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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index U > Category: Ultimate

Ultimate Quotes (51 quotes)

Alchemy is the art that separates what is useful from what is not by transforming it into its ultimate matter and essence.
In Labyrinthus Medicorum. Cap. V. Von dem Buch der alchimei, wie on dasselbig der arzt kein arzt sein mag. Ed. Sudhoff, vol. XI, 188-189. As cited in Walter Pagel, Paracelsus: An Introduction to Philosophical Medicine in the Era of the Renaissance (2nd rev. ed., 1982), 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (24)  |  Art (143)  |  Essence (31)  |  Matter (228)  |  Separation (29)  |  Usefulness (65)

All discussion of the ultimate nature of things must necessarily be barren unless we have some extraneous standards against which to compare them.
In The Mysterious Universe (1930), 114.
Science quotes on:  |  Barren (6)  |  Comparison (46)  |  Discussion (32)  |  Extraneous (2)  |  Nature Of Things (4)  |  Necessity (113)  |  Standard (29)

And this is the ultimate lesson that our knowledge of the mode of transmission of typhus has taught us: Man carries on his skin a parasite, the louse. Civilization rids him of it. Should man regress, should he allow himself to resemble a primitive beast, the louse begins to multiply again and treats man as he deserves, as a brute beast. This conclusion would have endeared itself to the warm heart of Alfred Nobel. My contribution to it makes me feel less unworthy of the honour which you have conferred upon me in his name.
'Investigations on Typhus', Nobel Lecture, 1928. In Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1922-1941 (1965), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Beast (28)  |  Brute (12)  |  Civilization (138)  |  Conclusion (104)  |  Contribution (43)  |  Honour (23)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Lesson (22)  |  Louse (5)  |  Man (334)  |  Mode (18)  |  Alfred Bernhard Nobel (15)  |  Parasite (28)  |  Primitive (27)  |  Resemblance (18)  |  Skin (14)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Transmission (22)  |  Typhus (2)  |  Unworthy (7)

As for “Don’t be evil,” we have tried to define precisely what it means to be a force for good—always do the right, ethical thing. Ultimately, “Don’t be evil” seems the easiest way to summarize it.
From interview, 'Google Guys', Playboy (Sep 2004).
Science quotes on:  |  Define (9)  |  Easiest (2)  |  Ethical (4)  |  Evil (51)  |  Force (135)  |  Good (154)  |  Precise (16)  |  Right (101)  |  Seem (27)  |  Summarize (4)

Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the “Mona Lisa” painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer.
Baccalaureate address (9 Jun 1957), Yale University. In In the University Tradition (1957), 156.
Science quotes on:  |  Adam (6)  |  Club (2)  |  Committee (8)  |  Composition (51)  |  Computer (67)  |  Conference (6)  |  Creativity (62)  |  Divinity (10)  |  Finger (28)  |  God (320)  |  Group (36)  |  Hamlet (3)  |  Idea (390)  |  Individual (119)  |  Land (63)  |  Law (370)  |  Leap (18)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Painting (23)  |  Physics (253)  |  Poem (83)  |  Poetry (87)  |  Report (27)  |  Shape (34)  |  Spark (16)  |  Spring (33)  |  Writing (71)

Dr. M.L. von Franz has explained the circle (or sphere) as a symbol of Self. It expresses the totality of the psyche in all its aspects, including the relationship between man and the whole of nature. It always points to the single most vital aspect of life, its ultimate wholeness.
In Aniela Jaffé, 'Symbolism in the Visual Arts', collected in Carl Jung (ed.), Man and His Symbols (1964, 1968), 266.
Science quotes on:  |  Aspect (33)  |  Circle (21)  |  Explanation (151)  |  Express (20)  |  Marie-Louise von Franz (2)  |  Life (742)  |  Nature (860)  |  Psyche (7)  |  Relationship (51)  |  Self (20)  |  Sphere (29)  |  Symbol (30)  |  Totality (3)  |  Vital (24)  |  Whole (74)  |  Wholeness (5)

Gates is the ultimate programming machine. He believes everything can be defined, examined, reduced to essentials, and rearranged into a logical sequence that will achieve a particular goal.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (14)  |  Belief (293)  |  Define (9)  |  Examine (18)  |  Bill Gates (5)  |  Goal (60)  |  Logic (171)  |  Machine (97)  |  Programming (2)  |  Sequence (26)

George Stephenson, with a sagacity of mind in advance of the science of his day, answered, when asked what was the ultimate cause of motion of his locomotive engine, ‘that it went by the bottled-up rays of the sun.’
From 'Fuel', Lecture delivered to the British Association at Bradford, printed in Nature (25 Sep 1873), 8, 443.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (97)  |  Answer (159)  |  Cause (189)  |  Engine (23)  |  Locomotive (7)  |  Motion (109)  |  Ray (27)  |  Sagacity (5)  |  Solar Energy (16)  |  George Stephenson (10)  |  Sun (179)

Heat energy of uniform temperature [is] the ultimate fate of all energy. The power of sunlight and coal, electric power, water power, winds and tides do the work of the world, and in the end all unite to hasten the merry molecular dance.
Matter and Energy (1911), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  Coal (39)  |  Dance (11)  |  Electricity (113)  |  End (92)  |  Energy (161)  |  Entropy (38)  |  Fate (29)  |  Haste (4)  |  Merry (2)  |  Molecule (115)  |  Power (214)  |  Solar Power (8)  |  Sunlight (14)  |  Temperature (41)  |  Thermodynamics (25)  |  Tidal Power (2)  |  Tide (14)  |  Uniform (13)  |  Unite (10)  |  Water (215)  |  Water Power (4)  |  Wind Power (8)  |  Work (347)  |  World (496)

I almost think it is the ultimate destiny of science to exterminate the human race.
Written for fictional character, the Rev. Dr. Opimian, in Gryll Grange (1861), collected in Sir Henry Cole (ed.) The Works of Thomas Love Peacock(1875), Vol. 2, 382. [Hans Øersted discovered electromagnetism in 1820. Presumably the next reference to magnetism refers to a compass needle for navigation. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Destiny (21)  |  Exterminate (5)  |  Human Race (42)  |  Science (1371)  |  Think (82)

I have no patience with attempts to identify science with measurement, which is but one of its tools, or with any definition of the scientist which would exclude a Darwin, a Pasteur or a Kekulé. The scientist is a practical man and his are practical aims. He does not seek the ultimate but the proximate. He does not speak of the last analysis but rather of the next approximation. His are not those beautiful structures so delicately designed that a single flaw may cause the collapse of the whole. The scientist builds slowly and with a gross but solid kind of masonry. If dissatisfied with any of his work, even if it be near the very foundations, he can replace that part without damage to the remainder. On the whole, he is satisfied with his work, for while science may never be wholly right it certainly is never wholly wrong; and it seems to be improving from decade to decade.
The Anatomy of Science (1926), 6-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (117)  |  Approximation (15)  |  Collapse (16)  |  Damage (16)  |  Definition (130)  |  Dissatisfaction (3)  |  Flaw (5)  |  Foundation (62)  |  Improvement (58)  |  August Kekulé (13)  |  Masonry (2)  |  Measurement (141)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (236)  |  Louis Pasteur (46)  |  Practical (74)  |  Progress (290)  |  Right (101)  |  Satisfaction (43)  |  Structure (162)  |  Wrong (91)

If entropy must constantly and continuously increase, then the universe is remorselessly running down, thus setting a limit (a long one, to be sure) on the existence of humanity. To some human beings, this ultimate end poses itself almost as a threat to their personal immortality, or as a denial of the omnipotence of God. There is, therefore, a strong emotional urge to deny that entropy must increase.
In Asimov on Physics (1976), 141. Also in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Deny (19)  |  Emotion (43)  |  End (92)  |  Entropy (38)  |  Existence (208)  |  God (320)  |  Human Being (41)  |  Humanity (81)  |  Immortality (6)  |  Increase (77)  |  Omnipotence (2)  |  Science And Religion (247)  |  Threat (21)  |  Universe (446)

If we would indicate an idea … striving to remove the barriers which prejudice and limited views of every kind have erected among men, and to treat all mankind, without reference to religion, nation, or color, as one fraternity, one great community, fitted for the attainment of one object, the unrestrained development of the physical powers. This is the ultimate and highest aim of society.
In Ueber die Kawi-Sprache, Vol. 3, 426. As quoted in Alexander von Humboldt, Cosmos: A Sketch of a Physical Description of the Universe (1850), Vol. 1, 358, as translated by Elise C. Otté.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (39)  |  Attainment (33)  |  Barrier (14)  |  Color (70)  |  Community (45)  |  Development (198)  |  Fraternity (2)  |  Highest (15)  |  Idea (390)  |  Mankind (165)  |  Nation (86)  |  Physical (67)  |  Power (214)  |  Prejudice (40)  |  Religion (155)  |  Remove (11)  |  Society (149)  |  Strive (15)  |  Treat (11)

In defining an element let us not take an external boundary, Let us say, e.g., the smallest ponderable quantity of yttrium is an assemblage of ultimate atoms almost infinitely more like each other than they are to the atoms of any other approximating element. It does not necessarily follow that the atoms shall all be absolutely alike among themselves. The atomic weight which we ascribe to yttrium, therefore, merely represents a mean value around which the actual weights of the individual atoms of the “element” range within certain limits. But if my conjecture is tenable, could we separate atom from atom, we should find them varying within narrow limits on each side of the mean.
Address to Annual General Meeting of the Chemical Society (28 Mar 1888), printed in Journal of the Chemical Society (1888), 491.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (10)  |  Actual (22)  |  Alike (7)  |  Approximation (15)  |  Ascribe (9)  |  Assemblage (6)  |  Atom (226)  |  Boundary (20)  |  Conjecture (18)  |  Definition (130)  |  Element (108)  |  External (28)  |  Find (142)  |  Individual (119)  |  Infinitely (5)  |  Limit (57)  |  Mean (23)  |  Narrow (27)  |  Ponderable (3)  |  Quantity (32)  |  Range (26)  |  Separate (31)  |  Smallest (6)  |  Value (127)  |  Variation (43)  |  Yttrium (3)

In our day grand generalizations have been reached. The theory of the origin of species is but one of them. Another, of still wider grasp and more radical significance, is the doctrine of the Conservation of Energy, the ultimate philosophical issues of which are as yet but dimly seem-that doctrine which “binds nature fast in fate” to an extent not hitherto recognized, exacting from every antecedent its equivalent consequent, and bringing vital as well as physical phenomena under the dominion of that law of causal connexion which, so far as the human understanding has yet pierced, asserts itself everywhere in nature.
'Address Delivered Before The British Association Assembled at Belfast', (19 Aug 1874). Fragments of Science for Unscientific People: A Series of Detached Essays, Lectures, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 2, 1801.
Science quotes on:  |  Antecedent (3)  |  Assertion (23)  |  Binding (8)  |  Bringing (10)  |  Cause (189)  |  Connection (76)  |  Consequence (60)  |  Conservation Of Energy (22)  |  Doctrine (46)  |  Dominion (5)  |  Equivalent (11)  |  Everywhere (9)  |  Exacting (2)  |  Extent (17)  |  Fate (29)  |  Generalization (25)  |  Grandness (2)  |  Grasp (28)  |  Human (312)  |  Issue (21)  |  Law (370)  |  Nature (860)  |  Origin Of Species (39)  |  Phenomenon (185)  |  Philosophy (184)  |  Physics (253)  |  Radical (16)  |  Reach (42)  |  Recognition (60)  |  Seeing (48)  |  Significance (47)  |  Theory (518)  |  Understanding (315)  |  Vitality (7)

In science its main worth is temporary, as a stepping-stone to something beyond. Even the Principia, as Newton with characteristic modesty entitled his great work, is truly but the beginning of a natural philosophy, and no more an ultimate work, than Watt’s steam-engine, or Arkwright's spinning-machine.
Co-author with his brother Augustus William Hare Guesses At Truth, By Two Brothers: Second Edition: With Large Additions (1848), Second Series, 46. (The volume is introduced as “more than three fourths new.” This quote is identified as by Julius; Augustus had died in 1833.)
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Richard Arkwright (3)  |  Beginning (110)  |  Characteristic (60)  |  Modesty (6)  |  Natural Philosophy (20)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (236)  |  Principia (6)  |  Science (1371)  |  Spinning Machine (2)  |  Steam Engine (40)  |  Stepping Stone (2)  |  Temporary (12)  |  Title (9)  |  James Watt (11)  |  Worth (54)

Is evolution a theory, a system or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforth if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow. ... The consciousness of each of us is evolution looking at itself and reflecting upon itself....Man is not the center of the universe as once we thought in our simplicity, but something much more wonderful—the arrow pointing the way to the final unification of the world in terms of life. Man alone constitutes the last-born, the freshest, the most complicated, the most subtle of all the successive layers of life. ... The universe has always been in motion and at this moment continues to be in motion. But will it still be in motion tomorrow? ... What makes the world in which we live specifically modern is our discovery in it and around it of evolution. ... Thus in all probability, between our modern earth and the ultimate earth, there stretches an immense period, characterized not by a slowing-down but a speeding up and by the definitive florescence of the forces of evolution along the line of the human shoot.
In The Phenomenon of Man (1975), pp 218, 220, 223, 227, 228, 277.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrow (12)  |  Bow (5)  |  Center (22)  |  Characterize (6)  |  Complicated (31)  |  Condition (103)  |  Consciousness (55)  |  Constitute (12)  |  Curve (16)  |  Definitive (2)  |  Discovery (548)  |  Earth (414)  |  Evolution (445)  |  Fact (524)  |  Final (26)  |  Follow (40)  |  General (65)  |  Human (312)  |  Hypothesis (212)  |  Illuminating (3)  |  Immense (21)  |  Layer (13)  |  Life (742)  |  Light (209)  |  Line (31)  |  Live (71)  |  Looking (25)  |  Modern (87)  |  Moment (40)  |  Motion (109)  |  Period (44)  |  Pointing (4)  |  Probability (77)  |  Reflecting (3)  |  Satisfy (10)  |  Shoot (7)  |  Simplicity (119)  |  Subtle (16)  |  Successive (12)  |  System (106)  |  Term (65)  |  Theory (518)  |  Thought (290)  |  Tomorrow (24)  |  True (66)  |  Unification (8)  |  Universe (446)  |  Wonderful (26)  |  World (496)

It is imperative in the design process to have a full and complete understanding of how failure is being obviated in order to achieve success. Without fully appreciating how close to failing a new design is, its own designer may not fully understand how and why a design works. A new design may prove to be successful because it has a sufficiently large factor of safety (which, of course, has often rightly been called a “factor of ignorance”), but a design's true factor of safety can never be known if the ultimate failure mode is unknown. Thus the design that succeeds (ie, does not fail) can actually provide less reliable information about how or how not to extrapolate from that design than one that fails. It is this observation that has long motivated reflective designers to study failures even more assiduously than successes.
In Design Paradigms: Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering (1994), 31. books.google.comHenry Petroski - 1994
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (113)  |  Appreciation (16)  |  Complete (30)  |  Design (76)  |  Extrapolation (3)  |  Factor (28)  |  Failure (98)  |  Ignorance (167)  |  Imperative (6)  |  Information (86)  |  Large (47)  |  Mode (18)  |  Motivation (20)  |  Observation (390)  |  Process (170)  |  Reflection (41)  |  Reliability (10)  |  Safety (36)  |  Study (298)  |  Success (176)  |  Sufficiency (13)  |  Understanding (315)  |  Unknown (76)

Just as a tree constitutes a mass arranged in a definite manner, in which, in every single part, in the leaves as in the root, in the trunk as in the blossom, cells are discovered to be the ultimate elements, so is it also with the forms of animal life. Every animal presents itself as a sum of vital unities, every one of which manifests all the characteristics of life. The characteristics and unity of life cannot be limited to anyone particular spot in a highly developed organism (for example, to the brain of man), but are to be found only in the definite, constantly recurring structure, which every individual element displays. Hence it follows that the structural composition of a body of considerable size, a so-called individual, always represents a kind of social arrangement of parts, an arrangement of a social kind, in which a number of individual existences are mutually dependent, but in such a way, that every element has its own special action, and, even though it derive its stimulus to activity from other parts, yet alone effects the actual performance of its duties.
In Lecture I, 'Cells and the Cellular Theory' (1858), Rudolf Virchow and Frank Chance (trans.) ,Cellular Pathology (1860), 13-14.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (267)  |  Arrangement (40)  |  Blossom (8)  |  Body (161)  |  Brain (154)  |  Cell (109)  |  Characteristic (60)  |  Composition (51)  |  Dependent (9)  |  Development (198)  |  Discovery (548)  |  Duty (43)  |  Find (142)  |  Form (142)  |  Individual (119)  |  Leaf (40)  |  Life (742)  |  Organism (103)  |  Root (35)  |  Size (37)  |  Social (40)  |  Spot (6)  |  Stimulus (16)  |  Structure (162)  |  Sum (23)  |  Tree (126)  |  Trunk (9)  |  Unity (34)  |  Vital (24)

Matter, though divisible in an extreme degree, is nevertheless not infinitely divisible. That is, there must be some point beyond which we cannot go in the division of matter. ... I have chosen the word “atom” to signify these ultimate particles.
Dalton's Manuscript Notes, Royal Institution Lecture 18 (30 Jan 1810). In Ida Freund, The Study of Chemical Composition: An Account of its Method and Historical Development (1910), 288.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (226)  |  Definition (130)  |  Division (22)  |  Infinite (74)  |  Matter (228)  |  Particle (77)

My own emotional feeling is that life has a purpose—ultimately, I’d guess that purpose it has is the purpose that we’ve given it and not a purpose that come out of any cosmic design.
Alan Guth
As quoted in Michio Kaku, Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos (2006), 359.
Science quotes on:  |  Cosmic (19)  |  Design (76)  |  Emotion (43)  |  Feeling (76)  |  Give (31)  |  Guess (29)  |  Life (742)  |  Purpose (116)

Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.
Concerning philanthropy and investment in alternative energy research. In Tim Walker, 'Sergey Brin: Engine Driver', Independent (15 Jan 2010).
Science quotes on:  |  Big (20)  |  Difference (188)  |  Ethical (4)  |  Everyone (10)  |  Innovation (35)  |  Make (23)  |  Obvious (44)  |  Success (176)  |  Trust (33)  |  Want (80)  |  World (496)

Of all heroes, Spinoza was Einstein’s greatest. No one expressed more strongly than he a belief in the harmony, the beauty, and most of all the ultimate comprehensibility of nature.
In obituary 'Albert Einstein', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 51, (1980), 101
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (146)  |  Belief (293)  |  Comprehensibility (2)  |  Albert Einstein (240)  |  Express (20)  |  Great (163)  |  Harmony (42)  |  Hero (24)  |  Nature (860)  |  Baruch Spinoza (5)

Owing to his lack of knowledge, the ordinary man cannot attempt to resolve conflicting theories of conflicting advice into a single organized structure. He is likely to assume the information available to him is on the order of what we might think of as a few pieces of an enormous jigsaw puzzle. If a given piece fails to fit, it is not because it is fraudulent; more likely the contradictions and inconsistencies within his information are due to his lack of understanding and to the fact that he possesses only a few pieces of the puzzle. Differing statements about the nature of things, differing medical philosophies, different diagnoses and treatments—all of these are to be collected eagerly and be made a part of the individual's collection of puzzle pieces. Ultimately, after many lifetimes, the pieces will fit together and the individual will attain clear and certain knowledge.
'Strategies of Resort to Curers in South India', contributed in Charles M. Leslie (ed.), Asian Medical Systems: A Comparative Study (1976), 185.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (30)  |  Assumption (44)  |  Attempt (70)  |  Availability (9)  |  Certainty (88)  |  Clarity (28)  |  Collection (36)  |  Conflict (38)  |  Contradiction (31)  |  Diagnosis (57)  |  Difference (188)  |  Eagerness (4)  |  Fact (524)  |  Failure (98)  |  Few (9)  |  Fit (22)  |  Inconsistency (4)  |  Individual (119)  |  Information (86)  |  Jigsaw (2)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Lack (37)  |  Lifetime (18)  |  Man (334)  |  Medicine (261)  |  Nature Of Things (4)  |  Ordinary (33)  |  Organization (69)  |  Philosophy (184)  |  Piece (22)  |  Possession (31)  |  Puzzle (25)  |  Resolution (15)  |  Single (45)  |  Statement (41)  |  Structure (162)  |  Theory (518)  |  Thinking (220)  |  Treatment (84)

People say to me, “Are you looking for the ultimate laws of physics?” No, I’m not; I’m just looking to find out more about the world and if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law which explains everything, so be it; that would be very nice to discover. If it turns out it’s like an onion with millions of layers, and we’re just sick and tired of looking at the layers, then that’s the way it is …
From Interview in BBC TV program Horizon (1981). As quoted in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman 1983, (1999), 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Discover (80)  |  Explanation (151)  |  Find Out (4)  |  Law (370)  |  Layer (13)  |  Million (69)  |  Onion (5)  |  Physics (253)  |  Simple (82)  |  World (496)

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.
Where is Science Going?, trans. James Murphy (1933), Epilogue, 217.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (117)  |  Mystery (105)  |  Nature (860)  |  Part (87)  |  Science (1371)  |  Solution (146)

Science has a simple faith, which transcends utility. Nearly all men of science, all men of learning for that matter, and men of simple ways too, have it in some form and in some degree. It is the faith that it is the privilege of man to learn to understand, and that this is his mission. If we abandon that mission under stress we shall abandon it forever, for stress will not cease. Knowledge for the sake of understanding, not merely to prevail, that is the essence of our being. None can define its limits, or set its ultimate boundaries.
Science is Not Enough (1967), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (27)  |  Being (38)  |  Boundary (20)  |  Cease (12)  |  Definition (130)  |  Essence (31)  |  Faith (104)  |  Forever (25)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Learning (174)  |  Limit (57)  |  Men Of Science (96)  |  Mission (7)  |  Prevail (9)  |  Privilege (13)  |  Science (1371)  |  Simple (82)  |  Stress (5)  |  Transcendence (2)  |  Understanding (315)  |  Utility (20)

Science, in its ultimate ideal, consists of a set of propositions arranged in a hierarchy, the lowest level of the hierarchy being concerned with particular facts, and the highest with some general law, governing everything in the universe. The various levels in the hierarchy have a two-fold logical connection, travelling one up, one down; the upward connection proceeds by induction, the downward by deduction.
In The Scientific Outlook (1931, 2009), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (40)  |  Connection (76)  |  Consist (14)  |  Deduction (48)  |  Everything (71)  |  Fact (524)  |  General (65)  |  Govern (8)  |  Hierarchy (11)  |  Ideal (36)  |  Induction (43)  |  Law (370)  |  Logical (12)  |  Particular (40)  |  Proposition (44)  |  Science (1371)  |  Scientific Method (144)  |  Set (25)  |  Universe (446)

So far as modern science is concerned, we have to abandon completely the idea that by going into the realm of the small we shall reach the ultimate foundations of the universe. I believe we can abandon this idea without any regret. The universe is infinite in all directions, not only above us in the large but also below us in the small. If we start from our human scale of existence and explore the content of the universe further and further, we finally arrive, both in the large and in the small, at misty distances where first our senses and then even our concepts fail us.
To the German Society of Scientists and Physicists, Braunschweig, Germany (Sep 1896). As quoted in Anton Z. Capri, Quips, Quotes, and Quanta: An Anecdotal History of Physics (2011), 20. Wiechert was reporting his measurement of the mass of the moving particles in a cathode ray beam (electrons).
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (27)  |  Belief (293)  |  Below (7)  |  Concept (70)  |  Distance (44)  |  Existence (208)  |  Exploration (88)  |  Fail (23)  |  Foundation (62)  |  Human (312)  |  Idea (390)  |  Infinite (74)  |  Large (47)  |  Misty (3)  |  Modern (87)  |  Realm (29)  |  Regret (15)  |  Scale (39)  |  Science (1371)  |  Sense (164)  |  Small (65)  |  Universe (446)

Sociology should... be thought of as a science of action—of the ultimate common value element in its relations to the other elements of action.
The Structure of Social Action (1937), Vol. 1, 440.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (106)  |  Common (69)  |  Element (108)  |  Relation (77)  |  Science (1371)  |  Sociology (24)  |  Value (127)

Technocrats are turning us into daredevils. The haphazard gambles they are imposing on us too often jeopardize our safety for goals that do not advance the human cause but undermine it. By staking our lives on their schemes, decision makers are not meeting the mandate of a democratic society; they are betraying it. They are not ennobling us; they are victimizing us. And, in acquiescing to risks that have resulted in irreversible damage to the environment, we ourselves are not only forfeiting our own rights as citizens. We are, in turn, victimizing the ultimate nonvolunteers: the defenseless, voiceless—voteless—children of the future.
In Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein, The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World (2007), 85.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (97)  |  Betray (5)  |  Cause (189)  |  Children (20)  |  Citizen (19)  |  Damage (16)  |  Decision (50)  |  Defenseless (2)  |  Democratic (4)  |  Ennoble (4)  |  Environment (120)  |  Forfeit (2)  |  Future (183)  |  Gamble (3)  |  Goal (60)  |  Human (312)  |  Impose (7)  |  Irreversible (5)  |  Live (71)  |  Maker (9)  |  Often (14)  |  Result (211)  |  Right (101)  |  Risk (27)  |  Safety (36)  |  Scheme (14)  |  Society (149)  |  Stake (10)  |  Undermine (2)  |  Volunteer (5)  |  Vote (11)

The fundamental activity of medical science is to determine the ultimate causation of disease.
Speech, Guild of Public Pharmacists (18 Jan 1933), 'De Minimis', The Lancet (1933), 1, 287-90. As cited in Edward J. Huth and T. J. Murray, Medicine in Quotations: Views of Health and Disease Through the Ages (2006), 247 and 512.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (75)  |  Causation (5)  |  Determination (52)  |  Disease (232)  |  Fundamental (100)  |  Medical Science (4)

The Fundamental Regulator Paradox … The task of a regulator is to eliminate variation, but this variation is the ultimate source of information about the quality of its work. Therefore, the better the job a regulator does the less information it gets about how to improve.
In Gerald M. Weinberg and Daniela Weinberg, The Design of Stable Systems (1979), 250. As quoted in John R. Wilson, Evaluation of Human Work (2005), 220.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (85)  |  Elimination (15)  |  Fundamental (100)  |  Improvement (58)  |  Information (86)  |  Job (28)  |  Less (23)  |  Paradox (31)  |  Quality (54)  |  Regulator (2)  |  Source (57)  |  Task (52)  |  Variation (43)  |  Work (347)

The great object of all knowledge is to enlarge and purify the soul, to fill the mind with noble contemplations, to furnish a refined pleasure, and to lead our feeble reason from the works of nature up to its great Author and Sustainer. Considering this as the ultimate end of science, no branch of it can surely claim precedence of Astronomy. No other science furnishes such a palpable embodiment of the abstractions which lie at the foundation of our intellectual system; the great ideas of time, and space, and extension, and magnitude, and number, and motion, and power. How grand the conception of the ages on ages required for several of the secular equations of the solar system; of distances from which the light of a fixed star would not reach us in twenty millions of years, of magnitudes compared with which the earth is but a foot-ball; of starry hosts—suns like our own—numberless as the sands on the shore; of worlds and systems shooting through the infinite spaces.
Oration at Inauguration of the Dudley Astronomical Observatory, Albany (28 Jul 1856). Text published as The Uses of Astronomy (1856), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (21)  |  Age (104)  |  Astronomy (157)  |  Author (33)  |  Branch (51)  |  Conception (53)  |  Considering (6)  |  Contemplation (32)  |  Distance (44)  |  Earth (414)  |  Embodiment (5)  |  End (92)  |  Enlarge (14)  |  Equation (66)  |  Extension (18)  |  Feeble (12)  |  Fill (20)  |  Fixed (9)  |  Football (3)  |  Foundation (62)  |  Furnish (16)  |  Host (7)  |  Idea (390)  |  Infinite (74)  |  Intellectual (44)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Lead (60)  |  Light (209)  |  Magnitude (20)  |  Million (69)  |  Mind (437)  |  Motion (109)  |  Nature (860)  |  Noble (30)  |  Number (145)  |  Numberless (3)  |  Object (80)  |  Palpable (2)  |  Pleasure (90)  |  Power (214)  |  Precedence (2)  |  Purify (3)  |  Reason (254)  |  Refined (6)  |  Sand (23)  |  Science (1371)  |  Secular (5)  |  Shooting (6)  |  Shore (10)  |  Solar System (43)  |  Soul (89)  |  Space (127)  |  Star (215)  |  Sun (179)  |  System (106)  |  Time (319)  |  Work (347)  |  World (496)  |  Year (149)

The meaning of life is 'the ultimate questioner's vanity.'
Quotations: Superultramodern Science and Philosophy (2005).
Science quotes on:  |  Life (742)  |  Question (255)  |  Vanity (11)

The most important thing accomplished by the ultimate discovery of the 3 °K radiation background (Penzias and Wilson, 1965) was to force all of us to take seriously the idea that there was an early universe.
In The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1977, 1993), 131-132.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (51)  |  Discovery (548)  |  Early (27)  |  Idea (390)  |  Important (85)  |  Serious (28)  |  Universe (446)  |  Robert Woodrow Wilson (5)

The mystic and the physicist arrive at the same conclusion; one starting from the inner realm, the other from the outer world. The harmony between their views confirms the ancient Indian wisdom that Brahman, the ultimate reality without, is identical to Atman, the reality within.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 305.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (60)  |  Arrival (7)  |  Brahman (2)  |  Conclusion (104)  |  Confirmation (12)  |  Harmony (42)  |  Identical (14)  |  Indian (13)  |  Inner (13)  |  Mystic (7)  |  Outer (4)  |  Physicist (112)  |  Reality (99)  |  Realm (29)  |  Start (49)  |  View (80)  |  Wisdom (128)  |  Within (6)  |  Without (13)  |  World (496)

The scientific value of truth is not, however, ultimate or absolute. It rests partly on practical, partly on aesthetic interests. As our ideas are gradually brought into conformity with the facts by the painful process of selection,—for intuition runs equally into truth and into error, and can settle nothing if not controlled by experience,—we gain vastly in our command over our environment. This is the fundamental value of natural science
In The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory (1896), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (50)  |  Aesthetic (17)  |  Command (9)  |  Conformity (6)  |  Control (76)  |  Environment (120)  |  Error (204)  |  Experience (212)  |  Fact (524)  |  Fundamental (100)  |  Gain (38)  |  Idea (390)  |  Interest (139)  |  Intuition (34)  |  Natural Science (53)  |  Painful (3)  |  Practical (74)  |  Process (170)  |  Scientific (120)  |  Selection (24)  |  Truth (661)  |  Value (127)

The scientist knows that the ultimate of everything is unknowable. No matter What subject you take, the current theory of it if carried to the ultimate becomes ridiculous. Time and space are excellent examples of this.
As quoted in 'Electricity Will Keep The World From Freezing Up', New York Times (12 Nov 1911), SM4.
Science quotes on:  |  Current (30)  |  Everything (71)  |  Example (41)  |  Excellent (10)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Ridiculous (8)  |  Scientist (370)  |  Theory (518)  |  Time And Space (14)

The scientist knows very well that he is approaching ultimate truth only in an asymptotic curve and is barred from ever reaching it; but at the same time he is proudly aware of being indeed able to determine whether a statement is a nearer or a less near approach to the truth.
In On Aggression (1966, 2002), 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (62)  |  Approach (22)  |  Awareness (17)  |  Curve (16)  |  Determination (52)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Nearness (3)  |  Pride (35)  |  Reach (42)  |  Scientist (370)  |  Statement (41)  |  Truth (661)

The ultimate aim of the modern movement in biology is in fact to explain all biology in terms of physics and chemistry.
In 'The Nature of Vitalism', Of Molecules and Men (1966), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (39)  |  Biology (134)  |  Chemistry (226)  |  Explain (39)  |  Modern (87)  |  Physics (253)

The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.
Former governor of Wisconsin, Founder of Earth Day.
Science quotes on:  |  Conscience (23)  |  Future (183)  |  Generation (89)  |  Hearing (27)  |  Sacrifice (20)  |  Test (80)  |  Thanks (8)  |  Willingness (7)  |  Word (183)

There are diverse views as to what makes a science, but three constituents will be judged essential by most, viz: (1) intellectual content, (2) organization into an understandable form, (3) reliance upon the test of experience as the ultimate standard of validity. By these tests, mathematics is not a science, since its ultimate standard of validity is an agreed-upon sort of logical consistency and provability.
In 'The Future of Data Analysis', Annals of Mathematical Statistics (1962), 33, No. 1, 5-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Agree (10)  |  Consistency (18)  |  Content (29)  |  Definition (130)  |  Diverse (5)  |  Experience (212)  |  Form (142)  |  Intellectual (44)  |  Logical (12)  |  Mathematics (538)  |  Organization (69)  |  Reliance (6)  |  Science (1371)  |  Standard (29)  |  Understandable (2)  |  Validity (18)  |  View (80)

There can be no ultimate statements science: there can be no statements in science which can not be tested, and therefore none which cannot in principle be refuted, by falsifying some of the conclusions which can be deduced from them.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959), 47.
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (104)  |  Deduction (48)  |  Falsification (7)  |  Principle (189)  |  Refutation (8)  |  Statement (41)  |  Test (80)

There is only one ultimate and effectual preventative for the maladies to which flesh is heir, and that is death.
'Medicine at the Crossroads', The Medical Career and Other Papers (1928, 1940), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Death (240)  |  Effective (16)  |  Flesh (17)  |  Heir (6)  |  Malady (4)  |  Prevention (29)

There may only be a small number of laws, which are self-consistent and which lead to complicated beings like ourselves. … And even if there is only one unique set of possible laws, it is only a set of equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to govern? Is the ultimate unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence?
Lecture (1987), 'The Origin of the Universe', collected in Black Holes And Baby Universes And Other Essays (1993), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  Breathe (19)  |  Compelling (7)  |  Complicated (31)  |  Consistent (6)  |  Equation (66)  |  Existence (208)  |  Fire (101)  |  Govern (8)  |  Law (370)  |  Number (145)  |  Possible (46)  |  Set (25)  |  Small (65)  |  Unified Theory (5)  |  Unique (20)  |  Universe (446)

This property of human languages—their resistance to algorithmic processing— is perhaps the ultimate reason why only mathematics can furnish an adequate language for physics. It is not that we lack words for expressing all this E = mc² and ∫eiS(Φ)DΦ … stuff … , the point is that we still would not be able to do anything with these great discoveries if we had only words for them. … Miraculously, it turns out that even very high level abstractions can somehow reflect reality: knowledge of the world discovered by physicists can be expressed only in the language of mathematics.
In 'Mathematical Knowledge: Internal, Social, And Cultural Aspects', Mathematics As Metaphor: Selected Essays (2007), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (21)  |  Adequate (14)  |  Discovery (548)  |  Great (163)  |  Human (312)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Lack (37)  |  Language (128)  |  Mathematics (538)  |  Miraculous (7)  |  Physics (253)  |  Processing (2)  |  Property (84)  |  Reality (99)  |  Reason (254)  |  Reflect (9)  |  Resistance (21)  |  Word (183)  |  World (496)

To deride the hope of progress is the ultimate fatuity, the last word in poverty of spirit and meanness of mind.
From The Hope of Progress (1973), 137. Medawar defends science against the attacks of critics who claim that science cannot enrich our lives.
Science quotes on:  |  Deride (2)  |  Hope (92)  |  Last Word (8)  |  Meanness (2)  |  Mind (437)  |  Poverty (26)  |  Progress (290)  |  Spirit (89)  |  Word (183)

To please men and to kill parasites are the only uses tobacco—its ultimate effects are the same in both cases.
In Tobaccoism: or, How Tobacco Kills (1922), Preface, 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Death (240)  |  Effect (113)  |  Killing (14)  |  Parasite (28)  |  Pleasure (90)  |  Smoking (22)  |  Tobacco (16)  |  Use (70)

We shall therefore say that a program has common sense if it automatically deduces for itself a sufficient wide class of immediate consequences of anything it is told and what it already knows. ... Our ultimate objective is to make programs that learn from their experience as effectively as humans do.
'Programs with Common Sense', (probably the first paper on AI), delivered to the Teddington Conference on the Mechanization of Thought Processes (Dec 1958). Printed in National Physical Laboratory, Mechanisation of Thought Processes: Proceedings of a Symposium Held at the National Physical Laboratory on 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th November 1958 (1959), 78. Also Summary in John McCarthy and Vladimir Lifschitz (ed.), Formalizing Common Sense: Papers by John McCarthy (1990), 9-10.
Science quotes on:  |  Artificial Intelligence (7)  |  Automatic (13)  |  Class (49)  |  Common Sense (56)  |  Deduction (48)  |  Definition (130)  |  Effective (16)  |  Experience (212)  |  Human (312)  |  Immediate (19)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Learn (91)  |  Make (23)  |  Objective (33)  |  Sufficient (20)  |  Wide (8)

What is truth? In matters of religion it is simply the opinion that has survived. In matters of science it is the ultimate sensation. In matters of art it is one’s last mood.
In Sebastian Melmoth (1908), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Mood (5)  |  Opinion (126)  |  Science And Art (152)  |  Science And Religion (247)  |  Sensation (18)  |  Survive (10)  |  Truth (661)


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:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations 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 |

who invites your feedback

- 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

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.