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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Stick

Stick Quotes (19 quotes)

A small cabin stands in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, about a hundred yards off a trail that crosses the Cascade Range. In midsummer, the cabin looked strange in the forest. It was only twelve feet square, but it rose fully two stories and then had a high and steeply peaked roof. From the ridge of the roof, moreover, a ten-foot pole stuck straight up. Tied to the top of the pole was a shovel. To hikers shedding their backpacks at the door of the cabin on a cold summer evening—as the five of us did—it was somewhat unnerving to look up and think of people walking around in snow perhaps thirty-five feet above, hunting for that shovel, then digging their way down to the threshold. [1971]
Encounters with the Archdruid
Science quotes on:  |  Cabin (3)  |  Cascade (3)  |  Cold (38)  |  Cross (9)  |  Dig (9)  |  Door (25)  |  Down (44)  |  Five (14)  |  Foot (39)  |  Forest (88)  |  Fully (11)  |  Glacier (13)  |  High (78)  |  Hundred (46)  |  Hunt (12)  |  Midsummer (2)  |  Moreover (2)  |  Peak (15)  |  People (269)  |  Pole (14)  |  Range (38)  |  Ridge (4)  |  Rise (51)  |  Roof (10)  |  Shed (5)  |  Small (97)  |  Snow (15)  |  Square (10)  |  Stand (60)  |  Story (58)  |  Straight (15)  |  Strange (61)  |  Summer (26)  |  Think (205)  |  Thirty-Five (2)  |  Threshold (7)  |  Tie (21)  |  Top (20)  |  Trail (8)  |  Walk (56)  |  Wilderness (28)  |  Yard (4)

Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven five six bundle of sticks.
From 'Arithmetic', Harvest Poems, 1910-1960 (1960), 115.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Bundle (7)  |  Children (20)  |  Good (228)  |  Heaven (118)

Consider a cow. A cow doesn’t have the problem-solving skill of a chimpanzee, which has discovered how to get termites out of the ground by putting a stick into a hole. Evolution has developed the brain’s ability to solve puzzles, and at the same time has produced in our brain a pleasure of solving problems.
In John Tierney, 'For Decades, Puzzling People With Mathematics', New York Times (20 Oct 2009), D2.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Brain (181)  |  Chimpanzee (12)  |  Consider (45)  |  Cow (27)  |  Development (228)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Ground (63)  |  Hole (11)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Problem (362)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  Skill (50)  |  Solution (168)  |  Termite (5)

I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Fight (37)  |  Know (321)  |  Stone (57)  |  Weapon (57)

I must confess, I am dreading today’s elections, … because no matter what the outcome, our government will still be a giant bonfire of partisanship. It is ironic since whenever I have met with our elected officials they are invariably thoughtful, well-meaning people. And yet collectively 90% of their effort seems to be focused on how to stick it to the other party.
On Sergey Brin’s Google+ page (6 Nov 2012).
Science quotes on:  |  Bonfire (2)  |  Dread (10)  |  Effort (94)  |  Election (6)  |  Focus (21)  |  Giant (28)  |  Government (85)  |  Invariably (8)  |  Irony (6)  |  Meet (16)  |  Official (5)  |  Outcome (10)  |  Partisan (4)  |  Party (16)  |  Politics (77)  |  Thoughtful (10)  |  Well-Meaning (2)

I ran into the gigantic and gigantically wasteful lumbering of great Sequoias, many of whose trunks were so huge they had to be blown apart before they could be handled. I resented then, and I still resent, the practice of making vine stakes hardly bigger than walking sticks out of these greatest of living things.
In Breaking New Ground (1947, 1998), 102-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Big (33)  |  Blow (13)  |  Environment (138)  |  Giant (28)  |  Handle (6)  |  Huge (15)  |  Lumber (4)  |  Practice (67)  |  Redwood (8)  |  Resentment (5)  |  Sequoia (4)  |  Stake (14)  |  Tree (143)  |  Trunk (10)  |  Vine (3)  |  Walking (2)  |  Waste (57)

If we lived on a planet where nothing ever changed, there would be little to do. There would be nothing to figure out. There would be no impetus for science. And if we lived in an unpredictable world, where things changed in random or very complex ways, we would not be able to figure things out. But we live in an in-between universe, where things change, but according to patterns, rules, or as we call them, laws of nature. If I throw a stick up in the air, it always falls down. If the sun sets in the west, it always rises again the next morning in the east. And so it becomes possible to figure things out. We can do science, and with it we can improve our lives.
Cosmos (1980, 1985), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Change (291)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Doing (36)  |  Down (44)  |  East (10)  |  Fall (89)  |  Figure Out (5)  |  Impetus (2)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Law Of Nature (52)  |  Life (917)  |  Little (126)  |  Morning (31)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Pattern (56)  |  Planet (199)  |  Random (21)  |  Rise (51)  |  Rule (135)  |  Science (1699)  |  Setting (6)  |  Sun (211)  |  Throw (31)  |  Universe (563)  |  Unpredictability (5)  |  West (13)  |  World (667)

If you defend a behavior by arguing that people are programmed directly for it, then how do you continue to defend it if your speculation is wrong, for the behavior then becomes unnatural and worthy of condemnation. Better to stick resolutely to a philosophical position on human liberty: what free adults do with each other in their own private lives is their business alone. It need not be vindicated–and must not be condemned–by genetic speculation.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Adult (11)  |  Alone (61)  |  Argue (17)  |  Become (100)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Better (131)  |  Business (71)  |  Condemn (6)  |  Condemnation (13)  |  Continue (38)  |  Defend (20)  |  Directly (15)  |  Free (59)  |  Genetic (11)  |  Human (445)  |  Liberty (17)  |  Live (186)  |  Need (211)  |  People (269)  |  Philosophical (14)  |  Position (54)  |  Private (17)  |  Programme (4)  |  Resolutely (2)  |  Speculation (77)  |  Unnatural (10)  |  Vindicate (2)  |  Worthy (21)  |  Wrong (116)

If you have a lot of loose papers to carry, or sticks of kindling-wood, you will do it more easily if they are tied together in a single bundle. That is what the scientist is always doing, tying up fugitive facts into compact and portable packages.
In Chats on Science (1924), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Bundle (7)  |  Carry (35)  |  Compact (3)  |  Fact (609)  |  Fugitive (2)  |  Loose (11)  |  Package (5)  |  Paper (52)  |  Portable (3)  |  Scientist (447)

If you want to find out anything from the theoretical physicists about the methods they use, I advise you to stick closely to one principle: don't listen to their words, fix your attention on their deeds. To him who is a discoverer in this field the products of his imagination appear so necessary and natural that he regards them, and would like to have them regarded by others, not as creations of thought but as given realities.
From 'On the Method of Theoretical Physics', in Essays in Science (1934, 2004), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (33)  |  Attention (76)  |  Closely (8)  |  Creation (211)  |  Deed (17)  |  Discoverer (9)  |  Field (119)  |  Finding (30)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Listening (8)  |  Method (154)  |  Natural (128)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Principle (228)  |  Product (72)  |  Reality (140)  |  Regard (58)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Thought (374)  |  Word (221)

In a sense [for the Copenhagen Interpretation], the observer picks what happens. One of the unsolved questions is whether the observer’s mind or will somehow determines the choice, or whether it is simply a case of sticking in a thumb and pulling out a plum at random.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Case (64)  |  Choice (64)  |  Copenhagen (3)  |  Determine (45)  |  Happen (63)  |  Interpretation (61)  |  Mind (544)  |  Observer (33)  |  Pick (14)  |  Plum (3)  |  Pull (11)  |  Question (315)  |  Random (21)  |  Sense (240)  |  Simply (34)  |  Thumb (8)  |  Unsolved (7)

In the good old days physicists repeated each other’s experiments, just to be sure. Today they stick to FORTRAN, so that they can share each other’s programs, bugs included.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Bug (10)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fortran (3)  |  Good (228)  |  Include (27)  |  Old (104)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Program (32)  |  Repeat (27)  |  Share (30)  |  Today (86)

One of the earliest questions asked by an intelligent child is: “What is this made of?” “What is that made of?” And the answer is generally more or less satisfactory. For example, if the question relates to butter, the reply may be, “From cream.” It may be explained, besides, that when cream is beaten up, or churned, the butter separates, leaving skim-milk behind. But the question has not been answered. The child may ask, “Was the butter in the milk before it was churned? or has it been made out of the milk by the churning?” Possibly the person to whom the question is addressed may know that the milk contained the butter in the state of fine globules, and that the process of churning breaks up the globules, and causes them to stick together. The original question has not really been answered; and indeed it is not an easy one to reply to. Precisely such questions suggested themselves to the people of old, and they led to many speculations.
Opening paragraph of Modern Chemistry (1900, rev. 1907), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Beat (15)  |  Break (33)  |  Butter (5)  |  Child (189)  |  Churn (2)  |  Cream (5)  |  Earliest (3)  |  Enquiry (75)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Globule (3)  |  Process (201)  |  Question (315)  |  Satisfactory (9)  |  Separation (32)  |  Speculation (77)

The best way to make a fire with two sticks is to make sure that one of them is a match.
(1925) In Cutler J. Cleveland and Christopher G. Morris, Dictionary of Energy (2009), 575. If you know a primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (129)  |  Fire (117)  |  Lighting (5)  |  Match (13)  |  Way (36)

The fundamental essence of science, which I think we've lost in our education system, is poking something with a stick and seeing what happens. Embrace that process of inquiry.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (280)  |  Embrace (22)  |  Essence (42)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Happen (63)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Lose (53)  |  Poke (3)  |  Process (201)  |  Science (1699)  |  See (197)  |  System (141)  |  Think (205)

The Gombe Stream chimpanzees … in their ability to modify a twig or stick to make it suitable for a definite purpose, provide the first examples of free-ranging nonhuman primates actually making very crude tools.
In 'Chimpanzees of the Gombe Stream Reserve', collected in Primate Behavior: Field Studies of Monkeys and Apes (1965), 473.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Actually (14)  |  Animal Behavior (9)  |  Chimpanzee (12)  |  Crude (14)  |  Example (57)  |  First (174)  |  Gombe (2)  |  Modify (11)  |  Primate (8)  |  Provide (48)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Stream (27)  |  Tool (70)  |  Twig (7)

The history of a species, or any natural phenomenon that requires unbroken continuity in a world of trouble, works like a batting streak. All are games of a gambler playing with a limited stake against a house with infinite resources. The gambler must eventually go bust. His aim can only be to stick around as long as possible, to have some fun while he’s at it, and, if he happens to be a moral agent as well, to worry about staying the course with honor.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (27)  |  Aim (58)  |  Bat (8)  |  Bust (2)  |  Continuity (23)  |  Course (57)  |  Eventually (14)  |  Fun (28)  |  Gambler (4)  |  Game (45)  |  Happen (63)  |  History (302)  |  Honor (21)  |  House (36)  |  Infinite (88)  |  Limit (86)  |  Long (95)  |  Moral (100)  |  Natural (128)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Play (60)  |  Possible (100)  |  Require (33)  |  Resource (47)  |  Species (181)  |  Stake (14)  |  Stay (15)  |  Trouble (55)  |  Unbroken (9)  |  Work (457)  |  World (667)  |  Worry (27)

This single Stick, which you now behold ingloriously lying in that neglected Corner, I once knew in a flourishing State in a Forest: It was full of Sap, full of Leaves, and full of Boughs: But now, in vain does the busy Art of Man pretend to vie with Nature, by tying that withered Bundle of Twigs to its sapless Trunk: It is at best but the Reverse of what it was; a Tree turned upside down, the Branches on the Earth, and the Root in the Air.
'A Meditation Upon a Broom-stick: According to The Style and Manner of the Honorable Robert Boyle's Meditations' (1703), collected in 'Thoughts On Various Subjects', The Works of Jonathan Swift (1746), Vol. 1, 55-56.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Art (205)  |  Behold (12)  |  Best (129)  |  Bough (6)  |  Bundle (7)  |  Busy (21)  |  Corner (24)  |  Earth (487)  |  Flourishing (5)  |  Forest (88)  |  Full (38)  |  Leaf (43)  |  Lying (6)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Neglected (2)  |  Pretend (14)  |  Reverse (14)  |  Root (48)  |  Sap (3)  |  Single (72)  |  State (96)  |  Tree (143)  |  Trunk (10)  |  Turned (2)  |  Tying (2)  |  Upside Down (5)  |  Vain (26)

We do not know the mode of action of almost all remedies. Why therefore fear to confess our ignorance? In truth, it seems that the words “I do not know” stick in every physicians throat.
In Bulletin de l’Académie impériale de médecine (1860), 25, 733.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Confess (9)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Know (321)  |  Physician (232)  |  Remedy (46)  |  Throat (10)  |  Truth (750)  |  Word (221)


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.