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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index U > Category: Understanding

Understanding Quotes (513 quotes)


The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction. There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them. In this methodological uncertainty, one might suppose that there were any number of possible systems of theoretical physics all equally well justified; and this opinion is no doubt correct, theoretically. But the development of physics has shown that at any given moment, out of all conceivable constructions, a single one has always proved itself decidedly superior to all the rest.
Address (1918) for Max Planck's 60th birthday, at Physical Society, Berlin, 'Principles of Research' in Essays in Science (1934), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Conceivable (28)  |  Construction (112)  |  Cosmos (63)  |  Deduction (82)  |  Development (422)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Elementary (96)  |  Equally (130)  |  Experience (467)  |  Intuition (75)  |  Law (894)  |  Logic (287)  |  Moment (253)  |  Number (699)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Path (144)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Physics (533)  |  Possible (552)  |  Pure (291)  |  Reach (281)  |  Rest (280)  |  Single (353)  |  Superior (81)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Supreme (71)  |  Sympathetic (10)  |  System (537)  |  Task (147)  |  Theoretical Physics (25)  |  Uncertainty (56)  |  Universal (189)

δος μοι που στω και κινω την γην — Dos moi pou sto kai kino taen gaen (in epigram form, as given by Pappus, classical Greek).
δος μοι πα στω και τα γαν κινάσω — Dos moi pa sto kai tan gan kinaso (Doric Greek).
Give me a place to stand on and I can move the Earth.
About four centuries before Pappas, but about three centuries after Archimedes lived, Plutarch had written of Archimedes' understanding of the lever:
Archimedes, a kinsman and friend of King Hiero, wrote to him that with a given force, it was possible to move any given weight; and emboldened, as it is said, by the strength of the proof, he asserted that, if there were another world and he could go to it, he would move this one.
A commonly-seen expanded variation of the aphorism is:
Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I can move the earth.
As attributed to Pappus (4th century A.D.) and Plutarch (c. 46-120 A.D.), in Sherman K. Stein, Archimedes: What Did He Do Besides Cry Eureka? (1999), 5, where it is also stated that Archimedes knew that ropes and pulley exploit “the principle of the lever, where distance is traded for force.” Eduard Jan Dijksterhuis, in his book, Archimedes (1956), Vol. 12., 15. writes that Hiero invited Archimedes to demonstrate his claim on a ship from the royal fleet, drawn up onto land and there loaded with a large crew and freight, and Archimedes easily succeeded. Thomas Little Heath in The Works of Archimedes (1897), xix-xx, states according to Athenaeus, the mechanical contrivance used was not pulleys as given by Plutarch, but a helix., Heath provides cites for Pappus Synagoge, Book VIII, 1060; Plutarch, Marcellus, 14; and Athenaeus v. 207 a-b. What all this boils down to, in the opinion of the Webmaster, is the last-stated aphorism would seem to be not the actual words of Archimedes (c. 287 – 212 B.C.), but restatements of the principle attributed to him, formed by other writers centuries after his lifetime.
Science quotes on:  |  Aphorism (21)  |  Archimedes Lever (3)  |  Assert (66)  |  Classical (45)  |  Do (1908)  |  Earth (996)  |  Enough (340)  |  Expand (53)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Friend (168)  |  Fulcrum (3)  |  Greek (107)  |  Lever (13)  |  Long (790)  |  Move (216)  |  Possible (552)  |  Proof (287)  |  Stand (274)  |  Strength (126)  |  Variation (90)  |  Weight (134)  |  World (1774)

...That day in the account of creation, or those days that are numbers according to its recurrence, are beyond the experience and knowledge of us mortal earthbound men. And if we are able to make any effort towards an understanding of those days, we ought not to rush forward with an ill considered opinion, as if no other reasonable and plausible interpretation could be offered.
iv.44
Science quotes on:  |  Accord (36)  |  According (237)  |  Account (192)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Consider (416)  |  Creation (327)  |  Earthbound (4)  |  Effort (227)  |  Experience (467)  |  Forward (102)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Mortal (54)  |  Number (699)  |  Offer (141)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Other (2236)  |  Plausible (22)  |  Reasonable (27)  |  Recurrence (5)  |  Rush (18)  |  Understand (606)

Der Schlussel zur Erkenntnis vom Wesen des bewussten Seelenlebens liegt in der Region des Unbewusstseins.
The key to the understanding of the character of the conscious lies in the region of the unconscious.
Psyche (1846), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Character (243)  |  Lie (364)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Unconscious (22)

Dicere enim bene nemo potest, nisi qui prudenter intelligit.
No one can speak well, unless he thoroughly understands his subject.
Brutus VI., 23. In Thomas Benfield Harbottle, Dictionary of Quotations (classical) (3rd Ed., 1906), 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Speak (232)  |  Subject (521)  |  Thoroughly (67)  |  Understand (606)  |  Well (14)

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding!
'An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?', (1784). In Hans Reiss (ed.), Kant: Political Writings, trans. H. B. Nisbet (1970), 54.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Cause (541)  |  Courage (69)  |  Emergence (33)  |  Enlightenment (20)  |  Guidance (28)  |  Immature (4)  |  Inability (10)  |  Lack (119)  |  Man (2251)  |  Motto (28)  |  Resolution (23)  |  Self (267)  |  Use (766)

Les hommes ne sont pas faits pour savoir; les hommes ne sont pas faits pour comprendre … et nos illusions croissent avec nos connaissances.
Men are not created to know, men are not created to understand … and our illusions increase with our knowledge.
From the fictional Dr. Trublet in Histoire Comique (1900), 212. As translated in Lewis P. Shanks, Anatole France (1919), 165. Shanks comments that Anatole France was writing, not as “an idealist of science, but as a skeptic content to accept truths merely pragmatic. … Trublet has lost faith in absolute truth.”
Science quotes on:  |  Created (6)  |  Illusion (66)  |  Increase (210)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Understand (606)

Neumann, to a physicist seeking help with a difficult problem: Simple. This can be solved by using the method of characteristics.
Physicist: I'm afraid I don’t understand the method of characteristics.
Neumann: In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
Attributed, as related by Dr. Felix Smith (Head of Molecular Physics, Stanford Research Institute) to author Gary Zukav, who quoted it in The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (1979, 2001), 208, footnote. The physicist (a friend of Dr. Smith) worked at Los Alamos after WW II. It should be noted that although the author uses quotation marks around the spoken remarks, that they represent the author's memory of Dr. Smith's recollection, who heard it from the physicist. Therefore the fourth-hand wording is very likely not verbatim. Webmaster finds Zukav's book seems to be the only source for this quote.
Science quotes on:  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Method (505)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Problem (676)  |  Simple (406)  |  Solution (267)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)

Quand celui à qui l’on parle ne comprend pas et celui qui parle ne se comprend pas, c’est de la métaphysique.
When he to whom a person speaks does not understand, and he who speaks does not understand himself, that is metaphysics.
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern English and Foreign Sources (1899), 361.
Science quotes on:  |  Himself (461)  |  Metaphysics (50)  |  Person (363)  |  Speak (232)  |  Understand (606)

To Wheeler's comment, If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day, a student responded, I can't believe that space is that crummy. Wheeler replied: To disagree leads to study, to study leads to understanding, to understand is to appreciate, to appreciate is to love. So maybe I'll end up loving your theory.
Quoted in Charles Birch, Biology and the Riddle of Life (1999), 10.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Appreciate (63)  |  End (590)  |  Lead (384)  |  Love (309)  |  Something (719)  |  Space (500)  |  Strange (157)  |  Student (300)  |  Study (653)  |  Theory (970)  |  Understand (606)  |  John Wheeler (39)

A careful analysis of the process of observation in atomic physics has shown that the subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement.
The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics (1975), 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (233)  |  Atomic Physics (7)  |  Care (186)  |  Entity (35)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Interconnection (12)  |  Isolation (31)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Observation (555)  |  Particle (194)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Preparation (58)  |  Process (423)  |  Subatomic (10)  |  Subsequent (33)  |  Understood (156)

A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable.
Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millenium (1998), 190.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (138)  |  Authority (95)  |  Central (80)  |  Complex (188)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Contradict (40)  |  Dogma (48)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Free (232)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Guarantee (30)  |  Lesson (57)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Must (1526)  |  Problem (676)  |  Publication (101)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simple (406)  |  Try (283)  |  Unacceptable (3)  |  Understand (606)

A designer must always think about the unfortunate production engineer who will have to manufacture what you have designed; try to understand his problems.
On the official Raymond Loewry website.
Science quotes on:  |  Design (195)  |  Designer (6)  |  Engineer (121)  |  Manufacture (29)  |  Manufacturing (27)  |  Must (1526)  |  Problem (676)  |  Production (183)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Try (283)  |  Understand (606)  |  Unfortunate (19)  |  Will (2355)

A troubling question for those of us committed to the widest application of intelligence in the study and solution of the problems of men is whether a general understanding of the social sciences will be possible much longer. Many significant areas of these disciplines have already been removed by the advances of the past two decades beyond the reach of anyone who does not know mathematics; and the man of letters is increasingly finding, to his dismay, that the study of mankind proper is passing from his hands to those of technicians and specialists. The aesthetic effect is admittedly bad: we have given up the belletristic “essay on man” for the barbarisms of a technical vocabulary, or at best the forbidding elegance of mathematical syntax.
Opening paragraph of 'The Study of Man: Sociology Learns the Language of Mathematics' in Commentary (1 Sep 1952). Reprinted in James Roy Newman, The World of Mathematics (1956), Vol. 2, 1294.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Aesthetic (46)  |  Already (222)  |  Application (242)  |  Bad (180)  |  Barbarism (7)  |  Best (459)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Decade (59)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Dismay (5)  |  Effect (393)  |  Elegance (37)  |  Essay (27)  |  General (511)  |  Intelligence (211)  |  Know (1518)  |  Letter (109)  |  Man (2251)  |  Man Of Letters (3)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Passing (76)  |  Past (337)  |  Possible (552)  |  Problem (676)  |  Proper (144)  |  Question (621)  |  Reach (281)  |  Remove (45)  |  Science (3879)  |  Significant (74)  |  Social (252)  |  Social Science (35)  |  Solution (267)  |  Specialist (28)  |  Study (653)  |  Syntax (2)  |  Technical (43)  |  Technician (9)  |  Two (937)  |  Understand (606)  |  Vocabulary (8)  |  Will (2355)

A visitor to Niels Bohr's country cottage, noticing a horseshoe hanging on the wall, teasing the eminent scientist about this ancient superstition. “Can it be true that you, of all people, believe it will bring you luck?'
'Of course not,' replied Bohr, 'but I understand it brings you luck whether you believe it or not.'”
As described in Clifton Fadiman (ed.), André Bernard (ed.), Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes (2000), 68.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Belief (578)  |  Country (251)  |  Course (409)  |  Horseshoe (2)  |  Luck (42)  |  People (1005)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Superstition (66)  |  Understand (606)  |  Wall (67)  |  Will (2355)

According to Democritus, atoms had lost the qualities like colour, taste, etc., they only occupied space, but geometrical assertions about atoms were admissible and required no further analysis. In modern physics, atoms lose this last property, they possess geometrical qualities in no higher degree than colour, taste, etc. The atom of modern physics can only be symbolized by a partial differential equation in an abstract multidimensional space. Only the experiment of an observer forces the atom to indicate a position, a colour and a quantity of heat. All the qualities of the atom of modern physics are derived, it has no immediate and direct physical properties at all, i.e. every type of visual conception we might wish to design is, eo ipso, faulty. An understanding of 'the first order' is, I would almost say by definition, impossible for the world of atoms.
Philosophic Problems of Nuclear Science, trans. F. C. Hayes (1952), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (124)  |  According (237)  |  Admissible (6)  |  All (4108)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Atom (355)  |  Conception (154)  |  Definition (221)  |  Degree (276)  |  Design (195)  |  Differential Equation (18)  |  Direct (225)  |  Equation (132)  |  Experiment (695)  |  First (1283)  |  Force (487)  |  Heat (174)  |  Immediate (95)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Last (426)  |  Lose (159)  |  Modern (385)  |  Modern Physics (23)  |  Occupied (45)  |  Order (632)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physics (533)  |  Possess (156)  |  Property (168)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Quantum Physics (18)  |  Required (108)  |  Say (984)  |  Space (500)  |  Taste (90)  |  Type (167)  |  Wish (212)  |  World (1774)

After the discovery of spectral analysis no one trained in physics could doubt the problem of the atom would be solved when physicists had learned to understand the language of spectra. So manifold was the enormous amount of material that has been accumulated in sixty years of spectroscopic research that it seemed at first beyond the possibility of disentanglement. An almost greater enlightenment has resulted from the seven years of Röntgen spectroscopy, inasmuch as it has attacked the problem of the atom at its very root, and illuminates the interior. What we are nowadays hearing of the language of spectra is a true 'music of the spheres' in order and harmony that becomes ever more perfect in spite of the manifold variety. The theory of spectral lines will bear the name of Bohr for all time. But yet another name will be permanently associated with it, that of Planck. All integral laws of spectral lines and of atomic theory spring originally from the quantum theory. It is the mysterious organon on which Nature plays her music of the spectra, and according to the rhythm of which she regulates the structure of the atoms and nuclei.
Atombau und Spektrallinien (1919), viii, Atomic Structure and Spectral Lines, trans. Henry L. Brose (1923), viii.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  All (4108)  |  Amount (151)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Atom (355)  |  Atomic Theory (15)  |  Attack (84)  |  Bear (159)  |  Become (815)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Niels Bohr (54)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Enlightenment (20)  |  First (1283)  |  Greater (288)  |  Harmony (102)  |  Hearing (49)  |  Integral (26)  |  Interior (32)  |  Language (293)  |  Law (894)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Manifold (22)  |  Material (353)  |  More (2559)  |  Music (129)  |  Music Of The Spheres (3)  |  Mysterious (79)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Name (333)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nucleus (49)  |  Order (632)  |  Organon (2)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Physics (533)  |  Max Planck (64)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Problem (676)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Regulation (24)  |  Research (664)  |  Result (677)  |  Rhythm (20)  |  Wilhelm Röntgen (8)  |  Root (120)  |  Solution (267)  |  Spectral Analysis (4)  |  Spectral Line (5)  |  Spectroscopy (11)  |  Spectrum (31)  |  Sphere (116)  |  Spite (55)  |  Spring (133)  |  Structure (344)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Train (114)  |  Understand (606)  |  Variety (132)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

Alcmaeon was the first to define the difference between man and animals, saying that man differs from the latter in the fact that he alone has the power of understanding.
On Sense Perceptions, section 25. In Edwin Clarke and C. D. O'Malley, The Human Brain and Spinal Cord (1968), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (311)  |  Animal (617)  |  Differ (85)  |  Difference (337)  |  Fact (1210)  |  First (1283)  |  Man (2251)  |  Man And Animals (5)  |  Power (746)

All knowledge and understanding of the Universe was no more than playing with stones and shells on the seashore of the vast imponderable ocean of truth.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Imponderable (4)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  More (2559)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Play (112)  |  Playing (42)  |  Seashore (6)  |  Shell (63)  |  Stone (162)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)  |  Vast (177)

All knowledge resolves itself into probability. ... In every judgment, which we can form concerning probability, as well as concerning knowledge, we ought always to correct the first judgment deriv'd from the nature of the object, by another judgment, deriv'd from the nature of the understanding.
In A treatise of Human Nature (1888), 181-182.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Concern (228)  |  Correction (40)  |  Derivation (13)  |  First (1283)  |  Form (959)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Object (422)  |  Ought (3)  |  Probability (130)  |  Resolution (23)  |  Resolve (40)

All living organisms are but leaves on the same tree of life. The various functions of plants and animals and their specialized organs are manifestations of the same living matter. This adapts itself to different jobs and circumstances, but operates on the same basic principles. Muscle contraction is only one of these adaptations. In principle it would not matter whether we studied nerve, kidney or muscle to understand the basic principles of life. In practice, however, it matters a great deal.
'Muscle Research', Scientific American, 1949, 180 (6), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (66)  |  Adaptation (58)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Basic (138)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Circumstances (108)  |  Contraction (15)  |  Deal (188)  |  Different (577)  |  Function (228)  |  Great (1574)  |  Job (82)  |  Kidney (18)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Manifestation (58)  |  Matter (798)  |  Muscle (45)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Operation (213)  |  Organ (115)  |  Organism (220)  |  Plant (294)  |  Practice (204)  |  Principle (507)  |  Specialization (23)  |  Tree (246)  |  Tree Of Life (10)  |  Understand (606)  |  Various (200)

All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony, not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good:
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, “Whatever IS, is RIGHT.”
'An Essay on Man' (1733-4), Epistle I. In John Butt (ed.), The Poems of Alexander Pope (1965), 515.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Art (657)  |  Chance (239)  |  Clarity (47)  |  Direction (175)  |  Discord (10)  |  Evil (116)  |  Existence (456)  |  Good (889)  |  Harmony (102)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Partial (10)  |  Pride (78)  |  Reason (744)  |  Right (452)  |  See (1081)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Spite (55)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understood (156)  |  Universal (189)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Whatever (234)

All of our experience indicates that life can manifest itself only in a concrete form, and that it is bound to certain substantial loci. These loci are cells and cell formations. But we are far from seeking the last and highest level of understanding in the morphology of these loci of life. Anatomy does not exclude physiology, but physiology certainly presupposes anatomy. The phenomena that the physiologist investigates occur in special organs with quite characteristic anatomical arrangements; the various morphological parts disclosed by the anatomist are the bearers of properties or, if you will, of forces probed by the physiologist; when the physiologist has established a law, whether through physical or chemical investigation, the anatomist can still proudly state: This is the structure in which the law becomes manifest.
In 'Cellular-Pathologie', Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und fur klinische Medizin (1855), 8, 19, as translated in LellandJ. Rather, 'Cellular Pathology', Disease, Life, and Man: Selected Essays by Rudolf Virchow (1958), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Anatomist (23)  |  Anatomy (69)  |  Arrangement (91)  |  Become (815)  |  Bound (119)  |  Cell (138)  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Experience (467)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Formation (96)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Last (426)  |  Law (894)  |  Level (67)  |  Life (1795)  |  Locus (5)  |  Morphology (22)  |  Occur (150)  |  Organ (115)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physiologist (29)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Presuppose (15)  |  Pride (78)  |  Probe (12)  |  Property (168)  |  Seeking (31)  |  Special (184)  |  State (491)  |  Still (613)  |  Structure (344)  |  Substantial (24)  |  Through (849)  |  Various (200)  |  Will (2355)

All that science can achieve is a perfect knowledge and a perfect understanding of the action of natural and moral forces.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (66)  |  Action (327)  |  All (4108)  |  Force (487)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Moral (195)  |  Natural (796)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Science (3879)  |  Understand (606)

All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.
[Revealing his anti-science views, contrary to the qualifications needed to make important public policy on matters of science.]
From speech (27 Sep 2012) to a sportman's banquet at Liberty Baptist Church, Hartwell, Georgia, as quoted in Matt Pearce, 'U.S. Rep. Paul Broun: Evolution a lie ‘from the pit of hell’', Los angeles Times (7 Oct 2012).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Bang (29)  |  Big Bang (39)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Embryology (17)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Hell (32)  |  Lie (364)  |  Matter (798)  |  Pit (19)  |  Qualification (14)  |  Savior (5)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Straight (73)  |  Theory (970)  |  Try (283)  |  View (488)

All the modern higher mathematics is based on a calculus of operations, on laws of thought. All mathematics, from the first, was so in reality; but the evolvers of the modern higher calculus have known that it is so. Therefore elementary teachers who, at the present day, persist in thinking about algebra and arithmetic as dealing with laws of number, and about geometry as dealing with laws of surface and solid content, are doing the best that in them lies to put their pupils on the wrong track for reaching in the future any true understanding of the higher algebras. Algebras deal not with laws of number, but with such laws of the human thinking machinery as have been discovered in the course of investigations on numbers. Plane geometry deals with such laws of thought as were discovered by men intent on finding out how to measure surface; and solid geometry with such additional laws of thought as were discovered when men began to extend geometry into three dimensions.
In Lectures on the Logic of Arithmetic (1903), Preface, 18-19.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (113)  |  All (4108)  |  Arithmetic (136)  |  Best (459)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Course (409)  |  Deal (188)  |  Dimension (61)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Doing (280)  |  Elementary (96)  |  Extend (128)  |  First (1283)  |  Future (429)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Human (1468)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Known (454)  |  Law (894)  |  Lie (364)  |  Machinery (56)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Measure (232)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Modern (385)  |  Modern Mathematics (50)  |  Number (699)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Present (619)  |  Pupil (61)  |  Reality (261)  |  Solid (116)  |  Surface (209)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Thought (953)  |  Track (38)  |  Wrong (234)

All the real true knowledge we have of Nature is intirely experimental, insomuch that, how strange soever the assertion seems, we may lay this down as the first fundamental unerring rule in physics, That it is not within the compass of human understanding to assign a purely speculative reason for any one phaenomenon in nature.
In The Procedure, Extent, and Limits of Human Understanding (1728, 1729), 205-206.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Assertion (32)  |  Compass (34)  |  Down (456)  |  Experimental (192)  |  First (1283)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Human (1468)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Purely (109)  |  Real (149)  |  Reason (744)  |  Rule (294)  |  Seem (145)  |  Speculation (126)  |  Strange (157)  |  True (212)  |  Understand (606)

All the scientist creates in a fact is the language in which he enunciates it. If he predicts a fact, he will employ this language, and for all those who can speak and understand it, his prediction is free from ambiguity. Moreover, this prediction once made, it evidently does not depend upon him whether it is fulfilled or not.
The Value of Science (1905), in The Foundations of Science: Science and Hypothesis, The Value of Science, Science and Method(1946), trans. by George Bruce Halsted, 332.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Ambiguity (17)  |  Create (235)  |  Creation (327)  |  Depend (228)  |  Dependence (45)  |  Employ (113)  |  Employment (32)  |  Enunciation (7)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Evidently (26)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Free (232)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Fulfillment (18)  |  Language (293)  |  Predict (79)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Speak (232)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Understand (606)  |  Will (2355)

Almost all aspects of life are engineered at the molecular level, and without understanding molecules we can only have a very sketchy understanding of life itself.
What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (1988), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Engineer (121)  |  Life (1795)  |  Molecular Biology (27)  |  Molecule (174)

Although a science fair can seem like a big “pain” it can help you understand important scientific principles, such as Newton’s First Law of Inertia, which states: “A body at rest will remain at rest until 8:45 p.m. the night before the science fair project is due, at which point the body will come rushing to the body’s parents, who are already in their pajamas, and shout, “I JUST REMEMBERED THE SCIENCE FAIR IS TOMORROW AND WE GOTTA GO TO THE STORE RIGHT NOW!”
'Science: It’s Just Not Fair', Miami Herald (22 Mar 1998)
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Already (222)  |  Body (537)  |  Due (141)  |  First (1283)  |  Important (209)  |  Inertia (14)  |  Law (894)  |  Pain (136)  |  Parent (76)  |  Point (580)  |  Principle (507)  |  Project (73)  |  Remain (349)  |  Remember (179)  |  Rest (280)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science Fair (3)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Shout (25)  |  State (491)  |  Store (48)  |  Tomorrow (60)  |  Understand (606)  |  Will (2355)

An egg is a chemical process, but it is not a mere chemical process. It is one that is going places—even when, in our world of chance and contingency, it ends up in an omelet and not in a chicken. Though it surely be a chemical process, we cannot understand it adequately without knowing the kind of chicken it has the power to become.
'The Changing Impact of Darwin on Philosophy', Journal of the History of Ideas (1961), 22, 457.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Chance (239)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Chicken (8)  |  Contingency (11)  |  Egg (69)  |  End (590)  |  Kind (557)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Power (746)  |  Process (423)  |  Surely (101)  |  Understand (606)  |  World (1774)

An engineer [is] one of those people who make things work without even understanding how they function. … Today I would add: one of those people who are unable to make anything work, but think they know why it doesn’t function!
In 'Sundays in a Quantum Engineer’s Life', collected in Reinhold A. Bertlmann, A. Zeilinger (eds.),Quantum (Un)speakables: From Bell to Quantum Information (2002), 199.
Science quotes on:  |  Engineer (121)  |  Function (228)  |  Functioning (3)  |  Know (1518)  |  People (1005)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Today (314)  |  Why (491)  |  Work (1351)

An expert is a man who understands everything, and nothing else.
Speech, London (16 Dec 1970), 'Israel's International Relations in an Era of Peace', (1979), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Everything (476)  |  Expert (65)  |  Man (2251)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Understand (606)

An informed appraisal of life absolutely require(s) a full understanding of life’s arena–the universe. … By deepening our understanding of the true nature of physical reality, we profoundly reconfigure our sense of ourselves and our experience of the universe.
In The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality (2007), 5.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Absolutely (39)  |  Appraisal (2)  |  Arena (4)  |  Deepen (6)  |  Experience (467)  |  Full (66)  |  Inform (47)  |  Life (1795)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Physical (508)  |  Profoundly (13)  |  Reality (261)  |  Require (219)  |  Sense (770)  |  True (212)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)

And I believe there are many Species in Nature, which were never yet taken notice of by Man, and consequently of no use to him, which yet we are not to think were created in vain; but it’s likely … to partake of the overflowing Goodness of the Creator, and enjoy their own Beings. But though in this sense it be not true, that all things were made for Man; yet thus far it is, that all the Creatures in the World may be some way or other useful to us, at least to exercise our Wits and Understandings, in considering and contemplating of them, and so afford us Subject of Admiring and Glorifying their and our Maker. Seeing them, we do believe and assert that all things were in some sense made for us, we are thereby obliged to make use of them for those purposes for which they serve us, else we frustrate this End of their Creation.
John Ray
The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation (1691), 169-70.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Assert (66)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belief (578)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Contemplating (11)  |  Contemplation (73)  |  Creation (327)  |  Creator (91)  |  Creature (233)  |  Do (1908)  |  End (590)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Frustration (12)  |  Glorification (2)  |  Goodness (25)  |  Maker (34)  |  Man (2251)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Notice (77)  |  Other (2236)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Sense (770)  |  Species (401)  |  Subject (521)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Use (766)  |  Useful (250)  |  Usefulness (86)  |  Vain (83)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wit (59)  |  World (1774)

And yet I think that the Full House model does teach us to treasure variety for its own sake–for tough reasons of evolutionary theory and nature’s ontology, and not from a lamentable failure of thought that accepts all beliefs on the absurd rationale that disagreement must imply disrespect. Excellence is a range of differences, not a spot. Each location on the range can be occupied by an excellent or an inadequate representative– and we must struggle for excellence at each of these varied locations. In a society driven, of ten unconsciously, to impose a uniform mediocrity upon a former richness of excellence–where McDonald’s drives out the local diner, and the mega-Stop & Shop eliminates the corner Mom and Pop–an understanding and defense of full ranges as natural reality might help to stem the tide and preserve the rich raw material of any evolving system: variation itself.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Absurd (59)  |  Accept (191)  |  All (4108)  |  Belief (578)  |  Corner (57)  |  Defense (23)  |  Difference (337)  |  Disagreement (14)  |  Disrespect (3)  |  Drive (55)  |  Eliminate (21)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  Excellence (39)  |  Excellent (28)  |  Failure (161)  |  Former (137)  |  Full (66)  |  Help (105)  |  House (140)  |  Imply (17)  |  Impose (22)  |  Inadequate (19)  |  Lamentable (5)  |  Local (19)  |  Location (15)  |  Material (353)  |  Mediocrity (8)  |  Model (102)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Occupied (45)  |  Occupy (26)  |  Pop (2)  |  Preserve (83)  |  Range (99)  |  Rationale (7)  |  Raw (28)  |  Reality (261)  |  Reason (744)  |  Representative (14)  |  Rich (62)  |  Richness (14)  |  Sake (58)  |  Shop (11)  |  Society (326)  |  Spot (17)  |  Stem (31)  |  Struggle (105)  |  System (537)  |  Teach (277)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Tide (34)  |  Tough (19)  |  Treasure (57)  |  Unconsciously (7)  |  Understand (606)  |  Uniform (18)  |  Variation (90)  |  Variety (132)  |  Vary (27)

Any man who is intelligent must, on considering that health is of the utmost value to human beings, have the personal understanding necessary to help himself in diseases, and be able to understand and to judge what physicians say and what they administer to his body, being versed in each of these matters to a degree reasonable for a layman.
Affections, in Hippocrates, trans. P. Potter (1988), Vol. 5, 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Body (537)  |  Degree (276)  |  Disease (328)  |  Health (193)  |  Himself (461)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Being (175)  |  Human Beings (117)  |  Intelligent (100)  |  Judge (108)  |  Layman (21)  |  Man (2251)  |  Matter (798)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Must (1526)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Physician (273)  |  Say (984)  |  Understand (606)  |  Value (365)

Anyone who is not shocked by the quantum theory has not understood it. [Attributed.]
Webmaster is not alone in failing to find a primary source. Regardless of how widely quoted, the few citations to be found merely reference other books in which it is stated without a valid citation. For example, this quote is an epigraph in Eric Middleton, The New Flatlanders (2007), 19, with a note (p.151) citing Niels Bohr, Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge (1958), but Webmaster’s search of that text does not find it. If you know the primary source, or an early citation, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Shock (37)  |  Theory (970)  |  Understood (156)

Archaeology gives a sense of place. It grounds us within the landscape and every place is unique. … Archaeology can also give an understanding of where we come from.
From interview with Sarah Marsh, in “Being a Council Archaeologist is ‘Like Being a Detective’”, The Guardian (6 Sep 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Archaeology (49)  |  Ground (217)  |  Landscape (39)  |  Place (177)  |  Sense (770)  |  Unique (67)

Art and science work in quite different ways: agreed. But, bad as it may sound, I have to admit that I cannot get along as an artist without the use of one or two sciences. ... In my view, the great and complicated things that go on in the world cannot be adequately recognized by people who do not use every possible aid to understanding.
Bertolt Brecht, John Willett (trans.), Brecht on Theatre (1964), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (97)  |  Art (657)  |  Artist (90)  |  Bad (180)  |  Complicated (115)  |  Different (577)  |  Do (1908)  |  Great (1574)  |  People (1005)  |  Possible (552)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Art (184)  |  Sound (183)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Two (937)  |  Use (766)  |  View (488)  |  Way (1217)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

As children we all possess a natural, uninhibited curiosity, a hunger for explanation, which seems to die slowly as we age—suppressed, I suppose, by the high value we place on conformity and by the need not to appear ignorant.
It betokens a conviction that somehow science is innately incomprehensible. It precludes reaching deeper, thereby denying the profound truth that understanding enriches experience, that explanation vastly enhances the beauty of the natural world in the eye of the beholder.
In Toward the Habit of Truth (1990).
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Children (200)  |  Conviction (97)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Enhance (16)  |  Experience (467)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Eye (419)  |  High (362)  |  Hunger (21)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Incomprehensible (29)  |  Natural (796)  |  Possess (156)  |  Profound (104)  |  Science (3879)  |  Somehow (48)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Value (365)  |  World (1774)

As for the search for truth, I know from my own painful searching, with its many blind alleys, how hard it is to take a reliable step, be it ever so small, towards the understanding of that which is truly significant.
Letter to an interested layman (13 Feb 1934). In Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Albert Einstein: The Human Side: New Glipses From His Archives (1981), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Blind (95)  |  Blind Alley (4)  |  Hard (243)  |  Know (1518)  |  Reliability (17)  |  Search (162)  |  Significant (74)  |  Small (477)  |  Step (231)  |  Truly (116)  |  Truth (1057)

As we continue to improve our understanding of the basic science on which applications increasingly depend, material benefits of this and other kinds are secured for the future.
Speech at the Nobel Banquet (10 Dec 1983) for his Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.), Les Prix Nobel: The Nobel Prizes (1984), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (242)  |  Basic (138)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Continue (165)  |  Depend (228)  |  Future (429)  |  Kind (557)  |  Material (353)  |  Other (2236)  |  Science (3879)  |  Secured (18)

As, no matter what cunning system of checks we devise, we must in the end trust some one whom we do not check, but to whom we give unreserved confidence, so there is a point at which the understanding and mental processes must be taken as understood without further question or definition in words. And I should say that this point should be fixed pretty early in the discussion.
Samuel Butler, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 220-221.
Science quotes on:  |  Check (24)  |  Confidence (69)  |  Cunning (16)  |  Definition (221)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Do (1908)  |  Early (185)  |  End (590)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mental (177)  |  Must (1526)  |  Point (580)  |  Process (423)  |  Question (621)  |  Say (984)  |  System (537)  |  Trust (66)  |  Understood (156)  |  Unreserved (2)  |  Word (619)

Asked in 1919 whether it was true that only three people in the world understood the theory of general relativity, [Eddington] allegedly replied: “Who's the third?”
As described in Brian Stableford, Science Fact and Science Fiction: An Encyclopedia (2006), 150.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ask (411)  |  General (511)  |  General Relativity (10)  |  People (1005)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Theory (970)  |  Understood (156)  |  World (1774)

Astronomy is older than physics. In fact, it got physics started by showing the beautiful simplicity of the motion of the stars and planets, the understanding of which was the beginning of physics. But the most remarkable discovery in all of astronomy is that the stars are made of atoms of the same kind as those on the earth.
In 'Astronomy', The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1961), Vol. 1, 3-6.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Atom (355)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Earth (996)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Kind (557)  |  Made (14)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motion (310)  |  Older (7)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Planet (356)  |  Remarkable (48)  |  Same (157)  |  Showing (6)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Start (221)

Astronomy is perhaps the science whose discoveries owe least to chance, in which human understanding appears in its whole magnitude, and through which man can best learn how small he is.
Aphorism 23 in Notebook C (1772-1773), as translated by R.J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Best (459)  |  Chance (239)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Human (1468)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Magnitude (83)  |  Man (2251)  |  Owe (71)  |  Science (3879)  |  Small (477)  |  Through (849)  |  Whole (738)

At every major step physics has required, and frequently stimulated, the introduction of new mathematical tools and concepts. Our present understanding of the laws of physics, with their extreme precision and universality, is only possible in mathematical terms.
In Book Review 'Pulling the Strings,' of Lawrence Krauss's Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Lure of Extra Dimensions, from Plato to String Theory and Beyond in Nature (22 Dec 2005), 438, 1081.
Science quotes on:  |  Concept (221)  |  Extreme (75)  |  Introduction (35)  |  Law (894)  |  Major (84)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  New (1216)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Possible (552)  |  Precision (68)  |  Present (619)  |  Require (219)  |  Required (108)  |  Step (231)  |  Stimulate (18)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Tool (117)  |  Universal (189)  |  Universality (22)

Before an experiment can be performed, it must be planned—the question to nature must be formulated before being posed. Before the result of a measurement can be used, it must be interpreted—nature's answer must be understood properly. These two tasks are those of the theorist, who finds himself always more and more dependent on the tools of abstract mathematics. Of course, this does not mean that the experimenter does not also engage in theoretical deliberations. The foremost classical example of a major achievement produced by such a division of labor is the creation of spectrum analysis by the joint efforts of Robert Bunsen, the experimenter, and Gustav Kirchoff, the theorist. Since then, spectrum analysis has been continually developing and bearing ever richer fruit.
'The Meaning and Limits of Exact Science', Science (30 Sep 1949), 110, No. 2857, 325. Advance reprinting of chapter from book Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography (1949), 110.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Abstract (124)  |  Achievement (179)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Answer (366)  |  Bearing (9)  |  Being (1278)  |  Robert Bunsen (8)  |  Classical (45)  |  Collaboration (15)  |  Continuing (4)  |  Course (409)  |  Creation (327)  |  Deliberation (5)  |  Dependence (45)  |  Development (422)  |  Division (65)  |  Effort (227)  |  Engage (39)  |  Example (94)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Experimenter (40)  |  Find (998)  |  Formulation (36)  |  Fruit (102)  |  Himself (461)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Joint (31)  |  Kirchoff_Gustav (3)  |  Labor (107)  |  Major (84)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mean (809)  |  Measurement (174)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Perform (121)  |  Performance (48)  |  Plan (117)  |  Produced (187)  |  Properly (20)  |  Question (621)  |  Result (677)  |  Richness (14)  |  Spectral Analysis (4)  |  Spectrum (31)  |  Task (147)  |  Theorist (44)  |  Tool (117)  |  Two (937)  |  Understood (156)  |  Use (766)

Being well-informed about science is not the same thing as understanding science.
In Science and Common Sense (1951), 4. As quoted and cited in NGSS Lead States, Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States (2013), Vol. 1, 97.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Inform (47)  |  Science (3879)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Well-Informed (5)

Bistromathics itself is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the behavior of numbers. Just as Einstein observed that space was not an absolute but depended on the observer's movement in space, and that time was not an absolute, but depended on the observer's movement in time, so it is now realized that numbers are not absolute, but depend on the observer's movement in restaurants.
Life, the Universe and Everything (1982, 1995), 47.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Absolute (145)  |  Behavior (84)  |  Depend (228)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Albert Einstein (605)  |  Movement (155)  |  New (1216)  |  Number (699)  |  Observed (149)  |  Restaurant (3)  |  Revolutionary (31)  |  Space (500)  |  Theory Of Relativity (33)  |  Time (1877)  |  Way (1217)

Books have always a secret influence on the understanding; we cannot at pleasure obliterate ideas; he that reads books of science, thogh without any fixed desire of improvement, will grow more knowing…
In Samuel Johnson and W. Jackson Bate (Ed.), ',The Adventurer, No. 137, Tuesday, 26 Febraury 1754.' The Selected Essays from the Rambler, Adventurer, and Idler (1968), 273.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (392)  |  Desire (204)  |  Grow (238)  |  Idea (843)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Influence (222)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  More (2559)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Read (287)  |  Science (3879)  |  Secret (194)  |  Will (2355)

Both social and biosocial factors are necessary to interpret crosscultural studies, with the general proviso that one’s research interest determines which elements, in what combinations, are significant for the provision of understanding.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Both (493)  |  Combination (144)  |  Determine (144)  |  Element (310)  |  Factor (46)  |  General (511)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interpret (19)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Provision (16)  |  Research (664)  |  Significant (74)  |  Social (252)  |  Study (653)  |  Understand (606)

But by far the greatest hindrance and aberration of the human understanding proceeds from the dullness, incompetency, and deceptions of the senses; in that things which strike the sense outweigh things which do not immediately strike it, though they be more important. Hence it is that speculation commonly ceases where sight ceases; insomuch that of things invisible there is little or no observation.
From Aphorism 50, Novum Organum, Book I (1620). Collected in James Spedding (ed.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1858), Vol. 4, 58.
Science quotes on:  |  Aberration (8)  |  Cease (79)  |  Deception (8)  |  Do (1908)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Human (1468)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Invisible (63)  |  Little (707)  |  More (2559)  |  Observation (555)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Sense (770)  |  Sight (132)  |  Speculation (126)  |  Strike (68)  |  Thing (1915)

But, but, but … if anybody says he can think about quantum theory without getting giddy it merely shows that he hasn’t understood the first thing about it!
Quoted in Otto R. Frisch, What Little I Remember (1979), 95.
Science quotes on:  |  Anybody (42)  |  First (1283)  |  Merely (316)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Say (984)  |  Show (346)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Understood (156)

By science, then, I understand the consideration of all subjects, whether of a pure or mixed nature, capable of being reduced to measurement and calculation. All things comprehended under the categories of space, time and number properly belong to our investigations; and all phenomena capable of being brought under the semblance of a law are legitimate objects of our inquiries.
In Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1833), xxviii.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belong (162)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Capability (41)  |  Capable (168)  |  Comprehension (66)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Law (894)  |  Legitimate (25)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Number (699)  |  Object (422)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Pure (291)  |  Reduction (51)  |  Science (3879)  |  Semblance (5)  |  Space (500)  |  Subject (521)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time And Space (39)  |  Understand (606)

By the year 2070 we cannot say, or it would be imbecile to do so, that any man alive could understand Shakespearean experience better than Shakespeare, whereas any decent eighteen-year-old student of physics will know more physics than Newton.
'The Case of Leavis and the Serious Case’, Times Literary Supplement (9 Jul 1970), 737-740. Collected in Public Affairs (1971), 95.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (90)  |  Better (486)  |  Decent (10)  |  Do (1908)  |  Experience (467)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Man (2251)  |  More (2559)  |  Newton (10)  |  Old (481)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Say (984)  |  William Shakespeare (102)  |  Student (300)  |  Understand (606)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

By this we may understand, there be two sorts of knowledge, whereof the one is nothing else but sense, or knowledge original (as I have said at the beginning of the second chapter), and remembrance of the same; the other is called science or knowledge of the truth of propositions, and how things are called, and is derived from understanding.
The Elements of Law: Natural and Politic (1640), Ferdinand Tonnies edn. (1928), Part 1, Chapter 6, 18-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (305)  |  Call (769)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Other (2236)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Remembrance (5)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sense (770)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Two (937)  |  Understand (606)

Chemical biodynamics, involving as it does, the fusion of many scientific disciplines, … [played a role] in the elucidation of the carbon cycle. It can be expected to take an increasingly important place in the understanding of the dynamics of living organisms on a molecular level.
In Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1961), 'The Path of Carbon in Photosynthesis', Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1942-1962 (1964).
Science quotes on:  |  Carbon (65)  |  Carbon Cycle (5)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Cycle (40)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Dynamics (9)  |  Elucidation (7)  |  Expect (200)  |  Fusion (16)  |  Important (209)  |  Increasingly (4)  |  Living (491)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Organism (220)  |  Role (86)  |  Scientific (941)

Chemistry as a science is still in its infancy. I hold to my view because there is still so much beyond our understanding even in the simplest systems the chemist has cared to deal with.
Speech at the Nobel Banquet (10 Dec 1983) for his Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.), Les Prix Nobel: The Nobel Prizes (1984), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Beyond (308)  |  Car (71)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Deal (188)  |  Infancy (12)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simple (406)  |  Still (613)  |  System (537)  |  View (488)

Common sense … is to the judgment what genius is to the understanding.
In Igerne and Other Writings of Arthur Handly Marks (1897), 349.
Science quotes on:  |  Common (436)  |  Common Sense (130)  |  Genius (284)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Sense (770)  |  Understand (606)

Computers and rocket ships are examples of invention, not of understanding. … All that is needed to build machines is the knowledge that when one thing happens, another thing happens as a result. It’s an accumulation of simple patterns. A dog can learn patterns. There is no “why” in those examples. We don’t understand why electricity travels. We don’t know why light travels at a constant speed forever. All we can do is observe and record patterns.
In God's Debris: A Thought Experiment (2004), 22.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accumulation (50)  |  All (4108)  |  Build (204)  |  Building (156)  |  Computer (127)  |  Constant (144)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dog (70)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Example (94)  |  Forever (103)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happening (58)  |  Invention (369)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Light (607)  |  Machine (257)  |  Need (290)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observe (168)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Record (154)  |  Result (677)  |  Rocket (43)  |  Ship (62)  |  Simple (406)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Speed (65)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Travel (114)  |  Understand (606)  |  Why (491)

Contrary to popular parlance, Darwin didn't discover evolution. He uncovered one (most would say the) essential mechanism by which it operates: natural selection. Even then, his brainstorm was incomplete until the Modern Synthesis of the early/mid-20th century when (among other things) the complementary role of genetic heredity was fully realized. Thousands upon thousands of studies have followed, providing millions of data points that support this understanding of how life on Earth has come to be as it is.
In online article, 'The Day That Botany Took on Bobby Jindal by Just Being Itself', Huffington Post (5 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (36)  |  Brainstorm (2)  |  Century (310)  |  Complementary (14)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Data (156)  |  Discover (553)  |  Early (185)  |  Earth (996)  |  Essential (199)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Follow (378)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Incomplete (30)  |  Life (1795)  |  Life On Earth (9)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Modern (385)  |  Most (1731)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Other (2236)  |  Parlance (2)  |  Point (580)  |  Popular (29)  |  Role (86)  |  Say (984)  |  Selection (128)  |  Study (653)  |  Support (147)  |  Synthesis (57)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Uncover (20)

Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before. Some day, I doubt not, we shall arrive at an understanding of the evolution of the aesthetic faculty; but all the understanding in the world will neither increase nor diminish the force of the intuition that this is beautiful and that is ugly.
'Evolution and Ethics' (1893). In Collected Essays (1894), Vol. 9, 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Aesthetic (46)  |  All (4108)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Better (486)  |  Call (769)  |  Cosmic (72)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Evil (116)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Force (487)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Good (889)  |  Increase (210)  |  Intuition (75)  |  Man (2251)  |  Reason (744)  |  Teach (277)  |  Ugly (14)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

Creation science has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and because good teachers understand why it is false. What could be more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectual heritage—good teaching—than a bill forcing our honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise?.
In 'The Verdict on Creationism' The Sketical Inquirer (Winter 1987/88), 12, 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Basic (138)  |  Bill (14)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Commodity (5)  |  Creation (327)  |  Creation Science (2)  |  Creationism (8)  |  Curriculum (10)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Enter (141)  |  Enterprise (54)  |  Equal (83)  |  False (100)  |  Forcing (2)  |  Forget (115)  |  Forgetting (13)  |  Fragile (21)  |  General (511)  |  Good (889)  |  Heritage (20)  |  Honor (54)  |  Honorable (14)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Known (454)  |  Mention (82)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Precious (41)  |  Reason (744)  |  Sacred (45)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simple (406)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Trust (66)  |  Undermining (2)  |  Understand (606)  |  Why (491)

Data is not information, Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not understanding, Understanding is not wisdom.
Attributed to Cliff Stoll and Gary Schubert, in Mark R Keeler, Nothing to Hide: Privacy in the 21st Century (2006), 112. A similar quote, 'Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom,' is in the lyrics of Frank Zappa's album, Joe's Garage, track 'Packard Goose.' The sentiment of the above quote is presented in Clifford Stoll, Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway (1996), 193-194. The elements of the above quote are fragmented and distributed within three paragraphs. “Data isn't information ... information is not knowledge ... doesn't mean you understand ... There's a relationship between data, information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. ... perhaps knowledge becomes wisdom.” [If you know a primary print source and date for Stoll and Schubert's quote, in the exact words of the summary form as above, please contact webmaster.]
Science quotes on:  |  Data (156)  |  Information (166)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Wisdom (221)

Data isn't information. ... Information, unlike data, is useful. While there’s a gulf between data and information, there’s a wide ocean between information and knowledge. What turns the gears in our brains isn't information, but ideas, inventions, and inspiration. Knowledge—not information—implies understanding. And beyond knowledge lies what we should be seeking: wisdom.
In High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian (2000), 185-186.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Brain (270)  |  Data (156)  |  Gear (4)  |  Gulf (18)  |  Idea (843)  |  Implies (2)  |  Information (166)  |  Inspiration (75)  |  Invention (369)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lie (364)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Seeking (31)  |  Turn (447)  |  Unlike (8)  |  Useful (250)  |  Wide (96)  |  Wisdom (221)

Despite its importance to navigation, fishing, oil and gas development, and maritime safety, our understanding of how the Gulf system works remains extremely limited.
In 'Opinion: Why we can’t forget the Gulf', CNN (16 Apr 2015).
Science quotes on:  |  Despite (7)  |  Development (422)  |  Extremely (16)  |  Fishing (19)  |  Gas (83)  |  Gulf (18)  |  Importance (286)  |  Limit (280)  |  Limited (101)  |  Navigation (25)  |  Oil (59)  |  Remain (349)  |  Safety (54)  |  System (537)  |  Work (1351)

During the half-century that has elapsed since the enunciation of the cell-theory by Schleiden and Schwann, in 1838-39, it has became ever more clearly apparent that the key to all ultimate biological problems must, in the last analysis, be sought in the cell. It was the cell-theory that first brought the structure of plants and animals under one point of view by revealing their common plan of organization. It was through the cell-theory that Kolliker and Remak opened the way to an understanding of the nature of embryological development, and the law of genetic continuity lying at the basis of inheritance. It was the cell-­theory again which, in the hands of Virchaw and Max Schultze, inaugurated a new era in the history of physiology and pathology, by showing that all the various functions of the body, in health and in disease, are but the outward expression of cell­-activities. And at a still later day it was through the cell-theory that Hertwig, Fol, Van Beneden, and Strasburger solved the long-standing riddle of the fertilization of the egg, and the mechanism of hereditary transmission. No other biological generalization, save only the theory of organic evolution, has brought so many apparently diverse phenomena under a common point of view or has accomplished more far the unification of knowledge. The cell-theory must therefore be placed beside the evolution-theory as one of the foundation stones of modern biology.
In The Cell in Development and Inheritance (1896), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Animal (617)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Basis (173)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Body (537)  |  Cell Theory (4)  |  Century (310)  |  Common (436)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Development (422)  |  Disease (328)  |  Egg (69)  |  Embryo (28)  |  Enunciation (7)  |  Era (51)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Expression (175)  |  Fertilization (15)  |  First (1283)  |  Foundation (171)  |  Function (228)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Health (193)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Oskar Hertwig (2)  |  History (673)  |  Inheritance (34)  |  Key (50)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Last (426)  |  Law (894)  |  Long (790)  |  Lying (55)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Modern (385)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Open (274)  |  Organic (158)  |  Organization (114)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pathology (18)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Plan (117)  |  Plant (294)  |  Point (580)  |  Point Of View (80)  |  Problem (676)  |  Robert Remak (2)  |  Riddle (28)  |  Save (118)  |  Theodor Schwann (12)  |  Still (613)  |  Stone (162)  |  Structure (344)  |  Theory (970)  |  Through (849)  |  Transmission (34)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Unification (11)  |  Various (200)  |  View (488)  |  Rudolf Virchow (50)  |  Way (1217)

During the war years I worked on the development of radar and other radio systems for the R.A.F. and, though gaining much in engineering experience and in understanding people, rapidly forgot most of the physics I had learned.
From Autobiography in Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.), Les Prix Nobel en 1974/Nobel Lectures (1975)
Science quotes on:  |  Development (422)  |  Engineering (175)  |  Experience (467)  |  Forgetfulness (7)  |  Gain (145)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Learning (274)  |  Most (1731)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Radar (8)  |  Radio (50)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  System (537)  |  War (225)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

Each thing in the world has names or unnamed relations to everything else. Relations are infinite in number and kind. To be is to be related. It is evident that the understanding of relations is a major concern of all men and women. Are relations a concern of mathematics? They are so much its concern that mathematics is sometimes defined to be the science of relations.
In Mole Philosophy and Other Essays (1927), 94-95.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Concern (228)  |  Define (49)  |  Everything (476)  |  Evident (91)  |  Infinite (231)  |  It Is Evident (5)  |  Kind (557)  |  Major (84)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Name (333)  |  Number (699)  |  Relation (157)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sometimes (45)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)  |  Woman (151)  |  World (1774)

Early in my school career, I turned out to be an incorrigible disciplinary problem. I could understand what the teacher was saying as fast as she could say it, I found time hanging heavy, so I would occasionally talk to my neighbor. That was my great crime, I talked in school.
In In Memory Yet Green: the Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1920-1954 (1979), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (240)  |  Career (75)  |  Crime (38)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Early (185)  |  Great (1574)  |  Problem (676)  |  Say (984)  |  School (219)  |  Talk (100)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Time (1877)  |  Turn (447)  |  Understand (606)

EDUCATION, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
The Cynic's Word Book (1906), 86. Also published later as The Devil's Dictionary.
Science quotes on:  |  Disclose (18)  |  Disguise (11)  |  Education (378)  |  Foolish (40)  |  Lack (119)  |  Wise (131)

Error is often nourished by good sense. … The meaning is, that the powers of the understanding are frequently employed to defend favourite errors; and that a man of sense frequently fortifies himself in his prejudices, or in false opinions which he received without examination, by such arguments as would not have occurred to a fool.
In Maxims, Characters, and Reflections, Critical, Satyrical and Moral (2nd ed., 1757), 9. The meaning is given as a footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (138)  |  Defend (30)  |  Employ (113)  |  Employed (3)  |  Error (321)  |  Examination (98)  |  False (100)  |  Favourite (6)  |  Fool (116)  |  Fortify (4)  |  Frequently (21)  |  Good (889)  |  Himself (461)  |  Man (2251)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Nourished (2)  |  Occur (150)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Power (746)  |  Prejudice (87)  |  Receive (114)  |  Sense (770)  |  Understand (606)

Euclidean mathematics assumes the completeness and invariability of mathematical forms; these forms it describes with appropriate accuracy and enumerates their inherent and related properties with perfect clearness, order, and completeness, that is, Euclidean mathematics operates on forms after the manner that anatomy operates on the dead body and its members. On the other hand, the mathematics of variable magnitudes—function theory or analysis—considers mathematical forms in their genesis. By writing the equation of the parabola, we express its law of generation, the law according to which the variable point moves. The path, produced before the eyes of the student by a point moving in accordance to this law, is the parabola.
If, then, Euclidean mathematics treats space and number forms after the manner in which anatomy treats the dead body, modern mathematics deals, as it were, with the living body, with growing and changing forms, and thus furnishes an insight, not only into nature as she is and appears, but also into nature as she generates and creates,—reveals her transition steps and in so doing creates a mind for and understanding of the laws of becoming. Thus modern mathematics bears the same relation to Euclidean mathematics that physiology or biology … bears to anatomy.
In Die Mathematik die Fackelträgerin einer neuen Zeit (1889), 38. As translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-book (1914), 112-113.
Science quotes on:  |  Accord (36)  |  Accordance (10)  |  According (237)  |  Accuracy (78)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Anatomy (69)  |  Appear (118)  |  Appropriate (61)  |  Bear (159)  |  Become (815)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Biology (216)  |  Body (537)  |  Change (593)  |  Clearness (11)  |  Completeness (19)  |  Consider (416)  |  Create (235)  |  Dead (59)  |  Deal (188)  |  Describe (128)  |  Doing (280)  |  Enumerate (3)  |  Equation (132)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Express (186)  |  Eye (419)  |  Form (959)  |  Function (228)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Generate (16)  |  Generation (242)  |  Genesis (23)  |  Grow (238)  |  Growing (98)  |  Inherent (42)  |  Insight (102)  |  Invariability (5)  |  Law (894)  |  Living (491)  |  Living Body (3)  |  Magnitude (83)  |  Manner (58)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Member (41)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Modern (385)  |  Modern Mathematics (50)  |  Move (216)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Number (699)  |  On The Other Hand (34)  |  Operate (17)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Parabola (2)  |  Path (144)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Point (580)  |  Produce (104)  |  Produced (187)  |  Property (168)  |  Relate (21)  |  Relation (157)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Same (157)  |  Space (500)  |  Step (231)  |  Student (300)  |  Theory (970)  |  Transition (26)  |  Treat (35)  |  Understand (606)  |  Variable (34)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)

Even fairly good students, when they have obtained the solution of the problem and written down neatly the argument, shut their books and look for something else. Doing so, they miss an important and instructive phase of the work. ... A good teacher should understand and impress on his students the view that no problem whatever is completely exhausted.
In How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (138)  |  Book (392)  |  Completely (135)  |  Completeness (19)  |  Doing (280)  |  Down (456)  |  Exhaustion (16)  |  Good (889)  |  Importance (286)  |  Impress (64)  |  Instruction (91)  |  Look (582)  |  Miss (51)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Phase (36)  |  Problem (676)  |  Shut (41)  |  Solution (267)  |  Something (719)  |  Student (300)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Understand (606)  |  View (488)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Work (1351)  |  Writing (189)

Even for the physicist the description in plain language will be a criterion of the degree of understanding that has been reached.
In Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science (1958, 1962), 168.
Science quotes on:  |  Criterion (27)  |  Degree (276)  |  Description (84)  |  Language (293)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Plain (33)  |  Reach (281)  |  Science And Journalism (3)  |  Will (2355)

Even those to whom Providence has allotted greater strength of understanding, can expect only to improve a single science. In every other part of learning, they must be content to follow opinions, which they are not able to examine; and, even in that which they claim as peculiarly their own, can seldom add more than some small particle of knowledge, to the hereditary stock devolved to them from ancient times, the collective labour of a thousand intellects.
In Samuel Johnson and W. Jackson Bate (Ed.), ',The Rambler, No. 121, Tuesday, 14 May 1751.' The Selected Essays from the Rambler, Adventurer, and Idler (1968), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (189)  |  Claim (146)  |  Examine (78)  |  Expect (200)  |  Follow (378)  |  Greater (288)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Labour (98)  |  Learning (274)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Other (2236)  |  Particle (194)  |  Providence (18)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seldom (65)  |  Single (353)  |  Small (477)  |  Strength (126)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Time (1877)

Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
From paper 'Science, Philosophy and Religion', prepared for initial meeting of the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York City (9-11 Sep 1940). Collected in Albert Einstein: In His Own Words (2000), 212.
Science quotes on:  |  Aspiration (32)  |  Attainment (47)  |  Belong (162)  |  Blind (95)  |  Comprehensible (4)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Determine (144)  |  Exist (443)  |  Existence (456)  |  Express (186)  |  Faith (203)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Genuine (52)  |  Goal (145)  |  Image (96)  |  Lame (3)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Marked (55)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Nevertheless (90)  |  Other (2236)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Profound (104)  |  Rational (90)  |  Realm (85)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reciprocal (7)  |  Regulation (24)  |  Regulations (3)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Religion (361)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Sense (770)  |  Set (394)  |  Situation (113)  |  Sphere (116)  |  Spring (133)  |  Strong (174)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thoroughly (67)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Two (937)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

Even today a good many distinguished minds seem unable to accept or even to understand that from a source of noise natural selection alone and unaided could have drawn all the music of the biosphere. In effect natural selection operates upon the products of chance and can feed nowhere else; but it operates in a domain of very demanding conditions, and from this domain chance is barred. It is not to chance but to these conditions that eveloution owes its generally progressive cource, its successive conquests, and the impresssion it gives of a smooth and steady unfolding.
In Jacques Monod and Austryn Wainhouse (trans.), Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology (1971), 118-119.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  Acceptance (52)  |  All (4108)  |  Alone (311)  |  Ban (9)  |  Biosphere (13)  |  Chance (239)  |  Condition (356)  |  Conquest (28)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Distinguished (83)  |  Domain (69)  |  Effect (393)  |  Good (889)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Music (129)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Noise (37)  |  Nourishment (26)  |  Owe (71)  |  Product (160)  |  Selection (128)  |  Smooth (32)  |  Steady (44)  |  Successive (73)  |  Today (314)  |  Understand (606)  |  Unfolding (16)

Every discovery, every enlargement of the understanding, begins as an imaginative preconception of what the truth might be. The imaginative preconception—a “hypothesis”—arises by a process as easy or as difficult to understand as any other creative act of mind; it is a brainwave, an inspired guess, a product of a blaze of insight. It comes anyway from within and cannot be achieved by the exercise of any known calculus of discovery.
In Advice to a Young Scientist (1979), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Arise (158)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Blaze (14)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Creative (137)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Easy (204)  |  Enlargement (7)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Guess (61)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Insight (102)  |  Inspire (52)  |  Known (454)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Other (2236)  |  Preconception (13)  |  Process (423)  |  Product (160)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understand (606)

Every natural scientist who thinks with any degree of consistency at all will, I think, come to the view that all those capacities that we understand by the phrase psychic activities (Seelenthiitigkeiten) are but functions of the brain substance; or, to express myself a bit crudely here, that thoughts stand in the same relation to the brain as gall does to the liver or urine to the kidneys. To assume a soul that makes use of the brain as an instrument with which it can work as it pleases is pure nonsense; we would then be forced to assume a special soul for every function of the body as well.
Carl Vogt
In Physiologische Briefe für Gelbildete aIle Stünde (1845-1847), 3 parts, 206. as translated in Frederick Gregory, Scientific Materialism in Nineteenth Century Germany (1977), 64.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Body (537)  |  Brain (270)  |  Capacity (100)  |  Consistency (31)  |  Crude (31)  |  Degree (276)  |  Express (186)  |  Function (228)  |  Gall (3)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Kidney (18)  |  Liver (19)  |  Myself (212)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Nonsense (48)  |  Phrase (61)  |  Please (65)  |  Psychic (13)  |  Pure (291)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Soul (226)  |  Special (184)  |  Stand (274)  |  Substance (248)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Understand (606)  |  Urine (16)  |  Use (766)  |  View (488)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation but as a question.
[A caution he gives his students, to be wary of dogmatism.]
In Bill Becker, 'Pioneer of the Atom', New York Times Sunday Magazine (20 Oct 1957), 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Affirmation (7)  |  Caution (24)  |  Dogmatism (14)  |  Every (2)  |  Must (1526)  |  Question (621)  |  French Saying (67)  |  Sentence (29)  |  Student (300)  |  Understood (156)  |  Utterance (10)

Everywhere science is enriched by unscientific methods and unscientific results, ... the separation of science and non-science is not only artificial but also detrimental to the advancement of knowledge. If we want to understand nature, if we want to master our physical surroundings, then we must use all ideas, all methods, and not just a small selection of them.
Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (1975), 305-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (62)  |  All (4108)  |  Enrich (24)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Idea (843)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Master (178)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Physical (508)  |  Result (677)  |  Science (3879)  |  Selection (128)  |  Separation (57)  |  Small (477)  |  Understand (606)  |  Unscientific (13)  |  Use (766)  |  Want (497)

Faced with a new mutation in an organism, or a fundamental change in its living conditions, the biologist is frequently in no position whatever to predict its future prospects. He has to wait and see. For instance, the hairy mammoth seems to have been an admirable animal, intelligent and well-accoutered. Now that it is extinct, we try to understand why it failed. I doubt that any biologist thinks he could have predicted that failure. Fitness and survival are by nature estimates of past performance.
In Scientific American (Sep 1958). As cited in '50, 100 & 150 years ago', Scientific American (Sep 2008), 299, No. 3, 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (19)  |  Animal (617)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Change (593)  |  Condition (356)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Extinct (21)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  Fitness (9)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Future (429)  |  Hairy (2)  |  Intelligent (100)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Mammoth (9)  |  Mutation (37)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Organism (220)  |  Past (337)  |  Performance (48)  |  Predict (79)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Prospect (30)  |  See (1081)  |  Survival (94)  |  Think (1086)  |  Try (283)  |  Understand (606)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Why (491)

Facts are to the mind the same thing as food to the body. On the due digestion of facts depends the strength and wisdom of the one, just as vigor and health depend on the other. The wisest in council, the ablest in debate, and the most agreeable in the commerce of life is that man who has assimilated to his understanding the greatest number of facts.
Science quotes on:  |  Agreeable (18)  |  Assimilate (9)  |  Body (537)  |  Commerce (21)  |  Council (8)  |  Debate (38)  |  Depend (228)  |  Digestion (28)  |  Due (141)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Food (199)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Health (193)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Number (699)  |  Other (2236)  |  Strength (126)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)  |  Vigor (9)  |  Wisdom (221)

Faraday, … by his untiring faithfulness in keeping his diary, contributes to our understanding the objects of his scientific research in magnetism, electricity and light, but he also makes us understand the scientist himself, as a living subject, the mind in action.
In 'The Scientific Grammar of Michael Faraday’s Diaries', Part I, 'The Classic of Science', A Classic and a Founder (1937), collected in Rosenstock-Huessy Papers (1981), Vol. 1, 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Contribute (27)  |  Diary (2)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Faithful (10)  |  Michael Faraday (85)  |  Himself (461)  |  Light (607)  |  Living (491)  |  Magnetism (41)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Object (422)  |  Research (664)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Subject (521)  |  Understand (606)

Fifty years from now if an understanding of man's origins, his evolution, his history, his progress is not in the common place of the school books we shall not exist.
The Long Childhood episode, The Ascent of Man, TV series
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ascent Of Man (6)  |  Book (392)  |  Common (436)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Exist (443)  |  History (673)  |  Man (2251)  |  Origin (239)  |  Progress (465)  |  School (219)  |  Year (933)

First, as concerns the success of teaching mathematics. No instruction in the high schools is as difficult as that of mathematics, since the large majority of students are at first decidedly disinclined to be harnessed into the rigid framework of logical conclusions. The interest of young people is won much more easily, if sense-objects are made the starting point and the transition to abstract formulation is brought about gradually. For this reason it is psychologically quite correct to follow this course.
Not less to be recommended is this course if we inquire into the essential purpose of mathematical instruction. Formerly it was too exclusively held that this purpose is to sharpen the understanding. Surely another important end is to implant in the student the conviction that correct thinking based on true premises secures mastery over the outer world. To accomplish this the outer world must receive its share of attention from the very beginning.
Doubtless this is true but there is a danger which needs pointing out. It is as in the case of language teaching where the modern tendency is to secure in addition to grammar also an understanding of the authors. The danger lies in grammar being completely set aside leaving the subject without its indispensable solid basis. Just so in Teaching of Mathematics it is possible to accumulate interesting applications to such an extent as to stunt the essential logical development. This should in no wise be permitted, for thus the kernel of the whole matter is lost. Therefore: We do want throughout a quickening of mathematical instruction by the introduction of applications, but we do not want that the pendulum, which in former decades may have inclined too much toward the abstract side, should now swing to the other extreme; we would rather pursue the proper middle course.
In Ueber den Mathematischen Unterricht an den hoheren Schulen; Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker Vereinigung, Bd. 11, 131.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (124)  |  Accomplishment (93)  |  Accumulate (26)  |  Addition (66)  |  Application (242)  |  Attention (190)  |  Author (167)  |  Base (117)  |  Basis (173)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Bring (90)  |  Case (99)  |  Completely (135)  |  Concern (228)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Conviction (97)  |  Correct (86)  |  Course (409)  |  Danger (115)  |  Decade (59)  |  Development (422)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Do (1908)  |  End (590)  |  Essential (199)  |  Exclusive (29)  |  Extent (139)  |  Extreme (75)  |  First (1283)  |  Follow (378)  |  Former (137)  |  Formerly (5)  |  Formulation (36)  |  Framework (31)  |  Gradual (27)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Grammar (14)  |  Harness (23)  |  High (362)  |  High School (11)  |  Hold (95)  |  Implant (4)  |  Important (209)  |  Inclined (41)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Inquire (23)  |  Instruction (91)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Introduction (35)  |  Kernel (4)  |  Language (293)  |  Large (394)  |  Leave (130)  |  Lie (364)  |  Logic (287)  |  Lose (159)  |  Majority (66)  |  Mastery (34)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Matter (798)  |  Middle (16)  |  Modern (385)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Need (290)  |  Object (422)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outer (13)  |  Pendulum (17)  |  People (1005)  |  Permit (58)  |  Point (580)  |  Possible (552)  |  Premise (37)  |  Proper (144)  |  Psychological (42)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Quicken (7)  |  Quickening (4)  |  Reason (744)  |  Receive (114)  |  Recommend (24)  |  Rigid (24)  |  School (219)  |  Secure (22)  |  Sense (770)  |  Set (394)  |  Set Aside (4)  |  Share (75)  |  Sharpen (22)  |  Side (233)  |  Solid (116)  |  Starting Point (14)  |  Student (300)  |  Stunt (7)  |  Subject (521)  |  Success (302)  |  Surely (101)  |  Swing (11)  |  Teach (277)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Teaching of Mathematics (39)  |  Tendency (99)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Transition (26)  |  True (212)  |  Understand (606)  |  Want (497)  |  Whole (738)  |  Wise (131)  |  World (1774)  |  Young (227)

First, In showing in how to avoid attempting impossibilities. Second, In securing us from important mistakes in attempting what is, in itself possible, by means either inadequate or actually opposed to the end in view. Thirdly, In enabling us to accomplish our ends in the easiest, shortest, most economical, and most effectual manner. Fourth, In inducing us to attempt, and enabling us to accomplish, object which, but for such knowledge, we should never have thought of understanding.
On the ways that a knowledge of the order of nature can be of use.
Quoted in Robert Routledge, Discoveries and Inventions of the 19th Century (1890), 665.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (251)  |  Avoid (116)  |  End (590)  |  First (1283)  |  Inadequate (19)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Object (422)  |  Order (632)  |  Possible (552)  |  Shortest (16)  |  Thought (953)  |  Use (766)  |  View (488)  |  Way (1217)

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies;—
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower—but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.
In The Holy Grail: and Other Poems (1870), 165.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Botany (57)  |  Cranny (2)  |  Flower (106)  |  God (757)  |  Hand (143)  |  Hold (95)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Know (1518)  |  Little (707)  |  Man (2251)  |  Root (120)  |  Understand (606)  |  Wall (67)

For the holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the divine Word, the former as the dictate of the Holy Ghost and the latter as the observant executrix of God's commands. It is necessary for the Bible, in order to be accommodated to the understanding of every man, to speak many things which appear to differ from the absolute truth so far as the bare meaning of the words is concerned. But Nature, on the other hand, is inexorable and immutable; she never transgresses the laws imposed upon her, or cares a whit whether her abstruse reasons and methods of operation are understandable to men. For that reason it appears that nothing physical which sense-experience sets before our eyes, or which necessary demonstrations prove to us, ought to be called in question (much less condemned) upon the testimony of biblical passages which may have some different meaning beneath their words.
Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany: Concerning the Use of Biblical Quotations in Matters of Science (1615), trans. Stillman Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (1957), 182-3.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Absolute (145)  |  Abstruse (10)  |  Alike (60)  |  Bare (33)  |  Beneath (64)  |  Call (769)  |  Care (186)  |  Command (58)  |  Concern (228)  |  Condemn (44)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Differ (85)  |  Different (577)  |  Divine (112)  |  Experience (467)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Eye (419)  |  Former (137)  |  Ghost (36)  |  God (757)  |  Holy (34)  |  Immutable (22)  |  Inexorable (10)  |  Law (894)  |  Man (2251)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Never (1087)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Observation (555)  |  Operation (213)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Passage (50)  |  Physical (508)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Prove (250)  |  Question (621)  |  Reason (744)  |  Sense (770)  |  Set (394)  |  Speak (232)  |  Testimony (21)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understandable (12)  |  Word (619)

Formal thought, consciously recognized as such, is the means of all exact knowledge; and a correct understanding of the main formal sciences, Logic and Mathematics, is the proper and only safe foundation for a scientific education.
In Number and its Algebra (1896), 134.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Conscious (45)  |  Correct (86)  |  Education (378)  |  Exact (68)  |  Formal (33)  |  Foundation (171)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Logic (287)  |  Main (28)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mathematics And Logic (12)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Proper (144)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Safe (54)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science Education (15)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Thought (953)  |  Understand (606)

Fractal geometry will make you see everything differently. There is a danger in reading further. You risk the loss of your childhood vision of clouds, forests, flowers, galaxies, leaves, feathers, rocks, mountains, torrents of water, carpet, bricks, and much else besides. Never again will your interpretation of these things be quite the same.
Fractals Everywhere (2000), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Brick (18)  |  Carpet (3)  |  Childhood (38)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Danger (115)  |  Everything (476)  |  Feather (12)  |  Flower (106)  |  Forest (150)  |  Fractal (9)  |  Galaxies (29)  |  Galaxy (51)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Leaf (66)  |  Loss (110)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Never (1087)  |  Reading (133)  |  Risk (61)  |  River (119)  |  Rock (161)  |  See (1081)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Vision (123)  |  Water (481)  |  Will (2355)

Freeman’s gift? It’s cosmic. He is able to see more interconnections between more things than almost anybody. He sees the interrelationships, whether it’s in some microscopic physical process or in a big complicated machine like Orion. He has been, from the time he was in his teens, capable of understanding essentially anything that he’s interested in. He’s the most intelligent person I know.
As quoted in Kenneth Brower, 'The Danger of Cosmic Genius', The Atlantic (Dec 2010). Webmaster note: The Orion Project was a study of the possibility of nuclear powered propulsion of spacecraft.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Anybody (42)  |  Capable (168)  |  Complicated (115)  |  Connection (162)  |  Cosmic (72)  |  Freeman Dyson (53)  |  Gift (104)  |  Intelligent (100)  |  Interconnection (12)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interested (5)  |  Know (1518)  |  Machine (257)  |  Microscopic (26)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Person (363)  |  Physical (508)  |  Process (423)  |  Relationship (104)  |  See (1081)  |  Teen (2)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Understand (606)

Freudian psychoanalytical theory is a mythology that answers pretty well to Levi-Strauss's descriptions. It brings some kind of order into incoherence; it, too, hangs together, makes sense, leaves no loose ends, and is never (but never) at a loss for explanation. In a state of bewilderment it may therefore bring comfort and relief … give its subject a new and deeper understanding of his own condition and of the nature of his relationship to his fellow men. A mythical structure will be built up around him which makes sense and is believable-in, regardless of whether or not it is true.
From 'Science and Literature', The Hope of Progress: A Scientist Looks at Problems in Philosophy, Literature and Science (1973), 29.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Answer (366)  |  Believable (3)  |  Bewilderment (8)  |  Comfort (59)  |  Condition (356)  |  Deeper (4)  |  Description (84)  |  End (590)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Fellow (88)  |  Freudian (4)  |  Sigmund Freud (69)  |  Hang (45)  |  Incoherence (2)  |  Kind (557)  |  Loose End (3)  |  Loss (110)  |  Myth (56)  |  Mythology (18)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  New (1216)  |  Order (632)  |  Psychoanalysis (37)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Relief (30)  |  Sense (770)  |  State (491)  |  Structure (344)  |  Subject (521)  |  Theory (970)  |  Together (387)  |  True (212)  |  Will (2355)

From the point of view of the pure morphologist the recapitulation theory is an instrument of research enabling him to reconstruct probable lines of descent; from the standpoint of the student of development and heredity the fact of recapitulation is a difficult problem whose solution would perhaps give the key to a true understanding of the real nature of heredity.
Form and Function: A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology (1916), 312-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Descent (27)  |  Development (422)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Key (50)  |  Line (91)  |  Morphology (22)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Point (580)  |  Point Of View (80)  |  Probability (130)  |  Problem (676)  |  Pure (291)  |  Reality (261)  |  Recapitulation (5)  |  Reconstruction (14)  |  Research (664)  |  Solution (267)  |  Standpoint (28)  |  Student (300)  |  Theory (970)  |  Truth (1057)  |  View (488)

Fullness of knowledge always means some understanding of the depths of our ignorance; and that is always conducive to humility and reverence.
In 'What I Believe: Living Philosophies II', The Forum (Oct 1929), 82, No. 4, 199.
Science quotes on:  |  Conducive (3)  |  Depth (94)  |  Fullness (2)  |  Humility (28)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Reverence (28)  |  Understand (606)

Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.
In Michael Fripp, Speaking of Science: Notable Quotes on Science, Engineering, and the Environment, (2000), 203. Widely seen, but without further biographical information or source citation. Webmaster has not yet found a print source prior to 2000. Please contact Webmaster if you have more details. (For a similar quote in 1972, see Alastair Pilkington.)
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (210)  |  Furious (2)  |  Substitute (46)

Geography is … only a branch of statistics, a knowledge of which is necessary to the well-understanding of the history of nations, as well as their situations relative to each other.
In The Statistical Breviary: Shewing, on a Principle Entirely New, the Resources of Every State and Kingdom in Europe (1801), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Branch (150)  |  Geography (36)  |  History (673)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Nation (193)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Other (2236)  |  Relative (39)  |  Situation (113)  |  Statistics (155)

Geometry may sometimes appear to take the lead of analysis, but in fact precedes it only as a servant goes before his master to clear the path and light him on his way. The interval between the two is as wide as between empiricism and science, as between the understanding and the reason, or as between the finite and the infinite.
From 'Astronomical Prolusions', Philosophical Magazine (Jan 1866), 31, No. 206, 54, collected in Collected Mathematical Papers of James Joseph Sylvester (1908), Vol. 2, 521.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (233)  |  Empiricism (21)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Finite (59)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Interval (13)  |  Lead (384)  |  Light (607)  |  Master (178)  |  Path (144)  |  Precede (23)  |  Reason (744)  |  Science (3879)  |  Servant (39)  |  Two (937)  |  Understand (606)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wide (96)

God was always invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works … you don't need him anymore. But … you leave him to create the universe because we haven't figured that out yet.
Interview, collected in Paul C. W. Davies and Julian R. Brown (eds.) Superstrings: A Theory of Everything? (1988), 208-209.
Science quotes on:  |  Create (235)  |  Creation (327)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Do (1908)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  God (757)  |  Invention (369)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Need (290)  |  Origin Of The Universe (16)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Something (719)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)  |  Work (1351)  |  Working (20)

Good luck is science not yet classified; just as the supernatural is the natural not yet understood.
In Elbert Hubbard (ed. and publ.), The Philistine (Dec 1907), 26, No. 1, 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Classification (97)  |  Good (889)  |  Luck (42)  |  Natural (796)  |  Science (3879)  |  Supernatural (25)  |  Understood (156)

Greek mathematics is the real thing. The Greeks first spoke a language which modern mathematicians can understand… So Greek mathematics is ‘permanent’, more permanent even than Greek literature.
In A Mathematician’s Apology (1940, 1967), 81.
Science quotes on:  |  First (1283)  |  Greek (107)  |  Language (293)  |  Literature (103)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Modern (385)  |  More (2559)  |  Permanent (64)  |  Real (149)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)

Guide to understanding a net.addict’s day: Slow day: didn’t have much to do, so spent three hours on usenet. Busy day: managed to work in three hours of usenet. Bad day: barely squeezed in three hours of usenet.
Anonymous
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Addict (4)  |  Bad (180)  |  Barely (5)  |  Busy (28)  |  Do (1908)  |  Guide (97)  |  Hour (186)  |  Manage (23)  |  Net (11)  |  Slow (101)  |  Spend (95)  |  Spent (85)  |  Squeeze (6)  |  Understand (606)  |  Work (1351)

He that borrows the aid of an equal understanding, doubles his own; he that uses that of a superior elevates his own to the stature of that he contemplates.
Collected, without citation, in Edge-tools of Speech (1886), 406. Also quoted, without citation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'Quotation and Originality', in Letters and Social Aims (1875, 1917), 178. Webmaster has not yet identified a primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (97)  |  Borrow (30)  |  Contemplate (18)  |  Double (15)  |  Elevate (12)  |  Equal (83)  |  Superior (81)  |  Use (766)

Heredity, to our understanding is not capable of giving to this illness (paraphilia) its characteristic form ... Heredity invents nothing, creates nothing anew; it has no imagination.
Études de psychologie expérimentale: Le fétichisme dans l’amour (1888), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Anew (18)  |  Capable (168)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Create (235)  |  Form (959)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Illness (34)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Nothing (966)

Historically, science has pursued a premise that Nature can be understood fully, its future predicted precisely, and its behavior controlled at will. However, emerging knowledge indicates that the nature of Earth and biological systems transcends the limits of science, questioning the premise of knowing, prediction, and control. This knowledge has led to the recognition that, for civilized human survival, technological society has to adapt to the constraints of these systems.
As quoted in Chris Maser, Decision-Making for a Sustainable Environment: A Systemic Approach (2012), 4, citing N. Narasimhan, 'Limitations of Science and Adapting to Nature', Environmental Research Letters (Jul-Sep 2007), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (66)  |  Adaptation (58)  |  Behavior (84)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Constraint (13)  |  Control (167)  |  Earth (996)  |  Future (429)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Limit (280)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Predict (79)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Premise (37)  |  Recognition (88)  |  Science (3879)  |  Society (326)  |  Survival (94)  |  System (537)  |  Technological (61)  |  Technology (257)  |  Transcend (26)  |  Understood (156)  |  Will (2355)

How indispensable to a correct study of Nature is a perception of her true meaning. The fact will one day flower out into a truth. The season will mature and fructify what the understanding had cultivated. Mere accumulators of facts—collectors of materials for the master-workmen—are like those plants growing in dark forests, which “put forth only leaves instead of blossoms.”
(16 Dec 1837). In Henry David Thoreau and Bradford Torrey (ed.), The Writings of Henry Thoreau: Journal: I: 1837-1846 (1906), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Blossom (21)  |  Collector (9)  |  Correct (86)  |  Cultivate (19)  |  Dark (140)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Flower (106)  |  Forest (150)  |  Growing (98)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Leaf (66)  |  Master (178)  |  Material (353)  |  Mature (16)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Perception (97)  |  Plant (294)  |  Season (47)  |  Study (653)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Will (2355)  |  Workman (13)

How is it that there are so many minds that are incapable of understanding mathematics? ... the skeleton of our understanding, ... and actually they are the majority. ... We have here a problem that is not easy of solution, but yet must engage the attention of all who wish to devote themselves to education.
Science and Method (1914, 2003), 117-118.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Attention (190)  |  Easy (204)  |  Education (378)  |  Engage (39)  |  Incapable (40)  |  Majority (66)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Must (1526)  |  Problem (676)  |  Skeleton (22)  |  Solution (267)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Wish (212)

I am never content until I have constructed a mechanical model of the subject I am studying. If I succeed in making one, I understand. Otherwise, I do not. [Attributed; source unverified.]
Note: Webmaster has been unable to verify this quotation allegedly from his Baltimore Lectures. Is is widely quoted, usually without citation. A few instances indicate the quote came from a guest lecture, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (1884). The lecture notes were published in Baltimore Lectures on Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light (1904). Webmaster has found no citation giving a page number, and has been unable to find the quote in that text. Anyone with more specific information, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Construct (124)  |  Construction (112)  |  Content (69)  |  Do (1908)  |  Making (300)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Model (102)  |  Never (1087)  |  Studying (70)  |  Subject (521)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Success (302)  |  Understand (606)

I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.
In Cris Tovani, Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? (2004), 51
Science quotes on:  |  Read (287)  |  Speed (65)

I am of the decided opinion, that mathematical instruction must have for its first aim a deep penetration and complete command of abstract mathematical theory together with a clear insight into the structure of the system, and doubt not that the instruction which accomplishes this is valuable and interesting even if it neglects practical applications. If the instruction sharpens the understanding, if it arouses the scientific interest, whether mathematical or philosophical, if finally it calls into life an esthetic feeling for the beauty of a scientific edifice, the instruction will take on an ethical value as well, provided that with the interest it awakens also the impulse toward scientific activity. I contend, therefore, that even without reference to its applications mathematics in the high schools has a value equal to that of the other subjects of instruction.
In 'Ueber das Lehrziel im mathemalischen Unterricht der höheren Realanstalten', Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker Vereinigung, 2, 192. (The Annual Report of the German Mathematical Association. As translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-Book (1914), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (124)  |  Accomplishment (93)  |  Activity (210)  |  Aim (165)  |  Application (242)  |  Arouse (12)  |  Awaken (15)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Call (769)  |  Clear (100)  |  Command (58)  |  Complete (204)  |  Contend (6)  |  Decide (41)  |  Deep (233)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Edifice (26)  |  Equal (83)  |  Esthetic (3)  |  Ethical (34)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Finally (26)  |  First (1283)  |  High (362)  |  High School (11)  |  Impulse (48)  |  Insight (102)  |  Instruction (91)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Must (1526)  |  Neglect (63)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Other (2236)  |  Penetration (18)  |  Philosophical (23)  |  Practical (200)  |  Provide (69)  |  Reference (33)  |  School (219)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Sharpen (22)  |  Structure (344)  |  Subject (521)  |  System (537)  |  Teaching of Mathematics (39)  |  Theory (970)  |  Together (387)  |  Toward (45)  |  Understand (606)  |  Value (365)  |  Will (2355)

I believe scientists have a duty to share the excitement and pleasure of their work with the general public, and I enjoy the challenge of presenting difficult ideas in an understandable way.
From Autobiography in Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.), Les Prix Nobel en 1974/Nobel Lectures (1975)
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (578)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Duty (68)  |  Excitement (50)  |  General (511)  |  Idea (843)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Presentation (23)  |  Public (96)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Share (75)  |  Sharing (11)  |  Understandable (12)  |  Way (1217)  |  Work (1351)

I believe that only scientists can understand the universe. It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong.
Webmaster has not yet been able to confirm this attribution. If you know an original print citation, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Belief (578)  |  Confidence (69)  |  Nonscientist (3)  |  Right (452)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)  |  Wrong (234)

I can see him [Sylvester] now, with his white beard and few locks of gray hair, his forehead wrinkled o’er with thoughts, writing rapidly his figures and formulae on the board, sometimes explaining as he wrote, while we, his listeners, caught the reflected sounds from the board. But stop, something is not right, he pauses, his hand goes to his forehead to help his thought, he goes over the work again, emphasizes the leading points, and finally discovers his difficulty. Perhaps it is some error in his figures, perhaps an oversight in the reasoning. Sometimes, however, the difficulty is not elucidated, and then there is not much to the rest of the lecture. But at the next lecture we would hear of some new discovery that was the outcome of that difficulty, and of some article for the Journal, which he had begun. If a text-book had been taken up at the beginning, with the intention of following it, that text-book was most likely doomed to oblivion for the rest of the term, or until the class had been made listeners to every new thought and principle that had sprung from the laboratory of his mind, in consequence of that first difficulty. Other difficulties would soon appear, so that no text-book could last more than half of the term. In this way his class listened to almost all of the work that subsequently appeared in the Journal. It seemed to be the quality of his mind that he must adhere to one subject. He would think about it, talk about it to his class, and finally write about it for the Journal. The merest accident might start him, but once started, every moment, every thought was given to it, and, as much as possible, he read what others had done in the same direction; but this last seemed to be his real point; he could not read without finding difficulties in the way of understanding the author. Thus, often his own work reproduced what had been done by others, and he did not find it out until too late.
A notable example of this is in his theory of cyclotomic functions, which he had reproduced in several foreign journals, only to find that he had been greatly anticipated by foreign authors. It was manifest, one of the critics said, that the learned professor had not read Rummer’s elementary results in the theory of ideal primes. Yet Professor Smith’s report on the theory of numbers, which contained a full synopsis of Kummer’s theory, was Professor Sylvester’s constant companion.
This weakness of Professor Sylvester, in not being able to read what others had done, is perhaps a concomitant of his peculiar genius. Other minds could pass over little difficulties and not be troubled by them, and so go on to a final understanding of the results of the author. But not so with him. A difficulty, however small, worried him, and he was sure to have difficulties until the subject had been worked over in his own way, to correspond with his own mode of thought. To read the work of others, meant therefore to him an almost independent development of it. Like the man whose pleasure in life is to pioneer the way for society into the forests, his rugged mind could derive satisfaction only in hewing out its own paths; and only when his efforts brought him into the uncleared fields of mathematics did he find his place in the Universe.
In Florian Cajori, Teaching and History of Mathematics in the United States (1890), 266-267.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accident (88)  |  Adhere (3)  |  All (4108)  |  Anticipate (18)  |  Appear (118)  |  Article (22)  |  Author (167)  |  Beard (7)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Board (12)  |  Book (392)  |  Bring (90)  |  Class (164)  |  Companion (19)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Constant (144)  |  Contain (68)  |  Correspond (9)  |  Critic (20)  |  Derive (65)  |  Development (422)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Direction (175)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Doom (32)  |  Effort (227)  |  Elementary (96)  |  Elucidate (4)  |  Emphasize (23)  |  Error (321)  |  Example (94)  |  Explain (322)  |  Field (364)  |  Figure (160)  |  Final (118)  |  Finally (26)  |  Find (998)  |  First (1283)  |  Follow (378)  |  Forehead (2)  |  Foreign (45)  |  Forest (150)  |  Formula (98)  |  Full (66)  |  Function (228)  |  Genius (284)  |  Give (202)  |  Greatly (12)  |  Hair (25)  |  Half (56)  |  Hand (143)  |  Hear (139)  |  Help (105)  |  Hew (3)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Independent (67)  |  Intention (46)  |  Journal (30)  |  Ernst Eduard Kummer (3)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Last (426)  |  Late (118)  |  Lead (384)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Lecture (105)  |  Life (1795)  |  Likely (34)  |  Listen (73)  |  Listener (7)  |  Little (707)  |  Man (2251)  |  Manifest (21)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mean (809)  |  Mere (84)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mode (41)  |  Moment (253)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  New (1216)  |  Next (236)  |  Notable (5)  |  Number (699)  |  Oblivion (10)  |  Often (106)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outcome (13)  |  Oversight (4)  |  Pass (238)  |  Path (144)  |  Pause (6)  |  Peculiar (113)  |  Pioneer (33)  |  Place (177)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Point (580)  |  Possible (552)  |  Prime (11)  |  Principle (507)  |  Professor (128)  |  Quality (135)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Read (287)  |  Real (149)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Report (38)  |  Reproduce (11)  |  Rest (280)  |  Result (677)  |  Right (452)  |  Rugged (7)  |  Rum (3)  |  Same (157)  |  Satisfaction (74)  |  Say (984)  |  See (1081)  |  Seem (145)  |  Several (32)  |  Small (477)  |  Smith (3)  |  Society (326)  |  Something (719)  |  Soon (186)  |  Sound (183)  |  Spring (133)  |  Start (221)  |  Stop (80)  |  Subject (521)  |  Subsequently (2)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (58)  |  Synopsis (2)  |  Talk (100)  |  Term (349)  |  Textbook (36)  |  Theory (970)  |  Theory Of Numbers (7)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  Weakness (48)  |  White (127)  |  Work (1351)  |  Worry (33)  |  Wrinkle (4)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)

I cannot separate land and sea: to me they interfinger like a pattern in a moss agate, positive and negative shapes irrevocably interlocked. My knowledge of this peninsula depends on that understanding: of underwater canyons that are continuations of the land, of the shell fossils far inland that measure continuations of the sea in eons past.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Agate (2)  |  Canyon (9)  |  Continuation (20)  |  Depend (228)  |  Eon (11)  |  Far (154)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Inland (3)  |  Interlock (3)  |  Irrevocably (2)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Land (115)  |  Measure (232)  |  Moss (10)  |  Negative (63)  |  Past (337)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Peninsula (2)  |  Positive (94)  |  Sea (308)  |  Separate (143)  |  Shape (72)  |  Shell (63)  |  Understand (606)  |  Underwater (5)

I cannot think of a single field in biology or medicine in which we can claim genuine understanding, and it seems to me the more we learn about living creatures, especially ourselves, the stranger life becomes.
In 'On Science and Certainty', Discover Magazine (Oct 1980).
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Biology (216)  |  Cannot (8)  |  Claim (146)  |  Creature (233)  |  Especially (31)  |  Field (364)  |  Genuine (52)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Medicine (378)  |  More (2559)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Seeming (9)  |  Single (353)  |  Strangeness (10)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)

I consider that I understand an equation when I can predict the properties of its solutions, without actually solving it.
Quoted in F Wilczek, B Devine, Longing for the Harmonies.
Science quotes on:  |  Consider (416)  |  Equation (132)  |  Predict (79)  |  Solution (267)  |  Solution. (53)  |  Understand (606)

I consider then, that generally speaking, to render a reason of an effect or Phaenomenon, is to deduce It from something else in Nature more known than it self, and that consequently there may be divers kinds of Degrees of Explication of the same thing. For although such Explications be the most satisfactory to the Understanding, wherein 'tis shewn how the effect is produc'd by the more primitive and Catholick Affection of Matter, namely bulk, shape and motion, yet are not these Explications to be despis'd, wherein particular effects are deduc'd from the more obvious and familiar Qualities or States of Bodies, ... For in the search after Natural Causes, every new measure of Discovery does both instinct and gratifie the Understanding.
Physiological Essays (1669), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Affection (43)  |  Both (493)  |  Bulk (24)  |  Cause (541)  |  Consider (416)  |  Degree (276)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Effect (393)  |  Instinct (88)  |  Kind (557)  |  Known (454)  |  Matter (798)  |  Measure (232)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motion (310)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Primitive (75)  |  Reason (744)  |  Render (93)  |  Research (664)  |  Search (162)  |  Self (267)  |  Something (719)  |  Speaking (119)  |  State (491)  |  Thing (1915)

I didn’t arrive at my understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe through my rational mind.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Arrive (35)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Law (894)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Rational (90)  |  Through (849)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)

I do believe that a scientist is a freelance personality. We’re driven by an impulse which is one of curiosity, which is one of the basic instincts that a man has. So we are … driven … not by success, but by a sort of passion, namely the desire of understanding better, to possess, if you like, a bigger part of the truth. I do believe that science, for me, is very close to art.
From 'Asking Nature', collected in Lewis Wolpert and Alison Richards (eds.), Passionate Minds: The Inner World of Scientists (1997), 197.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Basic (138)  |  Belief (578)  |  Better (486)  |  Bigger (5)  |  Close (69)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Desire (204)  |  Do (1908)  |  Impulse (48)  |  Instinct (88)  |  Man (2251)  |  Part (222)  |  Passion (114)  |  Personality (62)  |  Possess (156)  |  Research (664)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Art (184)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Success (302)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understand (606)

I do not believe that a real understanding of the nature of elementary particles can ever be achieved without a simultaneous deeper understanding of the nature of spacetime itself.
From 'Structure of Spacetime', in Cécile DeWitt-Morette and John Archibald Wheeler (eds.), Battelles Rencontres: Lectures in Mathematics and Physics (1968), 122.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (66)  |  Belief (578)  |  Deep (233)  |  Do (1908)  |  Elementary (96)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Particle (194)  |  Real (149)  |  Simultaneous (22)  |  Spacetime (4)

I do not think it is possible really to understand the successes of science without understanding how hard it is—how easy it is to be led astray, how difficult it is to know at any time what is the next thing to be done.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Astray (11)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Do (1908)  |  Easy (204)  |  Hard (243)  |  Know (1518)  |  Lead (384)  |  Next (236)  |  Possible (552)  |  Really (78)  |  Science (3879)  |  Success (302)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Time (1877)  |  Understand (606)

I do not understand modern physics at all, but my colleagues who know a lot about the physics of very small things, like the particles in atoms, or very large things, like the universe, seem to be running into one queerness after another, from puzzle to puzzle.
In 'On Science and Certainty', Discover Magazine (Oct 1980).
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Atom (355)  |  Colleague (50)  |  Do (1908)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Large (394)  |  Lot (151)  |  Modern (385)  |  Modern Physics (23)  |  Particle (194)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Puzzle (44)  |  Running (61)  |  Seeming (9)  |  Small (477)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)

I esteem his understanding and subtlety highly, but I consider that they have been put to ill use in the greater part of his work, where the author studies things of little use or when he builds on the improbable principle of attraction.
Writing about Newton's Principia. Huygens had some time earlier indicated he did not believe the theory of universal gravitation, saying it 'appears to me absurd.'
Quoted in Archana Srinivasan, Great Inventors (2007), 37.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Absurd (59)  |  Attraction (56)  |  Author (167)  |  Build (204)  |  Consider (416)  |  Gravitation (70)  |  Greater (288)  |  Little (707)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Principia (13)  |  Principle (507)  |  Subtlety (19)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universal (189)  |  Use (766)  |  Work (1351)  |  Writing (189)

I have always found small mammals enough like ourselves to feel that I could understand what their lives would be like, and yet different enough to make it a sort of adventure and exploration to see what they were doing.
Echoes of Bats and Men (1959), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (56)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Doing (280)  |  Enough (340)  |  Exploration (134)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Life (1795)  |  Likeness (18)  |  Live (628)  |  Mammal (37)  |  Ourself (13)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  See (1081)  |  Small (477)  |  Understand (606)

I have always tried to fit knowledge that I acquired into my understanding of the world. … When something comes along that I don’t understand, that I can’t fit in, that bothers me, I think about it, mull over it, and perhaps ultimately do some work with it. That’s perhaps the reason that I’ve been able to make discoveries in molecular biology.
From interview with Neil A. Campbell, in 'Crossing the Boundaries of Science', BioScience (Dec 1986), 36, No. 11, 739.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Acquired (78)  |  Biology (216)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fit (134)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Molecular Biology (27)  |  Reason (744)  |  Research (664)  |  Something (719)  |  Think (1086)  |  Ultimately (55)  |  Understand (606)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

I have before mentioned mathematics, wherein algebra gives new helps and views to the understanding. If I propose these it is not to make every man a thorough mathematician or deep algebraist; but yet I think the study of them is of infinite use even to grown men; first by experimentally convincing them, that to make anyone reason well, it is not enough to have parts wherewith he is satisfied, and that serve him well enough in his ordinary course. A man in those studies will see, that however good he may think his understanding, yet in many things, and those very visible, it may fail him. This would take off that presumption that most men have of themselves in this part; and they would not be so apt to think their minds wanted no helps to enlarge them, that there could be nothing added to the acuteness and penetration of their understanding.
In The Conduct of the Understanding, Sect. 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Acuteness (3)  |  Add (40)  |  Algebra (113)  |  Anyone (35)  |  Apt (9)  |  Convince (41)  |  Course (409)  |  Deep (233)  |  Enlarge (35)  |  Enough (340)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Fail (185)  |  First (1283)  |  Good (889)  |  Grow (238)  |  Help (105)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mention (82)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  New (1216)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Part (222)  |  Penetration (18)  |  Presumption (15)  |  Propose (23)  |  Reason (744)  |  Satisfied (23)  |  See (1081)  |  Serve (59)  |  Study (653)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thorough (40)  |  Understand (606)  |  Use (766)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  View (488)  |  Visible (84)  |  Want (497)  |  Will (2355)

I have found you an argument: but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.
In James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1784, 1791), Vol. 2, 514.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (138)  |  Find (998)  |  Obliged (6)

I have never really had dreams to fulfil…. You just want to go on looking at these ecosystems and trying to understand them and they are all fascinating. To achieve a dream suggests snatching a prize from the top of a tree and running off with it, and that’s the end of it. It isn’t like that. … What you are trying to achieve is understanding and you don’t do that just by chasing dreams.
From interview with Michael Bond, 'It’s a Wonderful Life', New Scientist (14 Dec 2002), 176, No. 2373, 52.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Achieve (66)  |  All (4108)  |  Chase (14)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dream (208)  |  Ecosystem (24)  |  End (590)  |  Fascinating (37)  |  Looking (189)  |  Never (1087)  |  Prize (13)  |  Running (61)  |  Top (96)  |  Tree (246)  |  Trying (144)  |  Understand (606)  |  Want (497)

I have tried to read philosophers of all ages and have found many illuminating ideas but no steady progress toward deeper knowledge and understanding. Science, however, gives me the feeling of steady progress: I am convinced that theoretical physics is actual philosophy. It has revolutionized fundamental concepts, e.g., about space and time (relativity), about causality (quantum theory), and about substance and matter (atomistics), and it has taught us new methods of thinking (complementarity) which are applicable far beyond physics.
Max Born
My Life & My Views (1968), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Applicable (31)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Causality (11)  |  Complementarity (5)  |  Concept (221)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Idea (843)  |  Illuminating (12)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Matter (798)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  New (1216)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Progress (465)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Physics (18)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Read (287)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Science (3879)  |  Space (500)  |  Space And Time (36)  |  Space-Time (17)  |  Steady (44)  |  Substance (248)  |  Theoretical Physics (25)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Time (1877)

I know Teddy Kennedy had fun at the Democratic convention when he said that I said that trees and vegetation caused 80 percent of the air pollution in this country. ... Well, now he was a little wrong about what I said. I didn't say 80 percent. I said 92 percent—93 percent, pardon me. And I didn’t say air pollution, I said oxides of nitrogen. Growing and decaying vegetation in this land are responsible for 93 percent of the oxides of nitrogen. ... If we are totally successful and can eliminate all the manmade oxides of nitrogen, we’ll still have 93 percent as much as we have in the air today.
[Reagan reconfirming his own pathetic lack of understanding of air pollutants.]
Address to senior citizens at Sea World, Orlando, Florida (9 Oct 1980). As quoted later in Douglas E. Kneeland, 'Teamsters Back Republican', New York Times (10 Oct 1980), D14.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (347)  |  Air Pollution (9)  |  All (4108)  |  Cause (541)  |  Country (251)  |  Decay (53)  |  Democratic (12)  |  Eliminate (21)  |  Grow (238)  |  Growing (98)  |  Know (1518)  |  Lack (119)  |  Little (707)  |  Nitrogen (26)  |  Pardon (7)  |  Pollution (48)  |  Say (984)  |  Still (613)  |  Successful (123)  |  Today (314)  |  Tree (246)  |  Vegetation (23)  |  Wrong (234)

I like to think that when Medawar and his colleagues showed that immunological tolerance could be produced experimentally the new immunology was born. This is a science which to me has far greater potentialities both for practical use in medicine and for the better understanding of living process than the classical immunochemistry which it is incorporating and superseding.
'Immunological Recognition of Self', Nobel Lecture, 12 December 1960. In Nobel Lectures Physiology or Medicine 1942-1962 (1964), 689.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (486)  |  Both (493)  |  Classical (45)  |  Colleague (50)  |  Greater (288)  |  Immunology (14)  |  Living (491)  |  Sir Peter B. Medawar (57)  |  Medicine (378)  |  New (1216)  |  Practical (200)  |  Process (423)  |  Produced (187)  |  Science (3879)  |  Show (346)  |  Superseding (2)  |  Think (1086)  |  Tolerance (10)  |  Use (766)

I never said a word against eminent men of science. What I complain of is a vague popular philosophy which supposes itself to be scientific when it is really nothing but a sort of new religion and an uncommonly nasty one. When people talked about the fall of man, they knew they were talking about a mystery, a thing they didn’t understand. Now they talk about the survival of the fittest: they think they do understand it, whereas they have not merely no notion, they have an elaborately false notion of what the words mean.
In The Club of Queer Trades (1903, 1905), 241.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  Complaint (11)  |  Do (1908)  |  Elaborate (28)  |  Eminence (23)  |  Fall (230)  |  False (100)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mean (809)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Merely (316)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Nasty (7)  |  Never (1087)  |  New (1216)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Notion (113)  |  People (1005)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Popular (29)  |  Religion (361)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Supposition (50)  |  Survival (94)  |  Survival Of The Fittest (40)  |  Talk (100)  |  Talking (76)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Uncommon (14)  |  Understand (606)  |  Vague (47)  |  Word (619)

I often use the analogy of a chess game: one can learn all the rules of chess, but one doesn’t know how to play well…. The present situation in physics is as if we know chess, but we don’t know one or two rules. But in this part of the board where things are in operation, those one or two rules are not operating much and we can get along pretty well without understanding those rules. That’s the way it is, I would say, regarding the phenomena of life, consciousness and so forth.
In Superstrings: A Theory of Everything? by P. C. W. Davies and Julian Brown (1988).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Chess (25)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  Game (101)  |  Know (1518)  |  Learn (629)  |  Life (1795)  |  Operation (213)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Present (619)  |  Rule (294)  |  Say (984)  |  Situation (113)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Two (937)  |  Use (766)  |  Way (1217)

I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Bible
Ecclesiastes 9:11. As given in the King James Version.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Battle (34)  |  Bread (39)  |  Chance (239)  |  Favor (63)  |  Happen (274)  |  Race (268)  |  Return (124)  |  Riches (12)  |  Saw (160)  |  Skill (109)  |  Strong (174)  |  Sun (385)  |  Swift (12)  |  Time (1877)  |  Understand (606)  |  Wise (131)

I shall explain a System of the World differing in many particulars from any yet known, answering in all things to the common Rules of Mechanical Motions: This depends upon three Suppositions. First, That all Cœlestial Bodies whatsoever, have an attraction or gravitating power towards their own Centers, whereby they attract not only their own parts, and keep them from flying from them, as we may observe the Earth to do, but that they do also attract all the other Cœlestial bodies that are within the sphere of their activity; and consequently that not only the Sun and Moon have an influence upon the body and motion the Earth, and the Earth upon them, but that Mercury also Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter by their attractive powers, have a considerable influence upon its motion in the same manner the corresponding attractive power of the Earth hath a considerable influence upon every one of their motions also. The second supposition is this, That all bodies whatsoever that are put into a direct and simple motion, will continue to move forward in a streight line, till they are by some other effectual powers deflected and bent into a Motion, describing a Circle, Ellipse, or some other more compounded Curve Line. The third supposition is, That these attractive powers are so much the more powerful in operating, by how much the nearer the body wrought upon is to their own Centers. Now what these several degrees are I have not yet experimentally verified; but it is a notion, which if fully prosecuted as it ought to be, will mightily assist the Astronomer to reduce all the Cœlestial Motions to a certain rule, which I doubt will never be done true without it. He that understands the nature of the Circular Pendulum and Circular Motion, will easily understand the whole ground of this Principle, and will know where to find direction in Nature for the true stating thereof. This I only hint at present to such as have ability and opportunity of prosecuting this Inquiry, and are not wanting of Industry for observing and calculating, wishing heartily such may be found, having myself many other things in hand which I would first compleat and therefore cannot so well attend it. But this I durst promise the Undertaker, that he will find all the Great Motions of the World to be influenced by this Principle, and that the true understanding thereof will be the true perfection of Astronomy.
An Attempt to Prove the Motion of the Earth from Observations (1674), 27-8. Based on a Cutlerian Lecture delivered by Hooke at the Royal Society four years earlier.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (152)  |  Activity (210)  |  All (4108)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Attend (65)  |  Attraction (56)  |  Attractive (23)  |  Body (537)  |  Certain (550)  |  Circle (110)  |  Circular (19)  |  Circular Motion (6)  |  Common (436)  |  Compound (113)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Continue (165)  |  Curve (49)  |  Degree (276)  |  Depend (228)  |  Direct (225)  |  Direction (175)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Earth (996)  |  Ellipse (8)  |  Explain (322)  |  Find (998)  |  First (1283)  |  Flying (72)  |  Forward (102)  |  Gravitation (70)  |  Great (1574)  |  Ground (217)  |  Hint (21)  |  Industry (137)  |  Inertia (14)  |  Influence (222)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Jupiter (26)  |  Know (1518)  |  Known (454)  |  Mars (44)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Mercury (49)  |  Moon (237)  |  More (2559)  |  Motion (310)  |  Move (216)  |  Myself (212)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nearer (45)  |  Never (1087)  |  Notion (113)  |  Observe (168)  |  Opportunity (87)  |  Orbit (81)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pendulum (17)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Planet (356)  |  Power (746)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Present (619)  |  Principle (507)  |  Promise (67)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Rule (294)  |  Saturn (13)  |  Simple (406)  |  Sphere (116)  |  Sun (385)  |  Supposition (50)  |  System (537)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)  |  Venus (20)  |  Whatsoever (41)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

I suppose that I tend to be optimistic about the future of physics. And nothing makes me more optimistic than the discovery of broken symmetries. In the seventh book of the Republic, Plato describes prisoners who are chained in a cave and can see only shadows that things outside cast on the cave wall. When released from the cave at first their eyes hurt, and for a while they think that the shadows they saw in the cave are more real than the objects they now see. But eventually their vision clears, and they can understand how beautiful the real world is. We are in such a cave, imprisoned by the limitations on the sorts of experiments we can do. In particular, we can study matter only at relatively low temperatures, where symmetries are likely to be spontaneously broken, so that nature does not appear very simple or unified. We have not been able to get out of this cave, but by looking long and hard at the shadows on the cave wall, we can at least make out the shapes of symmetries, which though broken, are exact principles governing all phenomena, expressions of the beauty of the world outside.
In Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1989), 'Conceptual Foundations of the Unified Theory of Weak and Electromagnetic Interactions.' Nobel Lectures: Physics 1971-1980 (1992), 556.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Book (392)  |  Broken (56)  |  Cast (66)  |  Cave (15)  |  Describe (128)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Do (1908)  |  Eventually (65)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Expression (175)  |  Eye (419)  |  First (1283)  |  Future (429)  |  Governing (20)  |  Hard (243)  |  Limitation (47)  |  Long (790)  |  Looking (189)  |  Low (80)  |  Matter (798)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Object (422)  |  Outside (141)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Plato (76)  |  Principle (507)  |  Prisoner (7)  |  Reality (261)  |  Republic (15)  |  Saw (160)  |  See (1081)  |  Shadow (72)  |  Shape (72)  |  Simple (406)  |  Study (653)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Symmetry (43)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Tend (124)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Understand (606)  |  Vision (123)  |  Wall (67)  |  World (1774)

I think that the unity we can seek lies really in two things. One is that the knowledge which comes to us at such a terrifyingly, inhumanly rapid rate has some order in it. We are allowed to forget a great deal, as well as to learn. This order is never adequate. The mass of ununderstood things, which cannot be summarized, or wholly ordered, always grows greater; but a great deal does get understood.
The second is simply this: we can have each other to dinner. We ourselves, and with each other by our converse, can create, not an architecture of global scope, but an immense, intricate network of intimacy, illumination, and understanding. Everything cannot be connected with everything in the world we live in. Everything can be connected with anything.
Concluding paragraphs of 'The Growth of Science and the Structure of Culture', Daedalus (Winter 1958), 87, No. 1, 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequate (46)  |  Architecture (48)  |  Connect (125)  |  Connected (8)  |  Converse (8)  |  Create (235)  |  Deal (188)  |  Dinner (15)  |  Everything (476)  |  Forget (115)  |  Global (35)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greater (288)  |  Grow (238)  |  Illumination (15)  |  Immense (86)  |  Intimacy (6)  |  Intricate (29)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Learn (629)  |  Lie (364)  |  Live (628)  |  Mass (157)  |  Network (21)  |  Never (1087)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Rapid (33)  |  Rate (29)  |  Scope (45)  |  Seek (213)  |  Summarize (10)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Two (937)  |  Understood (156)  |  Unity (78)  |  Wholly (88)  |  World (1774)

I think the next [21st] century will be the century of complexity. We have already discovered the basic laws that govern matter and understand all the normal situations. We don’t know how the laws fit together, and what happens under extreme conditions. But I expect we will find a complete unified theory sometime this century. The is no limit to the complexity that we can build using those basic laws.
[Answer to question: Some say that while the twentieth century was the century of physics, we are now entering the century of biology. What do you think of this?]
'"Unified Theory" Is Getting Closer, Hawking Predicts', interview in San Jose Mercury News (23 Jan 2000), 29A. Answer quoted in Ashok Sengupta, Chaos, Nonlinearity, Complexity: The Dynamical Paradigm of Nature (2006), vii. Question included in Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Nicholas Stern and Mario Molina , Global Sustainability: a Nobel Cause (2010), 13. Cite from Brent Davis and Dennis J. Sumara, Complexity and Education: Inquiries Into Learning, Teaching, and Research (2006), 171.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (36)  |  21st Century (7)  |  All (4108)  |  Already (222)  |  Answer (366)  |  Basic (138)  |  Biology (216)  |  Build (204)  |  Century (310)  |  Complete (204)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Condition (356)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Do (1908)  |  Expect (200)  |  Expectation (65)  |  Extreme (75)  |  Find (998)  |  Fit (134)  |  Govern (64)  |  Governing (20)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happening (58)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Limit (280)  |  Matter (798)  |  Next (236)  |  Normal (28)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Question (621)  |  Say (984)  |  Situation (113)  |  Sometime (4)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Together (387)  |  Understand (606)  |  Unified Theory (7)  |  Will (2355)

I think we may picture those domains where understanding exists, whether in physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, economics or any other discipline as cultivated valleys in a formidably mountainous country. We may recognise in principle that we all inhabit the same world but in practice we do well to cultivate our own valleys, with an occasional assault on the more accessible foothills, rather than to build roads in a vain attempt at colonisation.
From Inaugural Lecture as Cavendish Professor of Physics, Cambridge, as quoted in Gordon L. Glegg, The Development of Design (1981), 1-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Accessible (25)  |  All (4108)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Biology (216)  |  Build (204)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Colonization (3)  |  Country (251)  |  Cultivation (35)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Do (1908)  |  Domain (69)  |  Economic (81)  |  Economics (37)  |  Exist (443)  |  Foothill (3)  |  Inhabiting (3)  |  More (2559)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Occasional (22)  |  Other (2236)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Picture (143)  |  Practice (204)  |  Principle (507)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Recognition (88)  |  Think (1086)  |  Vain (83)  |  Valley (32)  |  World (1774)

I wanted to be a scientist from my earliest school days. The crystallizing moment came when I first caught on that stars are mighty suns, and how staggeringly far away they must be to appear to us as mere points of light. I’m not sure I even knew the word science then, but I was gripped by the prospect of understanding how things work, of helping to uncover deep mysteries, of exploring new worlds.
In 'With Science on Our Side', Washington Post (9 Jan 1994).
Science quotes on:  |  Appear (118)  |  Biography (240)  |  Deep (233)  |  Earliest (3)  |  Exploration (134)  |  Far (154)  |  First (1283)  |  Light (607)  |  Mere (84)  |  Moment (253)  |  Must (1526)  |  Mystery (177)  |  New (1216)  |  Point (580)  |  Prospect (30)  |  School (219)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Staggering (2)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Sun (385)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Uncover (20)  |  Understand (606)  |  Want (497)  |  Word (619)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

I was fascinated by fractional distillation as a method while still a school-boy, and built in the cellar of my home, which was my combined workshop and laboratory, distillation columns, packed with coke of graded size, some five feet in height. They were made from coffee tins (obtained from the kitchen), with the bottoms removed and soldered together! Experience with them served me in good stead and by the time I graduated I had a good understanding of the problems of fractional distillation.
Nobel Lectures in Chemistry (1999), Vol. 3, 359-360.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (240)  |  Boy (94)  |  Coffee (19)  |  Coke (3)  |  Distillation (10)  |  Experience (467)  |  Good (889)  |  Home (170)  |  Kitchen (13)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Method (505)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Problem (676)  |  School (219)  |  Still (613)  |  Time (1877)  |  Tin (18)  |  Together (387)  |  Workshop (14)

I was sitting writing at my textbook but the work did not progress; my thoughts were elsewhere. I turned my chair to the fire and dozed. Again the atoms were gambolling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly in the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by the repeated visions of the kind, could now distinguish larger structures of manifold confirmation: long rows, sometimes more closely fitted together all twining and twisting in snake like motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lightning I awoke; and this time also I spent the rest of the night in working out the rest of the hypothesis. Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the truth... But let us beware of publishing our dreams till they have been tested by waking understanding.
Kekule at Benzolfest in Berichte (1890), 23, 1302.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Aromatic (3)  |  Atom (355)  |  Background (43)  |  Beware (16)  |  Carbon (65)  |  Chair (24)  |  Confirmation (22)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Dream (208)  |  Eye (419)  |  Find (998)  |  Fire (189)  |  Flash (49)  |  Form (959)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Kind (557)  |  Learn (629)  |  Lightning (45)  |  Long (790)  |  Look (582)  |  Manifold (22)  |  Mental (177)  |  Molecule (174)  |  More (2559)  |  Motion (310)  |  Progress (465)  |  Render (93)  |  Rest (280)  |  Ring (16)  |  Sitting (44)  |  Snake (26)  |  Spent (85)  |  Structure (344)  |  Test (211)  |  Textbook (36)  |  Thought (953)  |  Time (1877)  |  Together (387)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Turn (447)  |  Twisting (3)  |  Verification (31)  |  Vision (123)  |  Waking (17)  |  Whirl (8)  |  Work (1351)  |  Writing (189)

I would clarify that by ‘animal’ I understand a being that has feeling and that is capable of exercising life functions through a principle called soul; that the soul uses the body's organs, which are true machines, by virtue of its being the principal cause of the action of each of the machine's parts; and that although the placement that these parts have with respect to one another does scarcely anything else through the soul's mediation than what it does in pure machines, the entire machine nonetheless needs to be activated and guided by the soul in the same way as an organ, which, although capable of rendering different sounds through the placement of the parts of which it is composed, nonetheless never does so except through the guidance of the organist.
'La Mechanique des Animaux', in Oeuvres Diverses de Physique et de Mechanique (1721), Vol. 1, 329. Quoted in Jacques Roger, Keith R. Benson (ed.), Robert Ellrich (trans.), The Life Sciences in Eighteenth-Century French Thought, (1997), 273-4.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Action (327)  |  Activation (6)  |  Animal (617)  |  Being (1278)  |  Body (537)  |  Call (769)  |  Capability (41)  |  Capable (168)  |  Cause (541)  |  Clarification (7)  |  Composition (84)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Function (228)  |  Guidance (28)  |  Life (1795)  |  Machine (257)  |  Mediation (4)  |  Never (1087)  |  Organ (115)  |  Part (222)  |  Principal (63)  |  Principle (507)  |  Pure (291)  |  Respect (207)  |  Scarcely (74)  |  Soul (226)  |  Sound (183)  |  Through (849)  |  Understand (606)  |  Use (766)  |  Virtue (109)  |  Way (1217)

I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.
'The Mystery of Life', Riverside Sermons (1958), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Small (477)  |  World (1774)

I would teach the world that science is the best way to understand the world, and that for any set of observations, there is only one correct explanation. Also, science is value-free, as it explains the world as it is. Ethical issues arise only when science is applied to technology – from medicine to industry.
Response to question “What is the one thing everyone should learn about science?” in 'Life Lessons' The Guardian (7 Apr 2005).
Science quotes on:  |  Applied (177)  |  Arise (158)  |  Best (459)  |  Correct (86)  |  Ethical (34)  |  Ethics (50)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Free (232)  |  Industry (137)  |  Issue (42)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Observation (555)  |  Science (3879)  |  Set (394)  |  Teach (277)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Technology (257)  |  Understand (606)  |  Value (365)  |  Way (1217)  |  World (1774)

I've found out so much about electricity that I've reached the point where I understand nothing and can explain nothing.
[Describing his experiments with the Leyden jar.]
Letter to Réamur (20 Jan 1746), in AS. Proc. verb., LXV (1746), 6. Cited in J. L. Heilbron, Electricity in the 17th and 18th Centuries: a Study of Early Modern Physics (1979), 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Electricity (159)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Leyden Jar (2)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Point (580)  |  Reach (281)  |  Understand (606)

If a lion could talk, we could not understand him.
In Philosophical Investigations (1953), trans. G. E. M. Anscombe, 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Lion (22)  |  Talking (76)  |  Understand (606)

If a single cell, under appropriate conditions, becomes a man in the space of a few years, there can surely be no difficulty in understanding how, under appropriate conditions, a cell may, in the course of untold millions of years, give origin to the human race.
Principles of Biology (1865, 1872), 350.
Science quotes on:  |  Appropriate (61)  |  Become (815)  |  Cell (138)  |  Condition (356)  |  Course (409)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Race (100)  |  Man (2251)  |  Origin (239)  |  Race (268)  |  Single (353)  |  Space (500)  |  Surely (101)  |  Year (933)

If it were always necessary to reduce everything to intuitive knowledge, demonstration would often be insufferably prolix. This is why mathematicians have had the cleverness to divide the difficulties and to demonstrate separately the intervening propositions. And there is art also in this; for as the mediate truths (which are called lemmas, since they appear to be a digression) may be assigned in many ways, it is well, in order to aid the understanding and memory, to choose of them those which greatly shorten the process, and appear memorable and worthy in themselves of being demonstrated. But there is another obstacle, viz.: that it is not easy to demonstrate all the axioms, and to reduce demonstrations wholly to intuitive knowledge. And if we had chosen to wait for that, perhaps we should not yet have the science of geometry.
In Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz and Alfred Gideon Langley (trans.), New Essays Concerning Human Understanding (1896), 413-414.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (97)  |  All (4108)  |  Appear (118)  |  Art (657)  |  Assign (13)  |  Axiom (63)  |  Being (1278)  |  Call (769)  |  Choose (112)  |  Chosen (48)  |  Cleverness (15)  |  Demonstrate (76)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Digression (3)  |  Divide (75)  |  Easy (204)  |  Everything (476)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Insufferable (2)  |  Intervene (8)  |  Intuitive (14)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lemma (2)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mediate (4)  |  Memorable (4)  |  Memory (134)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Obstacle (42)  |  Often (106)  |  Order (632)  |  Process (423)  |  Prolix (2)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Science (3879)  |  Separate (143)  |  Shorten (5)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understand (606)  |  Wait (58)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wholly (88)  |  Why (491)  |  Worthy (34)

If one small and odd lineage of fishes had not evolved fins capable of bearing weight on land (though evolved for different reasons in lakes and seas,) terrestrial vertebrates would never have arisen. If a large extraterrestrial object—the ultimate random bolt from the blue—had not triggered the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago, mammals would still be small creatures, confined to the nooks and crannies of a dinosaur's world, and incapable of evolving the larger size that brains big enough for self-consciousness require. If a small and tenuous population of protohumans had not survived a hundred slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (and potential extinction) on the savannas of Africa, then Homo sapiens would never have emerged to spread throughout the globe. We are glorious accidents of an unpredictable process with no drive to complexity, not the expected results of evolutionary principles that yearn to produce a creature capable of understanding the mode of its own necessary construction.
Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin (1996), 216.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accident (88)  |  Africa (35)  |  Arrow (20)  |  Asteroid (13)  |  Bolt (9)  |  Bolt From The Blue (2)  |  Brain (270)  |  Capable (168)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  Construction (112)  |  Creature (233)  |  Different (577)  |  Dinosaur (26)  |  Enough (340)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Expect (200)  |  Extinction (74)  |  Fortune (49)  |  Glorious (48)  |  Homo Sapiens (23)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Incapable (40)  |  Lake (32)  |  Large (394)  |  Mammal (37)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Never (1087)  |  Object (422)  |  Population (110)  |  Potential (69)  |  Principle (507)  |  Process (423)  |  Random (41)  |  Reason (744)  |  Require (219)  |  Result (677)  |  Sea (308)  |  Self (267)  |  Sling (4)  |  Small (477)  |  Spread (83)  |  Still (613)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Unpredictable (17)  |  Vertebrate (20)  |  Weight (134)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)  |  Yearn (12)

If physical science is dangerous, as I have said, it is dangerous because it necessarily ignores the idea of moral evil; but literature is open to the more grievous imputation of recognizing and understanding it too well.
In 'Duties of the Church Towards Knowledge', The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated (1852, 1873), Discourse 9, 229.
Science quotes on:  |  Dangerous (105)  |  Evil (116)  |  Grievous (3)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ignore (45)  |  Literature (103)  |  Moral (195)  |  More (2559)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Open (274)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Science (101)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Science (3879)  |  Understand (606)

If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get very far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability.
Endless Horizons (1946), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (136)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Game (101)  |  Limit (280)  |  Limited (101)  |  Logic (287)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical World (28)  |  Probability (130)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Use (766)  |  World (1774)

If the brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't.
Quoted by George E. Pugh, The Biological Origin of Human Values (1978), 154. In a footnote, the author writes that this quote comes from his own father, around 1938. The quote is also widely seen attributed to Lyall Watson (born 1939), for example, by Larry Chang in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006), 539.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (270)  |  Simple (406)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Understand (606)

If the human mind were simple enough to understand, we’d be too simple to understand it.
Pat Bahn
Bahn’s conundrum to cognitive theory
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (270)  |  Enough (340)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Simple (406)  |  Understand (606)

If the task of scientific methodology is to piece together an account of what scientists actually do, then the testimony of biologists should be heard with specially close attention. Biologists work very close to the frontier between bewilderment and understanding.
Biology is complex, messy and richly various, like real life; it travels faster nowadays than physics or chemistry (which is just as well, since it has so much farther to go), and it travels nearer to the ground. It should therefore give us a specially direct and immediate insight into science in the making.
Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought (1969), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  Attention (190)  |  Bewilderment (8)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Biology (216)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Complex (188)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Development (422)  |  Direct (225)  |  Do (1908)  |  Farther (51)  |  Faster (50)  |  Frontier (38)  |  Ground (217)  |  Immediate (95)  |  Insight (102)  |  Life (1795)  |  Making (300)  |  Messy (6)  |  Methodology (12)  |  Nearer (45)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Progress (465)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Task (147)  |  Testimony (21)  |  Together (387)  |  Travel (114)  |  Various (200)  |  Work (1351)

If the term education may be understood in so large a sense as to include all that belongs to the improvement of the mind, either by the acquisition of the knowledge of others or by increase of it through its own exertions, we learn by them what is the kind of education science offers to man. It teaches us to be neglectful of nothing — not to despise the small beginnings, for they precede of necessity all great things in the knowledge of science, either pure or applied.
'Science as a Branch of Education', lecture to the Royal Institution, 11 Jun 1858. Reprinted in The Mechanics Magazine (1858), 49, 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquisition (45)  |  All (4108)  |  Applied (177)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Belong (162)  |  Education (378)  |  Exertion (15)  |  Great (1574)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Include (90)  |  Increase (210)  |  Kind (557)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Large (394)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Neglect (63)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Offer (141)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pure (291)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sense (770)  |  Small (477)  |  Term (349)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Understood (156)

If this seems complex, the reason is because Tao is both simple and complex. It is complex when we try to understand it, and simple when we allow ourselves to experience it.
In Gary William Flake, The Computational Beauty of Nature (2000), 327.
Science quotes on:  |  Both (493)  |  Complex (188)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Experience (467)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Reason (744)  |  Simple (406)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Tao (2)  |  Try (283)  |  Understand (606)

If we are correct in understanding how evolution actually works, and provided we can survive the complications of war, environmental degradation, and possible contact with interstellar planetary travelers, we will look exactly the same as we do now. We won’t change at all. The species is now so widely dispersed that it is not going to evolve, except by gradualism.
In Pamela Weintraub, The Omni Interviews (1984), 75.
Science quotes on:  |  Alien (34)  |  All (4108)  |  Change (593)  |  Complication (29)  |  Contact (65)  |  Degradation (17)  |  Do (1908)  |  Environment (216)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Gradual (27)  |  Interstellar (8)  |  Look (582)  |  Planetary (29)  |  Possible (552)  |  Species (401)  |  Survive (79)  |  Traveler (30)  |  Understand (606)  |  War (225)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

If we do discover a complete unified theory, it should be in time understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would know the mind of God.
A Brief History of Time (1988), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Answer (366)  |  Complete (204)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Do (1908)  |  Exist (443)  |  Find (998)  |  God (757)  |  Human (1468)  |  Know (1518)  |  Layman (21)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  People (1005)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Principle (507)  |  Reason (744)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Triumph (73)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Understandable (12)  |  Unified Theory (7)  |  Universe (857)  |  Why (491)

If we wish to imitate the physical sciences, we must not imitate them in their contemporary, most developed form; we must imitate them in their historical youth, when their state of development was comparable to our own at the present time. Otherwise we should behave like boys who try to copy the imposing manners of full-grown men without understanding their raison d’être, also without seeing that in development one cannot jump over intermediate and preliminary phases.
Gestalt Psychology (1929), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Boy (94)  |  Copy (33)  |  Develop (268)  |  Development (422)  |  Form (959)  |  Historical (70)  |  Imitate (17)  |  Intermediate (37)  |  Jump (29)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Phase (36)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Science (101)  |  Present (619)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seeing (142)  |  State (491)  |  Time (1877)  |  Try (283)  |  Wish (212)  |  Youth (101)

If you have to prove a theorem, do not rush. First of all, understand fully what the theorem says, try to see clearly what it means. Then check the theorem; it could be false. Examine the consequences, verify as many particular instances as are needed to convince yourself of the truth. When you have satisfied yourself that the theorem is true, you can start proving it.
In How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Check (24)  |  Clarity (47)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Convince (41)  |  Do (1908)  |  Examination (98)  |  Examine (78)  |  False (100)  |  First (1283)  |  Instance (33)  |  Mean (809)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Means (579)  |  Need (290)  |  Particular (76)  |  Proof (287)  |  Prove (250)  |  Rush (18)  |  Satisfaction (74)  |  Say (984)  |  See (1081)  |  Start (221)  |  Theorem (112)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Try (283)  |  Understand (606)  |  Verification (31)  |  Verify (23)

If you want to understand human beings, there are plenty of people to go to besides psychologists.... Most of these people are incapable of communicating their knowledge, but those who can communicate it are novelists. They are good novelists precisely because they are good psychologists.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 128.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Communicate (36)  |  Communication (94)  |  Good (889)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Being (175)  |  Human Beings (117)  |  Incapable (40)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Most (1731)  |  Novelist (6)  |  People (1005)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Psychologist (15)  |  Understand (606)  |  Want (497)

In 1906 I indulged my temper by hurling invectives at Neo-Darwinians in the following terms. “I really do not wish to be abusive [to Neo-Darwinians]; but when I think of these poor little dullards, with their precarious hold of just that corner of evolution that a blackbeetle can understand—with their retinue of twopenny-halfpenny Torquemadas wallowing in the infamies of the vivisector’s laboratory, and solemnly offering us as epoch-making discoveries their demonstrations that dogs get weaker and die if you give them no food; that intense pain makes mice sweat; and that if you cut off a dog’s leg the three-legged dog will have a four-legged puppy, I ask myself what spell has fallen on intelligent and humane men that they allow themselves to be imposed on by this rabble of dolts, blackguards, imposters, quacks, liars, and, worst of all, credulous conscientious fools.”
In Back to Methuselah: A Metabiological Pentateuch (1921), lxi
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Abuse (22)  |  All (4108)  |  Ask (411)  |  Conscientious (7)  |  Corner (57)  |  Credulity (14)  |  Credulous (9)  |  Cut (114)  |  Death (388)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dog (70)  |  Dullard (2)  |  Epoch (45)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Food (199)  |  Fool (116)  |  Humane (18)  |  Hurling (2)  |  Impostor (3)  |  Infamy (2)  |  Inquisitor (6)  |  Intelligence (211)  |  Intelligent (100)  |  Invective (2)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Leg (34)  |  Liar (6)  |  Little (707)  |  Making (300)  |  Mouse (32)  |  Myself (212)  |  Pain (136)  |  Poor (136)  |  Quack (18)  |  Retinue (3)  |  Starvation (13)  |  Sweat (15)  |  Temper (9)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Think (1086)  |  Understand (606)  |  Weakening (2)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wish (212)  |  Worst (57)

In a certain sense I made a living for five or six years out of that one star [υ Sagittarii] and it is still a fascinating, not understood, star. It’s the first star in which you could clearly demonstrate an enormous difference in chemical composition from the sun. It had almost no hydrogen. It was made largely of helium, and had much too much nitrogen and neon. It’s still a mystery in many ways … But it was the first star ever analysed that had a different composition, and I started that area of spectroscopy in the late thirties.
Oral History Transcript of interview with Dr. Jesse Greenstein by Paul Wright (31 Jul 1974), on website of American Institute of Physics, about his research on strange shell stars. As quoted in J. B. Hearnshaw, The Analysis of Starlight: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Astronomical Spectroscopy (1986, 1990), 362. Hearnshaw footnoted that Berman earlier analysed the peculiar star R CrB (1935).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Composition (84)  |  Demonstrate (76)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Fascinating (37)  |  First (1283)  |  Helium (11)  |  Hydrogen (75)  |  Late (118)  |  Living (491)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Neon (4)  |  Nitrogen (26)  |  Sense (770)  |  Spectroscopy (11)  |  Star (427)  |  Start (221)  |  Still (613)  |  Sun (385)  |  Understood (156)  |  Way (1217)  |  Year (933)

In a crystal we have the clear evidence of the existence of a formative life-principle, and though we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is none the less a living being.
In 'The Problem of Increasing Human Energy: With Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy', Century Illustrated Magazine (Jun 1900), 60, No. 2, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Crystal (68)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Existence (456)  |  Formative (2)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Principle (507)  |  Understand (606)

In every science certain things must be accepted as first principles if the subject matter is to be understood; and these first postulates rest upon faith.
As quoted, without citation, in Ronald Keast, Dancing in the Dark: The Waltz in Wonder of Quantum Metaphysics (2009), 104-105. If you know a primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  Certain (550)  |  Faith (203)  |  First (1283)  |  Matter (798)  |  Must (1526)  |  Postulate (38)  |  Principle (507)  |  Rest (280)  |  Science (3879)  |  Subject (521)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understood (156)

In mathematics, … and in natural philosophy since mathematics was applied to it, we see the noblest instance of the force of the human mind, and of the sublime heights to which it may rise by cultivation. An acquaintance with such sciences naturally leads us to think well of our faculties, and to indulge sanguine expectations concerning the improvement of other parts of knowledge. To this I may add, that, as mathematical and physical truths are perfectly uninteresting in their consequences, the understanding readily yields its assent to the evidence which is presented to it; and in this way may be expected to acquire the habit of trusting to its own conclusions, which will contribute to fortify it against the weaknesses of scepticism, in the more interesting inquiries after moral truth in which it may afterwards engage.
In Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind (1827), Vol. 3, Chap. 1, Sec. 3, 182.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaintance (37)  |  Against (332)  |  Applied (177)  |  Assent (12)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Contribute (27)  |  Cultivation (35)  |  Engage (39)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Expect (200)  |  Expectation (65)  |  Force (487)  |  Fortify (4)  |  Habit (168)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Indulge (14)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lead (384)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Moral (195)  |  More (2559)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Philosophy (52)  |  Other (2236)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Physical (508)  |  Present (619)  |  Rise (166)  |  Scepticism (16)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Skepticism (28)  |  Sublime (46)  |  Think (1086)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understand (606)  |  Uninteresting (9)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Way (1217)  |  Weakness (48)  |  Will (2355)  |  Yield (81)

In my understanding of God I start with certain firm beliefs. One is that the laws of nature are not broken. We do not, of course, know all these laws yet, but I believe that such laws exist. I do not, therefore, believe in the literal truth of some miracles which are featured in the Christian Scriptures, such as the Virgin Birth or water into wine. ... God works, I believe, within natural laws, and, according to natural laws, these things happen.
Essay 'Science Will Never Give Us the Answers to All Our Questions', collected in Henry Margenau, and Roy Abraham Varghese (eds.), Cosmos, Bios, Theos (1992), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  All (4108)  |  Belief (578)  |  Birth (147)  |  Broken (56)  |  Certain (550)  |  Christian (43)  |  Course (409)  |  Do (1908)  |  Exist (443)  |  Firm (47)  |  God (757)  |  Happen (274)  |  Know (1518)  |  Law (894)  |  Law Of Nature (72)  |  Literal (11)  |  Miracle (83)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Law (41)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Scripture (12)  |  Start (221)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Virgin (9)  |  Water (481)  |  Wine (38)  |  Work (1351)

In my view, the proper attitude of a public-service broadcaster is that it should attempt to cover as broad as possible a spectrum of human interest and should measure success by the width of those views. There shouldn’t be all that large a number of gaps in the spectrum; and a major element in the spectrum is scientific understanding. The fact that it doesn’t necessarily get as big an audience as cookery is of no consequence.
From interview with Brian Cox and Robert Ince, in 'A Life Measured in Heartbeats', New Statesman (21 Dec 2012), 141, No. 5138, 33.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Attitude (82)  |  Audience (26)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Education (378)  |  Element (310)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Gap (33)  |  Human (1468)  |  Interest (386)  |  Large (394)  |  Major (84)  |  Measure (232)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Number (699)  |  Possible (552)  |  Proper (144)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Service (110)  |  Spectrum (31)  |  Success (302)  |  View (488)  |  Width (5)

In no subject is there a rule, compliance with which will lead to new knowledge or better understanding. Skilful observations, ingenious ideas, cunning tricks, daring suggestions, laborious calculations, all these may be required to advance a subject. Occasionally the conventional approach in a subject has to be studiously followed; on other occasions it has to be ruthlessly disregarded. Which of these methods, or in what order they should be employed is generally unpredictable. Analogies drawn from the history of science are frequently claimed to be a guide; but, as with forecasting the next game of roulette, the existence of the best analogy to the present is no guide whatever to the future. The most valuable lesson to be learnt from the history of scientific progress is how misleading and strangling such analogies have been, and how success has come to those who ignored them.
'Cosmology', in Arthur Beer (ed.), Vistas in Astronomy (1956), Vol. 2, 1722.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  All (4108)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Approach (108)  |  Best (459)  |  Better (486)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Claim (146)  |  Compliance (7)  |  Conventional (30)  |  Cunning (16)  |  Daring (17)  |  Employ (113)  |  Existence (456)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Follow (378)  |  Future (429)  |  Game (101)  |  Guide (97)  |  History (673)  |  History Of Science (63)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ingenious (55)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Laborious (14)  |  Lead (384)  |  Lesson (57)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Misleading (21)  |  Most (1731)  |  New (1216)  |  Next (236)  |  Observation (555)  |  Occasion (85)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Present (619)  |  Progress (465)  |  Required (108)  |  Rule (294)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Scientific Progress (14)  |  Subject (521)  |  Success (302)  |  Suggestion (46)  |  Trick (35)  |  Unpredictable (17)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Will (2355)

In order to translate a sentence from English into French two things are necessary. First, we must understand thoroughly the English sentence. Second, we must be familiar with the forms of expression peculiar to the French language. The situation is very similar when we attempt to express in mathematical symbols a condition proposed in words. First, we must understand thoroughly the condition. Second, we must be familiar with the forms of mathematical expression.
In How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), 174.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (251)  |  Condition (356)  |  English (35)  |  Express (186)  |  Expression (175)  |  Familiarity (19)  |  First (1283)  |  Form (959)  |  French (20)  |  Language (293)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Must (1526)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Order (632)  |  Peculiar (113)  |  Peculiarity (25)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Sentence (29)  |  Similarity (31)  |  Situation (113)  |  Symbol (93)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thoroughly (67)  |  Translate (19)  |  Translation (21)  |  Two (937)  |  Understand (606)  |  Word (619)

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 (4)  |  Assert (66)  |  Assertion (32)  |  Binding (9)  |  Bringing (10)  |  Cause (541)  |  Connection (162)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Consequent (19)  |  Conservation (168)  |  Conservation Of Energy (29)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Dominion (11)  |  Energy (344)  |  Equivalent (45)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Exacting (4)  |  Extent (139)  |  Fate (72)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Grandness (2)  |  Grasp (61)  |  Human (1468)  |  Issue (42)  |  Law (894)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Origin (239)  |  Origin Of Species (42)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physics (533)  |  Radical (25)  |  Reach (281)  |  Recognition (88)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Significance (113)  |  Species (401)  |  Still (613)  |  Theory (970)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Vital (85)  |  Vitality (23)

In point of fact, no conclusive disproof of a theory can ever be produced; for it is always possible to say that the experimental results are not reliable or that the discrepancies which are asserted to exist between the experimental results and the theory are only apparent and that they will disappear with the advance of our understanding. If you insist on strict proof (or strict disproof) in the empirical sciences, you will never benefit from experience, and never learn from it how wrong you are.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery: Logik Der Forschung (1959, 2002), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Assert (66)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Conclusive (11)  |  Disappear (82)  |  Empirical (54)  |  Empirical Science (9)  |  Exist (443)  |  Experience (467)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Learn (629)  |  Never (1087)  |  Point (580)  |  Possible (552)  |  Produced (187)  |  Proof (287)  |  Result (677)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Theory (970)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wrong (234)

In studying the fate of our forest king, we have thus far considered the action of purely natural causes only; but, unfortunately, man is in the woods, and waste and pure destruction are making rapid headway. If the importance of the forests were even vaguely understood, even from an economic standpoint, their preservation would call forth the most watchful attention of government
John Muir
In The Mountains of California (1894), 198.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Attention (190)  |  Call (769)  |  Cause (541)  |  Consider (416)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Economic (81)  |  Economy (55)  |  Fate (72)  |  Forest (150)  |  Government (110)  |  Headway (2)  |  Importance (286)  |  King (35)  |  Making (300)  |  Man (2251)  |  Most (1731)  |  Natural (796)  |  Preservation (33)  |  Pure (291)  |  Purely (109)  |  Rapid (33)  |  Standpoint (28)  |  Studying (70)  |  Understood (156)  |  Unfortunately (38)  |  Vagueness (15)  |  Waste (101)  |  Watch (109)  |  Wood (92)

In the case of the Sun, we have a new understanding of the cosmological meaning of sacrifice. The Sun is, with each second, transforming four million tons of itself into light—giving itself over to become energy that we, with every meal, partake of. The Sun converts itself into a flow of energy that photosynthesis changes into plants that are consumed by animals. Humans have been feasting on the Sun’s energy stored in the form of wheat or maize or reindeer as each day the Sun dies as Sun and is reborn as the vitality of Earth. These solar flares are in fact the very power of the vast human enterprise. Every child of ours needs to learn the simple truth: she is the energy of the Sun. And we adults should organize things so her face shines with the same radiant joy.
In The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos: Humanity and the New Story (1996), 40-41.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Animal (617)  |  Become (815)  |  Change (593)  |  Child (307)  |  Consume (9)  |  Cosmological (11)  |  Die (86)  |  Earth (996)  |  Energy (344)  |  Enterprise (54)  |  Face (212)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Flow (83)  |  Form (959)  |  Human (1468)  |  Joy (107)  |  Learn (629)  |  Light (607)  |  Maize (4)  |  Meal (18)  |  Meaning (233)  |  New (1216)  |  Organize (29)  |  Photosynthesis (19)  |  Plant (294)  |  Power (746)  |  Radiant (15)  |  Reindeer (2)  |  Sacrifice (50)  |  Same (157)  |  Shine (45)  |  Simple (406)  |  Solar Flare (2)  |  Sun (385)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Ton (21)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Vast (177)  |  Vitality (23)  |  Wheat (10)

In the company of friends, writers can discuss their books, economists the state of the economy, lawyers their latest cases, and businessmen their latest acquisitions, but mathematicians cannot discuss their mathematics at all. And the more profound their work, the less understandable it is.
Reflections: Mathematics and Creativity', New Yorker (1972), 47, No. 53, 39-45. In Douglas M. Campbell, John C. Higgins (eds.), Mathematics: People, Problems, Results (1984), Vol. 2, 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquisition (45)  |  All (4108)  |  Author (167)  |  Book (392)  |  Businessman (4)  |  Company (59)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Economist (17)  |  Friend (168)  |  Lawyer (27)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  More (2559)  |  Profound (104)  |  State (491)  |  Understandable (12)  |  Work (1351)  |  Writer (86)

In the first papers concerning the aetiology of tuberculosis I have already indicated the dangers arising from the spread of the bacilli-containing excretions of consumptives, and have urged moreover that prophylactic measures should be taken against the contagious disease. But my words have been unheeded. It was still too early, and because of this they still could not meet with full understanding. It shared the fate of so many similar cases in medicine, where a long time has also been necessary before old prejudices were overcome and the new facts were acknowledged to be correct by the physicians.
'The current state of the struggle against tuberculosis', Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1905). In Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1901-1921 (1967), 169.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  Agreement (53)  |  Already (222)  |  Arising (22)  |  Bacillus (9)  |  Contagious (4)  |  Danger (115)  |  Disease (328)  |  Early (185)  |  Excretion (7)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fate (72)  |  First (1283)  |  Long (790)  |  Measure (232)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Necessary (363)  |  New (1216)  |  Old (481)  |  Overcome (39)  |  Paper (182)  |  Patient (199)  |  Physician (273)  |  Prejudice (87)  |  Spread (83)  |  Still (613)  |  Time (1877)  |  Tuberculosis (8)  |  Word (619)

In the sick room, ten cents’ worth of human understanding equals ten dollars' worth of medical science.
Martin H. Fischer, Howard Fabing (ed.) and Ray Marr (ed.), Fischerisms (1944).
Science quotes on:  |  Hospital (43)  |  Human (1468)  |  Medical Science (18)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sick (81)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Worth (169)

In the summer after kindergarten, a friend introduced me to the joys of building plastic model airplanes and warships. By the fourth grade, I graduated to an erector set and spent many happy hours constructing devices of unknown purpose where the main design criterion was to maximize the number of moving parts and overall size. The living room rug was frequently littered with hundreds of metal “girders” and tiny nuts and bolts surrounding half-finished structures. An understanding mother allowed me to keep the projects going for days on end.
Autobiography in Gösta Ekspong (ed.), Nobel Lectures: Physics 1996-2000 (2002), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Airplane (41)  |  Bolt (9)  |  Building (156)  |  Criterion (27)  |  Design (195)  |  Device (70)  |  End (590)  |  Finish (59)  |  Friend (168)  |  Happy (105)  |  Hour (186)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Introduce (63)  |  Joy (107)  |  Kindergarten (5)  |  Litter (5)  |  Living (491)  |  Meccano (5)  |  Metal (84)  |  Model (102)  |  Mother (114)  |  Number (699)  |  Overall (9)  |  Plastic (28)  |  Project (73)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Set (394)  |  Spent (85)  |  Structure (344)  |  Summer (54)  |  Tiny (72)  |  Unknown (182)

In this great celestial creation, the catastrophy of a world, such as ours, or even the total dissolution of a system of worlds, may possibly be no more to the great Author of Nature, than the most common accident in life with us, and in all probability such final and general Doomsdays may be as frequent there, as even Birthdays or mortality with us upon the earth. This idea has something so cheerful in it, that I know I can never look upon the stars without wondering why the whole world does not become astronomers; and that men endowed with sense and reason should neglect a science they are naturally so much interested in, and so capable of enlarging their understanding, as next to a demonstration must convince them of their immortality, and reconcile them to all those little difficulties incident to human nature, without the least anxiety. All this the vast apparent provision in the starry mansions seem to promise: What ought we then not to do, to preserve our natural birthright to it and to merit such inheritance, which alas we think created all to gratify alone a race of vain-glorious gigantic beings, while they are confined to this world, chained like so many atoms to a grain of sand.
In The Universe and the Stars: Being an Original Theory on the Visible Creation, Founded on the Laws of Nature (1750, 1837), 132.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (88)  |  All (4108)  |  Alone (311)  |  Anxiety (30)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Atom (355)  |  Author (167)  |  Become (815)  |  Being (1278)  |  Birthday (8)  |  Birthright (4)  |  Capable (168)  |  Celestial (53)  |  Cheerful (10)  |  Common (436)  |  Convince (41)  |  Creation (327)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Dissolution (11)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doomsday (5)  |  Earth (996)  |  Endowed (52)  |  Final (118)  |  General (511)  |  Gigantic (40)  |  Glorious (48)  |  Grain (50)  |  Great (1574)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Nature (64)  |  Idea (843)  |  Inheritance (34)  |  Interest (386)  |  Know (1518)  |  Life (1795)  |  Little (707)  |  Look (582)  |  Merit (50)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Neglect (63)  |  Never (1087)  |  Next (236)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Preserve (83)  |  Probability (130)  |  Promise (67)  |  Race (268)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reconcile (18)  |  Sand (62)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sense (770)  |  Something (719)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  System (537)  |  Think (1086)  |  Total (94)  |  Vain (83)  |  Vast (177)  |  Whole (738)  |  Why (491)  |  World (1774)

Increased knowledge of heredity means increased power of control over the living thing, and as we come to understand more and more the architecture of the plant or animal we realize what can and what cannot be done towards modification or improvement.
Reginald C. Punnett, in article 'Mendelism', from Hugh Chisholm (ed.) The Encyclopædia Britannica (1911), Vol. 18, 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (617)  |  Architecture (48)  |  Control (167)  |  Do (1908)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Increase (210)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Modification (55)  |  More (2559)  |  Plant (294)  |  Power (746)  |  Realize (147)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)

Increasingly, our leaders must deal with dangers that threaten the entire world, where an understanding of those dangers and the possible solutions depend on a good grasp of science. The ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, acid rain, questions of diet and of heredity--all require scientific literacy. Can Americans choose the proper leaders and support the proper programs if they are scientifically illiterate?
articles.latimes.com/1989-03-31/news/vw-543_1_scientific-literacy
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (83)  |  Acid Rain (2)  |  All (4108)  |  Choose (112)  |  Danger (115)  |  Deal (188)  |  Depend (228)  |  Diet (54)  |  Effect (393)  |  Good (889)  |  Greenhouse Effect (5)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Illiteracy (7)  |  Illiterate (6)  |  Layer (40)  |  Leader (43)  |  Literacy (10)  |  Must (1526)  |  Ozone (5)  |  Ozone Layer (2)  |  Possible (552)  |  Program (52)  |  Proper (144)  |  Question (621)  |  Rain (62)  |  Require (219)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Solution (267)  |  Solution. (53)  |  Support (147)  |  Threat (30)  |  Threaten (32)  |  Understand (606)  |  United States (23)  |  World (1774)

Increasingly, our leaders must deal with dangers that threaten the entire world, where an understanding of those dangers and the possible solutions depends on a good grasp of science. The ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, acid rain, questions of diet and heredity. All require scientific literacy. Can Americans choose the proper leaders and support the proper programs if they themselves are scientifically illiterate? The whole premise of democracy is that it is safe to leave important questions to the court of public opinion—but is it safe to leave them to the court of public ignorance?
In Los Angeles Times (31 Mar 1989).
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (83)  |  Acid Rain (2)  |  All (4108)  |  America (127)  |  Choose (112)  |  Court (33)  |  Danger (115)  |  Deal (188)  |  Democracy (33)  |  Depend (228)  |  Dependence (45)  |  Diet (54)  |  Effect (393)  |  Good (889)  |  Grasp (61)  |  Greenhouse Effect (5)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Illiteracy (7)  |  Illiterate (6)  |  Importance (286)  |  Layer (40)  |  Leader (43)  |  Literacy (10)  |  Must (1526)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Ozone (5)  |  Ozone Layer (2)  |  Possible (552)  |  Premise (37)  |  Program (52)  |  Proper (144)  |  Public (96)  |  Question (621)  |  Rain (62)  |  Require (219)  |  Requirement (63)  |  Safe (54)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Solution (267)  |  Solution. (53)  |  Support (147)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Threat (30)  |  Threaten (32)  |  Whole (738)  |  World (1774)

Infinities and indivisibles transcend our finite understanding, the former on account of their magnitude, the latter because of their smallness; Imagine what they are when combined.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  Combine (57)  |  Finite (59)  |  Former (137)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Indivisible (21)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Latter (21)  |  Magnitude (83)  |  Smallness (7)  |  Transcend (26)  |  Understand (606)

Injustice or oppression in the next street...or any spot inhabited by men was a personal affront to Thomas Addis and his name, from its early alphabetical place, was conspicuous on lists of sponsors of scores of organizations fighting for democracy and against fascism. He worked on more committees than could reasonably have been expected of so busy a man... Tom Addis was happy to have a hand in bringing to the organization of society some of the logic of science and to further that understanding and to promote that democracy which are the only enduring foundations of human dignity.
Kevin V. Lemley and Linus Pauling, 'Thomas Addis: 1881-1949', Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences, 63, 27-29.
Science quotes on:  |  Thomas Addis (3)  |  Against (332)  |  Biography (240)  |  Conspicuous (12)  |  Democracy (33)  |  Dignity (42)  |  Early (185)  |  Expect (200)  |  Fascism (4)  |  Foundation (171)  |  Happy (105)  |  Human (1468)  |  Logic (287)  |  Man (2251)  |  More (2559)  |  Name (333)  |  Next (236)  |  Organization (114)  |  Promote (29)  |  Science (3879)  |  Society (326)  |  Sponsor (5)  |  Work (1351)

Intelligence is an extremely subtle concept. It’s a kind of understanding that flourishes if it’s combined with a good memory, but exists anyway even in the absence of good memory. It’s the ability to draw consequences from causes, to make correct inferences, to foresee what might be the result, to work out logical problems, to be reasonable, rational, to have the ability to understand the solution from perhaps insufficient information. You know when a person is intelligent, but you can be easily fooled if you are not yourself intelligent.
In Irv Broughton (ed.), The Writer's Mind: Interviews with American Authors (1990), Vol. 2, 57.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ability (152)  |  Absence (18)  |  Cause (541)  |  Combine (57)  |  Concept (221)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Correct (86)  |  Draw (137)  |  Exist (443)  |  Flourish (34)  |  Fool (116)  |  Foresee (19)  |  Good (889)  |  Inference (45)  |  Information (166)  |  Insufficient (9)  |  Intelligence (211)  |  Intelligent (100)  |  Kind (557)  |  Know (1518)  |  Logic (287)  |  Memory (134)  |  Person (363)  |  Problem (676)  |  Rational (90)  |  Reasonable (27)  |  Result (677)  |  Solution (267)  |  Subtle (35)  |  Understand (606)  |  Work (1351)

Is it possible that a promiscuous Jumble of Printing Letters should often fall into a Method and Order, which should stamp on Paper a coherent Discourse; or that a blind fortuitous Concourse of Atoms, not guided by an Understanding Agent, should frequently constitute the Bodies of any Species of Animals.
In 'Of Wrong Assent, or Error', An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding (1706), Book 4, 601.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (70)  |  Animal (617)  |  Atom (355)  |  Blind (95)  |  Body (537)  |  Coherent (13)  |  Concourse (5)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Discourse (18)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Fall (230)  |  Fortuitous (11)  |  Frequently (21)  |  Guided (3)  |  Jumble (8)  |  Letter (109)  |  Method (505)  |  Order (632)  |  Paper (182)  |  Possible (552)  |  Printing (22)  |  Probability (130)  |  Species (401)  |  Stamp (36)

Is what you are doing fun? Of course, physics is also fun—indeed it is an enjoyable way of life. One reason physics is fun is that each element of progress transforms an area of ignorance into knowledge, but it also creates, as a by-product, an amount of new and additional ignorance in excess of that which was reduced to understanding. Thus, the volume of delicious ignorance we produce is ever-expanding, like our exponentially exploding universe.
In 'Physics and the APS in 1979', Physics Today (Apr 1980), 33, No. 4, 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Amount (151)  |  By-Product (7)  |  Course (409)  |  Create (235)  |  Doing (280)  |  Element (310)  |  Enjoyment (35)  |  Excess (22)  |  Expansion (41)  |  Explosion (44)  |  Fun (38)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Life (1795)  |  New (1216)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Product (160)  |  Progress (465)  |  Reason (744)  |  Transform (73)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  Way Of Life (12)

It appears unlikely that the role of the genes in development is to be understood so long as the genes are considered as dictatorial elements in the cellular economy. It is not enough to know what a gene does when it manifests itself. One must also know the mechanisms determining which of the many gene-controlled potentialities will be realized.
'The Role of the Cytoplasm in Heredity', in William D. McElroy and Bentley Glass (eds.), A Symposium on the Chemical Basis of Heredity (1957), 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Cell (138)  |  Consider (416)  |  Determination (78)  |  Development (422)  |  Economy (55)  |  Element (310)  |  Enough (340)  |  Gene (98)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Long (790)  |  Manifestation (58)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Must (1526)  |  Potentiality (9)  |  Realization (43)  |  Role (86)  |  Understood (156)  |  Will (2355)

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)  |  Story (118)  |  Think (1086)  |  Unacceptable (3)  |  Understand (606)

It follows from the supreme perfection of God, that in creating the universe has chosen the best possible plan, in which there is the greatest variety together with the greatest order; the best arranged ground, place, time; the most results produced in the most simple ways; the most of power, knowledge, happiness and goodness the creatures that the universe could permit. For since all the possibles in I understanding of God laid claim to existence in proportion to their perfections, the actual world, as the resultant of all these claims, must be the most perfect possible. And without this it would not be possible to give a reason why things have turned out so rather than otherwise.
The Principles of Nature and Grace (1714), The Philosophical Works of Leibnitz (1890), ed. G. M. Duncan, 213-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  All (4108)  |  Best (459)  |  Chosen (48)  |  Claim (146)  |  Creature (233)  |  Existence (456)  |  Follow (378)  |  God (757)  |  Goodness (25)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Ground (217)  |  Happiness (115)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Order (632)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Permit (58)  |  Plan (117)  |  Possible (552)  |  Power (746)  |  Produced (187)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Reason (744)  |  Result (677)  |  Simple (406)  |  Supreme (71)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Together (387)  |  Turn (447)  |  Universe (857)  |  Variety (132)  |  Way (1217)  |  Why (491)  |  World (1774)

It is easier to understand mankind in general than any individual man.
Maxims (1678), no. 436, trans. F. G. Stevens (1939), 137.
Science quotes on:  |  Easier (53)  |  General (511)  |  Individual (404)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Understand (606)

It is exceptional that one should be able to acquire the understanding of a process without having previously acquired a deep familiarity with running it, with using it, before one has assimilated it in an instinctive and empirical way. Thus any discussion of the nature of intellectual effort in any field is difficult, unless it presupposes an easy, routine familiarity with that field. In mathematics this limitation becomes very severe.
In 'The Mathematician', Works of the Mind (1947), 1, No. 1. Collected in James Roy Newman (ed.), The World of Mathematics (1956), Vol. 4, 2053.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (39)  |  Acquired (78)  |  Assimilate (9)  |  Become (815)  |  Deep (233)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Easy (204)  |  Effort (227)  |  Empirical (54)  |  Exceptional (18)  |  Familiarity (19)  |  Field (364)  |  Instinctive (4)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Limitation (47)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Presuppose (15)  |  Previously (11)  |  Process (423)  |  Routine (25)  |  Running (61)  |  Severe (16)  |  Understand (606)  |  Way (1217)

It is from this absolute indifference and tranquility of the mind, that mathematical speculations derive some of their most considerable advantages; because there is nothing to interest the imagination; because the judgment sits free and unbiased to examine the point. All proportions, every arrangement of quantity, is alike to the understanding, because the same truths result to it from all; from greater from lesser, from equality and inequality.
In On the Sublime and Beautiful, Part 3, sect. 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (145)  |  Advantage (134)  |  Alike (60)  |  All (4108)  |  Arrangement (91)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Derive (65)  |  Equality (31)  |  Examine (78)  |  Free (232)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greater (288)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Indifference (13)  |  Inequality (9)  |  Interest (386)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Lesser (5)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Point (580)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Result (677)  |  Same (157)  |  Sit (48)  |  Speculation (126)  |  Tranquility (8)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Unbiased (7)  |  Understand (606)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)

It is hard to think of fissionable materials when fashioned into bombs as being a source of happiness. However this may be, if with such destructive weapons men are to survive, they must grow rapidly in human greatness. A new level of human understanding is needed. The reward for using the atom’s power towards man’s welfare is great and sure. The punishment for its misuse would seem to be death and the destruction of the civilization that has been growing for a thousand years. These are the alternatives that atomic power, as the steel of Daedalus, presents to mankind. We are forced to grow to greater manhood.
Atomic Quest: A Personal Narrative (1956), xix.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Atom (355)  |  Atomic Bomb (111)  |  Atomic Power (9)  |  Being (1278)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Death (388)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Fission (10)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greater (288)  |  Greatness (54)  |  Grow (238)  |  Growing (98)  |  Happiness (115)  |  Hard (243)  |  Human (1468)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Material (353)  |  Misuse (13)  |  Must (1526)  |  New (1216)  |  Power (746)  |  Present (619)  |  Punishment (14)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Reward (68)  |  Steel (21)  |  Survive (79)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thousand (331)  |  War (225)  |  Weapon (92)  |  Weapons (58)  |  Welfare (25)  |  Year (933)

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:  |   (2863)  |  Achievement (179)  |  Appreciation (34)  |  Being (1278)  |  Call (769)  |  Complete (204)  |  Course (409)  |  Design (195)  |  Extrapolation (6)  |  Factor (46)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Imperative (15)  |  Information (166)  |  Known (454)  |  Large (394)  |  Long (790)  |  Mode (41)  |  More (2559)  |  Motivated (14)  |  Motivation (27)  |  Never (1087)  |  New (1216)  |  Observation (555)  |  Order (632)  |  Process (423)  |  Prove (250)  |  Reflection (90)  |  Reliability (17)  |  Safety (54)  |  Study (653)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Success (302)  |  Successful (123)  |  Sufficiency (16)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Understand (606)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Why (491)  |  Work (1351)

It is in moments of illness that we are compelled to recognize that we live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom, whole worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us, and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body.
'Le Côté de Guermantes', À la recherche du temps perdu (1913-27).
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (311)  |  Body (537)  |  Creature (233)  |  Different (577)  |  Disease (328)  |  Illness (34)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Kingdom (78)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Live (628)  |  Moment (253)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Understood (156)  |  Whole (738)  |  World (1774)

It is in our genes to understand the universe if we can, to keep trying even if we cannot, and to be enchanted by the act of learning all the way.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  All (4108)  |  Cannot (8)  |  Enchantment (8)  |  Gene (98)  |  Learning (274)  |  Try (283)  |  Trying (144)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)

It is indeed an Opinion strangely prevailing amongst Men, that Houses, Mountains, Rivers, and in a word all sensible Objects have an Existence Natural or Real, distinct from their being perceived by the Understanding. But with how great an Assurance and Acquiescence soever this Principle may be entertained in the World; yet whoever shall find in his Heart to call it in Question, may, if I mistake not, perceive it to involve a manifest Contradiction. For what are the forementioned Objects but the things we perceive by Sense, and what do we perceive besides our own Ideas or Sensations; and is it not plainly repugnant that anyone of these or any Combination of them should exist unperceived?
A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge [first published 1710], (1734),38.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Assurance (17)  |  Being (1278)  |  Call (769)  |  Combination (144)  |  Contradiction (68)  |  Distinct (97)  |  Do (1908)  |  Entertain (24)  |  Exist (443)  |  Existence (456)  |  Find (998)  |  Great (1574)  |  Heart (229)  |  House (140)  |  Idea (843)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Involve (90)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Natural (796)  |  Object (422)  |  Observation (555)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Principle (507)  |  Question (621)  |  Repugnant (8)  |  River (119)  |  Sensation (57)  |  Sense (770)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Whoever (42)  |  Word (619)  |  World (1774)

It is my intent to beget a good understanding between the chymists and the mechanical philosophers who have hitherto been too little acquainted with one another's learning.
The Sceptical Chymist (1661).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Good (889)  |  Learning (274)  |  Little (707)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Philosopher (258)

It is my object, in the following work, to travel over ground which has as yet been little explored and to make my reader acquainted with a species of Remains, which, though absolutely necessary for understanding the history of the globe, have been hitherto almost uniformly neglected.
'Preliminary discourse', to Recherches sur les Ossemens Fossiles (1812), trans. R. Kerr Essay on the Theory of the Earth (1813), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Fossil (136)  |  Ground (217)  |  History (673)  |  Little (707)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Neglect (63)  |  Neglected (23)  |  Object (422)  |  Remain (349)  |  Species (401)  |  Travel (114)  |  Work (1351)

It is not an easy paper to follow, for the items that require retention throughout the analysis are many, and it is fatal to one's understanding to lose track of any of them. Mastery of this paper, however, can give one the strong feeling of being ableto master anything else [one] might have to wrestle within biology.
Describing the paper 'A Correlation of Cytological and Genetic Crossings-over in Zea mays' published by Barbara McClintock and her student Harriet Creighton in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1931).
Classic Papers in Genetics (1959), 156.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Academy (35)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Being (1278)  |  Biology (216)  |  Correlation (18)  |  Easy (204)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Follow (378)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Lose (159)  |  Master (178)  |  Mastery (34)  |  Barbara McClintock (15)  |  Paper (182)  |  Proceeding (39)  |  Require (219)  |  Science (3879)  |  Strong (174)  |  Student (300)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Track (38)

It is not enough to say that we cannot know or judge because all the information is not in. The process of gathering knowledge does not lead to knowing. A child's world spreads only a little beyond his understanding while that of a great scientist thrusts outward immeasurably. An answer is invariably the parent of a great family of new questions. So we draw worlds and fit them like tracings against the world about us, and crumple them when we find they do not fit and draw new ones.
In John Steinbeck and Edward Flanders Ricketts, Sea of Cortez: a Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research (1941), 165-66.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Against (332)  |  All (4108)  |  Answer (366)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Child (307)  |  Do (1908)  |  Draw (137)  |  Drawing (56)  |  Enough (340)  |  Family (94)  |  Find (998)  |  Fit (134)  |  Gathering (23)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Information (166)  |  Invariably (35)  |  Judge (108)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lead (384)  |  Little (707)  |  New (1216)  |  Outward (7)  |  Parent (76)  |  Process (423)  |  Question (621)  |  Say (984)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Spread (83)  |  Thrust (12)  |  Tracing (3)  |  World (1774)

It is not enough to teach man a specialty. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine, but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise he—with his specialized knowledge—more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person.
From interview with Benjamin Fine, 'Einstein Stresses Critical Thinking', New York Times (5 Oct 1952), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (39)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Become (815)  |  Develop (268)  |  Developed (11)  |  Dog (70)  |  Enough (340)  |  Essential (199)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Good (889)  |  Harmonious (18)  |  Kind (557)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lively (17)  |  Machine (257)  |  Man (2251)  |  Moral (195)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Otherwise (24)  |  Person (363)  |  Personality (62)  |  Resemble (63)  |  Sense (770)  |  Specialized (8)  |  Specialty (12)  |  Student (300)  |  Teach (277)  |  Through (849)  |  Train (114)  |  Useful (250)  |  Value (365)  |  Vivid (23)

It is often claimed that knowledge multiplies so rapidly that nobody can follow it. I believe this is incorrect. At least in science it is not true. The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler. This, of course, goes contrary to what everyone accepts.
Edward Teller, Wendy Teller, Wilson Talley, Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics (1991, 2002), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  Acceptance (52)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Belief (578)  |  Claim (146)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Course (409)  |  Everyone (34)  |  Everything (476)  |  Follow (378)  |  Following (16)  |  Incorrect (6)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Main (28)  |  More (2559)  |  Multiplication (43)  |  Nobody (104)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Purpose Of Science (4)  |  Rapidity (26)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simpler (8)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understand (606)

It is popular to believe that the age of the individual and, above all, of the free individual, is past in science. There are many administrators of science and a large component of the general population who believe that mass attacks can do anything, and even that ideas are obsolete. Behind this drive to the mass attack there are a number of strong psychological motives. Neither the public or the big administrator has too good an understanding of the inner continuity of science, but they both have seen its world-shaking consequences, and they are afraid of it. Both of them wish to decerebrate the scientist, even as the Byzantine State emasculated its civil servants. Moreover, the great administrator who is not sure of his own intellectual level can aggrandize himself only by cutting his scientific employees down to size.
In I am a Mathematician (1956), Epilogue, 363-364.
Science quotes on:  |  Administrator (11)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Attack (84)  |  Behind (137)  |  Both (493)  |  Civil (26)  |  Component (48)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Cutting (6)  |  Do (1908)  |  Down (456)  |  Free (232)  |  General (511)  |  Good (889)  |  Great (1574)  |  Himself (461)  |  Idea (843)  |  Individual (404)  |  Inner (71)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Large (394)  |  Mass (157)  |  Motive (59)  |  Number (699)  |  Obsolete (15)  |  Past (337)  |  Population (110)  |  Psychological (42)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Servant (39)  |  Size (60)  |  State (491)  |  Strong (174)  |  Wish (212)  |  World (1774)

It is structure that we look for whenever we try to understand anything. All science is built upon this search; we investigate how the cell is built of reticular material, cytoplasm, chromosomes; how crystals aggregate; how atoms are fastened together; how electrons constitute a chemical bond between atoms. We like to understand, and to explain, observed facts in terms of structure. A chemist who understands why a diamond has certain properties, or why nylon or hemoglobin have other properties, because of the different ways their atoms are arranged, may ask questions that a geologist would not think of formulating, unless he had been similarly trained in this way of thinking about the world.
‘The Place of Chemistry In the Integration of the Sciences’, Main Currents in Modern Thought (1950), 7, 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Aggregate (23)  |  Aggregation (6)  |  All (4108)  |  Arrangement (91)  |  Ask (411)  |  Atom (355)  |  Bond (45)  |  Building (156)  |  Cell (138)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Chemical Bond (5)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Chromosome (23)  |  Chromosomes (17)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Crystal (68)  |  Cytoplasm (6)  |  Diamond (21)  |  Different (577)  |  Electron (93)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fastening (2)  |  Formulation (36)  |  Geologist (75)  |  Haemoglobin (4)  |  Hemoglobin (5)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Look (582)  |  Material (353)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observed (149)  |  Other (2236)  |  Property (168)  |  Question (621)  |  Science (3879)  |  Search (162)  |  Structure (344)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Together (387)  |  Train (114)  |  Training (80)  |  Try (283)  |  Understand (606)  |  Way (1217)  |  Whenever (81)  |  Why (491)  |  World (1774)

It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations - past and present - are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual’s hunger, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia. Thus, we are up against the paradox that the individual who is more complex, unpredictable, and mysterious than any communal entity is the one nearest to our understanding; so near that even the interval of millennia cannot weaken our feeling of kinshiIf in some manner the voice of an individual reaches us from the remotest distance of time, it is a timeless voice speaking about ourselves.
In Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), 97.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Against (332)  |  Anxiety (30)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Communal (7)  |  Complex (188)  |  Culture (143)  |  Distance (161)  |  Dream (208)  |  Entity (35)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Hunger (21)  |  Incomprehensible (29)  |  Individual (404)  |  Interval (13)  |  Manner (58)  |  Millennia (4)  |  More (2559)  |  Mysterious (79)  |  Often (106)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Outsider (6)  |  Paradox (50)  |  Past (337)  |  Preoccupation (7)  |  Present (619)  |  Reach (281)  |  Remain (349)  |  Remote (83)  |  Society (326)  |  Speak (232)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Timeless (8)  |  Unchanged (3)  |  Understand (606)  |  Unpredictable (17)  |  Voice (52)  |  Weaken (4)

It is the intact and functioning organism on which natural selection operates. Organisms are therefore the central element of concern to the biologist who aspires to a broad and integrated understanding of biology.
From 'Interspecific comparison as a tool for ecological physiologists', collected in M.E. Feder, A.F. Bennett, W.W. Burggren, and R.B. Huey, (eds.), New Directions in Ecological Physiology (1987), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Aspire (13)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Biology (216)  |  Broad (27)  |  Central (80)  |  Concern (228)  |  Element (310)  |  Function (228)  |  Intact (8)  |  Integrate (7)  |  Integrated (10)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Operate (17)  |  Organism (220)  |  Selection (128)  |  Understand (606)

It is the nature of an hypothesis, when once a man has conceived it, that it assimilates every thing to itself, as proper nourishment; and, from the first moment of your begetting it, it generally grows the stronger by every thing you see, hear, read, or understand.
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Gentleman (1759-67), Penguin edition (1997), 121-122.
Science quotes on:  |  Assimilation (13)  |  Conception (154)  |  First (1283)  |  Grow (238)  |  Growth (187)  |  Hear (139)  |  Hearing (49)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Man (2251)  |  Moment (253)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nourishment (26)  |  Proper (144)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  See (1081)  |  Strength (126)  |  Stronger (36)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)

It is unsafe to talk mathematics. Folks don’t understand.
Martin H. Fischer, Howard Fabing (ed.) and Ray Marr (ed.), Fischerisms (1944), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Folk (8)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Talk (100)  |  Understand (606)  |  Unsafe (5)

It is when physicians are bogged down … when they lack a clear understanding of disease mechanisms, that the deficiencies of the health-care system are most conspicuous. If I were a policy-maker, interested in saving money for health care over the long haul, I would regard it as an act of high prudence to give high priority to a lot more basic research in biologic science.
In 'The Technology of Medicine', The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher (1974), 41-42.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Basic (138)  |  Basic Research (14)  |  Care (186)  |  Clear (100)  |  Conspicuous (12)  |  Deficiency (12)  |  Disease (328)  |  Down (456)  |  Health (193)  |  Health Care (9)  |  High (362)  |  Human Biology (3)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interested (5)  |  Lack (119)  |  Long (790)  |  Lot (151)  |  Maker (34)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Money (170)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Physician (273)  |  Priority (10)  |  Prudent (5)  |  Regard (305)  |  Research (664)  |  Saving (20)  |  Science (3879)  |  System (537)

It may be unpopular and out-of-date to say—but I do not think that a scientific result which gives us a better understanding of the world and makes it more harmonious in our eyes should be held in lower esteem than, say, an invention which reduces the cost of paving roads, or improves household plumbing.
From final remarks in 'The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics' (1944), collected in Leonard Linsky (ed.), Semantics and the Philosophy of Language: A Collection of Readings (1952), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (486)  |  Cost (86)  |  Do (1908)  |  Esteem (15)  |  Eye (419)  |  Harmonious (18)  |  Household (8)  |  Improve (58)  |  Invention (369)  |  Lower (11)  |  More (2559)  |  Paving (2)  |  Plumbing (5)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Result (677)  |  Road (64)  |  Say (984)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Think (1086)  |  Unpopular (4)  |  World (1774)

It might interest you that when we made the experiments that we did not read the literature well enough—and you know how that happens. On the other hand, one would think that other people would have told us about it. For instance, we had a colloquium at the time in Berlin at which all the important papers were discussed. Nobody discussed Bohr’s paper. Why not? The reason is that fifty years ago one was so convinced that nobody would, with the state of knowledge we had at that time, understand spectral line emission, so that if somebody published a paper about it, one assumed “probably it is not right.” So we did not know it.
Explaining how his experiment with Gustav Hertz produced results, without them knowing that it proved Niels Bohr’s theory of the atom and its energy levels. From an interview quoted by Gerald Holton in 'On the Recent Past of Physics', American Journal of Physics (1961), 29, 805. As cited in William H. Cropper, Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking (2001), 251.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Berlin (10)  |  Niels Bohr (54)  |  Colloquium (2)  |  Convinced (23)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Emission (17)  |  Enough (340)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Happen (274)  |  Importance (286)  |  Interest (386)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Literature (103)  |  Nobody (104)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paper (182)  |  People (1005)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Reason (744)  |  Right (452)  |  Spectral Line (5)  |  State (491)  |  Think (1086)  |  Time (1877)  |  Understand (606)  |  Why (491)  |  Year (933)

It often happens that men, even of the best understandings and greatest circumspection, are guilty of that fault in reasoning which the writers on logick call the insufficient, or imperfect enumeration of parts, or cases: insomuch that I will venture to assert, that this is the chief, and almost the only, source of the vast number of erroneous opinions, and those too very often in matters of great importance, which we are apt to form on all the subjects we reflect upon, whether they relate to the knowledge of nature, or the merits and motives of human actions. It must therefore be acknowledged, that the art which affords a cure to this weakness, or defect, of our understandings, and teaches us to enumerate all the possible ways in which a given number of things may be mixed and combined together, that we may be certain that we have not omitted anyone arrangement of them that can lead to the object of our inquiry, deserves to be considered as most eminently useful and worthy of our highest esteem and attention. And this is the business of the art, or doctrine of combinations ... It proceeds indeed upon mathematical principles in calculating the number of the combinations of the things proposed: but by the conclusions that are obtained by it, the sagacity of the natural philosopher, the exactness of the historian, the skill and judgement of the physician, and the prudence and foresight of the politician, may be assisted; because the business of all these important professions is but to form reasonable conjectures concerning the several objects which engage their attention, and all wise conjectures are the results of a just and careful examination of the several different effects that may possibly arise from the causes that are capable of producing them.
Ars conjectandi (1713). In F. Maseres, The Doctrine of Permutations and Combinations (1795), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  All (4108)  |  Arise (158)  |  Arrangement (91)  |  Art (657)  |  Assert (66)  |  Attention (190)  |  Best (459)  |  Business (149)  |  Call (769)  |  Capable (168)  |  Cause (541)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chief (97)  |  Circumspection (5)  |  Combination (144)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Conjecture (49)  |  Consider (416)  |  Cure (122)  |  Defect (31)  |  Deserve (65)  |  Different (577)  |  Effect (393)  |  Engage (39)  |  Erroneous (30)  |  Error (321)  |  Exactness (29)  |  Examination (98)  |  Fault (54)  |  Form (959)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Happen (274)  |  Historian (54)  |  Human (1468)  |  Imperfect (45)  |  Importance (286)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lead (384)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Matter (798)  |  Merit (50)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motive (59)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Number (699)  |  Object (422)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Physician (273)  |  Politician (38)  |  Possible (552)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Principle (507)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Profession (99)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Result (677)  |  Sagacity (10)  |  Skill (109)  |  Subject (521)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Together (387)  |  Useful (250)  |  Vast (177)  |  Way (1217)  |  Weakness (48)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wise (131)  |  Writer (86)

It seems to me, he says, that the test of “Do we or not understand a particular subject in physics?” is, “Can we make a mechanical model of it?” I have an immense admiration for Maxwell’s model of electromagnetic induction. He makes a model that does all the wonderful things that electricity docs in inducing currents, etc., and there can be no doubt that a mechanical model of that kind is immensely instructive and is a step towards a definite mechanical theory of electromagnetism.
From stenographic report by A.S. Hathaway of the Lecture 20 Kelvin presented at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, on 'Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light' (1884), 132. (Hathaway was a Mathematics fellow there.) This remark is not included in the first typeset publication—a revised version, printed twenty years later, in 1904, as Lord Kelvin’s Baltimore Lectures on Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light. The original notes were reproduced by the “papyrograph” process. They are excerpted in Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem, Essays in the History and Philosophy of Science (1996), 54-55.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Admiration (59)  |  All (4108)  |  Current (118)  |  Definite (110)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Electromagnetism (18)  |  Immense (86)  |  Induction (77)  |  Instruction (91)  |  Kind (557)  |  Maxwell (42)  |  James Clerk Maxwell (87)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Mechanics (131)  |  Model (102)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Say (984)  |  Step (231)  |  Subject (521)  |  Test (211)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)  |  Wonderful (149)

It took Freud 38 years to understand it. You have one night. The psych exam is in 12 hours. And your id wants to party. Your ego wants to conk out. But your superego knows you need to stay awake tonight to cram. Fortunately, you've got Vivarin [caffeine tablets]. It helps keep you awake and mentally alert… So all your brainpower can focus on understanding the brain. If Freud had used Vivarin, maybe he could have understood the brain faster, too.
Advertisement by SmithKline Beecham for Vivarin, student newspaper, Columbia Daily Spectator (16 Apr 1990), Vol. 114, No. 113, (16 April 1990), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Alert (13)  |  All (4108)  |  Awake (19)  |  Brain (270)  |  Caffeine (2)  |  Cram (5)  |  Ego (17)  |  Examination (98)  |  Faster (50)  |  Focus (35)  |  Fortunately (8)  |  Sigmund Freud (69)  |  Hour (186)  |  Know (1518)  |  Mental (177)  |  Night (120)  |  Party (18)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Sleep (76)  |  Study (653)  |  Tablet (6)  |  Tonight (9)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understood (156)  |  Want (497)  |  Year (933)

It usually develops that after much laborious and frustrating effort the investigator of environmental physiology succeeds in proving that the animal in question can actually exist where it lives. It is always somewhat discouraging for an investigator to realize that his efforts can be made to appear so trite, but this statement does not belittle the ecological physiologist. If his data assist the understanding of the ways in which an animal manages to live where it does, he makes an important contribution to the study of distribution, for the present is necessarily a key to the past.”
From 'The role of physiology in the distribution of terrestrial vertebrates', collected in C.L. Hubbs (ed.), Zoogeography: Publ. 51 (1958), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Actually (27)  |  Animal (617)  |  Appear (118)  |  Assist (9)  |  Belittle (2)  |  Contribution (89)  |  Data (156)  |  Develop (268)  |  Discourage (13)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Ecological (7)  |  Effort (227)  |  Environment (216)  |  Exist (443)  |  Frustrate (4)  |  Important (209)  |  Investigator (67)  |  Key (50)  |  Laborious (14)  |  Live (628)  |  Manage (23)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Past (337)  |  Physiologist (29)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Present (619)  |  Prove (250)  |  Question (621)  |  Realize (147)  |  Statement (142)  |  Study (653)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Trite (4)  |  Understand (606)  |  Usually (176)  |  Way (1217)

It was a great step in science when men became convinced that, in order to understand the nature of things, they must begin by asking, not whether a thing is good or bad, noxious or beneficial, but of what kind it is? And how much is there of it? Quality and Quantity were then first recognised as the primary features to be observed in scientific inquiry.
'Address to the Mathematical and Physical Sections of the British Association, Liverpool, 15 Sep 1870', The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890 edition, reprint 2003), Vol. 2, 217.
Science quotes on:  |  Asking (73)  |  Bad (180)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beneficial (13)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Enquiry (87)  |  Experiment (695)  |  First (1283)  |  Good (889)  |  Great (1574)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Kind (557)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nature Of Things (29)  |  Noxious (6)  |  Observed (149)  |  Order (632)  |  Primary (80)  |  Quality (135)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Question (621)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Step (231)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Understand (606)

It was his [Leibnitz’s] love of method and order, and the conviction that such order and harmony existed in the real world, and that our success in understanding it depended upon the degree and order which we could attain in our own thoughts, that originally was probably nothing more than a habit which by degrees grew into a formal rule. This habit was acquired by early occupation with legal and mathematical questions. We have seen how the theory of combinations and arrangements of elements had a special interest for him. We also saw how mathematical calculations served him as a type and model of clear and orderly reasoning, and how he tried to introduce method and system into logical discussions, by reducing to a small number of terms the multitude of compound notions he had to deal with. This tendency increased in strength, and even in those early years he elaborated the idea of a general arithmetic, with a universal language of symbols, or a characteristic which would be applicable to all reasoning processes, and reduce philosophical investigations to that simplicity and certainty which the use of algebraic symbols had introduced into mathematics.
A mental attitude such as this is always highly favorable for mathematical as well as for philosophical investigations. Wherever progress depends upon precision and clearness of thought, and wherever such can be gained by reducing a variety of investigations to a general method, by bringing a multitude of notions under a common term or symbol, it proves inestimable. It necessarily imports the special qualities of number—viz., their continuity, infinity and infinite divisibility—like mathematical quantities—and destroys the notion that irreconcilable contrasts exist in nature, or gaps which cannot be bridged over. Thus, in his letter to Arnaud, Leibnitz expresses it as his opinion that geometry, or the philosophy of space, forms a step to the philosophy of motion—i.e., of corporeal things—and the philosophy of motion a step to the philosophy of mind.
In Leibnitz (1884), 44-45. [The first sentence is reworded to better introduce the quotation. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Acquire (39)  |  Acquired (78)  |  Algebraic (5)  |  All (4108)  |  Applicable (31)  |  Arithmetic (136)  |  Arrangement (91)  |  Attain (125)  |  Attitude (82)  |  Bridge (47)  |  Bring (90)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Clear (100)  |  Clearness (11)  |  Combination (144)  |  Common (436)  |  Compound (113)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Contrast (44)  |  Conviction (97)  |  Corporeal (5)  |  Deal (188)  |  Degree (276)  |  Depend (228)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Early (185)  |  Elaborate (28)  |  Elaborated (7)  |  Element (310)  |  Exist (443)  |  Express (186)  |  Favorable (24)  |  Form (959)  |  Formal (33)  |  Gain (145)  |  Gap (33)  |  General (511)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Grow (238)  |  Habit (168)  |  Harmony (102)  |  Highly (16)  |  Idea (843)  |  Import (5)  |  Increase (210)  |  Inestimable (4)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Interest (386)  |  Introduce (63)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Language (293)  |  Lecture (105)  |  Legal (8)  |  Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (49)  |  Letter (109)  |  Logical (55)  |  Love (309)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mental (177)  |  Method (505)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Model (102)  |  More (2559)  |  Motion (310)  |  Multitude (47)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Notion (113)  |  Number (699)  |  Occupation (48)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Order (632)  |  Orderly (38)  |  Original (58)  |  Philosophical (23)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Precision (68)  |  Probable (20)  |  Process (423)  |  Progress (465)  |  Prove (250)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Quality (135)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Question (621)  |  Quotation (18)  |  Real World (14)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Rule (294)  |  Saw (160)  |  See (1081)  |  Sentence (29)  |  Serve (59)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Small (477)  |  Space (500)  |  Special (184)  |  Special Interest (2)  |  Step (231)  |  Strength (126)  |  Success (302)  |  Symbol (93)  |  System (537)  |  Tendency (99)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thought (953)  |  Try (283)  |  Type (167)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universal (189)  |  Use (766)  |  Variety (132)  |  Wherever (51)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)

It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It is only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.
As quoted in Sharon Begley, 'Science Finds God', Newsweek (1998).
Science quotes on:  |  Complicated (115)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Driven (4)  |  Existence (456)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  More (2559)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Science (3879)  |  Supernatural (25)  |  Through (849)  |  Understand (606)  |  World (1774)

It was not just the Church that resisted the heliocentrism of Copernicus. Many prominent figures, in the decades following the 1543 publication of De Revolutionibus, regarded the Copernican model of the universe as a mathematical artifice which, though it yielded astronomical predictions of superior accuracy, could not be considered a true representation of physical reality: 'If Nicolaus Copernicus, the distinguished and incomparable master, in this work had not been deprived of exquisite and faultless instruments, he would have left us this science far more well-established. For he, if anybody, was outstanding and had the most perfect understanding of the geometrical and arithmetical requisites for building up this discipline. Nor was he in any respect inferior to Ptolemy; on the contrary, he surpassed him greatly in certain fields, particularly as far as the device of fitness and compendious harmony in hypotheses is concerned. And his apparently absurd opinion that the Earth revolves does not obstruct this estimate, because a circular motion designed to go on uniformly about another point than the very center of the circle, as actually found in the Ptolemaic hypotheses of all the planets except that of the Sun, offends against the very basic principles of our discipline in a far more absurd and intolerable way than does the attributing to the Earth one motion or another which, being a natural motion, turns out to be imperceptible. There does not at all arise from this assumption so many unsuitable consequences as most people think.'
from Letter to Christopher Rothman, 20 Jan 1587
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (59)  |  Accuracy (78)  |  Against (332)  |  All (4108)  |  Anybody (42)  |  Arise (158)  |  Assumption (92)  |  Basic (138)  |  Being (1278)  |  Building (156)  |  Certain (550)  |  Church (56)  |  Circle (110)  |  Circular (19)  |  Circular Motion (6)  |  Concern (228)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Consider (416)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (48)  |  Decade (59)  |  Design (195)  |  Device (70)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Distinguished (83)  |  Earth (996)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Exquisite (25)  |  Field (364)  |  Figure (160)  |  Harmony (102)  |  Heliocentric Model (7)  |  Inferior (37)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Master (178)  |  Model (102)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motion (310)  |  Natural (796)  |  Offend (7)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Outstanding (16)  |  People (1005)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Physical (508)  |  Planet (356)  |  Point (580)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Principle (507)  |  Ptolemy (17)  |  Publication (101)  |  Reality (261)  |  Regard (305)  |  Representation (53)  |  Respect (207)  |  Revolve (25)  |  Science (3879)  |  Solar System (77)  |  Sun (385)  |  Superior (81)  |  Surpass (32)  |  Think (1086)  |  Turn (447)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  Well-Established (5)  |  Work (1351)  |  Yield (81)

It’s important to always bear in mind that life occurs in historical time. Everyone in every culture lives in some sort of historical time, though it might not be perceived in the same way an outside observer sees it. It’s an interesting question, “When is now?” “Now” can be drawn from some point like this hour, this day, this month, this lifetime, or this generation. “Now” can also have occurred centuries ago; things like unfair treaties, the Trail of Tears, and the Black Hawk War, for instance, remain part of the “Now” from which many Native Americans view their place in time today. Human beings respond today to people and events that actually occurred hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Ethnohistorians have played a major role in showing how now is a social concept of time, and that time is part of all social life. I can only hope that their work will further the understanding that the study of social life is a study of change over time.
From Robert S. Grumet, 'An Interview with Anthony F. C. Wallace', Ethnohistory (Winter 1998), 45, No. 1, 127.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Bear (159)  |  Being (1278)  |  Century (310)  |  Change (593)  |  Concept (221)  |  Culture (143)  |  Event (216)  |  Generation (242)  |  Historical (70)  |  Hope (299)  |  Hour (186)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Being (175)  |  Human Beings (117)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Life (1795)  |  Lifetime (31)  |  Live (628)  |  Major (84)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Month (88)  |  Native (38)  |  Native American (4)  |  Now (5)  |  Occur (150)  |  Outside (141)  |  People (1005)  |  Point (580)  |  Question (621)  |  Remain (349)  |  Role (86)  |  See (1081)  |  Social (252)  |  Social Life (8)  |  Study (653)  |  Tear (42)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Time (1877)  |  Today (314)  |  Treaty (2)  |  Unfair (8)  |  View (488)  |  War (225)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

It’s only through honesty and courage that science can work at all. The Ptolemaic understanding of the solar system was undermined and corrected by the constant pressure of more and more honest reporting.
In essay, 'The Origin of the Universe,' 6. Written after hearing Stephen Hawking's lecture (2006) at Oxford, about the origin of the universe.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Constant (144)  |  Correct (86)  |  Courage (69)  |  Honest (50)  |  Honesty (25)  |  More (2559)  |  Pressure (63)  |  Ptolemy (17)  |  Reporting (9)  |  Science (3879)  |  Solar System (77)  |  System (537)  |  Through (849)  |  Undermine (6)  |  Work (1351)

Judging from our experience upon this planet, such a history, that begins with elementary particles, leads perhaps inevitably toward a strange and moving end: a creature that knows, a science-making animal, that turns back upon the process that generated him and attempts to understand it. Without his like, the universe could be, but not be known, and this is a poor thing. Surely this is a great part of our dignity as men, that we can know, and that through us matter can know itself; that beginning with protons and electrons, out of the womb of time and the vastnesses of space, we can begin to understand; that organized as in us, the hydrogen, the carbon, the nitrogen, the oxygen, those 16-21 elements, the water, the sunlight—all having become us, can begin to understand what they are, and how they came to be.
In 'The Origins of Life', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (1964), 52, 609-110.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Back (390)  |  Become (815)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Carbon (65)  |  Creature (233)  |  Dignity (42)  |  Electron (93)  |  Element (310)  |  Elementary (96)  |  End (590)  |  Experience (467)  |  Generation (242)  |  Great (1574)  |  History (673)  |  Hydrogen (75)  |  Judge (108)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Known (454)  |  Lead (384)  |  Making (300)  |  Matter (798)  |  Moving (11)  |  Nitrogen (26)  |  Organized (9)  |  Oxygen (66)  |  Particle (194)  |  Planet (356)  |  Poor (136)  |  Process (423)  |  Proton (21)  |  Science (3879)  |  Space (500)  |  Strange (157)  |  Sunlight (23)  |  Surely (101)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Turn (447)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)  |  Vastness (15)  |  Water (481)  |  Womb (24)

Knowing how hard it is to collect a fact, you understand why most people want to have some fun analyzing it.
Quoted in Fortune (May 1960), as cited in Maxine Block, Anna Herthe Rothe and Marjorie Dent Candee, Current Biography Yearbook 1963 (1964), 161.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (233)  |  Collection (64)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Fun (38)  |  Hard (243)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Most (1731)  |  People (1005)  |  Understand (606)  |  Want (497)  |  Why (491)

Knowing is not understanding. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.
Science quotes on:  |  Difference (337)  |  Great (1574)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lot (151)  |  Something (719)  |  Understand (606)

Language is the principal tool with which we communicate; but when words are used carelessly or mistakenly, what was intended to advance mutual understanding may in fact hinder it; our instrument becomes our burden
Irving M. Copi and Carl Cohen (probably? in their Introduction to Logic), In K. Srinagesh, The Principles of Experimental Research (2006), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Become (815)  |  Burden (27)  |  Careless (5)  |  Communicate (36)  |  Communication (94)  |  Definition (221)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Hinder (12)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Language (293)  |  Mistaken (3)  |  Mutual (52)  |  Principal (63)  |  Tool (117)  |  Word (619)

Leaving aside genetic surgery applied humans, I foresee that the coming century will place in our hands two other forms of biological technology which are less dangerous but still revolutionary enough to transform the conditions of our existence. I count these new technologies as powerful allies in the attack on Bernal's three enemies. I give them the names “biological engineering” and “self-reproducing machinery.” Biological engineering means the artificial synthesis of living organisms designed to fulfil human purposes. Self-reproducing machinery means the imitation of the function and reproduction of a living organism with non-living materials, a computer-program imitating the function of DNA and a miniature factory imitating the functions of protein molecules. After we have attained a complete understanding of the principles of organization and development of a simple multicellular organism, both of these avenues of technological exploitation should be open to us.
From 3rd J.D. Bernal Lecture, Birkbeck College London (16 May 1972), The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1972), 6. Collected in The Scientist as Rebel (2006), 292. (The World, the Flesh & the Devil: An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul is the title of a book by J. D Bernal, a scientist who pioneered X-ray crystallography.)
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Applied (177)  |  Attack (84)  |  Attain (125)  |  Avenue (14)  |  Bioengineering (4)  |  Biological (137)  |  Both (493)  |  Century (310)  |  Coming (114)  |  Complete (204)  |  Computer (127)  |  Condition (356)  |  Count (105)  |  Dangerous (105)  |  Design (195)  |  Development (422)  |  DNA (77)  |  Engineering (175)  |  Enough (340)  |  Existence (456)  |  Exploitation (14)  |  Factory (20)  |  Foresee (19)  |  Form (959)  |  Function (228)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Human (1468)  |  Living (491)  |  Machinery (56)  |  Material (353)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Miniature (7)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Multicellular (4)  |  Name (333)  |  New (1216)  |  Open (274)  |  Organism (220)  |  Organization (114)  |  Other (2236)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Principle (507)  |  Protein (54)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reproduction (72)  |  Revolutionary (31)  |  Self (267)  |  Simple (406)  |  Still (613)  |  Surgery (51)  |  Synthesis (57)  |  Technological (61)  |  Technology (257)  |  Transform (73)  |  Two (937)  |  Will (2355)

Let us now declare the means whereby our understanding can rise to knowledge without fear of error. There are two such means: intuition and deduction. By intuition I mean not the varying testimony of the senses, nor the deductive judgment of imagination naturally extravagant, but the conception of an attentive mind so distinct and so clear that no doubt remains to it with regard to that which it comprehends; or, what amounts to the same thing, the self-evidencing conception of a sound and attentive mind, a conception which springs from the light of reason alone, and is more certain, because more simple, than deduction itself. …
It may perhaps be asked why to intuition we add this other mode of knowing, by deduction, that is to say, the process which, from something of which we have certain knowledge, draws consequences which necessarily follow therefrom. But we are obliged to admit this second step; for there are a great many things which, without being evident of themselves, nevertheless bear the marks of certainty if only they are deduced from true and incontestable principles by a continuous and uninterrupted movement of thought, with distinct intuition of each thing; just as we know that the last link of a long chain holds to the first, although we can not take in with one glance of the eye the intermediate links, provided that, after having run over them in succession, we can recall them all, each as being joined to its fellows, from the first up to the last. Thus we distinguish intuition from deduction, inasmuch as in the latter case there is conceived a certain progress or succession, while it is not so in the former; … whence it follows that primary propositions, derived immediately from principles, may be said to be known, according to the way we view them, now by intuition, now by deduction; although the principles themselves can be known only by intuition, the remote consequences only by deduction.
In Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Philosophy of Descartes. [Torrey] (1892), 64-65.
Science quotes on:  |  Accord (36)  |  According (237)  |  Add (40)  |  Admit (45)  |  All (4108)  |  Alone (311)  |  Amount (151)  |  Ask (411)  |  Attentive (14)  |  Bear (159)  |  Being (1278)  |  Case (99)  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Chain (50)  |  Clear (100)  |  Comprehend (40)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Conception (154)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Continuous (82)  |  Declare (45)  |  Deduce (25)  |  Deduction (82)  |  Deductive (11)  |  Derive (65)  |  Distinct (97)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Draw (137)  |  Error (321)  |  Evident (91)  |  Extravagant (10)  |  Eye (419)  |  Fear (197)  |  Fellow (88)  |  First (1283)  |  Follow (378)  |  Former (137)  |  Glance (34)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hold (95)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Inasmuch (5)  |  Incontestable (2)  |  Intermediate (37)  |  Intuition (75)  |  Join (26)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Known (454)  |  Last (426)  |  Latter (21)  |  Let (61)  |  Light (607)  |  Link (43)  |  Long (790)  |  Mark (43)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mode (41)  |  More (2559)  |  Movement (155)  |  Naturally (11)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Nevertheless (90)  |  Obliged (6)  |  Other (2236)  |  Primary (80)  |  Principle (507)  |  Process (423)  |  Progress (465)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Provide (69)  |  Reason (744)  |  Recall (10)  |  Regard (305)  |  Remain (349)  |  Remote (83)  |  Rise (166)  |  Run (174)  |  Same (157)  |  Say (984)  |  Second (62)  |  Self (267)  |  Sense (770)  |  Simple (406)  |  Something (719)  |  Sound (183)  |  Spring (133)  |  Step (231)  |  Succession (77)  |  Testimony (21)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Therefrom (2)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thought (953)  |  True (212)  |  Two (937)  |  Understand (606)  |  Uninterrupted (7)  |  Vary (27)  |  View (488)  |  Way (1217)  |  Whereby (2)  |  Why (491)

Let us then suppose the Mind to be, as we say, white Paper, void of all Characters, without any Ideas; How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store, which the busy and boundless Fancy of Man has painted on it, with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of Reason and Knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from Experience: In that, all our Knowledge is founded; and from that it ultimately derives it self. Our Observation employ’d either about external, sensible Objects; or about the internal Operations of our Minds, perceived and reflected on by our selves, is that, which supplies our Understandings with all the materials of thinking.
In 'Of Ideas in general, and their Original', An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), Book 2, Chap. 1, Sec. 2, 37.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Answer (366)  |  Boundless (26)  |  Character (243)  |  Derive (65)  |  Employ (113)  |  Endless (56)  |  Experience (467)  |  Fancy (50)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Idea (843)  |  Internal (66)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Man (2251)  |  Material (353)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Object (422)  |  Observation (555)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Paper (182)  |  Reason (744)  |  Say (984)  |  Self (267)  |  Store (48)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Ultimately (55)  |  Variety (132)  |  Vast (177)  |  Void (31)  |  White (127)  |  Word (619)

Life is too complicated to permit a complete understanding through the study of whole organisms. Only by simplifying a biological problem—breaking it down into a multitude of individual problems—can you get the answers.
From interview with Neil A. Campbell, in 'Crossing the Boundaries of Science', BioScience (Dec 1986), 36, No. 11, 738.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (366)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Complete (204)  |  Complicated (115)  |  Down (456)  |  Individual (404)  |  Life (1795)  |  Multitude (47)  |  Organism (220)  |  Permit (58)  |  Problem (676)  |  Simplify (13)  |  Study (653)  |  Through (849)  |  Understand (606)  |  Whole (738)

Linnaeus had it constantly in mind:“The closer we get to know the creatures around us, the clearer is the understanding we obtain of the chain of nature, and its harmony and system, according to which all things appear to have been created.”
In 'The Two Faces of Linnaeus', in Tore Frängsmyr (ed.), Linnaeus: The Man and his Work (1983, 1994), 16. Quoted in David Weinberger, Everything is Miscellaneous (2007), 241.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  All (4108)  |  Closer (43)  |  Creation (327)  |  Creature (233)  |  Harmony (102)  |  Know (1518)  |  Carolus Linnaeus (31)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Obtain (163)  |  System (537)  |  Thing (1915)

Logic has borrowed the rules of geometry without understanding its power. … I am far from placing logicians by the side of geometers who teach the true way to guide the reason. … The method of avoiding error is sought by every one. The logicians profess to lead the way, the geometers alone reach it, and aside from their science there is no true demonstration.
From De l’Art de Persuader, (1657). Pensées de Pascal (1842), Part 1, Article 3, 41-42. As translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-Book (1914), 202. From the original French, “La logique a peut-être emprunté les règles de la géométrie sans en comprendre la force … je serai bien éloigné de les mettre en parallèle avec les géomètres, qui apprennent la véritable méthode de conduire la raison. … La méthode de ne point errer est recherchée de tout le monde. Les logiciens font profession d'y conduire, les géomètres seuls y arrivent; et, hors de leur science …, il n'y a point de véritables démonstrations ….”
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (311)  |  Avoid (116)  |  Borrow (30)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Error (321)  |  Geometer (24)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Guide (97)  |  Lead (384)  |  Logic (287)  |  Logician (17)  |  Mathematics And Logic (12)  |  Method (505)  |  Power (746)  |  Profess (20)  |  Reach (281)  |  Reason (744)  |  Rule (294)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seek (213)  |  Side (233)  |  Teach (277)  |  Understand (606)  |  Way (1217)

Macaulay somewhere says, that it is extraordinary that, whereas the laws of the motions of the heavenly bodies, far removed as they are from us, are perfectly well understood, the laws of the human mind, which are under our observation all day and every day, are no better understood than they were two thousand years ago.
In Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not (1859), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Better (486)  |  Extraordinary (79)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Law (894)  |  Law Of Motion (14)  |  Lord Thomas Macaulay (8)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Motion (310)  |  Observation (555)  |  Say (984)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Two (937)  |  Understood (156)  |  Year (933)

Magic and all that is ascribed to it is a deep presentiment of the powers of science. The shoes of swiftness, the sword of sharpness, the power of subduing the elements, of using the secret virtues of minerals, of understanding the voices of birds, are the obscure efforts of the mind in a right direction.
From 'History', collected in The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1903), 34.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Bird (149)  |  Deep (233)  |  Direction (175)  |  Effort (227)  |  Element (310)  |  Magic (86)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mineral (59)  |  Obscure (62)  |  Power (746)  |  Presentiment (2)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3879)  |  Secret (194)  |  Sharpness (8)  |  Shoe (11)  |  Swiftness (4)  |  Sword (15)  |  Using (6)  |  Virtue (109)  |  Voice (52)

MAGNITUDE, n. Size. Magnitude being purely relative, nothing is large and nothing small. If everything in the universe were increased in bulk one thousand diameters nothing would be any larger than it was before, but if one thing remained unchanged all the others would be larger than they had been. To an understanding familiar with the relativity of magnitude and distance the spaces and masses of the astronomer would be no more impressive than those of the microscopist. For anything we know to the contrary, the visible universe may be a small part of an atom, with its component ions, floating in the life-fluid (luminiferous ether) of some animal. Possibly the wee creatures peopling the corpuscles of our own blood are overcome with the proper emotion when contemplating the unthinkable distance from one of these to another.
The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce (1911), Vol. 7, The Devil's Dictionary,  209.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Atom (355)  |  Being (1278)  |  Blood (134)  |  Bulk (24)  |  Component (48)  |  Contemplating (11)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Corpuscle (13)  |  Creature (233)  |  Diameter (28)  |  Distance (161)  |  Emotion (100)  |  Ether (35)  |  Everything (476)  |  Fluid (51)  |  Humour (116)  |  Impressive (25)  |  Ion (21)  |  Know (1518)  |  Large (394)  |  Life (1795)  |  Magnitude (83)  |  More (2559)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Other (2236)  |  Overcome (39)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Proper (144)  |  Purely (109)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Remain (349)  |  Small (477)  |  Space (500)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Universe (857)  |  Unthinkable (8)  |  Visible (84)

Man masters nature not by force but by understanding. That is why science has succeeded where magic failed: because it has looked for no spell to cast on nature.
Lecture, 'The Creative Mind' (26 Feb 1953) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Printed in Science and Human Values (1959), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Cast (66)  |  Fail (185)  |  Force (487)  |  Look (582)  |  Magic (86)  |  Man (2251)  |  Master (178)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Philosophy Of Science (5)  |  Science (3879)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Why (491)

Man, as the minister and interpreter of nature, is limited in act and understanding by his observation of the order of nature; neither his understanding nor his power extends further.
Novum Organum, Aphor I. Quoted in Robert Routledge, Discoveries and Inventions of