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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index U > Category: Undiscovered

Undiscovered Quotes (7 quotes)

Before the promulgation of the periodic law the chemical elements were mere fragmentary incidental facts in nature; there was no special reason to expect the discovery of new elements, and the new ones which were discovered from time to time appeared to be possessed of quite novel properties. The law of periodicity first enabled us to perceive undiscovered elements at a distance which formerly were inaccessible to chemical vision, and long ere they were discovered new elements appeared before our eyes possessed of a number of well-defined properties.
In Faraday Lecture, delivered before the Fellows of the Chemical Society in the Theatre of the Royal Institution (4 Jun 1889), printed in Professor Mendelιeff, 'The Periodic Law of the Chemical Elements', Transactions of the Chemical Society (1889), 55, 648.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemical (72)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Distance (54)  |  Element (129)  |  Expectation (46)  |  Fact (609)  |  Fragmentary (4)  |  Inaccessible (8)  |  Incidental (8)  |  Nature (1029)  |  New (340)  |  Novel (16)  |  Periodic Law (2)  |  Periodicity (4)  |  Promulgation (3)  |  Property (96)  |  Reason (330)  |  Vision (55)  |  Well-Defined (2)

Isaac Newton Quote: like a boy playing on the seashore [pebbles]…whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me
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I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
First reported in Joseph Spence, Anecdotes, Observations and Characters, of Books and Men (1820), Vol. 1 of 1966 edn, sect. 1259, p. 462. Purported to have been addressed by Newton in the final year of his life (1727) to Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsey (which conflicts with the Dictionary of National Biography article giving that he was in France at the time). Quoted in David Brewster, Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton (1855), Vol. 2, 407.
Science quotes on:  |  Autobiography (55)  |  Boy (33)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Pebble (17)  |  Play (60)  |  Seashore (4)  |  Shell (35)  |  Truth (750)

I now never make the preparations for penetrating into some small province of nature hitherto undiscovered without breathing a prayer to the Being who hides His secrets from me only to allure me graciously on to the unfolding of them.
As quoted in E.P. Whipple, 'Recollections of Agassiz', in Henry Mills Alden (ed.), Harper's New Monthly Magazine (June 1879), 59, 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Allure (2)  |  Breathing (7)  |  Graciously (2)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Penetrating (3)  |  Prayer (19)  |  Preparation (33)  |  Province (11)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Secret (98)  |  Small (97)  |  Unfolding (5)

No occupation is more worthy of an intelligent and enlightened mind, than the study of Nature and natural objects; and whether we labour to investigate the structure and function of the human system, whether we direct our attention to the classification and habits of the animal kingdom, or prosecute our researches in the more pleasing and varied field of vegetable life, we shall constantly find some new object to attract our attention, some fresh beauties to excite our imagination, and some previously undiscovered source of gratification and delight.
In A Practical Treatise on the Cultivation of the Dahlia (1838), 1-2.
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No one knows the diversity in the world, not even to the nearest order of magnitude. … We don’t know for sure how many species there are, where they can be found or how fast they're disappearing. It's like having astronomy without knowing where the stars are.
Quoted in Jamie Murphy and Andrea Dorfman, 'The Quiet Apocalypse,' Time (13 Oct 1986).
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One never knows what remains undiscovered simply because the right equipment is not there at the right time.
As quoted in T.W. Hδnsch, 'From (Incr)edible Lasers to New Spectroscopy', collected in William M. Yen and Marc D. Levenson (eds.), Lasers, Spectroscopy and New Ideas: A Tribute to Arthur L. Schawlow (2013), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Equipment (26)  |  Know (321)  |  Remain (77)

The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true. We have a method, and that method helps us to reach not absolute truth, only asymptotic approaches to the truth—never there, just closer and closer, always finding vast new oceans of undiscovered possibilities. Cleverly designed experiments are the key.
In 'Wonder and Skepticism', Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (33)  |  Asymptote (2)  |  Cleverness (9)  |  Closer (6)  |  Consonant (3)  |  Contradiction (44)  |  Design (92)  |  Desperation (4)  |  Determination (53)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Finding (30)  |  Grapple (3)  |  Key (38)  |  Method (154)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Preference (18)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  True (120)  |  Truth (750)  |  Vast (56)  |  Work (457)


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