Waver Quotes (2 quotes)
All those who think it paradoxical that so great a weight as the earth should not waver or move anywhere seem to me to go astray by making their judgment with an eye to their own affects and not to the property of the whole. For it would not still appear so extraordinary to them, I believe, if they stopped to think that the earth's magnitude compared to the whole body surrounding it is in the ratio of a point to it. For thus it seems possible for that which is relatively least to be supported and pressed against from all sides equally and at the same angle by that which is absolutely greatest and homogeneous.
'The Almagest 1', in Ptolemy: the Almagest; Nicolaus Copernicus: On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres; Johannes Kepler: Epitome of Copernican Astronomy: IV  V The Harmonies of the World: V, trans. R. Catesby Taliaferro (1952), 11.
Definition of Mathematics.It has now become apparent that the traditional field of mathematics in the province of discrete and continuous number can only be separated from the general abstract theory of classes and relations by a wavering and indeterminate line. Of course a discussion as to the mere application of a word easily degenerates into the most fruitless logomachy. It is open to any one to use any word in any sense. But on the assumption that mathematics is to denote a science well marked out by its subject matter and its methods from other topics of thought, and that at least it is to include all topics habitually assigned to it, there is now no option but to employ mathematics in the general sense of the science concerned with the logical deduction of consequences from the general premisses of all reasoning.
In article 'Mathematics', Encyclopedia Britannica (1911, 11th ed.), Vol. 17, 880. In the 2006 DVD edition of the encyclopedia, the definition of mathematics is given as The science of structure, order, and relation that has evolved from elemental practices of counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of objects. [Premiss is a variant form of premise. Webmaster]
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
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