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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Dangerous... to take shelter under a tree, during a thunder-gust. It has been fatal to many, both men and beasts.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index W > Category: Wonderful

Wonderful Quotes (37 quotes)

πολλὰ τὰ δεινὰ κοὐδὲν ἀνθρώπου δεινότερον πέλει.
Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man.
Sophocles
First line of a choral ode in Antigone, line 332, translated by R.C. Jebb (1891). This may not be the closest translation of ambiguous words. Walter Arnold Kaufmann suggests a closer meaning would be “Much is awesome, but nothing more awesome than man” in Tragedy and Philosophy (1992), 237. Alternate word translations could be terrors, danger, misfortune or distress. Hence the variation in other standard translations on this web page.
Science quotes on:  |  Awesome (8)  |  Man (345)  |  Wonder (134)

A wonderful exhilaration comes from holding in the mind the deepest questions we can ask. Such questions animate all scientists. Many students of science were first attracted to the field as children by popular accounts of important unsolved problems. They have been waiting ever since to begin working on a mystery. [With co-author Arthur Zajonc]
In George Greenstein and Arthur Zajonc, The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (2006), xii.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (45)  |  Animate (6)  |  Ask (99)  |  Attract (15)  |  Begin (52)  |  Child (189)  |  Exhilaration (5)  |  Field (119)  |  First (174)  |  Important (124)  |  Mind (544)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Popular (21)  |  Problem (362)  |  Question (315)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Student (131)  |  Unsolved (7)  |  Wait (38)  |  Work (457)

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
In A Tale of Two Cities, originally serialized in 31 weekly parts in All the Year Round. This quote is from Chapter III, which appeared in Vol. 1. No. 1 (30 Apr 1859).
Science quotes on:  |  Constituted (5)  |  Creature (127)  |  Fact (609)  |  Human (445)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Profound (46)  |  Reflect (17)  |  Secret (98)

Alas, your dear friend and servant is totally blind. Henceforth this heaven, this universe, which by wonderful observations I had enlarged by a hundred and a thousand times beyond the conception of former ages, is shrunk for me into the narrow space which I myself fill in it. So it pleases God; it shall therefore please me also.
In Letter, as quoted in Sir Oliver Lodge, Pioneers of Science (1905), 133.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Blind (35)  |  Conception (63)  |  Enlarge (15)  |  Former (18)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Hundred (46)  |  Narrow (33)  |  Observation (418)  |  Shrink (10)  |  Space (154)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Universe (563)

At last have made wonderful discovery in valley; a magnificent tomb with seals intact; re-covered same for your arrival; congratulations.
Telegram (6 Nov 1922) sent to Lord Carnarvon. In The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen (1923, 1977), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Congratulations (3)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Intact (3)  |  Magnificent (15)  |  Seal (10)  |  Tomb (7)  |  Valley (16)

Chief Seattle, of the Indians that inhabited the Seattle area, wrote a wonderful paper that has to do with putting oneself in tune with the universe. He said, “Why should I lament the disappearance of my people! All things end, and the white man will find this out also.” And this goes for the universe. One can be at peace with that. This doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t participate in efforts to correct the situation. But underlying the effort to change must be an “at peace.” To win a dog sled race is great. To lose is okay too.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Area (18)  |  Change (291)  |  Correct (53)  |  Disappearance (21)  |  Dog (39)  |  Effort (94)  |  End (141)  |  Find (248)  |  Great (300)  |  Indian (17)  |  Inhabit (13)  |  Lament (7)  |  Lose (53)  |  Mean (63)  |  Oneself (3)  |  Paper (52)  |  Participate (4)  |  Peace (58)  |  People (269)  |  Race (76)  |  Say (126)  |  Situation (41)  |  Sled (2)  |  Tune (9)  |  Underlying (14)  |  Universe (563)  |  White (38)  |  Win (25)  |  Write (87)

Dear Mr. Bell: … Sir Wm. Thomson … speaks with much enthusiasm of your achievement. What yesterday he would have declared impossible he has today seen realized, and he declares it the most wonderful thing he has seen in America. You speak of it as an embryo invention, but to him it seems already complete, and he declares that, before long, friends will whisper their secrets over the electric wire. Your undulating current he declares a great and happy conception.
Letter to Alexander Graham Bell (25 Jun 1876). Quoted in Alexander Graham Bell, The Bell Telephone: The Deposition of Alexander Graham Bell, in the Suit Brought by the United States to Annul the Bell Patents (1908), 101. Note: William Thomson is better known as Lord Kelvin.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Alexander Graham Bell (34)  |  Complete (43)  |  Conception (63)  |  Current (43)  |  Declare (18)  |  Electric (11)  |  Embryo (22)  |  Enthusiasm (28)  |  Friend (63)  |  Great (300)  |  Impossible (68)  |  Invention (283)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (50)  |  Realize (43)  |  Secret (98)  |  Today (86)  |  Whisper (5)  |  Wire (18)  |  Yesterday (14)

For me too, the periodic table was a passion. ... As a boy, I stood in front of the display for hours, thinking how wonderful it was that each of those metal foils and jars of gas had its own distinct personality.
[Referring to the periodic table display in the Science Museum, London, with element samples in bottles]
Letter to Oliver Sacks. Quoted in Oliver Sacks, Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood (2001), footnote, 203.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Boy (33)  |  Display (22)  |  Element (129)  |  Foil (3)  |  Gas (46)  |  Jar (9)  |  Metal (38)  |  Passion (54)  |  Periodic Table (13)  |  Personality (40)  |  Stand (60)

From my father I learned to build things, to take them apart, and to fix mechanical and electrical equipment in general. I spent vast hours in a woodworking shop he maintained in the basement of our house, building gadgets, working both with my father and alone, often late into the night. … This play with building, fixing, and designing was my favorite activity throughout my childhood, and was a wonderful preparation for my later career as an experimentalist working on the frontiers of chemistry and physics.
From 'Richard E. Smalley: Biographical', collected in Tore Frängsmyr (ed.), Les Prix Nobel: The Nobel Prizes 1996 (1997).
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (97)  |  Build (80)  |  Career (54)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Childhood (23)  |  Design (92)  |  Electrical (10)  |  Equipment (26)  |  Experimenter (18)  |  Father (44)  |  Favorite (18)  |  Fix (10)  |  Frontier (16)  |  Learn (160)  |  Mechanical (31)  |  Physics (301)  |  Play (60)  |  Preparation (33)

Glittering white, shining blue, raven black … the land looks like a fairytale. Pinnacle after pinnacle, peak after peak—crevassed, wild as any land on our globe, it lies, unseen and untrodden. It is a wonderful feeling to travel along it.
As quoted from South Pole expedition diary (13 Nov 1911) in Roland Huntford, Scott and Amundsen (1980), 438.
Science quotes on:  |  Black (27)  |  Blue (30)  |  Crevasse (2)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Glitter (5)  |  Globe (39)  |  Land (83)  |  Peak (15)  |  Pinnacle (2)  |  Raven (2)  |  Shining (8)  |  Travel (40)  |  Unseen (7)  |  White (38)  |  Wild (39)

Holding then to science with one hand—the left hand—we give the right hand to religion, and cry: ‘Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things, more wondrous than the shining worlds can tell.’ Obedient to the promise, religion does awaken faculties within us, does teach our eyes to the beholding of more wonderful things. Those great worlds blazing like suns die like feeble stars in the glory of the morning, in the presence of this new light. The soul knows that an infinite sea of love is all about it, throbbing through it, everlasting arms of affection lift it, and it bathes itself in the clear consciousness of a Father’s love.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Affection (14)  |  Arm (17)  |  Awaken (8)  |  Bathe (2)  |  Behold (12)  |  Blaze (9)  |  Clear (52)  |  Consciousness (71)  |  Cry (13)  |  Die (46)  |  Everlasting (5)  |  Eye (159)  |  Faculty (36)  |  Father (44)  |  Feeble (21)  |  Give (117)  |  Glory (44)  |  Great (300)  |  Hand (103)  |  Hold (56)  |  Infinite (88)  |  Know (321)  |  Leave (63)  |  Lift (17)  |  Light (246)  |  Love (164)  |  Morning (31)  |  New (340)  |  Open (38)  |  Presence (26)  |  Promise (27)  |  Religion (210)  |  Right (144)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sea (143)  |  Shine (22)  |  Soul (139)  |  Star (251)  |  Sun (211)  |  Teach (102)  |  Tell (67)  |  Thou (4)  |  Throb (4)  |  Wondrous (7)  |  World (667)

I am told that the wall paintings which we had the happiness of admiring in all their beauty and freshness [in the chapel she discovered at Abu Simbel] are already much injured. Such is the fate of every Egyptian monument, great or small. The tourist carves it over with names and dates, and in some instances with caricatures. The student of Egyptology, by taking wet paper “squeezes” sponges away every vestige of the original colour. The “Collector” buys and carries off everything of value that he can, and the Arab steals it for him. The work of destruction, meanwhile goes on apace. The Museums of Berlin, of Turin, of Florence are rich in spoils which tell their lamentable tale. When science leads the way, is it wonderful that ignorance should follow?
Quoted in Margaret S. Drower, The Early Years, in T.G.H. James, (ed.), Excavating in Egypt: The Egypt Exploration Society, 1882-1982 (1982), 10. As cited in Wendy M.K. Shaw, Possessors and Possessed: Museums, Archaeology, and the Visualization of History in the Late Ottoman Empire (2003), 37. Also quoted in Margaret S. Drower, Flinders Petrie: A Life in Archaeology (1995), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Arab (2)  |  Beauty (171)  |  Berlin (7)  |  Buy (14)  |  Caricature (6)  |  Carry (35)  |  Carve (4)  |  Collector (9)  |  Color (78)  |  Date (8)  |  Destruction (80)  |  Egypt (18)  |  Egyptology (3)  |  Fate (38)  |  Follow (66)  |  Freshness (5)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Injure (3)  |  Instance (18)  |  Lamentable (3)  |  Lead (101)  |  Monument (19)  |  Museum (22)  |  Name (118)  |  Original (36)  |  Painting (24)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sponge (9)  |  Steal (5)  |  Student (131)  |  Tale (12)  |  Tourist (5)  |  Turin (2)  |  Value (180)  |  Vestige (4)

I don’t understand why people insist on pitting concepts of evolution and creation against each other. Why can’t they see that spiritualism and science are one? That bodies evolve and souls evolve and the universe is a fluid package that marries them both in a wonderful package called a human being.
The Art of Racing in the Rain. Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 43
Science quotes on:  |  Body (193)  |  Both (52)  |  Call (68)  |  Concept (102)  |  Creation (211)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fluid (18)  |  Human Being (54)  |  Insist (13)  |  Marry (6)  |  Package (5)  |  People (269)  |  Pit (10)  |  Science (1699)  |  See (197)  |  Soul (139)  |  Spiritualism (3)  |  Understand (189)  |  Universe (563)

I hardly know of a great physical truth whose universal reception has not been preceded by an epoch in which the most estimable persons have maintained that the phenomena investigated were directly dependent on the Divine Will, and that the attempt to investigate them was not only futile but blasphemous. And there is a wonderful tenacity of life about this sort of opposition to physical science. Crushed and maimed in every battle, it yet seems never to be slain; and after a hundred defeats it is at this day as rampant, though happily not so mischievous, as in the time of Galileo.
In Address (10 Feb 1860) to weekly evening meeting, 'On Species and Races, and their Origin', Notices of the Proceedings at the Meetings of the Members of the Royal Institution: Vol. III: 1858-1862 (1862), 199.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (94)  |  Battle (30)  |  Crush (6)  |  Defeat (13)  |  Futile (4)  |  Galileo Galilei (101)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Life (917)  |  Maim (3)  |  Mischievous (2)  |  Opposition (29)  |  Physical Science (54)  |  Rampant (2)  |  Reception (6)  |  Tenacity (4)  |  Time (439)  |  Truth (750)  |  Universal (70)

I learned a lot of different things from different schools. MIT is a very good place…. It has developed for itself a spirit, so that every member of the whole place thinks that it’s the most wonderful place in the world—it’s the center, somehow, of scientific and technological development in the United States, if not the world … and while you don’t get a good sense of proportion there, you do get an excellent sense of being with it and in it, and having motivation and desire to keep on…
From Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character (1985), 51.
Science quotes on:  |  Center (30)  |  Desire (101)  |  Developed (8)  |  Development (228)  |  Different (110)  |  Excellent (15)  |  Good (228)  |  Keep (47)  |  Learning (174)  |  M.I.T. (2)  |  Member (27)  |  Motivation (21)  |  Place (111)  |  Proportion (47)  |  School (87)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Sense (240)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Technological (15)  |  Thinking (222)  |  United States (31)  |  World (667)

I thought existing zoo programmes were really not doing animals justice. They all looked like oddities, like bizarre stage things, when, really, in their own environment, they are wonderful answers to very complex questions.
Explaining his motivation for his earliest groundbreaking Zoo Quest nature TV series featuring on location filming. From interview with Alice Roberts, 'Attenborough: My Life on Earth', The Biologist (Aug 2015), 62, No. 4, 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Answer (201)  |  Bizarre (5)  |  Complex (78)  |  Environment (138)  |  Justice (24)  |  Oddity (4)  |  Program (32)  |  Question (315)  |  Stage (39)  |  Zoo (6)

If we knew all the laws of Nature, we should need only one fact or the description of one actual phenomenon to infer all the particular results at that point. Now we know only a few laws, and our result is vitiated, not, of course, by any confusion or irregularity in Nature, but by our ignorance of essential elements in the calculation. Our notions of law and harmony are commonly confined to those instances which we detect, but the harmony which results from a far greater number of seemingly conflicting, but really concurring, laws which we have not detected, is still more wonderful. The particular laws are as our points of view, as to the traveler, a mountain outline varies with every step, and it has an infinite number of profiles, though absolutely but one form. Even when cleft or bored through, it is not comprehended in its entireness.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (24)  |  Actual (34)  |  Bored (2)  |  Calculation (67)  |  Commonly (7)  |  Comprehend (19)  |  Concur (2)  |  Confine (9)  |  Conflict (49)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Description (72)  |  Detect (9)  |  Element (129)  |  Essential (87)  |  Fact (609)  |  Far (77)  |  Form (210)  |  Great (300)  |  Harmony (55)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Infer (10)  |  Infinite (88)  |  Instance (18)  |  Irregularity (10)  |  Know (321)  |  Law (418)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Need (211)  |  Notion (32)  |  Number (179)  |  Of Course (11)  |  Outline (6)  |  Particular (54)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Point (72)  |  Really (50)  |  Result (250)  |  Seemingly (7)  |  Step (67)  |  Traveler (18)  |  Vary (14)  |  View (115)

If we look at the problems raised by Aristotle, we are astonished at his gift of observation. What wonderful eyes the Greeks had for many things! Only they committed the mistake of being overhasty, of passing straightway from the phenomenon to the explanation of it, and thereby produced certain theories that are quite inadequate. But this is the mistake of all times, and still made in our own day.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 195.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Astonished (4)  |  Commit (17)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Eye (159)  |  Gift (47)  |  Greek (46)  |  Hasty (4)  |  Inadequate (13)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Observation (418)  |  Pass (60)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Problem (362)  |  Produce (63)  |  Straightway (2)  |  Theory (582)

Imaginary numbers are a fine and wonderful refuge of the divine spirit almost an amphibian between being and non-being. (1702)
[Alternate translation:] The Divine Spirit found a sublime outlet in that wonder of analysis, that portent of the ideal world, that amphibian between being and not-being, which we call the imaginary root of negative unity.
Quoted in Félix Klein, Elementary Mathematics From an Advanced Standpoint: Arithmetic, Algebra, Analysis (1924), 56. Alternate translation as quoted in Tobias Dantzig, Number, the Language of Science: a Critical Survey Written for the Cultured Non-Mathematician (1930), 204
Science quotes on:  |  Amphibian (5)  |  Analaysis (2)  |  Being (39)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Imaginary (10)  |  Imaginary Number (3)  |  Negative (24)  |  Refuge (12)  |  Root (48)  |  Unity (43)

Indeed, we need not look back half a century to times which many now living remember well, and see the wonderful advances in the sciences and arts which have been made within that period. Some of these have rendered the elements themselves subservient to the purposes of man, have harnessed them to the yoke of his labors and effected the great blessings of moderating his own, of accomplishing what was beyond his feeble force, and extending the comforts of life to a much enlarged circle, to those who had before known its necessaries only.
From paper 'Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Fix the Site of the University of Virginia' (Dec 1818), reprinted in Annual Report of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia for the Fiscal Year Ending May 31, 1879 (1879), 10. Collected in Commonwealth of Virginia, Annual Reports of Officers, Boards, and Institutions of the Commonwealth of Virginia, for the Year Ending September 30, 1879 (1879).
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  Advance (123)  |  Back (55)  |  Blessing (7)  |  Century (94)  |  Circle (28)  |  Comfort (42)  |  Effect (133)  |  Element (129)  |  Enlarge (15)  |  Feeble (21)  |  Force (194)  |  Harness (15)  |  Labor (53)  |  Life (917)  |  Living (44)  |  Look (46)  |  Man (345)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Period (49)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Remember (53)  |  Render (17)  |  Science And Art (157)  |  Subservient (3)  |  Time (439)

Is evolution a theory, a system or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforth if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow. ... The consciousness of each of us is evolution looking at itself and reflecting upon itself....Man is not the center of the universe as once we thought in our simplicity, but something much more wonderful—the arrow pointing the way to the final unification of the world in terms of life. Man alone constitutes the last-born, the freshest, the most complicated, the most subtle of all the successive layers of life. ... The universe has always been in motion and at this moment continues to be in motion. But will it still be in motion tomorrow? ... What makes the world in which we live specifically modern is our discovery in it and around it of evolution. ... Thus in all probability, between our modern earth and the ultimate earth, there stretches an immense period, characterized not by a slowing-down but a speeding up and by the definitive florescence of the forces of evolution along the line of the human shoot.
In The Phenomenon of Man (1975), pp 218, 220, 223, 227, 228, 277.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrow (13)  |  Bow (9)  |  Center (30)  |  Characterize (9)  |  Complicated (38)  |  Condition (119)  |  Consciousness (71)  |  Constitute (19)  |  Curve (16)  |  Definitive (2)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Earth (487)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fact (609)  |  Final (33)  |  Follow (66)  |  General (92)  |  Human (445)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Illuminating (3)  |  Immense (28)  |  Layer (14)  |  Life (917)  |  Light (246)  |  Line (44)  |  Live (186)  |  Looking (25)  |  Modern (104)  |  Moment (61)  |  Motion (127)  |  Period (49)  |  Pointing (4)  |  Probability (83)  |  Reflecting (3)  |  Satisfy (14)  |  Shoot (10)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Subtle (26)  |  Successive (14)  |  System (141)  |  Term (87)  |  Theory (582)  |  Thought (374)  |  Tomorrow (29)  |  True (120)  |  Ultimate (61)  |  Unification (9)  |  Universe (563)  |  World (667)

It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these western woods ... Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries since Christ's time—and long before that—God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools.
John Muir
In 'The American Forests', Atlantic Monthly (Aug 1897), Vol. 80, 157.
Science quotes on:  |  Avalanche (3)  |  Care (73)  |  Century (94)  |  Disease (257)  |  Drought (9)  |  Flood (26)  |  Save (46)  |  Tempest (6)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Tree (143)  |  Western (14)  |  Wood (33)  |  Year (214)

Many things cause terror and wonder, yet nothing
is more terrifying and wonderful than man.
Sophocles
First line of a choral ode in Antigone, line 332, as translated by M. Blake Tyrrell and Larry J. Bennett. One of several variations given in Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 3, (2010), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (231)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Terrify (9)  |  Terror (16)  |  Wonder (134)

Nature’s great and wonderful power is more demonstrated in the sea than on the land.
As quoted in Isaac Asimov and Jason A. Shulman (eds.), Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 186. Webmaster has not yet found another source with this wording. (Can you help?)
Science quotes on:  |  Great (300)  |  Land (83)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Oceanography (16)  |  Power (273)  |  Sea (143)

Neutrinos, they are very small
They have no charge and have no mass
And do not interact at all.
The earth is just a silly ball
To them, through which they simply pass,
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
Or photons through a sheet of glass.
They snub the most exquisite gas,
Ignore the most substantial wall,
Cold-shoulder steel and sounding brass,
Insult the stallion in his stall,
And, scorning barriers of class,
Infiltrate you and me! Like tall
And painless guillotines, they fall
Down through our heads into the grass.
At night, they enter at Nepal
And pierce the lover and his lass
From underneath the bed—you call
It wonderful; I call it crass.
In poem 'Cosmic Gall', The New Yorker (17 Dec 1960). Collected in Telephone Poles and Other Poems (1964), 5. Note: In fact, about 1014 neutrinos from the Sun and 103 neutrinos in cosmic rays pass through our bodies each second. Neutrinos are now known to have a very small amount of mass, and they do interact (through the weak force).
Science quotes on:  |  Ball (20)  |  Barrier (19)  |  Bed (20)  |  Brass (4)  |  Charge (29)  |  Earth (487)  |  Glass (35)  |  Guillotine (4)  |  Ignore (22)  |  Interaction (28)  |  Lover (7)  |  Mass (61)  |  Neutrino (8)  |  Pass (60)  |  Photon (10)  |  Silly (10)  |  Small (97)  |  Stall (3)  |  Steel (14)  |  Wall (20)

Our time is distinguished by wonderful achievements in the fields of scientific understanding and the technical application of those insights. Who would not be cheered by this? But let us not forget that human knowledge and skills alone cannot lead humanity to a happy and dignified life. Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Alone (61)  |  Application (117)  |  Cheer (5)  |  Discoverer (9)  |  Distinguish (32)  |  Field (119)  |  Forget (40)  |  Happy (22)  |  High (78)  |  Human (445)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Insight (57)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Lead (101)  |  Let (30)  |  Life (917)  |  Moral (100)  |  Objective (49)  |  Place (111)  |  Reason (330)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Skill (50)  |  Standard (41)  |  Technical (26)  |  Time (439)  |  Truth (750)  |  Understand (189)  |  Value (180)

Some may claim that is it unscientific to speak of the operations of nature as “miracles.” But the point of the title lies in the paradox of finding so many wonderful things ... subservient to the rule of law.
In Nature’s Miracles: Familiar Talks on Science (1899), Vol. 1, Introduction, v.
Science quotes on:  |  Claim (52)  |  Find (248)  |  Law (418)  |  Lying (6)  |  Many (2)  |  Miracle (55)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Operation (96)  |  Paradox (35)  |  Point (72)  |  Rule (135)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Subservient (3)  |  Thing (37)  |  Title (10)  |  Unscientific (7)

Some of my youthful readers are developing wonderful imaginations. This pleases me. Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams—day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing—are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young. I believe it.
Opening paragraph of preface, 'To My Readers', The Lost Princess of Oz (1917), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  America (74)  |  Apt (7)  |  Automobile (19)  |  Belief (400)  |  Betterment (4)  |  Brain (181)  |  Child (189)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Christopher Columbus (13)  |  Create (98)  |  Dark Ages (10)  |  Develop (55)  |  Discover (115)  |  Dream (92)  |  Electricity (121)  |  Eye (159)  |  Fairy Tale (6)  |  Foster (2)  |  Benjamin Franklin (81)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Invent (30)  |  Machine (133)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Please (10)  |  Present (103)  |  Prominent (5)  |  Reader (22)  |  Reality (140)  |  State (96)  |  Steam Engine (41)  |  Telephone (21)  |  Untold (4)  |  Value (180)  |  Whiz (2)  |  Woman (94)  |  World (667)  |  Young (72)  |  Youth (57)

The fertilized germ of one of the higher animals … is perhaps the most wonderful object in nature… . On the doctrine of reversion [atavism] … the germ becomes a far more marvelous object, for, besides the visible changes which it undergoes, we must believe that it is crowded with invisible characters … separated by hundreds or even thousands of generations from the present time: and these characters, like those written on paper with invisible ink, lie ready to be evolved whenever the organization is disturbed by certain known or unknown conditions.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Change (291)  |  Character (82)  |  Crowd (12)  |  Disturbed (2)  |  Doctrine (53)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fertilize (2)  |  Generation (111)  |  Germ (27)  |  Ink (7)  |  Invisible (30)  |  Marvelous (13)  |  Organization (79)  |  Paper (52)  |  Present (103)  |  Reversion (3)  |  Separate (46)  |  Visible (20)  |  Write (87)

The ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding.
From Novum Organum (1620), Book 1, Aphorisms 39, 41-44. Translated as The New Organon: Aphorisms Concerning the Interpretation of Nature and the Kingdom of Man), collected in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1857), Vol. 4, 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Choice (64)  |  Understand (189)  |  Unfit (9)  |  Word (221)

The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this. The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Aim (58)  |  Akin (3)  |  Already (16)  |  Appear (55)  |  Atheist (13)  |  Base (43)  |  Beginnings (2)  |  Both (52)  |  Case (64)  |  Central (23)  |  Church (30)  |  Closely (8)  |  Conceive (22)  |  Contain (37)  |  Contemporary (22)  |  Cosmic (34)  |  David (5)  |  Democritus of Abdera (16)  |  Desire (101)  |  Development (228)  |  Distinguish (32)  |  Dogma (25)  |  Early (39)  |  Element (129)  |  Especially (18)  |  Existence (254)  |  Experience (268)  |  Feel (93)  |  Fill (35)  |  Find (248)  |  Francis (2)  |  Futility (5)  |  Genius (186)  |  God (454)  |  Heretic (5)  |  High (78)  |  Human (445)  |  Image (38)  |  Impress (9)  |  Individual (177)  |  Kind (99)  |  Know (321)  |  Learn (160)  |  Light (246)  |  Marvelous (13)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Order (167)  |  Precisely (11)  |  Prison (7)  |  Prophet (8)  |  Psalm (3)  |  Regard (58)  |  Religious (44)  |  Reveal (32)  |  Saint (10)  |  Significant (26)  |  Single (72)  |  Sometimes (27)  |  Sort (32)  |  Spinoza (4)  |  Stage (39)  |  Strong (47)  |  Sublimity (4)  |  Teachings (2)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Thought (374)  |  Universe (563)  |  Want (120)  |  Whole (122)  |  World (667)  |  Writings (2)

The wonderful arrangement and harmony of the cosmos would only originate in the plan of an almighty omniscient being. This is and remains my greatest comprehension.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Almighty (8)  |  Arrangement (45)  |  Comprehension (51)  |  Cosmos (39)  |  Great (300)  |  Harmony (55)  |  Omniscient (3)  |  Originate (14)  |  Plan (69)  |  Remain (77)

The wonderful structure of the animal system will probably never permit us to look upon it as a merely physical apparatus, yet the demands of science require that the evidently magnified principles of vitality should be reduced to their natural spheres, or if truth requires, wholly subverted in favor of those more cognizable by the human understanding. The spirit of the age will not tolerate in the devotee of science a quiet indifference. ...
In 'An Inquiry, Analogical and Experimental, into the Different Electrical conditions of Arterial and Venous Blood', New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal (1853-4), 10, 584-602 & 738-757. As cited in George B. Roth, 'Dr. John Gorrie—Inventor of Artificial Ice and Mechanical Refrigeration', The Scientific Monthly (May 1936) 42 No. 5, 464-469.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Apparatus (30)  |  Human (445)  |  Indifference (12)  |  Merely (35)  |  Physical (94)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Structure (191)  |  System (141)  |  Truth (750)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Vitality (10)

The world is so full of wonderful things we should all, if we were taught how to appreciate it, be far richer than kings.
In Growing Young (1989), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Appreciate (17)  |  Full (38)  |  King (23)  |  Rich (48)  |  Teach (102)  |  World (667)

The world looks so different after learning science. For example, trees are made of air, primarily. When they are burned, they go back to air, and in the flaming heat is released the flaming heat of the sun which was bound in to convert the air into tree, and in the ash is the small remnant of the part which did not come from air, that came from the solid earth, instead. These are beautiful things, and the content of science is wonderfully full of them. They are very inspiring, and they can be used to inspire others.
From address (1966) at the 14th Annual Convention of the National Science Teachers Association, New York City, printed in 'What is science?', The Physics Teacher (1969), 7, No. 6, 320.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Ash (16)  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Burn (29)  |  Content (39)  |  Convert (15)  |  Different (110)  |  Earth (487)  |  Flame (23)  |  Heat (90)  |  Inspire (35)  |  Learning (174)  |  Remnant (2)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solid (34)  |  Sun (211)  |  Tree (143)  |  World (667)

There are many strange and wonderful things, but nothing more strangely wonderful than man.
Sophocles
First line of a choral ode in Antigone, line 332, as translated by Ian Johnson. One of several variations given in Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 3, (2010), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Nothing (267)  |  Strange (61)

[Fritz Haber's] greatness lies in his scientific ideas and in the depth of his searching. The thought, the plan, and the process are more important to him than the completion. The creative process gives him more pleasure than the yield, the finished piece. Success is immaterial. “Doing it was wonderful.” His work is nearly always uneconomical, with the wastefulness of the rich.
In Richard Willstätter, Arthur Stoll (ed. of the original German) and Lilli S. Hornig (trans.), From My Life: The Memoirs of Richard Willstätter (1958), 268.
Science quotes on:  |  Completion (15)  |  Creativity (66)  |  Depth (32)  |  Finish (16)  |  Greatness (34)  |  Fritz Haber (4)  |  Idea (440)  |  Immaterial (3)  |  Importance (183)  |  Plan (69)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Process (201)  |  Rich (48)  |  Search (85)  |  Success (202)  |  Thought (374)  |  Work (457)  |  Yield (23)


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.