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Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Spinal Column

Spinal Column Quotes (2 quotes)

Behold the mighty dinosaur,
Famous in prehistoric lore,
Not only for his power and strength
But for his intellectual length.
You will observe by these remains
The creature had two sets of brains—
One in his head (the usual place),
The other at his spinal base.
Thus he could reason 'A priori'
As well as 'A posteriori'.
No problem bothered him a bit
He made both head and tail of it.
So wise was he, so wise and solemn,
Each thought filled just a spinal column.
If one brain found the pressure strong
It passed a few ideas along.
If something slipped his forward mind
'Twas rescued by the one behind.
And if in error he was caught
He had a saving afterthought.
As he thought twice before he spoke
He had no judgment to revoke.
Thus he could think without congestion
Upon both sides of every question.
Oh, gaze upon this model beast
Defunct ten million years at least.
'The Dinosaur: A Poem' (1912). In E. H. Colbert (ed.), The Dinosaur Book (1951), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (16)  |  Afterthought (6)  |  Bother (6)  |  Brain (181)  |  Congestion (2)  |  Dinosaur (23)  |  Error (230)  |  Gaze (12)  |  Head (52)  |  Idea (440)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Million (89)  |  Mind (544)  |  Model (64)  |  Problem (362)  |  Question (315)  |  Rescue (8)  |  Solemnity (4)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Spine (5)  |  Tail (13)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Thought (374)  |  Twice (11)  |  Wisdom (151)

Indeed, while Nature is wonderfully inventive of new structures, her conservatism in holding on to old ones is still more remarkable. In the ascending line of development she tries an experiment once exceedingly thorough, and then the question is solved for all time. For she always takes time enough to try the experiment exhaustively. It took ages to find how to build a spinal column or brain, but when the experiment was finished she had reason to be, and was, satisfied.
In The Whence and Whither of Man; a Brief History of his Origin and Development through Conformity to Environment; being the Morse Lectures of 1895. (1896), 173. The Morse lectureship was founded by Prof. Samuel F.B. Morse in 1865 at Union Theological Seminary, the lectures to deal with “the relation of the Bible to any of the sciences.”
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Brain (181)  |  Build (80)  |  Conservatism (2)  |  Development (228)  |  Exhaustive (2)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Find (248)  |  Finish (16)  |  Hold (56)  |  Inventive (5)  |  Nature (1029)  |  New (340)  |  Old (104)  |  Question (315)  |  Remarkable (34)  |  Satisfaction (48)  |  Solution (168)  |  Structure (191)  |  Thorough (7)  |  Time (439)  |  Try (103)  |  Wonder (134)


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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