Celebrating 18 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: Vast

Vast Quotes (56 quotes)

Ce qui est admirable, ce n'est pas que le champ des étoiles soit si vaste, c'est que l'homme l'ait mesuré.
The wonder is, not that the field of the stars is so vast, but that man has measured it.
The Garden of Epicurus (1894) translated by Alfred Allinson, in The Works of Anatole France in an English Translation (1920), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Measurement (148)  |  Star (251)  |  Wonder (134)

Changements arrivées dans le globe: Quand on a vu de ses yeux une montagne s’avancer dans une plaine, c’est-à-dire un immense rocher de cette montagne se détacher et couvrir des champs, un château tout entier enfoncé dans la terre, un fleuve englouti qui sort ensuite de son abîme, des marques indubitables qu’un vaste amas d’eau inondait autrefois un pays habité aujourd’hui, et cent vestiges d’autres révolutions, on est alors plus disposé à croire les grands changements qui ont altéré la face du monde, que ne l’est une dame de Paris qui sait seulement que la place où est bâtie sa maison était autrefois un champ labourable. Mais une dame de Naples, qui a vu sous terre les ruines d’Herculanum, est encore moins asservie au préjugé qui nous fait croire que tout a toujours été comme il est aujourd’hui.
Changes That Have Occurred in the Globe: When we have seen with our own eyes a mountain progressing into a plain; that is to say, an immense boulder separating from this mountain and covering the fields; an entire castle broken into pieces over the ground; a river swallowed up which then bursts out from its abyss; clear marks of a vast amount of water having once flooded regions now inhabited, and a hundred vestiges of other transformations, then we are much more willing to believe that great changes altered the face of the earth, than a Parisian lady who knows only that the place where her house was built was once a cultivated field. However, a lady from Naples who has seen the buried ruins of Herculaneum, is much less subject to the bias which leads us to believe that everything has always been as it is today.
From article 'Changements arrivées dans le globe', in Dictionnaire philosophique (1764), collected in Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire (1878), Vol. 2, 427-428. Translated by Ian Ellis.
Science quotes on:  |  Abyss (20)  |  Alteration (22)  |  Belief (400)  |  Bias (15)  |  Boulder (5)  |  Breaking (3)  |  Built (7)  |  Buried (2)  |  Castle (4)  |  Change (291)  |  Country (121)  |  Cover (23)  |  Disappearance (21)  |  Earth (487)  |  Entire (29)  |  Erosion (18)  |  Eye (159)  |  Face (69)  |  Field (119)  |  Flood (26)  |  Geologic History (2)  |  Herculaneum (2)  |  House (36)  |  Inhabitation (2)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Lady (6)  |  Land (83)  |  Mark (28)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Move (58)  |  Paris (9)  |  Place (111)  |  Plain (24)  |  River (68)  |  Rock (107)  |  Ruin (23)  |  Sinking (6)  |  Today (86)  |  Transformation (47)  |  Vestige (4)  |  Water (244)

A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux ... is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing.
[Reporting a Nature article discrediting explanation of invisible mass being due to neutrinos]
In 'If Theory is Right, Most of Universe is Still “Missing”', New York Times (11 Sep 1984).
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (50)  |  Astrophysicist (7)  |  Baffling (4)  |  Cosmic (34)  |  Dark Matter (4)  |  Deepening (2)  |  Immense (28)  |  Majority (32)  |  Mass (61)  |  Missing (7)  |  Missing Mass (2)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Neutrino (8)  |  Proportion (47)  |  Seem (89)  |  Seemingly (7)  |  Solution (168)  |  Universe (563)  |  Verge (3)

A vast technology has been developed to prevent, reduce, or terminate exhausting labor and physical damage. It is now dedicated to the production of the most trivial conveniences and comfort.
Reflections on Behaviorism and Society (1978), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Comfort (42)  |  Convenience (25)  |  Damage (18)  |  Dedication (10)  |  Development (228)  |  Exhaustion (13)  |  Labour (36)  |  Prevention (29)  |  Production (105)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Technology (199)  |  Termination (3)  |  Trivial (30)

And, in this case, science could learn an important lesson from the literati–who love contingency for the same basic reason that scientists tend to regard the theme with suspicion. Because, in contingency lies the power of each person, to make a difference in an unconstrained world bristling with possibilities, and nudgeable by the smallest of unpredictable inputs into markedly different channels spelling either vast improvement or potential disaster.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Basic (52)  |  Bristle (2)  |  Case (64)  |  Channel (17)  |  Contingency (11)  |  Difference (208)  |  Different (110)  |  Disaster (36)  |  Important (124)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Input (2)  |  Learn (160)  |  Lesson (32)  |  Lie (80)  |  Love (164)  |  Markedly (2)  |  Person (114)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Potential (34)  |  Power (273)  |  Reason (330)  |  Regard (58)  |  Same (92)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Small (97)  |  Spell (7)  |  Suspicion (25)  |  Tend (23)  |  Theme (8)  |  Unconstrained (2)  |  Unpredictable (10)  |  World (667)

But the nature of our civilized minds is so detached from the senses, even in the vulgar, by abstractions corresponding to all the abstract terms our languages abound in, and so refined by the art of writing, and as it were spiritualized by the use of numbers, because even the vulgar know how to count and reckon, that it is naturally beyond our power to form the vast image of this mistress called ‘Sympathetic Nature.’
The New Science, bk. 2, para. 378 (1744, trans. 1984).
Science quotes on:  |  Abound (3)  |  Abstract (43)  |  Abstraction (29)  |  Art (205)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Call (68)  |  Civilized (13)  |  Correspond (5)  |  Count (34)  |  Detach (2)  |  Form (210)  |  Image (38)  |  Know (321)  |  Language (155)  |  Mind (544)  |  Mistress (6)  |  Naturally (7)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Number (179)  |  Power (273)  |  Reckon (6)  |  Refine (3)  |  Sense (240)  |  Sympathetic (3)  |  Term (87)  |  Vulgar (11)  |  Write (87)

Combining in our survey then, the whole range of deposits from the most recent to the most ancient group, how striking a succession do they present:– so various yet so uniform–so vast yet so connected. In thus tracing back to the most remote periods in the physical history of our continents, one system of operations, as the means by which many complex formations have been successively produced, the mind becomes impressed with the singleness of nature's laws; and in this respect, at least, geology is hardly inferior in simplicity to astronomy.
The Silurian System (1839), 574.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (68)  |  Combination (69)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Connection (86)  |  Continent (39)  |  Deposit (9)  |  Formation (54)  |  History (302)  |  Impression (51)  |  Law (418)  |  Law Of Nature (52)  |  Mind (544)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Operation (96)  |  Production (105)  |  Range (38)  |  Recent (23)  |  Singleness (2)  |  Succession (39)  |  Survey (14)  |  System (141)  |  Trace (39)  |  Uniformity (17)  |  Variety (53)

Considered as a mere question of physics, (and keeping all moral considerations entirely out of sight,) the appearance of man is a geological phenomenon of vast importance, indirectly modifying the whole surface of the earth, breaking in upon any supposition of zoological continuity, and utterly unaccounted for by what we have any right to call the laws of nature.
'Address to the Geological Society, delivered on the Evening of the 18th of February 1831', Proceedings of the Geological Society (1834), 1, 306.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (77)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Continuation (17)  |  Earth (487)  |  Geology (187)  |  Importance (183)  |  Law Of Nature (52)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Modification (31)  |  Moral (100)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Physics (301)  |  Question (315)  |  Surface (74)  |  Zoology (28)

Food is at present obtained almost entirely from the energy of the sunlight. The radiation from the sun produces from the carbonic acid in the air more or less complicated carbon compounds which serve us in plants and vegetables. We use the latent chemical energy of these to keep our bodies warm, we convert it into muscular effort. We employ it in the complicated process of digestion to repair and replace the wasted cells of our bodies. … If the gigantic sources of power become available, food would be produced without recourse to sunlight. Vast cellars, in which artificial radiation is generated, may replace the cornfields and potato patches of the world.
From 'Fifty Years Hence', Strand Magazine (Dec 1931). Reprinted in Popular Mechanics (Mar 1932), 57, No. 3, 396-397.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Artificial (26)  |  Available (18)  |  Body (193)  |  Carbon (48)  |  Carbonic Acid (4)  |  Cell (125)  |  Cellar (2)  |  Chemical (72)  |  Complicated (38)  |  Compound (53)  |  Convert (15)  |  Corn (10)  |  Digestion (23)  |  Effort (94)  |  Employ (14)  |  Energy (185)  |  Field (119)  |  Food (139)  |  Gigantic (16)  |  Latent (9)  |  Muscular (2)  |  Patch (6)  |  Plant (173)  |  Potato (6)  |  Power (273)  |  Process (201)  |  Radiation (22)  |  Recourse (6)  |  Repair (7)  |  Replace (16)  |  Source (71)  |  Sunlight (14)  |  Vegetable (19)  |  Warm (20)  |  Wasted (2)  |  World (667)

He who studies it [Nature] has continually the exquisite pleasure of discerning or half discerning and divining laws; regularities glimmer through an appearance of confusion, analogies between phenomena of a different order suggest themselves and set the imagination in motion; the mind is haunted with the sense of a vast unity not yet discoverable or nameable. There is food for contemplation which never runs short; you are gazing at an object which is always growing clearer, and yet always, in the very act of growing clearer, presenting new mysteries.
From 'Natural History', Macmillan's Magazine (1875), 31, 366.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (80)  |  Analogy (46)  |  Appearance (77)  |  Clearer (4)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Contemplation (37)  |  Continuing (4)  |  Different (110)  |  Discerning (7)  |  Discover (115)  |  Exquisite (12)  |  Food (139)  |  Gaze (12)  |  Glimmer (4)  |  Growing (15)  |  Half (35)  |  Haunting (2)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Law (418)  |  Mind (544)  |  Motion (127)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nature (1029)  |  New (340)  |  Object (110)  |  Order (167)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Presenting (2)  |  Regularity (24)  |  Sense (240)  |  Study (331)  |  Suggestion (24)  |  Unity (43)

Here is this vast, savage, howling mother of ours, Nature, lying all around, with such beauty, and such affection for her children, as the leopard; and yet we are so early weaned from her breast to society, to that, culture which is exclusively an interaction of man on man.
Remarking how society becomes divorces individuals from nature. In essay, Walking (1862). Collected in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau (1893), Vol. 9, 291.
Science quotes on:  |  Affection (14)  |  Beauty (171)  |  Breast (6)  |  Child (189)  |  Culture (85)  |  Interaction (28)  |  Leopard (2)  |  Man (345)  |  Mother (59)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Savage (23)  |  Society (188)  |  Wean (2)

I am not insensible to natural beauty, but my emotional joys center on the improbable yet sometimes wondrous works of that tiny and accidental evolutionary twig called Homo sapiens. And I find, among these works, nothing more noble than the history of our struggle to understand nature—a majestic entity of such vast spatial and temporal scope that she cannot care much for a little mammalian afterthought with a curious evolutionary invention, even if that invention has, for the first time in so me four billion years of life on earth, produced recursion as a creature reflects back upon its own production and evolution. Thus, I love nature primarily for the puzzles and intellectual delights that she offers to the first organ capable of such curious contemplation.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accidental (3)  |  Afterthought (6)  |  Back (55)  |  Billion (52)  |  Call (68)  |  Capable (26)  |  Care (73)  |  Center (30)  |  Contemplation (37)  |  Creature (127)  |  Curious (24)  |  Delight (51)  |  Emotional (13)  |  Entity (23)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Evolutionary (16)  |  Find (248)  |  First (174)  |  First Time (3)  |  History (302)  |  Homo Sapiens (19)  |  Improbable (9)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Invention (283)  |  Joy (61)  |  Life On Earth (5)  |  Little (126)  |  Love (164)  |  Majestic (7)  |  Mammalian (3)  |  Natural Beauty (2)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Noble (41)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Offer (16)  |  Organ (60)  |  Primarily (9)  |  Produce (63)  |  Production (105)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  Reflect (17)  |  Scope (13)  |  Sometimes (27)  |  Spatial (4)  |  Struggle (60)  |  Temporal (4)  |  Tiny (25)  |  Twig (7)  |  Understand (189)  |  Wondrous (7)  |  Work (457)  |  Year (214)

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it,
Time, in hours, days, years,
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d; in which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.
In 'The World', in Silex Scintillans (1650), 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Bright (26)  |  Calm (13)  |  Day (38)  |  Endless (20)  |  Eternity (44)  |  Hour (42)  |  Light (246)  |  Night (73)  |  Pure (62)  |  Ring (14)  |  Shadow (35)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Time (439)  |  World (667)  |  Year (214)

If you want to build a ship, don’t recruit the men to gather the wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for vast and endless sea.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Build (80)  |  Divide (24)  |  Endless (20)  |  Gather (29)  |  Give (117)  |  Instead (12)  |  Order (167)  |  Recruit (2)  |  Sea (143)  |  Ship (33)  |  Teach (102)  |  Want (120)  |  Wood (33)  |  Work (457)  |  Yearn (8)

It certainly strikes the beholder with astonishment, to perceive what vast difficulties can be overcome by the pigmy arms of little mortal man, aided by science and directed by superior skill.
About his visit to Lockport on the Erie Canal, in Letter IX, to a friend in England from Lockport, New York (25 Jul 1831), collected in Narrative of a Tour in North America (1834), Vol. 1, 233-234,
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (23)  |  Arm (17)  |  Astonishment (19)  |  Beholder (2)  |  Canal (6)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Direct (44)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Mortal (19)  |  Overcome (8)  |  Perceive (18)  |  Pigmy (2)  |  Science (1699)  |  Skill (50)  |  Superior (30)  |  Canvass White (5)

It is a sign of our power, and our criminal folly, that we can pollute the vast ocean and are doing so.
Epigraph in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Criminal (14)  |  Folly (27)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Oceanography (16)  |  Pollute (3)  |  Power (273)  |  Sign (36)

It is because simplicity and vastness are both beautiful that we seek by preference simple facts and vast facts; that we take delight, now in following the giant courses of the stars, now in scrutinizing the microscope that prodigious smallness which is also a vastness, and now in seeking in geological ages the traces of a past that attracts us because of its remoteness.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Attract (15)  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Both (52)  |  Course (57)  |  Delight (51)  |  Fact (609)  |  Follow (66)  |  Geological (11)  |  Giant (28)  |  Microscope (68)  |  Past (109)  |  Preference (18)  |  Prodigious (6)  |  Remoteness (7)  |  Scrutinize (3)  |  Seek (57)  |  Simple (111)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Smallness (4)  |  Star (251)  |  Trace (39)  |  Vastness (9)

It is certain that as a nation we are all smoking a great deal too much ... Smoking among boys—to whom it cannot possibly do any kind of good, while it may do a vast amount of active harm—is becoming prevalent to a most pernicious extent. ... It would be an excellent thing for the morality of the people could the use of “intoxicants and tobacco” be forbidden to all persons under twenty years of age. (1878)
In London Daily Telegraph (22 Jan 1878). Reprinted in English Anti-Tobacco Society and Anti-Narcotic League, Monthly letters of the Committee of the English Anti-Tobacco Society and Anti-Narcotic League 1878, 1879, 1880, (1 Feb 1878), 85.
Science quotes on:  |  Active (17)  |  Age (137)  |  Becoming (13)  |  Certain (84)  |  Deal (25)  |  Excellent (15)  |  Forbidden (8)  |  Good (228)  |  Great (300)  |  Harm (31)  |  Morality (33)  |  Nation (111)  |  People (269)  |  Pernicious (2)  |  Person (114)  |  Prevalent (3)  |  Smoking (22)  |  Tobacco (16)  |  Twenty (4)  |  Year (214)

It is in the exploration of this vast deep-sea region that the finest field for submarine discovery yet remains.
In The Natural History of the European Seas (1859), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Deep Sea (7)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Frontier (16)  |  Marine Biology (23)  |  Submarine (9)

It is no small comfort when I reflect that we should not so much marvel at the vast and almost infinite breadth of the most distant heavens but much more at the smallness of us manikins and the smallness of this our tiny ball of earth and also of all the planets.
From Letter to Johann Herwart (1598), as quoted in Murray Roston, Milton and the Baroque (1980), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Ball (20)  |  Comfort (42)  |  Distant (16)  |  Earth (487)  |  Heavens (16)  |  Infinite (88)  |  Marvel (24)  |  Planet (199)  |  Reflect (17)  |  Small (97)  |  Tiny (25)

It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and literacy, of superstition and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, of a rich country inhabited by starving people. ... The future belongs to science and to those who make friends with science.
Address to the Indian Institute of Science, Proceedings of the National Institute of Science of India (1960), 27, 564, cited in Mary Midgley, The myths We live By (2004), 14., x. In Vinoth Ramachandra, Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues Shaping our World (2008), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (61)  |  Belong (33)  |  Country (121)  |  Friend (63)  |  Future (229)  |  Hunger (13)  |  Inhabit (13)  |  Literacy (7)  |  People (269)  |  Poverty (29)  |  Problem (362)  |  Resource (47)  |  Rich (48)  |  Run (33)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solve (41)  |  Starvation (9)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Waste (57)

Let him look at that dazzling light hung aloft as an eternal lamp to lighten the universe; let him behold the earth, a mere dot compared with the vast circuit which that orb describes, and stand amazed to find that the vast circuit itself is but a very fine point compared with the orbit traced by the stars as they roll their course on high. But if our vision halts there, let imagination pass beyond; it will fail to form a conception long before Nature fails to supply material. The whole visible world is but an imperceptible speck in the ample bosom of Nature. No notion comes near it. Though we may extend our thought beyond imaginable space, yet compared with reality we bring to birth mere atoms. Nature is an infinite sphere whereof the centre is everywhere, the circumference nowhere. In short, imagination is brought to silence at the thought, and that is the most perceptible sign of the all-power of God.
Let man reawake and consider what he is compared with the reality of things; regard himself lost in this remote corner of Nature; and from the tiny cell where he lodges, to wit the Universe, weigh at their true worth earth, kingdoms, towns, himself. What is a man face to face with infinity?
Pensées (1670), Section 1, aphorism 43. In H. F. Stewart (ed.), Pascal's Pensées (1950), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Aloft (4)  |  Amazement (9)  |  Ample (4)  |  Atom (251)  |  Behold (12)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Birth (81)  |  Bosom (8)  |  Cell (125)  |  Centre (19)  |  Circuit (12)  |  Circumference (12)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Conception (63)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Corner (24)  |  Course (57)  |  Dazzling (11)  |  Dot (5)  |  Earth (487)  |  Everywhere (14)  |  Face (69)  |  Failure (118)  |  God (454)  |  Halt (6)  |  Himself (10)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Imperceptibility (2)  |  Infinity (59)  |  Kingdom (34)  |  Light (246)  |  Lodge (2)  |  Look (46)  |  Lost (28)  |  Material (124)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Notion (32)  |  Nowhere (19)  |  Orb (5)  |  Pass (60)  |  Perception (53)  |  Reality (140)  |  Regard (58)  |  Remote (27)  |  Roll (7)  |  Sign (36)  |  Silence (32)  |  Space (154)  |  Speck (8)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Star (251)  |  Supply (31)  |  Thought (374)  |  Tiny (25)  |  Town (18)  |  Universe (563)  |  Visibility (6)  |  Vision (55)  |  Worth (74)

Life through many long periods has been manifested in a countless host of varying structures, all circumscribed by one general plan, each appointed to a definite place, and limited to an appointed duration. On the whole the earth has been thus more and more covered by the associated life of plants and animals, filling all habitable space with beings capable of enjoying their own existence or ministering to the enjoyment of others; till finally, after long preparation, a being was created capable of the wonderful power of measuring and weighing all the world of matter and space which surrounds him, of treasuring up the past history of all the forms of life, and considering his own relation to the whole. When he surveys this vast and co-ordinated system, and inquires into its history and origin, can he be at a loss to decide whether it be a work of Divine thought and wisdom, or the fortunate offspring of a few atoms of matter, warmed by the anima mundi, a spark of electricity, or an accidental ray of sunshine?
Life on the Earth: Its Origin and Succession (1860), 216-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (54)  |  Animal (309)  |  Appointment (5)  |  Association (15)  |  Atom (251)  |  Capability (35)  |  Coordination (4)  |  Countless (13)  |  Cover (23)  |  Decision (58)  |  Definite (27)  |  Divine (42)  |  Duration (9)  |  Earth (487)  |  Electricity (121)  |  Fill (35)  |  Fortune (23)  |  General (92)  |  Habitat (10)  |  History (302)  |  Host (9)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Life (917)  |  Limitation (20)  |  Loss (62)  |  Manifestation (30)  |  Matter (270)  |  Measurement (148)  |  Offspring (15)  |  Origin (77)  |  Period (49)  |  Place (111)  |  Plan (69)  |  Plant (173)  |  Ray (32)  |  Space (154)  |  Spark (18)  |  Structure (191)  |  Sunshine (2)  |  Survey (14)  |  System (141)  |  Thought (374)  |  Variation (50)  |  Weight (61)  |  Wisdom (151)  |  Wonder (134)  |  Work (457)  |  World (667)

My kingdom is vast as the universe; and my desire knows no limits. I go on forever,—freeing minds, weighing worlds,—without hatred, without fear, without pity, without love, and without God. Men call me Science!
From La Tentation de Saint-Antoine (1874), as translated by Lafcadio Hearn, The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1911), 218-219.
Science quotes on:  |  Desire (101)  |  Fear (113)  |  Free (59)  |  God (454)  |  Hatred (16)  |  Kingdom (34)  |  Limit (86)  |  Love (164)  |  Mind (544)  |  Pity (7)  |  Science (1699)  |  Universe (563)  |  Weigh (9)  |  World (667)

Now it is a well-known principle of zoological evolution that an isolated region, if large and sufficiently varied in its topography, soil, climate and vegetation, will give rise to a diversified fauna according to the law of adaptive radiation from primitive and central types. Branches will spring off in all directions to take advantage of every possible opportunity of securing food. The modifications which animals undergo in this adaptive radiation are largely of mechanical nature, they are limited in number and kind by hereditary, stirp or germinal influences, and thus result in the independent evolution of similar types in widely-separated regions under the law of parallelism or homoplasy. This law causes the independent origin not only of similar genera but of similar families and even of our similar orders. Nature thus repeats herself upon a vast scale, but the similarity is never complete and exact.
'The Geological and Faunal Relations of Europe and America during the Tertiary Period and the Theory of the Successive Invasions of an African Fauna', Science (1900), 11, 563-64.
Science quotes on:  |  Adaptation (40)  |  Branch (61)  |  Climate (38)  |  Completeness (9)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Exactness (18)  |  Family (37)  |  Fauna (10)  |  Food (139)  |  Genus (16)  |  Heredity (51)  |  Independence (32)  |  Influence (110)  |  Isolation (26)  |  Law (418)  |  Modification (31)  |  Order (167)  |  Parallelism (2)  |  Region (26)  |  Repetition (21)  |  Scale (49)  |  Similarity (17)  |  Soil (51)  |  Type (34)  |  Variation (50)  |  Vegetation (16)  |  Zoology (28)

Our obligation to survive and flourish is owed not just to ourselves, but also to the cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (68)  |  Cosmos (39)  |  Flourish (10)  |  Obligation (13)  |  Ourselves (34)  |  Owe (15)  |  Spring (47)  |  Survive (28)

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.
In Circulations: Webster's Quotations, Facts and Phrases, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Compass (19)  |  Course (57)  |  Height (24)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Pass (60)  |  River (68)  |  Sea (143)  |  Star (251)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Travel (40)  |  Wave (55)  |  Wonder (134)

Physics does not change the nature of the world it studies, and no science of behavior can change the essential nature of man, even though both sciences yield technologies with a vast power to manipulate their subject matters.
In article 'Man', Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (1964), 108, 482-85. Collected in Cumulative Record: Definitive Edition (2015).
Science quotes on:  |  Behavior (49)  |  Change (291)  |  Essential (87)  |  Man (345)  |  Manipulate (4)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Physics (301)  |  Power (273)  |  Science (1699)  |  Study (331)  |  Subject (129)  |  Technology (199)  |  World (667)  |  Yield (23)

Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars—mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is “mere.” I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination—stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern—of which I am a part. … What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the “why?” It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?
In 'Astronomy', The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1961), Vol. 1, 3-6, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Ammonia (11)  |  Artist (46)  |  Atom (251)  |  Beauty (171)  |  Desert (27)  |  Eye (159)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Gas (46)  |  Harm (31)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Immense (28)  |  Jupiter (17)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Light (246)  |  Marvelous (13)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Mere (41)  |  Methane (6)  |  Million (89)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Night (73)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Part (146)  |  Past (109)  |  Pattern (56)  |  Poet (59)  |  Science (1699)  |  Seeing (48)  |  Silent (18)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Spinning (7)  |  Star (251)  |  Stretch (8)  |  Truth (750)  |  Vastness (9)  |  Year (214)

Reality is never skin-deep. The true nature of the earth and its full wealth of hidden treasures cannot be argued from the visible rocks, the rocks upon which we live and out of which we make our living. The face of the earth, with its upstanding continents and depressed ocean-deeps, its vast ornament of plateau and mountain-chain, is molded by structure and process in hidden depths.
Science quotes on:  |  Continent (39)  |  Deep Sea (7)  |  Depth (32)  |  Geology (187)  |  Hidden (34)  |  Live (186)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Ornament (12)  |  Plateau (4)  |  Process (201)  |  Reality (140)  |  Rock (107)  |  Structure (191)  |  Treasure (35)  |  Visible (20)  |  Wealth (50)

Since we have no choice but to be swept along by [this] vast technological surge, we might as well learn to surf.
in David Western and Mary C. Pearl, Conservation for the 21st Century (1989).
Science quotes on:  |  Choice (64)  |  Learn (160)  |  Sweep (11)  |  Technological (15)

Space … is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.
The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979, 1981), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Huge (15)  |  Space (154)

The earth and its atmosphere constitute a vast distilling apparatus in which the equatorial ocean plays the part of the boiler, and the chill regions of the poles the part of the condenser. In this process of distillation heat plays quite as necessary a part as cold.
In Forms of Water in Clouds and Rivers, Ice and Glaciers (1872), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparatus (30)  |  Atmosphere (63)  |  Boiler (6)  |  Chill (7)  |  Cold (38)  |  Condenser (3)  |  Constitution (26)  |  Distillation (9)  |  Earth (487)  |  Equator (3)  |  Heat (90)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Part (146)  |  Playing (3)  |  Pole (14)  |  Process (201)  |  Region (26)

The earth holds a silver treasure, cupped between ocean bed and tenting sky. Forever the heavens spend it, in the showers that refresh our temperate lands, the torrents that sluice the tropics. Every suckling root absorbs it, the very soil drains it down; the rivers run unceasing to the sea, the mountains yield it endlessly… Yet none is lost; in vast convection our water is returned, from soil to sky, and sky to soil, and back gain, to fall as pure as blessing. There was never less; there could never be more. A mighty mercy on which life depends, for all its glittering shifts, water is constant.
In A Cup of Sky (1950), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (11)  |  Bed (20)  |  Blessing (7)  |  Constant (40)  |  Convection (2)  |  Cup (5)  |  Depend (56)  |  Drain (6)  |  Earth (487)  |  Endlessly (2)  |  Fall (89)  |  Gain (48)  |  Glittering (2)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Hold (56)  |  Land (83)  |  Less (54)  |  Life (917)  |  Lost (28)  |  Mercy (9)  |  Mighty (7)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Pure (62)  |  Refresh (2)  |  Return (35)  |  River (68)  |  Root (48)  |  Sea (143)  |  Shift (21)  |  Shower (4)  |  Silver (26)  |  Sky (68)  |  Sluice (2)  |  Soil (51)  |  Spend (24)  |  Suckling (2)  |  Torrent (3)  |  Treasure (35)  |  Tropic (2)  |  Unceasing (3)  |  Water (244)  |  Water Cycle (3)  |  Yield (23)

The education explosion is producing a vast number of people who want to live significant, important lives but lack the ability to satisfy this craving for importance by individual achievement. The country is being swamped with nobodies who want to be somebodies.
From address to employees of the Phillips Petroleum Co. In Bartlesville, Oklahoma, excerpted in the Franklin, Indiana, The Daily Journal (23 Jan 1978), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Achievement (128)  |  Country (121)  |  Crave (6)  |  Education (280)  |  Explosion (24)  |  Importance (183)  |  Important (124)  |  Individual (177)  |  Lack (52)  |  Live (186)  |  Nobody (38)  |  Number (179)  |  People (269)  |  Produce (63)  |  Satisfy (14)  |  Significant (26)  |  Somebody (6)  |  Swamp (5)  |  Want (120)

The good news is that Americans will, in increasing numbers, begin to value and protect the vast American Landscape. The bad news is that they may love it to death.
The American Land
Science quotes on:  |  American (34)  |  Bad (78)  |  Begin (52)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Death (270)  |  Good News (2)  |  Increase (107)  |  Landscape (23)  |  Love (164)  |  New (340)  |  Number (179)  |  Protect (26)  |  Value (180)

The major gift of science to the world is a mighty increase of power. Did science then create that power? Not a bit of it! Science discovered that power in the universe and set it free. Science found out the conditions, fulfilling which, the endless dynamic forces of the cosmos are liberated. Electricity is none of man’s making, but man has learned how to fulfill the conditions that release it. Atomic energy is a force that man did not create, but that some day man may liberate. Man by himself is still a puny animal; a gorilla is much the stronger. Man's significance lies in another realm—he knows how to fulfill conditions so that universal power not his own is set free. The whole universe as man now sees it is essentially a vast system of power waiting to be released.
In 'When Prayer Means Power', collected in Living Under Tension: Sermons On Christianity Today (1941), 78-79.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Atomic Energy (21)  |  Condition (119)  |  Cosmos (39)  |  Create (98)  |  Discover (115)  |  Dynamic (11)  |  Electricity (121)  |  Endless (20)  |  Energy (185)  |  Essentially (11)  |  Force (194)  |  Free (59)  |  Fulfill (11)  |  Gift (47)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Increase (107)  |  Know (321)  |  Learned (20)  |  Liberate (8)  |  Major (24)  |  Making (26)  |  Man (345)  |  Power (273)  |  Puny (5)  |  Realm (40)  |  Release (15)  |  Science (1699)  |  Significance (60)  |  Stronger (4)  |  System (141)  |  Universal (70)  |  Universe (563)  |  Waiting (9)

The men you see waiting in the lobbies of doctors’ offices are, in a vast majority of cases, suffering through poisoning caused by an excess of food.
In Love, Life and Work (), 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Doctor (100)  |  Excess (8)  |  Food (139)  |  Majority (32)  |  Man (345)  |  Office (14)  |  Poison (32)  |  Suffering (26)  |  Waiting (9)

The rocks have a history; gray and weatherworn, they are veterans of many battles; they have most of them marched in the ranks of vast stone brigades during the ice age; they have been torn from the hills, recruited from the mountaintops, and marshaled on the plains and in the valleys; and now the elemental war is over, there they lie waging a gentle but incessant warfare with time and slowly, oh, so slowly, yielding to its attacks!
Under the Apple-Trees (1916), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Attack (29)  |  Battle (30)  |  Brigade (3)  |  Elemental (2)  |  Gentle (4)  |  Gray (5)  |  Hill (19)  |  Ice Age (7)  |  Incessant (6)  |  March (15)  |  Marshal (2)  |  Plain (24)  |  Rank (19)  |  Recruit (2)  |  Rock (107)  |  Stone (57)  |  Tear (20)  |  Time (439)  |  Valley (16)  |  War (144)  |  Warfare (6)  |  Yielding (2)

The swelling and towering omnibuses, the huge trucks and wagons and carriages, the impetuous hansoms and the more sobered four-wheelers, the pony-carts, donkey-carts, hand-carts, and bicycles which fearlessly find their way amidst the turmoil, with foot-passengers winding in and out, and covering the sidewalks with their multitude, give the effect of a single monstrous organism, which writhes swiftly along the channel where it had run in the figure of a flood till you were tired of that metaphor. You are now a molecule of that vast organism.
Describing streets in London, from 'London Films', Harper’s Magazine (), 110, No. 655, 72.
Science quotes on:  |  Bicycle (8)  |  Carriage (8)  |  Cart (2)  |  Channel (17)  |  Covering (3)  |  Donkey (2)  |  Effect (133)  |  Flood (26)  |  Foot (39)  |  Hand (103)  |  Metaphor (19)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Monstrous (7)  |  Multitude (14)  |  Omnibus (2)  |  Organism (126)  |  Passenger (8)  |  Pony (2)  |  Run (33)  |  Sidewalk (2)  |  Single (72)  |  Swelling (5)  |  Swiftly (4)  |  Tired (11)  |  Towering (4)  |  Truck (3)  |  Turmoil (5)  |  Wagon (4)  |  Winding (4)  |  Writhe (3)

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)  |  Undiscovered (7)  |  Work (457)

The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves, in a sense, responsible for that future.
In 'The Conservation of Natural Resources', The Outlook (), 87, 294.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (100)  |  Future (229)  |  Great (300)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Reality (140)  |  Responsible (11)

The world's forests need to be seen for what they are—giant global utilities, providing essential public services to humanity on a vast scale. They store carbon, which is lost to the atmosphere when they burn, increasing global warming. The life they support cleans the atmosphere of pollutants and feeds it with moisture. They act as a natural thermostat, helping to regulate our climate and sustain the lives of 1.4 billion of the poorest people on this Earth. And they do these things to a degree that is all but impossible to imagine.
Speech (25 Oct 2007) at the World Wildlife Fund gala dinner, Hampton Court Palace, announcing the Prince's Rainforests Project. On the Prince of Wales website.
Science quotes on:  |  Atmosphere (63)  |  Burn (29)  |  Carbon (48)  |  Carbon Cycle (5)  |  Clean (20)  |  Climate (38)  |  Deforestation (39)  |  Essential (87)  |  Forest (88)  |  Giant (28)  |  Global (14)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Increase (107)  |  Life (917)  |  Loss (62)  |  Moisture (10)  |  Natural (128)  |  Pollution (37)  |  Poverty (29)  |  Public Service (3)  |  Regulation (18)  |  Store (17)  |  Support (63)  |  Sustain (13)  |  Thermostat (2)  |  Utility (23)  |  Warming (3)

There are … two fields for human thought and action—the actual and the possible, the realized and the real. In the actual, the tangible, the realized, the vast proportion of mankind abide. The great, region of the possible, whence all discovery, invention, creation proceed, and which is to the actual as a universe to a planet, is the chosen region of genius. As almost every thing which is now actual was once only possible, as our present facts and axioms were originally inventions or discoveries, it is, under God, to genius that we owe our present blessings. In the past, it created the present; in the present, it is creating the future.
In 'Genius', Wellman’s Miscellany (Dec 1871), 4, No. 6, 202.
Science quotes on:  |  Abide (4)  |  Action (151)  |  Actual (34)  |  Axiom (26)  |  Blessing (7)  |  Chosen (3)  |  Creation (211)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Fact (609)  |  Future (229)  |  Genius (186)  |  God (454)  |  Great (300)  |  Human Thought (2)  |  Invention (283)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Originally (5)  |  Owe (15)  |  Past (109)  |  Planet (199)  |  Possible (100)  |  Present (103)  |  Proceed (25)  |  Proportion (47)  |  Real (95)  |  Realize (43)  |  Region (26)  |  Tangible (4)  |  Universe (563)

There is a place with four suns in the sky—red, white, blue, and yellow; two of them are so close together that they touch, and star-stuff flows between them. I know of a world with a million moons. I know of a sun the size of the Earth—and made of diamond. There are atomic nuclei a few miles across which rotate thirty times a second. There are tiny grains between the stars, with the size and atomic composition of bacteria. There are stars leaving the Milky Way, and immense gas clouds falling into it. There are turbulent plasmas writhing with X- and gamma-rays and mighty stellar explosions. There are, perhaps, places which are outside our universe. The universe is vast and awesome, and for the first time we are becoming a part of it.
Opening paragraph, in 'Introduction' Planetary Exploration (1970), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (251)  |  Awesome (8)  |  Bacteria (32)  |  Blue (30)  |  Close (40)  |  Composition (52)  |  Diamond (15)  |  Earth (487)  |  Explosion (24)  |  Grain (24)  |  Leave (63)  |  Milky Way (19)  |  Million (89)  |  Moon (132)  |  Nucleus (30)  |  Plasma (7)  |  Red (25)  |  Rotate (5)  |  Second (33)  |  Sky (68)  |  Star (251)  |  Starstuff (3)  |  Sun (211)  |  Tiny (25)  |  Touch (48)  |  Turbulent (4)  |  Universe (563)  |  White (38)  |  World (667)  |  X-ray (18)  |  Yellow (11)

Walking home at night, I shine my flashlight up at the sky. I send billions of ... photons toward space. What is their destination? A tiny fraction will be absorbed by the air. An even smaller fraction will be intercepted by the surface of planets and stars. The vast majority ... will plod on forever. After some thousands of years they will leave our galaxy; after some millions of years they will leave our supercluster. They will wander through an even emptier, even colder realm. The universe is transparent in the direction of the future.
Atoms of Silence
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (11)  |  Air (151)  |  Billions (2)  |  Cold (38)  |  Destination (7)  |  Direction (56)  |  Empty (26)  |  Forever (42)  |  Fraction (8)  |  Future (229)  |  Galaxy (38)  |  Home (58)  |  Intercept (2)  |  Leave (63)  |  Majority (32)  |  Millions (13)  |  Night (73)  |  Photon (10)  |  Planet (199)  |  Realm (40)  |  Send (13)  |  Shine (22)  |  Sky (68)  |  Small (97)  |  Space (154)  |  Star (251)  |  Surface (74)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Tiny (25)  |  Toward (29)  |  Transparent (4)  |  Universe (563)  |  Walk (56)  |  Wander (16)  |  Year (214)

We are consuming our forests three times faster than they are being reproduced. Some of the richest timber lands of this continent have already been destroyed, and not replaced, and other vast areas are on the verge of destruction. Yet forests, unlike mines, can be so handled as to yield the best results of use, without exhaustion, just like grain fields.
Address to the Deep Waterway Convention, Memphis, Tennessee (4 Oct 1907), 'Our National Inland Waterways Policy'. In American Waterways (1908), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Area (18)  |  Best (129)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Continent (39)  |  Deforestation (39)  |  Destruction (80)  |  Exhaustion (13)  |  Field (119)  |  Forest (88)  |  Grain (24)  |  Land (83)  |  Management (10)  |  Mine (15)  |  Natural Resource (17)  |  Replacement (8)  |  Reproduction (57)  |  Result (250)  |  Richest (2)  |  Timber (7)  |  Verge (3)  |  Yield (23)

We do whatever we can to deny intuition of the invisible realms. We clog up our senses with smog, jam our minds with media overload. We drown ourselves in alcohol or medicate ourselves into rigidly artificial states... we take pride in our cynicism and detachment. Perhaps we are terrified to discover that our “rationality” is itself a kind of faith, an artifice, that beneath it lies the vast territory of the unknown.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 29
Science quotes on:  |  Alcohol (16)  |  Artifice (3)  |  Artificial (26)  |  Beneath (6)  |  Clog (4)  |  Cynicism (4)  |  Deny (29)  |  Detachment (3)  |  Discover (115)  |  Drown (9)  |  Faith (131)  |  Intuition (39)  |  Invisible (30)  |  Jam (2)  |  Kind (99)  |  Lie (80)  |  Media (6)  |  Mind (544)  |  Ourselves (34)  |  Pride (45)  |  Rationality (11)  |  Realm (40)  |  Rigidly (3)  |  Sense (240)  |  State (96)  |  Terrified (2)  |  Territory (14)  |  Unknown (87)

We have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because these things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism… We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe–and would benefit the vast majority–are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets.
From This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (2014), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Benefit (54)  |  Best (129)  |  Capitalism (7)  |  Catastrophe (17)  |  Chance (122)  |  Climate Change (56)  |  Conflict (49)  |  Deregulation (2)  |  Economy (46)  |  Elite (5)  |  Emission (16)  |  Extremely (10)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Lower (11)  |  Major (24)  |  Majority (32)  |  Medium (12)  |  Minority (16)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Outlet (3)  |  Political (31)  |  Process (201)  |  Stranglehold (2)  |  Stuck (5)

What we do may be small, but it has a certain character of permanence and to have produced anything of the slightest permanent interest, whether it be a copy of verses or a geometrical theorem, is to have done something utterly beyond the powers of the vast majority of men.
From Inaugural Lecture, Oxford (1920). Recalled in A Mathematician’s Apology (1940, 1967), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Beyond (65)  |  Certain (84)  |  Character (82)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Interest (170)  |  Majority (32)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Permanence (15)  |  Power (273)  |  Production (105)  |  Small (97)  |  Theorem (46)  |  Utterly (13)  |  Verse (7)

What we’re dealing with is so vast and so global that it really does need to be energized and kicked into high gear. Basically what’s going on is we are overfishing–the biggest danger–there are lots of things going on with the oceans that are threatening them.
From transcript of PBS TV interview by Tavis Smiley (28 Mar 2011).
Science quotes on:  |  Biggest (7)  |  Danger (62)  |  Energize (2)  |  Global (14)  |  Kick (7)  |  Need (211)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Overfishing (25)  |  Threat (24)

When physicists speak of “beauty” in their theories, they really mean that their theory possesses at least two essential features: 1. A unifying symmetry 2. The ability to explain vast amounts of experimental data with the most economical mathematical expressions.
In 'Quantum Heresy', Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1995), 127.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Amount (20)  |  Beauty (171)  |  Data (100)  |  Economical (7)  |  Essential (87)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Explain (61)  |  Expression (82)  |  Feature (34)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Symmetry (26)  |  Theory (582)

When two minds of a high order, interested in kindred subjects, come together, their conversation is chiefly remarkable for the summariness of its allusions and the rapidity of its transitions. Before one of them is half through a sentence the other knows his meaning and replies. ... His mental lungs breathe more deeply, in an atmosphere more broad and vast...
In The Principles of Psychology (1918), Vol. 2, 370.
Science quotes on:  |  Atmosphere (63)  |  Breathe (22)  |  Broad (18)  |  Conversation (18)  |  Deep (81)  |  Finish (16)  |  Genius (186)  |  Half (35)  |  Kindred (3)  |  Lung (17)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Mental (57)  |  Mind (544)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Reply (18)  |  Sentence (20)  |  Transition (15)

Why, then, are we surprised that comets, such a rare spectacle in the universe, are not known, when their return is at vast intervals?. … The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden. A single lifetime, even though entirely devoted to the sky, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject … And so this knowledge will be unfolded only through long successive ages. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them …. Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memory of us will have been effaced. Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate … Nature does not reveal her mysteries once and for all. Someday there will be a man who will show in what regions comets have their orbit, why they travel so remote from other celestial bodies, how large they are and what sort they are.
Natural Questions, Book 7. As translated by Thomas H. Corcoran in Seneca in Ten Volumes: Naturales Quaestiones II (1972), 279 and 293.
Science quotes on:  |  Affair (24)  |  Age (137)  |  All (8)  |  Amaze (2)  |  Descendant (12)  |  Devoted (8)  |  Diligent (4)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Efface (3)  |  Entirely (23)  |  Hidden (34)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Know (321)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Lie (80)  |  Lifetime (19)  |  Light (246)  |  Little (126)  |  Long (95)  |  Memory (81)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Plain (24)  |  Research (517)  |  Reserve (7)  |  Reveal (32)  |  Single (72)  |  Sky (68)  |  Sorry (16)  |  Subject (129)  |  Successive (14)  |  Time (439)  |  Unfold (7)  |  Universe (563)

Within each of us there is a silence, a silence as vast as the universe. And when we experience that silence, we remember who we are.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 189
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (268)  |  Remember (53)  |  Silence (32)  |  Universe (563)

“Any specialty, if important, is too important to be left to the specialists.” After all, the specialist cannot function unless he concentrates more or less entirely on his specialty and, in doing so, he will ignore the vast universe lying outside and miss important elements that ought to help guide his judgment. He therefore needs the help of the nonspecialist, who, while relying on the specialist for key information, can yet supply the necessary judgment based on everything else… Science, therefore, has become too important to be left to the scientists.
In 'The Fascination of Science', The Roving Mind (1983), 123. Asimov begins by extending a quote by George Clemenceau: “War is too important to be left to the generals.”
Science quotes on:  |  Concentrate (11)  |  Function (90)  |  Guide (46)  |  Ignore (22)  |  Important (124)  |  Information (102)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Miss (16)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Specialist (20)  |  Universe (563)


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.