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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Genius is two percent inspiration, ninety-eight percent perspiration.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index U > Category: Unfamiliar

Unfamiliar Quotes (16 quotes)

All the old constellations had gone from the sky, however: that slow movement which is imperceptible in a hundred human lifetimes, had long since rearranged them in unfamiliar groupings. But the Milky Way, it seemed to me, was still the same tattered streamer of star-dust as of yore.
In The Time Machine (1898), 144.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Constellation (17)  |  Dust (64)  |  Grouping (2)  |  Human (1468)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Imperceptible (8)  |  Long (790)  |  Milky Way (26)  |  Movement (155)  |  Old (481)  |  Rearrange (5)  |  Same (157)  |  Seemed (2)  |  Sky (161)  |  Slow (101)  |  Star (427)  |  Still (613)  |  Tattered (2)  |  Way (1217)

Common sense is not wrong in the view that is meaningful, appropriate and necessary to talk about the large objects of our daily experience …. Common sense is wrong only if it insists that what is familiar must reappear in what is unfamiliar.
In 'Uncommon Sense', collected in J. Robert Oppenheimer, Nicholas Metropolis (ed.) and ‎Gian-Carlo Rota (ed.), Uncommon Sense (1984), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Appropriate (61)  |  Common (436)  |  Common Sense (130)  |  Daily (87)  |  Experience (467)  |  Familiar (43)  |  Insist (20)  |  Large (394)  |  Meaningful (17)  |  Must (1526)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Object (422)  |  Reappear (4)  |  Sense (770)  |  Talk (100)  |  View (488)  |  Wrong (234)

Fiction is, indeed, an indispensable supplement to logic, or even a part of it; whether we are working inductively or deductively, both ways hang closely together with fiction: and axioms, though they seek to be primary verities, are more akin to fiction. If we had realized the nature of axioms, the doctrine of Einstein, which sweeps away axioms so familiar to us that they seem obvious truths, and substitutes others which seem absurd because they are unfamiliar, might not have been so bewildering.
In The Dance of Life (1923), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (59)  |  Akin (5)  |  Axiom (63)  |  Bewildering (3)  |  Both (493)  |  Deductive (11)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Albert Einstein (605)  |  Familiar (43)  |  Fiction (22)  |  Hang (45)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Inductive (20)  |  Logic (287)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Other (2236)  |  Primary (80)  |  Realize (147)  |  Seek (213)  |  Substitute (46)  |  Supplement (6)  |  Sweep (19)  |  Together (387)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Verity (5)  |  Way (1217)

He who is unfamiliar with mathematics remains more or less a stranger to our time.
In Die Mathematik die Fackelträgerin einer neuen Zeit (1889), 39. As translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-book (1914), 122. From the original German, “Wer mathematisch ein Laie ist, geht mehr oder weniger als Fremder durch unsere Zeit”. More literally, the first phrase would be translated as, “He who is a layman in mathematics…”.
Science quotes on:  |  Layman (21)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  More (2559)  |  More Or Less (68)  |  Remain (349)  |  Strange (157)  |  Time (1877)

In scientific thought we adopt the simplest theory which will explain all the facts under consideration and enable us to predict new facts of the same kind. The catch in this criterion lies in the world “simplest.” It is really an aesthetic canon such as we find implicit in our criticisms of poetry or painting. The layman finds such a law as dx/dt = κ(d²x/dy²) much less simple than “it oozes,” of which it is the mathematical statement. The physicist reverses this judgment, and his statement is certainly the more fruitful of the two, so far as prediction is concerned. It is, however, a statement about something very unfamiliar to the plain man, namely the rate of change of a rate of change.
In 'Science and Theology as Art-Forms', Possible Worlds (1927), 227.
Science quotes on:  |  Adopt (19)  |  Aesthetic (46)  |  All (4108)  |  Catch (31)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Change (593)  |  Concern (228)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Criterion (27)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Differential Equation (18)  |  Enable (119)  |  Explain (322)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Find (998)  |  Fruitful (58)  |  Implicit (12)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Kind (557)  |  Law (894)  |  Layman (21)  |  Lie (364)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1216)  |  Ooze (2)  |  Painting (44)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Predict (79)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Reverse (33)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Thought (17)  |  Simple (406)  |  Simplest (10)  |  Something (719)  |  Statement (142)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thought (953)  |  Two (937)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

It follows from the theory of relativity that mass and energy are both different manifestations of the same thing—a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average man. Furthermore E=MC2, in which energy is put equal to mass multiplied with the square of the velocity of light, showed that a very small amount of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy... the mass and energy were in fact equivalent.
As expressed in the Einstein film, produced by Nova Television (1979). Quoted in Alice Calaprice, The Quotable Einstein (1996), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Amount (151)  |  Average (82)  |  Both (493)  |  Conception (154)  |  Different (577)  |  Energy (344)  |  Equivalent (45)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Follow (378)  |  Large (394)  |  Light (607)  |  Man (2251)  |  Manifestation (58)  |  Mass (157)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Show (346)  |  Small (477)  |  Square (70)  |  Theory (970)  |  Theory Of Relativity (33)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Velocity (48)

It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless.
The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1977, 1993), 154.
Science quotes on:  |  Big Bang (39)  |  Cold (112)  |  Comprehension (66)  |  Condition (356)  |  Early (185)  |  Endless (56)  |  Extinction (74)  |  Face (212)  |  Future (429)  |  Heat (174)  |  More (2559)  |  Pointless (6)  |  Present (619)  |  Realize (147)  |  Universe (857)

People who are unused to learning, learn little, and that slowly, while those more accustomed do much more and do it more easily. The same thing also happens in connection with research. Those who are altogether unfamiliar with this become blinded and bewildered as soon as their minds begin to work: they readily withdraw from the inquiry, in a state of mental fatigue and exhaustion, much like people who attempt to race without having been trained. He, on the other hand, who is accustomed to research, seeks and penetrates everywhere mentally, passing constantly from one topic to another; nor does he ever give up his investigation; he pursues it not merely for a matter of days, but throughout his whole life. Also by transferring his mind to other ideas which are yet not foreign to the questions at issue, he persists till he reaches the solution.
'On Paralysis'. Quoted in A. J. Brock, Greek Medicine: Being Extracts Illustrative of Medical Writers from Hippocrates to Galen (1929), 185.
Science quotes on:  |  Accustom (52)  |  Accustomed (46)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Become (815)  |  Begin (260)  |  Blind (95)  |  Connection (162)  |  Do (1908)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Exhaustion (16)  |  Fatigue (12)  |  Foreign (45)  |  Happen (274)  |  Idea (843)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Life (1795)  |  Little (707)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mental (177)  |  Merely (316)  |  Mind (1338)  |  More (2559)  |  Other (2236)  |  Passing (76)  |  Penetrate (67)  |  People (1005)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Question (621)  |  Race (268)  |  Research (664)  |  Seek (213)  |  Solution (267)  |  Soon (186)  |  State (491)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Topic (21)  |  Train (114)  |  Whole (738)  |  Work (1351)

Science starts with preconception, with the common culture, and with common sense. It moves on to observation, is marked by the discovery of paradox, and is then concerned with the correction of preconception. It moves then to use these corrections for the designing of further observation and for more refined experiment. And as it moves along this course the nature of the evidence and experience that nourish it becomes more and more unfamiliar; it is not just the language that is strange [to common culture].
From 'The Growth of Science and the Structure of Culture', Daedalus (Winter 1958), 87, No. 1, 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Common (436)  |  Common Sense (130)  |  Concern (228)  |  Correction (40)  |  Course (409)  |  Culture (143)  |  Design (195)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Experience (467)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Language (293)  |  Marked (55)  |  More (2559)  |  Move (216)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nourish (16)  |  Observation (555)  |  Paradox (50)  |  Preconception (13)  |  Refined (7)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Sense (770)  |  Start (221)  |  Strange (157)  |  Use (766)

The fact that the regions of nature actually covered by known laws are few and fragmentary is concealed by the natural tendency to crowd our experience into those particular regions and to leave the others to themselves. We seek out those parts that are known and familiar and avoid those that are unknown and unfamiliar. This is simply what is called 'Applied Science.'
Scientific Method: An Inquiry into the Character and Validy of Natural Law (1923), 201.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied (177)  |  Applied Science (34)  |  Avoid (116)  |  Call (769)  |  Concealed (25)  |  Experience (467)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Fragmentary (8)  |  Known (454)  |  Law (894)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Other (2236)  |  Research (664)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seek (213)  |  Tendency (99)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Unknown (182)

The historian of science may be tempted to claim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them. Led by a new paradigm, scientists adopt new instruments and look in new places. even more important, during revolutions, scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if the professional community had been suddenly transported to another planet where familiar objects are seen in a different light and are joined by unfamiliar ones as well.
In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962, 2nd ed. 1970). Excerpt 'Revolutions as Changes of World View', in Joseph Margolis and Jacques Catudal, The Quarrel between Invariance and Flux (2001), 35-36.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (593)  |  Claim (146)  |  Community (104)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Familiarity (19)  |  Historian (54)  |  History Of Science (63)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Light (607)  |  Look (582)  |  Looking (189)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1216)  |  Object (422)  |  Paradigm (14)  |  Place (177)  |  Planet (356)  |  Profession (99)  |  Professional (70)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  See (1081)  |  Suddenly (88)  |  Temptation (11)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Transport (30)  |  Transportation (14)  |  Unfamiliarity (5)  |  World (1774)

The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
Paul Fix
In Lily Splane, Quantum Consciousness (2004), 310
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  People (1005)  |  Reason (744)  |  Territory (24)  |  Thought (953)

The Sun is no lonelier than its neighbors; indeed, it is a very common-place star,—dwarfish, though not minute,—like hundreds, nay thousands, of others. By accident the brighter component of Alpha Centauri (which is double) is almost the Sun's twin in brightness, mass, and size. Could this Earth be transported to its vicinity by some supernatural power, and set revolving about it, at a little less than a hundred million miles' distance, the star would heat and light the world just as the Sun does, and life and civilization might go on with no radical change. The Milky Way would girdle the heavens as before; some of our familiar constellations, such as Orion, would be little changed, though others would be greatly altered by the shifting of the nearer stars. An unfamiliar brilliant star, between Cassiopeia and Perseus would be—the Sun. Looking back at it with our telescopes, we could photograph its spectrum, observe its motion among the stars, and convince ourselves that it was the same old Sun; but what had happened to the rest of our planetary system we would not know.
The Solar System and its Origin (1935), 2-3.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accident (88)  |  Alpha Centauri (2)  |  Alter (62)  |  Alteration (30)  |  Altered (32)  |  Back (390)  |  Brightness (12)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Cassiopeia (2)  |  Change (593)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Common (436)  |  Component (48)  |  Constellation (17)  |  Convince (41)  |  Distance (161)  |  Double (15)  |  Dwarf (7)  |  Earth (996)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happened (88)  |  Heat (174)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Know (1518)  |  Life (1795)  |  Light (607)  |  Little (707)  |  Loneliness (5)  |  Look (582)  |  Looking (189)  |  Mass (157)  |  Mile (39)  |  Milky Way (26)  |  Million (114)  |  Minute (125)  |  Motion (310)  |  Nearer (45)  |  Nearness (3)  |  Neighbor (11)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observe (168)  |  Old (481)  |  Other (2236)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Perseus (2)  |  Photograph (19)  |  Planet (356)  |  Planetary (29)  |  Power (746)  |  Radical (25)  |  Rest (280)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Set (394)  |  Shift (44)  |  Size (60)  |  Solar System (77)  |  Spectrum (31)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Sun (385)  |  Supernatural (25)  |  System (537)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Transport (30)  |  Transportation (14)  |  Twin (15)  |  Unfamiliarity (5)  |  Way (1217)  |  World (1774)

The truly scientific mind is altogether unafraid of the new, and while having no mercy for ideas which have served their turn or shown their uselessness, it will not grudge to any unfamiliar conception its moment of full and friendly attention, hoping to expand rather than to minimize what small core of usefulness it may happen to contain.
In 'Observation and Experiment and Their Use in the Medical Sciences', British Medical Journal (1930), 2, 129-34. As cited in Edward J. Huth and T.J. Murray, Medicine in Quotations: Views of Health and Disease Through the Ages (2006), 357 and 512.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (190)  |  Conception (154)  |  Content (69)  |  Core (18)  |  Expand (53)  |  Expansion (41)  |  Friend (168)  |  Grudge (2)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happening (58)  |  Hope (299)  |  Idea (843)  |  Mercy (11)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Moment (253)  |  New (1216)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Scientific Mind (13)  |  Service (110)  |  Show (346)  |  Small (477)  |  Time (1877)  |  Truly (116)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Turn (447)  |  Unfamiliarity (5)  |  Usefulness (86)  |  Uselessness (22)  |  Will (2355)

The world is full of signals that we don’t perceive. Tiny creatures live in a different world of unfamiliar forces. Many animals of our scale greatly exceed our range of perception for sensations familiar to us ... What an imperceptive lot we are. Surrounded by so much, so fascinating and so real, that we do not see (hear, smell, touch, taste) in nature, yet so gullible and so seduced by claims for novel power that we mistake the tricks of mediocre magicians for glimpses of a psychic world beyond our ken. The paranormal may be a fantasy; it is certainly a haven for charlatans. But ‘parahuman’ powers of perception lie all about us in birds, bees, and bacteria.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Bacteria (48)  |  Bacterium (5)  |  Bee (40)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Bird (149)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Charlatan (8)  |  Claim (146)  |  Creature (233)  |  Different (577)  |  Do (1908)  |  Exceed (9)  |  Familiar (43)  |  Fantasy (14)  |  Fascinating (37)  |  Force (487)  |  Full (66)  |  Glimpse (13)  |  Greatly (12)  |  Hear (139)  |  Ken (2)  |  Lie (364)  |  Live (628)  |  Lot (151)  |  Magician (14)  |  Mediocre (14)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Novel (32)  |  Paranormal (3)  |  Perceive (40)  |  Perception (97)  |  Power (746)  |  Psychic (13)  |  Range (99)  |  Real (149)  |  Scale (121)  |  Seduce (4)  |  See (1081)  |  Sensation (57)  |  Signal (27)  |  Smell (27)  |  Surround (30)  |  Taste (90)  |  Tiny (72)  |  Touch (141)  |  Trick (35)  |  World (1774)

To make “beauty” the objects of the æsthetic emotion, we must give to the word an over-strict and unfamiliar definition.
In Art (1913), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Aelig (3)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Definition (221)  |  Emotion (100)  |  Give (202)  |  Must (1526)  |  Object (422)  |  Word (619)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



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