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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index V > Category: Vital Force

Vital Force Quotes (7 quotes)

For the first time there was constructed with this machine [locomotive engine] a self-acting mechanism in which the interplay of forces took shape transparently enough to discern the connection between the heat generated and the motion produced. The great puzzle of the vital force was also immediately solved for the physiologist in that it became evident that it is more than a mere poetic comparison when one conceives of the coal as the food of the locomotive and the combustion as the basis for its life.
'Leid und Freude in der Naturforschung', Die Gartenlaube (1870), 359. Trans. Kenneth L. Caneva, Robert Mayer and the Conservation of Energy (1993), 145.
Science quotes on:  |  Basis (173)  |  Coal (57)  |  Combustion (18)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Connection (162)  |  Construct (124)  |  Discern (33)  |  Engine (98)  |  Enough (340)  |  Evident (91)  |  First (1283)  |  Food (199)  |  Force (487)  |  Great (1574)  |  Heat (174)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Life (1795)  |  Locomotive (8)  |  Machine (257)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  More (2559)  |  Motion (310)  |  Physiologist (29)  |  Produced (187)  |  Puzzle (44)  |  Self (267)  |  Time (1877)  |  Vital (85)

Something is as little explained by means of a distinctive vital force as the attraction between iron and magnet is explained by means of the name magnetism. We must therefore firmly insist that in the organic natural sciences, and thus also in botany, absolutely nothing has yet been explained and the entire field is still open to investigation as long as we have not succeeded in reducing the phenomena to physical and chemical laws.
Grundzüge der Wissenschaftlichen Botanik nebst einer Methodologischen Einleitung als Anleitung zum Studium der Planze [Principles of Scientific Botany] (1842-3), Vol. 1, 49. Trans. Kenneth L. Caneva, Robert Mayer and the Conservation of Energy (1993), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Attraction (56)  |  Botany (57)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Distinctive (25)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Field (364)  |  Force (487)  |  Insistence (12)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Iron (96)  |  Law (894)  |  Little (707)  |  Long (790)  |  Magnet (20)  |  Magnetism (41)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Must (1526)  |  Name (333)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Open (274)  |  Organic (158)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physics (533)  |  Reduction (51)  |  Science (3879)  |  Something (719)  |  Still (613)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Sucess (2)  |  Vital (85)

The blood, the fountain whence the spirits flow,
The generous stream that waters every part,
And motion, vigour, and warm life conveys
To every Particle that moves or lives;
This vital fluid, thro' unnumber'd tubes
Pour'd by the heart, and to the heart again
Refunded; scourg'd forever round and round;
Enrag'd with heat and toil, at last forgets
Its balmy nature; virulent and thin
It grows; and now, but that a thousand gates
Are open to its flight, it would destroy
The parts it cherish' d and repair'd before.
Besides, the flexible and tender tubes
Melt in the mildest, most nectareous tide
That ripening Nature rolls; as in the stream
Its crumbling banks; but what the vital force
Of plastic fluids hourly batters down,
That very force, those plastic particles
Rebuild: so mutable the state of man.
For this the watchful appetite was given,
Daily with fresh materials to repair
This unavoidable expense of life,
This necessary waste of flesh and blood.
Hence the concoctive powers, with various art,
Subdue the cruder aliments to chyle;
The chyle to blood; the foamy purple tide
To liquors, which through finer arteries
To different parts their winding course pursue;
To try new changes, and new forms put on,
Or for the public, or some private use.
The Art of Preserving Health (1744), book 2, I. 12-23, p.15-16.
Science quotes on:  |  Appetite (17)  |  Art (657)  |  Bank (31)  |  Blood (134)  |  Change (593)  |  Cherish (22)  |  Course (409)  |  Daily (87)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Different (577)  |  Down (456)  |  Flight (98)  |  Flow (83)  |  Fluid (51)  |  Force (487)  |  Forever (103)  |  Forget (115)  |  Form (959)  |  Fresh (67)  |  Gate (32)  |  Generous (17)  |  Grow (238)  |  Heart (229)  |  Heat (174)  |  Human Body (34)  |  Last (426)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Man (2251)  |  Material (353)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motion (310)  |  Move (216)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Necessary (363)  |  New (1216)  |  Open (274)  |  Particle (194)  |  Plastic (28)  |  Power (746)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Roll (40)  |  Spirit (265)  |  State (491)  |  Stream (81)  |  Subdue (7)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Through (849)  |  Tide (34)  |  Toil (25)  |  Try (283)  |  Use (766)  |  Various (200)  |  Vigour (18)  |  Vital (85)  |  Warm (69)  |  Waste (101)  |  Water (481)  |  Winding (8)

The special vital forces that distinguish living things from the nonliving are emergent, holistic properties, not properties of their physiochemical components. Nor can they be explained in mechanistic terms.
Interview in 'Vital Holistic Phenomena and Properties of Living', The World & I (1986), 1, No. 5-6, 265.
Science quotes on:  |  Biochemistry (49)  |  Component (48)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Emergent (3)  |  Explain (322)  |  Force (487)  |  Living (491)  |  Mechanistic (3)  |  Nonliving (4)  |  Property (168)  |  Special (184)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Vital (85)

There is no force inherent in living matter, no vital force independent of and differing from the cosmic forces; the energy which living matter gives off is counterbalanced by the energy which it receives.
In Disease and its Causes (1913), 10-11.
Science quotes on:  |  Conservation Of Energy (29)  |  Cosmic (72)  |  Counterbalance (4)  |  Energy (344)  |  Force (487)  |  Inherent (42)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Matter (798)  |  Receive (114)  |  Vital (85)

We are sorry to confess that biological hypotheses have not yet completely got out of the second phase, and that ghost of ‘vital force’ still haunts many wise heads.
From Force and Matter: Or, Principles of the Natural Order of the Universe (15th ed. 1884), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Biological (137)  |  Completely (135)  |  Confess (42)  |  Force (487)  |  Ghost (36)  |  Haunt (5)  |  Head (81)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Phase (36)  |  Second (62)  |  Sorry (30)  |  Still (613)  |  Vital (85)  |  Wise (131)

[T]he idea of protoplasm, which was really a name for our ignorance, [is] only a little less misleading than the expression “Vital force”.
Adventures of a Biologist (1940), 118.
Science quotes on:  |  Expression (175)  |  Force (487)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Little (707)  |  Misleading (21)  |  Name (333)  |  Protoplasm (13)  |  Vital (85)


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.