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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “We are here to celebrate the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome. Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by human kind.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index W > Category: Weakness

Weakness Quotes (48 quotes)

Belief may be a regrettably unavoidable biological weakness to be kept under the control of criticism: but commitment is for Popper an outright crime.
In 'Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes', in I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge: Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science, London 1965 (1970), Vol. 4, 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (578)  |  Biological (137)  |  Commitment (27)  |  Control (167)  |  Crime (38)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Karl Raimund Popper (47)  |  Unavoidable (3)

Die ganze Natur ist ein gewaltiges Ringen zwischen Kraft und Schwache, ein ewiger Sieg des Starken über den Schwachen.
The whole of Nature is a mighty struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.
(1923). In The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939 1980, 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Eternal (110)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Strength (126)  |  Strong (174)  |  Struggle (105)  |  Victory (39)  |  Weak (71)  |  Whole (738)

Die Gewohnheit einer Meinung erzeugt oft völlige Ueberzeugung von ihrer Richtigkeit, sie verbirgt die schwächeren Theile davon, und macht uns unfähig, die Beweise dagegen anzunehmen.
The habit of an opinion often leads to the complete conviction of its truth, it hides the weaker parts of it, and makes us incapable of accepting the proofs against it.
(1827). German text in Ira Freund, The Study of Chemical Composition (1904), 31. Translated form in Carl Schorlemmer, The Rise and Development of Organic Chemistry (1894), 49.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (52)  |  Accepting (22)  |  Against (332)  |  Complete (204)  |  Conviction (97)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Habit (168)  |  Hide (69)  |  Incapable (40)  |  Lead (384)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Proof (287)  |  Truth (1057)

L’homme n’est qu’un roseau, le plus faible de la nature; mais c’est un roseau pensant.
Man is but a reed, the weakest thing in nature; but a thinking reed.
Pensées (1670), Section 1, aphorism 160. In H.F. Stewart (ed.), Pascal’s Pensées (1950), 83.
Science quotes on:  |  Man (2251)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Plus (43)  |  Reed (8)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thinking (414)

A just society must strive with all its might to right wrongs even if righting wrongs is a highly perilous undertaking. But if it is to survive, a just society must be strong and resolute enough to deal swiftly and relentlessly with those who would mistake its good will for weakness.
In 'Thoughts on the Present', First Things, Last Things (1971), 101.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Deal (188)  |  Enough (340)  |  Good (889)  |  Highly (16)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Must (1526)  |  Perilous (4)  |  Relentlessly (2)  |  Resolute (2)  |  Right (452)  |  Society (326)  |  Strive (46)  |  Strong (174)  |  Survive (79)  |  Swiftly (5)  |  Undertake (33)  |  Undertaking (16)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wrong (234)

A scientist is as weak and human as any man, but the pursuit of science may ennoble him even against his will.
Unverified. Contact webmaster if you know a primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  Ennoblement (2)  |  Human (1468)  |  Man (2251)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Weak (71)  |  Will (2355)

All interpretations made by a scientist are hypotheses, and all hypotheses are tentative. They must forever be tested and they must be revised if found to be unsatisfactory. Hence, a change of mind in a scientist, and particularly in a great scientist, is not only not a sign of weakness but rather evidence for continuing attention to the respective problem and an ability to test the hypothesis again and again.
The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution and Inheritance (1982), 831.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (152)  |  All (4108)  |  Attention (190)  |  Change (593)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Forever (103)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Must (1526)  |  Problem (676)  |  Repetition (28)  |  Revise (6)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Sign (58)  |  Tentative (16)  |  Test (211)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Unsatisfactory (3)

Always deal from strength, never from weakness.
In J.S. "Torch" Lewis, 'Lear the Legend', Aviation Week & Space Technology (2 Jul 2001 ), 155 Supplement, No 1, 116
Science quotes on:  |  Deal (188)  |  Dealing (10)  |  Never (1087)  |  Strength (126)

Another diversity of Methods is according to the subject or matter which is handled; for there is a great difference in delivery of the Mathematics, which are the most abstracted of knowledges, and Policy, which is the most immersed ... , yet we see how that opinion, besides the weakness of it, hath been of ill desert towards learning, as that which taketh the way to reduce learning to certain empty and barren generalities; being but the very husks and shells of sciences, all the kernel being forced out and expulsed with the torture and press of the method.
Advancement of Learning, Book 2. In James Spedding, The Works of Francis Bacon (1863), Vol. 6, 292-293 . Peter Pešić, explains that 'By Mathematics, he had in mind a sterile and rigid scheme of logical classifications, called dichotomies in his time,' inLabyrinth: A Search for the Hidden Meaning of Science (2001), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (124)  |  According (237)  |  All (4108)  |  Barren (30)  |  Barrenness (2)  |  Being (1278)  |  Certain (550)  |  Delivery (6)  |  Desert (56)  |  Difference (337)  |  Diversity (73)  |  Empty (80)  |  Generality (45)  |  Great (1574)  |  Husk (4)  |  Kernel (4)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Learning (274)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Matter (798)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Most (1731)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Policy (24)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Shell (63)  |  Subject (521)  |  Torture (29)  |  Way (1217)

As yet, if a man has no feeling for art he is considered narrow-minded, but if he has no feeling for science this is considered quite normal. This is a fundamental weakness.
In Kermit Lansner, Second-Rate Brains: A Factual, Perceptive Report by Top Scientists, Educators, Journalists, and Their Urgent Recommendations (1958), 31. Note: Dr. I.I. Rabi was chairman of President Eisenhower's Science Advisory Committee.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Consider (416)  |  Education (378)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Narrow (84)  |  Narrow-Minded (5)  |  Normal (28)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Art (184)

Because science flourishes, must poesy decline? The complaint serves but to betray the weakness of the class who urge it. True, in an age like the present,—considerably more scientific than poetical,—science substitutes for the smaller poetry of fiction, the great poetry of truth.
Lecture Second, collected in Popular Geology: A Series of Lectures Read Before the Philosophical Institution of Edinburgh, with Descriptive Sketches from a Geologist's Portfolio (1859), 123.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Betray (8)  |  Class (164)  |  Decline (26)  |  Fiction (22)  |  Flourish (34)  |  Great (1574)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Present (619)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Poetry (14)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Substitute (46)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Urge (17)

Debate is an art form. It is about the winning of arguments. It is not about the discovery of truth. There are certain rules and procedures to debate that really have nothing to do with establishing fact–which creationists have mastered. Some of those rules are: never say anything positive about your own position because it can be attacked, but chip away at what appear to be the weaknesses in your opponent’s position. They are good at that. I don’t think I could beat the creationists at debate. I can tie them. But in courtrooms they are terrible, because in courtrooms you cannot give speeches. In a courtroom you have to answer direct questions about the positive status of your belief. We destroyed them in Arkansas. On the second day of the two-week trial we had our victory party!
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Answer (366)  |  Appear (118)  |  Argument (138)  |  Arkansas (2)  |  Art (657)  |  Attack (84)  |  Beat (41)  |  Belief (578)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chip (4)  |  Creationist (16)  |  Debate (38)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Direct (225)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Do (1908)  |  Establish (57)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Form (959)  |  Give (202)  |  Good (889)  |  Master (178)  |  Never (1087)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Opponent (19)  |  Party (18)  |  Position (77)  |  Positive (94)  |  Procedure (41)  |  Question (621)  |  Really (78)  |  Rule (294)  |  Say (984)  |  Second (62)  |  Speech (61)  |  Status (35)  |  Terrible (38)  |  Think (1086)  |  Tie (38)  |  Trial (57)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Two (937)  |  Victory (39)  |  Week (70)  |  Win (52)  |  Winning (19)

During this [book preparation] time attacks have not been wanting—we must always be prepared for them. If they grow out of a scientific soil, they cannot but be useful, by laying bare weak points and stimulating to their correction; but if they proceed from that soil, from which the lilies of innocence and the palms of conciliation should spring up, where, however, nothing but the marsh-trefoil of credulity and the poisonous water-hemlock of calumniation grow, they deserve no attention.
Carl Vogt
From Carl Vogt and James Hunt (ed.), Lectures on Man: His Place in Creation, and in the History of the Earth (1861), Author's Preface, 2-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Attack (84)  |  Attention (190)  |  Bare (33)  |  Book (392)  |  Correction (40)  |  Credulity (14)  |  Deserve (65)  |  Deserving (4)  |  Grow (238)  |  Innocence (13)  |  Lily (4)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Palm (5)  |  Point (580)  |  Poison (40)  |  Preparation (58)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Soil (86)  |  Spring (133)  |  Stimulation (16)  |  Time (1877)  |  Useful (250)  |  Water (481)  |  Weak (71)

Even mistaken hypotheses and theories are of use in leading to discoveries. This remark is true in all the sciences. The alchemists founded chemistry by pursuing chimerical problems and theories which are false. In physical science, which is more advanced than biology, we might still cite men of science who make great discoveries by relying on false theories. It seems, indeed, a necessary weakness of our mind to be able to reach truth only across a multitude of errors and obstacles.
An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865, translation 1927, 1957), 170.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Alchemist (22)  |  All (4108)  |  Biology (216)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Chimera (9)  |  Cite (8)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Error (321)  |  False (100)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Lead (384)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mistake (169)  |  More (2559)  |  Multitude (47)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Obstacle (42)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Science (101)  |  Problem (676)  |  Pursuing (27)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Reach (281)  |  Reliance (10)  |  Science (3879)  |  Still (613)  |  Theory (970)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Use (766)

Every man has his little weakness. It often takes the form of a desire to get something for nothing.
Aphorism in The Philistine (Apr 1905), 20, No. 5, 160.
Science quotes on:  |  Desire (204)  |  Form (959)  |  Little (707)  |  Man (2251)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Something (719)

Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.
The Second Sin (1973), 115.
Science quotes on:  |  Formerly (5)  |  Magic (86)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Religion (361)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Strength (126)  |  Strong (174)  |  Weak (71)

Heaven forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,
Till one man’s weakness grows the strength of all.
In 'Epistle II: Of the Nature and State of Man', collected in Samuel Johnson (ed.), The Works of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland: Vol. 6: The Whole Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, Esq. (1800), Vol. 6, 374.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Assistance (20)  |  Call (769)  |  Depend (228)  |  Forming (42)  |  Friend (168)  |  Grow (238)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Man (2251)  |  Master (178)  |  Other (2236)  |  Servant (39)  |  Sociology (46)  |  Strength (126)

Humor is a conformity enforcer clothed in the garb of congeniality. It focuses on others’ weaknesses, disasters, stupidities, and abnormalities.
In 'The Conformity Police', Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century (2000), 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Abnormality (2)  |  Clothe (2)  |  Conform (13)  |  Disaster (51)  |  Enforce (11)  |  Focus (35)  |  Garb (6)  |  Humor (8)  |  Other (2236)  |  Stupidity (39)

I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I well know the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual appeared to me always as the important communal aims of the state.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Adherent (6)  |  Aim (165)  |  Appear (118)  |  Communal (7)  |  Democracy (33)  |  Democratic (12)  |  Economic (81)  |  Equality (31)  |  Form (959)  |  Government (110)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Important (209)  |  Individual (404)  |  Know (1518)  |  Protection (36)  |  Social (252)  |  State (491)

I can see him [Sylvester] now, with his white beard and few locks of gray hair, his forehead wrinkled o’er with thoughts, writing rapidly his figures and formulae on the board, sometimes explaining as he wrote, while we, his listeners, caught the reflected sounds from the board. But stop, something is not right, he pauses, his hand goes to his forehead to help his thought, he goes over the work again, emphasizes the leading points, and finally discovers his difficulty. Perhaps it is some error in his figures, perhaps an oversight in the reasoning. Sometimes, however, the difficulty is not elucidated, and then there is not much to the rest of the lecture. But at the next lecture we would hear of some new discovery that was the outcome of that difficulty, and of some article for the Journal, which he had begun. If a text-book had been taken up at the beginning, with the intention of following it, that text-book was most likely doomed to oblivion for the rest of the term, or until the class had been made listeners to every new thought and principle that had sprung from the laboratory of his mind, in consequence of that first difficulty. Other difficulties would soon appear, so that no text-book could last more than half of the term. In this way his class listened to almost all of the work that subsequently appeared in the Journal. It seemed to be the quality of his mind that he must adhere to one subject. He would think about it, talk about it to his class, and finally write about it for the Journal. The merest accident might start him, but once started, every moment, every thought was given to it, and, as much as possible, he read what others had done in the same direction; but this last seemed to be his real point; he could not read without finding difficulties in the way of understanding the author. Thus, often his own work reproduced what had been done by others, and he did not find it out until too late.
A notable example of this is in his theory of cyclotomic functions, which he had reproduced in several foreign journals, only to find that he had been greatly anticipated by foreign authors. It was manifest, one of the critics said, that the learned professor had not read Rummer’s elementary results in the theory of ideal primes. Yet Professor Smith’s report on the theory of numbers, which contained a full synopsis of Kummer’s theory, was Professor Sylvester’s constant companion.
This weakness of Professor Sylvester, in not being able to read what others had done, is perhaps a concomitant of his peculiar genius. Other minds could pass over little difficulties and not be troubled by them, and so go on to a final understanding of the results of the author. But not so with him. A difficulty, however small, worried him, and he was sure to have difficulties until the subject had been worked over in his own way, to correspond with his own mode of thought. To read the work of others, meant therefore to him an almost independent development of it. Like the man whose pleasure in life is to pioneer the way for society into the forests, his rugged mind could derive satisfaction only in hewing out its own paths; and only when his efforts brought him into the uncleared fields of mathematics did he find his place in the Universe.
In Florian Cajori, Teaching and History of Mathematics in the United States (1890), 266-267.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accident (88)  |  Adhere (3)  |  All (4108)  |  Anticipate (18)  |  Appear (118)  |  Article (22)  |  Author (167)  |  Beard (7)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Board (12)  |  Book (392)  |  Bring (90)  |  Class (164)  |  Companion (19)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Constant (144)  |  Contain (68)  |  Correspond (9)  |  Critic (20)  |  Derive (65)  |  Development (422)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Direction (175)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Doom (32)  |  Effort (227)  |  Elementary (96)  |  Elucidate (4)  |  Emphasize (23)  |  Error (321)  |  Example (94)  |  Explain (322)  |  Field (364)  |  Figure (160)  |  Final (118)  |  Finally (26)  |  Find (998)  |  First (1283)  |  Follow (378)  |  Forehead (2)  |  Foreign (45)  |  Forest (150)  |  Formula (98)  |  Full (66)  |  Function (228)  |  Genius (284)  |  Give (202)  |  Greatly (12)  |  Hair (25)  |  Half (56)  |  Hand (143)  |  Hear (139)  |  Help (105)  |  Hew (3)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Independent (67)  |  Intention (46)  |  Journal (30)  |  Ernst Eduard Kummer (3)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Last (426)  |  Late (118)  |  Lead (384)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Lecture (105)  |  Life (1795)  |  Likely (34)  |  Listen (73)  |  Listener (7)  |  Little (707)  |  Man (2251)  |  Manifest (21)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mean (809)  |  Mere (84)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mode (41)  |  Moment (253)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  New (1216)  |  Next (236)  |  Notable (5)  |  Number (699)  |  Oblivion (10)  |  Often (106)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outcome (13)  |  Oversight (4)  |  Pass (238)  |  Path (144)  |  Pause (6)  |  Peculiar (113)  |  Pioneer (33)  |  Place (177)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Point (580)  |  Possible (552)  |  Prime (11)  |  Principle (507)  |  Professor (128)  |  Quality (135)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Read (287)  |  Real (149)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Report (38)  |  Reproduce (11)  |  Rest (280)  |  Result (677)  |  Right (452)  |  Rugged (7)  |  Rum (3)  |  Same (157)  |  Satisfaction (74)  |  Say (984)  |  See (1081)  |  Seem (145)  |  Several (32)  |  Small (477)  |  Smith (3)  |  Society (326)  |  Something (719)  |  Soon (186)  |  Sound (183)  |  Spring (133)  |  Start (221)  |  Stop (80)  |  Subject (521)  |  Subsequently (2)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (58)  |  Synopsis (2)  |  Talk (100)  |  Term (349)  |  Textbook (36)  |  Theory (970)  |  Theory Of Numbers (7)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  White (127)  |  Work (1351)  |  Worry (33)  |  Wrinkle (4)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)

I think that the event which, more than anything else, led me to the search for ways of making more powerful radio telescopes, was the recognition, in 1952, that the intense source in the constellation of Cygnus was a distant galaxy—1000 million light years away. This discovery showed that some galaxies were capable of producing radio emission about a million times more intense than that from our own Galaxy or the Andromeda nebula, and the mechanisms responsible were quite unknown. ... [T]he possibilities were so exciting even in 1952 that my colleagues and I set about the task of designing instruments capable of extending the observations to weaker and weaker sources, and of exploring their internal structure.
From Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1974). In Stig Lundqvist (ed.), Nobel Lectures, Physics 1971-1980 (1992), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Andromeda (2)  |  Capability (41)  |  Capable (168)  |  Colleague (50)  |  Constellation (17)  |  Design (195)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Distance (161)  |  Emission (17)  |  Event (216)  |  Excitement (50)  |  Exciting (47)  |  Exploration (134)  |  Extending (3)  |  Galaxies (29)  |  Galaxy (51)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Intensity (34)  |  Internal (66)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Light (607)  |  Making (300)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  More (2559)  |  Motivation (27)  |  Nebula (16)  |  Observation (555)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Radio (50)  |  Radio Telescope (5)  |  Recognition (88)  |  Search (162)  |  Set (394)  |  Show (346)  |  Source (93)  |  Structure (344)  |  Task (147)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Think (1086)  |  Time (1877)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Way (1217)  |  Year (933)

In mathematics, … and in natural philosophy since mathematics was applied to it, we see the noblest instance of the force of the human mind, and of the sublime heights to which it may rise by cultivation. An acquaintance with such sciences naturally leads us to think well of our faculties, and to indulge sanguine expectations concerning the improvement of other parts of knowledge. To this I may add, that, as mathematical and physical truths are perfectly uninteresting in their consequences, the understanding readily yields its assent to the evidence which is presented to it; and in this way may be expected to acquire the habit of trusting to its own conclusions, which will contribute to fortify it against the weaknesses of scepticism, in the more interesting inquiries after moral truth in which it may afterwards engage.
In Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind (1827), Vol. 3, Chap. 1, Sec. 3, 182.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaintance (37)  |  Against (332)  |  Applied (177)  |  Assent (12)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Contribute (27)  |  Cultivation (35)  |  Engage (39)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Expect (200)  |  Expectation (65)  |  Force (487)  |  Fortify (4)  |  Habit (168)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Indulge (14)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lead (384)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Moral (195)  |  More (2559)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Philosophy (52)  |  Other (2236)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Physical (508)  |  Present (619)  |  Rise (166)  |  Scepticism (16)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Skepticism (28)  |  Sublime (46)  |  Think (1086)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Uninteresting (9)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  Yield (81)

In the presence of infinite might and infinite wisdom, the strength of the strongest man is but weakness, and the keenest of mortal eyes see but dimly.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 167
Science quotes on:  |  Dimly (6)  |  Eye (419)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Keen (10)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mortal (54)  |  Presence (63)  |  See (1081)  |  Strength (126)  |  Strong (174)  |  Strongest (38)  |  Wisdom (221)

It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from the sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression. St. Vincent De Paul cautioned his disciples to deport themselves so that the poor “will forgive them the bread you give them.”
In 'The Awakening of Asia', The Ordeal of Change (1963), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Bread (39)  |  Caution (24)  |  Corrupt (4)  |  De (3)  |  Disciple (7)  |  Equally (130)  |  Fault (54)  |  Feel (367)  |  Forgive (12)  |  Generosity (7)  |  Give (202)  |  Hatred (21)  |  Important (209)  |  Impotence (8)  |  Inadequacy (4)  |  Injustice (4)  |  Intolerance (8)  |  Malice (5)  |  Often (106)  |  Oppression (6)  |  Poor (136)  |  Power (746)  |  Realize (147)  |  Resentment (6)  |  Rudeness (5)  |  Say (984)  |  Sense (770)  |  Share (75)  |  Sharing (11)  |  Spring (133)  |  St (2)  |  Suspicion (35)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Weak (71)  |  Wealth (94)  |  Will (2355)  |  Win (52)

It is supposed that the ancients were ignorant of the law in hydraulics, by which water, in a tube, will rise as high as the fountain-head; and hence they carried their stupendous aqueducts horizontally, from hill-top to hill-top, upon lofty arches, with an incredible expenditure of labor and money. The knowledge of a single law, now familiar to every well-instructed school-boy,— namely, that water seeks a level, and, if not obstructed, will find it,—enables the poorest man of the present day to do what once demanded the wealth of an empire. The beautiful fragments of the ancient Roman aqueducts, which have survived the ravage of centuries, are often cited to attest the grandeur and power of their builders. To me, they are monuments, not of their power, but of their weakness.
In Thoughts Selected From the Writings of Horace Mann (1872), 231.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (189)  |  Aqueduct (4)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Boy (94)  |  Demand (123)  |  Do (1908)  |  Enable (119)  |  Expenditure (15)  |  Find (998)  |  Fragment (54)  |  Grandeur (31)  |  High (362)  |  Hydraulic (5)  |  Hydraulics (2)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Incredible (41)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Labor (107)  |  Law (894)  |  Level (67)  |  Man (2251)  |  Money (170)  |  Monument (45)  |  Power (746)  |  Present (619)  |  Ravage (7)  |  Rise (166)  |  Roman (36)  |  School (219)  |  Seek (213)  |  Single (353)  |  Stupendous (13)  |  Top (96)  |  Water (481)  |  Wealth (94)  |  Will (2355)

It often happens that men, even of the best understandings and greatest circumspection, are guilty of that fault in reasoning which the writers on logick call the insufficient, or imperfect enumeration of parts, or cases: insomuch that I will venture to assert, that this is the chief, and almost the only, source of the vast number of erroneous opinions, and those too very often in matters of great importance, which we are apt to form on all the subjects we reflect upon, whether they relate to the knowledge of nature, or the merits and motives of human actions. It must therefore be acknowledged, that the art which affords a cure to this weakness, or defect, of our understandings, and teaches us to enumerate all the possible ways in which a given number of things may be mixed and combined together, that we may be certain that we have not omitted anyone arrangement of them that can lead to the object of our inquiry, deserves to be considered as most eminently useful and worthy of our highest esteem and attention. And this is the business of the art, or doctrine of combinations ... It proceeds indeed upon mathematical principles in calculating the number of the combinations of the things proposed: but by the conclusions that are obtained by it, the sagacity of the natural philosopher, the exactness of the historian, the skill and judgement of the physician, and the prudence and foresight of the politician, may be assisted; because the business of all these important professions is but to form reasonable conjectures concerning the several objects which engage their attention, and all wise conjectures are the results of a just and careful examination of the several different effects that may possibly arise from the causes that are capable of producing them.
Ars conjectandi (1713). In F. Maseres, The Doctrine of Permutations and Combinations (1795), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  All (4108)  |  Arise (158)  |  Arrangement (91)  |  Art (657)  |  Assert (66)  |  Attention (190)  |  Best (459)  |  Business (149)  |  Call (769)  |  Capable (168)  |  Cause (541)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chief (97)  |  Circumspection (5)  |  Combination (144)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Conjecture (49)  |  Consider (416)  |  Cure (122)  |  Defect (31)  |  Deserve (65)  |  Different (577)  |  Effect (393)  |  Engage (39)  |  Erroneous (30)  |  Error (321)  |  Exactness (29)  |  Examination (98)  |  Fault (54)  |  Form (959)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Happen (274)  |  Historian (54)  |  Human (1468)  |  Imperfect (45)  |  Importance (286)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lead (384)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Matter (798)  |  Merit (50)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motive (59)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Number (699)  |  Object (422)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Physician (273)  |  Politician (38)  |  Possible (552)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Principle (507)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Profession (99)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Result (677)  |  Sagacity (10)  |  Skill (109)  |  Subject (521)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Together (387)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Useful (250)  |  Vast (177)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wise (131)  |  Writer (86)

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer,
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
... Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal Man unfold all Nature's law,
Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape,
And shew'd a NEWTON as we shew an Ape.
'An Essay on Man' (1733-4), Epistle II. In John Butt (ed.), The Poems of Alexander Pope (1965), 516-7.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Abuse (22)  |  Act (272)  |  Admiration (59)  |  Alike (60)  |  All (4108)  |  Ape (53)  |  Beast (55)  |  Being (1278)  |  Birth (147)  |  Body (537)  |  Chaos (91)  |  Confusion (57)  |  Creation (327)  |  Death (388)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Endless (56)  |  Error (321)  |  Fall (230)  |  Glory (58)  |  God (757)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hang (45)  |  Himself (461)  |  Hurling (2)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Isthmus (2)  |  Jest (4)  |  Judge (108)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Late (118)  |  Law (894)  |  Little (707)  |  Lord (93)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mortal (54)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Passion (114)  |  Preference (28)  |  Prey (13)  |  Pride (78)  |  Proper (144)  |  Reason (744)  |  Rest (280)  |  Riddle (28)  |  Rise (166)  |  Saw (160)  |  Sceptic (5)  |  Shape (72)  |  Show (346)  |  Side (233)  |  Sole (49)  |  State (491)  |  Still (613)  |  Stoic (3)  |  Study (653)  |  Superior (81)  |  Superiority (19)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Thought (953)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Wise (131)  |  World (1774)

Man now presides
In power, where once he trembled in his weakness;
Science advances with gigantic strides;
But are we aught enriched in love and meekness?
In To the Planet Venus (1838). In The Works of William Wordsworth (1994), Book 4, 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Aught (6)  |  Enrich (24)  |  Gigantic (40)  |  Love (309)  |  Man (2251)  |  Meekness (2)  |  Power (746)  |  Science (3879)  |  Stride (15)  |  Tremble (6)

Mineral substances vary greatly in color, transparency, luster, brilliance, odor, taste, and other properties which are shown by their strength and weakness, shape, and form. They do not have the variety of origins that we find not only in living matter but also in original matter. Moreover they have not been classified like the latter on the basis of the place where they pass their life since mineral substances lack life and with rare exceptions are found only within the earth. They do not have the differences in characters and actions which nature has given to living things alone. Great differences are not the essential features of minerals as they are of living and original matter.
De Natura Fossilium (1546), trans. M. C. and J. A. Bandy (1955), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Alone (311)  |  Basis (173)  |  Brilliance (13)  |  Character (243)  |  Color (137)  |  Difference (337)  |  Do (1908)  |  Earth (996)  |  Essential (199)  |  Exception (73)  |  Find (998)  |  Form (959)  |  Great (1574)  |  Lack (119)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mineral (59)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Odor (10)  |  Origin (239)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pass (238)  |  Rare (89)  |  Strength (126)  |  Substance (248)  |  Taste (90)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Transparency (7)  |  Variety (132)

Nobody, certainly, will deny that the idea of the existence of an omnipotent, just, and omnibeneficent personal God is able to accord man solace, help, and guidance; also, by virtue of its simplicity it is accessible to the most undeveloped mind. But, on the other hand, there are decisive weaknesses attached to this idea in its elf, which have been painfully felt since the beginning of history. That is, if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accessible (25)  |  Accord (36)  |  Action (327)  |  Almighty (23)  |  Ascribe (17)  |  Aspiration (32)  |  Attach (56)  |  Attached (36)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Combine (57)  |  Decisive (25)  |  Deed (34)  |  Deny (66)  |  Elf (6)  |  Existence (456)  |  Extent (139)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Give (202)  |  God (757)  |  Goodness (25)  |  Guidance (28)  |  Help (105)  |  Himself (461)  |  History (673)  |  Hold (95)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Thought (7)  |  Idea (843)  |  Include (90)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nobody (104)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Omnipotent (12)  |  On The Other Hand (34)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pass (238)  |  Passing (76)  |  Personal (67)  |  Possible (552)  |  Punishment (14)  |  Responsible (17)  |  Reward (68)  |  Righteousness (6)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Solace (7)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Undeveloped (6)  |  Virtue (109)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

On the 20th of May 1747, I took twelve patients in the scurvy, on board the Salisbury at sea. Their cases were as similar as I could have them. They all in general had putrid gums, the spots and lassitude, with weakness of their knees. They lay together in one place, being a proper apartment for the sick in the fore-hold; and had one diet common to all, viz, water-gruel sweetened with sugar in the morning; fresh mutton-broth often times for dinner; at other times puddings, boiled biscuit with sugar, &c.; and for supper, barley and raisins, rice and currents, sago and wine, or the like.
Two of these were ordered each a quart of cider a-day. Two others took twenty-five gutta of elixir vitriol three times a-day, upon an empty stomach; using a gargle strongly acidulated with it for their mouths. Two others took two spoonfuls of vinegar three times a-day, upon an empty stomach; having their gruels and their other food well acidulated with it, as also the gargle for their mouth. Two of the worst patients, with the tendons in the ham rigid, (a symptom none of the rest had), were put under a course of sea-water. Of this they drank half a pint every day, and sometimes more or less as it operated, by way of gentle physics. The others had each two oranges and one lemon given them every day. These they eat with greediness, at different times, upon an empty stomach. They continued but six days under this course, having consumed the quantity that could be spared. The two remaining patients, took the bigness of a nutmeg three times a-day, of an electuary recommended by an hospital-surgeon, made of garlic, mustard-seed, rad. raphan. balsam of Peru, and gum myrrh; using for common drink, barley-water well acidulated with tamarinds; by a decoction of which, with the addition of cremor tartar, they were gently purged three or four times during the course.
The consequence was, that the most sudden and visible good effects were perceived from the use of the oranges and lemons; one of those who had taken them, being at the end of six days fit for duty. …
Next to the oranges, I thought the cider had the best effects.
A Treatise of the Scurvy (1753), 191-193. Quoted in Carleton Ellis and Annie Louise Macleod, Vital Factors of Foods: Vitamins and Nutrition (1922), 229-230.
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (66)  |  All (4108)  |  Being (1278)  |  Best (459)  |  Boil (23)  |  Cider (3)  |  Common (436)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Course (409)  |  Current (118)  |  Diet (54)  |  Different (577)  |  Drink (53)  |  Eat (104)  |  Effect (393)  |  Elixir (5)  |  Empty (80)  |  End (590)  |  Fit (134)  |  Food (199)  |  Fresh (67)  |  General (511)  |  Good (889)  |  Hospital (43)  |  Lassitude (4)  |  Lemon (2)  |  More (2559)  |  More Or Less (68)  |  Morning (94)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mouth (53)  |  Mutton (4)  |  Next (236)  |  Nutmeg (2)  |  Nutrition (23)  |  Orange (14)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Patient (199)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Proper (144)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Recommend (24)  |  Remaining (45)  |  Rest (280)  |  Rice (4)  |  Rigid (24)  |  Scurvy (5)  |  Sea (308)  |  Seaman (3)  |  Seed (93)  |  Sick (81)  |  Stomach (39)  |  Sudden (67)  |  Sugar (23)  |  Supper (10)  |  Surgeon (63)  |  Symptom (34)  |  Thought (953)  |  Time (1877)  |  Together (387)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Two (937)  |  Use (766)  |  Vinegar (7)  |  Visible (84)  |  Vitamin C (3)  |  Water (481)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wine (38)  |  Worst (57)

People are usually not very good in checking formal correctness of proofs, but they are quite good at detecting potential weaknesses or flaws in proofs.
In 'On Proof and Progress in Mathematics', For the Learning of Mathematics (Feb 1995), 15, No. 1, 33. Reprinted from Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society (1994), 30, No. 2, 170.
Science quotes on:  |  Checking (3)  |  Correct (86)  |  Detect (44)  |  Flaw (17)  |  Formal (33)  |  Good (889)  |  People (1005)  |  Potential (69)  |  Proof (287)  |  Usually (176)

Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.… The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from the sense of their inadequacy and impotence. They hate not wickedness but weakness. When it is in their power to do so, the weak destroy weakness wherever they see it.
In The Passionate State of Mind (1955), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Corrupt (4)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Do (1908)  |  Hate (64)  |  Impotence (8)  |  Inadequacy (4)  |  Injustice (4)  |  Power (746)  |  Resentment (6)  |  See (1081)  |  Sense (770)  |  Spring (133)  |  Weak (71)  |  Wherever (51)  |  Wickedness (2)

The development of statistics are causing history to be rewritten. Till recently the historian studied nations in the aggregate, and gave us only the story of princes, dynasties, sieges, and battles. Of the people themselves—the great social body with life, growth, sources, elements, and laws of its own—he told us nothing. Now statistical inquiry leads him into the hovels, homes, workshops, mines, fields, prisons, hospitals, and all places where human nature displays its weakness and strength. In these explorations he discovers the seeds of national growth and decay, and thus becomes the prophet of his generation.
Speech (16 Dec 1867) given while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, introducing resolution for the appointment of a committee to examine the necessities for legislation upon the subject of the ninth census to be taken the following year. Quoted in John Clark Ridpath, The Life and Work of James A. Garfield (1881), 217.
Science quotes on:  |  Aggregate (23)  |  All (4108)  |  Battle (34)  |  Become (815)  |  Body (537)  |  Decay (53)  |  Development (422)  |  Discover (553)  |  Display (56)  |  Dynasty (7)  |  Element (310)  |  Exploration (134)  |  Field (364)  |  Generation (242)  |  Great (1574)  |  Growth (187)  |  Historian (54)  |  History (673)  |  Home (170)  |  Hospital (43)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Nature (64)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Law (894)  |  Lead (384)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mine (76)  |  Nation (193)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nothing (966)  |  People (1005)  |  Prince (13)  |  Prison (13)  |  Prophet (21)  |  Seed (93)  |  Siege (2)  |  Social (252)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Story (118)  |  Strength (126)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Workshop (14)

The fittest survive.
What is meant by the fittest?
Not the strongest; not the cleverest—
Weakness and stupidity everywhere survive.
There is no way of determining fitness except in that a thing does survive.
'Fitness,' then, is only another name for 'survival.'
Darwinism:
That survivors survive.
The Book of the Damned (1932). In The Complete Books of Charles Fort (1975), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Name (333)  |  Strongest (38)  |  Stupidity (39)  |  Survival (94)  |  Survival Of The Fittest (40)  |  Survive (79)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Way (1217)

The present state of the system of nature is evidently a consequence of what it was in the preceding moment, and if we conceive of an intelligence that at a given instant comprehends all the relations of the entities of this universe, it could state the respective position, motions, and general affects of all these entities at any time in the past or future. Physical astronomy, the branch of knowledge that does the greatest honor to the human mind, gives us an idea, albeit imperfect, of what such an intelligence would be. The simplicity of the law by which the celestial bodies move, and the relations of their masses and distances, permit analysis to follow their motions up to a certain point; and in order to determine the state of the system of these great bodies in past or future centuries, it suffices for the mathematician that their position and their velocity be given by observation for any moment in time. Man owes that advantage to the power of the instrument he employs, and to the small number of relations that it embraces in its calculations. But ignorance of the different causes involved in the production of events, as well as their complexity, taken together with the imperfection of analysis, prevents our reaching the same certainty about the vast majority of phenomena. Thus there are things that are uncertain for us, things more or less probable, and we seek to compensate for the impossibility of knowing them by determining their different degrees of likelihood. So it was that we owe to the weakness of the human mind one of the most delicate and ingenious of mathematical theories, the science of chance or probability.
'Recherches, 1º, sur l'Intégration des Équations Différentielles aux Différences Finies, et sur leur Usage dans la Théorie des Hasards' (1773, published 1776). In Oeuvres complètes de Laplace, 14 Vols. (1843-1912), Vol. 8, 144-5, trans. Charles Coulston Gillispie, Pierre-Simon Laplace 1749-1827: A Life in Exact Science (1997), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (134)  |  All (4108)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Branch (150)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Cause (541)  |  Celestial (53)  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Chance (239)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Degree (276)  |  Delicate (43)  |  Determine (144)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Distance (161)  |  Embrace (46)  |  Employ (113)  |  Event (216)  |  Evidently (26)  |  Follow (378)  |  Future (429)  |  General (511)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Honor (54)  |  Honour (56)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Imperfect (45)  |  Imperfection (31)  |  Impossibility (61)  |  Ingenious (55)  |  Instant (45)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Intelligence (211)  |  Involved (90)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Likelihood (10)  |  Majority (66)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mass (157)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Moment (253)  |  More (2559)  |  More Or Less (68)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motion (310)  |  Move (216)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Number (699)  |  Observation (555)  |  Order (632)  |  Owe (71)  |  Past (337)  |  Permit (58)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Physical (508)  |  Point (580)  |  Position (77)  |  Power (746)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Present (619)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Probability (130)  |  Production (183)  |  Relation (157)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seek (213)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Small (477)  |  State (491)  |  System (537)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Together (387)  |  Uncertain (44)  |  Uncertainty (56)  |  Universe (857)  |  Vast (177)  |  Velocity (48)

The strength and weakness of physicists is that we believe in what we can measure. And if we can't measure it, then we say it probably doesn't exist. And that closes us off to an enormous amount of phenomena that we may not be able to measure because they only happened once. For example, the Big Bang. ... That's one reason why they scoffed at higher dimensions for so many years. Now we realize that there's no alternative...
Quoted in Nina L. Diamond, Voices of Truth (2000), 333-334.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Amount (151)  |  Bang (29)  |  Big Bang (39)  |  Dimension (61)  |  Exist (443)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happened (88)  |  Hyperspace (3)  |  Measure (232)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Realize (147)  |  Reason (744)  |  Say (984)  |  Scoff (7)  |  Strength (126)  |  Why (491)  |  Year (933)

The weakness of a soul is proportionate to the number of truths that must be kept from it.
In The Passionate State of Mind (1955), 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Keep (101)  |  Must (1526)  |  Number (699)  |  Proportionate (4)  |  Soul (226)  |  Truth (1057)

The weakness of men in comparison with women lies in the great intensity of their sexual desires. Man becomes dependent upon woman, and the more, the weaker and more sensual he becomes; and this just in proportion as he becomes neuropathic.
Psychopathia Sexualis: With Special Reference to Contrary Sexual Instinct: A Medico-Legal Study (1886), trans. Charles Gilbert Chaddock (1892), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Desire (204)  |  Great (1574)  |  Intensity (34)  |  Lie (364)  |  Man (2251)  |  Men (20)  |  More (2559)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Sex (69)  |  Sexual (26)  |  Woman (151)  |  Women (9)

There are few enough people with sufficient independence to see the weaknesses and follies of their contemporaries and remain themselves untouched by them. And these isolated few usually soon lose their zeal for putting things to rights when they have come face to face with human obduracy. Only to a tiny minority is it given to fascinate their generation by subtle humour and grace and to hold the mirror up to it by the impersonal agency of art. To-day I salute with sincere emotion the supreme master of this method, who has delighted–and educated–us all.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Agency (14)  |  All (4108)  |  Art (657)  |  Contemporary (30)  |  Delight (108)  |  Educate (13)  |  Emotion (100)  |  Enough (340)  |  Face (212)  |  Face To Face (3)  |  Fascinate (12)  |  Folly (43)  |  Generation (242)  |  Give (202)  |  Grace (31)  |  Hold (95)  |  Human (1468)  |  Humour (116)  |  Impersonal (5)  |  Independence (34)  |  Isolate (22)  |  Lose (159)  |  Master (178)  |  Method (505)  |  Minority (21)  |  Mirror (41)  |  People (1005)  |  Remain (349)  |  Right (452)  |  Salute (3)  |  See (1081)  |  Sincere (4)  |  Soon (186)  |  Subtle (35)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Supreme (71)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Tiny (72)  |  To-Day (5)  |  Untouched (4)  |  Usually (176)  |  Zeal (11)

To suppose that so perfect a system as that of Euclid’s Elements was produced by one man, without any preceding model or materials, would be to suppose that Euclid was more than man. We ascribe to him as much as the weakness of human understanding will permit, if we suppose that the inventions in geometry, which had been made in a tract of preceding ages, were by him not only carried much further, but digested into so admirable a system, that his work obscured all that went before it, and made them be forgot and lost.
In Essay on the Powers of the Human Mind (1812), Vol. 2, 368.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Admirable (19)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Ascribe (17)  |  Carry (127)  |  Digest (9)  |  Element (310)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Far (154)  |  Forget (115)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Human (1468)  |  Invention (369)  |  Lose (159)  |  Man (2251)  |  Material (353)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Model (102)  |  More (2559)  |  Obscure (62)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Permit (58)  |  Precede (23)  |  Produce (104)  |  Produced (187)  |  Suppose (156)  |  System (537)  |  Tract (5)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

Too early and perverse sexual satisfaction injures not merely the mind, but also the body; inasmuch as it induces neuroses of the sexual apparatus (irritable weakness of the centres governing erection and ejaculation; defective pleasurable feeling in coitus), while, at the same time, it maintains the imagination and libido in continuous excitement.
Psychopathia Sexualis: With Special Reference to Contrary Sexual Instinct: A Medico-Legal Study (1886), trans. Charles Gilbert Chaddock (1892), 189.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparatus (68)  |  Body (537)  |  Continuous (82)  |  Early (185)  |  Excitement (50)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Governing (20)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Induce (22)  |  Libido (2)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Merely (316)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Neurosis (9)  |  Satisfaction (74)  |  Sex (69)  |  Sexual (26)  |  Time (1877)

War rages on the teeming earth;
The hot and sanguinary fight
Begins with each new creature’s birth:
A dreadful war where might is right;
Where still the strongest slay and win,
Where weakness is the only sin.
In The Ascent of Man (1889), 13.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Begin (260)  |  Birth (147)  |  Creature (233)  |  Dreadful (14)  |  Earth (996)  |  Hot (60)  |  Man (2251)  |  New (1216)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Right (452)  |  Sin (42)  |  Still (613)  |  Strongest (38)  |  Teeming (5)  |  War (225)  |  Win (52)

We suffer primarily not from our vices or our weaknesses, but from our illusions. We are haunted, not by reality, but by those images we have put in their place.
In The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America (1961), Preface.
Science quotes on:  |  Delusion (25)  |  Haunt (5)  |  Illusion (66)  |  Image (96)  |  Primarily (12)  |  Reality (261)  |  Substitute (46)  |  Suffer (41)  |  Vice (40)

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (82)  |  Become (815)  |  Character (243)

When I quitted business and took to science as a career, I thought I had left behind me all the petty meannesses and small jealousies which hinder man in his moral progress; but I found myself raised into another sphere, only to find poor human nature just the same everywhere—subject to the same weaknesses and the same self-seeking, however exalted the intellect.
As quoted “as well as I can recollect” by Mrs. Cornelia Crosse, wife of the scientist Andrew Crosse. She was with him during a visit by Andrew to see his friend Faraday at the Royal Institution, and she had some conversation with him. This was Faraday’s reply to her comment that he must be happy to have elevated himself (presumably, from his apprenticeship as a bookbinder) above all the “meaner aspects and lower aims of common life.” As stated in John Hall Gladstone, Michael Faraday (1872), 117.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Behind (137)  |  Business (149)  |  Career (75)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Exalt (27)  |  Exalted (22)  |  Find (998)  |  Hinder (12)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Nature (64)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Jealousy (9)  |  Man (2251)  |  Meanness (5)  |  Moral (195)  |  Myself (212)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Petty (9)  |  Poor (136)  |  Progress (465)  |  Quit (10)  |  Science (3879)  |  Self (267)  |  Small (477)  |  Sphere (116)  |  Subject (521)  |  Thought (953)

[Freud's] great strength, though sometimes also his weakness, was the quite extraordinary respect he had for the singular fact... When he got hold of a simple but significant fact he would feel, and know, that it was an example of something general or universal, and the idea of collecting statistics on the matter was quite alien to him.
The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1953), Vol 1, 96-7.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Alien (34)  |  Biography (240)  |  Extraordinary (79)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Feel (367)  |  Sigmund Freud (69)  |  General (511)  |  Great (1574)  |  Idea (843)  |  Know (1518)  |  Matter (798)  |  Respect (207)  |  Significant (74)  |  Simple (406)  |  Singular (23)  |  Something (719)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Strength (126)  |  Universal (189)

[The] weakness of biological balance studies has aptly been illustrated by comparison with the working of a slot machine. A penny brings forth one package of chewing gum; two pennies bring forth two. Interpreted according to the reasoning of balance physiology, the first observation is an indication of the conversion of copper into gum; the second constitutes proof.
[Co-author with David Rittenberg (1906-70).]
'The Application of Isotopes to the Study of Intermediary Metabolism', Science (1938), 87, 222.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  Author (167)  |  Balance (77)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Chewing Gum (2)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Conversion (17)  |  Copper (25)  |  First (1283)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Indication (33)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Machine (257)  |  Observation (555)  |  Penny (5)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Proof (287)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Study (653)  |  Two (937)  |  Work (1351)


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.