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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index W > Category: Witness

Witness Quotes (21 quotes)

Dilbert: You joined the “Flat Earth Society?”
Dogbert: I believe the earth must be flat. There is no good evidence to support the so-called “round earth theory.”
Dilbert: I think Christopher Columbus would disagree.
Dogbert: How convenient that your best witness is dead.
Dilbert comic strip (9 Oct 1989).
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (421)  |  Christopher Columbus (14)  |  Convenience (25)  |  Death (277)  |  Disagreement (11)  |  Earth (582)  |  Evidence (158)  |  Flat (15)  |  Flat Earth (3)  |  Join (20)  |  Support (67)  |  Theory (585)

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Bear (41)  |  Cease (27)  |  Change (324)  |  Child (208)  |  Cling (5)  |  Down (73)  |  Earth (582)  |  Fail (40)  |  Fix (15)  |  Forever (52)  |  Generation (118)  |  Grind (10)  |  Hold (70)  |  Light (301)  |  Lover (9)  |  Moment (79)  |  Nothing (302)  |  Responsible (13)  |  Rise (64)  |  Rock (118)  |  Sea (170)  |  Shift (26)

His [Thomas Edison] method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90 per cent of the labor. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor's instinct and practical American sense. In view of this, the truly prodigious amount of his actual accomplishments is little short of a miracle.
As quoted in 'Tesla Says Edison Was an Empiricist', The New York Times (19 Oct 1931), 25. In 1884, Tesla had moved to America to assist Edison in the designing of motors and generators.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (63)  |  American (39)  |  Book (188)  |  Calculation (68)  |  Contempt (11)  |  Thomas Edison (76)  |  Extreme (41)  |  Inefficient (2)  |  Instinct (54)  |  Inventor (50)  |  Knowledge (1148)  |  Labor (55)  |  Learning (174)  |  Mathematics (597)  |  Method (159)  |  Miracle (62)  |  Practical (93)  |  Prodigious (6)  |  Saving (20)  |  Theory (585)  |  Trust (44)

I can hear the sizzle of newborn stars, and know anything of meaning, of the fierce magic emerging here. I am witness to flexible eternity, the evolving past, and I know we will live forever, as dust or breathe in the face of stars, in the shifting pattern of winds.
Joy Harjo
Secrets from the Centre of the World
Science quotes on:  |  Breathe (30)  |  Dust (47)  |  Emerge (18)  |  Eternity (48)  |  Evolution (500)  |  Face (96)  |  Fierce (7)  |  Flexible (4)  |  Forever (52)  |  Hear (45)  |  Know (394)  |  Live (230)  |  Magic (73)  |  Mean (76)  |  Newborn (3)  |  Past (127)  |  Pattern (63)  |  Shift (26)  |  Star (310)  |  Wind (70)

If we are still here to witness the destruction of our planet some five billion years or more hence ..., then we will have achieved something so unprecedented in the history of life that we should be willing to sing our swan song with joy.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (46)  |  Billion (56)  |  Destruction (81)  |  Five (17)  |  History (314)  |  Joy (77)  |  Life (993)  |  Planet (237)  |  Sing (16)  |  Song (21)  |  Unprecedented (7)  |  Year (240)

Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind. But actually it’s … about stepping back, seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 184
Science quotes on:  |  Actually (23)  |  Assume (22)  |  Back (84)  |  Clearly (23)  |  Control (99)  |  Emotion (64)  |  Meditation (10)  |  Mind (576)  |  People (316)  |  Rid (10)  |  See (307)  |  Step (78)  |  Stop (60)  |  Thought (400)

My life as a surgeon-scientist, combining humanity and science, has been fantastically rewarding. In our daily patients we witness human nature in the raw–fear, despair, courage, understanding, hope, resignation, heroism. If alert, we can detect new problems to solve, new paths to investigate.
In Tore Frδngsmyr and Jan E. Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures: Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 565.
Science quotes on:  |  Courage (48)  |  Despair (25)  |  Detect (9)  |  Fear (124)  |  Heroism (7)  |  Hope (146)  |  Human Nature (56)  |  Humanity (111)  |  Investigate (50)  |  New (380)  |  Path (66)  |  Patient (118)  |  Problem (382)  |  Resignation (2)  |  Rewarding (2)  |  Science (1741)  |  Solve (45)  |  Surgeon (44)  |  Understanding (322)

Nothing can so quickly blur and distort the facts as desire—the wish to use the facts for some purpose of your own—and nothing can so surely destroy the truth. As soon as the witness wants to prove something he is no longer impartial and his evidence is no longer to be trusted.
From 'Getting at the Truth', The Saturday Review (19 Sep 1953), 36, No. 38, 12. Excerpted in Meta Riley Emberger and Marian Ross Hall, Scientific Writing (1955), 400.
Science quotes on:  |  Blur (5)  |  Desire (114)  |  Destroy (66)  |  Distort (6)  |  Evidence (158)  |  Fact (628)  |  Impartial (3)  |  Prove (69)  |  Purpose (145)  |  Trust (44)  |  Truth (764)

Placed as the fossils are in their several tiers of burial-places the one over the other; we have in them true witnesses of successive existences, whilst the historian of man is constantly at fault as to dates and even the sequence of events, to say nothing of the contradicting statements which he is forced to reconcile.
Siluria (1872), 476.
Science quotes on:  |  Burial (7)  |  Contradiction (46)  |  Existence (265)  |  Fault (27)  |  Fossil (109)  |  Historian (30)  |  Reconciliation (9)  |  Sequence (32)  |  Strata (18)  |  Succession (39)

Reason must approach nature with the view, indeed, of receiving information from it, not, however, in the character of a pupil, who listens to all that his master chooses to tell him, but in that of a judge, who compels the witnesses to reply to those questions which he himself thinks fit to propose. To this single idea must the revolution be ascribed, by which, after groping in the dark for so many centuries, natural science was at length conducted into the path of certain progress.
Critique of Pure Reason, translated by J.M.D. Meiklejohn (1855), Preface to the Second Edition, xxvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (36)  |  Ascribe (11)  |  Century (103)  |  Compel (14)  |  Dark (67)  |  Grope (2)  |  Idea (457)  |  Information (106)  |  Judge (47)  |  Master (61)  |  Natural Science (64)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Progress (320)  |  Proposition (47)  |  Pupil (17)  |  Question (327)  |  Reason (343)  |  Revolution (59)  |  View (131)

Scripture and Nature agree in this, that all things were covered with water; how and when this aspect began, and how long it lasted, Nature says not, Scripture relates. That there was a watery fluid, however, at a time when animals and plants were not yet to be found, and that the fluid covered all things, is proved by the strata of the higher mountains, free from all heterogeneous material. And the form of these strata bears witness to the presence of a fluid, while the substance bears witness to the absence of heterogeneous bodies. But the similarity of matter and form in the strata of mountains which are different and distant from each other, proves that the fluid was universal.
The Prodromus of Nicolaus Steno's Dissertation Concerning a Solid Body enclosed by Process of Nature within a Solid (1669), trans. J. G. Winter (1916), 263-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Absence (17)  |  Agreement (30)  |  Animal (325)  |  Covering (3)  |  Distance (61)  |  Fluid (18)  |  Heterogeneous (3)  |  Material (129)  |  Mountain (132)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Plant (182)  |  Scripture (10)  |  Similarity (17)  |  Strata (18)  |  Substance (73)  |  Universality (11)  |  Water (264)

So-called extraordinary events always split into two extremes naturalists who have not witnessed them: those who believe blindly and those who do not believe at all. The latter have always in mind the story of the golden goose; if the facts lie slightly beyond the limits of their knowledge, they relegate them immediately to fables. The former have a secret taste for marvels because they seem to expand Nature; they use their imagination with pleasure to find explanations. To remain doubtful is given to naturalists who keep a middle path between the two extremes. They calmly examine facts; they refer to logic for help; they discuss probabilities; they do not scoff at anything, not even errors, because they serve at least the history of the human mind; finally, they report rather than judge; they rarely decide unless they have good evidence.
Quoted in Albert V. Carozzi, Histoire des sciences de la terre entre 1790 et 1815 vue à travers les documents inédités de la Societé de Physique et d'Histoire Naturelle de Genève, trans. Albert V. and Marguerite Carozzi. (1990), 175.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (421)  |  Blindness (8)  |  Decision (60)  |  Discussion (40)  |  Doubtful (5)  |  Error (234)  |  Event (102)  |  Evidence (158)  |  Expansion (25)  |  Explanation (165)  |  Extraordinary (33)  |  Extreme (41)  |  Fable (5)  |  Fact (628)  |  Final (37)  |  Find (297)  |  Gold (58)  |  Goose (9)  |  History (314)  |  Human (472)  |  Imagination (222)  |  Immediately (12)  |  Judgment (73)  |  Knowledge (1148)  |  Limit (97)  |  Marvel (24)  |  Mind (576)  |  Naturalist (50)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Pleasure (106)  |  Probability (86)  |  Rare (34)  |  Relegation (2)  |  Remain (82)  |  Report (31)  |  Scoff (4)  |  Secret (104)  |  Service (56)  |  So-Called (18)  |  Split (11)  |  Story (62)  |  Taste (37)

The actions of bad men produce only temporary evil, the actions of good men only temporary good ; and eventually the good and the evil altogether subside, are neutralized by subsequent generations, absorbed by the incessant movements of future ages. But the discoveries of great men never leave us; they are immortal; they contain those eternal truths which survive the shock of empires, outlive the struggles of rival creeds, and witness the decay of successive religions.
In History of Civilization in England (1858), Vol. 1, 206.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (13)  |  Action (163)  |  Age (146)  |  Bad (82)  |  Creed (10)  |  Decay (31)  |  Discovery (601)  |  Empire (12)  |  Eternal (48)  |  Eventual (6)  |  Evil (69)  |  Future (256)  |  Generation (118)  |  Good (255)  |  Great (355)  |  Immortal (14)  |  Incessant (6)  |  Leave (91)  |  Movement (70)  |  Outlive (2)  |  Religion (214)  |  Rival (9)  |  Shock (12)  |  Struggle (66)  |  Subsequent (11)  |  Subside (4)  |  Successive (15)  |  Survival (52)  |  Temporary (13)  |  Truth (764)

The breaking up of the terrestrial globe, this it is we witness. It doubtless began a long time ago, and the brevity of human life enables us to contemplate it without dismay. It is not only in the great mountain ranges that the traces of this process are found. Great segments of the earth's crust have sunk hundreds, in some cases, even thousands, of feet deep, and not the slightest inequality of the surface remains to indicate the fracture; the different nature of the rocks and the discoveries made in mining alone reveal its presence. Time has levelled all.
The Face of the Earth (1904), Vol. 1, 604.
Science quotes on:  |  Break (41)  |  Brevity (3)  |  Contemplation (37)  |  Crust (17)  |  Difference (214)  |  Discovery (601)  |  Dismay (4)  |  Doubtless (5)  |  Earth (582)  |  Enabling (7)  |  Erosion (18)  |  Fracture (4)  |  Globe (45)  |  Human (472)  |  Indication (22)  |  Life (993)  |  Mining (11)  |  Mountain (132)  |  Presence (28)  |  Process (210)  |  Range (44)  |  Revelation (29)  |  Rock (118)  |  Segment (3)  |  Sinking (6)  |  Terrestrial (20)  |  Trace (43)

The seventeenth century witnessed the birth of modern science as we know it today. This science was something new, based on a direct confrontation of nature by experiment and observation. But there was another feature of the new science—a dependence on numbers, on real numbers of actual experience.
From The Triumph of Numbers: How Counting Shaped Modern Life (2005), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  17th Century (10)  |  Actual (35)  |  Birth (87)  |  Confrontation (6)  |  Dependence (33)  |  Direct (51)  |  Experience (288)  |  Experiment (548)  |  Feature (36)  |  Mathematics (597)  |  Measurement (149)  |  Modern Science (11)  |  Nature (1081)  |  New (380)  |  Number (188)  |  Observation (421)  |  Real (102)  |  Today (100)

The study of the reactivity of metal ion complexes—the birth of which I have witnessed and which I have helped to nurture … is still in its infancy; it too is flourishing.
Speech at the Nobel Banquet (10 Dec 1983) for his Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.), Les Prix Nobel: The Nobel Prizes (1984), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Birth (87)  |  Flourish (11)  |  Infancy (8)  |  Nurture (14)  |  Study (349)

The year 1896 ... marked the beginning of what has been aptly termed the heroic age of Physical Science. Never before in the history of physics has there been witnessed such a period of intense activity when discoveries of fundamental importance have followed one another with such bewildering rapidity.
'The Electrical Structure of Matter', Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1924), C2.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (101)  |  Age (146)  |  Beginning (115)  |  Bewilderment (4)  |  Discovery (601)  |  Following (16)  |  Fundamental (124)  |  Hero (30)  |  History (314)  |  Importance (186)  |  Intensity (19)  |  Period (51)  |  Physical Science (56)  |  Physics (304)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Term (89)

There is an influence which is getting strong and stronger day by day, which shows itself more and more in all departments of human activity, and influence most fruitful and beneficial—the influence of the artist. It was a happy day for the mass of humanity when the artist felt the desire of becoming a physician, an electrician, an engineer or mechanician or—whatnot—a mathematician or a financier; for it was he who wrought all these wonders and grandeur we are witnessing. It was he who abolished that small, pedantic, narrow-grooved school teaching which made of an aspiring student a galley-slave, and he who allowed freedom in the choice of subject of study according to one's pleasure and inclination, and so facilitated development.
'Roentgen Rays or Streams', Electrical Review (12 Aug 1896). Reprinted in The Nikola Tesla Treasury (2007), 307. By Nikola Tesla
Science quotes on:  |  Artist (48)  |  Aspiration (21)  |  Beneficial (11)  |  Choice (72)  |  Development (231)  |  Electrician (3)  |  Engineer (74)  |  Freedom (85)  |  Fruitful (31)  |  Grandeur (16)  |  Inclination (21)  |  Influence (113)  |  Mathematician (178)  |  Mechanician (2)  |  Pedantry (5)  |  Physician (234)  |  Pleasure (106)  |  Slave (23)  |  Wonder (152)

These days at ten o’clock at night a most alarming wonder has manifested itself in the skies. The firmament was rent asunder and through this gap one could distinguish chariots and armies, riders with yellow, white, red and black standards, though to do battle against each other. This awesome and unusual vision continued from ten at night till about two of the morning, and was witnessed with alarm and dismay by many honest and trustworthy people. The significance thereof is known but to God Almighty, Who may graciously prevent the shedding of innocent blood.
Anonymous
'Frightful Apparition in the Sky at Vienna. From Vienna, the 11th day of August 1590'. As quoted in George Tennyson Matthews (ed.) News and Rumor in Renaissance Europe: The Fugger Newsletters (1959), 188. A handwritten collection of news reports (1568-1604) by the powerful banking and merchant house of Fugger in Ausburg.
Science quotes on:  |  Almighty (8)  |  Army (22)  |  Asunder (2)  |  Awesome (11)  |  Battle (30)  |  Black (39)  |  Blood (98)  |  Chariot (4)  |  Dismay (4)  |  Firmament (12)  |  Gap (20)  |  God (474)  |  Graciously (2)  |  Honest (27)  |  Innocent (9)  |  Manifest (12)  |  Meteorology (30)  |  Morning (36)  |  Night (104)  |  People (316)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Red (34)  |  Rent (2)  |  Rider (2)  |  Shedding (2)  |  Significance (64)  |  Sky (108)  |  Standard (45)  |  Trustworthy (6)  |  Unusual (14)  |  Vision (78)  |  White (52)  |  Wonder (152)  |  Yellow (17)

Time is awake when all things sleep.
Time stands straight when all things fall.
Time shuts in all and will not be shut.
Is, was, and shall be are Time’s children.
O Reason! be witness! be stable!
Vyasa
In The Mahabarata (1968), Vol. 1, 31, v. 247-248
Science quotes on:  |  Awake (8)  |  Child (208)  |  Fall (99)  |  Reason (343)  |  Shut (8)  |  Sleep (49)  |  Stable (15)  |  Stand (85)  |  Straight (15)  |  Time (491)

[In 1909,] Paris was the center of the aviation world. Aeronautics was neither an industry nor even a science; both were yet to come. It was an “art” and I might say a “passion”. Indeed, at that time it was a miracle. It meant the realization of legends and dreams that had existed for thousands of years and had been pronounced again and again as impossible by scientific authorities. Therefore, even the brief and unsteady flights of that period were deeply impressive. Many times I observed expressions of joy and tears in the eyes of witnesses who for the first time watched a flying machine carrying a man in the air.
In address (16 Nov 1964) presented to the Wings Club, New York City, Recollections and Thoughts of a Pioneer (1964), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Aeronautics (12)  |  Air (171)  |  Aviation (7)  |  Brief (14)  |  Carry (39)  |  Center (31)  |  Dream (143)  |  Expression (85)  |  Eye (190)  |  Flight (56)  |  Flying Machine (7)  |  Impossible (75)  |  Impressive (14)  |  Industry (96)  |  Joy (77)  |  Legend (9)  |  Man (348)  |  Miracle (62)  |  Observe (51)  |  Paris (9)  |  Passion (56)  |  Realization (35)  |  Science And Art (159)  |  Tear (21)  |  Thousand (123)  |  World (746)  |  Year (240)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.