Thorough Quotes (7 quotes)
A smattering of everything is worth little. It is a fallacy to suppose that an encyclopaedic knowledge is desirable. The mind is made strong, not through much learning, but by the thorough possession of something.
Architects who have aimed at acquiring manual skill without scholarship have never been able to reach a position of authority to correspond to their pains, while those who relied only upon theories and scholarship were obviously hunting the shadow, not the substance. But those who have a thorough knowledge of both, like men armed at all points, have the sooner attained their object and carried authority with them.
In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another. The old problems, such as the relation of science and religion, are still with us, and I believe present as difficult dilemmas as ever, but they are not often publicly discussed because of the limitations of specialization.
Indeed, while Nature is wonderfully inventive of new structures, her conservatism in holding on to old ones is still more remarkable. In the ascending line of development she tries an experiment once exceedingly thorough, and then the question is solved for all time. For she always takes time enough to try the experiment exhaustively. It took ages to find how to build a spinal column or brain, but when the experiment was finished she had reason to be, and was, satisfied.
It is better to have a few forms well known than to teach a little about many hundred species. Better a dozen specimens thoroughly studied as the result of the first years work, than to have two thousand dollars worth of shells and corals bought from a curiosity-shop. The dozen animals would be your own.
Moreover I can assure you that the misuse word national by our rulers has thoroughly broken me of the habit of national feeling that was pronounced in my case. I would now be willing see Germany disappear as a power and merge into a pacified Europe.
When we have to do with an art whose end is the saving of human life, any neglect to make ourselves thorough masters of it becomes a crime.