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Who said: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Sorcery

Sorcery Quotes (6 quotes)

Ac astronomye is an hard thyng,
And yvel for to knowe;
Geometrie and geomesie,
So gynful of speche,
Who so thynketh werche with tho two
Thryveth ful late,
For sorcerie is the sovereyn book
That to tho sciences bilongeth.

Now, astronomy is a difficult discipline, and the devil to learn;
And geometry and geomancy have confusing terminology:
If you wish to work in these two, you will not succeed quickly.
For sorcery is the chief study that these sciences entail.
In William Langland and B. Thomas Wright (ed.) The Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman (1842), 186. Modern translation by Terrence Tiller in Piers Plowman (1981, 1999), 94.
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All scientific men were formerly accused of practicing magic. And no wonder, for each said to himself: “I have carried human intelligence as far as it will go, and yet So-and-so has gone further than I. Ergo, he has taken to sorcery.”
Tous les savants étoient autrefois accusés de magie. Je n’en suis point étonné. Chacun disoit en lui-même: J’ai porté les talents naturels aussi loin qu’ils peuvent aller; cependant un certain savant a des avantages sur moi: il faut bien qu’il y ait là quelque diablerie.
English translation from Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 296. Original French from Lettres Persanes de Montesquieu (1721, 1831), 382. Webmaster has not identified the source of the above translation (can you help?), but it is more fluent than ones published earlier. For example, “All scientific men were formerly accused of magic. I am not surprised at it. Each one said to himself, ‘I have carried human capacity as far as it can go; and yet a certain savant has distanced me: beyond doubt he deals in sorcery.’” by John Davidson (trans.), in Persian and Chinese Letters: Being the Lettres Persanes (1892), 173. Compare with the very early: “Formerly the Virtuosi were all accused of Magic; nor do I wonder at it; every one said to himself: I have carried the Talents of Nature as far as they can go; and yet a certain Virtuoso has the advantage of me, he must certainly deal with the Devil,” by John Ozell (trans), in Persian Letters (1736), Vol. 1, 257-258.
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Black magic and white, sorcery, chiromancy, cartomancy, necromancy, all this is nothing less than science misled, fallen into chimera for lack of responsibility.
In Victor Hugo and Lorenzo O'Rourke (trans.) Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography: (Postscriptum de ma vie) (1907), 322.
Science quotes on:  |  Chimera (10)  |  Chiromancy (2)  |  Fall (243)  |  Lack (127)  |  Mislead (6)  |  Necromancy (3)  |  Responsibility (71)

I confess that Magic teacheth many superfluous things, and curious prodigies for ostentation; leave them as empty things, yet be not ignorant of their causes. But those things which are for the profit of men—for the turning away of evil events, for the destroying of sorceries, for the curing of diseases, for the exterminating of phantasms, for the preserving of life, honor, or fortune—may be done without offense to God or injury to religion, because they are, as profitable, so necessary.
In De Occulta Philosophia (1533), Vol. 1. Translation by J.F. (1651) reprinted as The Philosophy of Natural Magic (1913), 28.
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The plough is to the farmer what the wand is to the sorcerer. Its effect is really like sorcery.
Jefferson to Charles Willson Peale, Monticello (17 Apr 1813). Epigraph in Edwin Morris Betts (ed.) Thomas Jefferson's Farm Book (1953), 47.
Science quotes on:  |  Effect (414)  |  Farmer (35)  |  Plough (15)  |  Wand (3)

Where lies the line between sorcery and science? It is only a matter of terminology, my friend.
Cyber Way (1990), 204.
Science quotes on:  |  Friend (180)  |  Lie (370)  |  Magic (92)  |  Matter (821)  |  Terminology (12)

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
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