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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Politics is more difficult than physics.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index W > Category: Wisdom

Wisdom Quotes (151 quotes)


...for our wisdom is better than the strength of men or of horses. ... nor is it right to prefer strength to excellent wisdom. For if there should be in the city [any athlete whose skill] is honoured more than strength ... the city would not on that account be any better governed.
Quoted in Arthur Fairbanks (ed. And trans.), The First Philosophers of Greece (1898), 73, fragment 19.

Haec quippe prima sapientiae clavis definitur, assidua scilicet seu frequens interrogatio … Dubitando enim ad inquisitionem venimus; inquirendo veritatem percipimus.
For this is the first key to wisdom, assiduous and frequent questioning. ... By doubting we come to inquiry; by inquiry we perceive the truth.
Sic et Non (c. 1120). Latin text in Peter Abelard, E.L.T. Henke and G.S. Lindenkohl (eds.), Sic et Non (1851), 16-17. Title translates as Yes or No. As translated in Frederick Denison Maurice, Mediaeval Philosophy; Or, A Treatise of Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy (1870), 138.
Science quotes on:  |  Doubt (121)  |  Enquiry (75)  |  Truth (750)

Lyveris to-forn us
Useden to marke
For selkouthes that thei seighen,
Hir sones for to teche;
And helden it an heigh science
Hir wittes to knowe.
Ac thorugh hir science soothly
Was nevere no soule y-saved,
Ne broght by hir bokes
To blisse ne to joye;
For alle hir kynde knowynges
Come but of diverse sightes.
Patriarkes and prophetes
Repreveden hir science,
And seiden hir wordes and hir wisdomes
Nas but a folye
And to the clergie of Crist
Counted it but a trufle.

Our ancestors in olden days used to record
The strange things they saw, and teach them to their sons;
And they held it a high science, to have knowledge of such things.
But no soul was ever saved by all that science,
Nor brought by books into eternal bliss;
Their science was only a series of sundry observations.
So patriarchs and prophets disapproved of their science,
And said their so-called words of wisdom were but folly—
And compared with Christian philosophy, a contemptible thing.
In William Langland and B. Thomas Wright (ed.) The Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman (1842), 235-236. Modern translation by Terrence Tiller in Piers Plowman (1981, 1999), 123.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancestor (35)  |  Bliss (3)  |  Book (181)  |  Christian (17)  |  Compared (8)  |  Contemptible (7)  |  Eternal (43)  |  Folly (27)  |  High (78)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Observation (418)  |  Old (104)  |  Patriarch (3)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Prophet (8)  |  Record (56)  |  Science (1699)  |  Series (38)  |  Son (16)  |  Soul (139)  |  Strange (61)  |  Sundry (4)  |  Teach (102)  |  Word (221)

Prudens interrogatio quasi dimidium sapientiae.
A prudent question is, as it were, one half of wisdom.
In Henry Thomas Riley, Dictionary of Latin Quotations, Proverbs, Maxims, and Mottos (1866), 349.
Science quotes on:  |  Question (315)

Sapere aude.
Dare to be wise.
[Alternate: Dare to know.]
Horace
Epistles bk. 1, no. 2, 1. 40. In Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica, trans. H. Rushton Fairclough (1926), 264-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Dare (22)  |  Knowledge (1128)

[When questioned on his longevity] First of all, I selected my ancestors very wisely. ... They were long-lived, healthy people. Then, as a chemist, I know how to eat, how to exercise, keep my blood circulating. ... I don't worry. I don't get angry at people. I don't worry about things I can't help. I do what I can to make the world a better place to live, but I don't complain if things aren't right. As a scientist I take the world as I find it.
[About celebrating his 77th birthday by swimming a half mile in 22 minutes] I used swim fins and webbed gloves because a man of intelligence should apply his power efficiently, not just churn the water.
As quoted in obituary by Wallace Turner, 'Joel Hildebrand, 101', New York Times (3 May 1983), D27.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancestor (35)  |  Anger (14)  |  Application (117)  |  Better (131)  |  Blood (95)  |  Chemist (79)  |  Churn (2)  |  Circulation (17)  |  Complaint (7)  |  Eating (21)  |  Efficiency (25)  |  Exercise (35)  |  Fin (3)  |  Glove (3)  |  Health (136)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Keeping (9)  |  Life (917)  |  Long-Lived (2)  |  Longevity (4)  |  Obituary (10)  |  Person (114)  |  Power (273)  |  Selection (27)  |  Swimming (5)  |  Water (244)  |  Web (11)  |  World (667)  |  Worry (27)

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
In 'Proverbs', The Poems: With Specimens of the Prose Writings of William Blake (1885), 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Fool (70)  |  Same (92)  |  See (197)  |  Tree (143)  |  Wise (43)

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
In recent years, this has been widely quoted and cited as an (ancient?) Greek proverb. Seen, for example in, Violence on Television: Hearings Before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance (1994), 340. Webmaster however has so far found no example of this wording in, say, 19th century quotation collections. Which leaves the authenticity of the citation in question. Variations exist (for example “The beginning of wisdom comes when a person plants trees, the shade under which they know they will never sit.” (1993) or “Thoughtless men might ask why an old man plants a tree when he may never hope to sit in its shade” (1954).) However, the general sentiment has indeed existed for a long time. For example, “He that plants Trees, loves others besides himself,” collected in Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs (1731), 91, No. 2248.
Science quotes on:  |  Greatness (34)  |  Man (345)  |  Never (22)  |  Old (104)  |  Plant (173)  |  Shade (12)  |  Sit (24)  |  Society (188)  |  Tree (143)

A wise man in China asked his gardener to plant a shrub. The gardener objected that it only flowered once in a hundred years. “In that case,” said the wise man, “plant it immediately.” [On the importance of fundamental research.]
'A Scientist and the World He Lives In', Speech to the Empire Club of Canada (27 Nov 1986) in C. Frank Turner and Tim Dickson (eds.), The Empire Club of Canada Speeches 1986-1987 (1987), 149-161.
Science quotes on:  |  China (17)  |  Flowering (2)  |  Gardener (4)  |  Hundred (46)  |  Immediately (9)  |  Planting (4)  |  Research (517)  |  Shrub (2)  |  Wise Man (10)  |  Year (214)

A wise man’s day is worth a fool’s life
Anonymous
Arabic proverb. In Hialmer Day Gould, New Practical Spelling (1905), 27
Science quotes on:  |  Fool (70)  |  Life (917)  |  Worth (74)

A wise physician, skill’d our wounds to heal, is more than armies to the public weal.
Homer and Alexander Pope (trans.), The Iliad of Homer (1809), Vol. 2, 144.
Science quotes on:  |  Army (22)  |  Heal (4)  |  Homer (7)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Physician (232)  |  Skill (50)  |  Wound (10)

An amoeba never is torn apart through indecision, though, for even if two parts of the amoeba are inclined to go in different directions, a choice is always made. We could interpret this as schizophrenia or just confusion, but it could also be a judicious simultaneous sampling of conditions, in order to make a wise choice of future direction.
In The Center of Life: A Natural History of the Cell (1977, 1978), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Amoeba (20)  |  Choice (64)  |  Condition (119)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Difference (208)  |  Direction (56)  |  Future (229)  |  Indecision (3)  |  Interpretation (61)  |  Sample (8)  |  Schizophrenia (2)  |  Simultaneous (12)  |  Torn (4)

And men ought to know that from nothing else but thence [from the brain] come joys, delights, laughter and sports, and sorrows, griefs, despondency, and lamentations. And by this, in an especial manner, we acquire wisdom and knowledge, and see and hear, and know what are foul and hat are fair, what are bad and what are good, what are sweet, and what unsavory... And by the same organ we become mad and delirious, and fears and terrors assail us... All these things we endure from the brain, when it is not healthy... In these ways I am of the opinion that the brain exercises the greatest power in the man. This is the interpreter to us of those things which emanate from the air, when it [the brain] happens to be in a sound state.
The Genuine Works of Hippocrates, trans. Francis Adams (1886), Vol. 2, 344-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (181)  |  Joy (61)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Neuroscience (3)

Aristotle, in spite of his reputation, is full of absurdities. He says that children should be conceived in the Winter, when the wind is in the North, and that if people marry too young the children will be female. He tells us that the blood of females is blacker then that of males; that the pig is the only animal liable to measles; that an elephant suffering from insomnia should have its shoulders rubbed with salt, olive-oil, and warm water; that women have fewer teeth than men, and so on. Nevertheless, he is considered by the great majority of philosophers a paragon of wisdom.
From An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish (1937, 1943), 19. Collected in The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell (2009), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (16)  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Black (27)  |  Blood (95)  |  Child (189)  |  Conception (63)  |  Elephant (16)  |  Female (20)  |  Fewer (5)  |  Insomnia (2)  |  Male (24)  |  Marriage (31)  |  North (7)  |  Paragon (4)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Pig (7)  |  Reputation (17)  |  Rub (2)  |  Salt (23)  |  Shoulder (13)  |  Teeth (11)  |  Warm (20)  |  Water (244)  |  Wind (52)  |  Winter (22)  |  Woman (94)  |  Young (72)

As knowledge advances, science ceases to scoff at religion; and religion ceases to frown on science. The hour of mockery by the one, and of reproof by the other, is passing away. Henceforth, they will dwell together in unity and goodwill. They will mutually illustrate the wisdom, power, and grace of God. Science will adorn and enrich religion; and religion will ennoble and sanctify science.
In Tryon Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908), 505.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Cease (23)  |  Dwell (8)  |  Ennoble (5)  |  Enrich (6)  |  Frown (3)  |  God (454)  |  Goodwill (3)  |  Grace (13)  |  Hour (42)  |  Illustrate (5)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Mockery (2)  |  Mutual (22)  |  Mutually (4)  |  Pass (60)  |  Power (273)  |  Religion (210)  |  Reproof (2)  |  Sanctify (2)  |  Science (1699)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Scoff (4)  |  Together (48)  |  Unity (43)

Behold the mighty dinosaur,
Famous in prehistoric lore,
Not only for his power and strength
But for his intellectual length.
You will observe by these remains
The creature had two sets of brains—
One in his head (the usual place),
The other at his spinal base.
Thus he could reason 'A priori'
As well as 'A posteriori'.
No problem bothered him a bit
He made both head and tail of it.
So wise was he, so wise and solemn,
Each thought filled just a spinal column.
If one brain found the pressure strong
It passed a few ideas along.
If something slipped his forward mind
'Twas rescued by the one behind.
And if in error he was caught
He had a saving afterthought.
As he thought twice before he spoke
He had no judgment to revoke.
Thus he could think without congestion
Upon both sides of every question.
Oh, gaze upon this model beast
Defunct ten million years at least.
'The Dinosaur: A Poem' (1912). In E. H. Colbert (ed.), The Dinosaur Book (1951), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (16)  |  Afterthought (6)  |  Bother (6)  |  Brain (181)  |  Congestion (2)  |  Dinosaur (23)  |  Error (230)  |  Gaze (12)  |  Head (52)  |  Idea (440)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Million (89)  |  Mind (544)  |  Model (64)  |  Problem (362)  |  Question (315)  |  Rescue (8)  |  Solemnity (4)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Spinal Column (2)  |  Spine (5)  |  Tail (13)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Thought (374)  |  Twice (11)

Books and libraries and the will to use them are among the most important tools our nation has to diffuse knowledge and to develop our powers of creative wisdom.
Statement on the Occasion of National Library Week (16 Apr 1961). In Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961 (1962), 125.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (181)  |  Creative (41)  |  Develop (55)  |  Diffusion (7)  |  Importance (183)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Library (37)  |  Nation (111)  |  Power (273)  |  Tool (70)

Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education.
From Essays on Education. In Alfred Whitney Griswold, 1906-1963: In Memoriam (1964), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Bad (78)  |  Ban (9)  |  Book (181)  |  Burning (17)  |  Censor (2)  |  Education (280)  |  Good (228)  |  History (302)  |  Idea (440)  |  Inquisitor (6)  |  Jail (4)  |  Liberal (8)  |  Long (95)  |  Loss (62)  |  Path (59)  |  Run (33)  |  Sure (13)  |  Weapon (57)

By science calmed, over the peaceful soul,
Bright with eternal Wisdom's lucid ray,
Peace, meek of eye, extends her soft control,
And drives the puny Passions far away.
Memoirs of the Life of Sir Humphry Davy, in J. Davy (ed.), The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy. (1839-40), Vol 1, 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Poem (85)

By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.
Confucius
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 109
Science quotes on:  |  Bitter (12)  |  Easy (56)  |  Experience (268)  |  First (174)  |  Imitation (17)  |  Learn (160)  |  Method (154)  |  Nobl (4)  |  Reflection (50)  |  Second (33)  |  Third (11)

Conscience is wiser than science.
In George Augustus Lofton, Character Sketches (1893), 344.
Science quotes on:  |  Conscience (36)  |  Science (1699)

Data is not information, Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not understanding, Understanding is not wisdom.
Attributed to Cliff Stoll and Gary Schubert, in Mark R Keeler, Nothing to Hide: Privacy in the 21st Century (2006), 112. A similar quote, 'Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom,' is in the lyrics of Frank Zappa's album, Joe's Garage, track 'Packard Goose.' The sentiment of the above quote is presented in Clifford Stoll, Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway (1996), 193-194. The elements of the above quote are fragmented and distributed within three paragraphs. “Data isn't information ... information is not knowledge ... doesn't mean you understand ... There's a relationship between data, information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. ... perhaps knowledge becomes wisdom.” [If you know a primary print source and date for Stoll and Schubert's quote, in the exact words of the summary form as above, please contact webmaster.]
Science quotes on:  |  Data (100)  |  Information (102)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Understanding (317)

Data isn't information. ... Information, unlike data, is useful. While there’s a gulf between data and information, there’s a wide ocean between information and knowledge. What turns the gears in our brains isn't information, but ideas, inventions, and inspiration. Knowledge—not information—implies understanding. And beyond knowledge lies what we should be seeking: wisdom.
In High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian (2000), 185-186.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (181)  |  Data (100)  |  Gear (4)  |  Gulf (10)  |  Idea (440)  |  Implies (2)  |  Information (102)  |  Inspiration (50)  |  Invention (283)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Seeking (30)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Unlike (3)  |  Useful (66)  |  Wide (14)

Despite the vision and the far-seeing wisdom of our wartime heads of state, the physicists felt a peculiarly intimate responsibility for suggesting, for supporting, and in the end, in large measure, for achieving the realization of atomic weapons. Nor can we forget that these weapons, as they were in fact used, dramatized so mercilessly the inhumanity and evil of modern war. In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.
The Open Mind (1955), 88.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Crude (14)  |  Evil (67)  |  Humour (101)  |  Inhumanity (3)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Lose (53)  |  Merciless (3)  |  Modern (104)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Realization (33)  |  Responsibility (47)  |  Sense (240)  |  Suggestion (24)  |  Support (63)  |  Vision (55)  |  Vulgarity (2)  |  War (144)  |  Weapon (57)

Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.
From chapter 'Jottings from a Note-book', in Canadian Stories (1918), 167.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (114)  |  Doubt (121)  |  End (141)

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.
In Poor Richard's Almanack (1735).
Science quotes on:  |  Bed (20)  |  Early (39)  |  Heath (4)  |  Man (345)  |  Rise (51)  |  Wealth (50)

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

Every discovery in science is a tacit criticism of things as they are. That is why the wise man is invariably called a fool.
Martin H. Fischer, Howard Fabing (ed.) and Ray Marr (ed.), Fischerisms (1944).
Science quotes on:  |  Called (7)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Fool (70)  |  Invariably (8)  |  Science (1699)  |  Wise Man (10)

Every farm woodland, in addition to yielding lumber, fuel, and posts, should provide its owner a liberal education. This crop of wisdom never fails, but it is not always harvested.
In A Sand County Almanac: and Sketches Here and There (1949, 1989), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Crop (16)  |  Education (280)  |  Farm (17)  |  Forestry (11)  |  Fuel (27)  |  Harvest (14)  |  Lumber (4)  |  Post (3)  |  Yield (23)

Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words (1865), 97.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Examination (60)  |  Fool (70)

Facts are to the mind the same thing as food to the body. On the due digestion of facts depends the strength and wisdom of the one, just as vigor and health depend on the other. The wisest in council, the ablest in debate, and the most agreeable in the commerce of life is that man who has assimilated to his understanding the greatest number of facts.
Science quotes on:  |  Assimilate (6)  |  Body (193)  |  Digestion (23)  |  Fact (609)  |  Food (139)  |  Health (136)  |  Mind (544)  |  Strength (63)  |  Understand (189)  |  Vigor (3)

Facts are ventriloquists’ dummies. Sitting on a wise man’s knee they may be made to utter words of wisdom; elsewhere, they say nothing, or talk nonsense, or indulge in sheer diabolism.
Spoken by the character Bruno Rontini in Time Must Have A Stop (1944), 301. In Carl C. Gaither, Statistically Speaking (1996), 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (609)  |  Knee (2)  |  Nonsense (32)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Wise Man (10)

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom, in the pursuit of truth as in the endeavour after a worthy manner of life.
In An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish (1943), 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (114)  |  Conquer (12)  |  Cruelty (14)  |  Endeavour (24)  |  Fear (113)  |  Life (917)  |  Manner (35)  |  Pursuit (55)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Truth (750)  |  Worthy (21)

For between true Science, and erroneous Doctrines, Ignorance is in the middle. Naturall sense and imagination, are not subject to absurdity. Nature it selfe cannot erre: and as men abound in copiousnesses of language; so they become more wise, or more mad than ordinary. Nor is it possible without Letters for any man to become either excellently wise, or (unless his memory be hurt by disease, or ill constitution of organs) excellently foolish. For words are wise men's counters, they do but reckon by them; but they are the money of fools that value them by the authority of an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas, or any other Doctor whatsoever, if but a man.
Leviathan (1651), ed. C. B. Macpherson (1968), Part 1, Chapter 4, 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Saint Thomas Aquinas (15)  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Marcus Tullius Cicero (32)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Science (1699)

Geology is part of that remarkable dynamic process of the human mind which is generally called science and to which man is driven by an inquisitive urge. By noticing relationships in the results of his observations, he attempts to order and to explain the infinite variety of phenomena that at first sight may appear to be chaotic. In the history of civilization this type of progressive scientist has been characterized by Prometheus stealing the heavenly fire, by Adam eating from the tree of knowledge, by the Faustian ache for wisdom.
In 'The Scientific Character of Geology', The Journal of Geology (Jul 1961), 69, No. 4, 454.
Science quotes on:  |  Ache (6)  |  Adam (6)  |  Appear (55)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Characterize (9)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Dynamic (11)  |  Eating (21)  |  Explain (61)  |  Faustian (2)  |  Fire (117)  |  First Sight (3)  |  Geology (187)  |  Heavenly (5)  |  History (302)  |  Human Mind (51)  |  Infinite (88)  |  Inquisitive (3)  |  Observation (418)  |  Order (167)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Process (201)  |  Progressive (13)  |  Prometheus (5)  |  Relationship (59)  |  Remarkable (34)  |  Result (250)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Tree Of Knowledge (7)  |  Urge (10)  |  Variety (53)

George Sears, called Nessmuk, whose “Woodcraft,” published in 1884, was the first American book on forest camping, and is written with so much wisdom, wit, and insight that it makes Henry David Thoreau seem alien, humorless, and French.
Coming into the Country
Science quotes on:  |  Alien (25)  |  American (34)  |  Book (181)  |  Call (68)  |  Camp (2)  |  First (174)  |  Forest (88)  |  French (12)  |  George (3)  |  Insight (57)  |  Publish (18)  |  Seem (89)  |  Henry Thoreau (73)  |  Wit (27)  |  Write (87)

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.
Bible
Proverbs 6:6. In Gary William Flake, The Computational Beauty of Nature (2000), 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Ant (19)  |  Insect (57)

God in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.
'The Fly' (1942), Good Intentions (1943), 220.
Science quotes on:  |  Fly (65)  |  Forget (40)  |  God (454)  |  Tell (67)

Gravity is only the bark of wisdom’s tree, but it preserves it.
Confucius
In Samuel Arthur Bent, Short Sayings of Great Men (1882), 159
Science quotes on:  |  Gravity (89)  |  Tree (143)

He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.
The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)

He who knows not, and knows not he knows not, he is a fool—shun him;
He who knows not, and knows he knows not, he is simple—teach him;
He who knows, and knows not he knows, he is asleep—wake him;
He who knows, and knows he knows, he is wise—follow him.
Anonymous
Hesiod, 'Works and Days,' 293-7. In William White, Notes and Queries (1904), Series 10, Vol. 1, 235, the correspondent H.A. Strong says that the origin of these lines is to be found in Hesiod [Greek, 8th Century B.C.], Works and Days, 293-7; that the passage was very celebrated in antiquity, and is quoted by Aristotle, Nic. Eth., i. 4; and that both Livy (xxii. 29) and Cicero (Pro Cluent., 31) refer to it. Another correspondent (J.H.K.) said it was stated to be an Arab proverb in Lady [Isabel] Burton, Life of [Captain] Sir Richard [F.] Burton (1893), Vol. 1, 548, footnote, with 'Men are four…' added to the beginning of the quote.
Science quotes on:  |  Follow (66)  |  Fool (70)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Shun (3)  |  Simple (111)  |  Sleep (42)  |  Teaching (99)

Herewith I offer you the Omnipotent Finger of God in the anatomy of a louse: wherein you will find miracles heaped on miracles and will see the wisdom of God clearly manifested in a minute point.
Letter to Melchisedec Thevenot (Apr 1678). In G. A. Lindeboom (ed.), The Letters of Jan Swammerdam to Melchisedec Thivenot (1975), 104-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (59)  |  God (454)  |  Louse (5)  |  Manifestation (30)  |  Miracle (55)  |  Omnipotence (2)

I grow increasingly aware, and in more ways than expected that I am at the center of my own field; and whether it be folly or wisdom, it is a very pleasant feeling.
In Davis Baird, R.I.G. Hughes and Alfred Nordmann, Heinrich Hertz: Classical Physicist, Modern Philosopher (1998), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Awareness (23)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Field (119)  |  Folly (27)  |  Pleasure (98)

I thought that the wisdom of our City had certainly designed the laudable practice of taking and distributing these accompts [parish records of christenings and deaths] for other and greater uses than [merely casual comments], or, at least, that some other uses might be made of them; and thereupon I ... could, and (to be short) to furnish myself with as much matter of that kind ... the which when I had reduced into tables ... so as to have a view of the whole together, in order to the more ready comparing of one Year, Season, Parish, or other Division of the City, with another, in respect of all Burials and Christnings, and of all the Diseases and Casualties happening in each of them respectively...
Moreover, finding some Truths and not-commonly-believed opinions to arise from my meditations upon these neglected Papers, I proceeded further to consider what benefit the knowledge of the same would bring to the world, ... with some real fruit from those ayrie blossoms.
From Natural and Political Observations Mentioned in a Following Index and Made upon Bills of Mortality (1662), Preface. Reproduced in Cornelius Walford, The Insurance Cyclopaedia (1871), Vol. 1, 286-287.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Benefit (54)  |  Burial (7)  |  Casualty (3)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Data (100)  |  Disease (257)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Meditation (10)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Season (24)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Table (25)  |  Together (48)  |  Truth (750)  |  Use (70)  |  Whole (122)  |  Year (214)

I was just going to say, when I was interrupted, that one of the many ways of classifying minds is under the heads of arithmetical and algebraical intellects. All economical and practical wisdom is an extension or variation of the following arithmetical formula: 2+2=4. Every philosophical proposition has the more general character of the expression a+b=c. We are mere operatives, empirics, and egotists, until we learn to think in letters instead of figures.
The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (1858), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (36)  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Classification (79)  |  Formula (51)

If popular medicine gave the people wisdom as well as knowledge, it would be the best protection for scientific and well-trained physicians.
In Fielding Hudson Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1966), 577.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Physician (232)

If thou art able, O stranger, to find out all these things and gather them together in your mind, giving all the relations, thou shalt depart crowned with glory and knowing that thou hast been adjudged perfect in this species of wisdom.
From a letter to Eratosthenes, the chief librarian at Alexandria, containing the Cattle Problem, an exceedingly difficult calculation involving huge numbers (which was not solved exactly until the use of a supercomputer in 1981). In David J. Darling, The Universal Book of Mathematics (2004), 23. The debate by scholars regarding whether Archimedes is the true author is in T. L. Heath (ed.), The Works of Archimedes (1897), xxxiv.
Science quotes on:  |  Glory (44)  |  Problem (362)  |  Solution (168)

If we can combine our knowledge of science with the wisdom of wildness, if we can nurture civilization through roots in the primitive, man’s potentialities appear to be unbounded, Through this evolving awareness, and his awareness of that awareness, he can emerge with the miraculous—to which we can attach what better name than “God”? And in this merging, as long sensed by intuition but still only vaguely perceived by rationality, experience may travel without need for accompanying life.
A Letter From Lindbergh', Life (4 Jul 1969), 61. In Eugene C. Gerhart, Quote it Completely! (1998), 409.
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (18)  |  Awareness (23)  |  Civilization (155)  |  God (454)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Miracle (55)  |  Nurture (12)  |  Potential (34)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Science (1699)  |  Wildness (4)

Illness is the most heeded of doctors: to goodness and wisdom we only make promises; pain we obey.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Doctor (100)  |  Goodness (9)  |  Heed (7)  |  Illness (22)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Obey (13)  |  Pain (82)  |  Promise (27)

In fact, the thickness of the Earth's atmosphere, compared with the size of the Earth, is in about the same ratio as the thickness of a coat of shellac on a schoolroom globe is to the diameter of the globe. That's the air that nurtures us and almost all other life on Earth, that protects us from deadly ultraviolet light from the sun, that through the greenhouse effect brings the surface temperature above the freezing point. (Without the greenhouse effect, the entire Earth would plunge below the freezing point of water and we'd all be dead.) Now that atmosphere, so thin and fragile, is under assault by our technology. We are pumping all kinds of stuff into it. You know about the concern that chlorofluorocarbons are depleting the ozone layer; and that carbon dioxide and methane and other greenhouse gases are producing global warming, a steady trend amidst fluctuations produced by volcanic eruptions and other sources. Who knows what other challenges we are posing to this vulnerable layer of air that we haven't been wise enough to foresee?
In 'Wonder and Skepticism', Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Assault (9)  |  Atmosphere (63)  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Challenge (37)  |  Concern (76)  |  Death (270)  |  Diameter (9)  |  Earth (487)  |  Eruption (5)  |  Freezing Point (2)  |  Global Warming (26)  |  Globe (39)  |  Greenhouse Effect (3)  |  Greenhouse Gas (3)  |  Layer (14)  |  Life (917)  |  Light (246)  |  Methane (6)  |  Nurture (12)  |  Ozone (3)  |  Pump (5)  |  Ratio (15)  |  School (87)  |  Source (71)  |  Stuff (15)  |  Sun (211)  |  Surface (74)  |  Technology (199)  |  Temperature (42)  |  Thickness (4)  |  Thin (7)  |  Trend (16)  |  Volcano (36)  |  Vulnerability (2)  |  Water (244)

In modern thought, (if not in fact)
Nothing is that doesn't act, So that is reckoned wisdom which
Describes the scratch but not the itch.
Anonymous
Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man? (2nd Ed.,1964), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (80)  |  Description (72)  |  Fact (609)  |  Itch (5)  |  Modern (104)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Reckon (6)  |  Scratch (6)  |  Thought (374)

In science, as in art, and, as I believe, in every other sphere of human activity, there may be wisdom in a multitude of counsellors, but it is only in one or two of them. And in scientific inquiry, at any rate, it is to that one or two that we must look for light and guidance.
'The Progress of Science'. Collected essays (1898), Vol. 1, 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (97)  |  Enquiry (75)  |  Guidance (12)  |  Human (445)  |  Science And Art (157)

In the preface to his great History of Europe, H. A. L. Fisher wrote: “Men wiser than and more learned than I have discerned in history a plot, a rhythm, a predetermined pattern. These harmonies are concealed from me. I can see only one emergency following upon another as wave follows upon wave …” It seems to me that the same is true of the much older [geological stratigraphical] history of Europe.
In The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record (1973), 79.
Science quotes on:  |  Concealed (3)  |  Discerning (7)  |  Emergency (6)  |  Following (16)  |  Geology (187)  |  Harmony (55)  |  History (302)  |  Learned (20)  |  Pattern (56)  |  Plot (9)  |  Predetermined (3)  |  Rhythm (12)  |  Stratigraphy (6)  |  Wave (55)

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 (4)  |  Eye (159)  |  Infinite (88)  |  Keen (8)  |  Mortal (19)  |  Presence (26)  |  See (197)  |  Strength (63)  |  Strong (47)  |  Weakness (31)

In the school of political projectors, I was but ill entertained, the professors appearing, in my judgment, wholly out of their senses; which is a scene that never fails to make me melancholy. These unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favourites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue; of teaching ministers to consult the public good; of rewarding merit, great abilities, and eminent services; of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people; of choosing for employment persons qualified to exercise them; with many other wild impossible chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive, and confirmed in me the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth.
Gulliver's Travels (1726, Penguin ed. 1967), Part III, Chap. 6, 232.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Chimera (5)  |  Employment (22)  |  Extravagance (3)  |  Impossibility (50)  |  Interest (170)  |  Irrational (7)  |  Merit (25)  |  Minister (6)  |  Observation (418)  |  People (269)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Prince (9)  |  Professor (39)  |  Truth (750)  |  Unhappiness (6)

Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.
Speech in Sri Lanka (1993). Quoted in Marshall B. Rosenberg and Riane Eisler, Life-Enriching Education (2003), xix. [If you know a primary print source reference, please contact Webmaster.]
Science quotes on:  |  Information (102)  |  Knowledge (1128)

Is there a due regard to be had, … for the golden tongue of wisdom, that relisheth all not by imagination but true judgement.
In 'To the Reader', The Optick Glass of Humors (1607), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Due (4)  |  Golden (11)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Judgement (4)  |  Regard (58)  |  Relish (2)  |  Tongue (16)  |  True (120)

It is sometimes asserted that a surgical operation is or should be a work of art … fit to rank with those of the painter or sculptor. … That proposition does not admit of discussion. It is a product of the intellectual innocence which I think we surgeons may fairly claim to possess, and which is happily not inconsistent with a quite adequate worldly wisdom.
Address, opening of 1932-3 session of U.C.H. Medical School (4 Oct 1932), 'Art and Science in Medicine', The Collected Papers of Wilfred Trotter, FRS (1941), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequacy (6)  |  Admission (10)  |  Art (205)  |  Assertion (23)  |  Claim (52)  |  Discussion (37)  |  Happiness (82)  |  Inconsistency (4)  |  Innocence (10)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Operation (96)  |  Painter (15)  |  Possession (37)  |  Product (72)  |  Proposition (47)  |  Rank (19)  |  Sculptor (8)  |  Surgeon (43)  |  Surgery (39)

It is the wisdom of the crocodiles, that shed tears when they devour.
Science quotes on:  |  Crocodile (7)  |  Devour (10)  |  Tear (20)

It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth and wisdom.
Aristotle
Attributed.
Science quotes on:  |  Health (136)  |  Wealth (50)

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:  |  Abuse (9)  |  Admiration (34)  |  Ape (39)  |  Beast (32)  |  Being (39)  |  Birth (81)  |  Body (193)  |  Chaos (63)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Creation (211)  |  Death (270)  |  Error (230)  |  Fall (89)  |  Glory (44)  |  God (454)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Isthmus (2)  |  Jest (3)  |  Judge (43)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Law (418)  |  Lord (12)  |  Man (345)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Mind (544)  |  Mortal (19)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Passion (54)  |  Preference (18)  |  Prey (9)  |  Pride (45)  |  Reason (330)  |  Riddle (18)  |  Rise (51)  |  Sceptic (5)  |  Shape (52)  |  Show (55)  |  Stoic (3)  |  Study (331)  |  Superiority (9)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Thought (374)  |  Truth (750)  |  Weakness (31)  |  World (667)

Know thyself! This is the source of all wisdom, said the great thinkers of the past, and the sentence was written in golden letters on the temple of the gods. To know himself, Linnæus declared to be the essential indisputable distinction of man above all other creatures. I know, indeed, in study nothing more worthy of free and thoughtful man than the study of himself. For if we look for the purpose of our existence, we cannot possibly find it outside ourselves. We are here for our own sake.
As translated and quoted in Ernst Haeckel and E. Ray Lankester (trans.) as epigraph for Chap. 9, The History of Creation (1886), Vol. 1, 244.
Science quotes on:  |  Creature (127)  |  Declare (18)  |  Distinction (37)  |  Essential (87)  |  Existence (254)  |  Find (248)  |  Free (59)  |  God (454)  |  Golden (11)  |  Great (300)  |  Indisputable (6)  |  Know (321)  |  Letter (36)  |  Linnaeus (2)  |  Ourselves (34)  |  Outside (37)  |  Past (109)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Sake (17)  |  Sentence (20)  |  Source (71)  |  Study (331)  |  Temple (22)  |  Thinker (15)  |  Thoughtful (10)  |  Writing (72)

Knowledge and wisdom are indeed not identical; and every man’s experience must have taught him that there may be much knowledge with little wisdom, and much wisdom with little knowledge. But with imperfect knowledge it is difficult or impossible to arrive at right conclusions. Many of the vices, many of the miseries, many of the follies and absurdities by which human society has been infested and disgraced may be traced to a want of knowledge.
Presidential Address to Anniversary meeting of the Royal Society (30 Nov 1859), Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (1860), 10, 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (16)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Disgrace (6)  |  Folly (27)  |  Imperfection (19)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Lack (52)  |  Misery (19)  |  Society (188)  |  Vice (15)  |  Want (120)

Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one,
Have ofttimes no connection. Knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men,
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much,
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
The Task, Book 6, 'The Winter Walk at Noon' (published 1785). In William Cowper and Humphrey Sumner Milford (ed.), The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper (1905), 221.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)

Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers.
'Locksley Hall' (1842), collected in Alfred Tennyson and William James Rolfe (ed.) The Poetic and Dramatic Works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1898), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)

Knowledge comes by taking things apart, analysis. But wisdom comes by putting things together.
From The Role of Religion in Education. As cited in Braude's Handbook of Stories for Toastmasters and Speakers (1975), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Together (48)

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.
In Fischerisms (1930), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (609)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Simplification (12)

Knowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise–even in their own field.
In The Roving Mind (1983), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Direction (56)  |  Indivisible (7)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  People (269)

Knowledge leads us from the simple to the complex; wisdom leads us from the complex to the simple.
Anonymous
In Dianna Daniels Booher, Your Signature Life: Pursuing God's Best Every Day (2003), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Complex (78)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Simple (111)

Life through many long periods has been manifested in a countless host of varying structures, all circumscribed by one general plan, each appointed to a definite place, and limited to an appointed duration. On the whole the earth has been thus more and more covered by the associated life of plants and animals, filling all habitable space with beings capable of enjoying their own existence or ministering to the enjoyment of others; till finally, after long preparation, a being was created capable of the wonderful power of measuring and weighing all the world of matter and space which surrounds him, of treasuring up the past history of all the forms of life, and considering his own relation to the whole. When he surveys this vast and co-ordinated system, and inquires into its history and origin, can he be at a loss to decide whether it be a work of Divine thought and wisdom, or the fortunate offspring of a few atoms of matter, warmed by the anima mundi, a spark of electricity, or an accidental ray of sunshine?
Life on the Earth: Its Origin and Succession (1860), 216-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (54)  |  Animal (309)  |  Appointment (5)  |  Association (15)  |  Atom (251)  |  Capability (35)  |  Coordination (4)  |  Countless (13)  |  Cover (23)  |  Decision (58)  |  Definite (27)  |  Divine (42)  |  Duration (9)  |  Earth (487)  |  Electricity (121)  |  Fill (35)  |  Fortune (23)  |  General (92)  |  Habitat (10)  |  History (302)  |  Host (9)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Life (917)  |  Limitation (20)  |  Loss (62)  |  Manifestation (30)  |  Matter (270)  |  Measurement (148)  |  Offspring (15)  |  Origin (77)  |  Period (49)  |  Place (111)  |  Plan (69)  |  Plant (173)  |  Ray (32)  |  Space (154)  |  Spark (18)  |  Structure (191)  |  Sunshine (2)  |  Survey (14)  |  System (141)  |  Thought (374)  |  Variation (50)  |  Vast (56)  |  Weight (61)  |  Wonder (134)  |  Work (457)  |  World (667)

Logic, logic, logic. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.
Spoken by character Dr. Spock in movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1992), screenwriters Nicholas Meyer and Denny Martin Flinn. As cited in Gary Westfahl (ed.), The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy (2005), Vol. 2, 892.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (114)  |  End (141)  |  Logic (187)

Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.
'On the Hypothesis that Animals are Automata', The Fortnightly (1874), 22, 577.
Science quotes on:  |  Consequence (76)  |  Fool (70)  |  Logic (187)  |  Men (17)  |  Wise Men (2)

Look round the world, contemplate the whole and every part of it: you will find it to be nothing but one great machine, subdivided into an infinite number of lesser machines, which again admit of subdivisions to a degree beyond what human senses and faculties can trace and explain. All these various machines, and even their most minute parts, are adjusted to each other with an accuracy which ravishes into admiration all men who have ever contemplated them. The curious adapting of means to ends, throughout all nature, resembles exactly, though it much exceeds, the productions of human contrivance-of human design, thought, wisdom, and intelligence.
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779), 47-48.
Science quotes on:  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Machine (133)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Thought (374)

Look wise, say nothing, and grunt. Speech was given to conceal thought.
William Bennett Bean (ed.), Sir William Osler: Aphorisms from his Bedside Teachings and Writings, No. 267 (1950), 126.
Science quotes on:  |  Concealment (8)  |  Grunt (3)  |  Look (46)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Say (126)  |  Speech (40)  |  Thought (374)

Malthus argued a century and a half ago that man, by using up all his available resources, would forever press on the limits of subsistence, thus condemning humanity to an indefinite future of misery and poverty. We can now begin to hope and, I believe, know that Malthus was expressing not a law of nature, but merely the limitation then of scientific and social wisdom. The truth or falsity of his prediction will depend now, with the tools we have, on our own actions, now and in the years to come.
From Address to the Centennial Convocation of the National Academy of Sciences (22 Oct 1963), 'A Century of Scientific Conquest'. Online at The American Presidency Project.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Condemn (6)  |  Depend (56)  |  Falsity (12)  |  Forever (42)  |  Future (229)  |  Hope (129)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Indefinite (7)  |  Law Of Nature (52)  |  Limit (86)  |  Limitation (20)  |  Thomas Robert Malthus (12)  |  Misery (19)  |  Poverty (29)  |  Prediction (67)  |  Press (16)  |  Resource (47)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Social (93)  |  Subsistence (5)  |  Tool (70)  |  Truth (750)  |  Use Up (2)

Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.
In 'Maxims for Revolutionists: Experience', in Man and Superman (1903), 239.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (268)

Mere knowledge is comparatively worthless unless digested into practical wisdom and common sense as applied to the affairs of life.
As quoted, without citation, in John Walker, A Fork in the Road: Answers to Daily Dilemmas from the Teachings of Jesus Christ (2005), 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Affair (24)  |  Apply (38)  |  Common Sense (69)  |  Comparatively (6)  |  Digest (5)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Mere (41)  |  Practical (93)  |  Worthless (15)

More than the diamond Koh-i-noor, which glitters among their crown jewels, they prize the dull pebble which is wiser than a man, whose poles turn themselves to the poles of the world, and whose axis is parallel to the axis of the world. Now, their toys are steam and galvanism.
English Traits (1856), 47. The “dull pebble” refers to lodestone and its magnetic properties.
Science quotes on:  |  Axis (8)  |  Compass (19)  |  Crown (19)  |  Diamond (15)  |  Dullness (4)  |  Earth (487)  |  Galvanism (6)  |  Glitter (5)  |  Jewel (6)  |  Lodestone (5)  |  Magnetic Field (3)  |  Magnetism (26)  |  Pebble (17)  |  Pole (14)  |  Prize (9)  |  Steam (24)  |  Toy (14)  |  Turning (5)

Much wisdom goes with fewest words.
Sophocles
In Hialmer Day Gould, New Practical Spelling (1905), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Fewest (3)  |  Word (221)

No Man is the wiser for his Learning: it may administer Matter to work in, or Objects to work upon; but Wit and Wisdom are born with a man.
In John Selden, Richard Milward (ed.), 'Learning', Table-Talk of John Selden (1689, 1856), 85.
Science quotes on:  |  Administer (3)  |  Born (14)  |  Learning (174)  |  Matter (270)  |  Object (110)  |  Wiser (2)  |  Wit (27)  |  Work (457)

No research will answer all queries that the future may raise. It is wiser to praise the work for what it has accomplished and then to formulate the problems still to be solved.
Letter to Dr. E. B. Krumhaar (11 Oct 1933), in Journal of Bacteriology (Jan 1934), 27, No. 1, 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  Answer (201)  |  Formulation (20)  |  Future (229)  |  Praise (17)  |  Problem (362)  |  Query (3)  |  Raise (20)  |  Research (517)  |  Solution (168)  |  Work (457)

Now this supreme wisdom, united to goodness that is no less infinite, cannot but have chosen the best. For as a lesser evil is a kind of good, even so a lesser good is a kind of evil if it stands in the way of a greater good; and the would be something to correct in the actions of God if it were possible to the better. As in mathematics, when there is no maximum nor minimum, in short nothing distinguished, everything is done equally, or when that is not nothing at all is done: so it may be said likewise in respect of perfect wisdom, which is no less orderly than mathematics, that if there were not the best (optimum) among all possible worlds, God would not have produced any.
Theodicy: Essays on the Goodness of God and Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil (1710), 128.
Science quotes on:  |  Evil (67)  |  God (454)  |  Good (228)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Maximum (9)  |  Minimum (10)

Only by following out the injunction of our great predecessor [William Harvey] to search out and study the secrets of Nature by way of experiment, can we hope to attain to a comprehension of 'the wisdom of the body and the understanding of the heart,' and thereby to the mastery of disease and pain, which will enable us to relieve the burden of mankind.
'The Wisdom of the Body', The Lancet (1923), 205, 870.
Science quotes on:  |  Attainment (35)  |  Body (193)  |  Burden (23)  |  Comprehension (51)  |  Disease (257)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Following (16)  |  William Harvey (27)  |  Heart (110)  |  Hope (129)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Mastery (20)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Pain (82)  |  Predecessor (18)  |  Relief (13)  |  Search (85)  |  Secret (98)  |  Study (331)

Only for you, children of doctrine and learning, have we written this work. Examine this book, ponder the meaning we have dispersed in various places and gathered again; what we have concealed in one place we have disclosed in another, that it may be understood by your wisdom.
In De Occulta Philosophia (1531), Vol. 3, 65. As quoted and cited in epigraph, Umberto Eco and William Weaver (trans.), Foucault’s Pendulum (2007), Front matter before title page.
Science quotes on:  |  Conceal (10)  |  Dedication (10)  |  Disclose (5)  |  Examine (24)  |  Learning (174)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Ponder (5)  |  Understand (189)

Our commercial and mercantile law was no sudden invention. It was not the work of a day, or of one set of minds… In the incipient, the early existence of this system, a single maxim obtained force, others succeeded; one rule of right formed a nucleus around which other kindred rules might cling; the necessities of trade originated customs, customs ripened into law; a few feeble decisions of courts laid the foundation for others; the wisdom and experience of each succeeding generation improved upon the wisdom and experience of generations that were past; and thus the edifice arose, perfect in its parts, beautiful in its proportions.
From biographical preface by T. Bigelow to Austin Abbott (ed.), Official Report of the Trial of Henry Ward Beecher (1875), Vol. 1, xi-xii.
Science quotes on:  |  Commercial (25)  |  Court (16)  |  Custom (24)  |  Decision (58)  |  Experience (268)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Generation (111)  |  Improve (39)  |  Law (418)  |  Maxim (13)  |  Right (144)  |  Ripen (3)  |  Rule (135)  |  Trade (24)

Philosophy, and science, and the springs
Of wonder, and th wisdom of the world,
I have essayed; and in my mind there is
A power to make these subject to itself...
From poem 'Manfred'.
Science quotes on:  |  Essay (9)  |  Mind (544)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Power (273)  |  Science (1699)  |  Spring (47)  |  Subject (129)  |  Th (2)  |  Wonder (134)  |  World (667)

Realistic thinking accrues only after mistake making, which is the cosmic wisdom's most cogent way of teaching each of us how to carry on.
In Buckminster Fuller and Answar Dil, Humans in Universe (1983), 218.
Science quotes on:  |  Accrue (2)  |  Carry (35)  |  Cogent (2)  |  Cosmic (34)  |  Make (23)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Realistic (3)  |  Teach (102)  |  Think (205)

Science and technology have freed humanity from many burdens and given us this new perspective and great power. This power can be used for the good of all. If wisdom governs our actions; but if the world is mad or foolish, it can destroy itself just when great advances and triumphs are almost without its grasp.
As quoted in Suranjan Das 'The Nehru Years in Indian politics', Edinburgh Papers on South Asian Studies (16 Nov 2001), 16, 230. As cited in M.J. Vinod and Meena Deshpande, Contemporary Political Theory (2013), 507. Vinod and Deshpande introduce the quote by writing “Nehru was largely instrumental for building a scientific temper and culture in India” and “emphasized the need for building national laboratories and research institutes.”
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Advance (123)  |  Burden (23)  |  Destruction (80)  |  Foolishness (8)  |  Freedom (76)  |  Good (228)  |  Government (85)  |  Grasp (43)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Madness (26)  |  Perspective (15)  |  Power (273)  |  Science (1699)  |  Technology (199)  |  Triumph (33)  |  World (667)

Science at best is not wisdom it is knowledge. Wisdom is knowledge tempered with judgment.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Best (129)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Science (1699)  |  Temper (6)

Science at best is not wisdom, it is knowledge tempered with judgment.
From essay, 'Mortgaging the Old Homestead', in Frank H.T. Rhodes and Richard O. Stone (eds.), Language of the Earth (2013), 361.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (129)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Science (1699)  |  Tempered (2)

Science gives us knowledge, but only philosophy can give us wisdom.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Give (117)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Science (1699)

Science gives us the grounds of premises from which religious truths are to be inferred; but it does not set about inferring them, much less does it reach the inference;Mthat is not its province. It brings before us phenomena, and it leaves us, if we will, to call them works of design, wisdom, or benevolence; and further still, if we will, to proceed to confess an Intelligent Creator. We have to take its facts, and to give them a meaning, and to draw our own conclusions from them. First comes Knowledge, then a view, then reasoning, then belief. This is why Science has so little of a religious tendency; deductions have no power of persuasion. The heart is commonly reached, not through the reason, but through the imagination, by means of direct impressions, by the testimony of facts and events, by history, by description. Persons influence us, voices melt us, looks subdue us, deeds inflame us. Many a man will live and die upon a dogma; no man will be a martyr for a conclusion.
Tamworth Reading Room (1841).
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Benevolence (5)  |  Bring (53)  |  Call (68)  |  Commonly (7)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Confess (9)  |  Creator (40)  |  Deduction (49)  |  Deed (17)  |  Description (72)  |  Design (92)  |  Die (46)  |  Direct (44)  |  Dogma (25)  |  Draw (25)  |  Event (97)  |  Fact (609)  |  Far (77)  |  First (174)  |  Give (117)  |  Ground (63)  |  Heart (110)  |  History (302)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Impression (51)  |  Infer (10)  |  Inference (26)  |  Influence (110)  |  Intelligent (35)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Leave (63)  |  Less (54)  |  Little (126)  |  Live (186)  |  Martyr (3)  |  Mean (63)  |  Means (109)  |  Melt (15)  |  Person (114)  |  Persuasion (3)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Power (273)  |  Premise (14)  |  Proceed (25)  |  Province (11)  |  Reach (68)  |  Reason (330)  |  Religious (44)  |  Science (1699)  |  Set (56)  |  Subdue (5)  |  Tendency (40)  |  Testimony (10)  |  Truth (750)  |  View (115)  |  Voice (41)  |  Work (457)

Science in the service of humanity is technology, but lack of wisdom may make the service harmful.
Epigraph in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 321.
Science quotes on:  |  Harm (31)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Lack (52)  |  Science (1699)  |  Service (54)  |  Technology (199)

Martin Luther King quote: Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power; religion gives
Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power; religion gives man wisdom which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary.
'A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart', Strength To Love (1963, 1981), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (609)  |  Interpret (15)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Morality (33)  |  Science And Religion (267)

Science is always discovering odd scraps of magical wisdom and making a tremendous fuss about its cleverness.
Referring to Freudian theories.
The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, ch. 14 (1929, rev 1970).
Science quotes on:  |  Cleverness (9)  |  Discover (115)  |  Freudian (4)  |  Fuss (2)  |  Magic (67)  |  Odd (12)  |  Refer (5)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scrap (2)  |  Theory (582)  |  Tremendous (11)

Science is one thing, wisdom is another. Science is an edged tool, with which men play like children, and cut their own fingers. If you look at the results which science has brought in its train, you will find them to consist almost wholly in elements of mischief. See how much belongs to the word “Explosion” alone, of which the ancients knew nothing.
Written for fictional character, the Rev. Dr. Opimian, in Gryll Grange (1861), collected in Sir Henry Cole (ed.) The Works of Thomas Love Peacock(1875), Vol. 2, 380. (An incorrect citation is found in Robert L. Weber, More Random Walks in Science (1982), 48. Weber attributes to Arthur Eddington in 'The Decline of Determinism.' Webmaster checked an article by this name in Mathematical Gazette (May 1932) but found nothing resembling the quote therein.)
Science quotes on:  |  Explosion (24)  |  Science (1699)

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
[Author Will Durant’s summary of Kant’s ideas; not a direct translation of Kant’s own words.]
Although often seen, these are (almost certainly) not Kant’s own words. While explaining Kant’s ideas, this are the words used by Will Durant in 'Kant and German Idealism: Transcendental Analytic', The Story of Philosophy (1924, 1938), 295-296. The first sentence, “Science is organized knowledge,” was first stated by Herbert Spencer in 1854 (see Science Quotes by Herbert Spencer.) On the webside of quoteinvestigator.com, which pinpoints Durant as the origin of the quote, it is further explained that Kant’s writing style used complicated expression that makes it rare to find intelligible direct quotes of Kant’s own words.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Science (1699)

Science may be learned by rote, but Wisdom not.
(1759). From The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, collected in Collection of Ancient and Modern British Novels and Romances (1832), Vol. 38, 311.
Science quotes on:  |  Learn (160)  |  Rote (3)  |  Science (1699)  |  Science And Education (15)

Science moves, but slowly, slowly, creeping on from point to point. ...
Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,
And the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns.…
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers…
In poem, 'Locksley Hall', collected in Poems by Alfred Tennyson (1842), Vol. 1, 105-106.
Science quotes on:  |  Creep (7)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Move (58)  |  Movement (65)  |  Point (72)  |  Process (201)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Science (1699)  |  Slowly (10)  |  Sun (211)  |  Thought (374)

Science says: 'We must live,' and seeks the means of prolonging, increasing, facilitating and amplifying life, of making it tolerable and acceptable, wisdom says: 'We must die,' and seeks how to make us die well.
'Arbitrary Reflections', Essays and Soliloquies, translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1925), 154. In Robert Andrews, The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations (1993), 844:9.
Science quotes on:  |  Death (270)  |  Life (917)  |  Science (1699)

Sciences may be learned by rote, but Wisdom not.
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Gentleman (1759-67), Penguin edition (1997), 324.
Science quotes on:  |  Rote (3)  |  Science (1699)

Lord Byron Quote: Newton declared himself “like a youth Picking up shells by the great ocean—Truth.”
Background of ocean and rocky outcrop with kelp on sandy shore in foreground, at Channel Islands NMS, California. , Photo by Claire Fackler, NOAA (source)
Socrates said, our only knowledge was
“To know that nothing could be known;” a pleasant
Science enough, which levels to an ass
Each Man of Wisdom, future, past, or present.
Newton, (that Proverb of the Mind,) alas!
Declared, with all his grand discoveries recent,
That he himself felt only “like a youth
Picking up shells by the great Ocean—Truth.”
From poem, 'Don Juan,' (1822), canto 7, verse V. In Lord Byron, Don Juan: Cantos VI, VII and VIII (1823), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Ass (3)  |  Declaration (5)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Future (229)  |  Grand (15)  |  Great (300)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Man Of Science (27)  |  Mind (544)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Past (109)  |  Pick (14)  |  Pleasant (16)  |  Present (103)  |  Proverb (23)  |  Recent (23)  |  Shell (35)  |  Socrates (14)  |  Truth (750)  |  Youth (57)

Statistics is a science which ought to be honourable, the basis of many most important sciences; but it is not to be carried on by steam, this science, any more than others are; a wise head is requisite for carrying it on.
Chartism (1839, 1840), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Basis (60)  |  Important (124)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Steam (24)

Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know—and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know—even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction—than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.
Widely seen on the Web, but always without citation, so regard attribution as uncertain. Webmaster has not yet found reliable verification. Contact Webmaster if you know a primary print source.
Science quotes on:  |  Achilles (2)  |  Choice (64)  |  Comprehension (51)  |  Control (93)  |  Destroy (63)  |  Destruction (80)  |  Dull (26)  |  Endure (12)  |  Eternal (43)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Learn (160)  |  Learning (174)  |  Life (917)  |  Swirl (2)  |  Universe (563)  |  Unseen (7)  |  Wonder (134)

The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.
Play, The Life of Galileo (1939, 1994), scene 9, 74.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (230)  |  Science (1699)

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
In The Principles of Psychology (1918), Vol. 2, 369.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (205)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Overlook (8)

The Builder of this Universe was wise,
He plann’d all souls, all systems, planets, particles:
The Plan He shap'd all Worlds and Æons by,
Was—Heavens!—was thy small Nine-and-thirty Articles!
In 'Practical-Devotional', Past and Present, Book 2, Chap 15, collected in On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History (1840), 101. Note: “Nine-and-thirty Articles” of the Church of England.
Science quotes on:  |  Article (15)  |  Builder (10)  |  Eon (8)  |  Formation (54)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Particle (90)  |  Plan (69)  |  Planet (199)  |  Poem (85)  |  Small (97)  |  Soul (139)  |  System (141)  |  Universe (563)  |  World (667)

The combination in time and space of all these thoughtful conceptions [of Nature] exhibits not only thought, it shows also premeditation, power, wisdom, greatness, prescience, omniscience, providence. In one word, all these facts in their natural connection proclaim aloud the One God, whom man may know, adore, and love; and Natural History must in good time become the analysis of the thoughts of the Creator of the Universe….
In Essay on Classification (1851), 205.
Science quotes on:  |  Adore (2)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Combination (69)  |  Conception (63)  |  Connection (86)  |  Creator (40)  |  Exhibit (12)  |  Fact (609)  |  God (454)  |  Greatness (34)  |  Know (321)  |  Love (164)  |  Natural (128)  |  Natural History (44)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Omniscience (3)  |  Power (273)  |  Prescience (2)  |  Proclaim (12)  |  Providence (6)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Show (55)  |  Thought (374)  |  Time And Space (30)  |  Universe (563)

The fading of ideals is sad evidence of the defeat of human endeavour. In the schools of antiquity philosophers aspired to impart wisdom, in modern colleges our humbler aim is to teach subjects
In The Aims of Education (1929), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Antiquity (12)  |  Aspiration (19)  |  College (27)  |  Education (280)  |  Endeavor (33)  |  Fading (3)  |  Humble (23)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Imparting (3)  |  Modern (104)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Subject (129)  |  Teaching (99)

The first step in wisdom is to know the things themselves; this notion consists in having a true idea of the objects; objects are distinguished and known by classifying them methodically and giving them appropriate names. Therefore, classification and name-giving will be the foundation of our science.
Systema Naturae (1735), trans. M. S. J. Engel-Ledeboer and H. Engel (1964), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Classification (79)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Name (118)

The hours of Folly are measured by the clock, but of Wisdom no clock can measure.
In 'Proverbs', The Poems: With Specimens of the Prose Writings of William Blake (1885), 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Clock (26)  |  Folly (27)  |  Hour (42)  |  Measure (70)

The instinct of brutes and insects can be the effect of nothing else than the wisdom and skill of a powerful ever-living agent.
From 'Query 31', Opticks (1704, 2nd ed., 1718), 379.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (27)  |  Brute (12)  |  Effect (133)  |  Ever (4)  |  Insect (57)  |  Instinct (50)  |  Living (44)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Skill (50)

The largest land animal is the elephant, and it is the nearest to man in intelligence: it understands the language of its country and obeys orders, remembers duties that it has been taught, is pleased by affection and by marks of honour, nay more it possesses virtues rare even in man, honesty, wisdom, justice, also respect for the stars and reverence for the sun and moon.
Natural History, 8, I. Trans. H. Rackham, Pliny: Natural History (1947), Vol. 3, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Affection (14)  |  Animal (309)  |  Country (121)  |  Duty (51)  |  Elephant (16)  |  Honesty (16)  |  Honour (23)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Justice (24)  |  Language (155)  |  Largest (7)  |  Man (345)  |  Mark (28)  |  Moon (132)  |  Obedience (15)  |  Order (167)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Possession (37)  |  Rarity (9)  |  Remembering (7)  |  Respect (57)  |  Reverence (24)  |  Star (251)  |  Sun (211)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Virtue (55)

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms — this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.
As quoted in Philip Frank, Einstein: His Life and Times (1947), chap. 12, sec. 5 - “Einstein’s Attitude Toward Religion.”
Science quotes on:  |  Awe (24)  |  Beauty (171)  |  Center (30)  |  Comprehension (51)  |  Death (270)  |  Emotion (62)  |  Existence (254)  |  Experience (268)  |  Faculty (36)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Form (210)  |  Impenetrable (5)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Mystical (7)  |  Power (273)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Radiant (5)  |  Rapt (5)  |  Religiousness (3)  |  Science And Art (157)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Stranger (9)  |  True (120)  |  Wonder (134)

The mystic and the physicist arrive at the same conclusion; one starting from the inner realm, the other from the outer world. The harmony between their views confirms the ancient Indian wisdom that Brahman, the ultimate reality without, is identical to Atman, the reality within.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 305.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (68)  |  Arrival (7)  |  Brahman (2)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Confirmation (15)  |  Harmony (55)  |  Identical (17)  |  Indian (17)  |  Inner (27)  |  Mystic (10)  |  Outer (7)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Reality (140)  |  Realm (40)  |  Start (68)  |  Ultimate (61)  |  View (115)  |  Within (6)  |  Without (13)  |  World (667)

The next decade will perhaps raise us a step above despair to a cleaner, clearer wisdom and biology cannot fail to help in this. As we become increasingly aware of the ethical problems raised by science and technology, the frontiers between the biological and social sciences are clearly of critical importance—in population density and problems of hunger, psychological stress, pollution of the air and water and exhaustion of irreplaceable resources.
As quoted in 'H. Bentley Glass', New York Times (12 Jan 1970), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Awareness (23)  |  Biology (150)  |  Cleaner (2)  |  Clearer (4)  |  Decade (19)  |  Despair (25)  |  Environment (138)  |  Ethics (30)  |  Exhaustion (13)  |  Frontier (16)  |  Help (68)  |  Hunger (13)  |  Importance (183)  |  Irreplaceable (2)  |  Pollution (37)  |  Population (71)  |  Problem (362)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Resource (47)  |  Science (1699)  |  Social Science (18)  |  Stress (8)  |  Technology (199)  |  Water (244)

The only sure foundations of medicine are, an intimate knowledge of the human body, and observation on the effects of medicinal substances on that. The anatomical and clinical schools, therefore, are those in which the young physician should be formed. If he enters with innocence that of the theory of medicine, it is scarcely possible he should come out untainted with error. His mind must be strong indeed, if, rising above juvenile credulity, it can maintain a wise infidelity against the authority of his instructors, and the bewitching delusions of their theories.
In letter to Caspar Wistar (21 Jun 1807), collected in Thomas Jefferson Randolph (ed.), Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson (1829), Vol. 4, 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (59)  |  Authority (50)  |  Clinic (4)  |  Credulity (8)  |  Delusion (13)  |  Error (230)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Infidelity (3)  |  Innocence (10)  |  Instructor (4)  |  Juvenile (3)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Physician (232)  |  School (87)  |  Taint (4)  |  Theory (582)

The philosophies of one age have become the absurdities of the next, and the foolishness of yesterday has become the wisdom of tomorrow.
Address to the Canadian Medical Association, Montreal (17 Sep 1902), 'Chauvinism in Medicine', published in The Montreal Medical Journal (1902), 31, 267. Collected in Aequanimitas, with Other Addresses to Medical Students, Nurses and Practitioners of Medicine (1904), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (16)  |  Age (137)  |  Foolishness (8)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Tomorrow (29)  |  Yesterday (14)

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
IIsaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Aspect (37)  |  Faster (10)  |  Gather (29)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Sadness (26)  |  Science (1699)  |  Society (188)

The study of abstract science … offers unbounded fields of pleasurable, healthful, and ennobling exercise to the restless intellect of man, expanding his powers and enlarging his conceptions of the wisdom, the energy, and the beneficence of the Great Ruler of the universe
In 'Report of the Secretary', Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution for 1859 (1860), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (43)  |  Beneficence (3)  |  Conception (63)  |  Energy (185)  |  Enlarge (15)  |  Ennoble (5)  |  Exercise (35)  |  Expand (14)  |  Great (300)  |  Health (136)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Power (273)  |  Restless (4)  |  Ruler (12)  |  Science (1699)  |  Study (331)  |  Universe (563)

The wise man should study the acquisition of science and riches as if he were not subject to sickness and death; but to the duties of religion he should attend as if death had seized him by the hair.
In Charles Wilkins (trans.) Fables and Proverbs from the Sanskrit: being the Hitopadesa (1885), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquisition (32)  |  Attention (76)  |  Death (270)  |  Duty (51)  |  Hair (19)  |  Religion (210)  |  Riches (9)  |  Sickness (20)  |  Study (331)  |  Subject (129)  |  Wise Man (10)

The wise man, however, will avoid partial views of things. He will not, with the miser, look to gold and silver as the only blessings of life; nor will he, with the cynic, snarl at mankind for preferring them to copper and iron. … That which is convenient is that which is useful, and that which is useful is that which is valuable.
From 13th Lecture in 1818, in Bence Jones, The Life and Letters of Faraday (1870), Vol. 1, 255.
Science quotes on:  |  Blessing (7)  |  Convenience (25)  |  Copper (18)  |  Cynic (4)  |  Gold (55)  |  Iron (53)  |  Miser (3)  |  Silver (26)  |  Useful (66)  |  Value (180)  |  Viewpoint (6)  |  Wise Man (10)

The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war that we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.
Speech on Armistice Day (11 Nov 1948), Collected Writings (1967), Vol. 1. Cited in Robert Andrews Famous Lines: a Columbia Dictionary of Familiar Quotations (1997), 340. Longer quote in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists(Apr 1952), 8, No. 4, 114.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Brilliance (8)  |  Conscience (36)  |  Death (270)  |  Ethic (12)  |  Giant (28)  |  Infant (13)  |  Killing (14)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Peace (58)  |  Power (273)  |  War (144)  |  World (667)

There is no arithmetician like him who hath learned to number his days, and to apply his heart unto wisdom.
In 'The Epistle Dedicatory, The Works of George Swinnock (1868), Vol. 1, 370.
Science quotes on:  |  Apply (38)  |  Arithmetician (2)  |  Heart (110)  |  Learn (160)  |  Number (179)

These duplicates in those parts of the body, without which a man might have very well subsisted, though not so well as with them, are a plain demonstration of an all-wise Contriver, as those more numerous copyings which are found among the vessels of the same body are evident demonstrations that they could not be the work of chance. This argument receives additional strength if we apply it to every animal and insect within our knowledge, as well as to those numberless living creatures that are objects too minute for a human eye: and if we consider how the several species in this whole world of life resemble one another in very many particulars, so far as is convenient for their respective states of existence, it is much more probable that a hundred millions of dice should be casually thrown a hundred millions of times in the same number than that the body of any single animal should be produced by the fortuitous concourse of matter.
In The Spectator (22 Nov 1712), No. 543, as collected in Vol. 4 (1721, 10th ed.), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Additional (4)  |  Animal (309)  |  Apply (38)  |  Argument (59)  |  Body (193)  |  Chance (122)  |  Concourse (5)  |  Consider (45)  |  Contriver (2)  |  Creature (127)  |  Demonstration (51)  |  Dice (13)  |  Duplicate (4)  |  Evident (14)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Existence (254)  |  Fortuitous (7)  |  Human Eye (2)  |  Insect (57)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Live (186)  |  Matter (270)  |  Million (89)  |  Minute (25)  |  Numerous (21)  |  Object (110)  |  Particular (54)  |  Probability (83)  |  Probable (14)  |  Produce (63)  |  Receive (39)  |  Resemble (16)  |  Species (181)  |  Strength (63)  |  Subsist (3)  |  Throw (31)  |  Vessel (21)

Through steady observation and a meaningful contact with the divined order of the world’s structure, arranged by God’s wisdom,–who would not be guided to admire the Builder who creates all!
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Admire (10)  |  Arrange (15)  |  Builder (10)  |  Contact (24)  |  Create (98)  |  Divine (42)  |  God (454)  |  Guide (46)  |  Meaningful (14)  |  Observation (418)  |  Order (167)  |  Steady (12)  |  Structure (191)  |  World (667)

True wisdom is to know what is best worth knowing, and to do what is best worth doing.
In Hialmer Day Gould, New Practical Spelling (1905), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (129)  |  Know (321)  |  True (120)  |  Worth (74)

We are not to suppose, that there is any violent exertion of power, such as is required in order to produce a great event in little time; in nature, we find no deficiency in respect of time, nor any limitation with regard to power. But time is not made to flow in vain; nor does there ever appear the exertion of superfluous power, or the manifestation of design, not calculated in wisdom to effect some general end.
'Theory of the Earth', Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1788, 1, 294.
Science quotes on:  |  Earth (487)  |  Effect (133)  |  Geology (187)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Origin Of Earth (8)  |  Power (273)  |  Time (439)

We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.
In Self-help: With Illustrations of Character and Conduct (1859, 1861), 349.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (591)  |  Failure (118)  |  Find Out (12)  |  Learn (160)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Success (202)

We need another, wiser, and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. For the animal shall not be measured by man....They are not underlings. They are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of Earth.
The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod (2003), 24-25.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Catch (21)  |  Concept (102)  |  Earth (487)  |  Fellow (29)  |  Life (917)  |  Measure (70)  |  Mystic (10)  |  Mystical (7)  |  Nation (111)  |  Need (211)  |  Net (10)  |  Ourselves (34)  |  Prisoner (7)  |  Splendor (8)  |  Time (439)  |  Travail (2)  |  Wise (43)

We need constantly new accessions of truth as to the universe and better definition of the truths which are old. Such knowledge, tested and placed in order, we call science. Science is the gathered wisdom of the race.
From Presidential Address (5 Dec 1896) to the Biological Society of Washington, 'The Malarial Parasite and Other Pathogenic Protozoa', Popular Science Monthly (Mar 1897), 642.
Science quotes on:  |  Accession (2)  |  Better (131)  |  Constantly (19)  |  Definition (152)  |  Gather (29)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Need (211)  |  New (340)  |  Old (104)  |  Order (167)  |  Place (111)  |  Race (76)  |  Science (1699)  |  Test (96)  |  Truth (750)  |  Universe (563)

We should therefore, with grace and optimism, embrace NOMA’s tough-minded demand: Acknowledge the personal character of these human struggles about morals and meanings, and stop looking for definite answers in nature’s construction. But many people cannot bear to surrender nature as a ‘transitional object’–a baby’s warm blanket for our adult comfort. But when we do (for we must) , nature can finally emerge in her true form: not as a distorted mirror of our needs, but as our most fascinating comp anion. Only then can we unite the patches built by our separate magisteria into a beautiful and coherent quilt called wisdom.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledge (13)  |  Adult (11)  |  Anion (2)  |  Answer (201)  |  Baby (18)  |  Bear (28)  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Blanket (6)  |  Build (80)  |  Call (68)  |  Character (82)  |  Coherent (12)  |  Comfort (42)  |  Construction (69)  |  Definite (27)  |  Demand (52)  |  Distort (6)  |  Embrace (22)  |  Emerge (16)  |  Fascinating (17)  |  Finally (10)  |  Form (210)  |  Grace (13)  |  Human (445)  |  Meanings (2)  |  Mirror (21)  |  Moral (100)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Need (211)  |  Object (110)  |  Optimism (10)  |  Patch (6)  |  People (269)  |  Personal (49)  |  Separate (46)  |  Stop (56)  |  Struggle (60)  |  Surrender (13)  |  Transitional (2)  |  True (120)  |  Unite (13)  |  Warm (20)

When we are young, we think that science has to do with facts, with finding answers and solutions, and that it proceeds like an arrow from the primitive to the sophisticated, from mystery to light. But as we get older, we find that, while science does have to do with facts and laws, it has equally to do with wisdom.
In Introduction to Isaac Asimov and Jason A. Shulman (eds.), Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), xix.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Arrow (13)  |  Fact (609)  |  Find (248)  |  Law (418)  |  Light (246)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solution (168)  |  Sophisticated (11)  |  Think (205)  |  Young (72)

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The Rock (1934), part 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)

Will our Philosophy to later Life
Seem but a crudeness of the planet's youth,
Our Wisdom but a parasite of Truth?
Essay read at the Heretics Club, Cambridge (May 1922), 'Philosophic Ants', collected in Essays of a Biologist (1923), 176.
Science quotes on:  |  Crudeness (2)  |  Life (917)  |  Parasite (28)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Planet (199)  |  Seem (89)  |  Truth (750)  |  Youth (57)

Wisdom alone is a science of other sciences, and of itself.
Plato
&039;Charmides, or Temperance,&039; in The Dialogues of Plato, translated by B. Jowett (1892) 3rd ed., Vol I, 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (1699)

Wisdom and deep intelligence require an honest appreciation of mystery.
The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life (1997), Introduction, x.
Science quotes on:  |  Appreciation (19)  |  Honest (26)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Require (33)

Wisdom begins in wonder
Socrates
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Begin (52)  |  Wonder (134)

Wisdom cannot be directly transmitted, and does not readily accumulate through the ages.
From manuscript on English Science in the Renaissance (1937), Edwin Hubble collection, Box 2, Huntington Library, San Marino, California. As cited by Norriss S. Hetherington in 'Philosophical Values and Observation in Edwin Hubble's Choice of a Model of the Universe', Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences (1982), 13, No. 1, 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (29)  |  Science History (3)  |  Transmission (23)

Wisdom does not inspect, but behold. We must look a long time before we can see.
In 'Natural history of Massachusetts', The Dial: A Magazine for Literature, Philosophy, and Religion (Jul 1842), 3, No. 1, 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Behold (12)  |  Inspect (2)  |  See (197)  |  Time (439)

Wisdom is a river that runs deep and slow. Inspiration and intuition are lightning flashes reflected on its surface.
Anonymous
In Barbara A. Robinson, Mind Bungee Jumping: Words of Life, Love, Inspiration, Encouragement and Motivation (2008), 287. by - Poetry - 2008
Science quotes on:  |  Inspiration (50)  |  Intuition (39)  |  Lightning (28)  |  Reflection (50)  |  River (68)  |  Surface (74)

Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.
In 'American University Tendencies' (23 Mar 1903), Address at the Charter Day exercise to University of California, stenographic report in University Chronicle (1903), 6, 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Skill (50)  |  Virtue (55)

Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (19)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Lifelong (8)  |  Product (72)  |  School (87)

Wisdom is not knowledge, but lies in the use we make of knowledge.
In Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (ed.)The Theosophist (1986), 108, 95.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.
In Hialmer Day Gould, New Practical Spelling (1905), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Right (144)

Wise men know when to speak his mind and when to mind his speech.
Anonymous
As stated in Ebrahim Kazim, Scientific Commentary of Suratul Faateḥah (2010).
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Mind (544)  |  Speak (49)  |  Speech (40)  |  Wise Man (10)

Wise men put their trust in ideas and not in circumstances.
In Lecture, Boston, (Mar 1838). Printed in E. P. Peabody (ed.), Aesthetic Papers (1849). Collected in 'War', Complete Works (1883), Vol. 2, 190.
Science quotes on:  |  Circumstance (48)  |  Idea (440)  |  Trust (40)

Wit and Wisdom differ; Wit is upon the sudden turn, Wisdom is in bringing about ends.
In John Selden, Richard Milward (ed.), 'Wit', Table-Talk of John Selden (1689), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  Bringing (10)  |  Difference (208)  |  End (141)  |  Sudden (21)  |  Turn (72)  |  Wit (27)

YOUTH AND AGE
Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth.
In McClure's Magazine (Dec 1910), 36, No. 2, 168.
Science quotes on:  |  Flower (65)  |  Leaf (43)  |  Lie (80)  |  Root (48)  |  Sun (211)  |  Sway (2)  |  Time (439)  |  Truth (750)  |  Wither (4)  |  Youth (57)

[Helmholtz] is not a philosopher in the exclusive sense, as Kant, Hegel, Mansel are philosophers, but one who prosecutes physics and physiology, and acquires therein not only skill in developing any desideratum, but wisdom to know what are the desiderata, e.g., he was one of the first, and is one of the most active, preachers of the doctrine that since all kinds of energy are convertible, the first aim of science at this time. should be to ascertain in what way particular forms of energy can be converted into each other, and what are the equivalent quantities of the two forms of energy.
Letter to Lewis Campbell (21 Apr 1862). In P.M. Harman (ed.), The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1990), Vol. 1, 711.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (19)  |  Ascertain (7)  |  Conservation Of Energy (25)  |  Conversion (14)  |  Doctrine (53)  |  Equivalent (14)  |  Exclusive (9)  |  Form (210)  |  Hermann von Helmholtz (21)  |  Immanuel Kant (43)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Physics (301)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Preacher (9)  |  Prosecute (3)  |  Quantity (35)  |  Sense (240)  |  Skill (50)

[It] is not the nature of things for any one man to make a sudden, violent discovery; science goes step by step and every man depends on the work of his predecessors. When you hear of a sudden unexpected discovery—a bolt from the blue—you can always be sure that it has grown up by the influence of one man or another, and it is the mutual influence which makes the enormous possibility of scientific advance. Scientists are not dependent on the ideas of a single man, but on the combined wisdom of thousands of men, all thinking of the same problem and each doing his little bit to add to the great structure of knowledge which is gradually being erected.
Concluding remark in Lecture ii (1936) on 'Forty Years of Physics', revised and prepared for publication by J.A. Ratcliffe, collected in Needham and Pagel (eds.), Background to Modern Science: Ten Lectures at Cambridge Arranged by the History of Science Committee, (1938), 73-74. Note that the words as prepared for publication may not be verbatim as spoken in the original lecture by the then late Lord Rutherford.
Science quotes on:  |  Add (26)  |  Advance (123)  |  Bit (13)  |  Blue (30)  |  Bolt (4)  |  Bolt From The Blue (2)  |  Combined (3)  |  Depend (56)  |  Dependent (14)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Doing (36)  |  Enormous (33)  |  Erected (2)  |  Gradual (18)  |  Great (300)  |  Hear (33)  |  Idea (440)  |  Influence (110)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Little (126)  |  Make (23)  |  Mutual (22)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Predecessor (18)  |  Problem (362)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Single (72)  |  Step By Step (8)  |  Structure (191)  |  Sudden (21)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Unexpected (26)  |  Violent (15)  |  Work (457)


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.