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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index V > Category: Violence

Violence Quotes (20 quotes)

Nature and nurture are an inseparable blend of influences that work together to produce our behavior. A growing band of researchers are demonstrating that the bedrock of behaviors that make up the concerns of everyday life, such as sex, language, cooperation, and violence have been carved out by evolution over the eons, and this Stone Age legacy continues to influence modern life today.
In Stone Age Present: How Evolution Has Shaped Modern Life: From Sex, Violence and Language to Emotions, Morals and Communities, (1995), 25-26.
Science quotes on:  |  Bedrock (2)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Blend (6)  |  Continue (38)  |  Cooperation (27)  |  Demonstrate (25)  |  Eon (8)  |  Everyday Life (4)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Influence (110)  |  Language (155)  |  Legacy (6)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Nurture (12)  |  Researcher (17)  |  Sex (48)  |  Stone Age (8)  |  Today (86)  |  Together (48)  |  Work (457)

Even bigger machines, entailing even bigger concentrations of economic power and exerting ever greater violence against the environment, do not represent progress: they are a denial of wisdom. Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology tow
Small is Beautiful (1973).
Science quotes on:  |  Big (33)  |  Concentration (14)  |  Demand (52)  |  Denial (13)  |  Economic (21)  |  Entail (4)  |  Environment (138)  |  Exert (9)  |  Great (300)  |  Machine (133)  |  New (340)  |  Power (273)  |  Progress (317)  |  Represent (27)  |  Science And Technology (20)  |  Wisdom (151)

Geologists have usually had recourse for the explanation of these changes to the supposition of sundry violent and extraordinary catastrophes, cataclysms, or general revolutions having occurred in the physical state of the earth's surface.
As the idea imparted by the term Cataclysm, Catastrophe, or Revolution, is extremely vague, and may comprehend any thing you choose to imagine, it answers for the time very well as an explanation; that is, it stops further inquiry. But it also has had the disadvantage of effectually stopping the advance of science, by involving it in obscurity and confusion.
Considerations on Volcanoes (1825), iv.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (36)  |  Answer (201)  |  Catastrophe (17)  |  Change (291)  |  Comprehension (51)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Disadvantage (8)  |  Earth (487)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Geologist (42)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Impart (2)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Obscurity (18)  |  Recourse (6)  |  Revolution (56)  |  Science (1699)  |  State (96)  |  Stop (56)  |  Sundry (4)  |  Supposition (33)  |  Surface (74)  |  Term (87)  |  Vagueness (8)

I am not ... asserting that humans are either genial or aggressive by inborn biological necessity. Obviously, both kindness and violence lie with in the bounds of our nature because we perpetrate both, in spades. I only advance a structural claim that social stability rules nearly all the time and must be based on an overwhelmingly predominant (but tragically ignored) frequency of genial acts, and that geniality is therefore our usual and preferred response nearly all the time ... The center of human nature is rooted in ten thousand ordinary acts of kindness that define our days.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Act (80)  |  Advance (123)  |  Aggressive (3)  |  Assert (11)  |  Base (43)  |  Biological (21)  |  Both (52)  |  Bounds (5)  |  Center (30)  |  Claim (52)  |  Define (29)  |  Frequency (13)  |  Genial (3)  |  Human (445)  |  Human Nature (51)  |  Ignore (22)  |  Inborn (3)  |  Kindness (10)  |  Lie (80)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Nearly (19)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Obviously (9)  |  Ordinary (44)  |  Overwhelmingly (2)  |  Predominant (2)  |  Prefer (18)  |  Response (24)  |  Root (48)  |  Rule (135)  |  Social (93)  |  Spade (2)  |  Stability (17)  |  Structural (8)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Time (439)

If one of these elements, heat, becomes predominant in any body whatsoever, it destroys and dissolves all the others with its violence. …Again if too much moisture enters the channels of a body, and thus introduces disproportion, the other elements, adulterated by the liquid, are impaired, and the virtues of the mixture dissolved. This defect, in turn, may arise from the cooling properties of moist winds and breezes blowing upon the body. In the same way, increase or diminution of the proportion of air or of the earthy which is natural to the body may enfeeble the other elements.
Vitruvius
In De Architectura, Book 1, Chap 4, Sec. 6. As translated in Morris Hicky Morgan (trans.), Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture (1914), 18-19.
Science quotes on:  |  Defect (14)  |  Destroy (63)  |  Dissolve (9)  |  Dominant (11)  |  Element (129)  |  Heat (90)  |  Impair (2)  |  Liquid (25)  |  Mixture (22)  |  Moisture (10)  |  Phlogiston Theory (2)  |  Virtue (55)

Invention is an Heroic thing, and plac'd above the reach of a low, and vulgar Genius. It requires an active, a bold, a nimble, a restless mind: a thousand difficulties must be contemn'd with which a mean heart would be broken: many attempts must be made to no purpose: much Treasure must sometimes be scatter'd without any return: much violence, and vigour of thoughts must attend it: some irregularities, and excesses must be granted it, that would hardly be pardon'd by the severe Rules of Prudence.
The History of the Royal Society (1667), 392.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (97)  |  Attention (76)  |  Boldness (6)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Excess (8)  |  Genius (186)  |  Grant (21)  |  Heroism (7)  |  Invention (283)  |  Irregularity (10)  |  Pardon (4)  |  Prudence (4)  |  Restlessness (4)  |  Rule (135)  |  Thought (374)  |  Treasure (35)  |  Vigour (9)  |  Vulgar (11)

It is hard to tell what causes the pervasive timidity. One thinks of video-induced stupor, intake of tranquilizers, fear of not living to enjoy the many new possessions and toys, the example of our betters in cities and on campuses who high-mindedly surrender to threats of violence and make cowardice fashionable.
In 'Thoughts on the Present', First Things, Last Things (1971), 111.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (231)  |  City (37)  |  Cowardice (2)  |  Enjoy (23)  |  Example (57)  |  Fashionable (6)  |  Fear (113)  |  Hard (70)  |  Live (186)  |  New (340)  |  Pervasive (3)  |  Possession (37)  |  Stupor (2)  |  Surrender (13)  |  Tell (67)  |  Think (205)  |  Threat (24)  |  Timidity (4)  |  Toy (14)

Like the furtive collectors of stolen art, we [cell biologists] are forced to be lonely admirers of spectacular architecture, exquisite symmetry, dramas of violence and death, mobility, self-sacrifice and, yes, rococo sex.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Admirer (4)  |  Architecture (35)  |  Art (205)  |  Biologist (31)  |  Cell (125)  |  Collector (9)  |  Death (270)  |  Drama (10)  |  Exquisite (12)  |  Force (194)  |  Furtive (2)  |  Lonely (7)  |  Mobility (5)  |  Self-Sacrifice (5)  |  Sex (48)  |  Spectacular (8)  |  Steal (5)  |  Symmetry (26)

My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as did my aversion to any obligation and dependence I do not regard as absolutely necessary. I always have a high regard for the individual and have an insuperable distaste for violence and clubmanship.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (24)  |  Aversion (7)  |  Bring (53)  |  Conflict (49)  |  Dependence (32)  |  Distaste (3)  |  High (78)  |  Individual (177)  |  Insuperable (3)  |  Justice (24)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Obligation (13)  |  Often (69)  |  Passion (54)  |  People (269)  |  Regard (58)  |  Social (93)

None but a naturalist can understand the intense excitement I experienced when I at length captured it [a hitherto unknown species of butterfly]. On taking it out of my net and opening the glorious wings, my heart began to beat, violently, the blood rushed to my head, and I felt much more like fainting than I have done when in apprehension of immediate death. I had a headache the rest of the day, so great was the excitement produced by what will appear to most people a very inadequate cause.
The Malay Archipelago (1890), 257-258.
Science quotes on:  |  Blood (95)  |  Butterfly (19)  |  Excitement (33)  |  Headache (5)  |  Heart (110)  |  Naturalist (49)  |  Wing (36)

One [idea] was that the Universe started its life a finite time ago in a single huge explosion, and that the present expansion is a relic of the violence of this explosion. This big bang idea seemed to me to be unsatisfactory even before detailed examination showed that it leads to serious difficulties.
In radio talk on the BBC Third Programme, as subsequently printed in the BBC’s The Listener magazine (9 Mar 1950), Vol.43, 420. This was his further use of the term “big bang” that he first expressed in a radio talk on 28 Mar 1949.
Science quotes on:  |  Big Bang (38)  |  Creation (211)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Examination (60)  |  Expansion (25)  |  Explosion (24)  |  Life (917)  |  Nomenclature (129)  |  Relic (4)  |  Universe (563)  |  Unsatisfactory (3)

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (36)  |  Attain (21)  |  Peace (58)  |  Understand (189)

Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of “touching” a man’s heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it.
From 'Charles II', Twelve Types (1906), 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Appeal (30)  |  Brute (12)  |  Brute Force (2)  |  Force (194)  |  Head (52)  |  Heart (110)  |  Hit (14)  |  Kind (99)  |  Man (345)  |  Necessarily (13)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Polite (6)  |  Reason (330)  |  Speak (49)  |  Touching (4)

Taken on the whole, I would believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit ... not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in what we believe is evil.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Cause (231)  |  Enlightened (4)  |  Evil (67)  |  Fight (37)  |  Political (31)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Strive (35)  |  Time (439)  |  View (115)  |  Whole (122)

The injurious agent in cigarettes comes principally from the burning paper wrapper. The substance thereby formed is called “acrolein.” It has a violent action on the nerve centers, producing degeneration of the cells of the brain, which is quite rapid among boys. Unlike most narcotics, this degeneration is permanent and uncontrollable. I employ no person who smokes cigarettes.
[From the Laboratory of Thomas A. Edison, Orange, N.J., April 26, 1914.]
Quoted in Henry Ford, The Case Against the Little White Slaver (1914), Vol. 1, 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Agent (27)  |  Boy (33)  |  Brain (181)  |  Burning (17)  |  Cell (125)  |  Cigarette (22)  |  Employment (22)  |  Formation (54)  |  Injury (14)  |  Nerve (66)  |  Paper (52)  |  Permanent (18)  |  Person (114)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Smoker (3)  |  Substance (73)  |  Uncontrollable (4)

The terror of the atom age is not the violence of the new power but the speed of man’s adjustment to it—the speed of his acceptance.
In 'The Age of Dust', collected in Second Tree From the Corner (1954), 115.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (41)  |  Adjustment (12)  |  Atomic Energy (21)  |  Man (345)  |  New (340)  |  Power (273)  |  Speed (27)  |  Terror (16)

The unavoidable conclusion is that the unprecedented meekness of the majority is responsible for the increase in violence. Social stability is the product of an equilibrium between a vigorous majority and violent minorities. Disorder does not come from an increased inner pressure or from the interaction of explosive ingredients. There is no reason to believe that the nature of the violent minorities is now greatly different from what it was in the past. What has changed is the will and ability of the majority to react.
In 'Thoughts on the Present', First Things, Last Things (1971), 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Belief (400)  |  Change (291)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Different (110)  |  Disorder (19)  |  Equilibrium (16)  |  Explosive (16)  |  Greatly (7)  |  Increase (107)  |  Ingredient (10)  |  Inner (27)  |  Interaction (28)  |  Majority (32)  |  Meekness (2)  |  Minority (16)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Past (109)  |  Pressure (31)  |  Product (72)  |  React (6)  |  Reason (330)  |  Responsible (11)  |  Social (93)  |  Stability (17)  |  Unavoidable (2)  |  Unprecedented (7)  |  Vigorous (11)  |  Violent (15)

This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of the herd nature, the military system, which I abhor. That a man can take pleasure in marching in formation to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed. This plague-spot of civilisation ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism by order, senseless violence, and all the pestilent nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism–how I hate them! War seems to me a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abhor (3)  |  Abolish (11)  |  Abominable (4)  |  Backbone (8)  |  Bad (78)  |  Band (2)  |  Big (33)  |  Brain (181)  |  Bring (53)  |  Business (71)  |  Civilisation (18)  |  Contemptible (7)  |  Despise (7)  |  Formation (54)  |  Give (117)  |  Hack (3)  |  Hate (26)  |  Herd (12)  |  Heroism (7)  |  March (15)  |  Mean (63)  |  Military (24)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Name (118)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Need (211)  |  Nonsense (32)  |  Order (167)  |  Part (146)  |  Patriotism (6)  |  Pestilent (2)  |  Piece (32)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Possible (100)  |  Seem (89)  |  Senseless (3)  |  Speed (27)  |  Strain (8)  |  System (141)  |  Topic (6)  |  War (144)

Those who suggest that the “dark ages” were a time of violence and superstition would do well to remember the appalling cruelties of our own time, truly without parallel in past ages, as well as the fact that the witch-hunts were not strictly speaking a medieval phenomenon but belong rather to the so-called Renaissance.
From Interview (2003) on the Exhibition, 'Il Medioevo Europeo di Jacques le Goff' (The European Middle Ages by Jacques Le Goff), at Parma, Italy (27 Sep 2003—11 Jan 2004). Published among web pages about the Exhibition, that were on the website of the Province of Parma.
Science quotes on:  |  Appalling (4)  |  Cruelty (14)  |  Dark Ages (10)  |  Fact (609)  |  Medieval (6)  |  Parallel (16)  |  Past (109)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Remember (53)  |  Renaissance (8)  |  Suggest (15)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Time (439)

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Incompetent (3)  |  Refuge (12)


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:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations 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 |

who invites your feedback

- 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

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