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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The Columbia is lost; there are no survivors.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index V > Category: Variance

Variance Quotes (12 quotes)

A discovery must be, by definition, at variance with existing knowledge. During my lifetime, I made two. Both were rejected offhand by the popes of the field. Had I predicted these discoveries in my applications, and had those authorities been my judges, it is evident what their decisions would have been.
In 'Dionysians and Apollonians', Science (2 Jun 1972), 176, 966. Reprinted in Mary Ritchie Key, The Relationship of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication (1980), 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (242)  |  Authority (95)  |  Both (493)  |  Decision (91)  |  Definition (221)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Evident (91)  |  Existence (456)  |  Field (364)  |  Judge (108)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lifetime (31)  |  Must (1526)  |  Pope (10)  |  Predict (79)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Reject (63)  |  Rejected (26)  |  Rejection (34)  |  Two (937)

Differences between individuals are the raw materials for evolutionary change and for the evolution of adaptations, yet of course most physiologists treat these differences as noise that is to be filtered out. From the standpoint of physiological ecology, the traditional emphasis of physiologists on central tendencies rather than on variance has some unhappy consequences. Variation is not just noise; it is also the stuff of evolution and a central attribute of living systems. The physiological differences between individuals in the same species or population, and also the patterns of variation in different groups, must not be ignored.
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), 32-33,
Science quotes on:  |  Adaptation (58)  |  Attribute (61)  |  Central (80)  |  Change (593)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Course (409)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Ecology (74)  |  Emphasis (17)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  Filter (9)  |  Group (78)  |  Ignore (45)  |  Individual (404)  |  Live (628)  |  Living (491)  |  Material (353)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Noise (37)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Physiologist (29)  |  Population (110)  |  Raw (28)  |  Same (157)  |  Species (401)  |  Standpoint (28)  |  Stuff (21)  |  System (537)  |  Tendency (99)  |  Traditional (15)  |  Treat (35)  |  Unhappy (16)  |  Variation (90)

Geologists have not been slow to admit that they were in error in assuming that they had an eternity of past time for the evolution of the earth's history. They have frankly acknowledged the validity of the physical arguments which go to place more or less definite limits to the antiquity of the earth. They were, on the whole, disposed to acquiesce in the allowance of 100 millions of years granted to them by Lord Kelvin, for the transaction of the whole of the long cycles of geological history. But the physicists have been insatiable and inexorable. As remorseless as Lear's daughters, they have cut down their grant of years by successive slices, until some of them have brought the number to something less than ten millions. In vain have the geologists protested that there must somewhere be a flaw in a line of argument which tends to results so entirely at variance with the strong evidence for a higher antiquity, furnished not only by the geological record, but by the existing races of plants and animals. They have insisted that this evidence is not mere theory or imagination, but is drawn from a multitude of facts which become hopelessly unintelligible unless sufficient time is admitted for the evolution of geological history. They have not been able to disapprove the arguments of the physicists, but they have contended that the physicists have simply ignored the geological arguments as of no account in the discussion.
'Twenty-five years of Geological Progress in Britain', Nature, 1895, 51, 369.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Account (192)  |  Age Of The Earth (12)  |  Allowance (6)  |  Animal (617)  |  Antiquity (33)  |  Argument (138)  |  Become (815)  |  Controversy (29)  |  Cut (114)  |  Cycle (40)  |  Daughter (29)  |  Definite (110)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Down (456)  |  Earth (996)  |  Error (321)  |  Eternity (63)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Flaw (17)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Geologist (75)  |  Grant (73)  |  History (673)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Inexorable (10)  |  Insatiable (7)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (71)  |  Limit (280)  |  Long (790)  |  Lord (93)  |  More (2559)  |  More Or Less (68)  |  Multitude (47)  |  Must (1526)  |  Number (699)  |  Past (337)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Plant (294)  |  Protest (9)  |  Race (268)  |  Record (154)  |  Result (677)  |  Slow (101)  |  Something (719)  |  Strong (174)  |  Successive (73)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Tend (124)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Transaction (13)  |  Unintelligible (15)  |  Vain (83)  |  Validity (47)  |  Whole (738)  |  Year (933)

It will be noticed that the fundamental theorem proved above bears some remarkable resemblances to the second law of thermodynamics. Both are properties of populations, or aggregates, true irrespective of the nature of the units which compose them; both are statistical laws; each requires the constant increase of a measurable quantity, in the one case the entropy of a physical system and in the other the fitness, measured by m, of a biological population. As in the physical world we can conceive the theoretical systems in which dissipative forces are wholly absent, and in which the entropy consequently remains constant, so we can conceive, though we need not expect to find, biological populations in which the genetic variance is absolutely zero, and in which fitness does not increase. Professor Eddington has recently remarked that “The law that entropy always increases—the second law of thermodynamics—holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of nature.” It is not a little instructive that so similar a law should hold the supreme position among the biological sciences. While it is possible that both may ultimately be absorbed by some more general principle, for the present we should note that the laws as they stand present profound differences—-(1) The systems considered in thermodynamics are permanent; species on the contrary are liable to extinction, although biological improvement must be expected to occur up to the end of their existence. (2) Fitness, although measured by a uniform method, is qualitatively different for every different organism, whereas entropy, like temperature, is taken to have the same meaning for all physical systems. (3) Fitness may be increased or decreased by changes in the environment, without reacting quantitatively upon that environment. (4) Entropy changes are exceptional in the physical world in being irreversible, while irreversible evolutionary changes form no exception among biological phenomena. Finally, (5) entropy changes lead to a progressive disorganization of the physical world, at least from the human standpoint of the utilization of energy, while evolutionary changes are generally recognized as producing progressively higher organization in the organic world.
The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (49)  |  Aggregate (23)  |  All (4108)  |  Bear (159)  |  Being (1278)  |  Biological (137)  |  Both (493)  |  Change (593)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Consider (416)  |  Constant (144)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington (130)  |  End (590)  |  Energy (344)  |  Entropy (44)  |  Environment (216)  |  Exception (73)  |  Exceptional (18)  |  Existence (456)  |  Expect (200)  |  Extinction (74)  |  Find (998)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  General (511)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Human (1468)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Increase (210)  |  Irreversible (12)  |  Law (894)  |  Lead (384)  |  Little (707)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Method (505)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Occur (150)  |  Organic (158)  |  Organism (220)  |  Organization (114)  |  Other (2236)  |  Permanent (64)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical World (28)  |  Population (110)  |  Possible (552)  |  Present (619)  |  Principle (507)  |  Professor (128)  |  Profound (104)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Remain (349)  |  Require (219)  |  Resemblance (38)  |  Science (3879)  |  Second Law Of Thermodynamics (14)  |  Species (401)  |  Stand (274)  |  Standpoint (28)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Supreme (71)  |  System (537)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Theorem (112)  |  Thermodynamics (40)  |  Think (1086)  |  Ultimately (55)  |  Utilization (15)  |  Wholly (88)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)  |  Zero (37)

Mr Justus Liebig is no doubt a very clever gentleman and a most profound chemist, but in our opinion he knows as much of agriculture as the horse that ploughs the ground, and there is not an old man that stands between the stilts of a plough in Virginia, that cannot tell him of facts totally at variance with his finest spun theories.
Magazine
The Southern Planter (1845), 3, 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (68)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Clever (38)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Gentleman (26)  |  Ground (217)  |  Horse (74)  |  Intelligence (211)  |  Know (1518)  |  Justus von Liebig (38)  |  Man (2251)  |  Most (1731)  |  Old (481)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Plough (13)  |  Profound (104)  |  Stand (274)  |  Tell (340)  |  Theory (970)  |  Virginia (2)

Nor can it be supposed that the diversity of chemical structure and process stops at the boundary of the species, and that within that boundary, which has no real finality, rigid uniformity reigns. Such a conception is at variance with any evolutionary conception of the nature and origin of species. The existence of chemical individuality follows of necessity from that of chemical specificity, but we should expect the differences between individuals to be still more subtle and difficult of detection. Indications of their existence are seen, even in man, in the various tints of skin, hair, and eyes, and in the quantitative differences in those portions of the end-products of metabolism which are endogenous and are not affected by diet, such as recent researches have revealed in increasing numbers. Even those idiosyncrasies with regard to drugs and articles of food which are summed up in the proverbial saying that what is one man's meat is another man's poison presumably have a chemical basis.
Inborn Errors of Metabolism. The Croonian Lectures delivered before the Royal College of Physicians of London, in June, 1908 (1909), 2-3.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Basis (173)  |  Biochemistry (49)  |  Boundary (51)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Conception (154)  |  Detection (16)  |  Diet (54)  |  Difference (337)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Diversity (73)  |  Drug (57)  |  End (590)  |  Existence (456)  |  Expect (200)  |  Eye (419)  |  Finality (7)  |  Follow (378)  |  Food (199)  |  Indication (33)  |  Individual (404)  |  Individuality (22)  |  Man (2251)  |  Meat (16)  |  Metabolism (14)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Number (699)  |  Origin (239)  |  Poison (40)  |  Portion (84)  |  Process (423)  |  Product (160)  |  Proverbial (8)  |  Quantitative (29)  |  Recent (77)  |  Regard (305)  |  Reign (23)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Revealed (60)  |  Rigid (24)  |  Skin (47)  |  Species (401)  |  Still (613)  |  Structure (344)  |  Uniformity (37)  |  Various (200)

The analysis of variance is not a mathematical theorem, but rather a convenient method of arranging the arithmetic.
Remarking on the paper, ‘Statistics in Agricultural Research’ by J. Wishart, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Supplement (1934), 1, 52. As cited in Michael Cowle, Statistics in Psychology: An Historical Perspective (2005), 210.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (233)  |  Arithmetic (136)  |  Arranging (3)  |  Convenience (50)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Method (505)  |  Theorem (112)

The function of mutation is to maintain the stock of genetic variance at a high level.
(1930).
Science quotes on:  |  Function (228)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Genetics (101)  |  High (362)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Mutation (37)

The individual within the collective is never, or hardly ever, conscious of the prevailing thought style, which almost always exerts an absolutely compulsive force upon his thinking and with which it is not possible to be at variance.
Genesis and the Development of a Scientific Fact (1935), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Collaboration (15)  |  Exert (39)  |  Force (487)  |  Individual (404)  |  Never (1087)  |  Possible (552)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Thought (953)

We may consequently state the fundamental theorem of Natural Selection in the form: The rate of increase in fitness of any organism at any time is equal to its genetic variance in fitness at that time.
The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930), 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Form (959)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Increase (210)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Organism (220)  |  Selection (128)  |  State (491)  |  Theorem (112)  |  Time (1877)

When there are two independent causes of variability capable of producing in an otherwise uniform population distributions with standard deviations s1 and s2, it is found that the distribution, when both causes act together, has a standard deviation vs12 + s22. It is therefore desirable in analysing the causes of variability to deal with the square of the standard deviation as the measure of variability. We shall term this quantity the Variance of the normal population to which it refers, and we may now ascribe to the constituent causes fractions or percentages of the total variance which they together produce.
'The Correlation between Relatives on the Supposition of Mendelian Inheritance,' Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1918, 52, 399.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Act (272)  |  Both (493)  |  Capable (168)  |  Cause (541)  |  Constituent (45)  |  Deal (188)  |  Desirable (33)  |  Deviation (17)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Measure (232)  |  Population (110)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Square (70)  |  Standard Deviation (3)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Term (349)  |  Together (387)  |  Total (94)  |  Two (937)

[Vestiges begins] from principles which are at variance with all sober inductive truth. The sober facts of geology shuffled, so as to play a rogue’s game; phrenology (that sinkhole of human folly and prating coxcombry); spontaneous generation; transmutation of species; and I know not what; all to be swallowed, without tasting and trying, like so much horse-physic!! Gross credulity and rank infidelity joined in unlawful marriage, and breeding a deformed progeny of unnatural conclusions!
Letter to Charles Lyell (9 Apr 1845). In John Willis Clark and Thomas McKenny Hughes (eds.), The Life and Letters of the Reverend Adam Sedgwick (1890), Vol. 2, 83.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Begin (260)  |  Breeding (21)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Credulity (14)  |  Deformation (3)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Folly (43)  |  Game (101)  |  Generation (242)  |  Geology (220)  |  Horse (74)  |  Human (1468)  |  Induction (77)  |  Inductive (20)  |  Infidelity (3)  |  Know (1518)  |  Marriage (39)  |  Phrenology (5)  |  Physic (517)  |  Principle (507)  |  Progeny (15)  |  Rank (67)  |  Rogue (2)  |  Shuffle (5)  |  Sober (9)  |  Species (401)  |  Spontaneous (27)  |  Spontaneous Generation (9)  |  Swallow (29)  |  Taste (90)  |  Transmutation (22)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Try (283)  |  Trying (144)  |  Unlawful (2)  |  Unnatural (15)  |  Vestige (11)  |  Vestiges (2)


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.