Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “We are here to celebrate the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome. Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by human kind.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Story

Story Quotes (118 quotes)

The Water-baby story character, Tom, asks: 'I heard, ma'am, that you were always making new beasts out of old.'
Mother Carey [Mother Nature] replies: 'So people fancy. But I am not going to trouble myself to make things, my little dear. I sit here and make them make themselves.'
[The author's indirect reference to evolution.]
The Water-babies (1886), 307.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ask (411)  |  Author (167)  |  Baby (28)  |  Beast (55)  |  Character (243)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Fancy (50)  |  Indirect (18)  |  Little (707)  |  Making (300)  |  Mother (114)  |  Mother Nature (4)  |  Myself (212)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Old (481)  |  People (1005)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Water (481)

A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete. All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale. Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness. Science has nothing to do with it, friends.
Through the Looking Glass. In Carl Sagan, Broca's Brain (1986), 206.
Science quotes on:  |  Adam And Eve (4)  |  All (4108)  |  Assumption (92)  |  Century (310)  |  Do (1908)  |  Everything (476)  |  Excuse (25)  |  Find (998)  |  Friend (168)  |  Gentleness (3)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greed (14)  |  Lesson (57)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Obsolete (15)  |  People (1005)  |  Religion (361)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Swindle (2)  |  Time (1877)  |  Whale (32)

A hundred years ago the study of life was often pursued, and also presented to the public, in a highly unified way. Darwin, as everyone knows, in addressing the world at large began his story with the history of pigeons and ended it with the breeding of primroses, having made excursions on the way into the origins of coral reefs and of the races of Man.
In 'The Unification of Biology', New Scientist (11 Jan 1962), 13, No. 269, 72.
Science quotes on:  |  Breeding (21)  |  Coral (10)  |  Coral Reef (12)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  End (590)  |  Excursion (11)  |  History (673)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Know (1518)  |  Large (394)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Origin (239)  |  Pigeon (8)  |  Present (619)  |  Primrose (2)  |  Race (268)  |  Reef (7)  |  Study (653)  |  Unified (10)  |  Way (1217)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)

A myth is, of course, not a fairy story. It is the presentation of facts belonging to one category in the idioms appropriate to another. To explode a myth is accordingly not to deny the facts but to re-allocate them.
In The Concept of Mind (1949), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Accordingly (5)  |  Another (7)  |  Appropriate (61)  |  Belonging (37)  |  Category (18)  |  Course (409)  |  Deny (66)  |  Explode (11)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fairy Story (2)  |  Idiom (4)  |  Myth (56)  |  Presentation (23)

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.
In Encounters with the Archdruid (1971), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Cabin (4)  |  Cascade (3)  |  Cold (112)  |  Cross (16)  |  Dig (21)  |  Digging (11)  |  Door (93)  |  Down (456)  |  Five (16)  |  Foot (60)  |  Forest (150)  |  Fully (21)  |  Glacier (17)  |  High (362)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Hunt (30)  |  Hunting (23)  |  Look (582)  |  Midsummer (2)  |  Moreover (3)  |  Peak (20)  |  People (1005)  |  Pole (46)  |  Range (99)  |  Ridge (7)  |  Rise (166)  |  Roof (13)  |  Rose (34)  |  Shed (5)  |  Small (477)  |  Snow (37)  |  Square (70)  |  Stand (274)  |  Stick (24)  |  Straight (73)  |  Strange (157)  |  Summer (54)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thirty-Five (2)  |  Threshold (10)  |  Tie (38)  |  Top (96)  |  Trail (10)  |  Two (937)  |  Walk (124)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wilderness (45)  |  Yard (7)

A story about the Jack Spratts of medicine [was] told recently by Dr. Charles H. Best, co-discoverer of insulin. He had been invited to a conference of heart specialists in North America. On the eve of the meeting, out of respect for the fat-clogs-the-arteries theory, the delegates sat down to a special banquet served without fats. It was unpalatable but they all ate it as a duty. Next morning Best looked round the breakfast room and saw these same specialists—all in the 40-60 year old, coronary age group—happily tucking into eggs, bacon, buttered toast and coffee with cream.
'Objections To High-Fat Diets', Eat Fat And Grow Slim (1958), Ch. 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  America (127)  |  Artery (10)  |  Bacon (4)  |  Banquet (2)  |  Best (459)  |  Charles Best (3)  |  Breakfast (9)  |  Butter (8)  |  Coffee (19)  |  Conference (17)  |  Cream (6)  |  Delegate (3)  |  Discoverer (42)  |  Down (456)  |  Duty (68)  |  Eat (104)  |  Egg (69)  |  Fat (11)  |  Heart (229)  |  Insulin (9)  |  Look (582)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Meeting (20)  |  Morning (94)  |  Next (236)  |  Old (481)  |  Respect (207)  |  Saw (160)  |  Special (184)  |  Specialist (28)  |  Theory (970)  |  Toast (8)  |  Year (933)

All science, even the divine science, is a sublime detective story. Only it is not set to detect why a man is dead; but the darker secret of why he is alive.
From 'What Do They Think', The Thing: Why I Am Catholic (1929), 78. In Collected Works (1990), Vol. 3, 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (90)  |  All (4108)  |  Dead (59)  |  Detect (44)  |  Detective (10)  |  Divine (112)  |  Man (2251)  |  Science (3879)  |  Secret (194)  |  Set (394)  |  Sublime (46)  |  Why (491)

All that concerns the Mediterranean is of the deepest interest to civilized man, for the history of its progress is the history of the development of the world; the memory of the great men who have lived and died around its banks; the recollection of the undying works that have come thence to delight us for ever; the story of patient research and brilliant discoveries connected with every physical phenomenon presented by its waves and currents, and with every order of creatures dwelling in and around its waters.
From Literary Papers (1855), 106. As quoted in On Early Explorations in the Mediterranean.In George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 279. Geike introduces the Forbes quote as “the recollection of these, his earliest explorations in the Mediterranean,” as written down years later.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Bank (31)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Concern (228)  |  Connect (125)  |  Creature (233)  |  Current (118)  |  Delight (108)  |  Development (422)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Great (1574)  |  History (673)  |  Interest (386)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mediterranean (9)  |  Mediterranean Sea (6)  |  Memory (134)  |  Order (632)  |  Patient (199)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Physical (508)  |  Present (619)  |  Progress (465)  |  Recollection (12)  |  Research (664)  |  Water (481)  |  Wave (107)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

Although [Charles Darwin] would patiently go on repeating experiments where there was any good to be gained, he could not endure having to repeat an experiment which ought, if complete care had been taken, to have told its story at first—and this gave him a continual anxiety that the experiment should not be wasted; he felt the experiment to be sacred, however slight a one it was. He wished to learn as much as possible from an experiment, so that he did not confine himself to observing the single point to which the experiment was directed, and his power of seeing a number of other things was wonderful. ... Any experiment done was to be of some use, and ... strongly he urged the necessity of keeping the notes of experiments which failed, and to this rule he always adhered.
In Charles Darwin: His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of his Published Letters (1908), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Anxiety (30)  |  Care (186)  |  Complete (204)  |  Continual (43)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Direct (225)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  First (1283)  |  Gain (145)  |  Good (889)  |  Himself (461)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Note (34)  |  Number (699)  |  Observation (555)  |  Other (2236)  |  Point (580)  |  Possible (552)  |  Power (746)  |  Repetition (28)  |  Rule (294)  |  Sacred (45)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Single (353)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Use (766)  |  Waste (101)  |  Wish (212)  |  Wonderful (149)

Among the sea-fishes many stories are told about the dolphin, indicative of his gentle and kindly nature…. It appears to be the fleetest of all animals, marine and terrestrial, and it can leap over the masts of large vessels.
Aristotle
In 'The History of Animals' (350 BC), Great Books of the Western World (1952), Vol. 9, 156.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Appear (118)  |  Dolphin (9)  |  Fish (120)  |  Fleet (4)  |  Gentle (7)  |  Kind (557)  |  Large (394)  |  Leap (53)  |  Marine (9)  |  Mast (3)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Sea (308)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Vessel (63)

An evolution is a series of events that in itself as series is purely physical, — a set of necessary occurrences in the world of space and time. An egg develops into a chick; … a planet condenses from the fluid state, and develops the life that for millions of years makes it so wondrous a place. Look upon all these things descriptively, and you shall see nothing but matter moving instant after instant, each instant containing in its full description the necessity of passing over into the next. … But look at the whole appreciatively, historically, synthetically, as a musician listens to a symphony, as a spectator watches a drama. Now you shall seem to have seen, in phenomenal form, a story.
In The Spirit of Modern Philosophy: An Essay in the Form of Lectures (1892), 425.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Appreciative (2)  |  Chick (3)  |  Condense (13)  |  Contain (68)  |  Description (84)  |  Develop (268)  |  Drama (21)  |  Egg (69)  |  Event (216)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Fluid (51)  |  Form (959)  |  History (673)  |  Instant (45)  |  Life (1795)  |  Listen (73)  |  Look (582)  |  Make (25)  |  Matter (798)  |  Million (114)  |  Move (216)  |  Musician (21)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Next (236)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Pass (238)  |  Passing (76)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Physical (508)  |  Planet (356)  |  Pure (291)  |  Purely (109)  |  See (1081)  |  Series (149)  |  Set (394)  |  Space (500)  |  Space And Time (36)  |  Spectator (10)  |  State (491)  |  Symphony (9)  |  Synthetic (26)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Watch (109)  |  Whole (738)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Wondrous (21)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)

As language-using organisms, we participate in the evolution of the Universe most fruitfully through interpretation. We understand the world by drawing pictures, telling stories, conversing. These are our special contributions to existence. It is our immense good fortune and grave responsibility to sing the songs of the Cosmos.
Epigraph, without citation, in Michael Dowd, Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World (2008), 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Contribution (89)  |  Converse (8)  |  Cosmos (63)  |  Draw (137)  |  Drawing (56)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Existence (456)  |  Fortune (49)  |  Fruitful (58)  |  Good (889)  |  Grave (52)  |  Immense (86)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Language (293)  |  Most (1731)  |  Organism (220)  |  Picture (143)  |  Responsibility (66)  |  Sing (26)  |  Song (37)  |  Special (184)  |  Tell (340)  |  Through (849)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)  |  World (1774)

Astronomy, Benjamin mused, was a lot like a detective story with the clues revealed first, and the actual body only later—if ever.
Eater (2000). In Gary Westfahl, Science Fiction Quotations: From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits (2006), 323.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Body (537)  |  Detective (10)  |  First (1283)  |  Lot (151)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Revealed (60)

Bacteria represent the world’s greatest success story. They are today and have always been the modal organisms on earth; they cannot be nuked to oblivion and will outlive us all. This time is their time, not the ‘age of mammals’ as our textbooks chauvinistically proclaim. But their price for such success is permanent relegation to a microworld, and they cannot know the joy and pain of consciousness. We live in a universe of trade-offs; complexity and persistence do not work well as partners.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Bacteria (48)  |  Bacterium (5)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  Do (1908)  |  Earth (996)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Joy (107)  |  Know (1518)  |  Live (628)  |  Mammal (37)  |  Microworld (2)  |  Oblivion (10)  |  Organism (220)  |  Outlive (3)  |  Pain (136)  |  Partner (5)  |  Permanent (64)  |  Persistence (24)  |  Price (51)  |  Proclaim (30)  |  Relegation (3)  |  Represent (155)  |  Success (302)  |  Textbook (36)  |  Time (1877)  |  Today (314)  |  Universe (857)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

Chuang Tzu and Hui Tzu were standing on the bridge across the Hao River. Chuang Tzu said, “Look how the minnows are shooting to and fro! How joyful they are!”
“You are not a fish,” said Hui Tzu. “How can you know that the fishes are joyful?”
“You are not I,” answered Chuang Tzu, “How can you know I do not know about the joy of fishes? ... I know it from my own joy of the water.”
An ancient Chinese story
As related in ‘Evolution of the Mind’, Scientific American (Jun 1957). Cited in Jo Carr, Beyond Fact: Nonfiction for Children and Young People (1982), 64.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (189)  |  Answer (366)  |  Bridge (47)  |  Chinese (22)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fish (120)  |  Joy (107)  |  Know (1518)  |  Look (582)  |  River (119)  |  Swim (30)  |  Water (481)

Despite the high long-term probability of extinction, every organism alive today, including every person reading this paper, is a link in an unbroken chain of parent-offspring relationships that extends back unbroken to the beginning of life on earth. Every living organism is a part of an enormously long success story—each of its direct ancestors has been sufficiently well adapted to its physical and biological environments to allow it to mature and reproduce successfully. Viewed thus, adaptation is not a trivial facet of natural history, but a biological attribute so central as to be inseparable from life itself.
In 'Integrative Biology: An Organismic Biologist’s Point of View', Integrative and Comparative Biology (2005), 45, 330.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (66)  |  Adaptation (58)  |  Alive (90)  |  Allow (45)  |  Ancestor (60)  |  Attribute (61)  |  Back (390)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Biological (137)  |  Central (80)  |  Chain (50)  |  Despite (7)  |  Direct (225)  |  Earth (996)  |  Enormously (4)  |  Environment (216)  |  Extend (128)  |  Extinction (74)  |  Facet (8)  |  High (362)  |  History (673)  |  Include (90)  |  Inseparable (16)  |  Life (1795)  |  Life On Earth (9)  |  Link (43)  |  Live (628)  |  Living (491)  |  Long (790)  |  Long-Term (9)  |  Mature (16)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural History (70)  |  Offspring (27)  |  Organism (220)  |  Paper (182)  |  Parent (76)  |  Part (222)  |  Person (363)  |  Physical (508)  |  Probability (130)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Reproduce (11)  |  Success (302)  |  Successfully (5)  |  Sufficiently (9)  |  Term (349)  |  Today (314)  |  Trivial (57)  |  Unbroken (10)  |  View (488)

Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces the same effect as if you worked a love-story into the fifth proposition of Euclid.
By Sherlock Holmes to Dr. Watson, fictional characters in The Sign of Four (1890), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (251)  |  Cold (112)  |  Detection (16)  |  Effect (393)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Exact (68)  |  Fifth (3)  |  Love (309)  |  Manner (58)  |  Production (183)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Romanticism (5)  |  Science (3879)  |  Tinge (2)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Work (1351)

Euler was a believer in God, downright and straightforward. The following story is told by Thiebault, in his Souvenirs de vingt ans de séjour à Berlin, … Thiebault says that he has no personal knowledge of the truth of the story, but that it was believed throughout the whole of the north of Europe. Diderot paid a visit to the Russian Court at the invitation of the Empress. He conversed very freely, and gave the younger members of the Court circle a good deal of lively atheism. The Empress was much amused, but some of her counsellors suggested that it might be desirable to check these expositions of doctrine. The Empress did not like to put a direct muzzle on her guest’s tongue, so the following plot was contrived. Diderot was informed that a learned mathematician was in possession of an algebraical demonstration of the existence of God, and would give it him before all the Court, if he desired to hear it. Diderot gladly consented: though the name of the mathematician is not given, it was Euler. He advanced toward Diderot, and said gravely, and in a tone of perfect conviction:
Monsieur, (a + bn) / n = x, donc Dieu existe; repondez!

Diderot, to whom algebra was Hebrew, was embarrassed and disconcerted; while peals of laughter rose on all sides. He asked permission to return to France at once, which was granted.
In Budget of Paradoxes (1878), 251. [The declaration in French expresses, “therefore God exists; please answer!” This Euler-Diderot anecdote, as embellished by De Morgan, is generally regarded as entirely fictional. Diderot before he became an encyclopedist was an accomplished mathematician and fully capable of recognizing—and responding to—the absurdity of an algebraic expression in proving the existence of God. See B.H. Brown, 'The Euler-Diderot Anecdote', The American Mathematical Monthly (May 1942), 49, No. 5, 392-303. —Webmaster.]
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Advance (280)  |  Algebra (113)  |  All (4108)  |  Amused (3)  |  Ask (411)  |  Atheism (9)  |  Belief (578)  |  Believer (25)  |  Check (24)  |  Circle (110)  |  Consent (14)  |  Contrive (10)  |  Converse (8)  |  Conviction (97)  |  Court (33)  |  Deal (188)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Desirable (33)  |  Desire (204)  |  Denis Diderot (6)  |  Direct (225)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Leonhard Euler (35)  |  Europe (43)  |  Existence (456)  |  Exposition (15)  |  Follow (378)  |  France (27)  |  Freely (13)  |  Gladly (2)  |  God (757)  |  Good (889)  |  Grant (73)  |  Gravely (2)  |  Guest (5)  |  Hear (139)  |  Hebrew (10)  |  Inform (47)  |  Invitation (11)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Laughter (31)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Lively (17)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Member (41)  |  Name (333)  |  North (11)  |  Peal (2)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Permission (7)  |  Personal (67)  |  Plot (11)  |  Possession (65)  |  Return (124)  |  Rose (34)  |  Russia (13)  |  Say (984)  |  Side (233)  |  Straightforward (10)  |  Suggest (34)  |  Tell (340)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Tone (22)  |  Tongue (43)  |  Toward (45)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Visit (26)  |  Whole (738)  |  Young (227)  |  Younger (21)

Evolution: At the Mind's Cinema
I turn the handle and the story starts:
Reel after reel is all astronomy,
Till life, enkindled in a niche of sky,
Leaps on the stage to play a million parts.
Life leaves the slime and through all ocean darts;
She conquers earth, and raises wings to fly;
Then spirit blooms, and learns how not to die,-
Nesting beyond the grave in others' hearts.
I turn the handle: other men like me
Have made the film: and now I sit and look
In quiet, privileged like Divinity
To read the roaring world as in a book.
If this thy past, where shall they future climb,
O Spirit, built of Elements and Time?
'Evolution: At the Mind's Cinema' (1922), in The Captive Shrew and Other Poems of a Biologist (1932), 55.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Book (392)  |  Conquer (37)  |  Death (388)  |  Divinity (23)  |  Earth (996)  |  Element (310)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Film (10)  |  Fly (146)  |  Future (429)  |  Grave (52)  |  Handle (28)  |  Heart (229)  |  Leap (53)  |  Learn (629)  |  Life (1795)  |  Look (582)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Niche (9)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Other (2236)  |  Past (337)  |  Poem (96)  |  Quiet (36)  |  Read (287)  |  Sky (161)  |  Slime (6)  |  Spirit (265)  |  Stage (143)  |  Start (221)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Turn (447)  |  Wing (75)  |  World (1774)

Geologists on the whole are inconsistent drivers. When a roadcut presents itself, they tend to lurch and weave. To them, the roadcut is a portal, a fragment of a regional story, a proscenium arch that leads their imaginations into the earth and through the surrounding terrane.
Annals of the Former World
Science quotes on:  |  Arch (11)  |  Driver (5)  |  Earth (996)  |  Fragment (54)  |  Geologist (75)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Inconsistent (9)  |  Lead (384)  |  Portal (7)  |  Present (619)  |  Surround (30)  |  Tend (124)  |  Through (849)  |  Weave (19)  |  Whole (738)

Geology depends on impressions made by floods, earthquakes, volcanoes. The mountains tell the story of their oppressions and rebellions. The outstanding data of this science of Mother Earth are those furnished by the most violent impressions that mark an epoch in evolution
In I Am an Impure Thinker (1970), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Data (156)  |  Depend (228)  |  Earth (996)  |  Earthquake (34)  |  Epoch (45)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Flood (50)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Geology (220)  |  Impression (114)  |  Mark (43)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mother (114)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Oppression (6)  |  Outstanding (16)  |  Rebellion (3)  |  Science (3879)  |  Tell (340)  |  Violent (17)  |  Volcano (39)

How quickly do we grow accustomed to wonders. I am reminded of the Isaac Asimov story “Nightfall,” about the planet where the stars were visible only once in a thousand years. So awesome was the sight that it drove men mad. We who can see the stars every night glance up casually at the cosmos and then quickly down again, searching for a Dairy Queen.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accustom (52)  |  Accustomed (46)  |  Isaac Asimov (264)  |  Awesome (14)  |  Casually (2)  |  Cosmos (63)  |  Dairy (2)  |  Do (1908)  |  Down (456)  |  Drive (55)  |  Glance (34)  |  Grow (238)  |  Mad (53)  |  Night (120)  |  Planet (356)  |  Queen (14)  |  Quickly (18)  |  Remind (13)  |  Search (162)  |  See (1081)  |  Sight (132)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Visible (84)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Year (933)

Human behaviour reveals uniformities which constitute natural laws. If these uniformities did not exist, then there would be neither social science nor political economy, and even the study of history would largely be useless. In effect, if the future actions of men having nothing in common with their past actions, our knowledge of them, although possibly satisfying our curiosity by way of an interesting story, would be entirely useless to us as a guide in life.
In Cours d’Economie Politique (1896-7), Vol. 2, 397.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Common (436)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Economy (55)  |  Effect (393)  |  Exist (443)  |  Existence (456)  |  Future (429)  |  Guide (97)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Law (41)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Past (337)  |  Political (121)  |  Politics (112)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Revelation (48)  |  Science (3879)  |  Social (252)  |  Social Science (35)  |  Study (653)  |  Uniformity (37)  |  Uselessness (22)  |  Way (1217)

I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.
'Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven; it's a fairy story"', interview in newspaper The Guardian (15 May 2011).
Science quotes on:  |  Afraid (21)  |  Afterlife (3)  |  Brain (270)  |  Broken (56)  |  Component (48)  |  Computer (127)  |  Dark (140)  |  Down (456)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  Fairy Story (2)  |  Heaven (258)  |  People (1005)  |  Regard (305)  |  Stop (80)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

I start with the seedling, and I don't want to leave it. I don't feel I really know the story if I don't watch the plant all the way along. So I know every plant in the field. I know them intimately, and I find it a real pleasure to know them.
In Jay B. McDaniel, 'Christian Spirituality as Openness to Fellow Creatures', Environmental Ethics (1986) 8(1), 34. Quoted in Charles Birch, Biology and the Riddle of Life (1999), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Autobiography (56)  |  Feel (367)  |  Field (364)  |  Find (998)  |  Know (1518)  |  Plant (294)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Start (221)  |  Want (497)  |  Watch (109)  |  Way (1217)

If the great story of the last century was the conflict among various political ideologies—communism, fascism and democracy—then the great narrative of this century will be the changes wrought by astonishing scientific breakthroughs
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, column also distributed by United Press Syndicate, American Know-How Hobbled by Know-Nothings (9 Aug 2005). In Eve Herold, George Daley, Stem Cell Wars (2007), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Astonishing (27)  |  Astonishment (30)  |  Breakthrough (15)  |  Century (310)  |  Change (593)  |  Communism (11)  |  Conflict (73)  |  Democracy (33)  |  Fascism (4)  |  Great (1574)  |  Ideology (14)  |  Last (426)  |  Narrative (7)  |  Political (121)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Various (200)  |  Will (2355)

If there is a lesson in our story it is that the manipulation, according to strictly self-consistent rules, of a set of symbols representing one single aspect of the phenomena may produce correct, verifiable predictions, and yet completely ignore all other aspects whose ensemble constitutes reality.
In 'Epilogue', The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe (1959, 1968), 533.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  All (4108)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Completely (135)  |  Consistent (48)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Correct (86)  |  Ensemble (7)  |  Ignore (45)  |  Lesson (57)  |  Manipulation (19)  |  Other (2236)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Produce (104)  |  Reality (261)  |  Represent (155)  |  Rule (294)  |  Self (267)  |  Self-Consistent (2)  |  Set (394)  |  Single (353)  |  Strict (17)  |  Symbol (93)  |  Verifiable (6)

If this “critical openminded attitude” … is wanted, the question at once arises, Is it science that should be studied in order to achieve it? Why not study law? A judge has to do everything that a scientist is exhorted to do in the way of withholding judgment until all the facts are in, and then judging impartially on the merits of the case as well as he can. … Why not a course in Sherlock Holmes? The detectives, or at least the detective-story writers, join with the scientists in excoriating “dogmatic prejudice, lying, falsification of facts, and data, and willful fallacious reasoning.”
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Arise (158)  |  Attitude (82)  |  Case (99)  |  Course (409)  |  Critical (66)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Data (156)  |  Detective (10)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dogmatism (14)  |  Everything (476)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fallacious (12)  |  Falsification (10)  |  Impartiality (7)  |  Judge (108)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Law (894)  |  Lie (364)  |  Lying (55)  |  Merit (50)  |  Order (632)  |  Prejudice (87)  |  Question (621)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Sherlock Holmes (4)  |  Study (653)  |  Want (497)  |  Way (1217)  |  Why (491)  |  Willful (3)  |  Writer (86)

If you’re telling a story, it’s very tempting to personalise an animal. To start with, biologists said this fascination with one individual was just television storytelling. But they began to realise that, actually, it was a new way to understand behaviour–following the fortunes of one particular animal could be very revealing and have all kinds of implications in terms of the ecology and general behaviour of the animals in that area.
From interview with Alice Roberts, 'Attenborough: My Life on Earth', The Biologist (Aug 2015), 62, No. 4, 15.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Behavior (84)  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Ecology (74)  |  Fascination (32)  |  Fortune (49)  |  General (511)  |  Implication (23)  |  Individual (404)  |  Kind (557)  |  New (1216)  |  Realize (147)  |  Research (664)  |  Start (221)  |  Television (30)  |  Tempting (10)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Understand (606)  |  Way (1217)

In a sense cosmology contains all subjects because it is the story of everything, including biology, psychology and human history. In that single sense it can be said to contain an explanation also of time's arrow. But this is not what is meant by those who advocate the cosmological explanation of irreversibility. They imply that in some way the time arrow of cosmology imposes its sense on the thermodynamic arrow. I wish to disagree with this view. The explanation assumes that the universe is expanding. While this is current orthodoxy, there is no certainty about it. The red-shifts might be due to quite different causes. For example, when light passes through the expanding clouds of gas it will be red-shifted. A large number of such clouds might one day be invoked to explain these red shifts. It seems an odd procedure to attempt to 'explain' everyday occurrences, such as the diffusion of milk into coffee, by means of theories of the universe which are themselves less firmly established than the phenomena to be explained. Most people believe in explaining one set of things in terms of others about which they are more certain, and the explanation of normal irreversible phenomena in terms of the cosmological expansion is not in this category.
'Thermodynamics, Cosmology) and the Physical Constants', in J. T. Fraser (ed.), The Study of Time III (1973), 117-8.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Advocate (18)  |  All (4108)  |  Arrow (20)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Biology (216)  |  Category (18)  |  Cause (541)  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Coffee (19)  |  Cosmological (11)  |  Cosmology (25)  |  Current (118)  |  Different (577)  |  Diffusion (13)  |  Due (141)  |  Everyday (32)  |  Everything (476)  |  Expansion (41)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Gas (83)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Irreversibility (4)  |  Irreversible (12)  |  Large (394)  |  Light (607)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Milk (22)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Number (699)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Orthodoxy (9)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Procedure (41)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Red-Shift (4)  |  Sense (770)  |  Set (394)  |  Shift (44)  |  Single (353)  |  Subject (521)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thermodynamics (40)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  View (488)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wish (212)

In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is a story of the earth.
In 'Our Ever-Changing Shore', Holiday (Jul 1958). Collected in Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (2011), 114.
Science quotes on:  |  Beach (21)  |  Coast (13)  |  Earth (996)  |  Geology (220)  |  Grain (50)  |  Headland (2)  |  Sand (62)

In her book My Life With the Chimpanzees, Goodall told the story of “Mike,” a chimp who maintained his dominance by kicking a series of kerosene cans ahead of him as he moved down a road, creating confusion and noise that made his rivals flee and cower. She told me she would be thinking of Mike as she watched [Donald Trump in] the upcoming debates.
In magazine article by 'When Donald Meets Hillary', The Atlantic (Oct 2016). The reporter stated “Jane Goodall … told me shortly before Trump won the GOP nomination.”
Science quotes on:  |  Book (392)  |  Can (2)  |  Chimpanzee (13)  |  Confusion (57)  |  Create (235)  |  Debate (38)  |  Dominance (5)  |  Down (456)  |  Flee (8)  |  Jane Goodall (12)  |  Kick (10)  |  Life (1795)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Noise (37)  |  Rival (19)  |  Road (64)  |  Series (149)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Donald Trump (3)  |  Watch (109)

In preparing the present volume, it has been the aim of the author to do full justice to the ample material at his command, and, where possible, to make the illustrations tell the main story to anatomists. The text of such a memoir may soon lose its interest, and belong to the past, but good figures are of permanent value. [Justifying elaborate illustrations in his monographs.]
In Dinocerata: a monograph of an extinct order of gigantic mammals (1884), Preface, xvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (165)  |  Anatomist (23)  |  Author (167)  |  Belong (162)  |  Command (58)  |  Do (1908)  |  Elaborate (28)  |  Figure (160)  |  Good (889)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Interest (386)  |  Justice (39)  |  Lose (159)  |  Material (353)  |  Memoir (13)  |  Past (337)  |  Permanent (64)  |  Possible (552)  |  Preparing (21)  |  Present (619)  |  Soon (186)  |  Tell (340)  |  Text (14)  |  Value (365)

In the days when geology was young, now some two hundred years ago, it found a careful foster-mother in theology, who watched over its early growth with anxious solicitude, and stored its receptive mind with the most beautiful stories, which the young science never tired of transforming into curious fancies of its own, which it usually styled “theories of the earth.”
In British Association Address to Workingmen, 'Geology and Deluges', published in Nature (1984), 50, 505-510. Also printed in Popular Science Monthly (Dec 1894), 46 245.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Curious (91)  |  Early (185)  |  Earth (996)  |  Foster (12)  |  Geology (220)  |  Growth (187)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mother (114)  |  Never (1087)  |  Origin Of The Earth (2)  |  Receptive (5)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Theology (52)  |  Theory (970)  |  Two (937)  |  Usually (176)  |  Watch (109)  |  Year (933)  |  Young (227)

Included in this ‘almost nothing,’ as a kind of geological afterthought of the last few million years, is the first development of self-conscious intelligence on this planet–an odd and unpredictable invention of a little twig on the mammalian evolutionary bush. Any definition of this uniqueness, embedded as it is in our possession of language, must involve our ability to frame the world as stories and to transmit these tales to others. If our propensity to grasps nature as story has distorted our perceptions, I shall accept this limit of mentality upon knowledge, for we receive in trade both the joys of literature and the core of our being.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (152)  |  Accept (191)  |  Afterthought (6)  |  Being (1278)  |  Both (493)  |  Bush (9)  |  Core (18)  |  Definition (221)  |  Development (422)  |  Distort (22)  |  Embed (7)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  First (1283)  |  Frame (26)  |  Geological (11)  |  Grasp (61)  |  Include (90)  |  Intelligence (211)  |  Invention (369)  |  Involve (90)  |  Joy (107)  |  Kind (557)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Language (293)  |  Last (426)  |  Limit (280)  |  Literature (103)  |  Little (707)  |  Mammalian (3)  |  Mentality (5)  |  Million (114)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Odd (13)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perception (97)  |  Planet (356)  |  Possession (65)  |  Propensity (9)  |  Receive (114)  |  Self (267)  |  Self-Conscious (3)  |  Tale (16)  |  Trade (31)  |  Transmit (11)  |  Twig (14)  |  Uniqueness (11)  |  Unpredictable (17)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)

Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today–but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved a
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Blind (95)  |  Concept (221)  |  Core (18)  |  Critic (20)  |  Crucial (9)  |  Essence (82)  |  Individual (404)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Revolve (25)  |  Salvation (11)  |  Save (118)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science Fiction (31)  |  Seem (145)  |  Today (314)  |  Trivial (57)

Isaac Newton was born at Woolsthorpe, near Grantham, in Lincolnshire, on Christmas Day, 1642: a weakly and diminutive infant, of whom it is related that, at his birth, he might have found room in a quart mug. He died on March the 20th, 1727, after more than eighty-four years of more than average bodily health and vigour; it is a proper pendant to the story of the quart mug to state that he never lost more than one of his second teeth.
In Essays on the life and work of Newton (), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Average (82)  |  Birth (147)  |  Christmas (11)  |  Diminutive (3)  |  Health (193)  |  Infant (26)  |  March (46)  |  More (2559)  |  Never (1087)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Pendant (2)  |  Proper (144)  |  State (491)  |  Teeth (43)  |  Tooth (29)  |  Vigour (18)  |  Year (933)

It did not cause anxiety that Maxwell’s equations did not apply to gravitation, since nobody expected to find any link between electricity and gravitation at that particular level. But now physics was faced with an entirely new situation. The same entity, light, was at once a wave and a particle. How could one possibly imagine its proper size and shape? To produce interference it must be spread out, but to bounce off electrons it must be minutely localized. This was a fundamental dilemma, and the stalemate in the wave-photon battle meant that it must remain an enigma to trouble the soul of every true physicist. It was intolerable that light should be two such contradictory things. It was against all the ideals and traditions of science to harbor such an unresolved dualism gnawing at its vital parts. Yet the evidence on either side could not be denied, and much water was to flow beneath the bridges before a way out of the quandary was to be found. The way out came as a result of a brilliant counterattack initiated by the wave theory, but to tell of this now would spoil the whole story. It is well that the reader should appreciate through personal experience the agony of the physicists of the period. They could but make the best of it, and went around with woebegone faces sadly complaining that on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays they must look on light as a wave; on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, as a particle. On Sundays they simply prayed.
The Strange Story of the Quantum (1947), 42.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Against (332)  |  Agony (7)  |  All (4108)  |  Anxiety (30)  |  Apply (160)  |  Appreciate (63)  |  Beneath (64)  |  Best (459)  |  Bridge (47)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Cause (541)  |  Dilemma (11)  |  Dualism (4)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Electron (93)  |  Enigma (14)  |  Entity (35)  |  Equation (132)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Expect (200)  |  Experience (467)  |  Face (212)  |  Find (998)  |  Flow (83)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Gravitation (70)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Interference (21)  |  Light (607)  |  Look (582)  |  Maxwell (42)  |  James Clerk Maxwell (87)  |  Must (1526)  |  New (1216)  |  Nobody (104)  |  Particle (194)  |  Period (198)  |  Photon (11)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Physics (533)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Proper (144)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Remain (349)  |  Result (677)  |  Saturday (11)  |  Science (3879)  |  Side (233)  |  Situation (113)  |  Soul (226)  |  Spread (83)  |  Tell (340)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Tradition (69)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Two (937)  |  Vital (85)  |  Water (481)  |  Wave (107)  |  Way (1217)  |  Whole (738)

It feels unacceptable to many people even to think of having a cosmology based on science. … They see fanciful origin stories as spicing up the culture. … Aspects of many origin stories can enrich our understanding of the scientific picture, but they cannot take its place.
As co-author with Nancy Ellen Abrams, in The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos (2006), 85.
Science quotes on:  |  Aspect (124)  |  Base (117)  |  Cosmology (25)  |  Culture (143)  |  Enrich (24)  |  Fanciful (6)  |  Feel (367)  |  Origin (239)  |  People (1005)  |  Picture (143)  |  Place (177)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  See (1081)  |  Spice (2)  |  Think (1086)  |  Unacceptable (3)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)

It is sages and grey-haired philosophers who ought to sit up all night reading Alice in Wonderland in order to study that darkest problem of metaphysics, the borderland between reason and unreason, and the nature of the most erratic of spiritual forces, humour, which eternally dances between the two. That we do find a pleasure in certain long and elaborate stories, in certain complicated and curious forms of diction, which have no intelligible meaning whatever, is not a subject for children to play with; it is a subject for psychologists to go mad over.
In 'The Library of the Nursery', in Lunacy and Letters (1958), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Alice In Wonderland (6)  |  All (4108)  |  Borderland (6)  |  Lewis Carroll (45)  |  Certain (550)  |  Child (307)  |  Children (200)  |  Complicated (115)  |  Curious (91)  |  Dance (32)  |  Dark (140)  |  Do (1908)  |  Elaborate (28)  |  Erratic (4)  |  Eternal (110)  |  Find (998)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Humour (116)  |  Intelligible (34)  |  Long (790)  |  Mad (53)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Metaphysic (6)  |  Metaphysics (50)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Order (632)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Play (112)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Problem (676)  |  Psychologist (15)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Reason (744)  |  Sage (23)  |  Spiritual (91)  |  Study (653)  |  Subject (521)  |  Two (937)  |  Unreason (2)  |  Whatever (234)

It’s almost a sort of fairy story tale, just what a novelist would write about a discovery.
[Describing how the original idea on the principle of the maser came to him.]
Interview (2 Feb 1991), 'Creating the Light Fantastic', Academy of Achievement web site.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Fairy (9)  |  Idea (843)  |  Novelist (6)  |  Principle (507)  |  Tale (16)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)

John Bahcall, an astronomer on the Institute of Advanced Study faculty since 1970 likes to tell the story of his first faculty dinner, when he found himself seated across from Kurt Gödel, … a man dedicated to logic and the clean certainties of mathematical abstraction. Bahcall introduced himself and mentioned that he was a physicist. Gödel replied, “I don’t believe in natural science.”
As stated in Adam Begley, 'The Lonely Genius Club', New York Magazine (30 Jan 1995), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (47)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  John N. Bahcall (10)  |  Belief (578)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Clean (50)  |  Dedicate (10)  |  Dedicated (19)  |  Dinner (15)  |  Faculty (72)  |  First (1283)  |  Kurt Gödel (8)  |  Himself (461)  |  Introduce (63)  |  Logic (287)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mention (82)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Reply (56)  |  Science (3879)  |  Study (653)  |  Tell (340)

Man, so far as natural science by itself is able to teach us, is no longer the final cause of the universe, the heaven-descended heir of all the ages. His very existence is an accident, his story a brief and discreditable episode in the life of one of the meanest of the planets. Of the combination of causes which first converted a piece or pieces of unorganised jelly into the living progenitors of humanity, science indeed, as yet, knows nothing.
In 'The Religion of Humanity', Essays and Addresses by the Right Hon. Arthur J. Balfour (1893), 307.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (88)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Brief (36)  |  Cause (541)  |  Combination (144)  |  Convert (22)  |  Descend (47)  |  Descended (2)  |  Discredit (8)  |  Episode (5)  |  Existence (456)  |  Final (118)  |  First (1283)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heir (12)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Jelly (6)  |  Know (1518)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Man (2251)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Planet (356)  |  Progenitor (5)  |  Science (3879)  |  Teach (277)  |  Universe (857)

My grandfather opened the first chapter of his story, A Smile of the Walrus, with an old nursery rhyme, “Did you ever see a walrus smile all these many years? Why yes I’ve seen a walrus smile, but it was hidden by his tears.” As we open this new chapter in the battle against climate change, I fear that if we do not take action, then the smiles of our children, like the walrus, will be hidden by the tears they shed as they pay the consequences of our inaction, our apathy and our greed.
In 'What do the Arctic, a Thermostat and COP15 Have in Common?', Huffington Post (18 Mar 2010).
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Against (332)  |  All (4108)  |  Apathy (3)  |  Battle (34)  |  Change (593)  |  Chapter (11)  |  Child (307)  |  Children (200)  |  Climate (97)  |  Climate Change (61)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fear (197)  |  First (1283)  |  Grandfather (14)  |  Greed (14)  |  Hidden (42)  |  Inaction (3)  |  New (1216)  |  Old (481)  |  Open (274)  |  Pay (43)  |  Rhyme (6)  |  See (1081)  |  Shed (5)  |  Smile (31)  |  Tear (42)  |  Walrus (4)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

My story [Lord of the Rings] is not an allegory of Atomic power, but of Power (exerted for Domination). Nuclear physics can be used for that purpose. But they need not be. They need not be used at all. If there is any contemporary reference in my story at all it is to what seems to me the most widespread assumption of our time: that if a thing can be done, it must be done. This seems to me wholly false.
From Letter draft to Joanna de Bortadano (Apr 1956). In Humphrey Carpenter (ed.) assisted by Christopher Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1995, 2014), 246, Letter No. 186.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Allegory (7)  |  Assumption (92)  |  Atomic Power (9)  |  Contemporary (30)  |  Domination (12)  |  Exert (39)  |  False (100)  |  Lord (93)  |  Lord Of The Rings (6)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Need (290)  |  Nuclear (107)  |  Nuclear Physics (5)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Power (746)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reference (33)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Wholly (88)  |  Widespread (22)

Nature doesn’t sit still. Things and individuals are changing, dying and new things are coming. They’re all stories.
From interview with Joe Shute, 'David Attenborough at 90: ‘I think about my mortality every day’', The Telegraph (29 Oct 2016).
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Change (593)  |  Coming (114)  |  Die (86)  |  Individual (404)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Still (613)  |  Thing (1915)

Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know; nor any people so confident as those who entertain us with fabulous stories, such as your alchemists, judicial astrologers, fortune-tellers, and physicians.
In Charles Cotton (trans.), Essays of Michael Seigneur de Montaigne: In Three Books (1693), Vol. 1, 339.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemist (22)  |  Astrologer (10)  |  Belief (578)  |  Confident (25)  |  Entertain (24)  |  Fortune (49)  |  Know (1518)  |  Least (75)  |  Nothing (966)  |  People (1005)  |  Physician (273)

On a perfect planet such as might be acceptable to a physicist, one might predict that from its origin the diversity of life would grow exponentially until the carrying capacity, however defined, was reached. The fossil record on Earth, however, tells a very different story.
In 'The Evolution of Diversity in AAncient Ecosystems: a Review', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (28 Feb 1998), 353, No. 1366, 327.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptable (13)  |  Capacity (100)  |  Carrying capacity (3)  |  Different (577)  |  Diversity (73)  |  Earth (996)  |  Exponential (3)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Fossil Record (10)  |  Grow (238)  |  Life (1795)  |  Origin (239)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Planet (356)  |  Predict (79)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Reach (281)  |  Record (154)  |  Tell (340)

One of the biggest roles of science fiction is to prepare people to accept the future without pain and to encourage a flexibility of the mind. Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.
(1984) Quoted in Jerome Agel (ed.), The Making of Kubrick's 2001 (4th Ed. 1970), 300. In James E. Combs, Polpop: Politics and Popular Culture in America (1984), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  Detective (10)  |  Encourage (40)  |  Flexibility (6)  |  Future (429)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Pain (136)  |  People (1005)  |  Politician (38)  |  Read (287)  |  Role (86)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science Fiction (31)  |  Western (45)

One-story intellects, two-story intellects, three-story intellects with skylights. All fact-collectors, who have no aim beyond their facts, are one-story men. Two-story men compare, reason, generalize, using the labors of the fact-collectors as well as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, predict; their best illumination comes from above, through the skylight. There are minds with large ground-floors, that can store an infinite amount of knowledge; some librarians, for instance, who know enough of books to help other people, without being able to make much other use of their knowledge, have intellects of this class. Your great working lawyer has two spacious stories; his mind is clear, because his mental floors are large, and he has room to arrange his thoughts so that lie can get at them,—facts below, principles above, and all in ordered series; poets are often narrow below, incapable of clear statement, and with small power of consecutive reasoning, but full of light, if sometimes rather bare of furniture, in the attics.
The Poet at the Breakfast Table (1883), 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (165)  |  All (4108)  |  Amount (151)  |  Arrange (30)  |  Bare (33)  |  Being (1278)  |  Best (459)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Book (392)  |  Class (164)  |  Collector (9)  |  Compare (69)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Enough (340)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Furniture (8)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Generalize (19)  |  Great (1574)  |  Ground (217)  |  Idealization (3)  |  Illumination (15)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Incapable (40)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Labor (107)  |  Large (394)  |  Lawyer (27)  |  Librarian (2)  |  Lie (364)  |  Light (607)  |  Mental (177)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Narrow (84)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Poet (83)  |  Power (746)  |  Predict (79)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Principle (507)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Series (149)  |  Small (477)  |  Statement (142)  |  Store (48)  |  Thought (953)  |  Through (849)  |  Two (937)  |  Use (766)

Arthur Stanley Eddington quote: Our story of evolution ended with a stirring in the brain-organ of the latest of Nature’s experi
Our story of evolution ended with a stirring in the brain-organ of the latest of Nature’s experiments; but that stirring of consciousness transmutes the whole story and gives meaning to its symbolism. Symbolically it is the end, but looking behind the symbolism it is the beginning.
Swarthmore Lecture (1929) at Friends’ House, London, printed in Science and the Unseen World (1929), 38.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Behind (137)  |  Brain (270)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  End (590)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Looking (189)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Organ (115)  |  Whole (738)

Palaeontology is the Aladdin’s lamp of the most deserted and lifeless regions of the earth; it touches the rocks and there spring forth in orderly succession the monarchs of the past and the ancient river streams and savannahs wherein they flourished. The rocks usually hide their story in the most difficult and inaccessible places.
In On the Trail of Ancient Man (1926), x.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Desert (56)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Earth (996)  |  Flourish (34)  |  Hide (69)  |  Inaccessible (18)  |  Lamp (36)  |  Lifeless (14)  |  Most (1731)  |  Orderly (38)  |  Paleontologist (19)  |  Past (337)  |  River (119)  |  Rock (161)  |  Spring (133)  |  Stream (81)  |  Succession (77)  |  Usually (176)

Rajamma, my aunt, often told me stories from the Puranas. That was the best education I ever received.
Quoted in India Today (Apr 2008), 33, No 16, as cited on webpage of Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology.
Science quotes on:  |  Aunt (2)  |  Best (459)  |  Education (378)

Science aims at constructing a world which shall be symbolic of the world of commonplace experience. It is not at all necessary that every individual symbol that is used should represent something in common experience or even something explicable in terms of common experience. The man in the street is always making this demand for concrete explanation of the things referred to in science; but of necessity he must be disappointed. It is like our experience in learning to read. That which is written in a book is symbolic of a story in real life. The whole intention of the book is that ultimately a reader will identify some symbol, say BREAD, with one of the conceptions of familiar life. But it is mischievous to attempt such identifications prematurely, before the letters are strung into words and the words into sentences. The symbol A is not the counterpart of anything in familiar life.
From 'Introduction', The Nature of the Physical World (1928), xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (165)  |  All (4108)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Book (392)  |  Bread (39)  |  Common (436)  |  Commonplace (23)  |  Conception (154)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Counterpart (9)  |  Demand (123)  |  Disappoint (14)  |  Experience (467)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Identification (16)  |  Individual (404)  |  Intention (46)  |  Learning (274)  |  Letter (109)  |  Life (1795)  |  Making (300)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mischievous (11)  |  Must (1526)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Read (287)  |  Represent (155)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Something (719)  |  Symbol (93)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Ultimately (55)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2355)  |  Word (619)  |  World (1774)

Science fiction is no more written for scientists than ghost stories are written for ghosts.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Ghost (36)  |  More (2559)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science Fiction (31)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Write (230)

Science is a collection of stories, linking characters worthy of notice.
From opinion article 'Scientists Depend on the Power of Reason', in the Toronto Star (4 Jan 2015). The article was an abridged version of Polanyi’s opening address at the earlier Polanyi Conference on Science and Social Responsibility at the Munk School of Global Affairs.
Science quotes on:  |  Character (243)  |  Collection (64)  |  Linking (8)  |  Notice (77)  |  Science (3879)  |  Worth (169)

Scientific practice is above all a story-telling practice. ... Biology is inherently historical, and its form of discourse is inherently narrative. ... Biology as a way of knowing the world is kin to Romantic literature, with its discourse about organic form and function. Biology is the fiction appropriate to objects called organisms; biology fashions the facts “discovered” about organic beings.
Primate Visions: Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science(1989), 4-5.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Appropriate (61)  |  Appropriateness (7)  |  Being (1278)  |  Biology (216)  |  Call (769)  |  Discourse (18)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fashion (30)  |  Fiction (22)  |  Form (959)  |  Function (228)  |  Historical (70)  |  History (673)  |  Inherently (5)  |  Kin (10)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Literature (103)  |  Narrative (7)  |  Object (422)  |  Organic (158)  |  Organism (220)  |  Practice (204)  |  Romantic (13)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Way (1217)  |  World (1774)

Scientists don’t really ever grow up. I read, as a 10-or-so-year-old, a book for kids by Einstein. I think it was The Meaning of Relativity. It was exciting! Science was compared to a detective story, replete with clues, and the solution was the search for a coherent account of all the known events. Then I remember some very entrapping biographies: Crucibles, by Bernard Jaffe, was the story of chemistry told through the lives of great chemists; Microbe Hunters, by Paul de Kruif, did the same for biologists. Also, the novel Arrowsmith, by Sinclair Lewis, about a medical researcher. These books were a crucial component of getting hooked into science.
When asked by Discover magazine what books helped inspire his passion as a scientist.
In 'The 1998 Discover Science Gift Guide: Fantastic Voyages Children's Books That Mattered', Discover (Dec 1998).
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  All (4108)  |  Ask (411)  |  Biography (240)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Book (392)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Component (48)  |  Crucible (8)  |  Detective (10)  |  Discover (553)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Event (216)  |  Exciting (47)  |  Great (1574)  |  Grow (238)  |  Hunter (24)  |  Known (454)  |  Live (628)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Microbe (28)  |  Novel (32)  |  Old (481)  |  Passion (114)  |  Read (287)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Remember (179)  |  Researcher (33)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Search (162)  |  Solution (267)  |  Think (1086)  |  Through (849)  |  Year (933)

So-called extraordinary events always split into two extremes naturalists who have not witnessed them: those who believe blindly and those who do not believe at all. The latter have always in mind the story of the golden goose; if the facts lie slightly beyond the limits of their knowledge, they relegate them immediately to fables. The former have a secret taste for marvels because they seem to expand Nature; they use their imagination with pleasure to find explanations. To remain doubtful is given to naturalists who keep a middle path between the two extremes. They calmly examine facts; they refer to logic for help; they discuss probabilities; they do not scoff at anything, not even errors, because they serve at least the history of the human mind; finally, they report rather than judge; they rarely decide unless they have good evidence.
Quoted in Albert V. Carozzi, Histoire des sciences de la terre entre 1790 et 1815 vue à travers les documents inédités de la Societé de Physique et d'Histoire Naturelle de Genève, trans. Albert V. and Marguerite Carozzi. (1990), 175.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Belief (578)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Blindness (11)  |  Call (769)  |  Decision (91)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doubtful (29)  |  Error (321)  |  Event (216)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Examine (78)  |  Expand (53)  |  Expansion (41)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Extraordinary (79)  |  Extreme (75)  |  Fable (12)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Final (118)  |  Find (998)  |  Former (137)  |  Gold (97)  |  Golden (45)  |  Good (889)  |  Goose (12)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Judge (108)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lie (364)  |  Limit (280)  |  Logic (287)  |  Marvel (35)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Naturalist (70)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Path (144)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Probability (130)  |  Rare (89)  |  Relegation (3)  |  Remain (349)  |  Report (38)  |  Scoff (7)  |  Secret (194)  |  Service (110)  |  So-Called (71)  |  Split (13)  |  Taste (90)  |  Two (937)  |  Use (766)  |  Witness (54)

Taken as a story of human achievement, and human blindness, the discoveries in the sciences are among the great epics.
Epigraph in Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Blindness (11)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Epic (12)  |  Great (1574)  |  Human (1468)  |  Science (3879)

The chemist works along his own brilliant line of discovery and exposition; the astronomer has his special field to explore; the geologist has a well-defined sphere to occupy. It is manifest, however, that not one of these men can tell the whole tale, and make a complete story of creation. Another man is wanted. A man who, though not necessarily going into formal science, sees the whole idea, and speaks of it in its unity. This man is the theologian. He is not a chemist, an astronomer, a geologist, a botanist——he is more: he speaks of circles, not of segments; of principles, not of facts; of causes and purposes rather than of effects and appearances. Not that the latter are excluded from his study, but that they are so wisely included in it as to be put in their proper places.
In The People's Bible: Discourses Upon Holy Scripture: Vol. 1. Genesis (1885), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (140)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Botanist (23)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Cause (541)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Circle (110)  |  Complete (204)  |  Creation (327)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Effect (393)  |  Exclusion (16)  |  Exploration (134)  |  Exposition (15)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Field (364)  |  Geologist (75)  |  Idea (843)  |  Inclusion (5)  |  Line (91)  |  Man (2251)  |  More (2559)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Place (177)  |  Principle (507)  |  Proper (144)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Segment (6)  |  Speak (232)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Special (184)  |  Sphere (116)  |  Study (653)  |  Tale (16)  |  Tell (340)  |  Telling (23)  |  Theologian (22)  |  Unity (78)  |  Want (497)  |  Well-Defined (8)  |  Whole (738)  |  Wisedom (2)  |  Work (1351)

The development of statistics are causing history to be rewritten. Till recently the historian studied nations in the aggregate, and gave us only the story of princes, dynasties, sieges, and battles. Of the people themselves—the great social body with life, growth, sources, elements, and laws of its own—he told us nothing. Now statistical inquiry leads him into the hovels, homes, workshops, mines, fields, prisons, hospitals, and all places where human nature displays its weakness and strength. In these explorations he discovers the seeds of national growth and decay, and thus becomes the prophet of his generation.
Speech (16 Dec 1867) given while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, introducing resolution for the appointment of a committee to examine the necessities for legislation upon the subject of the ninth census to be taken the following year. Quoted in John Clark Ridpath, The Life and Work of James A. Garfield (1881), 217.
Science quotes on:  |  Aggregate (23)  |  All (4108)  |  Battle (34)  |  Become (815)  |  Body (537)  |  Decay (53)  |  Development (422)  |  Discover (553)  |  Display (56)  |  Dynasty (7)  |  Element (310)  |  Exploration (134)  |  Field (364)  |  Generation (242)  |  Great (1574)  |  Growth (187)  |  Historian (54)  |  History (673)  |  Home (170)  |  Hospital (43)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Nature (64)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Law (894)  |  Lead (384)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mine (76)  |  Nation (193)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nothing (966)  |  People (1005)  |  Prince (13)  |  Prison (13)  |  Prophet (21)  |  Seed (93)  |  Siege (2)  |  Social (252)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Strength (126)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Weakness (48)  |  Workshop (14)

The discovery of an interaction among the four hemes made it obvious that they must be touching, but in science what is obvious is not necessarily true. When the structure of hemoglobin was finally solved, the hemes were found to lie in isolated pockets on the surface of the subunits. Without contact between them how could one of them sense whether the others had combined with oxygen? And how could as heterogeneous a collection of chemical agents as protons, chloride ions, carbon dioxide, and diphosphoglycerate influence the oxygen equilibrium curve in a similar way? It did not seem plausible that any of them could bind directly to the hemes or that all of them could bind at any other common site, although there again it turned out we were wrong. To add to the mystery, none of these agents affected the oxygen equilibrium of myoglobin or of isolated subunits of hemoglobin. We now know that all the cooperative effects disappear if the hemoglobin molecule is merely split in half, but this vital clue was missed. Like Agatha Christie, Nature kept it to the last to make the story more exciting. There are two ways out of an impasse in science: to experiment or to think. By temperament, perhaps, I experimented, whereas Jacques Monod thought.
From essay 'The Second Secret of Life', collected in I Wish I'd Made You Angry Earlier (1998), 263-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (70)  |  All (4108)  |  Binding (9)  |  Carbon (65)  |  Carbon Dioxide (22)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Agatha Christie (7)  |  Clue (17)  |  Collection (64)  |  Combination (144)  |  Common (436)  |  Contact (65)  |  Cooperation (32)  |  Curve (49)  |  Disappear (82)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Effect (393)  |  Equilibrium (33)  |  Excitement (50)  |  Exciting (47)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Half (56)  |  Hemoglobin (5)  |  Heterogeneity (4)  |  Impasse (2)  |  Influence (222)  |  Interaction (46)  |  Ion (21)  |  Isolation (31)  |  Know (1518)  |  Last (426)  |  Lie (364)  |  Merely (316)  |  Miss (51)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Jacques Monod (21)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Other (2236)  |  Oxygen (66)  |  Plausibility (7)  |  Plausible (22)  |  Pocket (11)  |  Proton (21)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sense (770)  |  Site (14)  |  Solution (267)  |  Split (13)  |  Structure (344)  |  Surface (209)  |  Temperament (17)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Thought (953)  |  Touch (141)  |  Touching (16)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Turn (447)  |  Two (937)  |  Vital (85)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wrong (234)

The doctor may also learn more about the illness from the way the patient tells the story than from the story itself.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Doctor (187)  |  Illness (34)  |  Learn (629)  |  More (2559)  |  Patient (199)  |  Tell (340)  |  Way (1217)

The following story (here a little softened from the vernacular) was narrated by Lord Kelvin himself when dining at Trinity Hall:
A certain rough Highland lad at the university had done exceedingly well, and at the close of the session gained prizes both in mathematics and in metaphysics. His old father came up from the farm to see his son receive the prizes, and visited the College. Thomson was deputed to show him round the place. “Weel, Mr. Thomson,” asked the old man, “and what may these mathematics be, for which my son has getten a prize?” “I told him,” replied Thomson, “that mathematics meant reckoning with figures, and calculating.” “Oo ay,” said the old man, “he’ll ha’ getten that fra’ me: I were ever a braw hand at the countin’.” After a pause he resumed: “And what, Mr. Thomson, might these metapheesics be?” “I endeavoured,” replied Thomson, “to explain how metaphysics was the attempt to express in language the indefinite.” The old Highlander stood still and scratched his head. “Oo ay: may be he’ll ha’ getten that fra’ his mither. She were aye a bletherin’ body."
As given in Life of Lord Kelvin (1910), Vol. 2, 1124, footnote. [Note: William Thomson, later became Lord Kelvin. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (411)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Body (537)  |  Both (493)  |  Certain (550)  |  College (66)  |  Endeavour (63)  |  Exceedingly (28)  |  Explain (322)  |  Express (186)  |  Farm (26)  |  Farmer (32)  |  Father (110)  |  Figure (160)  |  Gain (145)  |  Himself (461)  |  Indefinite (20)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (71)  |  Language (293)  |  Little (707)  |  Lord (93)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Metaphysics (50)  |  Old (481)  |  Prize (13)  |  Receive (114)  |  Reckoning (19)  |  Scottish (4)  |  Scratch (13)  |  See (1081)  |  Show (346)  |  Still (613)  |  Trinity (9)  |  University (121)

The following story is true. There was a little boy, and his father said, “Do try to be like other people. Don’t frown.” And he tried and tried, but could not. So his father beat him with a strap; and then he was eaten up by lions. Reader, if young, take warning by his sad life and death. For though it may be an honour to be different from other people, if Carlyle’s dictum about the 30 million be still true, yet other people do not like it. So, if you are different, you had better hide it, and pretend to be solemn and wooden-headed. Until you make your fortune. For most wooden-headed people worship money; and, really, I do not see what else they can do. In particular, if you are going to write a book, remember the wooden-headed. So be rigorous; that will cover a multitude of sins. And do not frown.
From 'Electromagnetic Theory, CXII', The Electrician (23 Feb 1900), Vol. 44, 615.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Beat (41)  |  Better (486)  |  Book (392)  |  Boy (94)  |  Thomas Carlyle (38)  |  Cover (37)  |  Death (388)  |  Dictum (9)  |  Different (577)  |  Do (1908)  |  Father (110)  |  Fortune (49)  |  Frown (5)  |  Hide (69)  |  Hiding (12)  |  Honour (56)  |  Life (1795)  |  Lion (22)  |  Little (707)  |  Money (170)  |  Most (1731)  |  Multitude (47)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Person (363)  |  Reader (40)  |  Remember (179)  |  Remembering (7)  |  Rigorous (48)  |  Sadness (35)  |  See (1081)  |  Sin (42)  |  Solemn (20)  |  Still (613)  |  Strap (3)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Try (283)  |  Warning (17)  |  Will (2355)  |  Worship (32)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)  |  Young (227)

The full story of successful organ transplantation in man weaves together three separate pathways: the study of renal disease, skin grafting in twins, and surgical determination. A leitmotif permeates each of these pathways, i.e. a single event or report was critical for medical progress.
In Tore Frängsmyr and Jan E. Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures: Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 558.
Science quotes on:  |  Critical (66)  |  Determination (78)  |  Disease (328)  |  Event (216)  |  Graft (4)  |  Man (2251)  |  Medical (26)  |  Organ (115)  |  Pathway (15)  |  Progress (465)  |  Renal (4)  |  Report (38)  |  Separate (143)  |  Single (353)  |  Skin (47)  |  Study (653)  |  Success (302)  |  Successful (123)  |  Surgical (2)  |  Together (387)  |  Transplantation (4)  |  Twin (15)  |  Weave (19)

The history of life is more adequately represented by a picture of 'punctuated equilibria' than by the notion of phyletic gradualism. The history of evolution is not one of stately unfolding, but a story of homeostatic equilibria, disturbed only 'rarely' (i.e. rather often in the fullness of time) by rapid and episodic events of speciation.
'Punctuated Equilibria: An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism', in Thomas J. M. Schopf (ed.), Models in Paleobiology (1972), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Disturb (28)  |  Disturbed (15)  |  Event (216)  |  Evolution (590)  |  History (673)  |  Life (1795)  |  More (2559)  |  Notion (113)  |  Picture (143)  |  Punctuated Equilibria (3)  |  Represent (155)  |  Stately (12)  |  Time (1877)  |  Unfolding (16)

The history of mathematics, as of any science, is to some extent the story of the continual replacement of one set of misconceptions by another. This is of course no cause for despair, for the newly instated assumptions very often possess the merit of being closer approximations to truth than those that they replace.
In 'Consistency and Completeness—A Résumé', The American Mathematical Monthly (May 1956), 63, No.5, 295.
Science quotes on:  |  Approximation (31)  |  Assumption (92)  |  Being (1278)  |  Cause (541)  |  Closer (43)  |  Continual (43)  |  Course (409)  |  Despair (40)  |  Extent (139)  |  History (673)  |  History Of Mathematics (7)  |  History Of Science (63)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Merit (50)  |  Misconception (5)  |  Possess (156)  |  Replacement (12)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Set (394)  |  Truth (1057)

The history of medicine is a story of amazing foolishness and amazing intelligence.
Quoted in: Barnes & Noble Book of Quotations.
Science quotes on:  |  Amazing (35)  |  Foolishness (10)  |  History (673)  |  Intelligence (211)  |  Medicine (378)

The history of thermodynamics is a story of people and concepts. The cast of characters is large. At least ten scientists played major roles in creating thermodynamics, and their work spanned more than a century. The list of concepts, on the other hand, is surprisingly small; there are just three leading concepts in thermodynamics: energy, entropy, and absolute temperature.
In Great Physicists (2001), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (145)  |  Cast (66)  |  Century (310)  |  Character (243)  |  Concept (221)  |  Create (235)  |  Energy (344)  |  Entropy (44)  |  History (673)  |  Large (394)  |  Leading (17)  |  Major (84)  |  More (2559)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Role (86)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Small (477)  |  Span (5)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Thermodynamics (40)  |  Work (1351)

The motive for the study of mathematics is insight into the nature of the universe. Stars and strata, heat and electricity, the laws and processes of becoming and being, incorporate mathematical truths. If language imitates the voice of the Creator, revealing His heart, mathematics discloses His intellect, repeating the story of how things came into being. And Value of Mathematics, appealing as it does to our energy and to our honor, to our desire to know the truth and thereby to live as of right in the household of God, is that it establishes us in larger and larger certainties. As literature develops emotion, understanding, and sympathy, so mathematics develops observation, imagination, and reason.
In A Theory of Motives, Ideals and Values in Education (1907), 406.
Science quotes on:  |  Appeal (45)  |  Become (815)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Being (1278)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Creator (91)  |  Desire (204)  |  Develop (268)  |  Disclose (18)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Emotion (100)  |  Energy (344)  |  Establish (57)  |  God (757)  |  Heart (229)  |  Heat (174)  |  Honor (54)  |  Household (8)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Imitate (17)  |  Incorporate (9)  |  Insight (102)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Know (1518)  |  Language (293)  |  Larger (14)  |  Law (894)  |  Literature (103)  |  Live (628)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Motive (59)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Observation (555)  |  Process (423)  |  Reason (744)  |  Repeat (42)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Right (452)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Strata (35)  |  Stratum (10)  |  Study (653)  |  Sympathy (30)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Universe (857)  |  Value (365)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Voice (52)

The nineteenth century was naïve because it did not know the end of the story. It did not know what happens when dedicated idealists come to power; it did not know the intimate linkage between idealists and policemen, between being your brother’s keeper and being his jailkeeper.
In Before the Sabbath (1979), 120.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Being (1278)  |  Brother (43)  |  Century (310)  |  Dedicate (10)  |  Dedicated (19)  |  End (590)  |  Happen (274)  |  Idealist (3)  |  Intimate (15)  |  Iuml (3)  |  Keeper (4)  |  Know (1518)  |  Linkage (5)  |  Na (3)  |  Nineteenth (6)  |  Policeman (2)  |  Power (746)

The process of natural selection has been summed up in the phrase “survival of the fittest.” This, however, tells only part of the story. “Survival of the existing” in many cases covers more of the truth. For in hosts of cases the survival of characters rests not on any special usefulness or fitness, but on the fact that individuals possessing these characters have inhabited or invaded a certain area. The principle of utility explains survivals among competing structures. It rarely accounts for qualities associated with geographic distribution.
The nature of animals which first colonize a district must determine what the future fauna will be. From their specific characters, which are neither useful nor harmful, will be derived for the most part the specific characters of their successors.
It is not essential to the meadow lark that he should have a black blotch on the breast or the outer tail-feather white. Yet all meadow larks have these characters just as all shore larks have the tiny plume behind the ear. Those characters of the parent stock, which may be harmful in the new relations, will be eliminated by natural selection. Those especially helpful will be intensified and modified, but the great body of characters, the marks by which we know the species, will be neither helpful nor hurtful. These will be meaningless streaks and spots, variations in size of parts, peculiar relations of scales or hair or feathers, little matters which can neither help nor hurt, but which have all the persistence heredity can give.
Foot-notes to Evolution. A Series of Popular Addresses on the Evolution of Life (1898), 218.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Behind (137)  |  Bird (149)  |  Body (537)  |  Certain (550)  |  Character (243)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Determine (144)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Ear (68)  |  Essential (199)  |  Explain (322)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Fauna (13)  |  Feather (12)  |  First (1283)  |  Future (429)  |  Geographic (10)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hair (25)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Hurtful (8)  |  Individual (404)  |  Know (1518)  |  Lark (2)  |  Little (707)  |  Matter (798)  |  Meadow (18)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Parent (76)  |  Peculiar (113)  |  Persistence (24)  |  Phrase (61)  |  Principle (507)  |  Process (423)  |  Rest (280)  |  Scale (121)  |  Selection (128)  |  Special (184)  |  Species (401)  |  Specific (95)  |  Structure (344)  |  Successor (14)  |  Survival (94)  |  Survival Of The Fittest (40)  |  Tell (340)  |  Tiny (72)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Useful (250)  |  Usefulness (86)  |  Utility (49)  |  Variation (90)  |  White (127)  |  Will (2355)

The quantum entered physics with a jolt. It didn’t fit anywhere; it made no sense; it contradicted everything we thought we knew about nature. Yet the data seemed to demand it. ... The story of Werner Heisenberg and his science is the story of the desperate failures and ultimate triumphs of the small band of brilliant physicists who—during an incredibly intense period of struggle with the data, the theories, and each other during the 1920s—brought about a revolutionary new understanding of the atomic world known as quantum mechanics.
Beyond Uncertainty: Heisenberg, Quantum Physics, and the Bomb (2009), 90. Selected and contributed to this website by the author.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Contradict (40)  |  Data (156)  |  Demand (123)  |  Enter (141)  |  Everything (476)  |  Failure (161)  |  Fit (134)  |  Werner Heisenberg (42)  |  Known (454)  |  Mechanic (119)  |  Mechanics (131)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Other (2236)  |  Period (198)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Physics (533)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Mechanics (46)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Revolutionary (31)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sense (770)  |  Small (477)  |  Struggle (105)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thought (953)  |  Triumph (73)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Understanding (513)  |  World (1774)

The religious conservatives make an important point when they oppose presenting evolution in a manner that suggests it has been proved to be entirely determined by random, mechanistic events, but they are wrong to oppose the teaching of evolution itself. Its occurrence, on Earth and in the Universe, is by now indisputable. Not so its processes, however. In this, there is need for a nuanced approach, with evidence of creative ordering presented as intrinsic both to what we call matter and to the unfolding story, which includes randomness and natural selection.
Epigraph, without citation, in Michael Dowd, Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World (2008), 109.
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (108)  |  Both (493)  |  Call (769)  |  Conservative (15)  |  Creative (137)  |  Earth (996)  |  Event (216)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Include (90)  |  Intrinsic (18)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mechanistic (3)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Nuance (4)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Oppose (24)  |  Point (580)  |  Present (619)  |  Random (41)  |  Randomness (5)  |  Religion (361)  |  Religious (126)  |  Selection (128)  |  Teach (277)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Unfolding (16)  |  Universe (857)  |  Wrong (234)

The role of hypothesis in research can be discussed more effectively if we consider first some examples of discoveries which originated from hypotheses. One of the best illustrations of such a discovery is provided by the story of Christopher Columbus’ voyage; it has many of the features of a classic discovery in science. (a) He was obsessed with an idea—that since the world is round he could reach the Orient by sailing West, (b) the idea was by no means original, but evidently he had obtained some additional evidence from a sailor blown off his course who claimed to have reached land in the west and returned, (c) he met great difficulties in getting someone to provide the money to enable him to test his idea as well as in the actual carrying out of the experimental voyage, (d) when finally he succeeded he did not find the expected new route, but instead found a whole new world, (e) despite all evidence to the contrary he clung to the bitter end to his hypothesis and believed that he had found the route to the Orient, (f) he got little credit or reward during his lifetime and neither he nor others realised the full implications of his discovery, (g) since his time evidence has been brought forward showing that he was by no means the first European to reach America.
The Art of Scientific Investigation (1950), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  All (4108)  |  America (127)  |  Best (459)  |  Bitter (30)  |  Carrying Out (13)  |  Claim (146)  |  Christopher Columbus (15)  |  Consider (416)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Course (409)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Enable (119)  |  End (590)  |  Error (321)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Evidently (26)  |  Expect (200)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Find (998)  |  First (1283)  |  Forward (102)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Idea (843)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Little (707)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Money (170)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1216)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Other (2236)  |  Reach (281)  |  Research (664)  |  Return (124)  |  Reward (68)  |  Role (86)  |  Sailing (14)  |  Sailor (16)  |  Science (3879)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Test (211)  |  Time (1877)  |  Whole (738)  |  World (1774)

The scientific method is a potentiation of common sense, exercised with a specially firm determination not to persist in error if any exertion of hand or mind can deliver us from it. Like other exploratory processes, it can be resolved into a dialogue between fact and fancy, the actual and the possible; between what could be true and what is in fact the case. The purpose of scientific enquiry is not to compile an inventory of factual information, nor to build up a totalitarian world picture of Natural Laws in which every event that is not compulsory is forbidden. We should think of it rather as a logically articulated structure of justifiable beliefs about nature. It begins as a story about a Possible World—a story which we invent and criticise and modify as we go along, so that it ends by being, as nearly as we can make it, a story about real life.
Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought (1969), 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  Begin (260)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belief (578)  |  Build (204)  |  Common (436)  |  Common Sense (130)  |  Compulsory (7)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Deliver (29)  |  Determination (78)  |  Dialogue (8)  |  End (590)  |  Enquiry (87)  |  Error (321)  |  Event (216)  |  Exertion (15)  |  Exploration (134)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Fancy (50)  |  Firm (47)  |  Forbidden (18)  |  Information (166)  |  Inventory (7)  |  Justification (48)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Logic (287)  |  Method (505)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Modify (15)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Law (41)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nearly (137)  |  Other (2236)  |  Persist (11)  |  Picture (143)  |  Possible (552)  |  Process (423)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Real Life (7)  |  Resolve (40)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Sense (770)  |  Structure (344)  |  Think (1086)  |  Truth (1057)  |  World (1774)

The Spacious Firmament on high,
With all the blue Etherial Sky,
And spangled Heav’ns, a Shining Frame, Their great Original proclaim:
Th’unwearied Sun, from day to day
Does his Creator’s Pow’r display,
And publishes to every Land
The Work of an Almighty Hand.
Soon as the Evening Shades prevail,
The Moon takes up the wondrous Tale,
And nightly to the listning Earth Repeats the Story of her Birth:
Whilst all the Stars that round her burn,
And all the Planets, in their turn,
Confirm the Tidings as they rowl,
And spread the Truth from Pole to Pole.
What though, in solemn Silence, all
Move round the dark terrestrial Ball?
What tho’ nor real Voice nor Sound
Amid their radiant Orbs be found?
In Reason’s Ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious Voice,
For ever singing, as they shine,
“The Hand that made us is Divine”.
The Spectator, no. 465, Saturday 23 August 1712. In D. F. Bond (ed.) The Spectator (1965), Vol. 4, 144-5.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Almighty (23)  |  Ball (62)  |  Birth (147)  |  Burn (87)  |  Confirm (57)  |  Creator (91)  |  Dark (140)  |  Display (56)  |  Divine (112)  |  Ear (68)  |  Earth (996)  |  Firmament (18)  |  Glorious (48)  |  Great (1574)  |  High (362)  |  Moon (237)  |  Move (216)  |  Orb (20)  |  Planet (356)  |  Pole (46)  |  Prevail (46)  |  Proclaim (30)  |  Radiant (15)  |  Reason (744)  |  Shade (31)  |  Shining (35)  |  Silence (56)  |  Singing (19)  |  Sky (161)  |  Solar System (77)  |  Solemn (20)  |  Soon (186)  |  Sound (183)  |  Spread (83)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Sun (385)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Turn (447)  |  Wondrous (21)  |  Work (1351)

The standard of proof is not very high for an investigation that announces that a plume is responsible for a bit of magma or a bit of chemistry found in, or near, or away from a volcano. The standard is being lowered all the time. Plumes were invented to explain small-scale features such as volcanoes. They were 100 kilometers wide. Then they were used to provide magmas 600 km away from a volcano, or to interact with distant ridges. Then the whole North Atlantic, from Canada to England needed to be serviced by a single plume. Then all of Africa. Then a bit of basalt on the East Pacific Rise was found to be similar to a Hawaiian basalt, so the plume influence was stretched to 5000 kilometers! No reviewer or editor has been found to complain yet. Superplumes are now routinely used to affect geology all around the Pacific. This is called creeping incredulity. It can also be called a Just-So Story.
Please contact Webmaster if you know the primary source for this quote.
Science quotes on:  |  Africa (35)  |  All (4108)  |  Announce (13)  |  Being (1278)  |  Call (769)  |  Canada (6)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Explain (322)  |  Geology (220)  |  High (362)  |  Incredulity (5)  |  Influence (222)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Kilometer (10)  |  Magma (3)  |  Mantle (3)  |  Proof (287)  |  Rise (166)  |  Scale (121)  |  Single (353)  |  Small (477)  |  Stretch (39)  |  Time (1877)  |  Volcano (39)  |  Whole (738)  |  Wide (96)

The story is told of Lord Kelvin, a famous Scotch physicist of the last century, that after he had given a lecture on atoms and molecules, one of his students came to him with the question, “Professor, what is your idea of the structure of the atom.”
“What,” said Kelvin, “The structure of the atom? Why, don’t you know, the very word ‘atom’ means the thing that can’t be cut. How then can it have a structure?”
“That,” remarked the facetious young man, “shows the disadvantage of knowing Greek.”
As described in 'Assault on Atoms' (Read 23 Apr 1931 at Symposium—The Changing World) Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (1931), 70, No. 3, 219.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Century (310)  |  Cut (114)  |  Disadvantage (10)  |  Facetious (2)  |  Greek (107)  |  Idea (843)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (71)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Last (426)  |  Lecture (105)  |  Lord (93)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Professor (128)  |  Question (621)  |  Scottish (4)  |  Show (346)  |  Structure (344)  |  Student (300)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Why (491)  |  Word (619)  |  Young (227)

The story of a theory’s failure often strikes readers as sad and unsatisfying. Since science thrives on self-correction, we who practice this most challenging of human arts do not share such a feeling. We may be unhappy if a favored hypothesis loses or chagrined if theories that we proposed prove inadequate. But refutation almost always contains positive lessons that overwhelm disappointment, even when no new and comprehensive theory has yet filled the void.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Art (657)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Comprehensive (29)  |  Contain (68)  |  Correction (40)  |  Disappointment (16)  |  Do (1908)  |  Failure (161)  |  Favor (63)  |  Favored (5)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Fill (61)  |  Human (1468)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Inadequate (19)  |  Lesson (57)  |  Lose (159)  |  Most (1731)  |  New (1216)  |  Often (106)  |  Overwhelm (5)  |  Positive (94)  |  Practice (204)  |  Propose (23)  |  Prove (250)  |  Reader (40)  |  Refutation (12)  |  Sadness (35)  |  Science (3879)  |  Self (267)  |  Self-Correction (2)  |  Share (75)  |  Strike (68)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thrive (18)  |  Unhappy (16)  |  Unsatisfying (3)  |  Void (31)

The story of civilization is, in a sense, the story of engineering—that long and arduous struggle to make the forces of nature work for man’s good.
In The Ancient Engineers (1963), 1.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Engineering (175)  |  Force (487)  |  Good (889)  |  Long (790)  |  Man (2251)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Sense (770)  |  Struggle (105)  |  Work (1351)

The story of scientific discovery has its own epic unity—a unity of purpose and endeavour—the single torch passing from hand to hand through the centuries; and the great moments of science when, after long labour, the pioneers saw their accumulated facts falling into a significant order—sometimes in the form of a law that revolutionised the whole world of thought—have an intense human interest, and belong essentially to the creative imagination of poetry.
In Prefactory Note, Watchers of the Sky (1922), v.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulated (2)  |  Belong (162)  |  Belonging (37)  |  Century (310)  |  Creative (137)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Endeavor (67)  |  Endeavour (63)  |  Epic (12)  |  Essential (199)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Falling (6)  |  Form (959)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hand (143)  |  Human (1468)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Intense (20)  |  Interest (386)  |  Labour (98)  |  Law (894)  |  Long (790)  |  Moment (253)  |  Order (632)  |  Passing (76)  |  Pioneer (33)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Saw (160)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Significant (74)  |  Single (353)  |  Thought (953)  |  Through (849)  |  Torch (12)  |  Unity (78)  |  Whole (738)  |  World (1774)

The tendency of modern physics is to resolve the whole material universe into waves, and nothing but waves. These waves are of two kinds: bottled-up waves, which we call matter, and unbottled waves, which we call radiation or light. If annihilation of matter occurs, the process is merely that of unbottling imprisoned wave-energy and setting it free to travel through space. These concepts reduce the whole universe to a world of light, potential or existent, so that the whole story of its creation can be told with perfect accuracy and completeness in the six words: 'God said, Let there be light'.
In The Mysterious Universe (1930, 1932), 97-98
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (78)  |  Annihilation (14)  |  Bottled-Up (2)  |  Call (769)  |  Completeness (19)  |  Concept (221)  |  Creation (327)  |  Energy (344)  |  Free (232)  |  God (757)  |  Imprison (10)  |  Kind (557)  |  Let There Be Light (4)  |  Light (607)  |  Material (353)  |  Matter (798)  |  Merely (316)  |  Modern (385)  |  Modern Physics (23)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Occur (150)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Potential (69)  |  Process (423)  |  Radiation (44)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Resolve (40)  |  Setting (44)  |  Space (500)  |  Tendency (99)  |  Through (849)  |  Travel (114)  |  Two (937)  |  Universe (857)  |  Wave (107)  |  Whole (738)  |  Word (619)  |  World (1774)

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
Poem, 'The Speed of Darkness'. In The Speed of Darkness: Poems (1968), 111.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Universe (857)

The vast spread
Of darkness
That speaks of mystery
The darkness that reveals
The beauty that lies beneath
In the form of glittering
Stars, a countless beauty
That seemed to conceal
A million stories
That can make the mankind
Take a new look at life
And the majestic moon
That silently looks at mankind
Wondering how its serenity
Was disturbed by the little steps
Of a man from the beautiful earth
Yet softly smiling back
And let the world sleep
In its magical glow
A glow that soothes
The world’s senses
And forget the pain of reality
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Back (390)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Beneath (64)  |  Conceal (18)  |  Countless (36)  |  Darkness (68)  |  Disturb (28)  |  Disturbed (15)  |  Earth (996)  |  Forget (115)  |  Form (959)  |  Glitter (8)  |  Glow (14)  |  Let (61)  |  Lie (364)  |  Life (1795)  |  Little (707)  |  Look (582)  |  Magic (86)  |  Majestic (16)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Million (114)  |  Moon (237)  |  Mystery (177)  |  New (1216)  |  Pain (136)  |  Reality (261)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Seem (145)  |  Sense (770)  |  Serenity (9)  |  Silently (4)  |  Sleep (76)  |  Smile (31)  |  Softly (6)  |  Soothe (2)  |  Speak (232)  |  Spread (83)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Step (231)  |  Vast (177)  |  Wonder (236)  |  World (1774)

There is a story that once, not long after he came to Berlin, Planck forgot which room had been assigned to him for a lecture and stopped at the entrance office of the university to find out. Please tell me, he asked the elderly man in charge, 'In which room does Professor Planck lecture today?' The old man patted him on the shoulder 'Don't go there, young fellow,' he said 'You are much too young to understand the lectures of our learned Professor Planck'.
Anonymous
In Barbara Lovett Cline, Men Who Made a New Physics: Physicists and the Quantum Theory (1987), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (411)  |  Asking (73)  |  Assignment (12)  |  Berlin (10)  |  Charge (59)  |  Entrance (15)  |  Fellow (88)  |  Find (998)  |  Forgetting (13)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Learning (274)  |  Lecture (105)  |  Long (790)  |  Man (2251)  |  Office (71)  |  Old (481)  |  Max Planck (64)  |  Please (65)  |  Professor (128)  |  Room (40)  |  Shoulder (33)  |  Tell (340)  |  Today (314)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  University (121)  |  Young (227)

There is a story which shows his ready wit, dating from the meeting of the British Association in Canada before the war. Tizard and a colleague inadvertently crossed over into the United States, near Niagara. When challenged by a policeman, and not having their passports with them, they produced their British Association membership cards. When the policeman told them that “The American Government doesn't recognise British Science,” the lightning reply came from Tizard, “Oh, that's all right, neither does the British Government.”
In Studies of War, Nuclear and Conventional (1962), 119.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  American (46)  |  Association (46)  |  British (41)  |  British Association (2)  |  Canada (6)  |  Colleague (50)  |  Government (110)  |  Lightning (45)  |  Membership (5)  |  Niagara (8)  |  Policeman (2)  |  Produced (187)  |  Recognise (9)  |  Reply (56)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3879)  |  Show (346)  |  State (491)  |  Sir Henry Tizard (5)  |  War (225)  |  Wit (59)

There is no story in my life. It has always been just one step at a time—one thing which I have tried to do as well as I could and which has led on to something else. It has all been in the day’s work.
Told to an interviewer in her late seventies. As quoted in Joan T. Mark, A Stranger in Her Native Land: Alice Fletcher and the American Indians (1988), 355.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Do (1908)  |  Life (1795)  |  Something (719)  |  Step (231)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Try (283)  |  Work (1351)

There was no point in telling your bosses everything; they were busy men, they didn’t want explanations. There was no point in burdening them. What they wanted was little stories that they felt they could understand, and then they’d go away and stop worrying.
In Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, The Science of Discworld (2014), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Burden (27)  |  Everything (476)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Little (707)  |  Point (580)  |  Tell (340)  |  Understand (606)  |  Want (497)  |  Worry (33)

These creators, makers of the new, can never become obsolete, for in the arts there is no correct answer. The story of discoverers could be told in simple chronological order, since the latest science replaces what went before. But the arts are another story—a story of infinite addition. We must find order in the random flexings of the imagination.
In The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination (1992), xv.
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (66)  |  Answer (366)  |  Art (657)  |  Become (815)  |  Creator (91)  |  Discoverer (42)  |  Find (998)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Maker (34)  |  Must (1526)  |  Never (1087)  |  New (1216)  |  Obsolete (15)  |  Order (632)  |  Random (41)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Art (184)  |  Simple (406)

These parsons are so in the habit of dealing with the abstractions of doctrines as if there was no difficulty about them whatever, so confident, from the practice of having the talk all to themselves for an hour at least every week with no one to gainsay a syllable they utter, be it ever so loose or bad, that they gallop over the course when their field is Botany or Geology as if we were in the pews and they in the pulpit ... There is a story somewhere of an Englishman, Frenchman, and German being each called on to describe a camel. The Englishman immediately embarked for Egypt, the Frenchman went to the Jardin des Plantes, and the German shut himself up in his study and thought it out!
Letter to Asa Gray (29 Mar 1857). Quoted in Leonard Huxley, Life and Letters of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1918), Vol. 1, 477.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (47)  |  All (4108)  |  Bad (180)  |  Being (1278)  |  Botany (57)  |  Call (769)  |  Camel (11)  |  Confident (25)  |  Course (409)  |  Describe (128)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Egypt (29)  |  Field (364)  |  Geology (220)  |  German (36)  |  Habit (168)  |  Himself (461)  |  Hour (186)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Joke (83)  |  Practice (204)  |  Research (664)  |  Shut (41)  |  Study (653)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thought (953)  |  Week (70)  |  Whatever (234)

This is the kingdom of the chemical elements, the substances from which everything tangible is made. It is not an extensive country, for it consists of only a hundred or so regions (as we shall often term the elements), yet it accounts for everything material in our actual world. From the hundred elements that are at the center of our story, all planets, rocks, vegetation, and animals are made. These elements are the basis of the air, the oceans, and the Earth itself. We stand on the elements, we eat the elements, we are the elements. Because our brains are made up of elements, even our opinions are, in a sense, properties of the elements and hence inhabitants of the kingdom.
In 'The Terrain', The Periodic Kingdom: A Journey Into the Land of the Chemical Elements (1995), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  Actual (117)  |  Air (347)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Basis (173)  |  Brain (270)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Consist (223)  |  Country (251)  |  Earth (996)  |  Eat (104)  |  Element (310)  |  Everything (476)  |  Extensive (33)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Inhabitant (49)  |  Kingdom (78)  |  Material (353)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Planet (356)  |  Property (168)  |  Rock (161)  |  Sense (770)  |  Stand (274)  |  Substance (248)  |  Tangible (15)  |  Term (349)  |  Vegetation (23)  |  World (1774)

This man, one of the chief architects of the atomic bomb, so the story runs, was out wandering in the woods one day with a friend when he came upon a small tortoise. Overcome with pleasurable excitement, he took up the tortoise and started home, thinking to surprise his children with it. After a few steps he paused and surveyed the tortoise doubtfully.
“What's the matter?” asked his friend.
Without responding, the great scientist slowly retraced his steps as precisely as possible, and gently set the turtle down on the exact spot from which he had taken him.
Then he turned solemnly to his friend. “It just struck me,” he said, “that, perhaps for one man, I have tampered enough with the universe.” He turned, and left the turtle to wander on its way.
From Benjamin Franklin Lecture (1958) at the University of Pennsylvania, printed as 'The Ethic of the Group', in Robert Ernest Spiller, Social Control in a Free Society (1958), 37. Also in The Firmament of Time (1960), 148. Eiseley states that because he cannot vouch for the authenticity of the story, he would not name the scientist, though he hopes “with all his heart that it is true. If it is not, then it ought to be, for it illustrates well what I mean by a growing self-awareness, as sense of responsibility about the universe.”
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Architect (29)  |  Ask (411)  |  Atomic Bomb (111)  |  Chief (97)  |  Children (200)  |  Conservation (168)  |  Down (456)  |  Enough (340)  |  Excitement (50)  |  Friend (168)  |  Great (1574)  |  Home (170)  |  Man (2251)  |  Matter (798)  |  Overcome (39)  |  Possible (552)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Run (174)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Set (394)  |  Small (477)  |  Start (221)  |  Step (231)  |  Surprise (86)  |  Survey (33)  |  Tamper (6)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Tortoise (10)  |  Turn (447)  |  Universe (857)  |  Wander (35)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wood (92)  |  Woods (11)

Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression. Mistrust of every kind of author ity grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment–an attitude that has never again left me, even though, later on, it has been tempered by a better insight into the causal connections.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (90)  |  Attitude (82)  |  Author (167)  |  Being (1278)  |  Better (486)  |  Bible (91)  |  Book (392)  |  Causal (7)  |  Connection (162)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Conviction (97)  |  Couple (9)  |  Crush (18)  |  Deceive (26)  |  Environment (216)  |  Experience (467)  |  Fanatic (7)  |  Grow (238)  |  Impression (114)  |  Insight (102)  |  Intentionally (3)  |  Kind (557)  |  Late (118)  |  Leave (130)  |  Lie (364)  |  Mistrust (4)  |  Never (1087)  |  Orgy (3)  |  Popular (29)  |  Positively (2)  |  Reach (281)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Skeptical (20)  |  Social (252)  |  Soon (186)  |  Specific (95)  |  State (491)  |  Temper (9)  |  Through (849)  |  Toward (45)  |  True (212)  |  Youth (101)

We have very strong physical and chemical evidence for a large impact; this is the most firmly established part of the whole story. There is an unquestionable mass extinction at this time, and in the fossil groups for which we have the best record, the extinction coincides with the impact to a precision of a centimeter or better in the stratigraphic record. This exact coincidence in timing strongly argues for a causal relationship.
Referring to the theory that he, and his father (physicist Luis W. Alvarez), held that dinosaurs abruptly went extinct as a result of a 6-mile-wide asteroid or comet struck the earth. In American Geophysical Union, EOS (2 Sep 1986), as quoted and cited in John Noble Wilford, 'New Data Extend Era of Dinosaurs' New York Times (9 Nov 1986), A41.
Science quotes on:  |  Argue (23)  |  Best (459)  |  Better (486)  |  Causal (7)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Coincide (5)  |  Coincidence (19)  |  Dinosaur (26)  |  Establish (57)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Exact (68)  |  Extinction (74)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Impact (42)  |  Large (394)  |  Mass (157)  |  Mass Extinction (3)  |  Most (1731)  |  Physical (508)  |  Precision (68)  |  Record (154)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Strong (174)  |  Time (1877)  |  Unquestionable (9)  |  Whole (738)

We make a lot of mistakes in the environmental space. … We don’t do a good-enough job of asking, “What are the fundamentals of telling a good story?” And that is not statistics, it’s usually not science, or at least complex science. It’s people stories. … It’s got to have adventure, it’s got to be funny, it’s got to pull my heart strings, it’s got to have conflict, setting, character. It’s a story. And if it doesn’t have those things, it can be the best-meaning story in the world, and nobody’s going to buy it.
From interview with Dan Conover, 'A Conversation with Philippe Cousteau Jr.', Charleston City Paper (27 Jul 2012).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Adventure (56)  |  Asking (73)  |  Best (459)  |  Buy (20)  |  Character (243)  |  Complex (188)  |  Conflict (73)  |  Do (1908)  |  Enough (340)  |  Environment (216)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Funny (11)  |  Good (889)  |  Heart (229)  |  Job (82)  |  Lot (151)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Nobody (104)  |  People (1005)  |  Pull (43)  |  Science (3879)  |  Setting (44)  |  Space (500)  |  Statistics (155)  |  String (21)  |  Tell (340)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Usually (176)  |  World (1774)

We spend our years as a tale that is told, but the tale varies in a hundred different ways, varies between man and man, between year and year, between youth and age, sorrow and joy, laughter and tears. How different the story of the child’s year from the man’s; how much longer it seems; how far apart seem the vacations, and the Christmases, and the New Years! But let the child become a man, and he will find that he can tell full fast enough these stories of a year; that if he is disposed to make good use of them he has no hours to wish away; the plot develops very rapidly, and the conclusion gallops on the very heels of that first chapter which records the birth of a new year.
In Edward Parsons Day (ed.), Day’s Collacon: An Encyclopaedia of Prose Quotations (1884), 1050.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Age (499)  |  Become (815)  |  Birth (147)  |  Chapter (11)  |  Child (307)  |  Christmas (11)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Develop (268)  |  Different (577)  |  Dispose (10)  |  Enough (340)  |  Fast (45)  |  Find (998)  |  First (1283)  |  Full (66)  |  Good (889)  |  Hour (186)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Joy (107)  |  Laughter (31)  |  Longer (10)  |  Man (2251)  |  New (1216)  |  Plot (11)  |  Rapid (33)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Record (154)  |  Sorrow (17)  |  Spend (95)  |  Tale (16)  |  Tear (42)  |  Tell (340)  |  Use (766)  |  Vacation (4)  |  Vary (27)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wish (212)  |  Year (933)  |  Youth (101)

Well, it [evolution] is a theory, it is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science and is not yet believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was believed. But if it was going to be taught in the schools, then I think that also the biblical theory of creation, which is not a theory but the biblical story of creation, should also be taught.
Responding to a question, during his 1980 Presidential Campaign, whether he agreed with the teaching of evolution in schools. Quoted in New Scientist (9 Oct 1980), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Bible (91)  |  Community (104)  |  Creation (327)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Infallible (15)  |  Recent (77)  |  School (219)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Theory (24)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)

We’re going to see public attitudes [on climate change] switch not in proportion to scientific findings or graphs, but in proportion to the stories they hear, the people they know whose lives have been touched by climate change or some environmental calamity. That’s what really changed public opinion.
From interview with Mark Tercek, 'Q&A With Ramez Naam: Dialogues on the Environment', Huffington Post (1 Jul 2013).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Attitude (82)  |  Calamity (11)  |  Change (593)  |  Climate (97)  |  Climate Change (61)  |  Environment (216)  |  Finding (30)  |  Graph (7)  |  Hear (139)  |  Know (1518)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Opinion (281)  |  People (1005)  |  Person (363)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Public (96)  |  Scientific (941)  |  See (1081)  |  Switch (10)  |  Touch (141)

What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft repeated, than the story of a large research program that impaled itself upon a false central assumption accepted by all practitioners? Do we regard all people who worked within such traditions as dishonorable fools? What of the scientists who assumed that the continents were stable, that the hereditary material was protein, or that all other galaxies lay within the Milky Way? These false and abandoned efforts were pursued with passion by brilliant and honorable scientists. How many current efforts, now commanding millions of research dollars and the full attention of many of our best scientists, will later be exposed as full failures based on false premises?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Accept (191)  |  All (4108)  |  Assume (38)  |  Assumption (92)  |  Attention (190)  |  Base (117)  |  Best (459)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Central (80)  |  Command (58)  |  Continent (76)  |  Current (118)  |  Dishonorable (2)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dollar (22)  |  Effort (227)  |  Expose (23)  |  Exposed (33)  |  Failure (161)  |  False (100)  |  Fool (116)  |  Full (66)  |  Galaxies (29)  |  Galaxy (51)  |  Hereditary (7)  |  Honorable (14)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Large (394)  |  Late (118)  |  Lie (364)  |  Material (353)  |  Milky Way (26)  |  Millions (17)  |  More (2559)  |  Old (481)  |  Other (2236)  |  Passion (114)  |  People (1005)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Practitioner (20)  |  Premise (37)  |  Program (52)  |  Protein (54)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Regard (305)  |  Repeat (42)  |  Research (664)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Stable (30)  |  Tradition (69)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

When I read an Italian letter [Saggio by Voltaire] on changes which had occurred on the surface of the earth, published in Paris this year (1746), I believed that these facts were reported by La Loubère. Indeed, they correspond perfectly with the author’s ideas. Petrified fish are according to him merely rare fish thrown away by Roman cooks because they were spoiled; and with respect to shells, he said that they were from the sea of the Levant and brought back by pilgrims from Syria at the time of the crusades. These shells are found today petrified in France, in Italy and in other Christian states. Why did he not add that monkeys transported shells on top of high mountains and to every place where humans cannot live? It would not have harmed his story but made his explanation even more plausible.
In 'Preuves de la Théorie de la Terre', Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particuliere, Avec la Description du Cabinet du Roi (1749), Vol. I, 281. Trans. Albert V. and Marguerite Carozzi.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  According (237)  |  Author (167)  |  Back (390)  |  Change (593)  |  Christian (43)  |  Earth (996)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fish (120)  |  Fossil (136)  |  High (362)  |  Human (1468)  |  Idea (843)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Italian (12)  |  Letter (109)  |  Live (628)  |  Merely (316)  |  Monkey (52)  |  More (2559)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Other (2236)  |  Plausible (22)  |  Rare (89)  |  Read (287)  |  Respect (207)  |  Roman (36)  |  Sea (308)  |  Shell (63)  |  State (491)  |  Surface (209)  |  Surface Of The Earth (36)  |  Time (1877)  |  Today (314)  |  Top (96)  |  Transport (30)  |  Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire (38)  |  Why (491)  |  Year (933)

When I was living with the Indians, my hostess, a fine looking woman, who wore numberless bracelets, and rings in her ears and on her fingers, and painted her face like a brilliant sunset, one day gave away a very fine horse. I was surprised, for I knew there had been no family talk on the subject, so I asked: “Will your husband like to have you give the horse away?” Her eyes danced, and, breaking into a peal of laughter, she hastened to tell the story to the other women gathered in the tent, and I became the target of many merry eyes. I tried to explain how a white woman would act, but laughter and contempt met my explanation of the white man’s hold upon his wife’s property.
Speech on 'The Legal Conditions of Indian Women', delivered to Evening Session (Thur 29 Mar 1888), collected in Report of the International Council of Women: Assembled by the National Woman Suffrage Association, Washington, D.C., U.S. of America, March 25 to April 1, 1888 (1888), Vol. 1, 240.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Act (272)  |  Ask (411)  |  Bracelet (2)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Contempt (20)  |  Ear (68)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Eye (419)  |  Face (212)  |  Family (94)  |  Finger (44)  |  Gather (72)  |  Give (202)  |  Hasten (13)  |  Horse (74)  |  Hostess (2)  |  Husband (13)  |  Indian (27)  |  Laughter (31)  |  Live (628)  |  Living (491)  |  Looking (189)  |  Man (2251)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paint (22)  |  Property (168)  |  Ring (16)  |  Subject (521)  |  Sunset (26)  |  Surprise (86)  |  Talk (100)  |  Target (9)  |  Tell (340)  |  Tent (11)  |  White (127)  |  Wife (41)  |  Will (2355)  |  Woman (151)

When students hear the story of Andrew J. Wiles’ proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, it is not the result itself that stirs their emotions, but the revelation that a mathematician was driven by the same passion as any creative artist.
In 'Loving Math Infinitely', The Chronicle of Higher Education (19 Jan 2001).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Artist (90)  |  Creative (137)  |  Drive (55)  |  Emotion (100)  |  Fermat’s Last Theorem (3)  |  Pierre de Fermat (15)  |  Hear (139)  |  Last (426)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Passion (114)  |  Proof (287)  |  Result (677)  |  Revelation (48)  |  Same (157)  |  Stir (21)  |  Student (300)  |  Theorem (112)

When the patient dies the kidneys may go to the pathologist, but while he lives the urine is ours. It can provide us day by day, month by month, and year by year, with a serial story of the major events going on within the kidney.
Glomerular Nephritis, Diagnosis and Treatment (1948), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Day (42)  |  Death (388)  |  Diagnosis (64)  |  Event (216)  |  Kidney (18)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Major (84)  |  Month (88)  |  Pathologist (5)  |  Patient (199)  |  Provision (16)  |  Serial (4)  |  Urine (16)  |  Year (933)

When the Romans besieged the town [Sicily] (in 212 to 210 B.C.), he [Archimedes] is said to have burned their ships by concentrating on them, by means of mirrors, the sun’s rays. The story is highly improbable, but is good evidence of the reputation which he had gained among his contemporaries for his knowledge of optics.
In An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), 37.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Archimedes (55)  |  Besiege (2)  |  Burn (87)  |  Concentrate (26)  |  Contemporary (30)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Gain (145)  |  Good (889)  |  Improbable (13)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mirror (41)  |  Optics (23)  |  Ray (114)  |  Reputation (33)  |  Roman (36)  |  Ship (62)  |  Sicily (2)  |  Small (477)  |  Sun (385)  |  Variant (9)

When the uncultured man sees a stone in the road it tells him no story other than the fact that he sees a stone … The scientist looking at the same stone perhaps will stop, and with a hammer break it open, when the newly exposed faces of the rock will have written upon them a history that is as real to him as the printed page.
In Nature’s Miracles: Familiar Talks on Science (1899), Vol. 1, 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Break (99)  |  Culture (143)  |  Expose (23)  |  Exposed (33)  |  Face (212)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Hammer (25)  |  History (673)  |  Look (582)  |  Looking (189)  |  Man (2251)  |  Open (274)  |  Other (2236)  |  Page (30)  |  Print (17)  |  Reality (261)  |  Road (64)  |  Rock (161)  |  Scientist (820)  |  See (1081)  |  Stone (162)  |  Stop (80)  |  Tell (340)  |  Telling (23)  |  Will (2355)  |  Writing (189)

When we seek a textbook case for the proper operation of science, the correction of certain error offers far more promise than the establishment of probable truth. Confirmed hunches, of course, are more upbeat than discredited hypotheses. Since the worst traditions of ‘popular’ writing falsely equate instruction with sweetness and light, our promotional literature abounds with insipid tales in the heroic mode, although tough stories of disappointment and loss give deeper insight into a methodology that the celebrated philosopher Karl Popper once labeled as ‘conjecture and refutation.’
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abound (17)  |  Bad (180)  |  Case (99)  |  Celebrate (19)  |  Certain (550)  |  Confirm (57)  |  Conjecture (49)  |  Correction (40)  |  Course (409)  |  Deep (233)  |  Disappointment (16)  |  Discredit (8)  |  Equate (3)  |  Error (321)  |  Establishment (47)  |  Falsely (2)  |  Far (154)  |  Give (202)  |  Heroic (4)  |  Hunch (5)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Insight (102)  |  Instruction (91)  |  Label (11)  |  Light (607)  |  Literature (103)  |  Loss (110)  |  Methodology (12)  |  Mode (41)  |  More (2559)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Offer (141)  |  Operation (213)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Karl Raimund Popper (47)  |  Popular (29)  |  Probable (20)  |  Promise (67)  |  Proper (144)  |  Refutation (12)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seek (213)  |  Sweetness (12)  |  Tale (16)  |  Textbook (36)  |  Tough (19)  |  Tradition (69)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Worst (57)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)

Why do they prefer to tell stories about the possible medicinal bene-fits of the Houston toad rather than to offer moral reasons for sup-porting the Endangered Species Act? That law is plainly ideological; it is hardly to be excused on economic grounds.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Do (1908)  |  Economic (81)  |  Endangered Species (4)  |  Excuse (25)  |  Fit (134)  |  Ground (217)  |  Hardly (19)  |  Houston (5)  |  Ideological (2)  |  Law (894)  |  Medicinal (2)  |  Moral (195)  |  Offer (141)  |  Plainly (5)  |  Possible (552)  |  Prefer (25)  |  Reason (744)  |  Species (401)  |  Tell (340)  |  Toad (10)  |  Why (491)

Bernard Frank quote: You could write the story of man’s growth in terms of his epic concerns with water.
You could write the story of man’s growth in terms of his epic concerns with water.
Opening sentence of 'Our Need For Water', United States Department of Agriculture, The Yearbook of Agriculture, 1955 (1955), 1.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Concern (228)  |  Conservation (168)  |  Epic (12)  |  Growth (187)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Water (481)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)

You hear headlines from time to time about the Amazon rainforest disappearing at a greater or lesser rate.... The real story is that over time the rate has stayed just the same. Year after year, decade after decade, we have failed to stop or really even decrease deforestation...
Online transcript of interview, segment 'Amazon Deforestation' on NPR radio program, Living on Earth (25 Feb 2005).
Science quotes on:  |  Amazon (9)  |  Decade (59)  |  Decrease (15)  |  Deforestation (45)  |  Disappearance (28)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  Greater (288)  |  Headline (6)  |  Hear (139)  |  Rain Forest (29)  |  Rate (29)  |  Stop (80)  |  Time (1877)  |  Year (933)

[At the end of the story, its main character, Tom] is now a great man of science, and can plan railroads, and steam-engines, and electric telegraphs, and rifled guns, and so forth; and knows everything about everything, except why a hen's egg don't turn into a crocodile, and two or three other little things that no one will know till the coming of the Cocqcigrues.
The Water-babies (1886), 368-9.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Character (243)  |  Coming (114)  |  Crocodile (14)  |  Egg (69)  |  Electric (76)  |  End (590)  |  Engine (98)  |  Everything (476)  |  Great (1574)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Little (707)  |  Man (2251)  |  Other (2236)  |  Plan (117)  |  Railroad (32)  |  Science (3879)  |  Steam (80)  |  Telegraph (38)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Turn (447)  |  Two (937)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2355)

[First use of the term science fiction:] We hope it will not be long before we may have other works of Science-Fiction [like Richard Henry Horne's The Poor Artist], as we believe such books likely to fulfil a good purpose, and create an interest, where, unhappily, science alone might fail.
[Thomas] Campbell says, that “Fiction in Poetry is not the reverse of truth, but her soft and enchanting resemblance.” Now this applies especially to Science-Fiction, in which the revealed truths of Science may be given interwoven with a pleasing story which may itself be poetical and true—thus circulating a knowledge of Poetry of Science, clothed in a garb of the Poetry of life.
In A Little Earnest Book Upon a Great Old Subject (1851), 137.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Alone (311)  |  Artist (90)  |  Book (392)  |  Create (235)  |  Fail (185)  |  First (1283)  |  Garb (6)  |  Good (889)  |  Hope (299)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interwoven (10)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Life (1795)  |  Long (790)  |  Other (2236)  |  Poem (96)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Poor (136)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Resemblance (38)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Revealed (60)  |  Reverse (33)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science Fiction (31)  |  Soft (29)  |  Term (349)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Use (766)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

[Reading a cartoon story,] the boy favored reading over reality. Adults might have characterized him in any number of negative ways—as uninquisitive, uninvolved, apathetic about the world around him and his place in it. I’ve often wondered: Are many adults much different when they read the scriptures of their respective faiths?
In Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein, The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World (2007), 117.
Science quotes on:  |  Adult (19)  |  Apathetic (2)  |  Boy (94)  |  Characterize (20)  |  Different (577)  |  Faith (203)  |  Favor (63)  |  Inquisitive (5)  |  Involved (90)  |  Negative (63)  |  Number (699)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Reality (261)  |  Scripture (12)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wonder (236)  |  World (1774)

[The Whig interpretation of history] ... is the tendency in many historians to write on the side of Protestants and Whigs, to praise revolutions provided they have been successful, to emphasise certain principles of progress in the past and to produce a story which is the ratification if not the glorification of the present.
The Whig Interpretation of History (1931), v.
Science quotes on:  |  Certain (550)  |  Glorification (2)  |  Historian (54)  |  History (673)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Past (337)  |  Present (619)  |  Principle (507)  |  Progress (465)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Side (233)  |  Successful (123)  |  Tendency (99)  |  Write (230)

[There is] one distinctly human thing - the story. There can be as good science about a turnip as about a man. ... [Or philosophy, or theology] ...There can be, without any question at all, as good higher mathematics about a turnip as about a man. But I do not think, though I speak in a manner somewhat tentative, that there could be as good a novel written about a turnip as a man.
In 'A Much Repeated Repetition', Daily News (26 Mar 1904). Collected in G. K. Chesterton and Dale Ahlquist (ed.), In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton (2011), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Distinctly (5)  |  Do (1908)  |  Good (889)  |  Human (1468)  |  Man (2251)  |  Manner (58)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Novel (32)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Question (621)  |  Science (3879)  |  Speak (232)  |  Tentative (16)  |  Theology (52)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Turnip (3)  |  Writing (189)

… on these expanded membranes [butterfly wings] Nature writes, as on a tablet, the story of the modifications of species, so truly do all changes of the organisation register themselves thereon. Moreover, the same colour-patterns of the wings generally show, with great regularity, the degrees of blood-relationship of the species. As the laws of nature must be the same for all beings, the conclusions furnished by this group of insects must be applicable to the whole world.
From The Naturalist on the River Amazons: A record of Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian life, and Aspects of Nature under the Equator, During Eleven Years of Travel (1864), 413.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Applicable (31)  |  Application (242)  |  Being (1278)  |  Blood (134)  |  Butterfly (22)  |  Change (593)  |  Color (137)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Degree (276)  |  Do (1908)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Expand (53)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Furnishing (4)  |  Great (1574)  |  Group (78)  |  Insect (77)  |  Law (894)  |  Law Of Nature (72)  |  Membrane (21)  |  Modification (55)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Organization (114)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Register (21)  |  Registration (2)  |  Regularity (40)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Sameness (3)  |  Show (346)  |  Species (401)  |  Tablet (6)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Truly (116)  |  Whole (738)  |  Wing (75)  |  World (1774)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)


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.