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

Stumble Quotes (11 quotes)
Stumbling Quotes, Stumbled Quotes

...man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on.
Science quotes on:  |  Carry (35)  |  Manage (10)  |  Occasionally (3)  |  Pick (14)  |  Truth (750)  |  Usually (20)  |  Walk (56)

As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency—or, rather, Agency—must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?
In The Symbiotic Universe: Life and Mind in the Cosmos (1988), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Agency (13)  |  Benefit (54)  |  Cosmos (39)  |  Craft (7)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Existence (254)  |  God (454)  |  Insistent (2)  |  Involve (27)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Supernatural (19)  |  Supreme Being (2)  |  Survey (14)  |  Thought (374)

Man occasionally stumbles on the truth, but then just picks himself up and hurries on regardless.
Science quotes on:  |  Hurry (5)  |  French Saying (61)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Truth (750)

My two Jamaican cousins ... were studying engineering. 'That's where the money is,' Mom advised. ... I was to be an engineering major, despite my allergy to science and math. ... Those who preceded me at CCNY include the polio vaccine discoverer, Dr. Jonas Salk ... and eight Nobel Prize winners. ... In class, I stumbled through math, fumbled through physics, and did reasonably well in, and even enjoyed, geology. All I ever looked forward to was ROTC.
Autobiographical comments on his original reason for going to the City College of New York, where he shortly turned to his military career.
My American Journey (1996), 23-26. ROTC is the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) school-based program of the U.S. military. From there, the self-described 'C-average student out of middling Morris High School' went on to become a four-star general.
Science quotes on:  |  Autobiography (55)  |  Career (54)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Geology (187)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Military (24)  |  Physics (301)

Perhaps I can best describe my experience of doing mathematics in terms of a journey through a dark unexplored mansion. You enter the first room of the mansion and it's completely dark. You stumble around bumping into the furniture, but gradually you learn where each piece of furniture is. Finally, after six months or so, you find the light switch, you turn it on, and suddenly it''s all illuminated. You can see exactly where you were. Then you move into the next room and spend another six months in the dark. So each of these breakthroughs, while sometimes they're momentary, sometimes over a period of a day or two, they are the culmination of—and couldn't exist without—the many months of stumbling around in the dark that proceed them.
Quoted in interview for website for PBS TV Nova program, 'The Proof'.
Science quotes on:  |  Breakthrough (13)  |  Furniture (8)  |  Illumination (12)  |  Journey (19)  |  Light (246)  |  Mansion (3)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Solution (168)

Research is industrial prospecting. The oil prospectors use every scientific means to find new paying wells. Oil is found by each one of a number of methods. My own group of men are prospecting in a different field, using every possible scientific means. We believe there are still things left to be discovered. We have only stumbled upon a few barrels of physical laws from the great pool of knowledge. Some day we are going to hit a gusher.
'Industrial Prospecting', an address to the Founder Societies of Engineers (20 May 1935). In National Research Council, Reprint and Circular Series of the National Research Council (1933), No. 107, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Barrel (5)  |  Belief (400)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Industry (91)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Law (418)  |  Oil (37)  |  Pool (10)  |  Research (517)

Science is a progressive activity. The outstanding peculiarity of man is that he stumbled onto the possibility of progressive activities. Such progress, the accumulation of experience from generation to generation, depended first on the development of language, then of writing and finally of printing. These allowed the accumulation of tradition and of knowledge, of the whole aura of cultural inheritance that surrounds us. This has so conditioned our existence that it is almost impossible for us to stop and examine the nature of our culture. We accept it as we accept the air we breathe; we are as unconscious of our culture as a fish, presumably, is of water.
The Nature of Natural History 1950)
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (268)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Language (155)  |  Printing (12)  |  Science (1699)

The major credit I think Jim and I deserve … is for selecting the right problem and sticking to it. It's true that by blundering about we stumbled on gold, but the fact remains that we were looking for gold. Both of us had decided, quite independently of each other, that the central problem in molecular biology was the chemical structure of the gene. … We could not see what the answer was, but we considered it so important that we were determined to think about it long and hard, from any relevant point of view.
In What Mad Pursuit (1990), 74-75.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Autobiography (55)  |  Credit (16)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Importance (183)  |  Molecular Biology (23)  |  Problem (362)  |  Structure Of DNA (5)  |  James Watson (33)

To stumble twice against the same stone is a proverbial disgrace.
Science quotes on:  |  Disgrace (6)  |  Error (230)  |  Proverbial (3)  |  Stone (57)

You may take the noblest poetry in the world, and, if you stumble through it at snail's pace, it collapses from a work of art into a rubbish heap.
In The Aims of Education and Other Essays (1929), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (205)  |  Collapse (16)  |  Education (280)  |  Noblest (4)  |  Pace (4)  |  Poetry (96)  |  Rubbish (8)  |  Snail (6)

[T]here are some common animal behaviors that seem to favor the development of intelligence, behaviors that might lead to brainy beasts on many worlds. Social interaction is one of them. If you're an animal that hangs out with others, then there's clearly an advantage in being smart enough to work out the intentions of the guy sitting next to you (before he takes your mate or your meal). And if you're clever enough to outwit the other members of your social circle, you'll probably have enhanced opportunity to breed..., thus passing on your superior intelligence. ... Nature—whether on our planet or some alien world—will stumble into increased IQ sooner or later.
Seth Shostak, Alex Barnett, Cosmic Company: the Search for Life in the Universe (2003), 62 & 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (42)  |  Alien (25)  |  Animal (309)  |  Beast (32)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Brain (181)  |  Breeding (11)  |  Clever (14)  |  Common (92)  |  Development (228)  |  Enhancement (3)  |  Favor (22)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Intention (25)  |  Interaction (28)  |  IQ (5)  |  Mate (6)  |  Meal (14)  |  Opportunity (43)  |  Outwit (3)  |  Smart (13)  |  Society (188)  |  Superior (30)

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 Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
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- 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
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
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
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
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
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

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