen, but who made all these!” That question still remains unanswered, and science makes no attempt to answer it.
Lecture 'On Matter and Force', to nearly 3,000 working men, at the Dundee Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Sep 1867), reported in 'Dundee Meeting, 1867', Chemical News and Journal of Physical Science (Nov 1867)
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (18)  |  Aloft (4)  |  Answer (201)  |  Apparent (26)  |  Ask (99)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (11)  |  Discuss (14)  |  Doubt (121)  |  Egypt (18)  |  Force (194)  |  Gentleman (17)  |  Head (52)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Look (46)  |  Make (23)  |  Matter (270)  |  Presence (26)  |  Problem (362)  |  Question (315)  |  Remain (77)  |  Remember (53)  |  Science (1699)  |  Shake (19)  |  Solve (41)  |  Star (251)  |  Talk (61)  |  Universe (563)

If you have to prove a theorem, do not rush. First of all, understand fully what the theorem says, try to see clearly what it means. Then check the theorem; it could be false. Examine the consequences, verify as many particular instances as are needed to convince yourself of the truth. When you have satisfied yourself that the theorem is true, you can start proving it.
In How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Check (16)  |  Clarity (31)  |  Consequence (76)  |  Convince (17)  |  Examination (60)  |  False (79)  |  Instance (18)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Need (211)  |  Particular (54)  |  Proof (192)  |  Rush (12)  |  Start (68)  |  Theorem (46)  |  Truth (750)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Verification (20)

Indeed, while Nature is wonderfully inventive of new structures, her conservatism in holding on to old ones is still more remarkable. In the ascending line of development she tries an experiment once exceedingly thorough, and then the question is solved for all time. For she always takes time enough to try the experiment exhaustively. It took ages to find how to build a spinal column or brain, but when the experiment was finished she had reason to be, and was, satisfied.
In The Whence and Whither of Man; a Brief History of his Origin and Development through Conformity to Environment; being the Morse Lectures of 1895. (1896), 173. The Morse lectureship was founded by Prof. Samuel F.B. Morse in 1865 at Union Theological Seminary, the lectures to deal with “the relation of the Bible to any of the sciences.”
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Brain (181)  |  Build (80)  |  Conservatism (2)  |  Development (228)  |  Exhaustive (2)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Find (248)  |  Finish (16)  |  Hold (56)  |  Inventive (5)  |  Nature (1029)  |  New (340)  |  Old (104)  |  Question (315)  |  Remarkable (34)  |  Solution (168)  |  Spinal Column (2)  |  Structure (191)  |  Thorough (7)  |  Time (439)  |  Try (103)  |  Wonder (134)

It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.
Utilitarianism (1861), 212.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (131)  |  Dissatisfaction (4)  |  Fool (70)  |  Human Being (54)  |  Pig (7)  |  Socrates (14)

Let every student of nature take this as his rule, that whatever the mind seizes upon with particular satisfaction is to be held in suspicion.
Novum Organum (1620). In Jerome Kagan, Three Seductive Ideas (1998).
Science quotes on:  |  Mind (544)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Particular (54)  |  Rule (135)  |  Seize (10)  |  Student (131)  |  Suspicion (25)

Men who do not know the truth of things try to reach certainty about them, so that, if they cannot satisfy their intellects by science, their wills at least may rest on conscience.
In The New Science (3rd ed., 1744), Book 1, Para. 137, as translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch, The New Science of Giambattista Vico (1948), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (97)  |  Conscience (36)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Rest (64)  |  Truth (750)  |  Trying (18)

Natural history is a matter of observation; it is a harvest which you gather when and where you find it growing. Birds and squirrels and flowers are not always in season, but philosophy we have always with us. It is a crop which we can grow and reap at all times and in all places and it has its own value and brings its own satisfaction.
From Under the Apple-Trees (1916), Preface.
Science quotes on:  |  Bird (96)  |  Crop (16)  |  Flower (65)  |  Gather (29)  |  Growth (111)  |  Harvest (14)  |  Natural History (44)  |  Observation (418)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Reap (6)  |  Season (24)  |  Squirrel (7)  |  Value (180)

No matter how correct a mathematical theorem may appear to be, one ought never to be satisfied that there was not something imperfect about it until it also gives the impression of being beautiful.
As quoted in Desmond MacHale. Comic Sections (1993), 107, without citation. Please contact the Webmaster if you know the primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Appear (55)  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Correct (53)  |  Imperfect (10)  |  Impression (51)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Theorem (46)

Once a mathematical result is proven to the satisfaction of the discipline, it doesn’t need to be re-evaluated in the light of new evidence or refuted, unless it contains a mistake. If it was true for Archimedes, then it is true today.
In 'The Unplanned Impact of Mathematics', Nature (14 Jul 2011), 475, No. 7355, 166.
Science quotes on:  |  Archimedes (22)  |  Discipline (38)  |  Evaluate (5)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Mistake (107)  |  New (340)  |  Proof (192)  |  Pure Mathematics (27)  |  Refute (3)  |  Result (250)  |  True (120)

One wonders whether a generation that demands instant satisfaction of all its needs and instant solution of the world’s problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive - it will stand in awe of nature, and submit to the tutelage of medicine men.
In Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Awe (24)  |  Demand (52)  |  Equip (3)  |  Essentially (11)  |  Generation (111)  |  Instant (10)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Modern (104)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Need (211)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Problem (362)  |  Produce (63)  |  Solution (168)  |  Stand (60)  |  Submit (12)  |  Technology (199)  |  Value (180)  |  Wonder (134)  |  World (667)

Religion and science ... constitute deep-rooted and ancient efforts to find richer experience and deeper meaning than are found in the ordinary biological and social satisfactions. As pointed out by Whitehead, religion and science have similar origins and are evolving toward similar goals. Both started from crude observations and fanciful concepts, meaningful only within a narrow range of conditions for the people who formulated them of their limited tribal experience. But progressively, continuously, and almost simultaneously, religious and scientific concepts are ridding themselves of their coarse and local components, reaching higher and higher levels of abstraction and purity. Both the myths of religion and the laws of science, it is now becoming apparent, are not so much descriptions of facts as symbolic expressions of cosmic truths.
'On Being Human,' A God Within, Scribner (1972).
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (29)  |  Ancient (68)  |  Apparent (26)  |  Become (100)  |  Biological (21)  |  Both (52)  |  Coarse (2)  |  Component (14)  |  Concept (102)  |  Condition (119)  |  Constitute (19)  |  Continuously (7)  |  Cosmic (34)  |  Crude (14)  |  Deep (81)  |  Description (72)  |  Effort (94)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Experience (268)  |  Expression (82)  |  Fact (609)  |  Fanciful (4)  |  Find (248)  |  Formulate (10)  |  Goal (81)  |  High (78)  |  Law (418)  |  Level (51)  |  Limit (86)  |  Local (15)  |  Mean (63)  |  Meaningful (14)  |  Myth (43)  |  Narrow (33)  |  Observation (418)  |  Ordinary (44)  |  Origin (77)  |  People (269)  |  Point (72)  |  Progressively (2)  |  Purity (13)  |  Range (38)  |  Reach (68)  |  Religion (210)  |  Religion And Science (6)  |  Religious (44)  |  Rich (48)  |  Rid (10)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Similar (22)  |  Simultaneous (12)  |  Social (93)  |  Start (68)  |  Symbolic (6)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Toward (29)  |  Truth (750)  |  Whitehead (2)

Science has hitherto been proceeding without the guidance of any rational theory of logic, and has certainly made good progress. It is like a computer who is pursuing some method of arithmetical approximation. Even if he occasionally makes mistakes in his ciphering, yet if the process is a good one they will rectify themselves. But then he would approximate much more rapidly if he did not commit these errors; and in my opinion, the time has come when science ought to be provided with a logic. My theory satisfies me; I can see no flaw in it. According to that theory universality, necessity, exactitude, in the absolute sense of these words, are unattainable by us, and do not exist in nature. There is an ideal law to which nature approximates; but to express it would require an endless series of modifications, like the decimals expressing surd. Only when you have asked a question in so crude a shape that continuity is not involved, is a perfectly true answer attainable.
Letter to G. F. Becker, 11 June 1893. Merrill Collection, Library of Congress. Quoted in Nathan Reingold, Science in Nineteenth-Century America: A Documentary History (1966), 231-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Answer (201)  |  Approximation (16)  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Attainment (35)  |  Commitment (11)  |  Computer (84)  |  Crudity (3)  |  Decimal (11)  |  Endless (20)  |  Error (230)  |  Exactitude (6)  |  Existence (254)  |  Flaw (8)  |  Good (228)  |  Guidance (12)  |  Hitherto (3)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Logic (187)  |  Method (154)  |  Modification (31)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Perfection (71)  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Progress (317)  |  Provision (15)  |  Pursuit (55)  |  Question (315)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Rationality (11)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sense (240)  |  Series (38)  |  Theory (582)  |  Time (439)  |  Truth (750)  |  Universality (11)  |  Word (221)

Scientists are entitled to be proud of their accomplishments, and what accomplishments can they call ‘theirs’ except the things they have done or thought of first? People who criticize scientists for wanting to enjoy the satisfaction of intellectual ownership are confusing possessiveness with pride of possession. Meanness, secretiveness and, sharp practice are as much despised by scientists as by other decent people in the world of ordinary everyday affairs; nor, in my experience, is generosity less common among them, or less highly esteemed.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  Affair (24)  |  Call (68)  |  Common (92)  |  Confuse (13)  |  Criticize (4)  |  Decent (4)  |  Despise (7)  |  Enjoy (23)  |  Entitle (2)  |  Esteem (8)  |  Everyday (13)  |  Experience (268)  |  First (174)  |  Generosity (6)  |  Highly (8)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Less (54)  |  Meanness (5)  |  Ordinary (44)  |  People (269)  |  Possession (37)  |  Practice (67)  |  Pride (45)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Sharp (12)  |  Theirs (3)  |  Thought (374)  |  Want (120)  |  World (667)

Somewhere in the arrangement of this world there seems to be a great concern about giving us delight, which shows that, in the universe, over and above the meaning of matter and forces, there is a message conveyed through the magic touch of personality. ...
Is it merely because the rose is round and pink that it gives me more satisfaction than the gold which could buy me the necessities of life, or any number of slaves. ... Somehow we feel that through a rose the language of love reached our hearts.
The Religion of Man (1931), 102. Quoted in H. E. Hunter, The Divine Proportion (1970), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (45)  |  Concern (76)  |  Delight (51)  |  Force (194)  |  Gold (55)  |  Language (155)  |  Life (917)  |  Magic (67)  |  Matter (270)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Message (30)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Personality (40)  |  Pink (2)  |  Rose (7)  |  Slave (21)  |  Touch (48)  |  Universe (563)  |  World (667)

The efforts of most human-beings are consumed in the struggle for their daily bread, but most of those who are, either through fortune or some special gift, relieved of this struggle are largely absorbed in further improving their worldly lot. Beneath the effort directed toward the accumulation of worldly goods lies all too frequently the illusion that this is the most substantial and desirable end to be achieved; but there is, fortunately, a minority composed of those who recognize early in their lives that the most beautiful and satisfying experiences open to humankind are not derived from the outside, but are bound up with the development of the individual's own feeling, thinking and acting. The genuine artists, investigators and thinkers have always been persons of this kind. However inconspicuously the life of these individuals runs its course, none the less the fruits of their endeavors are the most valuable contributions which one generation can make to its successors.
In letter (1 May 1935), Letters to the Editor, 'The Late Emmy Noether: Professor Einstein Writes in Appreciation of a Fellow-Mathematician', New York Times (4 May 1935), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Acting (5)  |  Artist (46)  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Bound (12)  |  Contribution (49)  |  Derivation (12)  |  Development (228)  |  Early (39)  |  Endeavor (33)  |  Experience (268)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Fortunately (7)  |  Fruit (63)  |  Generation (111)  |  Genuine (19)  |  Humankind (7)  |  Inconspicuous (3)  |  Individual (177)  |  Investigator (28)  |  Kind (99)  |  Life (917)  |  Minority (16)  |  Emmy Noether (6)  |  Nonetheless (2)  |  Outside (37)  |  Recognition (62)  |  Successor (6)  |  Thinker (15)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Value (180)

The indescribable pleasure—which pales the rest of life's joys—is abundant compensation for the investigator who endures the painful and persevering analytical work that precedes the appearance of the new truth, like the pain of childbirth. It is true to say that nothing for the scientific scholar is comparable to the things that he has discovered. Indeed, it would be difficult to find an investigator willing to exchange the paternity of a scientific conquest for all the gold on earth. And if there are some who look to science as a way of acquiring gold instead of applause from the learned, and the personal satisfaction associated with the very act of discovery, they have chosen the wrong profession.
From Reglas y Consejos sobre Investigacíon Cientifica: Los tónicos de la voluntad. (1897), as translated by Neely and Larry W. Swanson, in Advice for a Young Investigator (1999), 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Abundance (15)  |  Acquisition (32)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Appearance (77)  |  Applause (6)  |  Childbirth (2)  |  Choice (64)  |  Comparable (5)  |  Compensation (6)  |  Conquest (13)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Earth (487)  |  Endurance (4)  |  Exchange (11)  |  Find (248)  |  Gold (55)  |  Investigator (28)  |  Joy (61)  |  Learned (20)  |  Life (917)  |  New (340)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Pain (82)  |  Pale (4)  |  Paternity (2)  |  Perseverance (15)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Preceding (8)  |  Profession (54)  |  Rest (64)  |  Scholar (31)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Truth (750)  |  Willingness (9)  |  Work (457)

The King saw them with no common satisfaction, expressing his desire in no particular to have yt Stellar fish engraven and printed. We wish very much, Sir, yt you could procure for us a particular description of yesd Fish, viz. whether it be common there; what is observable in it when alive; what colour it then hath; what kind of motion in the water; what use it maketh of all that curious workmanship, wch Nature hath adorn'd it with?
Letter to John Winthrop, Jr. (26 Mar 1670), concerning specimens provided by Winthrop to the Society. In A. Rupert Hall & Marie Boas Hall (eds.), The Correspondence of Henry Oldenburg (1969), Vol. 6, 594.
Science quotes on:  |  Color (78)  |  Desire (101)  |  Engraving (2)  |  Fish (85)  |  King (23)  |  Motion (127)  |  Observation (418)  |  Printing (12)

The more I study the things of the mind the more mathematical I find them. In them as in mathematics it is a question of quantities; they must be treated with precision. I have never had more satisfaction than in proving this in the realms of art, politics and history.
Notes made after the completion of the third chapter of Vol. 3 of La Rivolution, 22 April 1883. In E. Sparvel-Bayly (trans.), Life and Letters of H. Taine (1902-1908), Vol. 3, 239.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (205)  |  Find (248)  |  History (302)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Mind (544)  |  Politics (77)  |  Precision (38)  |  Proof (192)  |  Quantity (35)  |  Question (315)  |  Realm (40)  |  Study (331)  |  Treatment (88)

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 (18)  |  Evil (67)  |  Importance (183)  |  Need (211)  |  Primary (29)  |  Problem (362)  |  Repair (7)  |  Technology (199)  |  Today (86)  |  Urgent (7)  |  Wish (62)  |  Yesterday (14)

The only use for an atomic bomb is to keep somebody else from using one. It can give us no protection—only the doubtful satisfaction of retaliation.
From speech given at an anti-war teach-in at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (4 Mar 1969) 'A Generation in Search of a Future', as edited by Ron Dorfman for Chicago Journalism Review, (May 1969).
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Nuclear (24)  |  Protection (23)  |  Retaliation (2)  |  Use (70)  |  Weapon (57)

The opening of a foreign trade, by making them acquainted with new objects, or tempting them by the easier acquisition of things which they had not previously thought attainable, sometimes works a sort of industrial revolution in a country whose resources were previously undeveloped for want of energy and ambition in the people; inducing those who were satisfied with scanty comforts and little work to work harder for the gratification of their new tastes, and even to save, and accumulate capital, for the still more complete satisfaction of those tastes at a future time.
In Principles of Political Economy, with Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy Vol. 1 (1873), Vol. 1, 351.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulate (18)  |  Acquaint (4)  |  Acquisition (32)  |  Ambition (25)  |  Attain (21)  |  Capital (15)  |  Comfort (42)  |  Country (121)  |  Easier (8)  |  Energy (185)  |  Future (229)  |  Gratification (14)  |  Hard (70)  |  Induce (6)  |  Industrial Revolution (8)  |  New (340)  |  Person (114)  |  Resource (47)  |  Satisfy (14)  |  Save (46)  |  Scanty (3)  |  Taste (35)  |  Tempt (4)  |  Undeveloped (4)  |  Want (120)

There are few humanities that could surpass in discipline, in beauty, in emotional and aesthetic satisfaction, those humanities which are called mathematics, and the natural sciences.
'Scientist and Citizen', Speech to the Empire Club of Canada (29 Jan 1948), The Empire Club of Canada Speeches (29 Jan 1948), 209-221.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (171)  |  Discipline (38)  |  Emotion (62)  |  Humanities (14)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Natural Science (62)  |  Science And Art (157)  |  Surpassing (7)

There is a great deal of emotional satisfaction in the elegant demonstration, in the elegant ordering of facts into theories, and in the still more satisfactory, still more emotionally exciting discovery that the theory is not quite right and has to be worked over again, very much as any other work of art—a painting, a sculpture has to be worked over in the interests of aesthetic perfection. So there is no scientist who is not to some extent worthy of being described as artist or poet.
'Scientist and Citizen', Speech to the Empire Club of Canada (29 Jan 1948), The Empire Club of Canada Speeches (29 Jan 1948), 209-221.
Science quotes on:  |  Aesthetic (26)  |  Artist (46)  |  Demonstration (51)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Elegance (20)  |  Emotion (62)  |  Excitement (33)  |  Fact (609)  |  Order (167)  |  Painting (24)  |  Perfection (71)  |  Poet (59)  |  Right (144)  |  Science And Art (157)  |  Sculpture (8)  |  Theory (582)  |  Work (457)

Thinking, after a while, becomes the most pleasurable thing in the world. Give me a satchel and a fishing rod, and I could hie myself off and keep busy at thinking forever. I don't need anybody to amuse me. It is the same way with my friends John Burroughs, the naturalist, and Henry Ford, who is a natural-born mechanic. We can derive the most satisfying kind of joy from thinking and thinking and thinking.
As quoted from an interview by B.C. Forbes in The American Magazine (Jan 1921), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Amusement (20)  |  John Burroughs (15)  |  Fishing (12)  |  Henry Ford (13)  |  Friend (63)  |  Joy (61)  |  Mechanic (13)  |  Naturalist (49)  |  Thinking (222)

We need go back only a few centuries to find the great mass of people depending on religion for the satisfaction of practically all their wishes. From rain out of the sky to good health on earth, they sought their desires at the altars of their gods. Whether they wanted large families, good crops, freedom from pestilence, or peace of mind, they conceived themselves as dependent on the favor of heaven. Then science came with its alternative, competitive method of getting what we want. That is science’s most important attribute. As an intellectual influence it is powerful enough, but as a practical way of achieving man’s desires it is overwhelming.
In 'The Real Point of Conflict between Science and Religion', collected in Living Under Tension: Sermons On Christianity Today (1941), 140-141.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieving (3)  |  Altar (6)  |  Attribute (22)  |  Century (95)  |  Conceived (3)  |  Crop (16)  |  Desire (101)  |  Earth (487)  |  Family (37)  |  Freedom (76)  |  God (454)  |  Good (228)  |  Health (136)  |  Important (124)  |  Influence (110)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Overwhelming (18)  |  People (269)  |  Pestilence (8)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Practical (93)  |  Rain (28)  |  Religion (210)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Sky (68)  |  Want (120)  |  Wish (62)

We scientists are clever—too clever—are you not satisfied? Is four square miles in one bomb not enough? Men are still thinking. Just tell us how big you want it!
As quoted in James Gleick, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (1992), 204.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Big (33)  |  Clever (14)  |  Mile (24)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Tell (67)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Want (120)

Yet as I cast my eye over the whole course of science I behold instances of false science, even more pretentious and popular than that of Einstein gradually fading into ineptitude under the searchlight; and I have no doubt that there will arise a new generation who will look with a wonder and amazement, deeper than now accompany Einstein, at our galaxy of thinkers, men of science, popular critics, authoritative professors and witty dramatists, who have been satisfied to waive their common sense in view of Einstein's absurdities.
In Elizabeth Dilling, A "Who's Who" and Handbook of Radicalism for Patriots (1934), 49.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (16)  |  Accompany (18)  |  Amazement (9)  |  Authority (50)  |  Cast (15)  |  Common Sense (69)  |  Course (57)  |  Critic (17)  |  Doubt (121)  |  Albert Einstein (535)  |  Eye (159)  |  Fading (3)  |  Falsity (12)  |  Galaxy (38)  |  Generation (111)  |  Ineptitude (2)  |  Instance (18)  |  Men Of Science (97)  |  New (340)  |  Popular (21)  |  Pretention (2)  |  Professor (39)  |  Science (1699)  |  Searchlight (4)  |  Theory Of Relativity (12)  |  View (115)  |  Wit (27)  |  Wonder (134)

[The scientist] believes passionately in facts, in measured facts. He believes there are no bad facts, that all facts are good facts, though they may be facts about bad things, and his intellectual satisfaction can come only from the acquisition of accurately known facts, from their organization into a body of knowledge, in which the inter-relationship of the measured facts is the dominant consideration.
'Scientist and Citizen', Speech to the Empire Club of Canada (29 Jan 1948), The Empire Club of Canada Speeches (29 Jan 1948), 209-221.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (52)  |  Acquisition (32)  |  Bad (78)  |  Belief (400)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Dominance (5)  |  Fact (609)  |  Good (228)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Measurement (148)  |  Organization (79)  |  Passion (54)  |  Relationship (59)

[The surplus of basic knowledge of the atomic nucleus was] largely used up [during the war with the atomic bomb as the dividend.] We must, without further delay restore this surplus in preparation for the important peacetime job for the nucleus - power production. ... Many of the proposed applications of atomic power - even for interplanetary rockets - seem to be within the realm of possibility provided the economic factor is ruled out completely, and the doubtful physical and chemical factors are weighted heavily on the optimistic side. ... The development of economic atomic power is not a simple extrapolation of knowledge gained during the bomb work. It is a new and difficult project to reach a satisfactory answer. Needless to say, it is vital that the atomic policy legislation now being considered by the congress recognizes the essential nature of this peacetime job, and that it not only permits but encourages the cooperative research-engineering effort of industrial, government and university laboratories for the task. ... We must learn how to generate the still higher energy particles of the cosmic rays - up to 1,000,000,000 volts, for they will unlock new domains in the nucleus.
Addressing the American Institute of Electrical Engineering, in New York (24 Jan 1946). In Schenectady Gazette (25 Jan 1946),
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Atomic Power (7)  |  Cooperation (27)  |  Cosmic Ray (6)  |  Delay (8)  |  Dividend (3)  |  Economics (30)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Extrapolation (3)  |  Government (85)  |  Industry (91)  |  Job (33)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Legislation (8)  |  Nucleus (30)  |  Optimism (10)  |  Particle (90)  |  Peacetime (2)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Power (273)  |  Preparation (33)  |  Production (105)  |  Project (22)  |  Rocket (29)  |  Surplus (2)  |  Task (68)  |  University (51)  |  Unlocking (2)  |  World War II (7)


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:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations 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 |

who invites your feedback

- 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

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