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: Seek

Seek Quotes (107 quotes)

Aux mathématiciens, il appartient de chercher le vrai; les philosophes doivent se contenter du probable
The concern of mathematicians is to seek the truth; philosophers must be content with the probable.
In 'Divers Opuscules' collected in Oeuvres de Vico (1835), Vol. 1, 159. Translation by Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Content (69)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Philosopher (166)  |  Probable (20)  |  Truth (928)

Imprimisque hominis est propria veri inquisitio atque investigatio.
The first duty of man is the seeking after and the investigation of truth.
De Officiis I., 4, 18. In Thomas Benfield Harbottle, Dictionary of Quotations (classical) (3rd Ed., 1906), 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Duty (68)  |  First (314)  |  Investigation (176)  |  Man (373)  |  Truth (928)

La Patience cherche et le Génie trouve.
Patience seeks; Genius finds.
Anonymous
Quoted as from an unnamed “French writer” in Thomas Moore, Memoirs of the life of the Right Honorable Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1825), Vol. 1, 209. Translation by Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Find (408)  |  Genius (249)  |  Patience (39)

A mathematician of the first rank, Laplace quickly revealed himself as only a mediocre administrator; from his first work we saw that we had been deceived. Laplace saw no question from its true point of view; he sought subtleties everywhere; had only doubtful ideas, and finally carried the spirit of the infinitely small into administration.
As quoted in E.T. Bell, Men of Mathematics (1937, 1965), 182. Without citation, except, “As it is often quoted as … Napoleon’s famous estimate of Laplace, of which he is reported to have delivered himself while he was a prisoner at St. Helena.” Laplace had a six-week tenure in the Ministry of the Interior.
Science quotes on:  |  Administration (11)  |  Administrator (10)  |  Deceive (16)  |  Doubtful (9)  |  First (314)  |  Idea (580)  |  Infinitely (13)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (62)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Mediocre (7)  |  Point Of View (41)  |  Question (404)  |  Rank (32)  |  Small (163)  |  Spirit (154)  |  Subtlety (11)  |  True (208)

A modern branch of mathematics, having achieved the art of dealing with the infinitely small, can now yield solutions in other more complex problems of motion, which used to appear insoluble. This modern branch of mathematics, unknown to the ancients, when dealing with problems of motion, admits the conception of the infinitely small, and so conforms to the chief condition of motion (absolute continuity) and thereby corrects the inevitable error which the human mind cannot avoid when dealing with separate elements of motion instead of examining continuous motion. In seeking the laws of historical movement just the same thing happens. The movement of humanity, arising as it does from innumerable human wills, is continuous. To understand the laws of this continuous movement is the aim of history. … Only by taking an infinitesimally small unit for observation (the differential of history, that is, the individual tendencies of man) and attaining to the art of integrating them (that is, finding the sum of these infinitesimals) can we hope to arrive at the laws of history.
War and Peace (1869), Book 11, Chap. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (98)  |  Aim (89)  |  Ancient (106)  |  Appear (118)  |  Arise (49)  |  Arrive (35)  |  Attain (45)  |  Avoid (55)  |  Branch (107)  |  Chief (38)  |  Complex (95)  |  Concept (146)  |  Condition (163)  |  Conform (11)  |  Continuity (30)  |  Continuous (38)  |  Correct (85)  |  Deal (49)  |  Differential (7)  |  Element (162)  |  Error (277)  |  Examine (44)  |  Find (408)  |  History (369)  |  Hope (174)  |  Human (550)  |  Human Mind (82)  |  Humanity (125)  |  Individual (221)  |  Inevitable (27)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Infinitesimal (15)  |  Innumerable (23)  |  Insoluble (15)  |  Integrate (5)  |  Law (515)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Modern (162)  |  Motion (160)  |  Movement (83)  |  Observation (450)  |  Problem (497)  |  Separate (74)  |  Small (163)  |  Solution (216)  |  Sum (41)  |  Tendency (56)  |  Understand (340)  |  Unit (31)  |  Unknown (107)  |  Yield (38)

A political law or a scientific truth may be perilous to the morals or the faith of individuals; but it cannot on this ground be resisted by the Church. … A discovery may be made in science which will shake the faith of thousands; yet religion cannot regret it or object to it. The difference in this respect between a true and a false religion is, that one judges all things by the standard of their truth, the other by the touchstone of its own interests. A false religion fears the progress of all truth; a true religion seeks and recognises truth wherever it can be found.
From 'Cardinal Wiseman and the Home and Foreign Review' (1862), collected in John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton Baron Acton, John Neville Figgis (ed.) and Reginald Vere Laurence (ed.), The History of Freedom and Other Essays (1907), 449-450. The Darwinian controversy was at its height when this was written.
Science quotes on:  |  Church (34)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Faith (157)  |  False (99)  |  Fear (142)  |  Ground (90)  |  Individual (221)  |  Interest (237)  |  Judge (63)  |  Law (515)  |  Moral (124)  |  Object (175)  |  Peril (9)  |  Politics (96)  |  Progress (368)  |  Recognition (70)  |  Regret (21)  |  Resistance (26)  |  Science And Religion (302)  |  Shake (29)  |  Standard (55)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Touchstone (4)  |  Truth (928)

A premature attempt to explain something that thrills you will destroy your perceptivity rather than increase it, because your tendency will be to explain away rather than seek out.
Victor K. McElhenty, Insisting on the Impossible, 245.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (126)  |  Destroy (80)  |  Explanation (177)  |  Increase (146)  |  Premature (20)  |  Tendency (56)  |  Thrill (19)

After seeking in vain for the construction of a perpetual motion machine, the relations were investigated which must subsist between the forces of nature if such a machine is to be impossible; and this inverted question led to the discovery of the law of the conservation of energy, which, again, explained the impossibility of perpetual motion in the sense originally intended.
Opening of Lecture (1900), 'Mathematische Probleme' (Mathematical Problems), to the International Congress of Mathematicians, Paris. From the original German reprinted in David Hilbert: Gesammelte Abhandlungen (Collected Treatises, 1970), Vol. 3. For full citation, see the quote that begins, “This conviction of the solvability…”, on the David Hilbert Quotes page on this website.
Science quotes on:  |  Conservation Of Energy (27)  |  Construction (83)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Explain (107)  |  Force (249)  |  Impossibility (53)  |  Impossible (113)  |  In Vain (9)  |  Intent (8)  |  Inverted (2)  |  Investigate (65)  |  Law (515)  |  Lead (160)  |  Machine (157)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Original (57)  |  Perpetual Motion (9)  |  Question (404)  |  Relation (154)  |  Sense (321)

All material Things seem to have been composed of the hard and solid Particles … variously associated with the first Creation by the Counsel of an intelligent Agent. For it became him who created them to set them in order: and if he did so, it is unphilosophical to seek for any other Origin of the World, or to pretend that it might arise out of a Chaos by the mere Laws of Nature.
From Opticks (1704, 2nd ed., 1718), 377-378.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (32)  |  Arise (49)  |  Associated (2)  |  Big Bang (39)  |  Chaos (77)  |  Composed (3)  |  Counsel (7)  |  Creation (242)  |  Hard (99)  |  Intelligent (47)  |  Law (515)  |  Material (156)  |  Mere (82)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Order (242)  |  Origin (88)  |  Origin Of Earth (9)  |  Origin Of The Universe (13)  |  Particle (99)  |  Pretend (17)  |  Solid (50)  |  World (898)

An archaeologist is a scientist who seeks to discover past civilizations while the present one is still around.
Anonymous
In Evan Esar, 20,000 Quips & Quotes (1968, 1995), 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Archaeologist (14)  |  Civilization (175)  |  Discover (199)  |  Past (152)  |  Present (176)  |  Scientist (522)

Art and science encounter each other when they seek exactitude.
AS quoted in Gus Kayafas, Estelle Jussim and Harry N. Abrams, Stopping Time: The Photographs of Harold Edgerton (2000), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Encounter (22)  |  Exactitude (8)  |  Science And Art (181)

As Arkwright and Whitney were the demi-gods of cotton, so prolific Time will yet bring an inventor to every plant. There is not a property in nature but a mind is born to seek and find it.
In Fortune of the Republic (1878), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Richard Arkwright (3)  |  Born (31)  |  Bring (90)  |  Cotton (8)  |  Find (408)  |  Inventor (56)  |  Mind (760)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Plant (200)  |  Prolific (5)  |  Property (126)  |  Time (595)

As the issues are greater than men ever sought to realize before, the recriminations will be fiercer and pride more desperately hurt. It may help to recall that many recognized before the bomb ever feel that the time had already come when we must learn to live in One World.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Already (29)  |  Bomb (18)  |  Feel (167)  |  Fierce (7)  |  Great (534)  |  Help (103)  |  Hurt (12)  |  Issue (42)  |  Learn (288)  |  Live (272)  |  Pride (64)  |  Realize (90)  |  Recall (10)  |  Recognize (69)  |  Time (595)  |  World (898)

As to a perfect Science of natural Bodies … we are, I think, so far from being capable of any such thing that I conclude it lost labour to seek after it.
In 'Extent of Human Knowledge', An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding (1700), Book 4, 335.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (247)  |  Capable (51)  |  Conclude (16)  |  Labor (73)  |  Lost (32)  |  Natural (173)  |  Perfect (89)  |  Physics (348)  |  Science (2067)

Come, my friends,
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world…
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Bath (10)  |  Beyond (105)  |  Die (82)  |  Friend (86)  |  Late (52)  |  New (496)  |  Sail (21)  |  Star (336)  |  Sunset (22)  |  Western (19)  |  World (898)

Do not enter upon research unless you can not help it. Ask yourself the “why” of every statement that is made and think out your own answer. If through your thoughtful work you get a worthwhile idea, it will get you. The force of the conviction will compel you to forsake all and seek the relief of your mind in research work.
From Cameron Prize Lecture (1928), delivered before the University of Edinburgh. As quoted in J.B. Collip 'Frederick Grant Banting, Discoverer of Insulin', The Scientific Monthly (May 1941), 52, No. 5, 473.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Ask (160)  |  Compel (22)  |  Conviction (71)  |  Force (249)  |  Forsake (3)  |  Help (103)  |  Idea (580)  |  Mind (760)  |  Relief (18)  |  Research (590)  |  Statement (76)  |  Think (347)  |  Thoughtful (10)  |  Work (635)  |  Worthwhile (11)

Doubtless the reasoning faculty, the mind, is the leading and characteristic attribute of the human race. By the exercise of this, man arrives at the properties of the natural bodies. This is science, properly and emphatically so called. It is the science of pure mathematics; and in the high branches of this science lies the truly sublime of human acquisition. If any attainment deserves that epithet, it is the knowledge, which, from the mensuration of the minutest dust of the balance, proceeds on the rising scale of material bodies, everywhere weighing, everywhere measuring, everywhere detecting and explaining the laws of force and motion, penetrating into the secret principles which hold the universe of God together, and balancing worlds against worlds, and system against system. When we seek to accompany those who pursue studies at once so high, so vast, and so exact; when we arrive at the discoveries of Newton, which pour in day on the works of God, as if a second fiat had gone forth from his own mouth; when, further, we attempt to follow those who set out where Newton paused, making his goal their starting-place, and, proceeding with demonstration upon demonstration, and discovery upon discovery, bring new worlds and new systems of worlds within the limits of the known universe, failing to learn all only because all is infinite; however we may say of man, in admiration of his physical structure, that “in form and moving he is express and admirable,” it is here, and here without irreverence, we may exclaim, “In apprehension how like a god!” The study of the pure mathematics will of course not be extensively pursued in an institution, which, like this [Boston Mechanics’ Institute], has a direct practical tendency and aim. But it is still to be remembered, that pure mathematics lie at the foundation of mechanical philosophy, and that it is ignorance only which can speak or think of that sublime science as useless research or barren speculation.
In Works (1872), Vol. 1, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (22)  |  Acquisition (42)  |  Admirable (19)  |  Admiration (44)  |  Aim (89)  |  Apprehension (16)  |  Arrive (35)  |  Attainment (40)  |  Attempt (126)  |  Attribute (38)  |  Balance (55)  |  Barren (15)  |  Body (247)  |  Branch (107)  |  Bring (90)  |  Call (128)  |  Characteristic (96)  |  Demonstration (86)  |  Deserve (28)  |  Detect (14)  |  Direct (84)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Doubtless (8)  |  Dust (49)  |  Emphatically (3)  |  Epithet (3)  |  Estimates of Mathematics (30)  |  Everywhere (24)  |  Exact (68)  |  Exclaim (4)  |  Exercise (69)  |  Explain (107)  |  Express (65)  |  Extensive (18)  |  Faculty (70)  |  Fail (58)  |  Far (154)  |  Fiat (6)  |  Follow (124)  |  Force (249)  |  Form (314)  |  Forth (13)  |  Foundation (108)  |  Goal (100)  |  God (535)  |  High (153)  |  Hold (94)  |  Human (550)  |  Human Race (69)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Institution (39)  |  Irreverence (3)  |  Know (556)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Law (515)  |  Lead (160)  |  Learn (288)  |  Lie (115)  |  Limit (126)  |  Material (156)  |  Measure (104)  |  Mechanical (50)  |  Mensuration (2)  |  Mind (760)  |  Minute (44)  |  Motion (160)  |  Mouth (21)  |  Move (94)  |  Natural (173)  |  New (496)  |  New Worlds (5)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Pause (6)  |  Penetrate (30)  |  Philosophy (259)  |  Physical (134)  |  Pour (10)  |  Practical (133)  |  Principle (292)  |  Proceed (42)  |  Properly (20)  |  Property (126)  |  Pure Mathematics (65)  |  Pursue (23)  |  Reason (471)  |  Remember (82)  |  Research (590)  |  Rise (70)  |  Say (228)  |  Scale (63)  |  Science (2067)  |  Second (59)  |  Secret (131)  |  Set (99)  |  Speak (92)  |  Speculation (104)  |  Starting Point (14)  |  Structure (225)  |  Study (476)  |  Sublime (27)  |  System (191)  |  Tendency (56)  |  Think (347)  |  Together (79)  |  Truly (33)  |  Universe (686)  |  Useless (32)  |  Vast (89)  |  Weigh (14)  |  Work (635)  |  World (898)

Engineering is the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and the convenience of people. In its modern form engineering involves people, money, materials, machines, and energy. It is differentiated from science because it is primarily concerned with how to direct to useful and economical ends the natural phenomena which scientists discover and formulate into acceptable theories. Engineering therefore requires above all the creative imagination to innovate useful applications of natural phenomena. It seeks newer, cheaper, better means of using natural sources of energy and materials.
In McGraw Hill, Science and Technology Encyclopedia
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptable (6)  |  Application (170)  |  Art (294)  |  Better (192)  |  Cheaper (6)  |  Concern (110)  |  Convenience (34)  |  Creative (61)  |  Differentiate (13)  |  Direct (84)  |  Directing (5)  |  Discover (199)  |  Economical (9)  |  End (195)  |  Energy (214)  |  Engineering (141)  |  Form (314)  |  Formulate (15)  |  Great (534)  |  Imagination (275)  |  Innovate (2)  |  Involve (48)  |  Machine (157)  |  Material (156)  |  Means (176)  |  Modern (162)  |  Money (142)  |  Natural (173)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Person (154)  |  Phenomena (8)  |  Power (366)  |  Primarily (12)  |  Require (85)  |  Science (2067)  |  Scientist (522)  |  Source (91)  |  Theory (696)  |  Useful (100)

Every living thing is a sort of imperialist, seeking to transform as much as possible of its environment into itself and its seed.
In 'Man and his Environment', An Outline of Philosophy (1927), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Environment (181)  |  Living Being (3)  |  Seed (63)  |  Transform (35)

Everything that comes into being seeks room for itself and desires duration: hence it drives something else from its place and shortens its duration.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 199.
Science quotes on:  |  Desire (142)  |  Drive (55)  |  Duration (10)  |  Evolution (535)  |  Natural Selection (90)  |  Place (175)  |  Room (39)  |  Shorten (5)  |  Survival Of The Fittest (38)

Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (680)  |  Earnestly (4)  |  Failure (138)  |  False (99)  |  Highway (13)  |  Inasmuch (5)  |  Lead (160)  |  Sense (321)  |  Success (250)  |  True (208)

Fiction is, indeed, an indispensable supplement to logic, or even a part of it; whether we are working inductively or deductively, both ways hang closely together with fiction: and axioms, though they seek to be primary verities, are more akin to fiction. If we had realized the nature of axioms, the doctrine of Einstein, which sweeps away axioms so familiar to us that they seem obvious truths, and substitutes others which seem absurd because they are unfamiliar, might not have been so bewildering.
In The Dance of Life (1923), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (30)  |  Akin (5)  |  Axiom (52)  |  Bewildering (3)  |  Deductive (11)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Albert Einstein (605)  |  Familiar (43)  |  Fiction (22)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Inductive (10)  |  Logic (260)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Obvious (83)  |  Primary (41)  |  Realize (90)  |  Substitute (28)  |  Supplement (6)  |  Sweep (13)  |  Truth (928)  |  Unfamiliar (8)  |  Verity (5)

For science, God is simplythe stream of tendency in which all things seek to fulfil the law of their being.
In Literature and Dogma: An Essay Towards a Better Apprehension of the Bible (1873), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (535)  |  Fulfill (19)  |  Law (515)  |  Stream (40)  |  Tendency (56)

For the mind is so intimately dependent upon the condition and relation of the organs of the body, that if any means can ever be found to render men wiser and more ingenious than hitherto, I believe that it is in medicine they must be sought for. It is true that the science of medicine, as it now exists, contains few things whose utility is very remarkable.
In A Discourse on Method (1637) as translated by John Veitch, Everyman’s Library: Philosophy & Theology: A Discourse on Method, Etc. (1912, 1916), 49-50. A later translation of this quote begins “Even the mind…” on this web page.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (247)  |  Condition (163)  |  Dependent (24)  |  Found (11)  |  Ingenious (26)  |  Means (176)  |  Medicine (344)  |  Mind (760)  |  Organ (64)  |  Remarkable (48)  |  Render (33)  |  Utility (33)  |  Wiser (2)

From this fountain (the free will of God) it is those laws, which we call the laws of nature, have flowed, in which there appear many traces of the most wise contrivance, but not the least shadow of necessity. These therefore we must not seek from uncertain conjectures, but learn them from observations and experimental. He who is presumptuous enough to think that he can find the true principles of physics and the laws of natural things by the force alone of his own mind, and the internal light of his reason, must either suppose the world exists by necessity, and by the same necessity follows the law proposed; or if the order of Nature was established by the will of God, the [man] himself, a miserable reptile, can tell what was fittest to be done.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (106)  |  Appear (118)  |  Call (128)  |  Conjecture (32)  |  Contrivance (9)  |  Establish (56)  |  Exist (148)  |  Experimental (20)  |  Find (408)  |  Fit (48)  |  Flow (42)  |  Follow (124)  |  Force (249)  |  Fountain (16)  |  Free Will (12)  |  God (535)  |  Internal (25)  |  Law (515)  |  Learn (288)  |  Least (74)  |  Light (347)  |  Mind (760)  |  Miserable (7)  |  Natural (173)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Necessity (143)  |  Observation (450)  |  Order (242)  |  Physics (348)  |  Presumptuous (3)  |  Principle (292)  |  Propose (23)  |  Reason (471)  |  Reptile (26)  |  Same (156)  |  Shadow (52)  |  Suppose (49)  |  Tell (110)  |  Think (347)  |  Trace (53)  |  True (208)  |  Uncertain (14)  |  Wise (61)  |  World (898)

Genes make enzymes, and enzymes control the rates of chemical processes. Genes do not make ‘novelty seeking’ or any other complex and overt behavior. Predisposition via a long chain of complex chemical reactions, mediated through a more complex series of life’s circumstances, does not equal identification or even causation.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Behavior (60)  |  Causation (10)  |  Chain (50)  |  Chemical (79)  |  Chemical Reactions (2)  |  Circumstance (66)  |  Complex (95)  |  Control (114)  |  Enzyme (15)  |  Equal (83)  |  Gene (72)  |  Identification (11)  |  Life (1131)  |  Long (174)  |  Mediate (4)  |  Novelty (23)  |  Predisposition (4)  |  Process (267)  |  Rate (29)  |  Series (51)

Geometric writings are not rare in which one would seek in vain for an idea at all novel, for a result which sooner or later might be of service, for anything in fact which might be destined to survive in the science; and one finds instead treatises on trivial problems or investigations on special forms which have absolutely no use, no importance, which have their origin not in the science itself but in the caprice of the author; or one finds applications of known methods which have already been made thousands of times; or generalizations from known results which are so easily made that the knowledge of the latter suffices to give at once the former. Now such work is not merely useless; it is actually harmful because it produces a real incumbrance in the science and an embarrassment for the more serious investigators; and because often it crowds out certain lines of thought which might well have deserved to be studied.
From 'On Some Recent Tendencies in Geometric Investigations', Rivista di Matematica (1891), 43. In Bulletin American Mathematical Society (1904), 443.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (170)  |  Author (62)  |  Caprice (5)  |  Deserve (28)  |  Embarrassment (5)  |  Encumbrance (4)  |  Form (314)  |  Generalization (41)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Harmful (12)  |  Idea (580)  |  Importance (218)  |  In Vain (9)  |  Investigation (176)  |  Investigator (35)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Latter (21)  |  Merely (82)  |  Method (239)  |  Novel (19)  |  Problem (497)  |  Rare (50)  |  Result (389)  |  Serious (52)  |  Service (64)  |  Sooner Or Later (6)  |  Special (77)  |  Study (476)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (61)  |  Suffice (7)  |  Survive (46)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Treatise (34)  |  Trivial (41)  |  Useless (32)  |  Work (635)  |  Writing (81)

Gold is found in our own part of the world; not to mention the gold extracted from the earth in India by the ants, and in Scythia by the Griffins. Among us it is procured in three different ways; the first of which is in the shape of dust, found in running streams. … A second mode of obtaining gold is by sinking shafts or seeking among the debris of mountains …. The third method of obtaining gold surpasses the labors of the giants even: by the aid of galleries driven to a long distance, mountains are excavated by the light of torches, the duration of which forms the set times for work, the workmen never seeing the light of day for many months together.
In Pliny and John Bostock (trans.), The Natural History of Pliny (1857), Vol. 6, 99-101.
Science quotes on:  |  Debris (7)  |  Dust (49)  |  Earth (638)  |  Excavate (4)  |  Gallery (3)  |  Gold (68)  |  India (16)  |  Labor (73)  |  Light (347)  |  Method (239)  |  Month (31)  |  Mountain (145)  |  Procure (5)  |  Run (57)  |  Shaft (5)  |  Stream (40)  |  Surpass (19)  |  Torch (9)  |  Work (635)  |  Workman (13)  |  World (898)

Great scientific discoveries have been made by men seeking to verify quite erroneous theories about the nature of things.
From 'Wordsworth in the Tropics', in Life and Letters and the London Mercury (1928), Vol. 1, 349.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (680)  |  Error (277)  |  Great (534)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Scientific (236)  |  Theory (696)  |  Verification (27)

He that believes, without having any Reason for believing, may be in love with his own Fancies; but neither seeks Truth as he ought, nor pays the Obedience due to his Maker, who would have him use those discerning Faculties he has given him, to keep him out of Mistake and Errour.
In 'Of Reason', Essay Concerning Humane Understanding (1690), Book 4, Ch. 17, Sec. 24, 347.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (504)  |  Discern (17)  |  Error (277)  |  Faculty (70)  |  Fancy (24)  |  Given (5)  |  God (535)  |  Mistake (132)  |  Obedience (15)  |  Reason (471)  |  Truth (928)

He that desireth to acquire any art or science seeketh first those means by which that art or science is obtained.
In An Apology For the True Christian Divinity (1825), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (39)  |  Desire (142)  |  Means (176)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Science And Art (181)

Human spirituality is to seek an answer to the question: “how can you make sense out of a world which does not seem to be intrinsically reasonable?”
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 44
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Intrinsically (2)  |  Question (404)  |  Reasonable (27)  |  Seem (143)  |  Sense (321)  |  World (898)

I despair of persuading people to drop the familiar and comforting tactic of dichotomy. Perhaps, instead, we might expand the framework of debates by seeking other dichotomies more appropriate than, or simply different from, the conventional divisions. All dichotomies are simplifications, but the rendition of a conflict along differing axes of several orthogonal dichotomies might provide an amplitude of proper intellectual space without forcing us to forgo our most comforting tool of thought.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Amplitude (3)  |  Appropriate (28)  |  Axe (15)  |  Comfort (49)  |  Conflict (55)  |  Conventional (18)  |  Debate (24)  |  Despair (27)  |  Dichotomy (4)  |  Differ (22)  |  Different (186)  |  Division (34)  |  Drop (40)  |  Expand (23)  |  Familiar (43)  |  Force (249)  |  Forgo (2)  |  Framework (20)  |  Instead (19)  |  Intellectual (121)  |  People (390)  |  Persuade (11)  |  Proper (38)  |  Provide (69)  |  Several (31)  |  Simplification (15)  |  Simply (53)  |  Space (257)  |  Tactic (7)  |  Thought (546)  |  Tool (87)

If I had been taught from my youth all the truths of which I have since sought out demonstrations, and had thus learned them without labour, I should never, perhaps, have known any beyond these; at least, I should never have acquired the habit and the facility which I think I possess in always discovering new truths in proportion as I give myself to the search.
In Discours de la Méthode (1637). In English from John Veitch (trans.), A Discourse on Method (1912), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (39)  |  Beyond (105)  |  Demonstration (86)  |  Discover (199)  |  Facility (11)  |  Habit (112)  |  Know (556)  |  Labour (47)  |  Learn (288)  |  New (496)  |  Possess (56)  |  Proportion (72)  |  Search (105)  |  Teach (188)  |  Truth (928)  |  Youth (77)

If [in a rain forest] the traveler notices a particular species and wishes to find more like it, he must often turn his eyes in vain in every direction. Trees of varied forms, dimensions, and colors are around him, but he rarely sees any of them repeated. Time after time he goes towards a tree which looks like the one he seeks, but a closer examination proves it to be distinct.
In 'Equitorial Vegetation', Natural Selection and Tropical Nature Essays on Descriptive and Theoretical Biology (1891), 267.
Science quotes on:  |  Close (67)  |  Color (99)  |  Dimension (38)  |  Distinct (46)  |  Examination (65)  |  Find (408)  |  Forestry (15)  |  Form (314)  |  Prove (109)  |  Rain Forest (29)  |  Repeat (41)  |  Species (221)  |  Traveler (26)  |  Tree (171)  |  Wish (92)

Ignorance may find a truth on its doorstep that erudition vainly seeks in the stars.
From chapter 'Jottings from a Note-book', in Canadian Stories (1918), 168.
Science quotes on:  |  Doorstep (2)  |  Erudition (6)  |  Find (408)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Star (336)  |  Truth (928)  |  Vainly (2)

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
John Muir
Letter (Salt Lake, Jul 1877), in William Frederic Bade, Steep Trails (1918, 1994), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Far (154)  |  More (9)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Receive (60)  |  Walk (67)

In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals. In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.
As quoted in magazine article by James Fallows, 'When Donald Meets Hillary', The Atlantic (Oct 2016). The reporter stated “Jane Goodall … told me shortly before Trump won the GOP nomination.”
Science quotes on:  |  Branch (107)  |  Chimpanzee (13)  |  Display (24)  |  Dominance (5)  |  Drag (4)  |  Faster (12)  |  Hierarchy (14)  |  Imaginative (8)  |  Impress (16)  |  Individual (221)  |  Longer (9)  |  Maintain (33)  |  Male (26)  |  Performance (33)  |  Position (76)  |  Remind (13)  |  Rise (70)  |  Ritual (9)  |  Rival (10)  |  Rock (125)  |  Slap (2)  |  Spectacular (10)  |  Stamp (15)  |  Throw (43)  |  Donald Trump (3)  |  Vigorous (20)

In mathematics ... we find two tendencies present. On the one hand, the tendency towards abstraction seeks to crystallise the logical relations inherent in the maze of materials ... being studied, and to correlate the material in a systematic and orderly
Geometry and the imagination (New York, 1952).
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (38)  |  Correlate (6)  |  Find (408)  |  Hand (142)  |  Inherent (30)  |  Logical (55)  |  Material (156)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Maze (10)  |  Orderly (14)  |  Present (176)  |  Relation (154)  |  Study (476)  |  Systematic (33)  |  Tendency (56)

In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life, to doubt, as far as possible, of all things.
From the original Latin: “Veritatem inquirenti, semel in vita de omnibus, quantum fieri potest, esse dubitandum,” Principles of Philosophy (1644). Pars Prima, as collected in Charles Adam and Paul Tannery, Œuvres de Descartes (1905), Vol. 8, Proposition I, 5. English version as given in John Veitch (trans.), The Method, Meditations, and Selections from the Principles of Descartes (1880), 193. Also seen translated as: “If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things.”
Science quotes on:  |  Doubt (160)  |  Far (154)  |  Life (1131)  |  Possible (158)  |  Truth (928)

In science it is a service of the highest merit to seek out those fragmentary truths attained by the ancients, and to develop them further.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 198.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (106)  |  Attain (45)  |  Develop (107)  |  Fragmentary (4)  |  High (153)  |  Merit (32)  |  Science (2067)  |  Service (64)  |  Truth (928)

In the past we see that periods of great intellectual activity have followed certain events which have acted by freeing the mind from dogma, extending the domain in which knowledge can be sought, and stimulating the imagination. … [For example,] the development of the cell theory and the theory of evolution.
From address, 'A Medical Retrospect'. Published in Yale Medical Journal (Oct 1910), 17, No. 2, 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (135)  |  Cell Theory (2)  |  Dogma (32)  |  Domain (42)  |  Extend (44)  |  Follow (124)  |  Free (92)  |  Imagination (275)  |  Intellect (192)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Mind (760)  |  Past (152)  |  Stimulate (18)  |  Theory Of Evolution (3)

It has been said by a distinguished philosopher that England is “usually the last to enter into the general movement of the European mind.” The author of the remark probably meant to assert that a man or a system may have become famous on the continent, while we are almost ignorant of the name of the man and the claims of his system. Perhaps, however, a wider range might be given to the assertion. An exploded theory or a disadvantageous practice, like a rebel or a patriot in distress, seeks refuge on our shores to spend its last days in comfort if not in splendour.
Opening from essay, 'Elementary Geometry', included in The Conflict of Studies and Other Essays (1873), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Assert (21)  |  Assertion (32)  |  Author (62)  |  Claim (71)  |  Comfort (49)  |  Continent (52)  |  Disadvantageous (2)  |  Distinguished (7)  |  Distress (6)  |  England (40)  |  Enter (32)  |  European (5)  |  Exploded (3)  |  Famous (9)  |  General (160)  |  Ignorant (40)  |  Mind (760)  |  Movement (83)  |  Name (170)  |  Patriot (4)  |  Philosopher (166)  |  Practice (94)  |  Rebel (5)  |  Refuge (13)  |  Remark (27)  |  Spend (43)  |  Splendour (2)  |  System (191)  |  Theory (696)

It is because simplicity and vastness are both beautiful that we seek by preference simple facts and vast facts; that we take delight, now in following the giant courses of the stars, now in scrutinizing the microscope that prodigious smallness which is also a vastness, and now in seeking in geological ages the traces of a past that attracts us because of its remoteness.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Age (178)  |  Attract (22)  |  Beautiful (144)  |  Both (81)  |  Course (84)  |  Delight (66)  |  Fact (733)  |  Follow (124)  |  Geological (11)  |  Giant (38)  |  Microscope (74)  |  Past (152)  |  Preference (21)  |  Prodigious (9)  |  Remoteness (7)  |  Scrutinize (5)  |  Simple (178)  |  Simplicity (147)  |  Smallness (5)  |  Star (336)  |  Trace (53)  |  Vast (89)  |  Vastness (11)

It is not only by the questions we have answered that progress may be measured, but also by those we are still asking. The passionate controversies of one era are viewed as sterile preoccupations by another, for knowledge alters what we seek as well as what we find.
In Freda Adler and Herbert Marcus Adler, Sisters in Crime (1975), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Controversy (20)  |  Find (408)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Preoccupation (5)  |  Progress (368)  |  Question (404)

It is often assumed that because the young child is not competent to study geometry systematically he need be taught nothing geometrical; that because it would be foolish to present to him physics and mechanics as sciences it is useless to present to him any physical or mechanical principles.
An error of like origin, which has wrought incalculable mischief, denies to the scholar the use of the symbols and methods of algebra in connection with his early essays in numbers because, forsooth, he is not as yet capable of mastering quadratics! … The whole infant generation, wrestling with arithmetic, seek for a sign and groan and travail together in pain for the want of it; but no sign is given them save the sign of the prophet Jonah, the withered gourd, fruitless endeavor, wasted strength.
From presidential address (9 Sep 1884) to the General Meeting of the American Social Science Association, 'Industrial Education', printed in Journal of Social Science (1885), 19, 121. Collected in Francis Amasa Walker, Discussions in Education (1899), 132.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (104)  |  Arithmetic (121)  |  Assume (38)  |  Capable (51)  |  Child (252)  |  Competent (20)  |  Deny (42)  |  Endeavor (43)  |  Error (277)  |  Essay (14)  |  Foolish (22)  |  Fruitless (6)  |  Generation (141)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Groan (5)  |  Infant (15)  |  Mechanics (57)  |  Method (239)  |  Mischief (7)  |  Number (282)  |  Physics (348)  |  Quadratic (3)  |  Scholar (38)  |  Science (2067)  |  Sign (58)  |  Strength (81)  |  Study (476)  |  Symbol (73)  |  Teaching of Mathematics (39)  |  Travail (5)  |  Waste (65)  |  Wrestle (2)  |  Young (100)

It [mathematics] is in the inner world of pure thought, where all entia dwell, where is every type of order and manner of correlation and variety of relationship, it is in this infinite ensemble of eternal verities whence, if there be one cosmos or many of them, each derives its character and mode of being,—it is there that the spirit of mathesis has its home and its life.
Is it a restricted home, a narrow life, static and cold and grey with logic, without artistic interest, devoid of emotion and mood and sentiment? That world, it is true, is not a world of solar light, not clad in the colours that liven and glorify the things of sense, but it is an illuminated world, and over it all and everywhere throughout are hues and tints transcending sense, painted there by radiant pencils of psychic light, the light in which it lies. It is a silent world, and, nevertheless, in respect to the highest principle of art—the interpenetration of content and form, the perfect fusion of mode and meaning—it even surpasses music. In a sense, it is a static world, but so, too, are the worlds of the sculptor and the architect. The figures, however, which reason constructs and the mathematic vision beholds, transcend the temple and the statue, alike in simplicity and in intricacy, in delicacy and in grace, in symmetry and in poise. Not only are this home and this life thus rich in aesthetic interests, really controlled and sustained by motives of a sublimed and supersensuous art, but the religious aspiration, too, finds there, especially in the beautiful doctrine of invariants, the most perfect symbols of what it seeks—the changeless in the midst of change, abiding things hi a world of flux, configurations that remain the same despite the swirl and stress of countless hosts of curious transformations.
In 'The Universe and Beyond', Hibbert Journal (1904-1906), 3, 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Abide (12)  |  Aesthetic (35)  |  Alike (22)  |  Architect (21)  |  Art (294)  |  Artistic (15)  |  Aspiration (27)  |  Beautiful (144)  |  Behold (18)  |  Change (364)  |  Character (118)  |  Cold (58)  |  Color (99)  |  Configuration (7)  |  Construct (41)  |  Content (69)  |  Control (114)  |  Correlation (11)  |  Cosmos (52)  |  Countless (22)  |  Curious (43)  |  Delicacy (3)  |  Derive (33)  |  Despite (7)  |  Devoid (11)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Dwell (15)  |  Emotion (78)  |  Ensemble (5)  |  Especially (31)  |  Eternal (67)  |  Everywhere (24)  |  Figure (69)  |  Find (408)  |  Flux (13)  |  Form (314)  |  Fusion (13)  |  Glorify (6)  |  Grace (18)  |  Grey (10)  |  High (153)  |  Home (84)  |  Host (16)  |  Hue (3)  |  Illuminate (24)  |  Infinite (130)  |  Inner (39)  |  Interest (237)  |  Intricacy (7)  |  Invariant (7)  |  Lie (115)  |  Life (1131)  |  Light (347)  |  Logic (260)  |  Manner (57)  |  Mean (101)  |  Midst (7)  |  Mode (40)  |  Mood (12)  |  Motive (33)  |  Music (106)  |  Narrow (48)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Order (242)  |  Paint (21)  |  Pencil (17)  |  Penetration (18)  |  Perfect (89)  |  Poise (4)  |  Principle (292)  |  Psychic (6)  |  Pure (103)  |  Radiant (10)  |  Really (78)  |  Reason (471)  |  Relationship (71)  |  Religious (49)  |  Remain (113)  |  Respect (86)  |  Restrict (12)  |  Rich (61)  |  Same (156)  |  Sculptor (9)  |  Sense (321)  |  Sensuous (5)  |  Sentiment (14)  |  Silent (28)  |  Simplicity (147)  |  Solar (8)  |  Spirit (154)  |  Static (8)  |  Statue (11)  |  Stress (12)  |  Sublime (27)  |  Surpass (19)  |  Sustain (23)  |  Swirl (10)  |  Symbol (73)  |  Symmetry (37)  |  Temple (25)  |  Thought (546)  |  Tint (2)  |  Transcend (17)  |  Transformation (54)  |  True (208)  |  Type (52)  |  Variety (71)  |  Verity (5)  |  Vision (94)  |  World (898)

I’ve always been inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, who articulated his Dream of an America where people are judged not by skin color but “by the content of their character.” In the scientific world, people are judged by the content of their ideas. Advances are made with new insights, but the final arbitrator of any point of view are experiments that seek the unbiased truth, not information cherry picked to support a particular point of view.
In letter (1 Feb 2013) to Energy Department employees announcing his decision not to serve a second term.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (165)  |  America (87)  |  Articulate (7)  |  Character (118)  |  Color (99)  |  Content (69)  |  Dream (167)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Idea (580)  |  Information (122)  |  Insight (73)  |  Inspire (51)  |  Judge (63)  |  Martin Luther King, Jr. (17)  |  New (496)  |  Particular (76)  |  People (390)  |  Point Of View (41)  |  Scientific (236)  |  Skin (25)  |  Support (78)  |  Truth (928)  |  Unbiased (5)  |  View (171)  |  World (898)

Leave your home, O youth, and seek out alien shores. A wider range of life has been ordained for you.
Petronius
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alien (26)  |  Home (84)  |  Leave (128)  |  Life (1131)  |  Ordain (4)  |  Range (57)  |  Shore (24)  |  Wide (28)  |  Youth (77)

Let us first understand the facts, and then we may seek the cause.
Aristotle
Cited as De Part., I., l. 639 in George Henry Lewes, Aristotle: A Chapter from the History of Science including analyses of Aristotle's scientific writings (1864),
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (285)  |  Fact (733)  |  Understand (340)

Let us seek to fathom those things that are fathomable and reserve those things which are unfathomable for reverence in quietude.

…...
Science quotes on:  |  Fathom (8)  |  Let (61)  |  Reserve (15)  |  Reverence (28)  |  Unfathomable (7)

Life is the most important thing about the world, the most important thing about life is evolution. Thus, by consciously seeking what is most meaningful, I moved from poetry to mineralogy to paleontology to evolution.
This View of Life: the World of an Evolutionist (1964), 27-28.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (535)  |  Important (205)  |  Life (1131)  |  Meaningful (16)  |  Mineralogy (20)  |  Paleontology (30)  |  Poetry (124)  |  World (898)

Logic has borrowed the rules of geometry without understanding its power. … I am far from placing logicians by the side of geometers who teach the true way to guide the reason. … The method of avoiding error is sought by every one. The logicians profess to lead the way, the geometers alone reach it, and aside from their science there is no true demonstration.
From De l’Art de Persuader, (1657). Pensées de Pascal (1842), Part 1, Article 3, 41-42. As translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-Book (1914), 202. From the original French, “La logique a peut-être emprunté les règles de la géométrie sans en comprendre la force … je serai bien éloigné de les mettre en parallèle avec les géomètres, qui apprennent la véritable méthode de conduire la raison. … La méthode de ne point errer est recherchée de tout le monde. Les logiciens font profession d'y conduire, les géomètres seuls y arrivent; et, hors de leur science …, il n'y a point de véritables démonstrations ….”
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (106)  |  Avoid (55)  |  Borrow (16)  |  Demonstration (86)  |  Error (277)  |  Geometer (24)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Guide (65)  |  Lead (160)  |  Logic (260)  |  Logician (12)  |  Mathematics And Logic (10)  |  Method (239)  |  Power (366)  |  Profess (10)  |  Reach (121)  |  Reason (471)  |  Rule (177)  |  Science (2067)  |  Teach (188)  |  Understand (340)

Many people are shrinking from the future and from participation in the movement toward a new, expanded reality. And, like homesick travelers abroad, they are focusing their anxieties on home. The reasons are not far to seek. We are at a turning point in human history... We could turn our attention to the problems that going to the moon certainly will not solve ... But I think this would be fatal to our future... A society that no longer moves forward does not merely stagnate; it begins to die.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abroad (8)  |  Anxiety (20)  |  Attention (121)  |  Begin (108)  |  Certainly (31)  |  Die (82)  |  Expand (23)  |  Far (154)  |  Fatal (12)  |  Focus (27)  |  Forward (36)  |  Future (287)  |  Home (84)  |  Human History (5)  |  Long (174)  |  Merely (82)  |  Moon (199)  |  Move (94)  |  Movement (83)  |  New (496)  |  Participation (10)  |  People (390)  |  Problem (497)  |  Reality (190)  |  Reason (471)  |  Shrink (15)  |  Society (228)  |  Solve (78)  |  Stagnate (3)  |  Think (347)  |  Toward (45)  |  Traveler (26)  |  Turn (118)  |  Turning Point (5)

Mathematics is the gate and key of the sciences. ... Neglect of mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since he who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences or the things of this world. And what is worse, men who are thus ignorant are unable to perceive their own ignorance and so do not seek a remedy.
In Opus Majus, Part 4, Distinctia Prima, cap. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Bad (99)  |  Estimates of Mathematics (30)  |  Gate (12)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Ignorant (40)  |  Injury (23)  |  Key (50)  |  Know (556)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Neglect (33)  |  Perceive (40)  |  Remedy (54)  |  Science (2067)  |  Unable (24)  |  Work (635)  |  World (898)

Mathematics may be likened to a large rock whose interior composition we wish to examine. The older mathematicians appear as persevering stone cutters slowly attempting to demolish the rock from the outside with hammer and chisel. The later mathematicians resemble expert miners who seek vulnerable veins, drill into these strategic places, and then blast the rock apart with well placed internal charges.
From In Mathematical Circles (1969), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Appear (118)  |  Attempt (126)  |  Blast (10)  |  Charge (35)  |  Chisel (2)  |  Composition (60)  |  Cutter (2)  |  Demolish (4)  |  Drill (11)  |  Examine (44)  |  Expert (50)  |  Hammer (21)  |  Interior (19)  |  Internal (25)  |  Later (17)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Miner (9)  |  Older (7)  |  Outside (48)  |  Place (175)  |  Resemble (29)  |  Rock (125)  |  Stone (76)  |  Vein (13)  |  Vulnerable (5)  |  Wish (92)

Neither physical science nor psychology can ever ‘explain’ human consciousness. To me then, human consciousness lies outside science, and it is here that I seek the relationship between God and man.
In Can scientists believe? (1991), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Consciousness (82)  |  Explain (107)  |  God (535)  |  Human (550)  |  Man (373)  |  Psychology (143)  |  Relationship (71)  |  Science And Religion (302)

Nobody, I suppose, could devote many years to the study of chemical kinetics without being deeply conscious of the fascination of time and change: this is something that goes outside science into poetry; but science, subject to the rigid necessity of always seeking closer approximations to the truth, itself contains many poetical elements.
From Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1956), collected in Nobel Lectures in Chemistry (1999), 474.
Science quotes on:  |  Approximation (22)  |  Change (364)  |  Closer (8)  |  Conscious (45)  |  Contain (67)  |  Element (162)  |  Fascination (28)  |  Necessity (143)  |  Poetry (124)  |  Rigid (13)  |  Science And Art (181)  |  Study (476)  |  Subject (240)  |  Time (595)  |  Truth (928)

Nothing afflicted Marcellus so much as the death of Archimedes, who was then, as fate would have it, intent upon working out some problem by a diagram, and having fixed his mind alike and his eyes upon the subject of his speculation, he never noticed the incursion of the Romans, nor that the city was taken. In this transport of study and contemplation, a soldier, unexpectedly coming up to him, commanded him to follow to Marcellus, which he declined to do before he had worked out his problem to a demonstration; the soldier, enraged, drew his sword and ran him through. Others write, that a Roman soldier, running upon him with a drawn sword, offered to kill him; and that Archimedes, looking back, earnestly besought him to hold his hand a little while, that he might not leave what he was at work upon inconclusive and imperfect; but the soldier, nothing moved by his entreaty, instantly killed him. Others again relate, that as Archimedes was carrying to Marcellus mathematical instruments, dials, spheres, and angles, by which the magnitude of the sun might be measured to the sight, some soldiers seeing him, and thinking that he carried gold in a vessel, slew him. Certain it is, that his death was very afflicting to Marcellus; and that Marcellus ever after regarded him that killed him as a murderer; and that he sought for his kindred and honoured them with signal favours.
Plutarch
In John Dryden (trans.), Life of Marcellus.
Science quotes on:  |  Afflict (4)  |  Alike (22)  |  Angle (20)  |  Archimedes (55)  |  Back (104)  |  Beseech (2)  |  Carry (59)  |  Certain (126)  |  City (48)  |  Command (28)  |  Contemplation (52)  |  Death (302)  |  Decline (17)  |  Demonstration (86)  |  Diagram (13)  |  Dial (4)  |  Draw (55)  |  Earnestly (4)  |  Eye (222)  |  Fate (46)  |  Favor (30)  |  Fix (25)  |  Follow (124)  |  Gold (68)  |  Hand (142)  |  Hold (94)  |  Honour (25)  |  Imperfect (20)  |  Inconclusive (3)  |  Incursion (2)  |  Instantly (6)  |  Instrument (95)  |  Intent (8)  |  Kill (52)  |  Kindred (6)  |  Leave (128)  |  Little (188)  |  Magnitude (45)  |  Marcellus (2)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Measure (104)  |  Mind (760)  |  Move (94)  |  Murderer (3)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Notice (37)  |  Offer (43)  |  Problem (497)  |  Regard (95)  |  Relate (20)  |  Roman (27)  |  Run (57)  |  See (369)  |  Sight (48)  |  Signal (18)  |  Soldier (15)  |  Speculation (104)  |  Sphere (58)  |  Study (476)  |  Subject (240)  |  Sun (276)  |  Sword (15)  |  Think (347)  |  Transport (15)  |  Unexpected (36)  |  Vessel (28)  |  Work (635)  |  Write (154)

O you who believe!
Seek help in patience and prayer.
Truly! Allah is with the patient.
Quran
Surah al-Baqarah 2:153. Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 178
Science quotes on:  |  Allah (2)  |  Belief (504)  |  Help (103)  |  Patience (39)  |  Patient (125)  |  Prayer (23)  |  Truly (33)

One feature which will probably most impress the mathematician accustomed to the rapidity and directness secured by the generality of modern methods is the deliberation with which Archimedes approaches the solution of any one of his main problems. Yet this very characteristic, with its incidental effects, is calculated to excite the more admiration because the method suggests the tactics of some great strategist who foresees everything, eliminates everything not immediately conducive to the execution of his plan, masters every position in its order, and then suddenly (when the very elaboration of the scheme has almost obscured, in the mind of the spectator, its ultimate object) strikes the final blow. Thus we read in Archimedes proposition after proposition the bearing of which is not immediately obvious but which we find infallibly used later on; and we are led by such easy stages that the difficulties of the original problem, as presented at the outset, are scarcely appreciated. As Plutarch says: “It is not possible to find in geometry more difficult and troublesome questions, or more simple and lucid explanations.” But it is decidedly a rhetorical exaggeration when Plutarch goes on to say that we are deceived by the easiness of the successive steps into the belief that anyone could have discovered them for himself. On the contrary, the studied simplicity and the perfect finish of the treatises involve at the same time an element of mystery. Though each step depends on the preceding ones, we are left in the dark as to how they were suggested to Archimedes. There is, in fact, much truth in a remark by Wallis to the effect that he seems “as it were of set purpose to have covered up the traces of his investigation as if he had grudged posterity the secret of his method of inquiry while he wished to extort from them assent to his results.” Wallis adds with equal reason that not only Archimedes but nearly all the ancients so hid away from posterity their method of Analysis (though it is certain that they had one) that more modern mathematicians found it easier to invent a new Analysis than to seek out the old.
In The Works of Archimedes (1897), Preface, vi.
Science quotes on:  |  Accustomed (16)  |  Add (40)  |  Admiration (44)  |  Analysis (166)  |  Ancient (106)  |  Anyone (35)  |  Appreciate (30)  |  Approach (54)  |  Archimedes (55)  |  Assent (6)  |  Bear (67)  |  Belief (504)  |  Blow (22)  |  Calculate (33)  |  Certain (126)  |  Characteristic (96)  |  Conducive (3)  |  Contrary (34)  |  Cover (37)  |  Dark (77)  |  Deceive (16)  |  Decidedly (2)  |  Deliberation (3)  |  Depend (90)  |  Difficult (121)  |  Difficulty (146)  |  Discover (199)  |  Easiness (3)  |  Easy (102)  |  Effect (166)  |  Elaboration (7)  |  Element (162)  |  Eliminate (21)  |  Equal (83)  |  Everything (181)  |  Exaggeration (11)  |  Excite (15)  |  Execution (19)  |  Explanation (177)  |  Extort (2)  |  Fact (733)  |  Feature (44)  |  Final (50)  |  Find (408)  |  Finish (25)  |  Foresee (13)  |  Generality (34)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Great (534)  |  Grudge (2)  |  Hide (53)  |  Immediately (23)  |  Impress (16)  |  Incidental (12)  |  Inquiry (45)  |  Invent (51)  |  Investigation (176)  |  Involve (48)  |  Late (52)  |  Lead (160)  |  Leave (128)  |  Lucid (5)  |  Main (28)  |  Master (98)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Method (239)  |  Mind (760)  |  Modern (162)  |  Mystery (153)  |  Nearly (26)  |  New (496)  |  Object (175)  |  Obscure (32)  |  Obvious (83)  |  Old (147)  |  Order (242)  |  Original (57)  |  Outset (7)  |  Perfect (89)  |  Plan (87)  |  Plutarch (15)  |  Position (76)  |  Possible (158)  |  Posterity (19)  |  Precede (23)  |  Present (176)  |  Probably (48)  |  Problem (497)  |  Proposition (83)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Question (404)  |  Rapidity (16)  |  Read (145)  |  Reason (471)  |  Remark (27)  |  Result (389)  |  Same (156)  |  Say (228)  |  Scarcely (13)  |  Scheme (25)  |  Secret (131)  |  Secure (21)  |  Set (99)  |  Simple (178)  |  Simplicity (147)  |  Solution (216)  |  Spectator (10)  |  Stage (55)  |  Step (110)  |  Strike (40)  |  Study (476)  |  Successive (23)  |  Suddenly (17)  |  Suggest (33)  |  Tactic (7)  |  Time (595)  |  Trace (53)  |  Treatise (34)  |  Troublesome (7)  |  Truth (928)  |  Ultimate (84)  |  John Wallis (3)  |  Wish (92)

Our treatment of this science will be adequate, if it achieves the amount of precision which belongs to its subject matter.
Aristotle
In Nicomachean Ethics, Book 1, Chap 3. In Harris Rackham (trans.), Aristotle’s Ethics for English Readers (1943), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Approximation (22)  |  Educate (12)  |  Exactness (21)  |  Mind (760)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Possible (158)  |  Precision (52)  |  Satisfied (23)  |  Subject (240)

Perfect as the wing of a bird may be, it will never enable the bird to fly if unsupported by the air. Facts are the air of science. Without them a man of science can never rise. Without them your theories are vain surmises. But while you are studying, observing, experimenting, do not remain content with the surface of things. Do not become a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin. Seek obstinately for the laws that govern them.
Translation of a note, 'Bequest of Pavlov to the Academic Youth of his Country', written a few days before his death for a student magazine, The Generation of the Victors. As published in 'Pavlov and the Spirit of Science', Nature (4 Apr 1936), 137, 572.
Science quotes on:  |  Content (69)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Fact (733)  |  Law (515)  |  Mere (82)  |  Mystery (153)  |  Observe (76)  |  Obstinately (2)  |  Origin (88)  |  Penetrate (30)  |  Recorder (4)  |  Remain (113)  |  Science (2067)  |  Study (476)  |  Surface (101)  |  Surmise (3)  |  Theory (696)  |  Vain (30)

Plants, generally speaking, meet the impact of the terrestrial environment head on, although of course they in turn modify the physical environment by adventitious group activity. The individual plant cannot select its habitat; its location is largely determined by the vagaries of the dispersal of seeds or spores and is thus profoundly affected by chance. Because of their mobility and their capacity for acceptance or rejection terrestrial animals, in contrast, can and do actively seek out and utilize the facets of the environment that allow their physiological capacities to function adequately. This means that an animal by its behavior can fit the environment to its physiology by selecting situations in which its physiological capacities can cope with physical conditions. If one accepts this idea, it follows that there is no such thing as The Environment, for there exist as many different terrestrial environments as there are species of animals.
From 'The role of physiology in the distribution of terrestrial vertebrates', collected in C.L. Hubbs (ed.), Zoogeography: Publ. 51 (1958), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (65)  |  Acceptance (45)  |  Actively (3)  |  Activity (135)  |  Adequately (3)  |  Affect (19)  |  Allow (44)  |  Animal (359)  |  Behavior (60)  |  Capacity (64)  |  Chance (160)  |  Condition (163)  |  Contrast (29)  |  Cope (6)  |  Determine (76)  |  Different (186)  |  Environment (181)  |  Exist (148)  |  Facet (8)  |  Fit (48)  |  Follow (124)  |  Function (131)  |  Generally (15)  |  Group (72)  |  Habitat (14)  |  Head (81)  |  Idea (580)  |  Impact (26)  |  Individual (221)  |  Largely (13)  |  Location (9)  |  Means (176)  |  Meet (31)  |  Mobility (7)  |  Modify (15)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Physical (134)  |  Physiological (17)  |  Physiology (83)  |  Plant (200)  |  Profoundly (13)  |  Rejection (26)  |  Seed (63)  |  Select (12)  |  Situation (52)  |  Speak (92)  |  Species (221)  |  Spore (2)  |  Terrestrial (24)  |  Turn (118)  |  Utilize (9)  |  Vagary (2)

Religion is so great a thing that it is right that those who will not take the trouble to seek it if it be obscure, should be deprived of it.
In Pensées (1670), Section 24, No. 10. As translated in Blaise Pascal and W.F. Trotter (trans.), 'Thoughts', No. 574, collected in Charles W. Eliot (ed.), The Harvard Classics (1910), Vol. 48, 92. From the original French, “La religion est une chose si grande, qu’il est juste que ceux qui ne voudraient pas prendre la peine de la chercher, si elle est obscure, en soient privés,” in Ernest Havet (ed.), Pensées de Pascal (1892), 422.
Science quotes on:  |  Deprive (11)  |  Great (534)  |  Obscure (32)  |  Religion (239)  |  Right (197)  |  Trouble (72)

Religion is, in reality, living. Our religion is not what we profess, or what we say, or what we proclaim; our religion is what we do, what we desire, what we seek, what we dream about, what we fantasize, what we think—all these things.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 21
Science quotes on:  |  Desire (142)  |  Dream (167)  |  Live (272)  |  Proclaim (15)  |  Profess (10)  |  Reality (190)  |  Religion (239)  |  Say (228)  |  Think (347)

Saturated with that speculative spirit then pervading the Greek mind, he [Pythagoras] endeavoured to discover some principle of homogeneity in the universe. Before him, the philosophers of the Ionic school had sought it in the matter of things; Pythagoras looked for it in the structure of things. He observed the various numerical relations or analogies between numbers and the phenomena of the universe. Being convinced that it was in numbers and their relations that he was to find the foundation to true philosophy, he proceeded to trace the origin of all things to numbers. Thus he observed that musical strings of equal lengths stretched by weights having the proportion of 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, produced intervals which were an octave, a fifth and a fourth. Harmony, therefore, depends on musical proportion; it is nothing but a mysterious numerical relation. Where harmony is, there are numbers. Hence the order and beauty of the universe have their origin in numbers. There are seven intervals in the musical scale, and also seven planets crossing the heavens. The same numerical relations which underlie the former must underlie the latter. But where number is, there is harmony. Hence his spiritual ear discerned in the planetary motions a wonderful “Harmony of spheres.”
In History of Mathematics (1893), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (60)  |  Beauty (248)  |  Convinced (23)  |  Cross (15)  |  Depend (90)  |  Discern (17)  |  Discover (199)  |  Ear (29)  |  Endeavor (43)  |  Equal (83)  |  Fifth (3)  |  Find (408)  |  Foundation (108)  |  Fourth (8)  |  Greek (73)  |  Harmony (72)  |  Heaven (153)  |  Homogeneous (6)  |  Interval (13)  |  Length (22)  |  Mathematics As A Fine Art (23)  |  Matter (343)  |  Mind (760)  |  Motion (160)  |  Musical (10)  |  Mysterious (33)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Number (282)  |  Numerical (15)  |  Observe (76)  |  Octave (3)  |  Order (242)  |  Origin (88)  |  Pervade (10)  |  Phenomenon (278)  |  Philosopher (166)  |  Philosophy (259)  |  Planet (263)  |  Planetary (10)  |  Principle (292)  |  Proceed (42)  |  Produce (102)  |  Proportion (72)  |  Pythagoras (38)  |  Relation (154)  |  Scale (63)  |  School (119)  |  Speculative (9)  |  Spirit (154)  |  Spiritual (57)  |  Stretch (20)  |  String (20)  |  Structure (225)  |  Trace (53)  |  True (208)  |  Universe (686)  |  Various (47)  |  Weight (77)  |  Wonderful (60)

Science is the language of the temporal world; love is that of the spiritual world. Man, indeed, describes more than he explains; while the angelic spirit sees and understands. Science saddens man; love enraptures the angel; science is still seeking; love has found.
The Works of Honoré de Balzac (1896), Vol. 19, 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Describe (57)  |  Explain (107)  |  Find (408)  |  Language (228)  |  Love (224)  |  Man (373)  |  Sadness (34)  |  Science (2067)  |  See (369)  |  Spiritual (57)  |  Temporal (4)  |  Understanding (325)  |  World (898)

Science progresses by a series of combinations in which chance plays not the least role. Its life is rough and resembles that of minerals which grow by juxtaposition [accretion]. This applies not only to science such as it emerges [results] from the work of a series of scientists, but also to the particular research of each one of them. In vain would analysts dissimulate: (however abstract it may be, analysis is no more our power than that of others); they do not deduce, they combine, they compare: (it must be sought out, sounded out, solicited.) When they arrive at the truth it is by cannoning from one side to another that they come across it.
English translation from manuscript, in Évariste Galois and Peter M. Neumann, 'Dossier 12: On the progress of pure analysis', The Mathematical Writings of Évariste Galois (2011), 263. A transcription of the original French is on page 262. In the following quote from that page, indicated deletions are omitted, and Webmaster uses parentheses to enclose indications of insertions above the original written line. “La science progresse par une série de combinaisons où le hazard ne joue pas le moindre rôle; sa vie est brute et ressemble à celle des minéraux qui croissent par juxtà position. Cela s’applique non seulement à la science telle qu’elle résulte des travaux d’une série de savants, mais aussi aux recherches particulières à chacun d’eux. En vain les analystes voudraient-ils se le dissimuler: (toute immatérielle qu’elle wst analyse n’est pas pas plus en notre pouvoir que des autres); ils ne déduisent pas, ils combinent, ils comparent: (il faut l’epier, la sonder, la solliciter) quand ils arrivent à la vérité, c’est en heurtant de côté et d’autre qu’il y sont tombés.” Webmaster corrected from typo “put” to “but” in the English text.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (86)  |  Accretion (5)  |  Across (32)  |  Analysis (166)  |  Analyst (8)  |  Apply (77)  |  Arrive (35)  |  Chance (160)  |  Combination (91)  |  Combine (35)  |  Compare (38)  |  Deduce (25)  |  Emerge (21)  |  Grow (99)  |  In Vain (9)  |  Juxtaposition (3)  |  Least (74)  |  Life (1131)  |  Mineral (41)  |  Particular (76)  |  Play (112)  |  Power (366)  |  Progress (368)  |  Research (590)  |  Resemble (29)  |  Result (389)  |  Role (49)  |  Rough (6)  |  Science (2067)  |  Scientist (522)  |  Series (51)  |  Side (51)  |  Sound (90)  |  Truth (928)  |  Work (635)

Such is the substance of my faith; and if I were to sum up my credo in a single word, it would be that proud motto of Fustel de Coulanges, Quaero, I seek to learn.
From Conclusion of Presidential Address (29 Dec 1950) read at the annual dinner of the American Historical Association, Chicago, 'Faith of a Historian', The American Historical Review (Jan 1951), 56, No. 2, 261-275.
Science quotes on:  |  Faith (157)  |  Learn (288)  |  Motto (28)  |  Pride (64)  |  Single (120)  |  Substance (87)  |  Sum Up (3)  |  Word (302)

Edwin Grant Conklin quote: The advancement of science rests upon freedom to seek and test and proclaim the truth.
The advancement of science rests upon freedom to seek and test and proclaim the truth.
From Address as retiring president before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Indianapolis (27 Dec 1937). Published in 'Science and Ethics', Science (31 Dec 1937), 86, No. 2244, 601.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (40)  |  Freedom (102)  |  Proclaim (15)  |  Science (2067)  |  Test (125)  |  Truth (928)

The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, Seek simplicity and distrust it.
In The Concept of Nature: Tarner Lectures Delivered in Trinity College, November 1919 (1920), 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (89)  |  Apt (9)  |  Complex (95)  |  Distrust (8)  |  Error (277)  |  Explanation (177)  |  Fact (733)  |  Fall (120)  |  Goal (100)  |  Guiding (3)  |  Life (1131)  |  Motto (28)  |  Natural Philosophy (31)  |  Quest (32)  |  Science (2067)  |  Simplest (10)  |  Simplicity (147)  |  Thinking (231)

The archaeologist is digging up, not things, but people. Unless the bits and pieces with which he deals be alive to him, unless he have himself the common touch, he had better seek out other disciplines for his exercise.
In Archaeology from the Earth (1954), Preface, v.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (49)  |  Archaeologist (14)  |  Better (192)  |  Dig (11)  |  Discipline (53)  |  People (390)

The chances for favorable serendipity are increased if one studies an animal that is not one of the common laboratory species. Atypical animals, or preparations, force one to use non-standard approaches and non-standard techniques, and even to think nonstandard ideas. My own preference is to seek out species which show some extreme of adaptation. Such organisms often force one to abandon standard methods and standard points of view. Almost inevitably they lead one to ask new questions, and most importantly in trying to comprehend their special and often unusual adaptations one often serendipitously stumbles upon new insights.
In 'Scientific innovation and creativity: a zoologist’s point of view', American Zoologist (1982), 22, 234.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (48)  |  Adaptation (49)  |  Animal (359)  |  Approach (54)  |  Ask (160)  |  Atypical (3)  |  Chance (160)  |  Common (122)  |  Comprehend (39)  |  Extreme (56)  |  Favorable (12)  |  Force (249)  |  Idea (580)  |  Importantly (3)  |  Increase (146)  |  Inevitably (6)  |  Insight (73)  |  Laboratory (132)  |  Lead (160)  |  Method (239)  |  New (496)  |  Often (106)  |  Organism (150)  |  Point (123)  |  Preference (21)  |  Preparation (43)  |  Question (404)  |  Serendipity (15)  |  Show (93)  |  Special (77)  |  Species (221)  |  Standard (55)  |  Study (476)  |  Stumble (15)  |  Technique (49)  |  Think (347)  |  Try (141)  |  Unusual (16)  |  View (171)

The distributed architecture and its technique of packet switching were built around the problem of getting messages delivered despite blockages, holes and malfunctions. Imagine the poor censor faced with such a system. There is no central exchange to seize and hold; messages actively “seek out” alternative routes so that even if one path is blocked another may open up. Here is the civil libertarian’s dream.
As quoted in Richard Rogers, 'The Internet Treats Censorship as a Malfunction and Routes Around It? : A New Media Approach to the Study of State Internet Censorship', collected in Jussi Parikka and Tony D. Sampson (eds.), The Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies from the Dark Side of Digital Culture (2009), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Actively (3)  |  Alternative (29)  |  Architecture (43)  |  Block (12)  |  Censor (2)  |  Central (34)  |  Civil (6)  |  Delivery (6)  |  Distribute (9)  |  Dream (167)  |  Exchange (12)  |  Hold (94)  |  Malfunction (3)  |  Message (35)  |  Open (66)  |  Path (84)  |  Problem (497)  |  Route (15)  |  Seize (15)  |  Technique (49)

The earliest of my childhood recollections is being taken by my grandfather when he set out in the first warm days of early spring with a grubbing hoe (we called it a mattock) on his shoulder to seek the plants, the barks and roots from which the spring medicine for the household was prepared. If I could but remember all that went into that mysterious decoction and the exact method of preparation, and with judicious advertisement put the product upon the market, I would shortly be possessed of wealth which might be made to serve the useful purpose of increasing the salaries of all pathologists. … But, alas! I remember only that the basic ingredients were dogwood bark and sassafras root, and to these were added q.s. bloodroot, poke and yellow dock. That the medicine benefited my grandfather I have every reason to believe, for he was a hale, strong old man, firm in body and mind until the infection came against which even spring medicine was of no avail. That the medicine did me good I well know, for I can see before me even now the green on the south hillside of the old pasture, the sunlight in the strip of wood where the dogwood grew, the bright blossoms and the delicate pale green of the leaf of the sanguinaria, and the even lighter green of the tender buds of the sassafras in the hedgerow, and it is good to have such pictures deeply engraved in the memory.
From address, 'A Medical Retrospect'. Published in Yale Medical Journal (Oct 1910), 17, No. 2, 57. [Note: q.s. in an abbreviation for quantum sufficit meaning “as much as is sufficient,” when used as a quantity specification in medicine and pharmacology. -Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Bark (5)  |  Blossom (14)  |  Body And Mind (3)  |  Delicate (21)  |  Exact (68)  |  Firm (24)  |  Grandfather (9)  |  Green (32)  |  Hedgerow (2)  |  Hillside (4)  |  Household (8)  |  Infection (19)  |  Ingredient (14)  |  Leaf (49)  |  Market (11)  |  Medicine (344)  |  Memory (106)  |  Method (239)  |  Old Man (3)  |  Pasture (13)  |  Pathologist (5)  |  Picture (77)  |  Plant (200)  |  Poke (5)  |  Preparation (43)  |  Recollection (11)  |  Root (61)  |  Salary (5)  |  Spring (71)  |  Strong (72)  |  Sunlight (18)  |  Wealth (66)  |  Wood (49)

The genuine spirit of Mathesis is devout. No intellectual pursuit more truly leads to profound impressions of the existence and attributes of a Creator, and to a deep sense of our filial relations to him, than the study of these abstract sciences. Who can understand so well how feeble are our conceptions of Almighty Power, as he who has calculated the attraction of the sun and the planets, and weighed in his balance the irresistible force of the lightning? Who can so well understand how confused is our estimate of the Eternal Wisdom, as he who has traced out the secret laws which guide the hosts of heaven, and combine the atoms on earth? Who can so well understand that man is made in the image of his Creator, as he who has sought to frame new laws and conditions to govern imaginary worlds, and found his own thoughts similar to those on which his Creator has acted?
In 'The Imagination in Mathematics', North American Review, 85, 226.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (86)  |  Act (117)  |  Almighty (10)  |  Atom (280)  |  Attraction (36)  |  Attribute (38)  |  Balance (55)  |  Calculate (33)  |  Combine (35)  |  Conception (92)  |  Condition (163)  |  Confused (12)  |  Creator (55)  |  Deep (124)  |  Devout (5)  |  Earth (638)  |  Estimate (28)  |  Eternal (67)  |  Existence (299)  |  Feeble (27)  |  Find (408)  |  Force (249)  |  Frame (26)  |  Genuine (26)  |  Govern (29)  |  Guide (65)  |  Heaven (153)  |  Host (16)  |  Image (59)  |  Imaginary (16)  |  Impression (72)  |  Intellectual (121)  |  Irresistible (10)  |  Law (515)  |  Lead (160)  |  Lightning (33)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  New (496)  |  Planet (263)  |  Power (366)  |  Profound (59)  |  Pursuit (79)  |  Relation (154)  |  Science (2067)  |  Secret (131)  |  Sense (321)  |  Similar (35)  |  Spirit (154)  |  Study (476)  |  Sun (276)  |  Thought (546)  |  Trace (53)  |  Truly (33)  |  Understand (340)  |  Weigh (14)  |  Wisdom (182)  |  World (898)

The more ignorant we become the less value we set on science, and the less inclination we shall have to seek it.
Letter from Jefferson at Monticello to John Adams (27 May 1795).
Science quotes on:  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Inclination (25)  |  Science (2067)  |  Value (242)

The origin of a science is usually to be sought for not in any systematic treatise, but in the investigation and solution of some particular problem. This is especially the case in the ordinary history of the great improvements in any department of mathematical science. Some problem, mathematical or physical, is proposed, which is found to be insoluble by known methods. This condition of insolubility may arise from one of two causes: Either there exists no machinery powerful enough to effect the required reduction, or the workmen are not sufficiently expert to employ their tools in the performance of an entirely new piece of work. The problem proposed is, however, finally solved, and in its solution some new principle, or new application of old principles, is necessarily introduced. If a principle is brought to light it is soon found that in its application it is not necessarily limited to the particular question which occasioned its discovery, and it is then stated in an abstract form and applied to problems of gradually increasing generality.
Other principles, similar in their nature, are added, and the original principle itself receives such modifications and extensions as are from time to time deemed necessary. The same is true of new applications of old principles; the application is first thought to be merely confined to a particular problem, but it is soon recognized that this problem is but one, and generally a very simple one, out of a large class, to which the same process of investigation and solution are applicable. The result in both of these cases is the same. A time comes when these several problems, solutions, and principles are grouped together and found to produce an entirely new and consistent method; a nomenclature and uniform system of notation is adopted, and the principles of the new method become entitled to rank as a distinct science.
In A Treatise on Projections (1880), Introduction, xi. Published as United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, Treasury Department Document, No. 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (86)  |  Add (40)  |  Adopt (19)  |  Applicable (11)  |  Application (170)  |  Apply (77)  |  Arise (49)  |  Become (172)  |  Both (81)  |  Bring (90)  |  Case (99)  |  Cause (285)  |  Class (84)  |  Condition (163)  |  Confine (26)  |  Consistent (18)  |  Deem (6)  |  Department (47)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Distinct (46)  |  Effect (166)  |  Employ (35)  |  Entirely (33)  |  Entitle (3)  |  Especially (31)  |  Exist (148)  |  Expert (50)  |  Extension (31)  |  Finally (26)  |  Find (408)  |  First (314)  |  Form (314)  |  Generality (34)  |  Generally (15)  |  Gradually (21)  |  Great (534)  |  Group (72)  |  History (369)  |  Improvement (74)  |  Increase (146)  |  Insoluble (15)  |  Introduce (42)  |  Investigation (176)  |  Know (556)  |  Large (130)  |  Light (347)  |  Limit (126)  |  Machinery (33)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Merely (82)  |  Method (239)  |  Modification (35)  |  Nature (1223)  |  Necessarily (30)  |  Necessary (154)  |  New (496)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Notation (23)  |  Occasion (23)  |  Old (147)  |  Ordinary (73)  |  Origin (88)  |  Original (57)  |  Particular (76)  |  Performance (33)  |  Physical (134)  |  Piece (38)  |  Powerful (68)  |  Principle (292)  |  Problem (497)  |  Process (267)  |  Produce (102)  |  Propose (23)  |  Question (404)  |  Rank (32)  |  Receive (60)  |  Recognize (69)  |  Reduction (41)  |  Require (85)  |  Result (389)  |  Same (156)  |  Science (2067)  |  Several (31)  |  Similar (35)  |  Simple (178)  |  Solution (216)  |  Solve (78)  |  Soon (34)  |  State (137)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (61)  |  Sufficiently (9)  |  System (191)  |  Systematic (33)  |  Thought (546)  |  Time (595)  |  Together (79)  |  Tool (87)  |  Treatise (34)  |  True (208)  |  Uniform (18)  |  Usually (31)  |  Work (635)  |  Workman (13)

The pursuit of mathematical science makes its votary appear singularly indifferent to the ordinary interests and cares of men. Seeking eternal truths, and finding his pleasures in the realities of form and number, he has little interest in the disputes and contentions of the passing hour. His views on social and political questions partake of the grandeur of his favorite contemplations, and, while careful to throw his mite of influence on the side of right and truth, he is content to abide the workings of those general laws by which he doubts not that the fluctuations of human history are as unerringly guided as are the perturbations of the planetary hosts.
In 'Imagination in Mathematics', North American Review, 85, 227.
Science quotes on:  |  Abide (12)  |  Appear (118)  |  Care (95)  |  Careful (24)  |  Contemplation (52)  |  Content (69)  |  Contention (10)  |  Dispute (22)  |  Doubt (160)  |  Eternal (67)  |  Favorite (24)  |  Find (408)  |  Fluctuation (8)  |  Form (314)  |  General (160)  |  Grandeur (21)  |  Guide (65)  |  Host (16)  |  Hour (71)  |  Human History (5)  |  Indifferent (16)  |  Influence (140)  |  Interest (237)  |  Law (515)  |  Little (188)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mite (3)  |  Number (282)  |  Ordinary (73)  |  Pass (93)  |  Perturbation (6)  |  Planetary (10)  |  Pleasure (133)  |  Political (36)  |  Pursuit (79)  |  Question (404)  |  Reality (190)  |  Right (197)  |  Science (2067)  |  Side (51)  |  Social (108)  |  Throw (43)  |  Truth (928)  |  View (171)  |  Votary (3)

The spirit of science arises from the habit of seeking food; the spirit of art arises from the habit of imitation, by which the young animal first learns to feed; the spirit of music arises from primeval speech, by means of which males and females are attracted to each other.
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 443.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (294)  |  Attract (22)  |  Female (24)  |  Food (154)  |  Habit (112)  |  Imitation (23)  |  Male (26)  |  Music (106)  |  Primeval (10)  |  Science (2067)  |  Science And Art (181)  |  Speech (47)  |  Spirit (154)

The techniques and criteria of religion and science are so extraordinarily different. Science seeks simplicity publicly and encourages the overthrow of authority; religion accepts complexity privately and encourages deference to authority.
In 'Religion - The Antithesis to Science', Chemistry & Industry (Feb 1997).
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (65)  |  Authority (66)  |  Complexity (91)  |  Criterion (18)  |  Deference (2)  |  Different (186)  |  Encourage (24)  |  Extraordinary (43)  |  Overthrow (4)  |  Publicly (3)  |  Religion (239)  |  Science And Religion (302)  |  Simplicity (147)  |  Technique (49)

The voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new horizons, but in seeing with new eyes.
A commonly seen, loose paraphrase shortened from text in La Prisonnière (1923), a volume in the series of novels À la Recherche du Temps Perdu (Remembrance of Things Past). Translated by C.K. Moncrief as The Captive (1929, 1949), 70-71. For more context, see the longer quote which begins, “The only true voyage of discovery,…” on the Marcel Proust Quotes page of this website.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (680)  |  Eye (222)  |  Horizon (29)  |  Lie (115)  |  New (496)  |  See (369)  |  Voyage (11)

There cannot be mental atrophy in any person who continues to observe, to remember what he observes, and to seek answers for his unceasing hows and whys about things.
From interview with Mary R. Mullett, 'How to Keep Young Mentally', The American Magazine (Dec 1921), 92, 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Atrophy (6)  |  Mental (78)  |  Observe (76)  |  Remember (82)  |  Unceasing (3)

This conviction of the solvability of every mathematical problem is a powerful incentive to the worker. We hear within us the perpetual call: There is the problem. Seek its solution. You can find it by pure reason, for in mathematics there is no ignorabimus!
Ignorabimus as used here, means “we will not know” (which is slightly different from ignoramus meaning present ignorance, “we do not know”). In Lecture (1900), 'Mathematische Probleme' (Mathematical Problems), to the International Congress of Mathematicians, Paris. From the original German reprinted in David Hilbert: Gesammelte Abhandlungen (Collected Treatises, 1970), Vol. 3, 298, “Diese Überzeugung von der Lösbarkeit eines jeden mathematischer Problems ist uns ein kräftiger Ansporn während der Arbeit ; wir hören in uns den steten Zuruf: Da ist das Problem, suche die Lösung. Du kannst sie durch reines Denken finden; denn in der Mathematik gibt es kein Ignorabimus. English version as translated by Dr. Maby Winton Newson for Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society (1902), 8, 437-479. The address was first published in Göttinger Nachrichten is Nachrichten von der Königl. Gesellschaft der Wiss. zu Göttingen (1900), 253-297; and Archiv der Mathematik und Physik (1901), 3, No. 1, 44-63.
Science quotes on:  |  Call (128)  |  Conviction (71)  |  Find (408)  |  Hear (63)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Incentive (8)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Perpetual (21)  |  Powerful (68)  |  Problem (497)  |  Pure (103)  |  Reason (471)  |  Solution (216)  |  Solve (78)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (61)  |  Worker (30)

Those who are accustomed to judge by feeling do not understand the process of reasoning, because they want to comprehend at a glance and are not used to seeking for first principles. Those, on the other hand, who are accustomed to reason from first principles do not understand matters of feeling at all, because they look for first principles and are unable to comprehend at a glance.
In Pensées (1670), Section 7, No. 33. As translated in W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger (eds.) The Viking Book of Aphorisms (1966), 351. Also translated as “Those who are accustomed to judge by feeling do not understand the process of reasoning, for they would understand at first sight, and are not used to seek for principles. And others, on the contrary, who are accustomed to reason from principles, do not at all understand matters of feeling, seeking principles, and being unable to see at a glance,” in Blaise Pascal and W.F. Trotter (trans.), 'Thoughts', No. 3, collected in Charles W. Eliot (ed.), The Harvard Classics (1910), Vol. 48, 9. From the original French, “Ceux qui sont accoutumés à juger par le sentiment ne comprennent rien aux choses de raisonnement, car ils veulent d’abord pénétrer d’une vue et ne sont point accoutumés à chercher les principes. Et les autres, au contraire, qui sont accoutumés à raisonner par principes, ne comprennent rien aux choses de sentiment, y cherchant des principes et ne pouvant voir d’une vue,” in Ernest Havet (ed.), Pensées de Pascal (1892), 224.
Science quotes on:  |  Accustomed (16)  |  Comprehend (39)  |  Feel (167)  |  First (314)  |  Glance (20)  |  Judge (63)  |  Matter (343)  |  On The Other Hand (34)  |  Principle (292)  |  Process (267)  |  Reason (471)  |  Unable (24)  |  Understand (340)  |  Want (176)

Three causes especially have excited the discontent of mankind; and, by impelling us to seek remedies for the irremediable, have bewildered us in a maze of madness and error. These are death, toil, and the ignorance of the future.
From Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions (2nd ed., 1852), Vol. 1, 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Bewildered (2)  |  Cause (285)  |  Death (302)  |  Discontent (5)  |  Error (277)  |  Excited (8)  |  Future (287)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Impel (5)  |  Madness (29)  |  Mankind (241)  |  Maze (10)  |  Remedy (54)  |  Sociology (43)  |  Toil (18)

Throughout life he [Friedrich Fröbel] was always seeking for hidden connexions and an underlying unity in all things.
From article 'Friedrich Froebel', in Day Otis Kellogg (ed.), Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature (1879), Vol. 9, 696.
Science quotes on:  |  Connection (111)  |  Friedrich Fröbel (3)  |  Hidden (42)  |  Life (1131)  |  Underlying (18)  |  Unity (54)

To Archimedes once came a youth intent upon knowledge.
Said he “Initiate me into the Science divine,
Which to our country has borne glorious fruits in abundance,
And which the walls of the town ’gainst the Sambuca protects.”
“Callst thou the science divine? It is so,” the wise man responded;
“But so it was, my son, ere the state by her service was blest.
Would’st thou have fruit of her only? Mortals with that can provide thee,
He who the goddess would woo, seek not the woman in her.”
Poem, 'Archimedes und der Schuler', collected in Gedichte von Friedrich Schiller (1807), Vol. 1, 149. English version 'Archimedes and the Student', in Edgar A. Bowring (trans.), The Poems of Schiller (1875), 262-263. From the original German: Zu Archimedes kam einst ein wissbegieriger Jüngling. / “Weihe mich,” sprach er zu ihm, “ein in die gottliche Kunst, / Die so herrliche Frucht dem Vaterlande getragen, / Und die Mauern der Stadt vor der Sambuca beschützt!” / “Gottlieb nennst du die Kunst? Sie ists,” versetzte der Weise; / “Aber das war sie, mein Sohn, eh sie dem Staat noch gedient. / Willst du nur Früchte von ihr, die kann auch die Sterbliche zeugen; / Wer um die Göttin freit, suche in ihr nicht das Weib.” [Note: “Sambuca” is the name of a machine used in sieges, employed by Marcellus against Syracuse.]
Science quotes on:  |  Abundance (21)  |  Archimedes (55)  |  Blessed (5)  |  Country (147)  |  Fruit (71)  |  Glorious (23)  |  Goddess (5)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mortal (28)  |  Protect (33)  |  Science (2067)  |  Service (64)  |  State (137)  |  Town (27)  |  Wall (28)  |  Wise Man (11)  |  Woman (111)  |  Youth (77)

Train yourselves. Don't wait to be fed knowledge out of a book. Get out and seek it. Make explorations. Do your own research work. Train your hands and your mind. Become curious. Invent your own problems and solve them. You can see things going on all about you. Inquire into them. Seek out answers to your own questions. There are many phenomena going on in nature the explanation of which cannot be found in books. Find out why these phenomena take place. Information a boy gets by himself is enormously more valuable than that which is taught to him in school.
In 'Dr. Irving Langmuir', Boys' Life (Jul 1941), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (40)  |  Answer (249)  |  Boy (46)  |  Curiosity (106)  |  Enormous (41)  |  Enquiry (76)  |  Exploration (123)  |  Finding (30)  |  Hand (142)  |  Information (122)  |  Invention (324)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Learning (177)  |  Mind (760)  |  Phenomenon (278)  |  Problem (497)  |  Question (404)  |  Research (590)  |  School (119)  |  Solution (216)  |  Student (203)  |  Teaching (108)  |  Train (45)  |  Value (242)

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 (117)  |  Action (185)  |  Aid (42)  |  Alike (22)  |  Animal (359)  |  Capacity (64)  |  Causal (7)  |  Cease (39)  |  Claim (71)  |  Conduct (31)  |  Conscious (45)  |  Death (302)  |  Describe (57)  |  Desire (142)  |  Device (28)  |  Difference (246)  |  Different (186)  |  Easily (35)  |  Elemental (3)  |  Enter (32)  |  Escape (47)  |  Evident (29)  |  Existence (299)  |  Experience (342)  |  Factor (46)  |  Fear (142)  |  Feelings (14)  |  Fellow (37)  |  Force (249)  |  General (160)  |  Hate (38)  |  High (153)  |  Hunger (14)  |  Imagination (275)  |  Immediate (43)  |  Important (205)  |  Impulse (33)  |  Individual (221)  |  Inner (39)  |  Instinct (66)  |  Intelligence (168)  |  Intersect (5)  |  Intervention (12)  |  Intuition (57)  |  Know (556)  |  Language (228)  |  Less (102)  |  Love (224)  |  Merely (82)  |  Move (94)  |  Need (287)  |  Organize (20)  |  Ourselves (51)  |  Pain (101)  |  Part (222)  |  Pity (13)  |  Play (112)  |  Pleasant (20)  |  Power (366)  |  Powerful (68)  |  Preservation (33)  |  Pride (64)  |  Primary (41)  |  Race (104)  |  Relation (154)  |  Relatively (7)  |  Result (389)  |  Rule (177)  |  Same (156)  |  Seem (143)  |  Self (47)  |  Servant (18)  |  Serve (58)  |  Social (108)  |  Spring (71)  |  Stir (14)  |  Strong (72)  |  Symbolic (15)  |  Sympathy (24)  |  Tell (110)  |  Think (347)  |  Thought (546)  |  Time (595)  |  True (208)  |  Try (141)  |  Word (302)

We have reached the end of our journey into the depths of matter. We have sought for firm ground and found none. The deeper we penetrate, the more restless becomes the universe…: all is rushing about and vibrating in a wild dance.
Max Born
In The Restless Universe (2013), Chap. 5, 277.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (172)  |  Dance (26)  |  Deep (124)  |  Find (408)  |  Firm (24)  |  Ground (90)  |  Penetrate (30)  |  Restless (11)  |  Rush (18)  |  Understand (340)  |  Universe (686)  |  Vibrate (3)  |  Vibration (16)  |  Wild (49)

We have sought truth, and sometimes perhaps found it. But have we had any fun?
As quoted in Geoffrey Madan’s Notebooks: A Selection (1984), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Find (408)  |  Fun (34)  |  Truth (928)

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (47)  |  Beauty (248)  |  Charm (28)  |  End (195)  |  Eye (222)  |  Full (63)  |  Live (272)  |  Open (66)  |  Wonderful (60)  |  World (898)

We may have three principal objects in the study of truth: one to discover it when it is sought; another to demonstrate it when it is possessed; and a third, to discriminate it from the false when it is examined.
As translated in Blaise Pascal and G.W. Wight (trans.), Of the Geometrical Spirit, collected in Charles William Eliot, The Harvard Classics (1910), Vol. 48, 427. From the original French, “On peut avoir trois principaux objets dans l’etude de la vérité: l’un, de la découvrir quand on la cherche; l’autre, de la démontrer quand on la possède; le dernier, de la discerner d'avec le faux quand on l’examine,” in 'De l'Ésprit Géométrique', Pascal: Opuscules Philosophiques (1887), 82. For an alternative translation, see the quote beginning, “There are three leading objects…” on the Blaise Pascal Quotes page of this website.
Science quotes on:  |  Demonstrate (53)  |  Discover (199)  |  Discriminate (4)  |  Examine (44)  |  False (99)  |  Object (175)  |  Possess (56)  |  Principal (28)  |  Study (476)  |  Truth (928)

What is the true end and aim of science but the discovery of the ultimate power—a seeking after God through the study his ways?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (89)  |  Discovery (680)  |  End (195)  |  God (535)  |  Power (366)  |  Science (2067)  |  Study (476)  |  True (208)  |  Ultimate (84)

What makes philosophy so tedious is not the profundity of philosophers, but their lack of art; they are like physicians who sought to cure a slight hyperacidity by prescribing a carload of burned oyster-shells.
In A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949, 1956), 617.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (294)  |  Burned (2)  |  Carload (2)  |  Cure (96)  |  Lack (77)  |  Oyster (10)  |  Philosopher (166)  |  Philosophy (259)  |  Physician (243)  |  Prescribe (9)  |  Profundity (6)  |  Shell (41)  |  Slight (31)  |  Tedious (9)

When we seek a textbook case for the proper operation of science, the correction of certain error offers far more promise than the establishment of probable truth. Confirmed hunches, of course, are more upbeat than discredited hypotheses. Since the worst traditions of ‘popular’ writing falsely equate instruction with sweetness and light, our promotional literature abounds with insipid tales in the heroic mode, although tough stories of disappointment and loss give deeper insight into a methodology that the celebrated philosopher Karl Popper once labeled as ‘conjecture and refutation.’
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abound (5)  |  Bad (99)  |  Case (99)  |  Celebrate (14)  |  Certain (126)  |  Confirm (12)  |  Conjecture (32)  |  Correction (31)  |  Deep (124)  |  Disappointment (12)  |  Discredit (8)  |  Equate (3)  |  Error (277)  |  Establishment (35)  |  Falsely (2)  |  Far (154)  |  Give (201)  |  Heroic (4)  |  Hunch (4)  |  Hypothesis (252)  |  Insight (73)  |  Instruction (73)  |  Label (11)  |  Light (347)  |  Literature (79)  |  Loss (73)  |  Methodology (8)  |  Mode (40)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Offer (43)  |  Operation (121)  |  Philosopher (166)  |  Karl Raimund Popper (47)  |  Popular (29)  |  Probable (20)  |  Promise (38)  |  Proper (38)  |  Refutation (12)  |  Science (2067)  |  Story (73)  |  Sweetness (8)  |  Tale (15)  |  Textbook (27)  |  Tough (10)  |  Tradition (49)  |  Truth (928)  |  Write (154)

While it is never safe to affirm that the future of Physical Science has no marvels in store even more astonishing than those of the past, it seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have been firmly established and that further advances are to be sought chiefly in the rigorous application of these principles to all the phenomena which come under our notice.
'Spectroscopy, Molecular Orbitals, and Chemical Bonding', Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1966). In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1963-1970 (1972), 159.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (165)  |  Affirmation (6)  |  Application (170)  |  Astonishment (23)  |  Establish (56)  |  Future (287)  |  Marvel (28)  |  Past (152)  |  Phenomenon (278)  |  Physical Science (66)  |  Principle (292)  |  Rigour (16)  |  Safety (43)  |  Underlying (18)  |  Wonder (169)

While speaking, M. Bertrand is always in motion; now he seems in combat with some outside enemy, now he outlines with a gesture of the hand the figures he studies. Plainly he sees and he is eager to paint, this is why he calls gesture to his aid. With M. Hermite, it is just the opposite; his eyes seem to shun contact with the world; it is not without, it is within he seeks the vision of truth.
From La Valeur de la Science (1904), 14, as translated by George Bruce Halsted (trans.), in The Value of Science (1907), 16. From the French, “Tout en parlant, M. Bertrand est toujours en action; tantôt il semble aux prises avec quelque ennemi extérieur, tantôt il dessine d'un geste de la main les figures qu’il étudie. Évidemment, il voit et il cherche à peindre, c’est pour cela qu’il appelle le geste à son secours. Pour M. Hermite, c’est tout le contraire; ses yeux semblent fuir le contact du monde; ce n’est pas au dehors, c’est au dedans qu’il cherche la vision de la vérité.”
Science quotes on:  |  Joseph Bertrand (6)  |  Combat (13)  |  Contact (34)  |  Eager (15)  |  Enemy (65)  |  Eye (222)  |  Figure (69)  |  Gesture (4)  |  Hand (142)  |  Charles Hermite (10)  |  Inside (26)  |  Motion (160)  |  Opposite (50)  |  Outline (11)  |  Outside (48)  |  Paint (21)  |  See (369)  |  Shun (4)  |  Speak (92)  |  Study (476)  |  Truth (928)  |  Vision (94)  |  World (898)

While the method of the natural sciences is... analytic, the method of the social sciences is better described as compositive or synthetic. It is the so-called wholes, the groups of elements which are structurally connected, which we learn to single out from the totality of observed phenomena... Insofar as we analyze individual thought in the social sciences the purpose is not to explain that thought, but merely to distinguish the possible types of elements with which we shall have to reckon in the construction of different patterns of social relationships. It is a mistake... to believe that their aim is to explain conscious action ... The problems which they try to answer arise only insofar as the conscious action of many men produce undesigned results... If social phenomena showed no order except insofar as they were consciously designed, there would indeed be no room for theoretical sciences of society and there would be, as is often argued, only problems of psychology. It is only insofar as some sort of order arises as a result of individual action but without being designed by any individual that a problem is raised which demands a theoretical explanation... people dominated by the scientistic prejudice are often inclined to deny the existence of any such order... it can be shown briefly and without any technical apparatus how the independent actions of individuals will produce an order which is no part of their intentions... The way in which footpaths are formed in a wild broken country is such an instance. At first everyone will seek for himself what seems to him the best path. But the fact that such a path has been used once is likely to make it easier to traverse and therefore more likely to be used again; and thus gradually more and more clearly defined tracks arise and come to be used to the exclusion of other possible ways. Human movements through the region come to conform to a definite pattern which, although the result of deliberate decision of many people, has yet not be consciously designed by anyone.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (185)  |  Aim (89)  |  Analytic (10)  |  Analyze (10)  |  Answer (249)  |  Anyone (35)  |  Apparatus (37)  |  Argue (23)  |  Arise (49)  |  Belief (504)  |  Best (173)  |  Better (192)  |  Break (54)  |  Briefly (5)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Conform (11)  |  Connect (33)  |  Conscious (45)  |  Consciously (6)  |  Construction (83)  |  Country (147)  |  Decision (72)  |  Define (49)  |  Definite (43)  |  Deliberate (12)  |  Demand (76)  |  Deny (42)  |  Describe (57)  |  Design (115)  |  Different (186)  |  Distinguish (64)  |  Dominate (19)  |  Easy (102)  |  Element (162)  |  Everyone (34)  |  Exclusion (13)  |  Existence (299)  |  Explain (107)  |  Explanation (177)  |  Fact (733)  |  First (314)  |  Form (314)  |  Gradually (21)  |  Group (72)  |  Human (550)  |  Inclined (12)  |  Independent (67)  |  Individual (221)  |  Instance (32)  |  Intention (28)  |  Learn (288)  |  Likely (33)  |  Merely (82)  |  Method (239)  |  Mistake (132)  |  Movement (83)  |  Natural Science (90)  |  Observe (76)  |  Often (106)  |  Order (242)  |  Part (222)  |  Path (84)  |  Pattern (79)  |  People (390)  |  Phenomenon (278)  |  Possible (158)  |  Prejudice (66)  |  Problem (497)  |  Produce (102)  |  Psychology (143)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Raise (35)  |  Reckon (16)  |  Region (36)  |  Relationship (71)  |  Result (389)  |  Room (39)  |  Seem (143)  |  Show (93)  |  Single (120)  |  So-Called (21)  |  Social (108)  |  Social Science (31)  |  Society (228)  |  Sort (49)  |  Structurally (2)  |  Synthetic (16)  |  Technical (42)  |  Theoretical (21)  |  Theoretical Science (4)  |  Thought (546)  |  Totality (10)  |  Track (15)  |  Traverse (5)  |  Try (141)  |  Type (52)  |  Whole (192)  |  Wild (49)

Whoever, in the pursuit of science, seeks after immediate practical utility, may generally rest assured that he will seek in vain.
Academical Discourse (22 Nov 1862) delivered at Heidelberg. Collected in Hermann von Helmholtz, Edmund Atkinson (trans.), Popular Lectures on Scientific Subjects: First Series (1883), 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Immediate (43)  |  Practical (133)  |  Pursuit (79)  |  Science (2067)  |  Utility (33)  |  Vain (30)

Why do you so earnestly seek the truth in distant places?
Look for delusion and truth in the bottom of your own hearts.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 247
Science quotes on:  |  Bottom (33)  |  Delusion (22)  |  Distant (32)  |  Earnestly (4)  |  Heart (139)  |  Place (175)  |  Truth (928)

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which numbers holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
In 'Prologue: What I Have Lived For', The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell (1969). 3-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieved (2)  |  Heart (139)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Little (188)  |  Man (373)  |  Number (282)  |  Passion (71)  |  Shine (45)  |  Star (336)  |  Understand (340)  |  Wish (92)

Without seeking, truth cannot be known at all. It can neither be declared from pulpits, nor set down in articles, nor in any wise prepared and sold in packages ready for use. Truth must be ground for every man by itself out of its husk, with such help as he can get, indeed, but not without stern labor of his own.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Article (22)  |  Declare (27)  |  Ground (90)  |  Help (103)  |  Husk (4)  |  Know (556)  |  Labor (73)  |  Package (6)  |  Prepare (35)  |  Pulpit (2)  |  Ready (38)  |  Sell (14)  |  Set Down (2)  |  Stern (3)  |  Truth (928)  |  Wise (61)

… to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Boldly (5)  |  Civilization (175)  |  Exploration (123)  |  Life (1131)  |  New (496)  |  New Worlds (5)  |  Strange (94)

“Wu Li” was more than poetic. It was the best definition of physics that the conference would produce. It caught that certain something, that living quality that we were seeking to express in a book, that thing without which physics becomes sterile. “Wu” can mean either “matter” or “energy.” “Li” is a richly poetic word. It means “universal order” or “universal law.” It also means “organic patterns.” The grain in a panel of wood is Li. The organic pattern on the surface of a leaf is also Li, and so is the texture of a rose petal. In short, Wu Li, the Chinese word for physics, means “patterns of organic energy” (“matter/ energy” [Wu] + “universal order/organic patterns” [Li]). This is remarkable since it reflects a world view which the founders of western science (Galileo and Newton) simply did not comprehend, but toward which virtually every physical theory of import in the twentieth century is pointing!
In The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (1979), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (33)  |  Book (257)  |  Catch (30)  |  Chinese (7)  |  Comprehend (39)  |  Conference (11)  |  Definition (192)  |  Energy (214)  |  Express (65)  |  Founder (16)  |  Galileo Galilei (122)  |  Grain (28)  |  Law (515)  |  Leaf (49)  |  Matter (343)  |  Mean (101)  |  Means (176)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Order (242)  |  Organic (55)  |  Panel (2)  |  Pattern (79)  |  Petal (4)  |  Physics (348)  |  Poem (92)  |  Produce (102)  |  Quality (95)  |  Remarkable (48)  |  Rose (9)  |  Science (2067)  |  Sterile (12)  |  Surface (101)  |  Texture (7)  |  Theory (696)  |  Universal (105)  |  Western (19)  |  Wood (49)  |  Word (302)  |  World View (2)


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.