Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index V > Category: Vertebrate

Vertebrate Quotes (13 quotes)

An immune system of enormous complexity is present in all vertebrate animals. When we place a population of lymphocytes from such an animal in appropriate tissue culture fluid, and when we add an antigen, the lymphocytes will produce specific antibody molecules, in the absence of any nerve cells. I find it astonishing that the immune system embodies a degree of complexity which suggests some more or less superficial though striking analogies with human language, and that this cognitive system has evolved and functions without assistance of the brain.
'The Generative Grammar of the Immune System', Nobel Lecture, 8 Dec 1984. In Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1981-1990 (1993), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (46)  |  Animal (309)  |  Antibody (5)  |  Antigen (2)  |  Brain (181)  |  Complex (78)  |  Immune System (2)  |  Immunology (13)  |  Language (155)  |  Nerve (66)

If you confine yourself to this Skinnerian technique, you study nothing but the learning apparatus and you leave out everything that is different in octopi, crustaceans, insects and vertebrates. In other words, you leave out everything that makes a pigeon a pigeon, a rat a rat, a man a man, and, above all, a healthy man healthy and a sick man sick.
'Some Psychological Concepts and Issues. A Discussion between Konrad Lorenz and Richard I Evans'. In Richard I. Evans, Konrad Lorenz: The Man and his Ideas (1975), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  Crustacean (2)  |  Difference (208)  |  Health (136)  |  Insect (57)  |  Learning (174)  |  Man (345)  |  Octopus (2)  |  Pidgeon (2)  |  Rat (19)  |  Sickness (20)  |  Study (331)

In the study of this membrane [the retina] I for the first time felt my faith in Darwinism (hypothesis of natural selection) weakened, being amazed and confounded by the supreme constructive ingenuity revealed not only in the retina and in the dioptric apparatus of the vertebrates but even in the meanest insect eye. ... I felt more profoundly than in any other subject of study the shuddering sensation of the unfathomable mystery of life.
Recollections of My Life (1898), 576. Quoted in Sidney Perkowitz, Empire of Light (1999), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Eye (159)  |  Insect (57)  |  Natural Selection (79)  |  Research (517)  |  Retina (4)

In vertebrate paleontology, increasing knowledge leads to triumphant loss of clarity.
Synapsid Evolution and Dentition, International Colloquium on the Evolution of Mammals, Brussels (1962.)
Science quotes on:  |  Clarity (31)  |  Increase (107)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Loss (62)  |  Paleontology (29)  |  Triumph (33)

It appears, nevertheless, that all such simple solutions of the problem of vertebrate ancestry are without warrant. They arise from a very common tendency of the mind, against which the naturalist has to guard himself,—a tendency which finds expression in the very widespread notion that the existing anthropoid apes, and more especially the gorilla, must be looked upon as the ancestors of mankind, if once the doctrine of the descent of man from ape-like forefathers is admitted. A little reflexion suffices to show that any given living form, such as the gorilla, cannot possibly be the ancestral form from which man was derived, since ex-hypothesi that ancestral form underwent modification and development, and in so doing, ceased to exist.
'Vertebrata', entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th edition (1899), Vol. 24, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancestor (35)  |  Anthropoid (4)  |  Ape (39)  |  Descent Of Man (5)  |  Development (228)  |  Exist (89)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Mind (544)  |  Modification (31)  |  Naturalist (49)  |  Problem (362)  |  Solution (168)

Man, whose organization is regarded as the highest, departs from the vertebrate archetype; and it is because the study of anatomy is usually commenced from, and often confined to, his structure, that a knowledge of the archetype has been so long hidden from anatomists.
'The Lexington Papers', The Quarterly Review (1851), 89, 450-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (59)  |  Archetype (4)  |  Knowledge (1128)

The Archetypal idea was manifested in the flesh, under divers such modifications, upon this planet, long prior to the existence of those animal species that actually exemplify it. To what natural laws or secondary causes the orderly succession and progression of such organic phaenomena may have been committed we as yet are ignorant. But if, without derogation of the Divine power, we may conceive the existence of such ministers, and personify them by the term 'Nature,' we learn from the past history of our globe that she has advanced with slow and stately steps, guided by the archetypal light, amidst the wreck of worlds, from the first embodiment of the Vertebrate idea under its old Ichthyic vestment, until it became arrayed in the glorious garb of the Human form.
On the Nature of Limbs (1849), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (36)  |  Animal (309)  |  Archetype (4)  |  Array (5)  |  Cause (231)  |  Commitment (11)  |  Conception (63)  |  Divine (42)  |  Embodiment (5)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Example (57)  |  Existence (254)  |  Garb (2)  |  Globe (39)  |  Glory (44)  |  History (302)  |  Human (445)  |  Idea (440)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Learning (174)  |  Manifestation (30)  |  Minister (6)  |  Natural Law (26)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Orderly (6)  |  Organic (48)  |  Past (109)  |  Personification (3)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Progression (9)  |  Secondary (11)  |  Slow (36)  |  Species (181)  |  Stately (6)  |  Step (67)  |  Succession (39)  |  Term (87)  |  Wreck (7)

The development of the Vertebrate proceeds from an axis upward, in two layers, which coalesce at the edges, and also downward, in two layers, which likewise coalesce at the edges. Thus two main tubes are formed, one above the other. During the formation of these, the embryo separates into strata, so that the two main tubes are composed of subordinate tubes which enclose each other as fundamental organs, and are capable of developing into all the organs.
As translated and quoted in Ernst Haeckel and E. Ray Lankester (trans.) as epigraph for Chap. 10, The History of Creation (1886), Vol. 1, 244. Alternate translation: “Vertebrate development consists in the formation, in the median plane, of four leaflets two of which are above the axis and two below. During this evolution the germ subdivides in layers, and this has the effect of dividing the primordial tubes into secondary masses. The latter, included in the other masses, are the fundamental organs with the faculty of forming all the other organs.” in Franηois Jacob, The Logic of Life (1993), 121-122.
Science quotes on:  |  Embryo (22)  |  Organ (60)

The invertebrated classes include the most numerous and diversified forms of the Animal Kingdom. At the very beginning of our inquiries into their vital powers and acts we are impressed with their important relations to the maintenance of life and organization on this planet, and their influence in purifying the sea and augmenting and enriching the land—relations of which the physiologist conversant only with the vertebrated animals must have remained ignorant.
In Lecture, delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons, collected in Lecture 24, 'Cephalopoda', Lectures on the Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of the Invertebrate Animals (1843), Vol. 1, 362.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal Kingdom (9)  |  Beginning (114)  |  Class (64)  |  Conversant (4)  |  Diversified (2)  |  Enriching (2)  |  Form (210)  |  Ignorant (27)  |  Importance (183)  |  Impressed (10)  |  Influence (110)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Invertebrate (3)  |  Land (83)  |  Life (917)  |  Maintenance (13)  |  Organization (79)  |  Physiologist (12)  |  Planet (199)  |  Power (273)  |  Purifying (2)  |  Relation (96)  |  Sea (143)  |  Vital (32)

The occurrence of an internal skeleton, in definite relations to the other organ systems, and the articulation of the body into homologous segments, are points in the general organization of Vertebrates to which especial weight must be given. This metameric structure is more or less definitely expressed in most of the organs, and as it extends to the axial skeleton, the latter also gradually articulates into separate segments, the vertebrae. The latter, however, must be regarded only as the partial expression of a general articulation of the body which is all the more important in consequence of its appearing prior to the articulation of the originally inarticulate axial skeleton. Hence this general articulation may be considered as a primitive vertebral structure, to which the articulation of the axial skeleton is related as a secondary process of the same sort.
As translated and quoted in Ernst Haeckel and E. Ray Lankester (trans.) as epigraph for Chap. 11, The History of Creation (1886), Vol. 1, 328-329.
Science quotes on:  |  Skeleton (15)

The soul of man is—objectively considered—essentially similar to that of all other vertebrates; it is the physiological action or function of the brain.
In Wonders of Life (1904), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Brain (181)  |  Essentially (11)  |  Function (90)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Similar (22)  |  Soul (139)

There are those who say that the human kidney was created to keep the blood pure, or more precisely, to keep our internal environment in an ideal balanced state. This I must deny. I grant that the human kidney is a marvelous organ, but I cannot grant that it was purposefully designed to excrete urine or to regulate the composition of the blood or to subserve the physiological welfare of Homo sapiens in any sense. Rather I contend that the human kidney manufactures the kind of urine that it does, and it maintains the blood in the composition which that fluid has, because this kidney has a certain functional architecture; and it owes that architecture not to design or foresight or to any plan, but to the fact that the earth is an unstable sphere with a fragile crust, to the geologic revolutions that for six hundred million years have raised and lowered continents and seas, to the predacious enemies, and heat and cold, and storms and droughts; to the unending succession of vicissitudes that have driven the mutant vertebrates from sea into fresh water, into desiccated swamps, out upon the dry land, from one habitation to another, perpetually in search of the free and independent life, perpetually failing, for one reason or another, to find it.
From Fish to Philosopher (1953), 210-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Architecture (35)  |  Balance (43)  |  Blood (95)  |  Cold (38)  |  Composition (52)  |  Contention (7)  |  Continent (39)  |  Creation (211)  |  Crust (17)  |  Denial (13)  |  Design (92)  |  Drought (9)  |  Dry (12)  |  Earth (487)  |  Enemy (52)  |  Environment (138)  |  Excretion (4)  |  Fact (609)  |  Failure (118)  |  Fluid (18)  |  Foresight (4)  |  Free (59)  |  Fresh (21)  |  Function (90)  |  Geology (187)  |  Grant (21)  |  Habitation (3)  |  Heat (90)  |  Homo Sapiens (19)  |  Human (445)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Independent (41)  |  Internal (18)  |  Keep (47)  |  Kidney (13)  |  Land (83)  |  Life (917)  |  Lowering (4)  |  Maintenance (13)  |  Manufacturing (21)  |  Marvel (24)  |  Organ (60)  |  Perpetual (10)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Plan (69)  |  Predator (5)  |  Purity (13)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Raise (20)  |  Reason (330)  |  Regulation (18)  |  Revolution (56)  |  French Saying (61)  |  Sea (143)  |  Search (85)  |  Sense (240)  |  Serve (34)  |  Sphere (40)  |  State (96)  |  Storm (19)  |  Succession (39)  |  Swamp (5)  |  Unstable (8)  |  Vicissitude (4)  |  Water (244)  |  Welfare (16)

[O]ne might ask why, in a galaxy of a few hundred billion stars, the aliens are so intent on coming to Earth at all. It would be as if every vertebrate in North America somehow felt drawn to a particular house in Peoria, Illinois. Are we really that interesting?
Quoted in 'Do Aliens Exist in the Milky Way', PBS web page for WGBH Nova, 'Origins.'
Science quotes on:  |  Alien (25)  |  Billion (52)  |  Come (4)  |  Earth (487)  |  Extraterrestrial Life (18)  |  Galaxy (38)  |  Global Warming (26)  |  House (36)  |  Intention (25)  |  Interest (170)  |  North America (4)  |  Particular (54)  |  Star (251)


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 Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (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.