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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Simple

Simple Quotes (111 quotes)


Il ne peut y avoir de langage plus universel et plus simple, plus exempt d’erreurs et d’obscurités, c'est-à-dire plus digne d'exprimer les rapports invariables des êtres naturels.
There cannot be a language more universal and more simple, more free from errors and obscurities, … more worthy to express the invariable relations of all natural things. [About mathematical analysis.]
From Théorie Analytique de la Chaleur (1822), xiv, translated by Alexander Freeman in The Analytical Theory of Heat (1878), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (230)  |  Express (32)  |  Free (59)  |  Invariable (4)  |  Language (155)  |  Mathematical Analysis (5)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Obscurity (18)  |  Relation (96)  |  Universal (70)  |  Worthy (21)

Les causes primordiales ne nous sont point connues; mais elles sont assujetties à des lois simples et constantes, que l’on peut découvrir par l’observation, et dont l’étude est l’objet de la philosophie naturelle.
Primary causes are unknown to us; but are subject to simple and constant laws, which may be discovered by observation, the study of them being the object of natural philosophy.
Opening statement from 'Discours Préliminaire' to Théorie Analytique de la Chaleur (1822), i, translated by Alexander Freeman in The Analytical Theory of Heat (1878), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (231)  |  Constant (40)  |  Discover (115)  |  Law (418)  |  Natural Philosophy (21)  |  Object (110)  |  Observation (418)  |  Primary (29)  |  Study (331)  |  Subject (129)  |  Unknown (87)

Les mathématiciens parviennent à la solution d’un problême par le simple arrangement des données, & en réduisant le raisonnement à des opérations si simples, à des jugemens si courts, qu’ils ne perdent jamais de vue l’évidence qui leur sert de guide.
Mathematicians come to the solution of a problem by the simple arrangement of the data, and reducing the reasoning to such simple operations, to judgments so brief, that they never lose sight of the evidence that serves as their guide.
From a paper read to the Académie Royales des Sciences (18 Apr 1787), printed in Méthode de Nomenclature Chimique (1787), 12. Translation from the French by Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (45)  |  Brief (14)  |  Data (100)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Guide (46)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Operation (96)  |  Problem (362)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Solution (168)

A hypothesis may be simply defined as a guess. A scientific hypothesis is an intelligent guess.
In Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 114.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (152)  |  Guess (36)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Intelligent (35)  |  Scientific (169)

A lot of prizes have been awarded for showing the universe is not as simple as we might have thought.
In A Brief History of Time, (1988, 1998), 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Award (5)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Universe (563)

A mathematical proof should resemble a simple and clear-cut constellation, not a scattered cluster in the Milky Way.
In A Mathematician’s Apology (1940, 2012), 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Cluster (10)  |  Constellation (9)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Milky Way (19)  |  Proof (192)  |  Resemble (16)  |  Scattered (4)

A neurotic person can be most simply described as someone who, while he was growing up, learned ways of behaving that are self-defeating in his society.
In Margaret Mead and Rhoda Bubendey Métraux (ed.), Margaret Mead, Some Personal Views (1979), 216.
Science quotes on:  |  Behave (13)  |  Defeat (13)  |  Describe (38)  |  Growing (15)  |  Learn (160)  |  Neurotic (5)  |  Person (114)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Self (39)  |  Society (188)

All the inventions and devices ever constructed by the human hand or conceived by the human mind, no matter how delicate, how intricate and complicated, are simple, childish toys compared with that most marvelously wrought mechanism, the human body. Its parts are far more delicate, and their mutual adjustments infinitely more accurate, than are those of the most perfect chronometer ever made.
In Plain Facts For Old and Young: Embracing the Natural History and Hygiene of Organic Life (1879, 1887), Revised Ed., 332.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (52)  |  Adjustment (12)  |  Body (193)  |  Childish (5)  |  Complicated (38)  |  Construction (69)  |  Delicate (11)  |  Hand (103)  |  Human (445)  |  Intricate (14)  |  Invention (283)  |  Marvelous (13)  |  Mechanism (41)  |  Mind (544)  |  Toy (14)

Anybody can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.
In David Pressman. Patent it Yourself (2008), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Complicated (38)  |  Creativity (66)

As man advances in civilisation, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Artificial (26)  |  Barrier (19)  |  Civilisation (18)  |  Community (65)  |  Extend (20)  |  Individual (177)  |  Instinct (50)  |  Large (82)  |  Member (27)  |  Nation (111)  |  Personally (4)  |  Point (72)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Race (76)  |  Reach (68)  |  Reason (330)  |  Same (92)  |  Small (97)  |  Social (93)  |  Sympathy (15)  |  Tell (67)  |  Tribe (10)  |  United (8)  |  Unknown (87)

But how is one to determine what is pleasing to God? ... Whatever is unpleasant to man is pleasant to God. The test is the natural instinct of man. If there arises within one’s dark recesses a hot desire to do this or that, then it is the paramount duty of a Christian to avoid doing this or that. And if, on the contrary, one cherishes an abhorrence of the business, then one must tackle it forthwith, all the time shouting ‘Hallelujah!’ A simple enough religion, surely–simple, satisfying and idiotic.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abhorrence (8)  |  Arise (32)  |  Avoid (34)  |  Business (71)  |  Cherish (6)  |  Christian (17)  |  Contrary (22)  |  Dark (49)  |  Desire (101)  |  Determine (45)  |  Duty (51)  |  Forthwith (2)  |  God (454)  |  Hot (17)  |  Instinct (50)  |  Natural (128)  |  Paramount (6)  |  Pleasant (16)  |  Please (10)  |  Recess (5)  |  Religion (210)  |  Satisfy (14)  |  Shout (9)  |  Surely (13)  |  Tackle (4)  |  Test (96)  |  Time (439)  |  Unpleasant (2)

Each of us has read somewhere that in New Guinea pidgin the word for 'piano' is (I use English spelling) 'this fellow you hit teeth belonging to him he squeal all same pig'. I am inclined to doubt whether this expression is authentic; it looks just like the kind of thing a visitor to the Islands would facetiously invent. But I accept 'cut grass belong head belong me' for 'haircut' as genuine... Such phrases seem very funny to us, and make us feel very superior to the ignorant foreigners who use long winded expressions for simple matters. And then it is our turn to name quite a simple thing, a small uncomplicated molecule consisting of nothing more than a measly 11 carbons, seven hydrogens, one nitrogen and six oxygens. We sharpen our pencils, consult our rule books and at last come up with 3-[(1, 3- dihydro-1, 3-dioxo-2H-isoindol-2-yl) oxy]-3-oxopropanoic acid. A name like that could drive any self-respecting Papuan to piano-playing.
The Chemist's English (1990), 3rd Edition, 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (181)  |  Carbon (48)  |  Complication (20)  |  Expression (82)  |  Foreigner (2)  |  Funny (9)  |  Hydrogen (37)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Invention (283)  |  Matter (270)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Name (118)  |  New Guinea (2)  |  Oxygen (49)  |  Piano (8)  |  Rule (135)

Either one or the other [analysis or synthesis] may be direct or indirect. The direct procedure is when the point of departure is known-direct synthesis in the elements of geometry. By combining at random simple truths with each other, more complicated ones are deduced from them. This is the method of discovery, the special method of inventions, contrary to popular opinion.
Ampère gives this example drawn from geometry to illustrate his meaning for “direct synthesis” when deductions following from more simple, already-known theorems leads to a new discovery. In James R. Hofmann, André-Marie Ampère (1996), 159. Cites Académie des Sciences Ampère Archives, box 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Combination (69)  |  Complication (20)  |  Contrary (22)  |  Deduction (49)  |  Departure (4)  |  Direct (44)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Element (129)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Indirect (8)  |  Invention (283)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Method (154)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Point (72)  |  Popular (21)  |  Procedure (16)  |  Random (21)  |  Special (51)  |  Synthesis (38)  |  Truth (750)

Eventually the process of aging, which is unlikely to be simple, should be understandable. Hopefully some of its processes can be slowed down or avoided. In fact, in the next century, we shall have to tackle the question of the preferred form of death.
(1986).
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Avoid (34)  |  Century (94)  |  Death (270)  |  Form (210)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Prefer (18)  |  Process (201)  |  Question (315)  |  Slow (36)  |  Tackle (4)  |  Understandable (4)

Every complex problem has a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Complex (78)  |  Neat (2)  |  Problem (362)  |  Solution (168)  |  Wrong (116)

First you guess. Don’t laugh, this is the most important step. Then you compute the consequences. Compare the consequences to experience. If it disagrees with experience, the guess is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your guess is or how smart you are or what your name is. If it disagrees with experience, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.
Quoted in Florentin Smarandache, V. Christianto, Multi-Valued Logic, Neutrosophy, and Schrodinger Equation? (2006), 73, but without any primary source. If you know it, please contact the Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Compare (15)  |  Compute (10)  |  Consequence (76)  |  Disagree (6)  |  Experience (268)  |  First (174)  |  Guess (36)  |  Important (124)  |  Key (38)  |  Laugh (18)  |  Matter (270)  |  Name (118)  |  Science (1699)  |  Smart (13)  |  Statement (56)  |  Step (67)  |  Wrong (116)

First, [Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation] is mathematical in its expression…. Second, it is not exact; Einstein had to modify it…. There is always an edge of mystery, always a place where we have some fiddling around to do yet…. But the most impressive fact is that gravity is simple…. It is simple, and therefore it is beautiful…. Finally, comes the universality of the gravitational law and the fact that it extends over such enormous distances…
In The Character of Physical Law (1965, 2001), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Distance (54)  |  Albert Einstein (535)  |  Enormous (33)  |  Expression (82)  |  Fact (609)  |  Gravitation (27)  |  Gravity (89)  |  Impressive (11)  |  Law Of Gravitation (15)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Modify (11)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Universal (70)

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Complex (78)  |  Neat (2)  |  Problem (362)  |  Solution (168)  |  Wrong (116)

He who knows not, and knows not he knows not, he is a fool—shun him;
He who knows not, and knows he knows not, he is simple—teach him;
He who knows, and knows not he knows, he is asleep—wake him;
He who knows, and knows he knows, he is wise—follow him.
Anonymous
Hesiod, 'Works and Days,' 293-7. In William White, Notes and Queries (1904), Series 10, Vol. 1, 235, the correspondent H.A. Strong says that the origin of these lines is to be found in Hesiod [Greek, 8th Century B.C.], Works and Days, 293-7; that the passage was very celebrated in antiquity, and is quoted by Aristotle, Nic. Eth., i. 4; and that both Livy (xxii. 29) and Cicero (Pro Cluent., 31) refer to it. Another correspondent (J.H.K.) said it was stated to be an Arab proverb in Lady [Isabel] Burton, Life of [Captain] Sir Richard [F.] Burton (1893), Vol. 1, 548, footnote, with 'Men are four…' added to the beginning of the quote.
Science quotes on:  |  Follow (66)  |  Fool (70)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Shun (3)  |  Sleep (42)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Wisdom (151)

High technology has done us one great service: It has retaught us the delight of performing simple and primordial tasks—chopping wood, building a fire, drawing water from a spring.
In 'Science and Technology', A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto) (1989), 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Build (80)  |  Chop (5)  |  Delight (51)  |  Draw (25)  |  Fire (117)  |  Great (300)  |  High (78)  |  Perform (27)  |  Primordial (7)  |  Service (54)  |  Spring (47)  |  Task (68)  |  Technology (199)  |  Water (244)  |  Wood (33)

I am a simple man and I want simple answers.
Said to be a favorite line a favorite line of his when challenging his students. As stated, without citation in Robert Slater, Portraits in Silicon (1987), 88.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Man (345)  |  Want (120)

I am curious in a super-apish way. I like finding out things. That … is all that the “noble self-sacrificing devotion to truth” of 99-44/100% of all scientists amounts to—simple curiosity. That is the spirit in which nearly all productive scientific research is carried on.
Letter from London (20 Apr 1937), No. 81, in George Gaylord Simpson and Léo F. LaPorte (ed.), Simple Curiosity: Letters from George Gaylord Simpson to His Family, 1921-1970 (1987), 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Curious (24)  |  Devotion (24)  |  Finding Out (4)  |  Noble (41)  |  Productive (10)  |  Research (517)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Self-Sacrifice (5)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Truth (750)

I am much occupied with the investigation of the physical causes [of motions in the Solar System]. My aim in this is to show that the celestial machine is to be likened not to a divine organism but rather to a clockwork … insofar as nearly all the manifold movements are carried out by means of a single, quite simple magnetic force. This physical conception is to be presented through calculation and geometry.
Letter to Ilerwart von Hohenburg (10 Feb 1605) Quoted in Holton, Johannes Kepler's Universe: Its Physics and Metaphysics, 342, as cited by Hylarie Kochiras, Force, Matter, and Metaphysics in Newton's Natural Philosophy (2008), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculation (67)  |  Cause (231)  |  Celestial (15)  |  Clockwork (4)  |  Conception (63)  |  Divine (42)  |  Force (194)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Machine (133)  |  Magnetic (7)  |  Manifold (7)  |  Motion (127)  |  Movement (65)  |  Occupation (37)  |  Organism (126)  |  Physical (94)  |  Presenting (2)  |  Single (72)  |  Solar System (48)

I believe in “intelligence,” and I believe also that there are inherited differences in intellectual ability, but I do not believe that intelligence is a simple scalar endowment that can be quantified by attaching a single figure to it—an I.Q. or the like.
In Advice to a Young Scientist (1979), 25. Footnoted with reference to his own earlier review article of books about IQ, in which he stated “misgivings about whether it is indeed possible to attach a single-number valuation to an endowment as complex and as various as intelligence.” That review was titled 'Unnatural Science', in New York Review of Books (3 Feb 1977), 24, No. 1, 13,
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Belief (400)  |  Difference (208)  |  Endowment (7)  |  Figure (32)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  IQ (5)  |  Single (72)

I claim that relativity and the rest of modern physics is not complicated. It can be explained very simply. It is only unusual or, put another way, it is contrary to common sense.
In Edward Teller, Wendy Teller and Wilson Talley, Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics (1991, 2013), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Claim (52)  |  Common Sense (69)  |  Complicated (38)  |  Contrary (22)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Modern Physics (12)  |  Relativity (50)  |  Unusual (13)

I consider the study of medicine to have been that training which preached more impressively and more convincingly than any other could have done, the everlasting principles of all scientific work; principles which are so simple and yet are ever forgotten again, so clear and yet always hidden by a deceptive veil.
In Lecture (2 Aug 1877) delivered on the anniversary of the foundation of the Institute for the Education of Army Surgeons, 'On Thought in Medicine', collected in 'Popular Scientific Lectures', The Humboldt Library of Popular Science Literature (1 Jul 1881), 1, No. 24, 18, (renumbered as p.748 in reprint volume of Nos. 1-24).
Science quotes on:  |  Clear (52)  |  Convince (17)  |  Everlasting (5)  |  Forget (40)  |  Hidden (34)  |  Impressive (11)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Preach (9)  |  Principle (228)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Study (331)  |  Training (39)  |  Veil (12)  |  Work (457)

I have deep faith that the principle of the universe will be beautiful and simple.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Deep (81)  |  Faith (131)  |  Principle (228)  |  Universe (563)

I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis of our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Asset (3)  |  Become (100)  |  Briefly (3)  |  Concern (76)  |  Conscious (25)  |  Constantly (19)  |  Constitute (19)  |  Crisis (13)  |  Dependence (32)  |  Deprive (9)  |  Deteriorate (2)  |  Deterioration (8)  |  Devote (23)  |  Drive (38)  |  Economic (21)  |  Enjoyment (27)  |  Essence (42)  |  Existence (254)  |  Experience (268)  |  Feel (93)  |  Find (248)  |  Force (194)  |  Human Beings (19)  |  Indicate (10)  |  Individual (177)  |  Insecure (3)  |  Life (917)  |  Lonely (7)  |  Mean (63)  |  Moreover (2)  |  Naive (8)  |  Natural (128)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Organic (48)  |  Perilous (3)  |  Point (72)  |  Position (54)  |  Positive (28)  |  Prisoner (7)  |  Process (201)  |  Progressively (2)  |  Protective (4)  |  Reach (68)  |  Relationship (59)  |  Right (144)  |  Short (31)  |  Social (93)  |  Society (188)  |  Suffer (25)  |  Threat (24)  |  Tie (21)  |  Time (439)  |  Weak (36)

I know of no department of natural science more likely to reward a man who goes into it thoroughly than anthropology. There is an immense deal to be done in the science pure and simple, and it is one of those branches of inquiry which brings one into contact with the great problems of humanity in every direction.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Anthropology (51)  |  Branch (61)  |  Bring (53)  |  Contact (24)  |  Deal (25)  |  Department (33)  |  Direction (56)  |  Great (300)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Immense (28)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Know (321)  |  Likely (23)  |  Natural Science (62)  |  Problem (362)  |  Pure (62)  |  Reward (38)  |  Science (1699)  |  Thoroughly (7)

I know with sure and certain knowledge that a man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.
In Lyrical and Critical Essays (1967), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (205)  |  Certainty (97)  |  First (174)  |  Great (300)  |  Heart (110)  |  Image (38)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Opened (2)  |  Presence (26)  |  Slow (36)  |  Work (457)

I took him [Lawrence Bragg] to a young zoologist working on pattern formation in insect cuticles. The zoologist explained how disturbances introduced into these regular patterns pointed to their formation being governed by some kind of gradient. Bragg listened attentively and then exclaimed: “Your disturbed gradient behaves like a stream of sand running downhill and encountering an obstacle.” “Good heavens,” replied the zoologist, “I had been working on this problem for years before this simple analogy occurred to me and you think of it after twenty minutes.”
As quoted in David Phillips, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (Nov 1979), 25, 132, citing: Perutz, M.F. 1971 New Sci. & Sci. J. 8 July 1967.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (46)  |  Sir Lawrence Bragg (12)  |  Disturbance (19)  |  Disturbed (2)  |  Downhill (2)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Formation (54)  |  Gradient (2)  |  Insect (57)  |  Obstacle (21)  |  Pattern (56)  |  Sand (25)  |  Zoologist (10)

I was very impressed that one simple theory could incorporate so much physics
Alan Guth
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Impressed (10)  |  Incorporate (3)  |  Physics (301)  |  Theory (582)

I wasn’t aware of Chargaff’s rules when he said them, but the effect on me was quite electric because I realized immediately that if you had this sort of scheme that John Griffith was proposing, of adenine being paired with thymine, and guanine being paired with cytosine, then you should get Chargaff’s rules.
I was very excited, but I didn’t actually tell Chargaff because it was something I was doing with John Griffith. There was a sort of musical comedy effect where I forgot what the bases were and I had to go to the library to check, and I went back to John Griffith to find out which places he said. Low and behold, it turned out that John Griffith’s ideas fitted in with Chargaff’s rules!
This was very exciting, and we thought “ah ha!” and we realized—I mean what anyone who is familiar with the history of science ought to realize—that when you have one-to-one ratios, it means things go to together. And how on Earth no one pointed out this simple fact in those years, I don’t know.
From Transcript of documentary by VSM Productions, The DNA Story (1973). As excerpted on web page 'Chargaff’s Rules', Linus Pauling and the Race for DNA on website scarc.library.oregonstate.edu
Science quotes on:  |  Adenine (4)  |  Cytosine (4)  |  Fact (609)  |  Guanine (4)  |  History Of Science (53)  |  Pair (10)  |  Propose (11)  |  Realize (43)  |  Rule (135)  |  Thymine (4)

I … share an excitement and a certain pride in the wonders opened up by scientific investigation …, and also a recognition of the value in scientific method of keeping the hypotheses as simple as possible—my Oxford tutor gave me a great respect for Occam’s razor.
In Letter to periodical, Chemistry and Industry (17 Feb 1997).
Science quotes on:  |  Excitement (33)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Occam’s Razor (3)  |  Oxford (8)  |  Pride (45)  |  Recognition (62)  |  Respect (57)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Value (180)  |  Wonder (134)

If the brain were simple enough for us to understand it, we would be too simple to understand it.
Ken Hill
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (181)  |  Understand (189)

If we go back to our chequer game, the fundamental laws are rules by which the chequers move. Mathematics may be applied in the complex situation to figure out what in given circumstances is a good move to make. But very little mathematics is needed for the simple fundamental character of the basic laws. They can be simply stated in English for chequers.
In The Character of Physical Law (1965), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Basic (52)  |  Character (82)  |  Circumstance (48)  |  Complex (78)  |  English (23)  |  Figure Out (5)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Law (418)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Rule (135)  |  Simply (34)  |  Situation (41)  |  Stated (2)

Imagine the chaos that would arise if time machines were as common as automobiles, with tens of millions of them commercially available. Havoc would soon break loose, tearing at the fabric of our universe. Millions of people would go back in time to meddle with their own past and the past of others, rewriting history in the process. … It would thus be impossible to take a simple census to see how many people there were at any given time.
In Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and The Tenth Dimension (1994, 1995), 234.
Science quotes on:  |  Automobile (19)  |  Census (2)  |  Chaos (63)  |  Common (92)  |  Fabric (13)  |  Havoc (5)  |  History (302)  |  Imagine (40)  |  Impossible (68)  |  Meddle (3)  |  Millions (13)  |  Past (109)  |  Process (201)  |  Rewriting (2)  |  Tear (20)  |  Time Machine (3)  |  Universe (563)

In a sense, of course, probability theory in the form of the simple laws of chance is the key to the analysis of warfare;… My own experience of actual operational research work, has however, shown that its is generally possible to avoid using anything more sophisticated. … In fact the wise operational research worker attempts to concentrate his efforts in finding results which are so obvious as not to need elaborate statistical methods to demonstrate their truth. In this sense advanced probability theory is something one has to know about in order to avoid having to use it.
In 'Operations Research', Physics Today (Nov 1951), 19. As cited by Maurice W. Kirby and Jonathan Rosenhead, 'Patrick Blackett (1897)' in Arjang A. Assad (ed.) and Saul I. Gass (ed.),Profiles in Operations Research: Pioneers and Innovators (2011), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Advanced (10)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Chance (122)  |  Concentrate (11)  |  Demonstrate (25)  |  Effort (94)  |  Elaborate (13)  |  Experience (268)  |  Finding (30)  |  Key (38)  |  Law (418)  |  Method (154)  |  Obvious (54)  |  Probability (83)  |  Result (250)  |  Sophisticated (11)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Theory (582)  |  Truth (750)  |  Warfare (6)  |  Wise (43)

In a way, cancer is so simple and so natural. The older you get, this is just one of the things that happens as the clock ticks.
As quoted in Eric Berger, Houston Chronicle (28 Oct 2005)
Science quotes on:  |  Cancer (44)  |  Clock (26)  |  Natural (128)  |  Old (104)  |  Tick (5)

In every living being there exists a capacity for endless diversity of form; each possesses the power of adapting its organization to the variations of the external world, and it is this power, called into activity by cosmic changes, which has enabled the simple zoophytes of the primitive world to climb to higher and higher stages of organization, and has brought endless variety into nature.
From Gottfried Reinold Treviranus, Biologie, oder Philosophie der lebenden Natur [Biology, or Philosophy of Animate Nature], quoted in Lecture 1, August Weismann (1904, 2nd German ed.) as translated in August Weismann, Margaret R. Thomson (trans.), The Evolution Theory, Vol 1., 18-19.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (97)  |  Adapt (18)  |  Being (39)  |  Capacity (42)  |  Change (291)  |  Climb (14)  |  Cosmic (34)  |  Diversity (46)  |  Enable (25)  |  Endless (20)  |  Exist (89)  |  External (45)  |  Form (210)  |  Higher (28)  |  Living (44)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Organism (126)  |  Organization (79)  |  Possess (19)  |  Power (273)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Stage (39)  |  Variation (50)  |  Variety (53)  |  World (667)  |  Zoophyte (4)

In order to discover Truth in this manner by observation and reason, it is requisite we should fix on some principles whose certainty and effects are demonstrable to our senses, which may serve to explain the phenomena of natural bodies and account for the accidents that arise in them; such only are those which are purely material in the human body with mechanical and physical experiments … a physician may and ought to furnish himself with, and reason from, such things as are demonstrated to be true in anatomy, chemistry, and mechanics, with natural and experimental philosophy, provided he confines his reasoning within the bounds of truth and simple experiment.
As quoted in selection from the writings of Herman Boerhaave, collected in Oliver Joseph Thatcher (ed.), The Ideas that Have Influenced Civilization, in the Original Documents (1800), Vol. 6, 242.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (59)  |  Bounds (5)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Confine (9)  |  Demonstration (51)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Furnish (18)  |  Human Body (30)  |  Mechanical (31)  |  Natural Philosophy (21)  |  Observation (418)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Physical (94)  |  Physician (232)  |  Principle (228)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Sense (240)  |  Truth (750)

In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and repossession, and suffer his reason and feelings to determine for themselves; and that he will put on, or rather that he will not put off, the true character of man, and generously enlarge his view beyond the present day.
In Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America (1792), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (59)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Character (82)  |  Common Sense (69)  |  Determine (45)  |  Enlarge (15)  |  Fact (609)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Generous (12)  |  Offer (16)  |  Plain (24)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Present (103)  |  Reason (330)  |  Suffer (25)  |  True (120)  |  View (115)

It always bothers me that according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space and no matter how tiny a region of time … I have often made the hypothesis that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the machinery will be revealed and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the chequer board with all its apparent complexities. But this speculation is of the same nature as those other people make—“I like it”,“I don't like it”—and it is not good to be too prejudiced about these things.
In The Character of Physical Law (1965, 2001), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Computer (84)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Infinity (59)  |  Law (418)  |  Logic (187)  |  Machinery (25)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Physics (301)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Reveal (32)  |  Space (154)  |  Speculation (77)  |  Time (439)

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 (137)  |  Attract (15)  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Both (52)  |  Course (57)  |  Delight (51)  |  Fact (609)  |  Follow (66)  |  Geological (11)  |  Giant (28)  |  Microscope (68)  |  Past (109)  |  Preference (18)  |  Prodigious (6)  |  Remoteness (7)  |  Scrutinize (3)  |  Seek (57)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Smallness (4)  |  Star (251)  |  Trace (39)  |  Vast (56)  |  Vastness (9)

It is not merely as an investigator and discoverer, but as a high-principled and unassuming man, that Scheele merits our warmest admiration. His aim and object was the discovery of truth. The letters of the man reveal to us in the most pleasant way his high scientific ideal, his genuinely philosophic temper, and his simple mode of thought. “It is the truth alone that we desire to know, and what joy there is in discovering it!” With these words he himself characterizes his own efforts.
From History of Chemistry (1899). As quoted in Victor Robinson, Pathfinders in Medicine (1912), 121.
Science quotes on:  |  Admiration (34)  |  Aim (58)  |  Characterize (9)  |  Desire (101)  |  Discover (115)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Effort (94)  |  Genuine (19)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Investigator (28)  |  Joy (61)  |  Know (321)  |  Letter (36)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Pleasant (16)  |  Principle (228)  |  Reveal (32)  |  Carl Wilhelm Scheele (5)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Temper (6)  |  Thought (374)  |  Truth (750)  |  Word (221)

It is not necessary for all men to be great in action. The greatest and sublimest power is often simple patience.
From 'The Efficiency of the Passive Virtues', New Life, Sermons for the New Life (1869), 412.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Great (300)  |  Greatest (53)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Patience (31)  |  Power (273)

It is the simple hypotheses of which one must be most wary; because these are the ones that have the most chances of passing unnoticed.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (122)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Pass (60)  |  Unnoticed (2)

Knowledge leads us from the simple to the complex; wisdom leads us from the complex to the simple.
Anonymous
In Dianna Daniels Booher, Your Signature Life: Pursuing God's Best Every Day (2003), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Complex (78)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Wisdom (151)

Lavoisier was right in the deepest, almost holy, way. His passion harnessed feeling to the service of reason; another kind of passion was the price. Reason cannot save us and can even persecute us in the wrong hands; but we have no hope of salvation without reason. The world is too complex, too intransigent; we cannot bend it to our simple will.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Bend (8)  |  Complex (78)  |  Deep (81)  |  Feel (93)  |  Hand (103)  |  Harness (15)  |  Holy (14)  |  Hope (129)  |  Kind (99)  |  Lavoisier (3)  |  Passion (54)  |  Persecute (4)  |  Price (26)  |  Reason (330)  |  Right (144)  |  Salvation (7)  |  Save (46)  |  Service (54)  |  World (667)  |  Wrong (116)

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.
As quoted, without citation, in Richard D Pepperman, The Eye is Quicker (2004), xv.
Science quotes on:  |  Awesome (8)  |  Commonplace (10)  |  Complicate (3)  |  Creativity (66)  |  Make (23)

Math is like love—a simple idea but it can get complicated.
Anonymous
Quoted in Jon Fripp, ‎Michael Fripp, ‎Deborah Fripp Speaking of Science: Notable Quotes on Science, Engineering, and the Environment (2000), 45, and attributed to “R. Drabek” with no further source information. Webmaster wonders if this is a typo for mathematician, Pavel Drábek.
Science quotes on:  |  Complicated (38)  |  Idea (440)  |  Love (164)  |  Mathematics (587)

Mathematics is a game played according to certain simple rules with meaningless marks on paper.
Given as narrative, without quotation marks, in Eric Temple Bell, Mathematics, Queen and Servant of Science (1951, 1961), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Game (45)  |  Mark (28)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Meaningless (15)  |  Paper (52)  |  Play (60)  |  Rule (135)

Men of science, fit to teach, hardly exist. There is no demand for such men. The sciences make up life; they are important to life. The highly educated man fails to understand the simplest things of science, and has no peculiar aptitude for grasping them. I find the grown-up mind coming back to me with the same questions over and over again.
Giving Evidence (18 Nov 1862) to the Public Schools Commission. As quoted in John L. Lewis, 125 Years: The Physical Society & The Institute of Physics (1999), 168.
Science quotes on:  |  Adult (11)  |  Aptitude (10)  |  Demand (52)  |  Educated (6)  |  Exist (89)  |  Fail (34)  |  Find (248)  |  Fit (31)  |  Grasp (43)  |  Important (124)  |  Life (917)  |  Man Of Science (27)  |  Mind (544)  |  Peculiar (24)  |  Question (315)  |  Teach (102)  |  Understand (189)

My experiments with single traits all lead to the same result: that from the seeds of hybrids, plants are obtained half of which in turn carry the hybrid trait (Aa), the other half, however, receive the parental traits A and a in equal amounts. Thus, on the average, among four plants two have the hybrid trait Aa, one the parental trait A, and the other the parental trait a. Therefore, 2Aa+ A +a or A + 2Aa + a is the empirical simple series for two differing traits.
Letter to Carl Nägeli, 31 Dec 1866. In Curt Stern and Eva R. Sherwood (eds.), The Origin of Genetics: A Mendel Source Book (1966), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Difference (208)  |  Empiricism (16)  |  Equal (53)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Genetics (98)  |  Hybrid (10)  |  Parent (39)  |  Plant (173)  |  Series (38)  |  Trait (19)

Never believe that the atom is a complex mystery—it is not. The atom is what we find when we look for the underlying architecture in nature, whose bricks are as few, as simple and orderly as possible.
Quoted in Andrew Jon Rotter, Hiroshima (2008), 7, without citation. Also in 'ABC of the Atom'. Reader's Digest (Feb 1952), 40, 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Architecture (35)  |  Atom (251)  |  Belief (400)  |  Brick (12)  |  Complex (78)  |  Find (248)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Orderly (6)  |  Possible (100)  |  Underlying (14)

No problem can be solved until it is reduced to some simple form. The changing of a vague difficulty into a specific, concrete form is a very essential element in thinking.
Seen, for example, in The Grain and Feed Review (1931), 21, 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Changing (6)  |  Concrete (21)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Element (129)  |  Essential (87)  |  Form (210)  |  Problem (362)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Solution (168)  |  Specific (30)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Vague (10)

Organisms are not billiard balls, propelled by simple and measurable external forces to predictable new positions on life’s pool table. Sufficiently complex systems have greater richness. Organisms have a history that constrains their future in myriad, subtle ways.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Ball (20)  |  Billiard (2)  |  Complex (78)  |  Constrain (6)  |  External (45)  |  Force (194)  |  Future (229)  |  Great (300)  |  History (302)  |  Life (917)  |  Measurable (2)  |  Myriad (18)  |  New (340)  |  Organism (126)  |  Pool (10)  |  Position (54)  |  Predictable (9)  |  Propel (2)  |  Richness (14)  |  Subtle (26)  |  Sufficiently (6)  |  System (141)  |  Table (25)

Our new idea is simple: to build a physics valid for all coordinate systems.
Science quotes on:  |  Build (80)  |  Coordinate (2)  |  Idea (440)  |  New (340)  |  Physics (301)  |  System (141)  |  Valid (6)

Out of all possible universes, the only one which can exist, in the sense that it can be known, is simply the one which satisfies the narrow conditions necessary for the development of intelligent life.
From In the Centre of Immensities: Creation (1979), as cited in Bill Swainson, The Encarta Book of Quotations (2000), 579.
Science quotes on:  |  Condition (119)  |  Development (228)  |  Exist (89)  |  Intelligent (35)  |  Know (321)  |  Life (917)  |  Narrow (33)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Possible (100)  |  Satisfy (14)  |  Sense (240)  |  Universe (563)

People say to me, “Are you looking for the ultimate laws of physics?” No, I’m not; I’m just looking to find out more about the world and if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law which explains everything, so be it; that would be very nice to discover. If it turns out it’s like an onion with millions of layers, and we’re just sick and tired of looking at the layers, then that’s the way it is …
From Interview in BBC TV program Horizon (1981). As quoted in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman 1983, (1999), 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Discover (115)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Find Out (12)  |  Law (418)  |  Layer (14)  |  Million (89)  |  Onion (5)  |  Physics (301)  |  Ultimate (61)  |  World (667)

Philosophically, I liked the steady-state cosmology. So I thought that we should report our results as a simple measurement; the measurement might be true after the cosmology was no longer true!
Remarking on the measurement he made with Arno Penzias of the 3 K cosmic background radiation. From Proceedings of workshop, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank, West Virginia (4-6 May 1983), 'Discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background', Serendipitous Discoveries in Radio Astronomy (1983), 195. Also collected in B. Bertotti (ed.) Modern Cosmology in Retrospect (1990), 303.
Science quotes on:  |  Cosmology (17)  |  Like (18)  |  Measurement (148)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Report (31)  |  Result (250)  |  Steady-State (2)  |  Truth (750)

Philosophy asks the simple question, What is it all about?
In 'Remarks: Analysis of Meaning', The Philosophical Review (Mar 1937), 46, No. 2, 178. Collected in Barbara MacKinnon, American Philosophy: A Historical Anthology (1985), 406.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (99)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Question (315)

Physical science is like simple addition: it is either infallible or it is false.
In All Things Considered (1908), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (22)  |  False (79)  |  Physical Science (54)

Producing food for 6.2 billion people, adding a population of 80 million more a year, is not simple. We better develop an ever improved science and technology, including the new biotechnology, to produce the food that’s needed for the world today. In response to the fraction of the world population that could be fed if current farmland was convered to organic-only crops: “We are 6.6 billion people now. We can only feed 4 billion. I don’t see 2 billion volunteers to disappear.” In response to extreme critics: “These are utopian people that live on Cloud 9 and come into the third world and cause all kinds of confusion and negative impacts on the developing countries.”
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Add (26)  |  Better (131)  |  Billion (52)  |  Biotechnology (6)  |  Cause (231)  |  Cloud (44)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Country (121)  |  Critic (17)  |  Crop (16)  |  Current (43)  |  Develop (55)  |  Disappear (22)  |  Extreme (36)  |  Feed (22)  |  Food (139)  |  Fraction (8)  |  Impact (21)  |  Improve (39)  |  Include (27)  |  Kind (99)  |  Live (186)  |  Million (89)  |  Need (211)  |  Negative (24)  |  New (340)  |  People (269)  |  Population (71)  |  Produce (63)  |  Response (24)  |  Science And Technology (20)  |  See (197)  |  Third (11)  |  Today (86)  |  Utopian (3)  |  Volunteer (6)  |  World (667)  |  Year (214)

Science has a simple faith, which transcends utility. Nearly all men of science, all men of learning for that matter, and men of simple ways too, have it in some form and in some degree. It is the faith that it is the privilege of man to learn to understand, and that this is his mission. If we abandon that mission under stress we shall abandon it forever, for stress will not cease. Knowledge for the sake of understanding, not merely to prevail, that is the essence of our being. None can define its limits, or set its ultimate boundaries.
Science is Not Enough (1967), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (37)  |  Being (39)  |  Boundary (27)  |  Cease (23)  |  Definition (152)  |  Essence (42)  |  Faith (131)  |  Forever (42)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Learning (174)  |  Limit (86)  |  Men Of Science (97)  |  Mission (7)  |  Prevail (13)  |  Privilege (16)  |  Science (1699)  |  Stress (8)  |  Transcendence (2)  |  Ultimate (61)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Utility (23)

Science is always simple and profound. It is only the half truths that are dangerous.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Dangerous (45)  |  Half (35)  |  Profound (46)  |  Science (1699)  |  Truth (750)

Science is beautiful when it makes simple explanations of phenomena or connections between different observations. Examples include the double helix in biology, and the fundamental equations of physics.
[Answer to question: What are the things you find most beautiful in science?]
'Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven; it's a fairy story"', interview in newspaper The Guardian (15 May 2011).
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (171)  |  Connection (86)  |  Difference (208)  |  DNA (67)  |  Equation (69)  |  Example (57)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Make (23)  |  Observation (418)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Physics (301)  |  Science (1699)

Science is simply common sense at its best—that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.
In The Crayfish: An Introduction to the Study of Zoology (1880), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (21)  |  Common Sense (69)  |  Fallacy (19)  |  Logic (187)  |  Merciless (3)  |  Observation (418)  |  Rigidly (3)  |  Science (1699)

Scientific discovery, or the formulation of scientific theory, starts in with the unvarnished and unembroidered evidence of the senses. It starts with simple observation—simple, unbiased, unprejudiced, naive, or innocent observation—and out of this sensory evidence, embodied in the form of simple propositions or declarations of fact, generalizations will grow up and take shape, almost as if some process of crystallization or condensation were taking place. Out of a disorderly array of facts, an orderly theory, an orderly general statement, will somehow emerge.
In 'Is the Scientific Paper Fraudulent?', The Saturday Review (1 Aug 1964), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Array (5)  |  Condensation (8)  |  Crystallization (2)  |  Declaration (5)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Embody (13)  |  Emerge (16)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Fact (609)  |  Form (210)  |  Formulation (20)  |  General (92)  |  Generalization (26)  |  Grow (66)  |  Innocent (8)  |  Naive (8)  |  Observation (418)  |  Order (167)  |  Process (201)  |  Proposition (47)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Sense (240)  |  Shape (52)  |  Somehow (3)  |  Start (68)  |  Statement (56)  |  Theory (582)  |  Unbiased (4)  |  Unprejudiced (2)  |  Unvarnished (2)

Shall an invention be patented or donated to the public freely? I have known some well-meaning scientific men to look askance at the patenting of inventions, as if it were a rather selfish and ungracious act, essentially unworthy. The answer is very simple. Publish an invention freely, and it will almost surely die from lack of interest in its development. It will not be developed and the world will not be benefited. Patent it, and if valuable, it will be taken up and developed into a business.
Address as M.I.T. acting president, to the graduating class (11 Jun 1920). Published in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Technology Review (Jul 1920), 22, 420.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (80)  |  Answer (201)  |  Askance (2)  |  Benefit (54)  |  Business (71)  |  Development (228)  |  Die (46)  |  Essentially (11)  |  Freely (7)  |  Interest (170)  |  Invention (283)  |  Lack (52)  |  Patent (23)  |  Public (82)  |  Publish (18)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Selfish (2)  |  Surely (13)  |  Unworthy (8)  |  Value (180)  |  Well-Meaning (2)  |  World (667)

Simple diet is best.
Louis Klopsch, Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1896), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (129)  |  Diet (41)

Some mathematics problems look simple, and you try them for a year or so, and then you try them for a hundred years, and it turns out that they're extremely hard to solve. There's no reason why these problems shouldn't be easy, and yet they turn out to be extremely intricate. [Fermat's] Last Theorem is the most beautiful example of this.
From interview for PBS website on the NOVA program, 'The Proof'.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Easy (56)  |  Example (57)  |  Extremely (10)  |  Pierre de Fermat (8)  |  Hard (70)  |  Hundred (46)  |  Intricate (14)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Problem (362)  |  Reason (330)  |  Solve (41)  |  Try (103)  |  Turns Out (3)  |  Year (214)

Space travel is at the frontier of my profession. It is going to be accomplished and I want to be in on it. There is also an element of simple duty involved. I am convinced that I have something to give this project.
As he wrote in an article for Life (14 Sep 1959), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  Convince (17)  |  Duty (51)  |  Element (129)  |  Frontier (16)  |  Give (117)  |  Involve (27)  |  Profession (54)  |  Project (22)  |  Space Travel (13)  |  Want (120)

Take the rose—most people think it very beautiful: I don’t care for It at all. I prefer the cactus, for the simple reason that it has a more interesting personality. It has wonderfully adapted itself to its surroundings! It is the best illustration of the theory of evolution in plant life.
From George MacAdam, 'Steinmetz, Electricity's Mastermind, Enters Politics', New York Times (2 Nov 1913), SM3.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (18)  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Best (129)  |  Cactus (3)  |  Care (73)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Illustration (24)  |  Interesting (38)  |  Life (917)  |  Personality (40)  |  Plant (173)  |  Prefer (18)  |  Reason (330)  |  Rose (7)  |  Surrounding (11)  |  Theory (582)

The ancestors of the higher animals must be regarded as one-celled beings, similar to the Amœbæ which at the present day occur in our rivers, pools, and lakes. The incontrovertible fact that each human individual develops from an egg, which, in common with those of all animals, is a simple cell, most clearly proves that the most remote ancestors of man were primordial animals of this sort, of a form equivalent to a simple cell. When, therefore, the theory of the animal descent of man is condemned as a “horrible, shocking, and immoral” doctrine, tho unalterable fact, which can be proved at any moment under the microscope, that the human egg is a simple cell, which is in no way different to those of other mammals, must equally be pronounced “horrible, shocking, and immoral.”
Translated from his Ueber die Entstehung und den Stammbaum des Menschengeschlechts, (1873), Vol. 2, as an epigraph to Chap. 6, The Evolution of Man, (1879), Vol 1, 120-121.
Science quotes on:  |  Amoeba (20)  |  Ancestor (35)  |  Animal (309)  |  Being (39)  |  Cell (125)  |  Common (92)  |  Condemn (6)  |  Descent (14)  |  Develop (55)  |  Difference (208)  |  Doctrine (53)  |  Egg (41)  |  Equally (18)  |  Equivalent (14)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fact (609)  |  Higher (28)  |  Horrible (7)  |  Human (445)  |  Immoral (3)  |  Incontrovertible (5)  |  Individual (177)  |  Lake (12)  |  Mammal (28)  |  Microscope (68)  |  Moment (61)  |  Pool (10)  |  Primordial (7)  |  Pronounce (4)  |  Proof (192)  |  Remote (27)  |  River (68)  |  Shocking (3)  |  Theory (582)  |  Unalterable (4)

The complexity of the world is the outcome of huge numbers of sometimes conflicting simple events.
In 'Religion - The Antithesis to Science', Chemistry & Industry (Feb 1997).
Science quotes on:  |  Complexity (80)  |  Conflict (49)  |  Event (97)  |  Outcome (10)  |  World (667)

The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple.
In A Mathematical Journey (1976), xi.
Science quotes on:  |  Complicate (3)  |  Essence (42)  |  Mathematics (587)

The fact that the proof of a theorem consists in the application of certain simple rules of logic does not dispose of the creative element in mathematics, which lies in the choice of the possibilities to be examined.
As co-author with Herbert Robbins, in What Is Mathematics?: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods (1941, 1996), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Choice (64)  |  Creative (41)  |  Fact (609)  |  Logic (187)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Proof (192)  |  Rule (135)  |  Theorem (46)

The final results [of his work on the theory of relativity] appear almost simple; any intelligent undergraduate can understand them without much trouble. But the years of searching in the dark for a truth that one feels, but cannot express; the intense effort and the alternations of confidence and misgiving, until one breaks through to clarity and understanding, are only known to him who has himself experienced them.
Science quotes on:  |  Alternation (5)  |  Appear (55)  |  Break (33)  |  Clarity (31)  |  Confidence (32)  |  Dark (49)  |  Effort (94)  |  Experience (268)  |  Express (32)  |  Feel (93)  |  Final (33)  |  Intelligent (35)  |  Intense (11)  |  Know (321)  |  Research (517)  |  Result (250)  |  Search (85)  |  Theory Of Relativity (12)  |  Trouble (55)  |  Truth (750)  |  Undergraduate (8)  |  Understand (189)  |  Work (457)  |  Year (214)

The general disposition of the land [in the Periodic Kingdom] is one of metals in the west, giving way, as you travel eastward, to a varied landscape of nonmetals, which terminates in largely inert elements at the eastern shoreline. To the south of the mainland, there is an offshore island, which we shall call the Southern Island. It consists entirely of metals of subtly modulated personality. North of the mainland, situated rather like Iceland off the northwestern edge of Europe, lies a single, isolated region-hydrogen. This simple but gifted element is an essential outpost of the kingdom, for despite its simplicity it is rich in chemical personality. It is also the most abundant element in the universe and the fuel of the stars.
In The Periodic Kingdom: A Journey Into the Land of the Chemical Elements (1995), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Abundant (3)  |  Chemical (72)  |  Element (129)  |  Essential (87)  |  Fuel (27)  |  Gifted (5)  |  Hydrogen (37)  |  Inert (9)  |  Island (17)  |  Kingdom (34)  |  Landscape (23)  |  Metal (38)  |  Outpost (2)  |  Periodic Table (13)  |  Personality (40)  |  Rich (48)  |  Star (251)  |  Universe (563)  |  Varied (4)

The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events–provided, of course, that he takes the hypothesis of causality really seriously. He has no use for the religion of fear and equally little for social or moral religion. A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man’s actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God’s eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it undergoes. Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social tie s and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Base (43)  |  Basis (60)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Causality (7)  |  Charge (29)  |  Convinced (16)  |  Course (57)  |  Death (270)  |  Determine (45)  |  Education (280)  |  Entertain (5)  |  Equally (18)  |  Ethical (10)  |  Event (97)  |  External (45)  |  Eye (159)  |  Fear (113)  |  God (454)  |  Hope (129)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Idea (440)  |  Inanimate (14)  |  Inconceivable (7)  |  Interfere (8)  |  Internal (18)  |  Law Of Causation (2)  |  Little (126)  |  Moment (61)  |  Moral (100)  |  Morality (33)  |  Motion (127)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Need (211)  |  Object (110)  |  Of Course (11)  |  Operation (96)  |  Poor (46)  |  Provide (48)  |  Punish (5)  |  Punishment (10)  |  Really (50)  |  Reason (330)  |  Religion (210)  |  Religious (44)  |  Responsible (11)  |  Restrain (5)  |  Reward (38)  |  Science (1699)  |  Seriously (13)  |  Social (93)  |  Sympathy (15)  |  Thoroughly (7)  |  Tie (21)  |  Undergo (10)  |  Undermine (5)  |  Universal (70)  |  Unjust (5)

The maxim of science is simply that of common sense—simple cases first; begin with seeing how the main force acts when there is as little as possible to impede it, and when you thoroughly comprehend that, add to it in succession the separate effects of each of the incumbering and interfering agencies.
Collected in The Works of Walter Bagehot (1889), Vol. 5, 319-320.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (80)  |  Add (26)  |  Agency (13)  |  Begin (52)  |  Case (64)  |  Common Sense (69)  |  Comprehend (19)  |  Effect (133)  |  First (174)  |  Force (194)  |  Impede (2)  |  Little (126)  |  Main (16)  |  Maxim (13)  |  Possible (100)  |  Science (1699)  |  Separate (46)  |  Succession (39)  |  Thoroughly (7)

The moment you encounter string theory and realise that almost all of the major developments in physics over the last hundred years emerge—and emerge with such elegance—from such a simple starting point, you realise that this incredibly compelling theory is in a class of its own.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Class (64)  |  Compel (14)  |  Development (228)  |  Elegance (20)  |  Emerge (16)  |  Encounter (14)  |  Hundred (46)  |  Incredibly (3)  |  Major (24)  |  Moment (61)  |  Physics (301)  |  Realise (12)  |  Starting Point (6)  |  String Theory (10)  |  Theory (582)  |  Year (214)

The more you understand the significance of evolution, the more you are pushed away from the agnostic position and towards atheism. Complex, statistically improbable things are by their nature more difficult to explain than simple, statistically probable things.
From edited version of a speech, at the Edinburgh International Science Festival (15 Apr 1992), as reprinted from the Independent newspaper in Alec Fisher, The Logic of Real Arguments (2004), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Agnostic (7)  |  Atheism (6)  |  Complex (78)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Explain (61)  |  Improbable (9)  |  Probable (14)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Significance (60)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Understand (189)

The plain fact is that education is itself a form of propaganda–a deliberate scheme to outfit the pupil, not with the capacity to weigh ideas, but with a simple appetite for gulping ideas readymade. The aim is to make ‘good’ citizens, which is to say, docile and uninquisitive citizens.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (58)  |  Appetite (6)  |  Capacity (42)  |  Citizen (23)  |  Deliberate (10)  |  Docile (2)  |  Education (280)  |  Fact (609)  |  Form (210)  |  Good (228)  |  Gulp (3)  |  Idea (440)  |  Plain (24)  |  Propaganda (6)  |  Pupil (16)  |  Say (126)  |  Scheme (20)  |  Weigh (9)

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it
The Philosophy of Logical Atomism (1959), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Paradox (35)  |  Philosophy (213)

The simple fact is that the world is not paying for the services the forests provide. At the moment, they are worth more dead than alive–for soya, for beef, for palm oil and for logging, feeding the demand from other countries. … I think we need to be clear that the drivers of rainforest destruction do not originate in the rainforest nations, but in the more developed countries which, unwittingly or not, have caused climate change.
Presidential Lecture (3 Nov 2008) at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Indonesia. On the Prince of Wales website.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (38)  |  Beef (4)  |  Dead (45)  |  Deforestation (39)  |  Demand (52)  |  Fact (609)  |  Logging (3)  |  Pay (30)  |  Rain Forest (21)  |  Service (54)  |  World (667)

The supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Adequate (18)  |  Basic (52)  |  Data (100)  |  Element (129)  |  Experience (268)  |  Goal (81)  |  Irreducible (5)  |  Possible (100)  |  Representation (27)  |  Single (72)  |  Supreme (24)  |  Surrender (13)  |  Theory (582)

The technologies which have had the most profound effects on human life are usually simple. A good example of a simple technology with profound historical consequences is hay. ... It was hay that allowed populations to grow and civilizations to flourish among the forests of Northern Europe. Hay moved the greatness of Rome to Paris and London, and later to Berlin and Moscow and New York.
[The year-round growth of green grass in the Mediterranean climate meant that hay was not needed by the Romans. North of the Alps, hay maintained horses and oxen and thus their motive power, and productivity.]
'Quick is Beautiful'. Infinite in All Directions: Gifford Lectures Given at Aberdeen, Scotland (1988, 2004), 135.
Science quotes on:  |  Berlin (7)  |  Civilisation (18)  |  Effect (133)  |  Europe (32)  |  Flourish (10)  |  Forest (88)  |  Grass (30)  |  Greatness (34)  |  Growth (111)  |  Hay (3)  |  Horse (40)  |  London (12)  |  Moscow (3)  |  New York (14)  |  Oxen (3)  |  Paris (9)  |  Population (71)  |  Profound (46)  |  Roman (16)  |  Rome (11)  |  Technology (199)

There are no better terms available to describe the difference between the approach of the natural and the social sciences than to call the former ‘objective’ and the latter ‘subjective.’ ... While for the natural scientist the contrast between objective facts and subjective opinions is a simple one, the distinction cannot as readily be applied to the object of the social sciences. The reason for this is that the object, the ‘facts’ of the social sciences are also opinions—not opinions of the student of the social phenomena, of course, but opinions of those whose actions produce the object of the social scientist.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Apply (38)  |  Approach (33)  |  Available (18)  |  Better (131)  |  Call (68)  |  Contrast (16)  |  Describe (38)  |  Difference (208)  |  Distinction (37)  |  Fact (609)  |  Former (18)  |  Latter (13)  |  Natural (128)  |  Natural Scientist (5)  |  Object (110)  |  Objective (49)  |  Of Course (11)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Produce (63)  |  Readily (6)  |  Reason (330)  |  Social (93)  |  Social Sciences (4)  |  Social Scientist (3)  |  Student (131)  |  Subjective (9)  |  Term (87)

There are things out there that are very simple and you never think would work. … Wikipedia is one of those that it would never occur to me that something like that would work. … But it does work. … People who have taken fairly simple ideas, … at a certain scale and after they gain a certain amount of momentum, they can really take off and work. And that’s really an amazing thing.
Guest Lecture, UC Berkeley, 'Search Engines, Technology, and Business' (3 Oct 2005). At 1:13 in the YouTube video.
Science quotes on:  |  Amazing (16)  |  Certain (84)  |  Gain (48)  |  Idea (440)  |  Momentum (3)  |  Scale (49)  |  Think (205)  |  Work (457)

There could not be a language more universal and more simple, more exempt from errors and obscurities, that is to say, more worthy of expressing the invariable relations of natural objects. Considered from this point of view, it is coextensive with nature itself; it defines all the sensible relations, measures the times, the spaces, the forces, the temperatures; this difficult science is formed slowly, but it retains all the principles it has once acquired. It grows and becomes more certain without limit in the midst of so many errors of the human mind.
From introduction to Theory of Heat as quoted in F.R. Moulton, 'The Influence of Astronomy on Mathematics', Science (10 Mar 1911), N.S. Vol. 33, No. 845, 359.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquired (4)  |  Become (100)  |  Certain (84)  |  Considered (10)  |  Definition (152)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Error (230)  |  Force (194)  |  Grow (66)  |  Human Mind (51)  |  Invariable (4)  |  Language (155)  |  Limit (86)  |  Measure (70)  |  Natural (128)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Object (110)  |  Obscurity (18)  |  Point Of View (26)  |  Principle (228)  |  Relation (96)  |  Retain (10)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sensible (22)  |  Slowly (10)  |  Space (154)  |  Temperature (42)  |  Time (439)  |  Universal (70)

There is inherent in nature a hidden harmony that reflects itself in our minds under the image of simple mathematical laws. That then is the reason why events in nature are predictable by a combination of observation and mathematical analysis. Again and again in the history of physics this conviction, or should I say this dream, of harmony in nature has found fulfillments beyond our expectations.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Beyond (65)  |  Combination (69)  |  Conviction (57)  |  Dream (92)  |  Event (97)  |  Expectation (46)  |  Find (248)  |  Harmony (55)  |  Hide (36)  |  History Of Physics (3)  |  Image (38)  |  Inherent (27)  |  Law (418)  |  Mathematical Analysis (5)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Mind (544)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Observation (418)  |  Predictable (9)  |  Reason (330)  |  Reflect (17)  |  Say (126)

There is no art so difficult as the art of observation: it requires a skillful, sober spirit and a well-trained experience, which can only be acquired by practice; for he is not an observer who only sees the thing before him with his eyes, but he who sees of what parts the thing consists, and in what connexion the parts stand to the whole. One person overlooks half from inattention; another relates more than he sees while he confounds it with that which he figures to himself; another sees the parts of the whole, but he throws things together that ought to be separated. ... When the observer has ascertained the foundation of a phenomenon, and he is able to associate its conditions, he then proves while he endeavours to produce the phenomena at his will, the correctness of his observations by experiment. To make a series of experiments is often to decompose an opinion into its individual parts, and to prove it by a sensible phenomenon. The naturalist makes experiments in order to exhibit a phenomenon in all its different parts. When he is able to show of a series of phenomena, that they are all operations of the same cause, he arrives at a simple expression of their significance, which, in this case, is called a Law of Nature. We speak of a simple property as a Law of Nature when it serves for the explanation of one or more natural phenomena.
'The Study of the Natural Sciences: An Introductory Lecture to the Course of Experimental Chemistry in the University of Munich, for the Winter Session of 1852-53,' as translated and republished in The Medical Times and Gazette (22 Jan 1853), N.S. Vol. 6, 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (205)  |  Ascertain (7)  |  Associate (9)  |  Carelessness (4)  |  Cause (231)  |  Component (14)  |  Condition (119)  |  Confuse (13)  |  Correctness (11)  |  Decompose (5)  |  Demonstrate (25)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Endeavour (24)  |  Experience (268)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Expression (82)  |  Eye (159)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Imagine (40)  |  Inattention (3)  |  Law Of Nature (52)  |  Naturalist (49)  |  Observation (418)  |  Observer (33)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Overlook (8)  |  Part (146)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Practice (67)  |  Produce (63)  |  Proof (192)  |  Property (96)  |  Relationship (59)  |  Report (31)  |  Result (250)  |  See (197)  |  Sensible (22)  |  Separate (46)  |  Skillful (3)  |  Sober (8)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Test (96)  |  Together (48)  |  Training (39)  |  Truth (750)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Validity (22)  |  Verify (9)  |  Whole (122)

There is no foundation in geological facts, for the popular theory of the successive development of the animal and vegetable world, from the simplest to the most perfect forms.
Principles of Geology (1830-3), Vol. 1, 153.
Science quotes on:  |  Development (228)  |  Fact (609)  |  Form (210)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Geology (187)  |  Perfect (46)  |  Theory (582)

This law [of gravitation] has been called “the greatest generalization achieved by the human mind”. … I am interested not so much in the human mind as in the marvel of a nature which can obey such an elegant and simple law as this law of gravitation. Therefore our main concentration will not be on how clever we are to have found it all out, but on how clever nature is to pay attention to it.
In The Character of Physical Law (1965), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (36)  |  Attention (76)  |  Clever (14)  |  Elegant (8)  |  Generalization (26)  |  Greatest (53)  |  Human Mind (51)  |  Law Of Gravitation (15)  |  Marvel (24)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Obey (13)

Though human ingenuity may make various inventions which, by the help of various machines answering the same end, it will never devise any inventions more beautiful, nor more simple, nor more to the purpose than Nature does; because in her inventions nothing is wanting, and nothing is superfluous, and she needs no counterpoise when she makes limbs proper for motion in the bodies of animals.
W. An. IV. 184a (7). Translated by Jean Paul Richter, in 'Physiology', The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci: Compiled and Edited from the Original Manuscripts (1883), Vol. 2, 126, selection 837.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Beauty (171)  |  Body (193)  |  Devising (7)  |  Help (68)  |  Human (445)  |  Ingenuity (27)  |  Invention (283)  |  Limb (5)  |  Machine (133)  |  Making (26)  |  Motion (127)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Need (211)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Proper (27)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Superfluous (8)  |  Want (120)

To me the hypothesis of a Creator is no less simple than the hypothesis of no Creator…
In Letter to periodical, Chemistry and Industry (17 Feb 1997).
Science quotes on:  |  Creator (40)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Science And Religion (267)

Unity of plan everywhere lies hidden under the mask: of diversity of structure—the complex is everywhere evolved out of the simple.
'A Lobster; or, the Study of Zoology' (1861). In Collected Essays (1894). Vol. 8, 205-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Complex (78)  |  Diversity (46)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Plan (69)  |  Structure (191)

We are living in an age of awesome agricultural enterprise that needs to be interpreted. We find our simple faith in science dominated by the Religion of PhDeism under the reign of Data; so narrow in people and often so meaningless in context as to be worthless to the scientific farmer.
Letter to Joshua Lederberg (19 Apr 1970), Joshua Lederberg papers, National Library of Medicine (online). Hildebrand was a response to a Lederberg's letter published in the Washington Post (18 Apr 1970) about 'Ecology Has All Requisites of an Authentic Religion.' Note that Sam Murchid claimed this term PhDeism in another context in his diaries (as seen in diaries of 1964 and others).
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Agriculture (62)  |  Awesome (8)  |  Context (17)  |  Data (100)  |  Domination (12)  |  Enterprise (20)  |  Faith (131)  |  Farmer (23)  |  Interpretation (61)  |  Living (44)  |  Meaningless (15)  |  Narrow (33)  |  People (269)  |  Reign (5)  |  Religion (210)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Worthless (15)

We may need simple and heroic legends for that peculiar genre of literature known as the textbook. But historians must also labor to rescue human beings from their legends in science–if only so that we may understand the process of scientific thought aright.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Aright (2)  |  Genre (3)  |  Heroic (4)  |  Historian (30)  |  Human Beings (19)  |  Know (321)  |  Labor (53)  |  Legend (8)  |  Literature (64)  |  Need (211)  |  Peculiar (24)  |  Process (201)  |  Rescue (8)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific Thought (6)  |  Textbook (19)  |  Understand (189)

We should make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Possible (100)

Wheeler’s First Moral Principle: Never make a calculation until you know the answer. Make an estimate before every calculation, try a simple physical argument (symmetry! invariance! conservation!) before every derivation, guess the answer to every paradox and puzzle. Courage: No one else needs to know what the guess is. Therefore make it quickly, by instinct. A right guess reinforces this instinct. A wrong guess brings the refreshment of surprise. In either case life as a spacetime expert, however long, is more fun!
In E.F. Taylor and J.A. Wheeler, Spacetime Physics (1992), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Argument (59)  |  Bring (53)  |  Calculation (67)  |  Case (64)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Courage (39)  |  Derivation (12)  |  Estimate (19)  |  Expert (42)  |  First (174)  |  Fun (28)  |  Guess (36)  |  Instinct (50)  |  Invariance (3)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Moral (100)  |  Need (211)  |  Paradox (35)  |  Physics (301)  |  Principle (228)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  Quickly (9)  |  Refreshment (2)  |  Right (144)  |  Spacetime (4)  |  Surprise (44)  |  Symmetry (26)  |  Try (103)  |  Wrong (116)

When puzzled, it never hurts to read the primary documents–a rather simple and self-evident principle that has, nonetheless, completely disappeared from large sectors of the American experience.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  American (34)  |  Completely (19)  |  Disappear (22)  |  Document (5)  |  Experience (268)  |  Hurt (11)  |  Large (82)  |  Nonetheless (2)  |  Primary (29)  |  Principle (228)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  Read (83)  |  Sector (3)  |  Self-Evident (6)

When the solution is simple, God is answering. Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Admire (10)  |  Answer (201)  |  Art (205)  |  Ask (99)  |  Cease (23)  |  Enter (20)  |  Face (69)  |  Free (59)  |  God (454)  |  Hope (129)  |  Observe (48)  |  Personal (49)  |  Realm (40)  |  Scene (10)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solution (168)  |  Wish (62)  |  World (667)

Whenever there is a simple error that most laymen fall for, there is always a slightly more sophisticated version of the same problem that experts fall for.
As quoted in Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation (2007), 70-71.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Error (230)  |  Expert (42)  |  Layman (13)  |  Problem (362)  |  Sophisticated (11)  |  Version (6)

While DNA could be claimed to be both simple and elegant, it must be remembered that DNA almost certainly originated fairly close to the origin of life when things were necessarily simple or they would not have got going.
In What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (1988), 138.
Science quotes on:  |  DNA (67)  |  Elegant (8)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Origin Of Life (32)  |  Originate (14)  |  Remember (53)

Would not [an] uncluttered mind also see the attempts to reconcile science and religion by disparaging the reduction of the complex to the simple as attempts guided by muddle-headed sentiment and intellectually dishonest emotion?
Essay collected in John Cornwell (ed.), 'The Limitless Power of Science', Nature's Imagination: The Frontiers of Scientific Vision (1995), 123.
Science quotes on:  |  Clutter (4)  |  Complex (78)  |  Dishonest (2)  |  Disparage (4)  |  Emotion (62)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Mind (544)  |  Reconcile (10)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Sentiment (9)

Zoocentrism is the primary fallacy of human sociobiology, for this view of human behavior rests on the argument that if the actions of ‘lower’ animals with simple nervous systems arise as genetic products of natural selection, then human behavior should have a similar basis.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Animal (309)  |  Argument (59)  |  Arise (32)  |  Basis (60)  |  Fallacy (19)  |  Genetic (11)  |  Human (445)  |  Human Behavior (4)  |  Low (16)  |  Natural Selection (79)  |  Primary (29)  |  Product (72)  |  Rest (64)  |  Similar (22)  |  Sociobiology (4)  |  View (115)

[In 18th-century Britain] engineers for the most began as simple workmen, skilful and ambitious but usually illiterate and self-taught. They were either millwrights like Bramah, mechanics like Murdoch and George Stephenson, or smiths like Newcomen and Maudslay.
In Science in History (1969), Vol. 2, 591.
Science quotes on:  |  18th Century (17)  |  Ambition (25)  |  Britain (14)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Illiterate (3)  |  Henry Maudslay (4)  |  Mechanic (13)  |  Thomas Newcomen (2)  |  Self-Taught (5)  |  Skillful (3)  |  Smith (2)  |  George Stephenson (10)  |  Usual (2)  |  Workman (9)

“If there are two theories, one simpler man the other, the simpler one is to be preferred.” At first sight this does not seem quite so bad, but a little thought shows that our tendency to prefer the simpler possibility is psychological rather than scientific. It is less trouble to think that way. Experience invariably shows that the more correct a theory becomes, the more complex does it seem. … So this … interpretation of [Ockham’s Razor] is … worthless.
With co-author Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (1981), 135.
Science quotes on:  |  Complexity (80)  |  Correct (53)  |  Experience (268)  |  Interpretation (61)  |  Ockham’s Razor (2)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Prefer (18)  |  Psychological (10)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Tendency (40)  |  Theory (582)  |  Thought (374)  |  Trouble (55)


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.