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

Unreliable Quotes (4 quotes)

Although I have several agents who know the Niam-Niam country, I did not dare to make anything of their unreliable statements before I could orient myself. These Nubians are unpredictable to a high degree, they have a very poor memory for names and practically no human idea of the points of the compass; the agents of the merchants of Khartoum who are entrusted with such great journeys are to the last man absolute liars, braggarts and habitual fibbers.
In August Petermann, Petermann’s Geographische Mittheilungen (1870), 20. As quoted and cited in Kathrin Fritsch, '"You Have Everything Confused And Mixed Up…!" Georg Schweinfurth, Knowledge And Cartography Of Africa In The 19th Century', History in Africa (2009), 36, 93-94. Fritsch comments how at that point in his travels, thus far, Schweinfurth “did not appear to understand their geographical orientation and with his European prejudice he chose to view all Nubians as braggarts and liars.
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Astronomers and physicists, dealing habitually with objects and quantities far beyond the reach of the senses, even with the aid of the most powerful aids that ingenuity has been able to devise, tend almost inevitably to fall into the ways of thinking of men dealing with objects and quantities that do not exist at all, e.g., theologians and metaphysicians. Thus their speculations tend almost inevitably to depart from the field of true science, which is that of precise observation, and to become mere soaring in the empyrean. The process works backward, too. That is to say, their reports of what they pretend actually to see are often very unreliable. It is thus no wonder that, of all men of science, they are the most given to flirting with theology. Nor is it remarkable that, in the popular belief, most astronomers end by losing their minds.
Minority Report: H. L. Mencken’s Notebooks (1956), Sample 74, 60.
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Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.
…...
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I have always consistently opposed high-tension and alternating systems of electric lighting, not only on account of danger, but because of their general unreliability and unsuitability for any general system of distribution.
In 'The Dangers of Electric Lighting', North American Review (Nov 1889), 149, No. 396, 633.
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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)

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