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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index W > Category: Wing

Wing Quotes (48 quotes)


A Bat meeting any one running away, signifies an evasion: for although she have no wings, yet she flies.
In De Occulta Philosophia (1533), Vol. 1. Translation by J.F. (1651) reprinted as The Philosophy of Natural Magic (1913), 169.
Science quotes on:  |  Bat (9)  |  Evasion (2)  |  Fly (99)  |  Sign (56)

A bird maintains itself in the air by imperceptible balancing, when near to the mountains or lofty ocean crags; it does this by means of the curves of the winds which as they strike against these projections, being forced to preserve their first impetus bend their straight course towards the sky with divers revolutions, at the beginning of which the birds come to a stop with their wings open, receiving underneath themselves the continual buffetings of the reflex courses of the winds.
'Flight', in The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, trans. E. MacCurdy (1938), Vol. 1, 471.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (188)  |  Balance (54)  |  Bird (119)  |  Flight (63)  |  Mountain (145)  |  Ocean (148)  |  Wind (80)

A good ornithologist should be able to distinguish birds by their air as well as by their colors and shape; on the ground as well as on the wing, and in the bush as well as in the hand. For, though it must not be said that every species of birds has a manner peculiar to itself, yet there is somewhat, in most genera at least, that at first sight discriminates them and enables a judicious observer to pronounce upon them with some certainty.
Letter (7 Aug 1778) to Daines Barrington, collected in The Natural History of Selborne (1829), 274.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (188)  |  Bird (119)  |  Bush (9)  |  Certainty (129)  |  Color (99)  |  Discriminate (4)  |  Distinguish (61)  |  First Sight (6)  |  Genus (18)  |  Ground (90)  |  Hand (141)  |  Judicious (3)  |  Least (74)  |  Manner (57)  |  Observer (42)  |  Ornithology (21)  |  Peculiar (43)  |  Shape (69)  |  Species (220)

Are the humanistic and scientific approaches different? Scientists can calculate the torsion of a skyscraper at the wing-beat of a bird, or 155 motions of the Moon and 500 smaller ones in addition. They move in academic garb and sing logarithms. They say, “The sky is ours”, like priests in charge of heaven. We poor humanists cannot even think clearly, or write a sentence without a blunder, commoners of “common sense”. We never take a step without stumbling; they move solemnly, ever unerringly, never a step back, and carry bell, book, and candle.
Quoting himself in Stargazers and Gravediggers: Memoirs to Worlds in Collision (2012), 212.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (18)  |  Approach (53)  |  Back (104)  |  Beat (23)  |  Bell (15)  |  Bird (119)  |  Blunder (17)  |  Book (257)  |  Calculate (31)  |  Candle (23)  |  Carry (59)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Common Sense (126)  |  Different (178)  |  Garb (3)  |  Heaven (151)  |  Humanist (5)  |  Humanistic (3)  |  Logarithm (9)  |  Moon (199)  |  Motion (158)  |  Poor (57)  |  Priest (20)  |  Say (228)  |  Scientific (232)  |  Scientist (519)  |  Sentence (28)  |  Sing (25)  |  Sky (124)  |  Skyscraper (8)  |  Solemn (10)  |  Step (109)  |  Stumble (15)  |  Think (341)  |  Unerring (4)  |  Write (153)

As the proverb says, “You cannot fly like an eagle with the wings of a wren.”
In Afoot in England (1909, 1922), 80. He might have originated this specific wording, but as this full sentence shows, Hudson was quoting a proverb. Many sources simply attribute the quote to him. Yet, in fact, the expression goes back to at least 1607, for it appears in Thomas Walkington, 'To the Reader', The Optick Glasse of Humors as “I have soared also above my pitch, attempting an Eagles flight with the wing of a Wrenne.”
Science quotes on:  |  Eagle (13)  |  Fly (99)  |  Proverb (24)  |  Wren (3)

Courage is the price that
Life exacts for granting peace.
The soul that knows it not, knows no release
From little things:
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.
From poem 'Courage' (1927), opening lines, included in magazine article by Marion Perkins, 'Who Is Amelia Earhart?', Survey(1 July 1928), 60. Quoted as epigraph, and cited in Mary S. Lovell, The Sound of Wings: The Life of Amelia Earhart (1989), ix.
Science quotes on:  |  Bitter (14)  |  Courage (55)  |  Fear (141)  |  Height (32)  |  Joy (88)  |  Life (1124)  |  Loneliness (4)  |  Mountain (145)  |  Peace (84)  |  Price (33)  |  Release (21)  |  Soul (163)  |  Sound (88)

Evolution is the conviction that organisms developed their current forms by an extended history of continual transformation, and that ties of genealogy bind all living things into one nexus. Panselectionism is a denial of history, for perfection covers the tracks of time. A perfect wing may have evolved to its current state, but it may have been created just as we find it. We simply cannot tell if perfection be our only evidence. As Darwin himself understood so well, the primary proofs of evolution are oddities and imperfections that must record pathways of historical descent–the panda’s thumb and the flamingo’s smile of my book titles (chosen to illustrate this paramount principle of history).
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Bind (25)  |  Book (257)  |  Choose (59)  |  Continual (18)  |  Conviction (71)  |  Cover (37)  |  Create (150)  |  Current (54)  |  Darwin (14)  |  Denial (14)  |  Descent (15)  |  Develop (103)  |  Evidence (181)  |  Evolution (533)  |  Extend (41)  |  Find (405)  |  Flamingo (2)  |  Form (308)  |  Genealogy (4)  |  Historical (14)  |  History (368)  |  Illustrate (9)  |  Imperfection (24)  |  Living Things (5)  |  Nexus (3)  |  Oddity (4)  |  Organism (150)  |  Panda (2)  |  Paramount (7)  |  Pathway (11)  |  Perfect (83)  |  Perfection (88)  |  Primary (39)  |  Principle (285)  |  Proof (243)  |  Record (67)  |  Simply (52)  |  Smile (19)  |  State (136)  |  Tell (110)  |  Thumb (10)  |  Tie (23)  |  Time (594)  |  Title (18)  |  Track (14)  |  Transformation (54)  |  Understand (326)

Given angel’s wings, where might you fly?
In what sweet heaven might you find your love?
Unwilling to be bound, where might you move,
Lost between the wonder and the why?...
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Angel (30)  |  Bind (25)  |  Find (405)  |  Fly (99)  |  Give (200)  |  Heaven (151)  |  Lose (93)  |  Love (222)  |  Move (94)  |  Sweet (14)  |  Unwilling (9)  |  Wonder (169)

Have you ever plunged into the immensity of space and time by reading the geological treatises of Cuvier? Borne away on the wings of his genius, have you hovered over the illimitable abyss of the past as if a magician’s hand were holding you aloft?
From 'La Peau de Chagrin' (1831). As translated by Herbert J. Hunt in The Wild Ass’s Skin (1977), 40-41.
Science quotes on:  |  Abyss (23)  |  Aloft (5)  |  Baron Georges Cuvier (30)  |  Genius (243)  |  Geological (11)  |  Hover (5)  |  Immensity (21)  |  Limitless (8)  |  Magician (13)  |  Past (150)  |  Plunge (9)  |  Read (144)  |  Space (257)  |  Time (594)  |  Treatise (32)

He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet.
In Tryon Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908), 245.
Science quotes on:  |  Foot (60)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Learning (177)

I find in the domestic duck that the bones of the wing weigh less and the bones of the leg more, in proportion to the whole skeleton, than do the same bones in the wild duck; and this change may be safely attributed to the domestic duck flying much less, and walking more, than its wild parents.
From On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1861), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Attribute (38)  |  Bone (63)  |  Change (363)  |  Domestic (13)  |  Duck (3)  |  Find (405)  |  Fly (99)  |  Leg (18)  |  Parent (45)  |  Proportion (70)  |  Skeleton (18)  |  Walk (67)  |  Weight (75)  |  Whole (189)  |  Wild (48)

I have soared also above my pitch, attempting an Eagles flight with the wings of a Wrenne.
In 'To the Reader', The Optick Glass of Humors (1607), 10-11. This is quoted by William Henry Hudson: “As the proverb says, ‘You cannot fly like an Eagle with the wings of a wren.’” in Afoot in England (1909, 1922), 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (121)  |  Eagle (13)  |  Flight (63)  |  Pitch (7)  |  Soar (15)  |  Wren (3)

I hear the scream of a great hawk, sailing with a ragged wing against the high wood-side, apparently to scare his prey and so detect it—shrill, harsh, fitted to excite terror in sparrows and to issue from his split and curved bill. I see his open bill the while against the sky. Spit with force from his mouth with an undulatory quaver imparted to it from his wings or motion as he flies.
(15 Jun 1852). In Henry David Thoreau and Bradford Torrey (ed.), The Writings of Henry Thoreau: Journal: IV: May 1, 1852-February 27,, 1853 (1906), 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Bill (14)  |  Detect (14)  |  Excite (15)  |  Fly (99)  |  Harsh (8)  |  Hawk (3)  |  Ornithology (21)  |  Prey (12)  |  Scare (6)  |  Scream (6)  |  Shrill (2)  |  Sky (124)  |  Sparrow (6)  |  Terror (18)

I searched along the changing edge
Where, sky-pierced now the cloud had broken.
I saw no bird, no blade of wing,
No song was spoken.
I stood, my eyes turned upward still
And drank the air and breathed the light.
Then, like a hawk upon the wind,
I climbed the sky, I made the flight.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Air (188)  |  Bird (119)  |  Blade (9)  |  Break (54)  |  Breathe (36)  |  Change (363)  |  Climb (34)  |  Cloud (69)  |  Drink (36)  |  Edge (23)  |  Eye (218)  |  Flight (63)  |  Hawk (3)  |  Light (345)  |  Search (104)  |  See (369)  |  Sky (124)  |  Song (27)  |  Speak (90)  |  Stand (107)  |  Turn (118)  |  Upward (11)  |  Wind (80)

I think modern science should graft functional wings on a pig, simply so no one can ever use that stupid saying again.
Anonymous
In K. D. Sullivan, A Cure for the Common Word (2007), 134.
Science quotes on:  |  Functional (10)  |  Graft (3)  |  Pig (8)  |  Quip (80)  |  French Saying (67)  |  Stupid (18)

I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world.
As given in United States Committee for Cooperation with the Japan Council Against A and H Bombs, Report from Hiroshima (1961), 48. The report says Sadako murmured these (translated) words while on her deathbed, holding one of the paper cranes she had folded.
Science quotes on:  |  Fly (99)  |  Peace (84)  |  World (892)  |  Write (153)

If the flap of a butterfly’s wings can be instrumental in generating a tornado, it can equally well be instrumental in preventing a tornado.
In talk presented at the 139th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (29 Dec 1972). The text of the talk, in its original form, as then prepared for press release but unpublished, is in Edward Lorenz, Essence of Chaos (1995), Appendix 1, 181.
Science quotes on:  |  Butterfly (20)  |  Chaos (76)  |  Equally (25)  |  Flap (2)  |  Instrumental (5)  |  Prevent (40)  |  Tornado (2)

In all works on Natural History, we constantly find details of the marvellous adaptation of animals to their food, their habits, and the localities in which they are found. But naturalists are now beginning to look beyond this, and to see that there must be some other principle regulating the infinitely varied forms of animal life. It must strike every one, that the numbers of birds and insects of different groups having scarcely any resemblance to each other, which yet feed on the same food and inhabit the same localities, cannot have been so differently constructed and adorned for that purpose alone. Thus the goat-suckers, the swallows, the tyrant fly-catchers, and the jacamars, all use the same kind ‘Of food, and procure it in the same manner: they all capture insects on the wing, yet how entirely different is the structure and the whole appearance of these birds!
In A Narrative of Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro (1853), 83-84.
Science quotes on:  |  Adaptation (49)  |  Animal (356)  |  Appearance (85)  |  Beginning (122)  |  Bird (119)  |  Capture (10)  |  Constant (56)  |  Constructed (3)  |  Feed (27)  |  Find (405)  |  Food (152)  |  Form (308)  |  Habit (107)  |  Infinite (128)  |  Insect (64)  |  Marvel (28)  |  Natural History (49)  |  Naturalist (54)  |  Swallow (20)  |  Tyrant (9)

In ancient days two aviators procured to themselves wings. Daedalus flew safely through the middle air and was duly honored on his landing. Icarus soared upwards to the sun till the wax melted which bound his wings and his flight ended in fiasco. In weighing their achievements, there is something to be said for Icarus. The classical authorities tell us that he was only “doing a stunt,” but I prefer to think of him as the man who brought to light a serious constructional defect in the flying machines of his day.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (150)  |  Aeronautics (14)  |  Ancient (103)  |  Authority (65)  |  Bind (25)  |  Defect (15)  |  End (195)  |  Fiasco (2)  |  Flight (63)  |  Fly (99)  |  Flying Machine (10)  |  Icarus (2)  |  Melt (16)  |  Serious (52)  |  Soar (15)  |  Stunt (3)  |  Sun (276)  |  Wax (8)  |  Weigh (14)

In honoring the Wright Brothers, it is customary and proper to recognize their contribution to scientific progress. But I believe it is equally important to emphasize the qualities in their pioneering life and the character in man that such a life produced. The Wright Brothers balanced sucess with modesty, science with simplicity. At Kitty Hawk their intellects and senses worked in mutual support. They represented man in balance, and from that balance came wings to lift a world.
Speech, quoted in Leonard Mosley, Lindbergh (2000), 347. In 1949, Lindbergh gave a speech when he received the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy.
Science quotes on:  |  Balance (54)  |  Biography (232)  |  Character (115)  |  Contribution (60)  |  Intellect (188)  |  Life (1124)  |  Man (373)  |  Modesty (12)  |  Pioneer (27)  |  Progress (362)  |  Represent (41)  |  Science (2043)  |  Scientific Progress (12)  |  Sense (315)  |  Simplicity (146)  |  Success (248)  |  Support (77)  |  Orville Wright (8)  |  Wilbur Wright (11)

In six thousand years, you could never grow wings on a reptile. With sixty million, however, you could have feathers, too.
Annals of the Former World
Science quotes on:  |  Feather (12)  |  Grow (98)  |  Million (111)  |  Reptile (26)  |  Sixty (6)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Year (299)

Is this your triumph—this your proud applause,
Children of Truth, and champions of her cause?
For this has Science search’d, on weary wing,
By shore and sea—each mute and living thing!
'Pleasures of Hope', Part 2. In Samuel Rogers, Thomas Campbell, et al, The Poetical Works of Rogers, Campbell, J. Montgomery, Lamb, and Kirke White (1830), 121.
Science quotes on:  |  Applause (9)  |  Cause (283)  |  Champion (5)  |  Child (245)  |  Life (1124)  |  Mute (4)  |  Pride (64)  |  Science (2043)  |  Sea (187)  |  Search (104)  |  Shore (24)  |  Triumph (46)  |  Truth (914)  |  Weariness (5)

It is a happy world after all. The air, the earth, the water teem with delighted existence. In a spring noon, or a summer evening, on whichever side I turn my eyes, myriads of happy beings crowd upon my view. “The insect youth are on the wing.” Swarms of new-born flies are trying their pinions in the air. Their sportive motions, their wanton mazes, their gratuitous activity testify their joy and the exultation they feel in their lately discovered faculties … The whole winged insect tribe, it is probable, are equally intent upon their proper employments, and under every variety of constitution, gratified, and perhaps equally gratified, by the offices which the author of their nature has assigned to them.
Natural Theology: or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of The Deity, Collected from the Appearances of Nature (1802), 490-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (128)  |  Air (188)  |  Assignment (10)  |  Author (61)  |  Being (41)  |  Constitution (31)  |  Crowd (22)  |  Delight (64)  |  Discovery (676)  |  Earth (635)  |  Employment (23)  |  Equality (21)  |  Evening (12)  |  Existence (296)  |  Exultation (4)  |  Eye (218)  |  Faculty (65)  |  Feeling (91)  |  Fly (99)  |  Gratification (17)  |  Happy (46)  |  Insect (64)  |  Intent (8)  |  Joy (88)  |  Lateness (4)  |  Maze (10)  |  Motion (158)  |  Myriad (22)  |  Nature (1211)  |  New-born (2)  |  Noon (6)  |  Office (22)  |  Probability (106)  |  Properness (2)  |  Side (51)  |  Sport (11)  |  Spring (70)  |  Summer (33)  |  Swarm (13)  |  Teeming (2)  |  Testament (4)  |  Tribe (12)  |  Try (141)  |  Variety (69)  |  View (171)  |  Water (292)  |  Whole (189)  |  World (892)  |  Youth (75)

It is by the aid of iron that we construct houses, cleave rocks, and perform so many other useful offices of life. But it is with iron also that wars, murders, and robberies are effected, and this, not only hand to hand, but from a distance even, by the aid of missiles and winged weapons, now launched from engines, now hurled by the human arm, and now furnished with feathery wings. This last I regard as the most criminal artifice that has been devised by the human mind; for, as if to bring death upon man with still greater rapidity, we have given wings to iron and taught it to fly. ... Nature, in conformity with her usual benevolence, has limited the power of iron, by inflicting upon it the punishment of rust; and has thus displayed her usual foresight in rendering nothing in existence more perishable, than the substance which brings the greatest dangers upon perishable mortality.
Natural History of Pliny, translation (1857, 1898) by John Bostock and H. T. Riley, 205-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Benevolence (6)  |  Cleave (2)  |  Death (302)  |  Existence (296)  |  Flight (63)  |  Foresight (5)  |  House (43)  |  Iron (65)  |  Missile (5)  |  Mortality (15)  |  Murder (12)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Perish (29)  |  Punishment (11)  |  Rapidity (16)  |  Robbery (6)  |  Rust (5)  |  Spear (6)  |  War (161)  |  Weapon (66)

Knowledge falters when imagination clips its wings or fears to use them.
'The Copernican Revolution', in The Quest for Certainty: A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action (1929), 294. Collected in John Dewey. Volume 4: The Later Works, 1925-1953: 1929 The Quest for Certainty (1984), 247.
Science quotes on:  |  Faltering (2)  |  Fear (141)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Knowledge (1293)

Most pilots learn, when they pin on their wings and go out and get in a fighter, especially, that one thing you don’t do, you don’t believe anything anybody tells you about an airplane.
Science quotes on:  |  Airplane (38)  |  Anybody (11)  |  Belief (503)  |  Especially (30)  |  Fighter (4)  |  Learn (281)  |  Pilot (13)  |  Pin (6)  |  Tell (110)

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 (104)  |  Butterfly (20)  |  Excitement (40)  |  Headache (5)  |  Heart (139)  |  Naturalist (54)  |  Violence (23)

Now, at Suiattle Pass, Brower was still talking about butterflies. He said he had raised them from time to time and had often watched them emerge from the chrysalis—first a crack in the case, then a feeler, and in an hour a butterfly. He said he had felt that he wanted to help, to speed them through the long and awkward procedure; and he had once tried. The butterflies came out with extended abdomens, and their wings were balled together like miniature clenched fists. Nothing happened. They sat there until they died. ‘I have never gotten over that,’ he said. ‘That kind of information is all over in the country, but it’s not in town.”
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abdomen (3)  |  Awkward (7)  |  Ball (31)  |  Brower (2)  |  Butterfly (20)  |  Case (98)  |  Clench (2)  |  Country (144)  |  Crack (15)  |  Die (81)  |  Emerge (21)  |  Extend (41)  |  Feel (165)  |  Feeler (2)  |  First (313)  |  Fist (3)  |  Happen (82)  |  Help (101)  |  Hour (71)  |  Information (121)  |  Kind (138)  |  Long (172)  |  Miniature (5)  |  Nothing (385)  |  Often (106)  |  Pass (91)  |  Procedure (24)  |  Raise (34)  |  Say (228)  |  Sit (47)  |  Speed (35)  |  Talk (99)  |  Time (594)  |  Together (77)  |  Town (27)  |  Try (141)  |  Want (175)  |  Watch (64)

Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.
Bible
Psalm 55:6, The Holy Bible (1815), 475.
Science quotes on:  |  Aeronautics (14)  |  Dove (2)  |  Flying (20)  |  Rest (93)

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
you have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung
high in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
my eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
where never lark, or even eagle flew
and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Air (188)  |  Blue (56)  |  Bond (26)  |  Burn (41)  |  Chase (13)  |  Climb (34)  |  Cloud (69)  |  Craft (10)  |  Dance (26)  |  Delirious (2)  |  Dream (165)  |  Eager (15)  |  Eagle (13)  |  Earth (635)  |  Easy (98)  |  Face (108)  |  Fling (5)  |  Fly (99)  |  God (535)  |  Grace (17)  |  Hall (5)  |  Hand (141)  |  Height (32)  |  High (152)  |  Hover (5)  |  Hundred (64)  |  Join (25)  |  Lark (2)  |  Lift (25)  |  Long (172)  |  Mind (743)  |  Sanctity (3)  |  Shout (12)  |  Silence (43)  |  Silent (28)  |  Sky (124)  |  Slip (5)  |  Soar (15)  |  Space (257)  |  Sunlit (2)  |  Sunward (2)  |  Swing (10)  |  Top (34)  |  Touch (76)  |  Tread (11)  |  Tumble (2)  |  Wheel (22)  |  Wind (80)

OSTRICH, n. A large bird to which (for its sins, doubtless) nature has denied that hinder toe in which so many pious naturalists have seen a conspicuous evidence of design. The absence of a good working pair of wings is no defect, for, as has been ingeniously pointed out, the ostrich does not fly.
The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce (1911), Vol. 7, The Devil's Dictionary,  241.
Science quotes on:  |  Design (113)  |  Humour (103)  |  Toe (7)

Poised for flight,
Wings spread bright,
Spring from night into the Sun.
Help on the Way
Science quotes on:  |  Bright (42)  |  Flight (63)  |  Night (117)  |  Poise (4)  |  Spread (33)  |  Spring (70)  |  Sun (276)

Science has thus, most unexpectedly, placed in our hands a new power of great but unknown energy. It does not wake the winds from their caverns; nor give wings to water by the urgency of heat; nor drive to exhaustion the muscular power of animals; nor operate by complicated mechanism; nor summon any other form of gravitating force, but, by the simplest means—the mere contact of metallic surfaces of small extent, with feeble chemical agents, a power everywhere diffused through nature, but generally concealed from our senses, is mysteriously evolved, and by circulation in insulated wires, it is still more mysteriously augmented, a thousand and a thousand fold, until it breaks forth with incredible energy.
Comment upon 'The Notice of the Electro-Magnetic Machine of Mr. Thomas Davenport, of Brandon, near Rutland, Vermont, U.S.', The Annals of Electricity, Magnetism, & Chemistry; and Guardian of Experimental Science (1838), 2, 263.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (356)  |  Augmentation (4)  |  Cavern (4)  |  Circulation (18)  |  Complicated (61)  |  Concealment (8)  |  Contact (34)  |  Dynamo (4)  |  Electromagnetism (18)  |  Energy (214)  |  Exhaustion (13)  |  Gravity (100)  |  Heat (100)  |  Insulation (2)  |  Means (171)  |  Mechanism (52)  |  Mere (78)  |  Metal (41)  |  Muscle (35)  |  Mystery (151)  |  Operation (118)  |  Power (358)  |  Science (2043)  |  Sense (315)  |  Simplicity (146)  |  Summon (6)  |  Unknown (105)  |  Water (292)  |  Wind (80)  |  Wire (20)

The Dark Ages may return—the Stone Age may return on the gleaming wings of Science; and what might now shower immeasureable material blessings upon mankind may even bring about its total destruction. Beware! I say. Time may be short.
Referring to the discovery of atomic energy.
“Iron Curtain” speech at Fulton, Missouri (5 Mar 1946). Maxims and Reflections (1947), 164.
Science quotes on:  |  Beware (10)  |  Blessing (9)  |  Dark Ages (10)  |  Destruction (85)  |  Immeasurable (4)  |  Mankind (241)  |  Material (154)  |  Return (55)  |  Science (2043)  |  Stone Age (10)

The dodo never had a chance. He seems to have been invented for the sole purpose of becoming extinct and that was all he was good for. … I’m not blaming the Dodo but he was a mess. He had an ugly face with a large hooked beak, a tail in the wrong place, wings too small … and a very prominent stomach.
In 'The Dodo', How to Become Extinct (1941), 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Beak (4)  |  Blame (24)  |  Chance (159)  |  Dodo (5)  |  Extinct (8)  |  Face (108)  |  Hook (4)  |  Invented (4)  |  Mess (13)  |  Place (174)  |  Prominent (5)  |  Purpose (193)  |  Small (161)  |  Stomach (24)  |  Tail (18)  |  Ugly (14)  |  Wrong (138)

The swallow is come!
The swallow is come!
O, fair are the seasons, and light
Are the days that she brings,
With her dusky wings,
And her bosom snowy white!
In Hyperion: A Romance (1839), Vol. 1, Book 2, 97.
Science quotes on:  |  Bosom (8)  |  Dusky (4)  |  Ornithology (21)  |  Season (26)  |  Swallow (20)  |  White (56)

There shall be wings! If the accomplishment be not for me, ’tis for some other. The spirit cannot die; and man, who shall know all and shall have wings...
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (79)  |  Die (81)  |  Know (547)  |  Spirit (152)

There's nothing situate under heaven's eye
But hath his bond in earth, in sea, in sky.
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls
Are their males' subjects and at their controls.
Man, more divine, the master of all these,
Lord of the wide world and wild wat'ry seas,
Indu'd with intellectual sense and souls,
Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
Are masters to their females, and their lords;
Then let your will attend on their accords.
The Comedy of Errors (1594), II, i.
Science quotes on:  |  Beast (38)  |  Bond (26)  |  Control (111)  |  Divine (60)  |  Earth (635)  |  Fish (95)  |  Fowl (4)  |  Heaven (151)  |  Intellect (188)  |  Male (26)  |  Man (373)  |  Master (93)  |  Sea (187)  |  Sky (124)  |  Soul (163)  |  Subject (235)

This theme of mutually invisible life at widely differing scales bears an important implication for the ‘culture wars’ that supposedly now envelop our universities and our intellectual discourse in general ... One side of this false dichotomy features the postmodern relativists who argue that all culturally bound modes of perception must be equally valid, and that no factual truth therefore exists. The other side includes the benighted, old-fashioned realists who insist that flies truly have two wings, and that Shakespeare really did mean what he thought he was saying. The principle of scaling provides a resolution for the false parts of this silly dichotomy. Facts are facts and cannot be denied by any rational being. (Often, facts are also not at all easy to determine or specify–but this question raises different issues for another time.) Facts, however, may also be highly scale dependent–and the perceptions of one world may have no validity or expression in the domain of another. The one-page map of Maine cannot recognize the separate boulders of Acadia, but both provide equally valid representations of a factual coastline.
The World as I See It (1999)
Science quotes on:  |  Argue (23)  |  Bear (66)  |  Benighted (2)  |  Bind (25)  |  Both (81)  |  Boulder (7)  |  Coastline (2)  |  Culturally (2)  |  Culture (102)  |  Deny (41)  |  Dependent (22)  |  Determine (72)  |  Dichotomy (4)  |  Differ (22)  |  Different (178)  |  Discourse (18)  |  Domain (40)  |  Easy (98)  |  Envelop (5)  |  Equally (25)  |  Exist (147)  |  Expression (104)  |  Fact (725)  |  Factual (8)  |  False (98)  |  Feature (43)  |  Fly (99)  |  General (156)  |  Highly (16)  |  Implication (22)  |  Important (202)  |  Include (40)  |  Insist (19)  |  Intellectual (120)  |  Invisible (38)  |  Issue (42)  |  Life (1124)  |  Map (30)  |  Mean (101)  |  Mode (40)  |  Mutually (7)  |  Often (106)  |  Old-Fashioned (5)  |  Part (220)  |  Perception (61)  |  Principle (285)  |  Provide (68)  |  Question (404)  |  Raise (34)  |  Rational (56)  |  Realist (2)  |  Really (78)  |  Recognize (66)  |  Relativist (2)  |  Representation (35)  |  Resolution (18)  |  Say (228)  |  Scale (62)  |  Separate (69)  |  Shakespeare (5)  |  Side (51)  |  Silly (12)  |  Specify (6)  |  Supposedly (2)  |  Theme (12)  |  Thought (536)  |  Time (594)  |  Truly (33)  |  Truth (914)  |  University (80)  |  Valid (11)  |  Validity (31)  |  War (161)  |  Widely (8)  |  World (892)

This [the fact that the pursuit of mathematics brings into harmonious action all the faculties of the human mind] accounts for the extraordinary longevity of all the greatest masters of the Analytic art, the Dii Majores of the mathematical Pantheon. Leibnitz lived to the age of 70; Euler to 76; Lagrange to 77; Laplace to 78; Gauss to 78; Plato, the supposed inventor of the conic sections, who made mathematics his study and delight, who called them the handles or aids to philosophy, the medicine of the soul, and is said never to have let a day go by without inventing some new theorems, lived to 82; Newton, the crown and glory of his race, to 85; Archimedes, the nearest akin, probably, to Newton in genius, was 75, and might have lived on to be 100, for aught we can guess to the contrary, when he was slain by the impatient and ill mannered sergeant, sent to bring him before the Roman general, in the full vigour of his faculties, and in the very act of working out a problem; Pythagoras, in whose school, I believe, the word mathematician (used, however, in a somewhat wider than its present sense) originated, the second founder of geometry, the inventor of the matchless theorem which goes by his name, the pre-cognizer of the undoubtedly mis-called Copernican theory, the discoverer of the regular solids and the musical canon who stands at the very apex of this pyramid of fame, (if we may credit the tradition) after spending 22 years studying in Egypt, and 12 in Babylon, opened school when 56 or 57 years old in Magna Græcia, married a young wife when past 60, and died, carrying on his work with energy unspent to the last, at the age of 99. The mathematician lives long and lives young; the wings of his soul do not early drop off, nor do its pores become clogged with the earthy particles blown from the dusty highways of vulgar life.
In Presidential Address to the British Association, Collected Mathematical Papers, Vol. 2 (1908), 658.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (67)  |  Act (115)  |  Action (184)  |  Age (174)  |  Aid (41)  |  Akin (5)  |  Analytic (10)  |  Apex (4)  |  Archimedes (53)  |  Art (284)  |  Aught (2)  |  Babylon (5)  |  Become (172)  |  Belief (503)  |  Blow (22)  |  Bring (90)  |  Call (127)  |  Called (9)  |  Canon (3)  |  Carry (59)  |  Clog (5)  |  Conic Section (7)  |  Contrary (34)  |  Copernican Theory (3)  |  Credit (20)  |  Crown (26)  |  Delight (64)  |  Die (81)  |  Discoverer (15)  |  Drop (39)  |  Dusty (8)  |  Early (61)  |  Earthy (2)  |  Egypt (22)  |  Energy (214)  |  Leonhard Euler (34)  |  Extraordinary (43)  |  Fact (725)  |  Faculty (65)  |  Fame (37)  |  Founder (15)  |  Full (63)  |  Carl Friedrich Gauss (73)  |  General (156)  |  Genius (243)  |  Geometry (215)  |  Glory (57)  |  Great (524)  |  Guess (48)  |  Handle (16)  |  Harmonious (9)  |  Highway (13)  |  Human Mind (80)  |  Impatient (3)  |  Invent (50)  |  Inventor (55)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (24)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (61)  |  Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (49)  |  Let (61)  |  Life (1124)  |  Live (269)  |  Long (172)  |  Longevity (6)  |  Manner (57)  |  Marry (8)  |  Master (93)  |  Mathematician (364)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Medicine (343)  |  Musical (7)  |  Name (165)  |  New (483)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (327)  |  Old (147)  |  Open (66)  |  Originate (21)  |  Pantheon (2)  |  Particle (99)  |  Past (150)  |  Philosophy (257)  |  Plato (73)  |  Pore (7)  |  Present (174)  |  Probably (47)  |  Problem (490)  |  Pursuit (76)  |  Pyramid (9)  |  Pythagoras (34)  |  Race (103)  |  Regular (13)  |  Roman (27)  |  Say (228)  |  School (117)  |  Second (59)  |  Send (22)  |  Sense (315)  |  Sergeant (2)  |  Solid (50)  |  Soul (163)  |  Spend (43)  |  Stand (107)  |  Study (461)  |  Suppose (49)  |  Theorem (88)  |  Tradition (49)  |  Undoubtedly (3)  |  Vigour (12)  |  Vulgar (15)  |  Wide (27)  |  Wife (23)  |  Word (299)  |  Work (626)  |  Year (299)  |  Young (98)

To speak of this subject you must... explain the nature of the resistance of the air, in the second the anatomy of the bird and its wings, in the third the method of working the wings in their various movements, in the fourth the power of the wings and the tail when the wings are not being moved and when the wind is favorable to serve as guide in various movements.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Air (188)  |  Anatomy (63)  |  Bird (119)  |  Explain (105)  |  Favorable (11)  |  Fourth (7)  |  Guide (62)  |  Method (230)  |  Move (94)  |  Movement (82)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Power (358)  |  Resistance (26)  |  Second (59)  |  Serve (57)  |  Speak (90)  |  Subject (235)  |  Tail (18)  |  Third (15)  |  Various (46)  |  Wind (80)  |  Work (626)

We have also here an acting cause to account for that balance so often observed in nature,—a deficiency in one set of organs always being compensated by an increased development of some others—powerful wings accompanying weak feet, or great velocity making up for the absence of defensive weapons; for it has been shown that all varieties in which an unbalanced deficiency occurred could not long continue their existen The action of this principle is exactly like that of the centrifugal governor of the steam engine, which checks and corrects any irregularities almost before they become evident; and in like manner no unbalanced deficiency in the animal kingdom can ever reach any conspicuous magnitude, because it would make itself felt at the very first step, by rendering existence difficult and extinction almost sure soon to follow.
In 'On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type', Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, Zoology (1858), 3, 61-62.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (356)  |  Balance (54)  |  Centrifugal (3)  |  Compensation (7)  |  Conspicuous (7)  |  Continue (63)  |  Correct (83)  |  Defense (18)  |  Deficiency (8)  |  Development (276)  |  Difficulty (144)  |  Existence (296)  |  Extinction (66)  |  Foot (60)  |  Governor (8)  |  Increased (3)  |  Irregularity (11)  |  Kingdom (37)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Observation (445)  |  Organ (64)  |  Other (27)  |  Powerful (66)  |  Steam Engine (42)  |  Step (109)  |  Variety (69)  |  Velocity (15)  |  Weak (43)  |  Weapon (66)

What can be more curious than that the hand of a man, formed for grasping, that of a mole for digging, the leg of the horse, the paddle of the porpoise, and the wing of the bat, should all be constructed on the same pattern?
In Origin of Species (1869), 516.
Science quotes on:  |  Bat (9)  |  Construction (83)  |  Curious (41)  |  Digging (3)  |  Form (308)  |  Grasp (59)  |  Hand (141)  |  Horse (49)  |  Leg (18)  |  Paddle (3)  |  Pattern (79)  |  Porpoise (2)

What is it to see, in an Eagle glide
Which fills a human heart with so much pride?
Is it that it soars effortless above the Earth
That steals us from our own limits & dearth?
Trapped in our seas of befuddling sludge
We try and try but cannot budge.
And then to see a mortal; with such ease take wing
Up in a breeze that makes our failing spirits sing?
Do we, vicarious birds, search in it our childishness -
When we too were young & yearned in heart to fly?
Taking flights of fancy through adolescent nights
Listening little, heeding less, knowing not why?
From its highest perch in the forest of snow
Majestic - the Eagle soars alone.
Riding thermals, lording clouds
Till dropping silent from the sky as a stone
But we, so quick and ready to fold
Give up our wings at the whiff of age
Losing years, cursing time, wasting spirit
Living out entire lives in futile rage!
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Adolescent (4)  |  Age (174)  |  Alone (101)  |  Bird (119)  |  Breeze (6)  |  Cloud (69)  |  Curse (15)  |  Dearth (2)  |  Drop (39)  |  Eagle (13)  |  Earth (635)  |  Ease (35)  |  Effortless (3)  |  Entire (46)  |  Fail (58)  |  Fancy (24)  |  Fill (61)  |  Flight (63)  |  Fly (99)  |  Fold (8)  |  Forest (107)  |  Futile (5)  |  Give Up (6)  |  Glide (4)  |  Heart (139)  |  Heed (8)  |  High (152)  |  Human (548)  |  Know (547)  |  Less (102)  |  Limit (123)  |  Listen (39)  |  Little (184)  |  Live (269)  |  Lord (16)  |  Lose (93)  |  Majestic (15)  |  Mortal (28)  |  Night (117)  |  Perch (4)  |  Pride (64)  |  Quick (13)  |  Rage (9)  |  Ready (37)  |  Ride (11)  |  Sea (187)  |  Search (104)  |  See (369)  |  Silent (28)  |  Sing (25)  |  Sky (124)  |  Sludge (3)  |  Snow (24)  |  Soar (15)  |  Spirit (152)  |  Steal (13)  |  Stone (76)  |  Thermal (7)  |  Time (594)  |  Trap (6)  |  Try (141)  |  Vicarious (2)  |  Waste (64)  |  Whiff (2)  |  Year (299)  |  Yearn (10)  |  Young (98)

What makes planets go around the sun? At the time of Kepler, some people answered this problem by saying that there were angels behind them beating their wings and pushing the planets around an orbit. As you will see, the answer is not very far from the truth. The only difference is that the angels sit in a different direction and their wings push inward.
In The Character of Physical Law (1965), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Angel (30)  |  Answer (249)  |  Beating (4)  |  Difference (246)  |  Different (178)  |  Direction (74)  |  Inward (2)  |  Johannes Kepler (90)  |  Orbit (69)  |  People (388)  |  Planet (262)  |  Problem (490)  |  Push (29)  |  Sun (276)  |  Truth (914)

When the difficulty of a problem lies only in finding out what follows from certain fixed premises, mathematical methods furnish invaluable wings for flying over intermediate obstructions.
From The Economic Theory of the Location of Railways (1887, 1914), viii.
Science quotes on:  |  Difficulty (144)  |  Find (405)  |  Fixed (15)  |  Fly (99)  |  Follow (123)  |  Furnish (40)  |  Intermediate (20)  |  Invaluable (7)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Obstruction (4)  |  Premise (25)  |  Problem (490)

Yesterday, a small white keel feather escaped from my goose and lodged in the bank boughs near the kitchen porch, where I spied it as I came home in the cold twilight. The minute I saw the feather, I was projected into May, knowing a barn swallow would be along to claim the prize and use it to decorate the front edge of its nest. Immediately, the December air seemed full of wings of swallows and the warmth of barns.
In 'Home-Coming' (10 Dec 1955), collected in Essays of E.B. White (1977), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (188)  |  Barn (5)  |  Bough (7)  |  December (3)  |  Decorate (2)  |  Edge (23)  |  Feather (12)  |  Front (16)  |  Full (63)  |  Goose (11)  |  Know (547)  |  Nest (17)  |  Prize (12)  |  Project (31)  |  Seem (143)  |  Swallow (20)  |  Warmth (11)

… on these expanded membranes [butterfly wings] Nature writes, as on a tablet, the story of the modifications of species, so truly do all changes of the organisation register themselves thereon. Moreover, the same colour-patterns of the wings generally show, with great regularity, the degrees of blood-relationship of the species. As the laws of nature must be the same for all beings, the conclusions furnished by this group of insects must be applicable to the whole world.
From The Naturalist on the River Amazons: A record of Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian life, and Aspects of Nature under the Equator, During Eleven Years of Travel (1864), 413.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (166)  |  Being (41)  |  Blood (104)  |  Butterfly (20)  |  Change (363)  |  Color (99)  |  Conclusion (157)  |  Degree (81)  |  Evolution (533)  |  Furnishing (4)  |  Group (72)  |  Insect (64)  |  Law Of Nature (64)  |  Membrane (12)  |  Modification (35)  |  Natural Selection (90)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Organization (84)  |  Pattern (79)  |  Registration (2)  |  Regularity (29)  |  Relationship (71)  |  Sameness (2)  |  Species (220)  |  Story (72)  |  Tablet (2)  |  World (892)  |  Writing (79)


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.