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

Syria Quotes (1 quote)

[My uncle said to me…] When I read, forty years ago, that shells from Syria were found in the Alps, I say, I admit, with a slightly mocking tone, that these shells were apparently brought by pilgrims who were returning from Jerusalem. M. de Buffon reprimanded me very sharply in his Theory of the Earth, page 281. I did not want to quarrel with him over shells, but I remain of the same opinion, because the impossibility that the sea formed the mountains is evident to me. Some may tell me that porphyry is made of sea urchin spikes, I’ll believe it when I see white marble is made of ostrich feathers.
Voltaire is recounting one of the reasons his uncle (Abbe Ambroise Bazing) had told him, for disputing Buffon’s claim that the sea that made the mountains. Translated by Webmaster from 'La Défense de Mon Oncle: Des montagnes et des Coquilles', collected in Oeuvres complètes: Histoire.- Mélanges historiques (1817), Tome 15, Chap. 19, 133-134. From the original French; “Quand je lus, il y a quarante ans, qu’on avait trouvé dans les Alpes des coquilles de Syrie, je dis, je l’avoue , d’un ton un peu goguenard, que ces coquilles avaient été apparemment apportées par des pélerins qui revenaient de Jérusalem. M. de Buffon m’en reprit très-vertement dans sa Théorie de la terre, page 281. Je n’ai pas voulu me brouiller avec lui pour des coquilles, mais je suis demeuré dans non opinion, parce que l’impossibilité que la mer ait formé les montagnes m’est démontrée. On a beau me dire que le porphyre est fait de pointes d’oursin, je le croirai quand je verrai que le marbre blanc est fait de plumes d’autruche.” [Note: porphyry is a form of igneous rock. Also note, this passage does NOT appear in 'Les Singularités de la Nature', which may be found elsewhere incorrectly cited as the source. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Alps (9)  |  Comte Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (37)  |  Demonstration (120)  |  Earth (1076)  |  Find (1014)  |  Formation (100)  |  Friendship (18)  |  Impossibility (60)  |  Lose (165)  |  Loss (117)  |  Mountain (202)  |  Opinion (291)  |  Peanut (4)  |  Pilgrim (4)  |  Read (308)  |  Reading (136)  |  Return (133)  |  Same (166)  |  Sea (326)  |  Sharply (4)  |  Shell (69)  |  Still (614)  |  Theory (1015)  |  Want (504)  |  Way (1214)  |  Year (963)

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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