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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The Superfund legislation... may prove to be as far-reaching and important as any accomplishment of my administration. The reduction of the threat to America's health and safety from thousands of toxic-waste sites will continue to be an urgent…issue …”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index W > Category: Word

Word Quotes (296 quotes)

Niels Bohr quote: What is that we human beings ultimately depend on? We depend on our words. We are suspended in language.

... we must first base such words as “between” upon clear concepts, a thing which is quite feasible but which I have not seen done.
In George Edward Martin, The Foundations of Geometry and the Non-Euclidean Plane (1982), 83.
Science quotes on:  |  Base (70)  |  Clear (96)  |  Concept (142)  |  Feasible (3)  |  First (306)  |  See (368)

...We must be on our guard against giving interpretations that are hazardous or opposed to science, and so exposing the Word of God to the ridicule of unbelievers.
Genesis in the Literal Sense
Science quotes on:  |  Expose (16)  |  Give (197)  |  God (528)  |  Guard (18)  |  Hazardous (2)  |  Interpretation (69)  |  Oppose (23)  |  Ridicule (17)  |  Science (2017)  |  Unbeliever (2)

Ath. There still remain three studies suitable for freemen. Calculation in arithmetic is one of them; the measurement of length, surface, and depth is the second; and the third has to do with the revolutions of the stars in reference to one another … there is in them something that is necessary and cannot be set aside, … if I am not mistaken, [something of] divine necessity; for as to the human necessities of which men often speak when they talk in this manner, nothing can be more ridiculous than such an application of the words.
Cle. And what necessities of knowledge are there, Stranger, which are divine and not human?
Ath. I conceive them to be those of which he who has no use nor any knowledge at all cannot be a god, or demi-god, or hero to mankind, or able to take any serious thought or charge of them.
Plato
In Republic, Bk. 7, in Jowett, Dialogues of Plato (1897, 2010), Vol. 4, 331.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (164)  |  Arithmetic (114)  |  Calculation (98)  |  Conceive (36)  |  Depth (49)  |  Divine (60)  |  Estimates of Mathematics (29)  |  God (528)  |  Hero (35)  |  Human (544)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Length (20)  |  Mankind (238)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Mistake (128)  |  Necessary (142)  |  Reference (32)  |  Remain (109)  |  Revolution (69)  |  Ridiculous (12)  |  Serious (50)  |  Set Aside (4)  |  Star (335)  |  Study (456)  |  Suitable (7)  |  Surface (100)  |  Thought (531)

Boss: I just heard that light travels faster than sound. I'm wondering if I should shout when I speak, just so my lips appear to sync-up with my words.
Dilbert (thought): A little knowledge can be a ridiculous thing.
Dilbert comic strip (10 Sep 1992).
Science quotes on:  |  Faster (12)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Light (345)  |  Lip (4)  |  Ridiculous (12)  |  Shout (12)  |  Sound (86)  |  Travel (61)  |  Wonder (168)

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 (40)  |  Bliss (3)  |  Book (255)  |  Christian (21)  |  Compared (8)  |  Contemptible (8)  |  Disapproval (2)  |  Eternal (66)  |  Folly (32)  |  High (150)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Observation (444)  |  Old (143)  |  Patriarch (3)  |  Philosophy (251)  |  Prophet (11)  |  Record (67)  |  Science (2017)  |  Series (50)  |  Son (23)  |  Soul (163)  |  Strange (89)  |  Sundry (4)  |  Teach (177)  |  Wisdom (178)

Mathematical truth has validity independent of place, personality, or human authority. Mathematical relations are not established, nor can they be abrogated, by edict. The multiplication table is international and permanent, not a matter of convention nor of relying upon authority of state or church. The value of π is not amenable to human caprice. The finding of a mathematical theorem may have been a highly romantic episode in the personal life of the discoverer, but it cannot be expected of itself to reveal the race, sex, or temperament of this discoverer. With modern means of widespread communication even mathematical notation tends to be international despite all nationalistic tendencies in the use of words or of type.
Anonymous
In 'Light Thrown on the Nature of Mathematics by Certain Aspects of Its Development', Mathematics in General Education (1940), 256. This is the Report of the Committee on the Function of Mathematics in General Education of the Commission on Secondary School Curriculum, which was established by the Executive Board of the Progressive Education Association in 1932.
Science quotes on:  |  Amenable (4)  |  Authority (63)  |  Caprice (3)  |  Church (34)  |  Communication (75)  |  Convention (14)  |  Despite (7)  |  Discoverer (15)  |  Episode (5)  |  Establish (55)  |  Human (544)  |  Independent (65)  |  International (23)  |  Life (1113)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Matter (336)  |  Modern (156)  |  Multiplication Table (10)  |  Nation (132)  |  Notation (19)  |  Permanent (27)  |  Personal (65)  |  Personality (47)  |  Place (171)  |  Race (102)  |  Relation (146)  |  Romantic (9)  |  Sex (49)  |  State (132)  |  Temperament (11)  |  Tend (36)  |  Theorem (88)  |  Truth (901)  |  Type (51)  |  Validity (31)  |  Widespread (11)

Nullius in Verba.
On no man’s word.
Motto of the Royal Society
Alternate translation: “nothing upon trust.” Based upon Horace: Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri (“not bound to swear by the words of any master”).
Science quotes on:  |  Man (373)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Scientific Method (164)  |  Trust (49)

The Word Reason in the English Language has different Significances: sometimes it is taken for true, and clear Principles: Sometimes for clear, and fair deductions from those Principles: and sometimes for Cause, and particularly the final Cause: but the Consideration I shall have of it here, is in a Signification different from all these; and that is, as it stands for a Faculty of Man, That Faculty, whereby Man is supposed to be distinguished from Beasts; and wherein it is evident he much surpasses them.
In 'Of Reason', Essay Concerning Humane Understanding (1690), Book 4, Ch. 17, Sec. 1, 341.
Science quotes on:  |  Beast (38)  |  Cause (283)  |  Clear (96)  |  Deduction (67)  |  Definition (190)  |  Different (176)  |  Distinguish (58)  |  English (33)  |  Evident (25)  |  Faculty (64)  |  Final (47)  |  Language (214)  |  Man (373)  |  Principle (279)  |  Reason (449)  |  Significance (71)  |  Surpass (19)  |  Truth (901)

A chemical name should not be a phrase, it ought not to require circumlocutions to become definite; it should not be of the type “Glauber’s salt”, which conveys nothing about the composition of the substance; it should recall the constituents of a compound; it should be non-committal if nothing is known about the substance; the names should preferably be coined from Latin or Greek, so that their meaning can be more widely and easily understood; the form of the words should be such that they fit easily into the language into which they are to be incorporated.
(1782) As quoted in Archibald Clow, Chemical Revolution: A Contribution to Social Technology (1952, 1992), 618.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemical (79)  |  Composition (54)  |  Compound (58)  |  Greek (69)  |  Latin (33)  |  Name (164)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Substance (84)

A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a wall of words.
Samuel Butler, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 221.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (190)  |  Enclosure (3)  |  Idea (573)  |  Wall (27)  |  Wilderness (39)

A great man quotes bravely, and will not draw on his invention when his memory serves him with a word as good.
In Lecture, second in a series given at Freeman Place Chapel, Boston (Mar 1859), 'Quotation and Originality', collected in Letters and Social Aims (1875, 1917), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Bravely (3)  |  Draw (53)  |  Good (336)  |  Great (517)  |  Invention (316)  |  Memory (105)  |  Quote (18)  |  Serve (56)

A mathematician … has no material to work with but ideas, and so his patterns are likely to last longer, since ideas wear less with time than words.
In A Mathematician's Apology (1940, 2012), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Idea (573)  |  Lasting (7)  |  Longer (9)  |  Material (153)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Pattern (78)  |  Time (586)  |  Wear (15)  |  Work (615)

John Ray quote: A multitude of words doth rather obscure than illustrate, they being a burden to the memory, and the first apt t
A multitude of words doth rather obscure than illustrate, they being a burden to the memory, and the first apt to be forgotten, before we come to the last. So that he that uses many words for the explaining of any subject, doth, like the cuttle-fish, hide himself, for the most part, in his own ink.
John Ray
The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation (1691).
Science quotes on:  |  Burden (27)  |  Explanation (177)  |  Forgetting (13)  |  Hide (51)  |  Illustration (28)  |  Ink (10)  |  Memory (105)  |  Multitude (20)  |  Obscurity (25)  |  Subject (231)

A noteworthy and often-remarked similarity exists between the facts and methods of geology and those of linguistic study. The science of language is, as it were, the geology of the most modern period, the Age of the Man, having for its task to construct the history of development of the earth and its inhabitants from the time when the proper geological record remains silent … The remains of ancient speech are like strata deposited in bygone ages, telling of the forms of life then existing, and of the circumstances which determined or affected them; while words are as rolled pebbles, relics of yet more ancient formations, or as fossils, whose grade indicates the progress of organic life, and whose resemblances and relations show the correspondence or sequence of the different strata; while, everywhere, extensive denudation has marred the completeness of the record, and rendered impossible a detailed exhibition of the whole course of development.
In Language and the Study of Language (1867), 47.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (174)  |  Ancient (102)  |  Construction (83)  |  Denudation (2)  |  Development (270)  |  Earth (632)  |  Fact (717)  |  Formation (58)  |  Fossil (111)  |  Geology (199)  |  History (366)  |  Inhabitant (28)  |  Language (214)  |  Life (1113)  |  Man (373)  |  Method (225)  |  Modern (156)  |  Organic (54)  |  Pebble (19)  |  Period (63)  |  Progress (360)  |  Record (67)  |  Sequence (40)  |  Speech (46)  |  Stratum (9)  |  Task (82)

A painter makes patterns with shapes and colours, a poet with words. A painting may embody an “idea,” but the idea is usually commonplace and unimportant. In poetry, ideas count for a good deal more; but, as Housman insisted, the importance of ideas in poetry is habitually exaggerated. … The poverty of ideas seems hardly to affect the beauty of the verbal pattern. A mathematician, on the other hand, has no material to work with but ideas, and so his patterns are likely to last longer, since ideas wear less with time than words.
In A Mathematician’s Apology (1940, 2012), 84-85.
Science quotes on:  |  Affect (17)  |  Beauty (236)  |  Color (98)  |  Commonplace (13)  |  Embody (16)  |  Exaggerate (6)  |  Habitually (2)  |  A. E. Housman (2)  |  Idea (573)  |  Importance (213)  |  Insist (18)  |  Less (101)  |  Material (153)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  On The Other Hand (32)  |  Painter (20)  |  Painting (41)  |  Pattern (78)  |  Poet (78)  |  Poetry (119)  |  Poverty (31)  |  Shape (69)  |  Time (586)  |  Unimportant (6)  |  Verbal (8)  |  Wear (15)  |  Work (615)

A science or an art may be said to be “useful” if its development increases, even indirectly, the material well-being and comfort of men, it promotes happiness, using that word in a crude and commonplace way.
In A Mathematician's Apology (1940, 2012), 115.
Science quotes on:  |  Comfort (49)  |  Commonplace (13)  |  Crude (17)  |  Development (270)  |  Happiness (92)  |  Increase (143)  |  Indirectly (6)  |  Material (153)  |  Promoting (7)  |  Science And Art (177)  |  Usefulness (77)  |  Using (6)  |  Well-Being (5)

A week or so after I learned that I was to receive the Miller Award, our president, Marty Morton, phoned and asked me if I would utter a few words of scientific wisdom as a part of the ceremony. Unfortunately for me, and perhaps for you, I agreed to do so. In retrospect I fear that my response was a serious error, because I do not feel wise. I do not know whether to attribute my response to foolhardiness, to conceit, to an inordinate susceptibility to flattery, to stupidity, or to some combination of these unfortunate attributes all of which I have been told are recognizable in my personality. Personally, I tend to favor stupidity, because that is a condition over which I have little control.
Bartholomew, April 1993, unpublished remarks when receiving the Miller Award from the Cooper Ornithological Society.
Science quotes on:  |  Agree (25)  |  Ask (156)  |  Attribute (37)  |  Award (7)  |  Ceremony (6)  |  Combination (88)  |  Conceit (12)  |  Condition (157)  |  Control (111)  |  Error (272)  |  Favor (30)  |  Fear (140)  |  Feel (164)  |  Flattery (7)  |  Inordinate (3)  |  Know (536)  |  Learn (277)  |  Little (182)  |  Miller (2)  |  Part (216)  |  Personality (47)  |  Personally (7)  |  Phone (2)  |  President (15)  |  Receive (58)  |  Response (28)  |  Retrospect (2)  |  Scientific (230)  |  Serious (50)  |  Stupidity (34)  |  Susceptibility (3)  |  Tell (108)  |  Tend (36)  |  Unfortunate (13)  |  Unfortunately (18)  |  Utter (7)  |  Week (13)  |  Wisdom (178)  |  Wise (58)

A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.
In Towne v. Eisner (1918), 245 U.S. 425. As quoted in Richard A. Posner (ed.), The Essential Holmes: Selections from the Letters, Speeches, Judicial Opinions, and Other Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1992), 287.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (358)  |  Circumstance (64)  |  Color (98)  |  Content (62)  |  Crystal (53)  |  Living (56)  |  Skin (25)  |  Thought (531)  |  Time (586)  |  Transparent (7)  |  Vary (24)

A world of facts lies outside and beyond the world of words.
From After-Dinner Speech (Apr 1869) delivered before the Liverpool Philomathic Society, 'Scientific Education', collected in Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews (1870), 63. Previously published in Macmillan’s Magazine.
Science quotes on:  |  Beyond (104)  |  Fact (717)  |  Outside (48)  |  World (877)

All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.
In Kahlil Gibran: The Collected Works (207), 181.
Science quotes on:  |  Crumb (2)  |  Down (86)  |  Fall (118)  |  Feast (4)  |  Mind (733)

Among all the liberal arts, the first is logic, and specifically that part of logic which gives initial instruction about words. … [T]he word “logic” has a broad meaning, and is not restricted exclusively to the science of argumentative reasoning. [It includes] Grammar [which] is “the science of speaking and writing correctly—the starting point of all liberal studies.”
In John of Salisbury and Daniel D. McGarry (trans.), 'Whence grammar gets its name', The Metalogicon (2009), 37. It is footnoted: Isidore, Etym., i, 5, §1.
Science quotes on:  |  Grammar (13)  |  Instruction (70)  |  Liberal Arts (2)  |  Logic (244)  |  Speaking (37)  |  Start (97)  |  Study (456)  |  Writing (76)

And don’t confound the language of the nation
With long-tailed words in osity and ation.
From The Monks and the Giants (1817), canto I, verse VI, line 7-8. Collected in William and Robert Whistlecraft (pseudonyms), The Monks and the Giants: Prospectus and Specimen of an Intended National Work (1821), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Confound (14)  |  Language (214)  |  Nation (132)

And ye who wish to represent by words the form of man and all the aspects of his membrification, get away from that idea. For the more minutely you describe, the more you will confuse the mind of the reader and the more you will prevent him from a knowledge of the thing described. And so it is necessary to draw and describe.
From Notebooks (AnA, 14v; Cf. QII, 1), as translated by J. Playfair McMurrich, in Leonardo da Vinci the Anatomist (1930), 76, (Institution Publication 411, Carnegie Institution of Washington).
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (63)  |  Confuse (18)  |  Describe (55)  |  Draw (53)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Mind (733)  |  Necessary (142)  |  Prevent (36)  |  Reader (37)  |  Represent (41)

Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with.
Where is Science Going?, translated by James Vincent Murphy (1932), 214.
Science quotes on:  |  Entrance (5)  |  Faith (156)  |  Gate (11)  |  Realize (90)  |  Research (583)  |  Science (2017)  |  Temple (25)  |  Temple Of Science (8)  |  Writing (76)

As a word, ecology has been so debased by recent political usage that many people employ it to identify anything good that happens far from cities and without human interference.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  City (47)  |  Debase (2)  |  Ecology (68)  |  Employ (35)  |  Far (154)  |  Good (336)  |  Happen (82)  |  Human (544)  |  Identify (12)  |  Interference (12)  |  People (382)  |  Political (36)  |  Recent (28)  |  Usage (3)

As for hailing [the new term] scientist as 'good', that was mere politeness: Faraday never used the word, describing himself as a natural philosopher to the end of his career.
Nineteenth-Century Attitudes: Men of Science (1991), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (231)  |  Career (57)  |  Description (81)  |  Michael Faraday (85)  |  Good (336)  |  Himself (12)  |  Natural Philosopher (4)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Scientist (511)

As he [Clifford] spoke he appeared not to be working out a question, but simply telling what he saw. Without any diagram or symbolic aid he described the geometrical conditions on which the solution depended, and they seemed to stand out visibly in space. There were no longer consequences to be deduced, but real and evident facts which only required to be seen. … So whole and complete was his vision that for the time the only strange thing was that anybody should fail to see it in the same way. When one endeavored to call it up again, and not till then, it became clear that the magic of genius had been at work, and that the common sight had been raised to that higher perception by the power that makes and transforms ideas, the conquering and masterful quality of the human mind which Goethe called in one word das Dämonische.
In Leslie Stephen and Frederick Pollock (eds.), Lectures and Essays by William Kingdon Clifford(1879), Vol. 1, Introduction, 4-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (39)  |  Anybody (11)  |  Appear (113)  |  William Kingdon Clifford (20)  |  Common (117)  |  Complete (81)  |  Condition (157)  |  Conquer (21)  |  Consequence (108)  |  Deduce (22)  |  Depend (85)  |  Describe (55)  |  Diagram (13)  |  Endeavor (41)  |  Evident (25)  |  Fact (717)  |  Fail (58)  |  Genius (230)  |  Geometry (213)  |  Goethe (2)  |  Higher (36)  |  Human Mind (80)  |  Idea (573)  |  Magic (77)  |  Masterful (2)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (120)  |  Perception (60)  |  Power (355)  |  Quality (92)  |  Question (399)  |  Raise (34)  |  Real (144)  |  Require (78)  |  Seem (140)  |  Sight (46)  |  Solution (208)  |  Space (256)  |  Speak (87)  |  Stand Out (2)  |  Strange (89)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Tell (108)  |  Transform (35)  |  Visible (37)  |  Vision (93)  |  Whole (186)

As I looked down, I saw a large river meandering slowly along for miles, passing from one country to another without stopping. I also saw huge forests, extending along several borders. And I watched the extent of one ocean touch the shores of separate continents. Two words leaped to mind as I looked down on all this: commonality and interdependence. We are one world.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Border (9)  |  Continent (52)  |  Country (142)  |  Down (86)  |  Extend (40)  |  Extent (49)  |  Forest (104)  |  Huge (25)  |  Interdependence (4)  |  Large (129)  |  Leap (34)  |  Meander (3)  |  Mile (38)  |  Mind (733)  |  Ocean (148)  |  Pass (90)  |  River (79)  |  See (368)  |  Separate (69)  |  Several (31)  |  Shore (24)  |  Slowly (18)  |  Stop (73)  |  Touch (76)  |  Watch (63)  |  World (877)

As ideas are preserved and communicated by means of words, it necessarily follows that we cannot improve the language of any science, without at the same time improving the science itself; neither can we, on the other hand, improve a science without improving the language or nomenclature which belongs to it.
Elements of Chemistry (1790), trans. R. Kerr, Preface, xiv-v.
Science quotes on:  |  Communication (75)  |  Idea (573)  |  Improve (51)  |  Language (214)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Science (2017)

As to how far in advance of the first flight the man should know he’s going. I’m not in agreement with the argument that says word should be delayed until the last possible moment to save the pilot from developing a bad case of the jitters. If we don’t have the confidence to keep from getting clutched at that time, we have no business going at all. If I’m the guy going, I’ll be glad to get the dope as soon as possible. As for keeping this a big secret from us and having us all suited up and then saying to one man “you go” and stuffing him in and putting the lid on that thing and away he goes, well, we’re all big boys now.
As he wrote in an article for Life (14 Sep 1959), 38. In fact, he was the first to fly in Earth orbit on 20 Feb 1962, though Alan Shepard was picked for the earlier first suborbital flight.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (158)  |  Agreement (38)  |  Argument (80)  |  Bad (97)  |  Big (48)  |  Boy (46)  |  Case (98)  |  Clutch (2)  |  Confidence (39)  |  Delay (10)  |  Develop (102)  |  Dope (2)  |  First (306)  |  Flight (63)  |  Glad (7)  |  Go (6)  |  Going (6)  |  Keep (97)  |  Know (536)  |  Last (19)  |  Moment (103)  |  Pilot (13)  |  Save (56)  |  Say (226)  |  Secret (129)  |  Soon (34)  |  Stuff (21)  |  Suit (10)

As, no matter what cunning system of checks we devise, we must in the end trust some one whom we do not check, but to whom we give unreserved confidence, so there is a point at which the understanding and mental processes must be taken as understood without further question or definition in words. And I should say that this point should be fixed pretty early in the discussion.
Samuel Butler, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 220-221.
Science quotes on:  |  Check (24)  |  Confidence (39)  |  Cunning (8)  |  Definition (190)  |  Discussion (47)  |  Mental (77)  |  Process (259)  |  Question (399)  |  System (190)  |  Trust (49)  |  Understanding (325)  |  Unreserved (2)

At the bidding of a Peter the Hermit many millions of men swarmed to the East; the words of an hallucinated person … have created the force necessary to triumph over the Graeco-Roman world; an obscure monk like Luther set Europe ablaze and bathed in blood. The voice of a Galileo or a Newton will never have the least echo among the masses. The inventors of genius transform a civilization. The fanatics and the hallucinated create history.
From Les Premières Civilisations (1889), 171. English in The Psychology of Peoples (1898), Book 1, Chap. 1, 204, tweaked by Webmaster. Original French text: “A la voix d'un Pierre l'Ermite, plusieurs millions d'hommes se sont précipités sur l'Orient; les paroles d'un halluciné … ont créé la force nécessaire pour triompher du vieux monde gréco-romain; un moine obscur, comme Luther, a mis l'Europe à feu et à sang. Ce n’est pas parmi les foules que la voix d’un Galilée ou d’un Newton aura jamais le plus faible écho. Les inventeurs de génie transforment une civilisation. Les fanatiques et les hallucinés créent l’histoire.”
Science quotes on:  |  Bathe (3)  |  Bidding (2)  |  Blood (103)  |  Capable (49)  |  Civilization (174)  |  Create (146)  |  East (18)  |  Echo (9)  |  Enthusiast (6)  |  Europe (42)  |  Fanatic (7)  |  Force (248)  |  Galileo Galilei (121)  |  Genius (230)  |  Greece (8)  |  Hasten (2)  |  History (366)  |  Inventor (55)  |  Martin Luther (9)  |  March (23)  |  Million (108)  |  Monk (5)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (327)  |  Obscure (30)  |  Orient (4)  |  Rome (14)  |  Swarm (13)  |  Triumph (45)  |  Voice (50)  |  World (877)

Because words pass away as soon as they strike upon the air, and last no longer than their sound, men have by means of letters formed signs of words. Thus the sounds of the voice are made visible to the eye, not of course as sounds, but by means of certain signs.
In 'Origin of Writing', Christian Doctrine, Book 2, as translated by J.F. Shaw, collected in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: Volume II: St. Augustin’s City of God and Christian Doctrine (1907), 536.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (187)  |  Eye (215)  |  Form (305)  |  Last (19)  |  Letter (50)  |  Linguistics (28)  |  Pass (90)  |  Sign (55)  |  Sound (86)  |  Strike (37)  |  Visible (37)  |  Voice (50)

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving in words evidence of the fact.
(Mary Ann Evans, English Novelist)
Science quotes on:  |  Abstain (3)  |  Bless (8)  |  Evidence (179)  |  Fact (717)  |  Give (197)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Say (226)

Both the physicist and the mystic want to communicate their knowledge, and when they do so with words their statements are paradoxical and full of logical contradictions.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Communication (75)  |  Contradiction (51)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Logic (244)  |  Mystic (12)  |  Paradoxical (3)  |  Physicist (159)  |  Statement (71)

Bowing to the reality of harried lives, Rudwick recognizes that not everyone will read every word of the meaty second section; he even explicitly gives us permission to skip if we get ‘bogged down in the narrative.’ Readers absolutely must not do such a thing; it should be illegal. The publisher should lock up the last 60 pages, and deny access to anyone who doesn’t pass a multiple-choice exam inserted into the book between parts two and three.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (38)  |  Access (16)  |  Anyone (35)  |  Bog (5)  |  Book (255)  |  Bow (10)  |  Deny (40)  |  Down (86)  |  Everyone (34)  |  Exam (5)  |  Explicitly (2)  |  Give (197)  |  Illegal (2)  |  Insert (3)  |  Live (266)  |  Lock (12)  |  Narrative (7)  |  Page (27)  |  Part (216)  |  Pass (90)  |  Permission (7)  |  Publisher (3)  |  Read (141)  |  Reader (37)  |  Reality (184)  |  Recognize (64)  |  Second (57)  |  Section (11)  |  Skip (4)

Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words are the best of all.
Science quotes on:  |  Good (336)  |  Language (214)  |  Old (143)  |  Short (46)

Careful and correct use of language is a powerful aid to straight thinking, for putting into words precisely what we mean necessitates getting our own minds quite clear on what we mean.
In The Art of Scientific Investigation (1950,1957), 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (39)  |  Care (95)  |  Clear (96)  |  Correct (79)  |  Language (214)  |  Mean (101)  |  Mind (733)  |  Necessity (141)  |  Powerful (65)  |  Precise (33)  |  Straight (19)  |  Thinking (228)

Classification is now a pejorative statement. You know, these classifiers look like “dumb fools.” I’m a classifier. But I’d like to use a word that includes more than what people consider is encompassed by classification. It is more than that, and it’s something which can be called phenomenology.
'Oral History Transcript: Dr. William Wilson Morgan' (8 Aug 1978) in the Niels Bohr Library & Archives.
Science quotes on:  |  Classification (85)  |  Fool (83)  |  Phenomenology (3)

Conservation is now a dead word.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Conservation (143)  |  Dead (57)

Dance … is life, or becomes it, in a way that other arts cannot attain. It is not in stone, or words or tones, but in our muscles. It is a formulation of their movements.
In Art Is Action: A Discussion of Nine Arts in a Modern World (1939), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (280)  |  Dance (26)  |  Formulation (25)  |  Life (1113)  |  Movement (81)  |  Muscle (35)  |  Stone (76)  |  Tone (10)

Definition of Mathematics.—It has now become apparent that the traditional field of mathematics in the province of discrete and continuous number can only be separated from the general abstract theory of classes and relations by a wavering and indeterminate line. Of course a discussion as to the mere application of a word easily degenerates into the most fruitless logomachy. It is open to any one to use any word in any sense. But on the assumption that “mathematics” is to denote a science well marked out by its subject matter and its methods from other topics of thought, and that at least it is to include all topics habitually assigned to it, there is now no option but to employ “mathematics” in the general sense of the “science concerned with the logical deduction of consequences from the general premisses of all reasoning.”
In article 'Mathematics', Encyclopedia Britannica (1911, 11th ed.), Vol. 17, 880. In the 2006 DVD edition of the encyclopedia, the definition of mathematics is given as “The science of structure, order, and relation that has evolved from elemental practices of counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of objects.” [Premiss is a variant form of “premise”. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (79)  |  Apparent (38)  |  Application (164)  |  Assign (13)  |  Assumption (57)  |  Class (83)  |  Concern (106)  |  Consequence (108)  |  Continuous (38)  |  Deduction (67)  |  Definition (190)  |  Degenerate (14)  |  Denote (5)  |  Discrete (9)  |  Discussion (47)  |  Employ (35)  |  Field (170)  |  Fruitless (5)  |  General (154)  |  Habitual (3)  |  Include (39)  |  Indeterminate (3)  |  Logic (244)  |  Mark (42)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Method (225)  |  Number (275)  |  Option (9)  |  Premise (25)  |  Province (14)  |  Reason (449)  |  Relation (146)  |  Science (2017)  |  Separate (69)  |  Subject Matter (2)  |  Theory (687)  |  Thought (531)  |  Topic (12)  |  Traditional (15)  |  Waver (2)

Don’t talk to me of your Archimedes’ lever. He was an absent-minded person with a mathematical imagination. Mathematics commands all my respect, but I have no use for engines. Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world.
In 'Preface', A Personal Record (1912), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Absent-Minded (3)  |  Accent (5)  |  Archimedes Lever (3)  |  Engine (29)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Move (92)  |  Respect (82)  |  Right (192)  |  Talk (97)  |  World (877)

Dreams are the reality you are afraid to live, reality is the fact that your dreams will probably never come true. You can find the word me in dream, that is because it is up to you to make them come true.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Afraid (21)  |  Dream (162)  |  Fact (717)  |  Find (400)  |  Live (266)  |  Probably (47)  |  Reality (184)  |  True (192)

Eating the Honey of Words.
Title for book of his poems.
Science quotes on:  |  Eat (52)  |  Honey (10)

Endowed with two qualities, which seemed incompatible with each other, a volcanic imagination and a pertinacity of intellect which the most tedious numerical calculations could not daunt, Kepler conjectured that the movements of the celestial bodies must be connected together by simple laws, or, to use his own expression, by harmonic laws. These laws he undertook to discover. A thousand fruitless attempts, errors of calculation inseparable from a colossal undertaking, did not prevent him a single instant from advancing resolutely toward the goal of which he imagined he had obtained a glimpse. Twenty-two years were employed by him in this investigation, and still he was not weary of it! What, in reality, are twenty-two years of labor to him who is about to become the legislator of worlds; who shall inscribe his name in ineffaceable characters upon the frontispiece of an immortal code; who shall be able to exclaim in dithyrambic language, and without incurring the reproach of anyone, “The die is cast; I have written my book; it will be read either in the present age or by posterity, it matters not which; it may well await a reader, since God has waited six thousand years for an interpreter of his words.”
In 'Eulogy on Laplace', in Smithsonian Report for the year 1874 (1875), 131-132.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (158)  |  Age (174)  |  Anyone (35)  |  Attempt (119)  |  Await (5)  |  Become (173)  |  Body (240)  |  Book (255)  |  Calculation (98)  |  Cast (25)  |  Celestial (21)  |  Character (113)  |  Code (14)  |  Colossal (12)  |  Conjecture (32)  |  Connect (29)  |  Die (79)  |  Discover (190)  |  Employ (35)  |  Endow (14)  |  Error (272)  |  Exclaim (4)  |  Expression (103)  |  Frontispiece (2)  |  Fruitless (5)  |  Glimpse (13)  |  Goal (100)  |  God (528)  |  Harmonic (4)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Imagine (74)  |  Immortal (19)  |  Incompatible (4)  |  Incur (3)  |  Inscribe (4)  |  Inseparable (10)  |  Instant (17)  |  Intellect (187)  |  Interpreter (8)  |  Investigation (170)  |  Johannes Kepler (90)  |  Labor (68)  |  Language (214)  |  Law (511)  |  Legislator (4)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (120)  |  Matter (336)  |  Movement (81)  |  Name (164)  |  Numerical (13)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Pertinacity (2)  |  Posterity (19)  |  Present (173)  |  Prevent (36)  |  Quality (92)  |  Read (141)  |  Reader (37)  |  Reality (184)  |  Reproach (3)  |  Resolutely (3)  |  Simple (169)  |  Single (118)  |  Tedious (9)  |  Thousand (151)  |  Together (75)  |  Toward (45)  |  Undertake (18)  |  Volcano (39)  |  Wait (57)  |  Weary (6)  |  World (877)  |  Write (150)  |  Year (297)

Eskimos living in a world of ice have no word at all for that substance—and this has been cited as evidence of their primitive mentality. But ice as such is of no interest to an Eskimo; what is of interest, indeed of vital importance, are the different kinds of ice with which he must deal virtually every day of his life.
As co-author with Floyd W. Matson, in The Human Connection (1979), 174. More often seen without explanatory context, as “The Eskimos live among ice all their lives but have no single word for ice,” for example, in Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar (1989), 111.
Science quotes on:  |  Different (176)  |  Eskimo (2)  |  Evidence (179)  |  Ice (33)  |  Importance (213)  |  Interest (234)  |  Kind (137)  |  Language (214)  |  Life (1113)  |  Mentality (5)  |  Primitive (41)  |  Vital (38)  |  World (877)

Euclid and Archimedes are allowed to be knowing, and to have demonstrated what they say: and yet whosoever shall read over their writings without perceiving the connection of their proofs, and seeing what they show, though he may understand all their words, yet he is not the more knowing. He may believe, indeed, but does not know what they say, and so is not advanced one jot in mathematical knowledge by all his reading of those approved mathematicians.
In Conduct of the Understanding, sect. 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (158)  |  Allow (43)  |  Approve (3)  |  Archimedes (52)  |  Belief (500)  |  Connection (106)  |  Demonstrate (49)  |  Euclid (52)  |  Jot (3)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Perceive (39)  |  Proof (242)  |  Read (141)  |  See (368)  |  Show (90)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (55)  |  Understand (320)  |  Writing (76)

Eugen Bleuler (who in 1911 coined the word 'schizophrenia') once said that in the end his patients were stranger to him than the birds in his garden. But if they're strangers to us, what are we to them?
Hurry Down Sunshine (2009), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Bird (119)  |  Coin (11)  |  Garden (33)  |  Patient (125)  |  Psychology (142)  |  Schizophrenia (4)  |  Strange (89)

Every living language, like the perspiring bodies of living creatures, is in perpetual motion and alteration; some words go off, and become obsolete; others are taken in, and by degrees grow into common use; or the same word is inverted to a new sense and notion, which in tract of time makes as observable a change in the air and features of a language as age makes in the lines and mien of a face.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (25)  |  Creature (153)  |  Face (108)  |  Language (214)  |  Obsolete (8)  |  Perpetual Motion (9)  |  Perspire (2)

Every word carries its own surprises and offers its own rewards to the reflective mind. Their amazing variety is a constant delight. I do not believe that I am alone in this—a fascination with words is shared by people in all countries and all walks of life.
The Science of Words (1991), preface, vii.

Everything that we call Invention or Discovery in the higher sense of the word is the serious exercise and activity of an original feeling for truth, which, after a long course of silent cultivation, suddenly flashes out into fruitful knowledge.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 193.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (127)  |  Course (83)  |  Cultivation (27)  |  Discovery (675)  |  Exercise (63)  |  Feeling (91)  |  Flash (34)  |  Fruitful (42)  |  Invention (316)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Long (167)  |  Original (54)  |  Sense (310)  |  Serious (50)  |  Silent (27)  |  Suddenly (17)  |  Truth (901)

Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings—much harder than to say something fine about them which is not the exact truth.
In Adam Bede (1859, 1860), 151.
Science quotes on:  |  Exact (63)  |  Examine (44)  |  False (96)  |  Feeling (91)  |  Find (400)  |  Fine (33)  |  Hard (98)  |  Harder (6)  |  Immediate (42)  |  Motive (33)  |  Say (226)  |  Truth (901)

Finally, I aim at giving denominations to things, as agreeable to truth as possible. I am not ignorant that words, like money, possess an ideal value, and that great danger of confusion may be apprehended from a change of names; in the mean time it cannot be denied that chemistry, like the other sciences, was formerly filled with improper names. In different branches of knowledge, we see those matters long since reformed: why then should chemistry, which examines the real nature of things, still adopt vague names, which suggest false ideas, and favour strongly of ignorance and imposition? Besides, there is little doubt but that many corrections may be made without any inconvenience.
Physical and Chemical Essays (1784), Vol. I, xxxvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (250)  |  Error (272)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Name (164)  |  Truth (901)

Five centuries ago the printing press sparked a radical reshaping of the nature of education. By bringing a master’s words to those who could not hear a master’s voice, the technology of printing dissolved the notion that education must be reserved for those with the means to hire personal tutors. Today we are approaching a new technological revolution, one whose impact on education may be as far-reaching as that of the printing press: the emergence of powerful computers that are sufficiently inexpensive to be used by students for learning, play and exploration. It is our hope that these powerful but simple tools for creating and exploring richly interactive environments will dissolve the barriers to the production of knowledge as the printing press dissolved the barriers to its transmission.
As co-author with A.A. diSessa, from 'Preface', Turtle Geometry: The Computer as a Medium for Exploring Mathematics (1986), xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (53)  |  Barrier (23)  |  Bring (89)  |  Century (130)  |  Computer (103)  |  Create (146)  |  Dissolve (13)  |  Education (328)  |  Emergence (24)  |  Environment (178)  |  Exploration (122)  |  Far-Reaching (8)  |  Hear (60)  |  Hire (6)  |  Hope (174)  |  Impact (26)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Learn (277)  |  Master (93)  |  Means (167)  |  Nature (1199)  |  New (477)  |  Notion (56)  |  Personal (65)  |  Play (109)  |  Powerful (65)  |  Print (16)  |  Printing Press (3)  |  Production (114)  |  Radical (18)  |  Reserve (15)  |  Reshape (4)  |  Revolution (69)  |  Rich (61)  |  Simple (169)  |  Spark (22)  |  Student (198)  |  Sufficient (39)  |  Technology (216)  |  Today (115)  |  Tool (85)  |  Transmission (25)  |  Tutor (3)  |  Voice (50)

Florey was not an easy personality. His drive and ambition were manifest from the day he arrived ... He could be ruthless and selfish; on the other hand, he could show kindliness, a warm humanity and, at times, sentiment and a sense of humour. He displayed utter integrity and he was scathing of humbug and pretence. His attitude was always—&ldqo;You must take me as you find me” But to cope with him at times, you had to do battle, raise your voice as high as his and never let him shout you down. You had to raise your pitch to his but if you insisted on your right he was always, in the end, very fair. I must say that at times, he went out of his way to cut people down to size with some very destructive criticism. But I must also say in the years I knew him he did not once utter a word of praise about himself.
Personal communication (1970) to Florey's Australian biographer, Lennard Bickel. By letter, Drury described his experience as a peer, being a research collaborator while Florey held a Studentship at Cambridge in the 1920s. This quote appears without naming Drury, in Eric Lax, The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle (2004), 40. Dury is cited in Lennard Bickel, Rise Up to Life: A Biography of Howard Walter Florey Who Gave Penicillin to the World (1972), 24. Also in Eric Lax
Science quotes on:  |  Ambition (34)  |  Attitude (58)  |  Battle (34)  |  Coping (3)  |  Criticism (60)  |  Destruction (85)  |  Display (24)  |  Drive (54)  |  Fairness (2)  |  Sir Howard Walter Florey (2)  |  Himself (12)  |  Humanity (123)  |  Humbug (5)  |  Insistence (10)  |  Integrity (13)  |  Manifestation (33)  |  Personality (47)  |  Praise (24)  |  Right (192)  |  Ruthlessness (3)  |  Selfishness (8)  |  Sense of Humour (2)  |  Sentiment (13)  |  Shout (12)  |  Voice (50)

Following the example of Archimedes who wished his tomb decorated with his most beautiful discovery in geometry and ordered it inscribed with a cylinder circumscribed by a sphere, James Bernoulli requested that his tomb be inscribed with his logarithmic spiral together with the words, “Eadem mutata resurgo,” a happy allusion to the hope of the Christians, which is in a way symbolized by the properties of that curve.
From 'Eloge de M. Bernoulli', Oeuvres de Fontenelle, t. 5 (1768), 112. As translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-Book (1914), 143-144. [The Latin phrase, Eadem numero mutata resurgo means as “Though changed, I arise again exactly the same”. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Allusion (2)  |  Archimedes (52)  |  Beautiful (137)  |  Jacob Bernoulli (5)  |  Christian (21)  |  Circumscribe (2)  |  Curve (32)  |  Cylinder (7)  |  Decorate (2)  |  Discovery (675)  |  Example (92)  |  Follow (121)  |  Geometry (213)  |  Happy (45)  |  Hope (174)  |  Inscribe (4)  |  Logarithmic (5)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (120)  |  Order (238)  |  Property (122)  |  Request (7)  |  Sphere (56)  |  Spiral (14)  |  Symbolize (6)  |  Together (75)  |  Tomb (11)  |  Wish (91)

Following the original proposal of Belinfante, ‘the writer has in a recent note on the meson theory of nuclear forces’ used the word “nuclon” as a common notation for the heavy nuclear constituents, neutrons and protons. In the meantime, however, it has been pointed out to me that, since the root of the word nucleus is “nucle”, the notation “nucleon” would from a philological point of view be more appropriate for this purpose….
In Physical Review (1 Feb 1941), 59, 323.
Science quotes on:  |  Appropriate (25)  |  Frederik Belinfante (2)  |  Common (117)  |  Definition (190)  |  Neutron (11)  |  Notation (19)  |  Nucleon (2)  |  Nucleus (33)  |  Nude (3)  |  Philological (3)  |  Point Of View (40)  |  Proposal (11)  |  Proton (15)  |  Root (58)

For FRICTION is inevitable because the Universe is FULL of God's works.
For the PERPETUAL MOTION is in all works of Almighty GOD.
For it is not so in the engines of man, which are made of dead materials, neither indeed can be.
For the Moment of bodies, as it is used, is a false term—bless God ye Speakers on the Fifth of November.
For Time and Weight are by their several estimates.
For I bless GOD in the discovery of the LONGITUDE direct by the means of GLADWICK.
For the motion of the PENDULUM is the longest in that it parries resistance.
For the WEDDING GARMENTS of all men are prepared in the SUN against the day of acceptation.
For the wedding Garments of all women are prepared in the MOON against the day of their purification.
For CHASTITY is the key of knowledge as in Esdras, Sir Isaac Newton & now, God be praised, in me.
For Newton nevertheless is more of error than of the truth, but I am of the WORD of GOD.
From 'Jubilate Agno' (c.1758-1763), in N. Callan (ed.), The Collected Poems of Christopher Smart (1949), Vol. 1, 276.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (45)  |  Chastity (4)  |  Dead (57)  |  Discovery (675)  |  Engine (29)  |  Error (272)  |  Estimate (28)  |  Friction (6)  |  Garment (6)  |  God (528)  |  Inevitability (8)  |  Key (49)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Longitude (5)  |  Man (373)  |  Material (153)  |  Moon (199)  |  Motion (157)  |  Nevertheless (2)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (327)  |  Pendulum (15)  |  Perpetual Motion (9)  |  Praise (24)  |  Purification (6)  |  Resistance (25)  |  Sun (276)  |  Time (586)  |  Truth (901)  |  Universe (678)  |  Wedding (5)  |  Weight (75)  |  Woman (107)  |  Work (615)

For, in mathematics or symbolic logic, reason can crank out the answer from the symboled equations—even a calculating machine can often do so—but it cannot alone set up the equations. Imagination resides in the words which define and connect the symbols—subtract them from the most aridly rigorous mathematical treatise and all meaning vanishes. Was it Eddington who said that we once thought if we understood 1 we understood 2, for 1 and 1 are 2, but we have since found we must learn a good deal more about “and”?
In 'The Biological Basis of Imagination', American Thought: 1947 (1947), 81.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (243)  |  Arid (4)  |  Calculating Machine (3)  |  Connect (29)  |  Crank (13)  |  Define (49)  |  Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington (130)  |  Equation (91)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Learn (277)  |  Logic (244)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Reason (449)  |  Reside (11)  |  Rigorous (21)  |  Set Up (3)  |  Subtract (2)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Symbolic (15)  |  Treatise (31)  |  Understand (320)  |  Vanish (17)

Frost is but slender weeks away,
Tonight the sunset glow will stay,
Swing to the north and burn up higher
And Northern Lights wall earth with fire.
Nothing is lost yet, nothing broken,
And yet the cold blue word is spoken:
Say goodbye to the sun.
The days of love and leaves are done.
Apples by Ocean (1950), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Blue (56)  |  Broken (12)  |  Burn (41)  |  Cold (58)  |  Day (41)  |  Done (2)  |  Earth (632)  |  Fire (132)  |  Frost (13)  |  Glow (14)  |  Goodbye (2)  |  Higher (36)  |  Leaf (49)  |  Lost (32)  |  Love (214)  |  North (11)  |  Northern Lights (2)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Say (226)  |  Speaking (37)  |  Sun (276)  |  Sunset (22)  |  Swing (10)  |  Wall (27)

Geology got into the hands of the theoreticians who were conditioned by the social and political history of their day more than by observations in the field. … We have allowed ourselves to be brainwashed into avoiding any interpretation of the past that involves extreme and what might be termed “catastrophic” processes. However, it seems to me that the stratigraphical record is full of examples of processes that are far from “normal” in the usual sense of the word. In particular we must conclude that sedimentation in the past has often been very rapid indeed and very spasmodic. This may be called the “Phenomenon of the Catastrophic Nature of the Stratigraphic Record.”
In The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record (3rd ed., 1993), 70.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoidance (11)  |  Catastrophe (21)  |  Conclusion (156)  |  Conditioning (3)  |  Example (92)  |  Extreme (53)  |  Field (170)  |  Geology (199)  |  Hand (140)  |  History (366)  |  Interpretation (69)  |  Involving (2)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Normal (25)  |  Observation (444)  |  Often (106)  |  Past (150)  |  Phenomenon (274)  |  Politics (94)  |  Process (259)  |  Rapid (30)  |  Record (67)  |  Sedimentation (2)  |  Sense (310)  |  Social (107)  |  Spasmodic (2)  |  Stratigraphy (6)  |  Term (119)  |  Theorist (27)

Here I am at the limit which God and nature has assigned to my individuality. I am compelled to depend upon word, language and image in the most precise sense, and am wholly unable to operate in any manner whatever with symbols and numbers which are easily intelligible to the most highly gifted minds.
In Letter to Naumann (1826), in Vogel, Goethe's Selbstzeugnisse (1903), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Assign (13)  |  Compel (20)  |  Depend (85)  |  Easily (35)  |  Gift (60)  |  God (528)  |  Highly (16)  |  Image (55)  |  Individuality (13)  |  Intelligible (18)  |  Language (214)  |  Limit (121)  |  Manner (56)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (120)  |  Mind (733)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Number (275)  |  Operate (17)  |  Precise (33)  |  Sense (310)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Unable (24)  |  Wholly (11)

How many things have been accepted on the word of Galen.
In De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem [Seven Books on the Structure of the Human Body] (1543), 642. Quoted and trans. in Charles Donald O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, 1514-1564 (1964), 179.
Science quotes on:  |  Accepted (6)  |  Galen (19)  |  Thing (37)

How much do I love that noble man / More than I could tell with words / I fear though he’ll remain alone / With a holy halo of his own.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (100)  |  Fear (140)  |  Halo (5)  |  Hell (32)  |  Holy (17)  |  Love (214)  |  Noble (50)  |  Remain (109)  |  Tell (108)

I always tried to live up to Leo Szilard's commandment, “don't lie if you don't have to.” I had to. I filled up pages with words and plans I knew I would not follow. When I go home from my laboratory in the late afternoon, I often do not know what I am going to do the next day. I expect to think that up during the night. How could I tell them what I would do a year hence?
In 'Dionysians and Apollonians', Science (2 Jun 1972), 176, 966. Reprinted in Mary Ritchie Key, The Relationship of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication (1980), 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Commandment (6)  |  Filling (6)  |  Following (16)  |  Home (83)  |  Laboratory (131)  |  Lie (114)  |  Night (117)  |  Page (27)  |  Plan (87)  |  Leo Szilard (6)  |  Telling (23)  |  Try (139)  |  Year (297)

I am almost inclined to coin a word and call the appearance fluorescence, from fluor-spar, as the analogous term opalescence is derived from the name of a mineral.
Footnote in 'On The Change of Refrangibility of Light', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1852), 142, 479. From the mineral fluor-spar, Humphry Davy named fluorine. The mineral, now called fluorite (calcium fluorite), was named was by Georg Agricola in 1546. The German flusse, flow, was applied because it melts easily, and is now important as a flux.

I am not yet so lost in lexicography, as to forget that words are the daughters of the earth, and that things are the sons of heaven. Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas: I wish, however, that the instrument might be less apt to decay, and that signs might be permanent, like the things which they denote.
'Preface', A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), Vol. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Language (214)

I am paid by the word, so I always write the shortest words possible.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Pay (42)  |  Possible (152)  |  Short (46)  |  Write (150)

I am trying to get the hang of this new fangled writing machine, but I am not making a shining success of it. However, this is the first attempt I have ever made & yet I perceive I shall soon & easily acquire a fine facility in its use. … The machine has several virtues. I believe it will print faster than I can write. One may lean back in his chair & work it. It piles an awful stack of words on one page. It don't muss things or scatter ink blots around. Of course it saves paper.
Letter (9 Dec 1874). Quoted in B. Blivens, Jr., The Wonderful Writing Machine (1954), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (119)  |  Chair (11)  |  Facility (11)  |  Fast (41)  |  Ink (10)  |  Machine (154)  |  Page (27)  |  Paper (81)  |  Print (16)  |  Typewriter (6)  |  Use (76)  |  Write (150)

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (243)  |  Astonished (8)  |  Bad (97)  |  Beautiful (137)  |  Bitter (14)  |  Blue (56)  |  Consistent (17)  |  Deficient (3)  |  Delight (64)  |  Domain (39)  |  Eternity (49)  |  Experience (329)  |  Factual (8)  |  Ghastly (4)  |  Give (197)  |  God (528)  |  Good (336)  |  Heart (137)  |  Inclined (12)  |  Information (117)  |  Know (536)  |  Lot (29)  |  Magnificently (2)  |  Matter (336)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Often (106)  |  Order (238)  |  Pain (99)  |  Physical (127)  |  Picture (75)  |  Pretend (17)  |  Question (399)  |  Real World (13)  |  Really (78)  |  Red (35)  |  Science (2017)  |  Scientific (230)  |  Seriously (19)  |  Silent (27)  |  Silly (12)  |  Sometimes (42)  |  Sundry (4)  |  Sweet (14)  |  Tell (108)  |  Ugly (14)

I ask any one who has adopted the calling of an engineer, how much time he lost when he left school, because he had to devote himself to pursuits which were absolutely novel and strange, and of which he had not obtained the remotest conception from his instructors? He had to familiarize himself with ideas of the course and powers of Nature, to which his attention had never been directed during his school-life, and to learn, for the first time, that a world of facts lies outside and beyond the world of words.
From After-Dinner Speech (Apr 1869) delivered before the Liverpool Philomathic Society, 'Scientific Education', collected in Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews (1870), 63. Previously published in Macmillan’s Magazine.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (113)  |  Beyond (104)  |  Conception (87)  |  Course (83)  |  Directed (2)  |  Engineering (126)  |  Fact (717)  |  Familiarize (3)  |  First (306)  |  Idea (573)  |  Instructor (5)  |  Learn (277)  |  Lose (91)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Novel (16)  |  Outside (48)  |  Power (355)  |  School (115)  |  Strange (89)  |  Time (586)  |  World (877)

I believe that the useful methods of mathematics are easily to be learned by quite young persons, just as languages are easily learned in youth. What a wondrous philosophy and history underlie the use of almost every word in every language—yet the child learns to use the word unconsciously. No doubt when such a word was first invented it was studied over and lectured upon, just as one might lecture now upon the idea of a rate, or the use of Cartesian co-ordinates, and we may depend upon it that children of the future will use the idea of the calculus, and use squared paper as readily as they now cipher. … When Egyptian and Chaldean philosophers spent years in difficult calculations, which would now be thought easy by young children, doubtless they had the same notions of the depth of their knowledge that Sir William Thomson might now have of his. How is it, then, that Thomson gained his immense knowledge in the time taken by a Chaldean philosopher to acquire a simple knowledge of arithmetic? The reason is plain. Thomson, when a child, was taught in a few years more than all that was known three thousand years ago of the properties of numbers. When it is found essential to a boy’s future that machinery should be given to his brain, it is given to him; he is taught to use it, and his bright memory makes the use of it a second nature to him; but it is not till after-life that he makes a close investigation of what there actually is in his brain which has enabled him to do so much. It is taken because the child has much faith. In after years he will accept nothing without careful consideration. The machinery given to the brain of children is getting more and more complicated as time goes on; but there is really no reason why it should not be taken in as early, and used as readily, as were the axioms of childish education in ancient Chaldea.
In Teaching of Mathematics (1902), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (64)  |  Acquire (37)  |  Actually (27)  |  Afterlife (3)  |  Ancient (102)  |  Arithmetic (114)  |  Axiom (52)  |  Belief (500)  |  Boy (46)  |  Brain (209)  |  Bright (42)  |  Calculation (98)  |  Calculus (48)  |  Careful (24)  |  Cartesian (3)  |  Chaldea (3)  |  Child (244)  |  Cipher (2)  |  Close (66)  |  Complicated (61)  |  Consideration (83)  |  Coordinate (4)  |  Depend (85)  |  Depth (49)  |  Difficult (114)  |  Doubt (158)  |  Doubtless (8)  |  Early (60)  |  Easily (35)  |  Easy (95)  |  Education (328)  |  Egyptian (4)  |  Enable (41)  |  Essential (114)  |  Faith (156)  |  Find (400)  |  First (306)  |  Future (283)  |  Gain (66)  |  Give (197)  |  History (366)  |  Idea (573)  |  Immense (42)  |  Invent (49)  |  Investigation (170)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (64)  |  Know (536)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Language (214)  |  Learn (277)  |  Lecture (67)  |  Machinery (32)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Memory (105)  |  Method (225)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Notion (56)  |  Number (275)  |  Paper (81)  |  Person (152)  |  Philosopher (163)  |  Philosophy (251)  |  Plain (31)  |  Property (122)  |  Rate (29)  |  Readily (10)  |  Reason (449)  |  Same (154)  |  Second Nature (3)  |  Simple (169)  |  Spend (42)  |  Square (23)  |  Study (456)  |  Teach (177)  |  Teaching of Mathematics (29)  |  Thought (531)  |  Thousand (151)  |  Time (586)  |  Unconsciously (7)  |  Underlie (6)  |  Useful (97)  |  Wondrous (9)  |  Year (297)  |  Young (97)  |  Youth (74)

I despise Birth-Control first because it is ... an entirely meaningless word; and is used so as to curry favour even with those who would first recoil from its real meaning. The proceeding these quack doctors recommend does not control any birth. ... But these people know perfectly well that they dare not write the plain word Birth-Prevention, in any one of the hundred places where they write the hypocritical word Birth-Control. They know as well as I do that the very word Birth-Prevention would strike a chill into the public... Therefore they use a conventional and unmeaning word, which may make the quack medicine sound more innocuous. ... A child is the very sign and sacrament of personal freedom. He is a fresh will added to the wills of the world; he is something that his parents have freely chosen to produce ... he is their own creative contribution to creation.
In 'Babies and Distributism', The Well and the Shadows (1935). Collected in G. K. Chesterton and Dale Ahlquist (ed.), In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton (2011), 272.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (244)  |  Choice (78)  |  Control (111)  |  Conventional (18)  |  Creation (239)  |  Creativity (70)  |  Doctor (101)  |  Favor (30)  |  Hypocrite (4)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Medicine (340)  |  Parent (45)  |  Prevention (30)  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Quack (15)  |  Real (144)  |  Recoil (6)  |  Recommendation (12)  |  Sacrament (2)

I do not believe in freedom of the will. Schopenhauer’s words: ‘Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills’ accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of freedom of will preserves me from taking too seriously myself and my fellow men as acting and deciding individuals and from losing my temper.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (21)  |  Act (113)  |  Action (184)  |  Awareness (25)  |  Belief (500)  |  Decide (39)  |  Fellow (37)  |  Freedom (100)  |  Individual (215)  |  Lack (77)  |  Life (1113)  |  Lose (91)  |  Myself (36)  |  Painful (10)  |  Preserve (50)  |  Reconcile (11)  |  Schopenhauers (2)  |  Seriously (19)  |  Situation (51)  |  Temper (9)  |  Want (173)

I do not think words alone will solve humanity’s present problems. The sound of bombs drowns out men’s voices. In times of peace I have great faith in the communication of ideas among thinking men, but today, with brute force dominating so many millions of lives, I fear that the appeal to man’s intellect is fast becoming virtually meaningless.
In 'I Am an American' (22 Jun 1940), Einstein Archives 29-092. Excerpted in David E. Rowe and Robert J. Schulmann, Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb (2007), 470. It was during a radio broadcast for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, interviewed by a State Department Official. Einstein spoke following an examination on his application for American citizenship in Trenton, New Jersey. The attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s declaration of war on Japan was still over a year in the future.
Science quotes on:  |  Appeal (44)  |  Bomb (18)  |  Brute (15)  |  Communication (75)  |  Drown (11)  |  Faith (156)  |  Fear (140)  |  Force (248)  |  Humanity (123)  |  Idea (573)  |  Intellect (187)  |  Life (1113)  |  Meaningless (17)  |  Million (108)  |  Peace (84)  |  Problem (483)  |  Solve (74)  |  Sound (86)  |  Thinking (228)  |  Today (115)  |  Voice (50)  |  War (161)

I have considered the two terms you want to substitute for eisode and exode, and upon the whole I am disposed to recommend instead of them anode and cathode. These words may signify eastern and western way, just as well as the longer compounds which you mention … I may mention too that anodos and cathodos are good, genuine Greek words, and not compounds coined for the purpose.
Letter to Michael Faraday (25 Apr 1834). Quoted in I. Todhunter (ed.), William Whewell: An Account of His Writings with Selections From His Literary and Scientific Correspondence (1876), Vol. 2, 179.
Science quotes on:  |  Cathode (2)  |  Coined (2)  |  Compound (58)  |  Considered (12)  |  East (18)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Recommendation (12)  |  Substitution (12)  |  Term (119)  |  West (17)

I have learned to use the word “impossible” with the greatest caution.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Caution (20)  |  Great (517)  |  Impossible (106)  |  Learn (277)

I hear one day the word “mountain,” and I ask someone “what is a mountain? I have never seen one.”
I join others in discussions of mountains.
One day I see in a book a picture of a mountain.
And I decide I must climb one.
I travel to a place where there is a mountain.
At the base of the mountain I see there are lots of paths to climb.
I start on a path that leads to the top of the mountain.
I see that the higher I climb, the more the paths join together.
After much climbing the many paths join into one.
I climb till I am almost exhausted but I force myself and continue to climb.
Finally I reach the top and far above me there are stars.
I look far down and the village twinkles far below.
It would be easy to go back down there but it is so beautiful up here.
I am just below the stars.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (156)  |  Back (103)  |  Base (70)  |  Beautiful (137)  |  Below (23)  |  Book (255)  |  Climb (34)  |  Continue (62)  |  Decide (39)  |  Discussion (47)  |  Down (86)  |  Easy (95)  |  Exhaust (22)  |  Far (154)  |  Finally (26)  |  Force (248)  |  Hear (60)  |  High (150)  |  Join (25)  |  Lead (158)  |  Lot (29)  |  Mountain (144)  |  Myself (36)  |  Path (83)  |  Picture (75)  |  Place (171)  |  Reach (119)  |  See (368)  |  Someone (21)  |  Star (335)  |  Start (97)  |  Together (75)  |  Top (34)  |  Travel (61)  |  Twinkle (5)  |  Village (7)

I just want to say one word to you—just one word ...“plastics!” ... There's a great future in plastics.
Advice by Mr. McGuire, a Los Angeles businessman to Ben Braddock (acted by Dustin Hoffman) in movie The Graduate (1967), based on the book by Charles Webb. In Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood: Rebels, Reds, and Graduates and the Wild Stories of 13 Iconic Films the scene is attributed solely to Buck Henry (it did not appear in the original book) who added it when he took over the script writing from Calder Willingham.
Science quotes on:  |  Future (283)  |  Plastic (15)

I like the word “nanotechnology.” I like it because the prefix “nano” guarantees it will be fundamental science for decades; the “technology” says it is engineering, something you’re involved in not just because you’re interested in how nature works but because it will produce something that has a broad impact.
From interview in 'Wires of Wonder', Technology Review (Mar 2001), 104, No. 2, 88.
Science quotes on:  |  Decade (31)  |  Engineering (126)  |  Fundamental (153)  |  Guarantee (20)  |  Impact (26)  |  Interested (5)  |  Involved (5)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Produce (98)  |  Science (2017)  |  Technology (216)  |  Work (615)

I love to read the dedications of old books written in monarchies–for they invariably honor some (usually insignificant) knight or duke with fulsome words of sycophantic insincerity, praising him as the light of the universe (in hopes, no doubt, for a few ducats to support future work); this old practice makes me feel like such an honest and upright man, by comparison, when I put a positive spin, perhaps ever so slightly exaggerated, on a grant proposal.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Book (255)  |  Comparison (61)  |  Dedication (11)  |  Doubt (158)  |  Duke (2)  |  Exaggerate (6)  |  Feel (164)  |  Future (283)  |  Grant (32)  |  Honest (32)  |  Honor (29)  |  Hope (174)  |  Insignificant (15)  |  Invariably (9)  |  Knight (6)  |  Light (345)  |  Love (214)  |  Old (143)  |  Positive (42)  |  Practice (90)  |  Praise (24)  |  Proposal (11)  |  Read (141)  |  Slightly (3)  |  Spin (15)  |  Support (77)  |  Universe (678)  |  Usually (31)  |  Work (615)  |  Write (150)

I prefer the spagyric chemical physicians, for they do not consort with loafers or go about gorgeous in satins, silks and velvets, gold rings on their fingers, silver daggers hanging at their sides and white gloves on their hands, but they tend their work at the fire patiently day and night. They do not go promenading, but seek their recreation in the laboratory, wear plain learthern dress and aprons of hide upon which to wipe their hands, thrust their fingers amongst the coals, into dirt and rubbish and not into golden rings. They are sooty and dirty like the smiths and charcoal burners, and hence make little show, make not many words and gossip with their patients, do not highly praise their own remedies, for they well know that the work must praise the master, not the master praise his work. They well know that words and chatter do not help the sick nor cure them... Therefore they let such things alone and busy themselves with working with their fires and learning the steps of alchemy. These are distillation, solution, putrefaction, extraction, calcination, reverberation, sublimination, fixation, separation, reduction, coagulation, tinction, etc.
Quoted in R. Oesper, The Human Side of Scientists (1975), 150. [Spagyric is a form of herbalism based on alchemic procedures of preparation.]
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (28)  |  Apron (2)  |  Busy (27)  |  Calcination (3)  |  Charcoal (7)  |  Chatter (3)  |  Chemical (79)  |  Coagulation (3)  |  Coal (45)  |  Cure (95)  |  Dagger (3)  |  Day And Night (3)  |  Dirt (11)  |  Distillation (9)  |  Extraction (7)  |  Finger (43)  |  Fire (132)  |  Fixation (2)  |  Glove (4)  |  Gold (68)  |  Gorgeous (2)  |  Gossip (6)  |  Hand (140)  |  Help (99)  |  Hide (51)  |  Laboratory (131)  |  Leather (3)  |  Loafer (2)  |  Master (93)  |  Patience (39)  |  Patient (125)  |  Physician (240)  |  Praise (24)  |  Putrefaction (4)  |  Recreation (19)  |  Reduction (41)  |  Remedy (54)  |  Reverberation (3)  |  Ring (16)  |  Rubbish (8)  |  Satin (2)  |  Separation (36)  |  Show (90)  |  Sick (27)  |  Silk (6)  |  Silver (33)  |  Smith (3)  |  Solution (208)  |  Soot (7)  |  Step (108)  |  Velvet (4)  |  White (55)  |  Wipe (6)  |  Work (615)

I think it would be desirable that this form of word [mathematics] should be reserved for the applications of the science, and that we should use mathematic in the singular to denote the science itself, in the same way as we speak of logic, rhetoric, or (own sister to algebra) music.
In Presidential Address to the British Association, Exeter British Association Report (1869); Collected Mathematical Papers, Vol. 2, 669.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (92)  |  Application (164)  |  Definitions and Objects of Mathematics (31)  |  Denote (5)  |  Desirable (11)  |  Form (305)  |  Logic (244)  |  Mathematic (3)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Music (95)  |  Reserve (15)  |  Rhetoric (7)  |  Same (154)  |  Science (2017)  |  Singular (6)  |  Sister (6)  |  Speak (87)  |  Think (338)

I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions, and into actions which bring results.
Letter to Mary Clarke (1844), quoted in Sir Edward Tyas Cook in The Life of Florence Nightingale (1914), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (184)  |  Distillation (9)  |  Feeling (91)  |  Result (361)

I think, and I am not the only one who does, that it is important never to introduce any conception which may not be completely defined by a finite number of words. Whatever may be the remedy adopted, we can promise ourselves the joy of the physician called in to follow a beautiful pathological case [beau cas pathologique].
From address read at the general session of the Fourth International Congress of Mathematicians in Rome (10 Apr 1908). As translated in 'The Future of Mathematics: by Henri Poincaré', General Appendix, Annual Report of the Boars of Regents of The Smithsonian Institution: For the Year Ending June 1909 (1910), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  Adopt (18)  |  Beautiful (137)  |  Case (98)  |  Completely (32)  |  Conception (87)  |  Define (49)  |  Finite (31)  |  Follow (121)  |  Important (200)  |  Introduce (41)  |  Joy (88)  |  Number (275)  |  Pathological (8)  |  Physician (240)  |  Promise (37)  |  Remedy (54)

I wish there was a verb to otter, ottering around in pure play, to honour Otter ludens, which plays in my mind long after I’ve seen one.
In 'Fifty Years On, the Silence of Rachel Carson’s Spring Consumes Us', The Guardian (25 Sep 2012),
Science quotes on:  |  Honor (29)  |  Mind (733)  |  Otter (2)  |  Play (109)

I wish they would use English instead of Greek words. When I want to know why a leaf is green, they tell me it is coloured by “chlorophyll,” which at first sounds very instructive; but if they would only say plainly that a leaf is coloured green by a thing which is called “green leaf,” we should see more precisely how far we had got.
The word “chlorophyll” is formed from the Greek words for “green” “leaf.” In The Queen of the Air: a Study of the Greek Myths of Cloud and Storm (1869, 1889), 51.
Science quotes on:  |  Chlorophyll (4)  |  Color (98)  |  English (33)  |  Greek (69)  |  Green (32)  |  Instruction (70)  |  Leaf (49)  |  Nomenclature (138)

I would efface the word atoms from science, persuaded that it goes further than experience... In chemistry we should never go further than experience. Could there be any hope of ever identifying the minuscule entities?
Quoted, without citation, in Nick Herbert, Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics, (1985), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (280)  |  Chemistry (250)  |  Efface (3)  |  Entity (30)  |  Experience (329)  |  Further (6)  |  Hope (174)  |  Identifying (2)  |  Persuation (2)  |  Science (2017)

I would never use a long word, even, where a short one would answer the purpose. I know there are professors in this country who “ligate” arteries. Other surgeons only tie them, and it stops the bleeding just as well.
'Scholastic and Bedside Teaching', Introductory Lecture to the Medical Class of Harvard University (6 Nov 1867). In Medical Essays 1842-1882 (1891), 302.
Science quotes on:  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Surgery (43)

I would not be confident in everything I say about the argument: but one thing I would fight for to the end, both in word and in deed if I were able—that if we believe we should try to find out what is not known, we should be better and braver and less idle than if we believed that what we do not know is impossible to find out and that we need not even try.
Socrates
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (80)  |  Belief (500)  |  Better (185)  |  Both (81)  |  Brave (5)  |  Confident (9)  |  Deed (21)  |  End (194)  |  Everything (178)  |  Fight (43)  |  Find Out (20)  |  Idle (14)  |  Impossible (106)  |  Know (536)  |  Less (101)  |  Need (275)  |  Say (226)  |  Try (139)

If God did create the world by a word, the word would have been hydrogen.
Attributed, without source, in Johns S. Rigden, Hydrogen: The Essential Element (2003), 6. If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (239)  |  God (528)  |  Hydrogen (43)  |  World (877)

If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Atheist (15)  |  Basis (87)  |  Belief (500)  |  Choose (57)  |  God (528)  |  Honest (32)  |  Live (266)  |  Pattern (78)  |  People (382)  |  Preacher (10)  |  Prefer (24)  |  Save (56)  |  Think (338)  |  Totality (10)  |  TV (2)

If tombstones were still in style, I would want to have the two words [“Renaissance hack”] chiseled right under my name.
In an encounter Flanagan had with The New Yorker film critic, Pauline Kael, she claimed to knew nothing about science. He gently scolded her. Kael responded with the genial retort: “Oh, you're a Renaissance hack,” a description which pleased him. Recounted in Flanagan's Version: A Spectator's Guide to Science on the Eve of the 21st Century (1988), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Hack (3)  |  Name (164)  |  Renaissance (10)  |  Tombstone (2)

If we want an answer from nature, we must put our questions in acts, not words, and the acts may take us to curious places. Some questions were answered in the laboratory, others in mines, others in a hospital where a surgeon pushed tubes in my arteries to get blood samples, others on top of Pike’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains, or in a diving dress on the bottom of the sea. That is one of the things I like about scientific research. You never know where it will take you next.
From essay 'Some Adventures of a Biologist', as quoted in Ruth Moore, Man, Time, And Fossils (1953), 174.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (113)  |  Answer (243)  |  Artery (9)  |  Blood (103)  |  Bottom (33)  |  Curious (41)  |  Dive (10)  |  Hospital (33)  |  Laboratory (131)  |  Mine (16)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Place (171)  |  Push (29)  |  Question (399)  |  Research (583)  |  Sample (12)  |  Sea (186)  |  Surgeon (44)  |  Tube (4)

If you ask a person, “What were you thinking?” you may get an answer that is richer and more revealing of the human condition than any stream of thoughts a novelist could invent. I try to see through people’s faces into their minds and listen through their words into their lives, and what I find there is beyond imagining.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (243)  |  Ask (156)  |  Beyond (104)  |  Face (108)  |  Find (400)  |  Human Condition (4)  |  Imagine (74)  |  Invent (49)  |  Listen (38)  |  Live (266)  |  Mind (733)  |  Novelist (6)  |  People (382)  |  Person (152)  |  Reveal (50)  |  Rich (61)  |  See (368)  |  Stream (40)  |  Think (338)  |  Thought (531)  |  Try (139)

If you want to find out anything from the theoretical physicists about the methods they use, I advise you to stick closely to one principle: don't listen to their words, fix your attention on their deeds. To him who is a discoverer in this field the products of his imagination appear so necessary and natural that he regards them, and would like to have them regarded by others, not as creations of thought but as given realities.
From 'On the Method of Theoretical Physics', in Essays in Science (1934, 2004), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (39)  |  Attention (113)  |  Closely (12)  |  Creation (239)  |  Deed (21)  |  Discoverer (15)  |  Field (170)  |  Finding (30)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Listening (8)  |  Method (225)  |  Natural (161)  |  Necessary (142)  |  Principle (279)  |  Product (82)  |  Reality (184)  |  Regard (91)  |  Stick (24)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Thought (531)

If you wish to learn from the theoretical physicist anything about the methods which he uses, I would give you the following piece of advice: Don’t listen to his words, examine his achievements. For to the discoverer in that field, the constructions of his imagination appear so necessary and so natural that he is apt to treat them not as the creations of his thoughts but as given realities.
In Herbert Spencer Lecture at Oxford (10 Jun 1933), 'On the Methods of Theoretical Physics'. Printed inPhilosophy of Science (Apr 1934), 1, No. 2, 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (149)  |  Advice (39)  |  Appearance (85)  |  Construction (83)  |  Creation (239)  |  Discovery (675)  |  Examine (44)  |  Field (170)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Learn (277)  |  Listen (38)  |  Method (225)  |  Necessity (141)  |  Reality (184)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Thought (531)  |  Wish (91)

In a recent newspaper interview I was asked what, above all, I associated with Socialism in this modern age. I answered that if there was one word I would use to identify modern Socialism it was “science.”
In The Relevance of British Socialism (1964), 41. See also Sir Alan Cottrell, Physics Bulletin (Mar 1976), 102.
Science quotes on:  |  Identification (11)  |  Modern (156)  |  Science (2017)  |  Socialism (4)

In every section of the entire area where the word science may properly be applied, the limiting factor is a human one. We shall have rapid or slow advance in this direction or in that depending on the number of really first-class men who are engaged in the work in question. ... So in the last analysis, the future of science in this country will be determined by our basic educational policy.
Quoted in Vannevar Bush, Science, the Endless Frontier: A Report to the President, July 1945. In Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science: Volumes 48-49, 246.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (158)  |  Application (164)  |  Depending (2)  |  Direction (73)  |  Education (328)  |  First-Class (2)  |  Human (544)  |  Policy (24)  |  Rapid (30)  |  Science (2017)  |  Section (11)  |  Slow (54)

In fact, Gentlemen, no geometry without arithmetic, no mechanics without geometry... you cannot count upon success, if your mind is not sufficiently exercised on the forms and demonstrations of geometry, on the theories and calculations of arithmetic ... In a word, the theory of proportions is for industrial teaching, what algebra is for the most elevated mathematical teaching.
... a l'ouverture du cours de mechanique industrielle á Metz (1827), 2-3, trans. Ivor Grattan-Guinness.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (92)  |  Arithmetic (114)  |  Calculation (98)  |  Demonstration (81)  |  Elevation (5)  |  Exercise (63)  |  Form (305)  |  Gentlemen (4)  |  Geometry (213)  |  Industry (108)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Mechanics (54)  |  Mind (733)  |  Proportion (70)  |  Success (245)  |  Teaching (107)  |  Theory (687)

In former times, … when ships buffeted by storms threw a portion of their cargo overboard, it was recognized that those whose goods were sacrificed had a claim in equity to indemnification at the expense of those whose goods were safely delivered. The value of the lost goods was paid for by agreement between all those whose merchandise had been in the same ship. This sea damage to cargo in transit was known as “havaria” and the word came naturally to be applied to the compensation money which each individual was called upon to pay. From this Latin word derives our modern word average.
In 'On the Average', Facts From Figures (1951), Chap. 4, 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Agreement (38)  |  Apply (71)  |  Average (41)  |  Cargo (5)  |  Compensation (7)  |  Damage (28)  |  Deliver (9)  |  Derive (33)  |  Expense (15)  |  Goods (7)  |  Hazard (15)  |  Indemnification (2)  |  Individual (215)  |  Latin (33)  |  Lost (32)  |  Merchandise (2)  |  Money (140)  |  Nomencalture (4)  |  Overboard (3)  |  Sacrifice (32)  |  Safely (8)  |  Ship (44)  |  Storm (29)  |  Throw (43)  |  Transit (2)  |  Value (234)  |  Voyage (11)

In one word he told me the secret of success in mathematics: plagiarize only be sure always to call it please research.
In lyrics of his song 'Lobachevski' recorded on his first album Songs by Tom Lehrer (1953). First performed as part a musical revue, The Physical Revue (1951–1952).
Science quotes on:  |  Call (126)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Research (583)  |  Secret (129)  |  Success (245)  |  Tell (108)

In order to translate a sentence from English into French two things are necessary. First, we must understand thoroughly the English sentence. Second, we must be familiar with the forms of expression peculiar to the French language. The situation is very similar when we attempt to express in mathematical symbols a condition proposed in words. First, we must understand thoroughly the condition. Second, we must be familiar with the forms of mathematical expression.
In How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), 174.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (119)  |  Condition (157)  |  English (33)  |  Expression (103)  |  Familiarity (16)  |  Form (305)  |  French (17)  |  Language (214)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Necessity (141)  |  Peculiarity (19)  |  Proposition (78)  |  Sentence (28)  |  Similarity (20)  |  Situation (51)  |  Translation (14)  |  Understanding (325)

In particular, and most importantly, this is the reason why the scientific worldview contains of itself no ethical values, no esthetical values, not a word about our own ultimate scope or destination, and no God, if you please. Whence came I and whither go I?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Contain (67)  |  Destination (12)  |  Ethical (13)  |  God (528)  |  Importantly (3)  |  Particular (74)  |  Please (22)  |  Reason (449)  |  Scientific (230)  |  Scope (23)  |  Ultimate (83)  |  Value (234)  |  Whither (3)  |  Worldview (5)

In psychoanalytic treatment nothing happens but an exchange of words between the patient and the physician.
From a series of 28 lectures for laymen, Part One, 'The Psychology of Errors'. Lecture 1, 'Introduction' collected in Sigmund Freud and G. Stanley Hall (trans.), A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1920), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Exchange (12)  |  Happen (82)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Patient (125)  |  Physician (240)  |  Psychoanalytic (2)  |  Psychology (142)  |  Treatment (100)

In the case of a Christian clergyman, the tragic-comical is found in this: that the Christian religion demands love from the faithful, even love for the enemy. This demand, because it is indeed superhuman, he is unable to fulfill. Thus intolerance and hatred ring through the oily words of the clergyman. The love, which on the Christian side is the basis for the conciliatory attempt towards Judaism is the same as the love of a child for a cake. That means that it contains the hope that the object of the love will be eaten up.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (119)  |  Basis (87)  |  Cake (5)  |  Case (98)  |  Child (244)  |  Christian (21)  |  Clergyman (5)  |  Contain (67)  |  Demand (72)  |  Eat (52)  |  Enemy (60)  |  Faithful (9)  |  Find (400)  |  Fulfill (19)  |  Hatred (19)  |  Hope (174)  |  Intolerance (8)  |  Judaism (2)  |  Love (214)  |  Means (167)  |  Object (167)  |  Religion (235)  |  Ring (16)  |  Same (154)  |  Side (51)  |  Superhuman (4)  |  Unable (24)

In the case of elements, as in that of individuals, the determination of character is often attended with very great difficulty, a true estimate being only slowly arrived at, and when at last such an estimate is found, it can only be very partially expressed in words.
In The Encyclopaedia Britannica: Ninth Edition (1877), Vol. 5, 714.
Science quotes on:  |  Attended (2)  |  Case (98)  |  Character (113)  |  Determination (57)  |  Difficulty (142)  |  Element (162)  |  Estimate (28)  |  Expressed (2)  |  Great (517)  |  Individual (215)  |  Partially (2)  |  Slowly (18)  |  True (192)

In the expressions we adopt to prescribe physical phenomena we necessarily hover between two extremes. We either have to choose a word which implies more than we can prove, or we have to use vague and general terms which hide the essential point, instead of bringing it out. The history of electrical theories furnishes a good example.
Opening Address to the Annual Meeting of the British Association by Prof. Arthur Schuster, in Nature (4 Aug 1892), 46, 325.
Science quotes on:  |  Choice (78)  |  Electricity (135)  |  Essential (114)  |  Example (92)  |  Expression (103)  |  Extreme (53)  |  Furnish (39)  |  Generality (33)  |  Good (336)  |  Hiding (6)  |  History (366)  |  Hover (5)  |  Implication (22)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Phenomenon (274)  |  Point (122)  |  Proof (242)  |  Term (119)  |  Theory (687)  |  Vagueness (10)

In the history of science and throughout the whole course of its progress we see certain epochs following one another more or less rapidly. Some important view is expressed, it may be original or only revived; sooner or later it receives recognition; fellow-Workers spring up; the outcome of it finds its way into the schools; it is taught and handed down; and we observe, unhappily, that it does not in the least matter whether the view be true or false. In either case its course is the same; in either case it comes in the end to he a mere phrase, a lifeless word stamped on the memory.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 184.
Science quotes on:  |  Case (98)  |  Epoch (20)  |  Express (62)  |  False (96)  |  History Of Science (58)  |  Important (200)  |  Lifeless (11)  |  Memory (105)  |  Mere (74)  |  Original (54)  |  Phrase (25)  |  Progress (360)  |  Recognition (70)  |  School (115)  |  Teach (177)  |  True (192)  |  View (169)

In this physical world there is no real chaos; all is in fact orderly; all is ordered by the physical principles. Chaos is but unperceived order- it is a word indicating the limitations of the human mind and the paucity of observational facts. The words “chaos,” “accidental,” “chance,” “unpredictable," are conveniences behind which we hide our ignorance.
From Of Stars and Men: The Human Response to an Expanding Universe (1958 Rev. Ed. 1964), Foreword.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (65)  |  Behind (38)  |  Chance (156)  |  Chaos (76)  |  Convenience (32)  |  Fact (717)  |  Hide (51)  |  Human Mind (80)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Indicate (17)  |  Limit (121)  |  Observation (444)  |  Order (238)  |  Paucity (3)  |  Physical World (12)  |  Principle (279)  |  Real (144)  |  Unpredictable (10)

Induction, then, is that operation of the mind by which we infer that what we know to be true in a particular case or cases, will be true in all cases which resemble the former in certain assignable respects. In other words, induction is the process by which we conclude that what is true of certain individuals of a class is true of the whole class, or that what is true at certain times will be true in similar circumstances at all times.
In A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive: Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence, and the Methods of Scientific Investigation (1843), Vol. 1, 352.
Science quotes on:  |  Case (98)  |  Certain (121)  |  Circumstance (64)  |  Class (83)  |  Conclude (16)  |  Former (25)  |  Individual (215)  |  Induction (58)  |  Infer (12)  |  Know (536)  |  Mind (733)  |  Operation (118)  |  Particular (74)  |  Process (259)  |  Resemble (25)  |  Respect (82)  |  Similar (34)  |  Time (586)  |  True (192)  |  Whole (186)

Inventions and discoveries are of two kinds. The one which we owe to chance, such as those of the mariner’s compass, gunpowder, and in general almost all the discoveries we have made in the arts. The other which we owe to genius: and here we ought to understand by the word discovery, a new combination, or a new relation perceived between certain objects or ideas. A person obtains the title of a man of genius, if the ideas which result from this combination form one grand whole, are fruitful in truths, and are of importance with respect to mankind.
From the original French, “Les inventions ou les découvertes sont de deux espèces. Il en est que nous devons au hazard; telles sont la boussole, la poudre à canon, & généralement presque toutes les découvertes que nous avons faites dans les arts. Il en est d'autres que nous devons au génie: &, par ce mot de découverte, on doit alors entendre une nouvelle combinaison, un rapport nouveau aperçu entre certains objets ou certaines idées. On obtient le titre d'homme de génie, si les idées qui résultent de ce rapport forment un grand ensemble, sont fécondes en vérités & intéressantes pour l'humanité,” in 'Du Génie', L’Esprit (1758), Discourse 4, 476. English version from Claude Adrien Helvétius and William Mudford (trans.), 'Of Genius', De l’Esprit or, Essays on the Mind and its several Faculties (1759), Essay 4, Chap. 1, 241-242.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (280)  |  Chance (156)  |  Combination (88)  |  Compass (24)  |  Discovery (675)  |  Fruitful (42)  |  Genius (230)  |  Gunpowder (14)  |  Idea (573)  |  Importance (213)  |  Invention (316)  |  Kind (137)  |  Mankind (238)  |  New (477)  |  Perceive (39)  |  Relation (146)  |  Result (361)  |  Title (18)  |  Truth (901)  |  Whole (186)

It does not matter what men say in words, so long as their activities are controlled by settled instincts. The words may ultimately destroy the instincts. But until this has occurred, words do not count.
In Science and the Modern World (1925), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (127)  |  Control (111)  |  Count (48)  |  Destroy (80)  |  Instinct (63)  |  Man (373)  |  Matter (336)  |  Occur (43)  |  Say (226)  |  Settle (18)  |  Ultimately (15)

It has been said that science is opposed to, and in conflict with revelation. But the history of the former shown that the greater its progress, and the more accurate its investigations and results, the more plainly it is seen not only not to clash with the Latter, but in all things to confirm it. The very sciences from which objections have been brought against religion have, by their own progress, removed those objections, and in the end furnished fall confirmation of the inspired Word of God.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (32)  |  Bring (89)  |  Clash (8)  |  Confirm (12)  |  Confirmation (19)  |  Conflict (54)  |  End (194)  |  Fall (118)  |  Former (25)  |  Furnish (39)  |  God (528)  |  Great (517)  |  History (366)  |  Inspire (49)  |  Investigation (170)  |  Latter (20)  |  Objection (18)  |  Oppose (23)  |  Plainly (5)  |  Progress (360)  |  Religion (235)  |  Remove (26)  |  Result (361)  |  Revelation (34)  |  Say (226)  |  Science (2017)  |  See (368)  |  Show (90)

It is admitted by all that a finished or even a competent reasoner is not the work of nature alone; the experience of every day makes it evident that education develops faculties which would otherwise never have manifested their existence. It is, therefore, as necessary to learn to reason before we can expect to be able to reason, as it is to learn to swim or fence, in order to attain either of those arts. Now, something must be reasoned upon, it matters not much what it is, provided it can be reasoned upon with certainty. The properties of mind or matter, or the study of languages, mathematics, or natural history, may be chosen for this purpose. Now of all these, it is desirable to choose the one which admits of the reasoning being verified, that is, in which we can find out by other means, such as measurement and ocular demonstration of all sorts, whether the results are true or not. When the guiding property of the loadstone was first ascertained, and it was necessary to learn how to use this new discovery, and to find out how far it might be relied on, it would have been thought advisable to make many passages between ports that were well known before attempting a voyage of discovery. So it is with our reasoning faculties: it is desirable that their powers should be exerted upon objects of such a nature, that we can tell by other means whether the results which we obtain are true or false, and this before it is safe to trust entirely to reason. Now the mathematics are peculiarly well adapted for this purpose, on the following grounds:
1. Every term is distinctly explained, and has but one meaning, and it is rarely that two words are employed to mean the same thing.
2. The first principles are self-evident, and, though derived from observation, do not require more of it than has been made by children in general.
3. The demonstration is strictly logical, taking nothing for granted except self-evident first principles, resting nothing upon probability, and entirely independent of authority and opinion.
4. When the conclusion is obtained by reasoning, its truth or falsehood can be ascertained, in geometry by actual measurement, in algebra by common arithmetical calculation. This gives confidence, and is absolutely necessary, if, as was said before, reason is not to be the instructor, but the pupil.
5. There are no words whose meanings are so much alike that the ideas which they stand for may be confounded. Between the meaning of terms there is no distinction, except a total distinction, and all adjectives and adverbs expressing difference of degrees are avoided.
In On the Study and Difficulties of Mathematics (1898), chap. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (38)  |  Actual (47)  |  Adapt (26)  |  Adjective (2)  |  Admit (44)  |  Adverb (2)  |  Algebra (92)  |  Alike (22)  |  Alone (100)  |  Arithmetical (11)  |  Art (280)  |  Ascertain (14)  |  Attain (41)  |  Attempt (119)  |  Authority (63)  |  Avoid (50)  |  Calculation (98)  |  Certainty (128)  |  Child (244)  |  Choose (57)  |  Common (117)  |  Competent (18)  |  Conclusion (156)  |  Confidence (39)  |  Confound (14)  |  Degree (79)  |  Demonstration (81)  |  Derive (33)  |  Desirable (11)  |  Develop (102)  |  Difference (242)  |  Discovery (675)  |  Distinction (44)  |  Distinctly (5)  |  Education (328)  |  Employ (35)  |  Entirely (32)  |  Evident (25)  |  Exert (14)  |  Existence (294)  |  Expect (43)  |  Experience (329)  |  Explain (104)  |  Express (62)  |  Faculty (64)  |  False (96)  |  Falsehood (25)  |  Far (154)  |  Fence (9)  |  Find Out (20)  |  Finish (25)  |  First (306)  |  Follow (121)  |  General (154)  |  Geometry (213)  |  Give (197)  |  Grant (32)  |  Ground (88)  |  Guide (62)  |  Idea (573)  |  Independent (65)  |  Instructor (5)  |  Know (536)  |  Language (214)  |  Learn (277)  |  Lodestone (6)  |  Logical (51)  |  Manifest (20)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Matter (336)  |  Mean (101)  |  Meanings (5)  |  Means (167)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Mind (733)  |  Natural History (49)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Necessary (142)  |  New (477)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Object (167)  |  Observation (444)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Ocular (3)  |  Opinion (173)  |  Order (238)  |  Passage (20)  |  Peculiarly (4)  |  Port (2)  |  Power (355)  |  Principle (279)  |  Probability (105)  |  Property (122)  |  Provide (64)  |  Pupil (29)  |  Purpose (188)  |  Rarely (20)  |  Reason (449)  |  Rely (11)  |  Require (78)  |  Rest (92)  |  Result (361)  |  Safe (27)  |  Same (154)  |  Say (226)  |  Self-Evident (12)  |  Sort (46)  |  Stand (106)  |  Strictly (13)  |  Study (456)  |  Swim (16)  |  Tell (108)  |  Term (119)  |  Thought (531)  |  Total (36)  |  True (192)  |  Trust (49)  |  Truth (901)  |  Value Of Mathematics (51)  |  Verify (15)  |  Voyage (11)  |  Work (615)

It is astonishing how much the word infinitely is misused: everything is infinitely more beautiful, infinitely better, etc. The concept must have something pleasing about it, or its misuse could not have become so general.
Aphorism 133 in Notebook J (1789-1793), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 155.
Science quotes on:  |  Astonishing (9)  |  Beauty (236)  |  Better (185)  |  Concept (142)  |  Everything (178)  |  General (154)  |  Infinite (128)  |  Pleasure (130)

It is difficult even to attach a precise meaning to the term “scientific truth.” So different is the meaning of the word “truth” according to whether we are dealing with a fact of experience, a mathematical proposition or a scientific theory. “Religious truth” conveys nothing clear to me at all.
From 'Scientific Truth' in Essays in Science (1934, 2004), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Attach (13)  |  Clear (96)  |  Convey (16)  |  Different (176)  |  Difficult (114)  |  Experience (329)  |  Fact (717)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Precise (33)  |  Proposition (78)  |  Religious (49)  |  Science And Religion (299)  |  Scientific (230)  |  Scientific Theory (24)  |  Term (119)  |  Theory (687)  |  Truth (901)

It is good to recall that three centuries ago, around the year 1660, two of the greatest monuments of modern history were erected, one in the West and one in the East; St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and the Taj Mahal in Agra. Between them, the two symbolize, perhaps better than words can describe, the comparative level of architectural technology, the comparative level of craftsmanship and the comparative level of affluence and sophistication the two cultures had attained at that epoch of history. But about the same time there was also created—and this time only in the West—a third monument, a monument still greater in its eventual import for humanity. This was Newton’s Principia, published in 1687. Newton's work had no counterpart in the India of the Mughuls.
'Ideals and Realities' (1975). Reprinted in Ideals and Realities (1984), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Affluence (3)  |  Architecture (42)  |  Counterpart (5)  |  Craftsmanship (4)  |  Culture (101)  |  Description (81)  |  History (366)  |  Humanity (123)  |  London (12)  |  Monument (26)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (327)  |  Principia (10)  |  Sophistication (9)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Technology (216)

It is in the name of Moses that Bellarmin thunderstrikes Galileo; and this great vulgarizer of the great seeker Copernicus, Galileo, the old man of truth, the magian of the heavens, was reduced to repeating on his knees word for word after the inquisitor this formula of shame: “Corde sincera et fide non ficta abjuro maledico et detestor supradictos errores et hereses.” Falsehood put an ass's hood on science.
[With a sincere heart, and of faith unfeigned, I deny by oath, condemn and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies.]
In Victor Hugo and Lorenzo O'Rourke (trans.) Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography: (Postscriptum de ma vie) (1907), 313.
Science quotes on:  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (48)  |  Error (272)  |  Falsehood (25)  |  Formula (78)  |  Galileo Galilei (121)  |  Heaven (150)  |  Heresy (8)  |  Inquisitor (6)  |  Knee (2)  |  Moses (6)  |  Oath (5)  |  Reduce (52)  |  Science (2017)  |  Seeker (8)  |  Shame (13)

It is not merely as an investigator and discoverer, but as a high-principled and unassuming man, that Scheele merits our warmest admiration. His aim and object was the discovery of truth. The letters of the man reveal to us in the most pleasant way his high scientific ideal, his genuinely philosophic temper, and his simple mode of thought. “It is the truth alone that we desire to know, and what joy there is in discovering it!” With these words he himself characterizes his own efforts.
From History of Chemistry (1899). As quoted in Victor Robinson, Pathfinders in Medicine (1912), 121.
Science quotes on:  |  Admiration (43)  |  Aim (85)  |  Characterize (17)  |  Desire (139)  |  Discover (190)  |  Discovery (675)  |  Effort (143)  |  Genuine (26)  |  Ideal (69)  |  Investigator (33)  |  Joy (88)  |  Know (536)  |  Letter (50)  |  Philosophy (251)  |  Pleasant (20)  |  Principle (279)  |  Reveal (50)  |  Carl Wilhelm Scheele (5)  |  Scientific (230)  |  Simple (169)  |  Temper (9)  |  Thought (531)  |  Truth (901)

It is not so long since, during one of the meetings of the Association, one of the leading English newspapers briefly described a sitting of this Section in the words, “Saturday morning was devoted to pure mathematics, and so there was nothing of any general interest:” still, such toleration is better than undisguised and ill-informed hostility.
In Report of the 67th meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
Science quotes on:  |  Association (20)  |  Better (185)  |  Brief (19)  |  Describe (55)  |  Devote (34)  |  English (33)  |  General (154)  |  Hostility (11)  |  Interest (234)  |  Meeting (20)  |  Modern Mathematics (33)  |  Morning (43)  |  Newspaper (31)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Pure Mathematics (63)  |  Saturday (5)  |  Section (11)  |  Toleration (6)

It is notoriously difficult to define the word living.
Opening sentence in Of Molecules and Men (1966, 2004), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (190)  |  Life (1113)  |  Notorious (8)

It is odd to think that there is a word for something which, strictly speaking, does not exist, namely, “rest.” We distinguish between living and dead matter; between moving bodies and bodies at rest. This is a primitive point of view. What seems dead, a stone or the proverbial “door-nail,” say, is actually forever in motion. We have merely become accustomed to judge by outward appearances; by the deceptive impressions we get through our senses.
Max Born
The Restless Universe (1935), I.
Science quotes on:  |  Reference Frame (2)  |  Rest (92)

It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English—up to fifty words used in correct context—no human being has been reported to have learned delphinese.
This wording was quoted, without citation, as from a “news item”, in Vernon Ingraham (ed.), Survival: Readings on Environment (1971), Vol. 2, 69, but without any attribution to Carl Sagan. In The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective (1973), 136, Carl Sagan describes meeting in Winter 1963 with a researcher, John Lilly, and a dolphin called Elvar. Sagan wrote, “John believed that Elvar had learned some dozens of words of English. To the best of my knowledge, no human has ever learned a single word of delphinese.” Sagan thought he heard Elvar utter “More!”, and that “it was in context,” because he had been scratching the dolphin’s belly. Webmaster speculates the news item referred to a subsequent interview with Sagan during which this subject came up. Can you help identify the primary news source?
Science quotes on:  |  Context (22)  |  Correct (79)  |  Dolphin (9)  |  English (33)  |  Fifty (15)  |  Human Being (72)  |  Interest (234)  |  Learn (277)  |  Note (33)  |  Report (37)

It is sometimes helpful to differentiate between the God of Miracles and the God of Order. When scientists use the word God, they usually mean the God of Order. …The God of Miracles intervenes in our affairs, performs miracles, destroys wicked cities, smites enemy armies, drowns the Pharaoh's troops, and avenges the pure and noble. …This is not to say that miracles cannot happen, only that they are outside what is commonly called science.
In 'Conclusion', Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1995), 330-331.
Science quotes on:  |  Affair (29)  |  Army (25)  |  Avenge (2)  |  City (47)  |  Destroy (80)  |  Differentiate (12)  |  Drown (11)  |  Enemy (60)  |  God (528)  |  Happen (82)  |  Intervene (7)  |  Miracle (66)  |  Noble (50)  |  Order (238)  |  Perform (32)  |  Pharaoh (3)  |  Pure (97)  |  Science (2017)  |  Scientist (511)  |  Smite (4)  |  Troop (5)  |  Wicked (3)

It is the constant aim of the mathematician to reduce all his expressions to their lowest terms, to retrench every superfluous word and phrase, and to condense the Maximum of meaning into the Minimum of language.
In Address (22 Feb 1877) for Commemoration Day at Johns Hopkins University. Published as a pamphlet, and reprinted in The Collected Mathematical Papers of James Joseph Sylvester: (1870-1883) (1909), Vol. 3, 72-73.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (85)  |  Condense (11)  |  Constant (56)  |  Expression (103)  |  Language (214)  |  Lowest (10)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Maximum (12)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Minimum (12)  |  Phrase (25)  |  Reduce (52)  |  Retrench (2)  |  Superfluous (11)  |  Term (119)

It is the modest, not the presumptuous, inquirer who makes a real and safe progress in the discovery of divine truths. One follows Nature and Nature’s God; that is, he follows God in his works and in his word.
Letter to Alexander Pope. As cited in John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations (1875, 10th ed., 1919), 304. The quote has a footnote to compare from Pope’s philosophical poem, Essay on Man (1733-34), epistle iv, lines 331-32: “Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, But looks through Nature up to Nature’s God.”
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (675)  |  Divine (60)  |  Follow (121)  |  God (528)  |  Inquirer (3)  |  Modest (8)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Presumptuous (3)  |  Progress (360)  |  Real (144)  |  Safe (27)  |  Truth (901)  |  Work (615)

It is very desirable to have a word to express the Availability for work of the heat in a given magazine; a term for that possession, the waste of which is called Dissipation. Unfortunately the excellent word Entropy, which Clausius has introduced in this connexion, is applied by him to the negative of the idea we most naturally wish to express. It would only confuse the student if we were to endeavour to invent another term for our purpose. But the necessity for some such term will be obvious from the beautiful examples which follow. And we take the liberty of using the term Entropy in this altered sense ... The entropy of the universe tends continually to zero.
Sketch of Thermodynamics (1868), 100-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (25)  |  Application (164)  |  Availability (10)  |  Beautiful (137)  |  Rudolf Clausius (8)  |  Confusion (41)  |  Connection (106)  |  Continuity (29)  |  Desire (139)  |  Dissipation (2)  |  Endeavour (25)  |  Entropy (41)  |  Example (92)  |  Excellence (32)  |  Expression (103)  |  Follow (121)  |  Heat (100)  |  Idea (573)  |  Introduce (41)  |  Invention (316)  |  Liberty (25)  |  Magazine (24)  |  Necessity (141)  |  Negative (33)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Obvious (77)  |  Possession (45)  |  Purpose (188)  |  Sense (310)  |  Student (198)  |  Term (119)  |  Unfortunately (18)  |  Universe (678)  |  Waste (64)  |  Work (615)  |  Zero (19)

It is very remarkable that while the words Eternal, Eternity, Forever, are constantly in our mouths, and applied without hesitation, we yet experience considerable difficulty in contemplating any definite term which bears a very large proportion to the brief cycles of our petty chronicles. There are many minds that would not for an instant doubt the God of Nature to have existed from all Eternity, and would yet reject as preposterous the idea of going back a million of years in the History of His Works. Yet what is a million, or a million million, of solar revolutions to an Eternity?
Memoir on the Geology of Central France (1827), 165.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (164)  |  Brief (19)  |  Chronicle (6)  |  Constant (56)  |  Contemplation (51)  |  Cycle (27)  |  Difficulty (142)  |  Doubt (158)  |  Eternal (66)  |  Eternity (49)  |  Experience (329)  |  Forever (59)  |  God (528)  |  Hesitation (9)  |  History (366)  |  Idea (573)  |  Million (108)  |  Mind (733)  |  Mouth (21)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Petty (6)  |  Preposterous (6)  |  Proportion (70)  |  Reject (28)  |  Remarkable (48)  |  Revolution (69)  |  Sun (276)  |  Term (119)  |  Work (615)  |  Year (297)

It may be observed of mathematicians that they only meddle with such things as are certain, passing by those that are doubtful and unknown. They profess not to know all things, neither do they affect to speak of all things. What they know to be true, and can make good by invincible arguments, that they publish and insert among their theorems. Of other things they are silent and pass no judgment at all, chusing [choosing] rather to acknowledge their ignorance, than affirm anything rashly. They affirm nothing among their arguments or assertions which is not most manifestly known and examined with utmost rigour, rejecting all probable conjectures and little witticisms. They submit nothing to authority, indulge no affection, detest subterfuges of words, and declare their sentiments, as in a Court of Judicature [Justice], without passion, without apology; knowing that their reasons, as Seneca testifies of them, are not brought to persuade, but to compel.
Mathematical Lectures (1734), 64.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledge (15)  |  Affection (18)  |  Affirm (2)  |  Apology (5)  |  Argument (80)  |  Authority (63)  |  Certain (121)  |  Choose (57)  |  Confirm (12)  |  Conjecture (32)  |  Court (20)  |  Declare (27)  |  Detest (5)  |  Doubt (158)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Indulge (6)  |  Invincible (5)  |  Judgment (96)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Meddle (3)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (72)  |  Passion (70)  |  Persuade (11)  |  Probable (19)  |  Profess (8)  |  Publish (32)  |  Rashly (2)  |  Reason (449)  |  Reject (28)  |  Rigour (15)  |  Lucius Annaeus Seneca (19)  |  Sentiment (13)  |  Silent (27)  |  Submit (17)  |  Testify (5)  |  Theorem (88)  |  Truth (901)  |  Unknown (104)  |  Witticism (2)

It often seems to me as if History was like a child’s box of letters, with which we can spell any word we please. We have only to pick out such letters as we want, arrange them as we like, and say nothing about those which do not suit our purpose.
Lecture delivered to the Royal Institution (5 Feb 1864), 'On the Science of History'. Collected in Notices of the Proceedings at the Meetings of the Members of the Royal Institution of Great Britain with Abstracts of the Discourses (1866), Vol. 4, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrange (20)  |  Box (9)  |  Child (244)  |  History (366)  |  Letter (50)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Pick (16)  |  Please (22)  |  Purpose (188)  |  Spell (9)  |  Want (173)

Just as it will never be successfully challenged that the French language, progressively developing and growing more perfect day by day, has the better claim to serve as a developed court and world language, so no one will venture to estimate lightly the debt which the world owes to mathematicians, in that they treat in their own language matters of the utmost importance, and govern, determine and decide whatever is subject, using the word in the highest sense, to number and measurement.
In 'Sprüche in Prosa', Natur, III, 868.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (185)  |  Challenge (59)  |  Claim (67)  |  Court (20)  |  Debt (8)  |  Decide (39)  |  Determine (71)  |  Develop (102)  |  Estimate (28)  |  Estimates of Mathematics (29)  |  French (17)  |  Govern (26)  |  Grow (97)  |  High (150)  |  Importance (213)  |  Language (214)  |  Lightly (2)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Matter (336)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Number (275)  |  Owe (22)  |  Perfect (80)  |  Progressive (16)  |  Sense (310)  |  Serve (56)  |  Subject (231)  |  Successful (39)  |  Treat (33)  |  Utmost (11)  |  Venture (18)  |  World (877)

Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas.
In 'Preface to the English Dictionary', The Works of Samuel Johnson (1810), Vol. 2, 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Idea (573)  |  Instrument (90)  |  Language (214)  |  Science (2017)  |  Sign (55)

Language is simply alive, like an organism. We all tell each other this, in fact, when we speak of living languages, and I think we mean something more than an abstract metaphor. We mean alive. Words are the cells of language, moving the great body, on legs. Language grows and evolves, leaving fossils behind. The individual words are like different species of animals. Mutations occur. Words fuse, and then mate. Hybrid words and wild varieties or compound words are the progeny. Some mixed words are dominated by one parent while the other is recessive. The way a word is used this year is its phenotype, but it has deeply immutable meanings, often hidden, which is its genotype.... The separate languages of the Indo-European family were at one time, perhaps five thousand years ago, maybe much longer, a single language. The separation of the speakers by migrations had effects on language comparable to the speciation observed by Darwin on various islands of the Galapagos. Languages became different species, retaining enough resemblance to an original ancestor so that the family resemblance can still be seen.
in 'Living Language,' The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, (1974, 1984), 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Language (214)

Language is the principal tool with which we communicate; but when words are used carelessly or mistakenly, what was intended to advance mutual understanding may in fact hinder it; our instrument becomes our burden
Irving M. Copi and Carl Cohen (probably? in their Introduction to Logic), In K. Srinagesh, The Principles of Experimental Research (2006), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Burden (27)  |  Careless (5)  |  Communication (75)  |  Definition (190)  |  Hinder (4)  |  Instrument (90)  |  Language (214)  |  Mistaken (3)  |  Mutual (27)  |  Understanding (325)

Let no one suppose that the words doctor and patient can disguise from the parties the fact that they are employer and employee.
In 'Preface on Doctors', The Doctor's Dilemma (1909, 1911), lxxxi.
Science quotes on:  |  Disguise (10)  |  Doctor (101)  |  Employee (3)  |  Fact (717)  |  Let (61)  |  Medicine (340)  |  Party (18)  |  Patient (125)  |  Suppose (48)

Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in few words.
Bible
(circa 725 B.C.)
Science quotes on:  |  Comprehend (38)  |  Short (46)  |  Speech (46)

Let us keep the discoveries and indisputable measurements of physics. But ... A more complete study of the movements of the world will oblige us, little by little, to turn it upside down; in other words, to discover that if things hold and hold together, it is only by reason of complexity, from above.
In Teilhard de Chardin and Bernard Wall (trans.), The Phenomenon of Man (1959, 2008), 43. Originally published in French as Le Phénomene Humain (1955).
Science quotes on:  |  Complete (81)  |  Complexity (90)  |  Discover (190)  |  Discovery (675)  |  Hold (90)  |  Indisputable (8)  |  Keep (97)  |  Little (182)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Movement (81)  |  Oblige (2)  |  Physics (342)  |  Reason (449)  |  Science And Religion (299)  |  Study (456)  |  Together (75)  |  Turn (118)  |  Upside Down (5)  |  World (877)

Make it compulsory for a doctor using a brass plate to have inscribed on it, in addition to the letters indicating his qualifications, the words “Remember that I too am mortal.”
In 'Preface on Doctors', The Doctor’s Dilemma (1909, 1911), xci.
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (28)  |  Brass (5)  |  Compulsory (6)  |  Doctor (101)  |  Indicate (17)  |  Inscribe (4)  |  Letter (50)  |  Medicine (340)  |  Mortal (27)  |  Plate (6)  |  Qualification (8)  |  Remember (79)

Man is the summit, the crown of nature's development, and must comprehend everything that has preceded him, even as the fruit includes within itself all the earlier developed parts of the plant. In a word, Man must represent the whole world in miniature.
In Lorenz Oken, trans. by Alfred Tulk, Elements of Physiophilosophy (1847), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Comprehension (57)  |  Crown (26)  |  Development (270)  |  Earlier (9)  |  Everything (178)  |  Include (39)  |  Man (373)  |  Miniature (5)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Part (216)  |  Plant (198)  |  Preceding (8)  |  Representation (35)  |  Summit (15)  |  Whole (186)  |  World (877)

Many consider that the conflict of religion and science is a temporary phase, and that in due course the two mighty rivers of human understanding will merge into an even mightier Amazon of comprehension. I take the opposite view, that reconciliation is impossible. I consider that Science is mightier than the Word, and that the river of religion will (or, at least, should) atrophy and die.
In 'Religion - The Antithesis to Science', Chemistry & Industry (Feb 1997).
Science quotes on:  |  Amazon (8)  |  Atrophy (6)  |  Comprehension (57)  |  Conflict (54)  |  Die (79)  |  Human (544)  |  Impossible (106)  |  Merge (3)  |  Phase (16)  |  Reconciliation (10)  |  River (79)  |  Science And Religion (299)  |  Temporary (15)  |  Understanding (325)

Mathematicians are only dealing with the structure of reasoning, and they do not really care what they are talking about. They do not even need to know what they are talking about … But the physicist has meaning to all his phrases. … In physics, you have to have an understanding of the connection of words with the real world.
In The Character of Physical Law (1965), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Connection (106)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Phrase (25)  |  Physicist (159)  |  Real (144)  |  Reasoning (92)  |  Structure (219)  |  Understand (320)  |  World (877)

Mathematics in gross, it is plain, are a grievance in natural philosophy, and with reason…Mathematical proofs are out of the reach of topical arguments, and are not to be attacked by the equivocal use of words or declamation, that make so great a part of other discourses; nay, even of controversies.
In 'Mr Locke’s Reply to the Bishop of Worcester’s Answer to his Second Letter', collected in The Works of John Locke (1824), Vol. 3, 428.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (80)  |  Attack (39)  |  Controversy (19)  |  Discourse (18)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Natural Philosophy (28)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (72)  |  Proof (242)  |  Reason (449)

Mathematics is the science which uses easy words for hard ideas.
With co-author James R. Newman, in Mathematics and the Imagination (1940), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Easy (95)  |  Hard (98)  |  Idea (573)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Science (2017)  |  Use (76)

Mathematics takes us still further from what is human, into the region of absolute necessity, to which not only the world, but every possible world, must conform.
In 'The Study of Mathematics', The New Quarterly (1907), reprinted in Philosophical Essays (1910). As quoted and cited in 'The Retreat From Pythagoras', The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell, 1903-1959 (1992), 254.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (96)  |  Actual (47)  |  Conform (11)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Necessity (141)  |  Possible (152)  |  Region (35)

Memory is a fascinating trickster. Words and images have enormous power and can easily displace actual experience over the years.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (47)  |  Displace (4)  |  Easily (35)  |  Enormous (40)  |  Experience (329)  |  Fascinating (22)  |  Image (55)  |  Memory (105)  |  Power (355)  |  Year (297)

Metaphorical language is a species of natural language which we construct out of arbitrary but concrete words. That is why it is so pleasing.
Aphorism 78 in Notebook D (1773-1775), as translated by R.J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Arbitrary (20)  |  Concrete (31)  |  Construction (83)  |  Language (214)  |  Linguistics (28)  |  Metaphor (25)  |  Pleasure (130)

Moreover I can assure you that the misuse word “national” by our rulers has thoroughly broken me of the habit of national feeling that was pronounced in my case. I would now be willing see Germany disappear as a power and merge into a pacified Europe.
As quoted in Paul Forman and Armin Hermann, 'Sommerfeld, Arnold (Johannes Wilhelm)', Biography in Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1975), Vol. 12, 529. Cited from Armin Herman (ed.), Albert Einstein/Arnold Sommerfeld. Briefwechsel: Sechzig Briefe aus dem goldenen Zeitalter der modernen Physik (1968, German), 114-115.
Science quotes on:  |  Assure (15)  |  Broken (12)  |  Case (98)  |  Disappear (29)  |  Europe (42)  |  Feeling (91)  |  Germany (12)  |  Habit (104)  |  Merge (3)  |  Misuse (10)  |  National (25)  |  Power (355)  |  Ruler (15)  |  See (368)  |  Thorough (17)  |  Willing (8)

Much wisdom goes with fewest words.
Sophocles
In Hialmer Day Gould, New Practical Spelling (1905), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Fewest (3)  |  Wisdom (178)

My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.
In Fact and Faith (1934), vi.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (149)  |  Affair (29)  |  Angel (30)  |  Assumption (57)  |  Atheist (15)  |  Career (57)  |  Course (83)  |  Devil (21)  |  Dishonesty (9)  |  Experiment (596)  |  God (528)  |  Intellect (187)  |  Interference (12)  |  Justification (38)  |  Practice (90)  |  Profession (59)  |  Science And Religion (299)  |  Scientist (511)  |  Success (245)

Never fear big long words.
Big long words name little things.
All big things have little names.
Such as life and death, peace and war.
Or dawn, day, night, hope, love, home.
Learn to use little words in a big way.
It is hard to do,
But they say what you mean.
When you don't know what you mean, use big words.
That often fools little people.
Quoted in Saturday Review (1962), 45, No. 2. It was written (1936) for his son, as advice for young copy writers. - 1995
Science quotes on:  |  Big (48)  |  Fear (140)  |  Fool (83)  |  Learning (177)  |  Little (182)  |  Name (164)  |  Never (26)  |  Poem (91)  |  Publication (90)  |  Writing (76)

No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (47)  |  Feel (164)  |  Fill (58)  |  Gospel (8)  |  Jesus (9)  |  Life (1113)  |  Myth (48)  |  Personality (47)  |  Presence (33)  |  Read (141)

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
From his autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams (1907, 1918), 451.
Science quotes on:  |  Mean (101)  |  Say (226)  |  Slippery (2)  |  Thought (531)

Nonmathematical people sometimes ask me, “You know math, huh? Tell me something I’ve always wondered, What is infinity divided by infinity?” I can only reply, “The words you just uttered do not make sense. That was not a mathematical sentence. You spoke of ‘infinity’ as if it were a number. It’s not. You may as well ask, 'What is truth divided by beauty?’ I have no clue. I only know how to divide numbers. ‘Infinity,’ ‘truth,’ ‘beauty’—those are not numbers.”
From Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (2003), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (236)  |  Divided (3)  |  Infinity (72)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Number (275)  |  Question (399)  |  Reply (24)  |  Sense (310)  |  Sentence (28)  |  Truth (901)

Now the whole earth had one language and few words… . Then they said, Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth… .
Bible
(circa 725 B.C.)
Science quotes on:  |  Babel (3)  |  City (47)  |  Earth (632)  |  Heaven (150)  |  Language (214)  |  Scatter (6)  |  Speech (46)  |  Tower (17)

Objections … inspired Kronecker and others to attack Weierstrass’ “sequential” definition of irrationals. Nevertheless, right or wrong, Weierstrass and his school made the theory work. The most useful results they obtained have not yet been questioned, at least on the ground of their great utility in mathematical analysis and its implications, by any competent judge in his right mind. This does not mean that objections cannot be well taken: it merely calls attention to the fact that in mathematics, as in everything else, this earth is not yet to be confused with the Kingdom of Heaven, that perfection is a chimaera, and that, in the words of Crelle, we can only hope for closer and closer approximations to mathematical truth—whatever that may be, if anything—precisely as in the Weierstrassian theory of convergent sequences of rationals defining irrationals.
In Men of Mathematics (1937), 431-432.
Science quotes on:  |  Approximation (22)  |  Attack (39)  |  Attention (113)  |  Chimera (8)  |  Close (66)  |  Competent (18)  |  Confuse (18)  |  Convergent (3)  |  Define (49)  |  Definition (190)  |  Earth (632)  |  Great (517)  |  Ground (88)  |  Hope (174)  |  Implication (22)  |  Inspire (49)  |  Irrational (11)  |  Judge (60)  |  Kingdom Of Heaven (2)  |  Leopold Kronecker (6)  |  Mathematical Analysis (12)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Objection (18)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Perfection (87)  |  Precise (33)  |  Question (399)  |  Rational (54)  |  Result (361)  |  Right (192)  |  School (115)  |  Sequence (40)  |  Sequential (2)  |  Theory (687)  |  Truth (901)  |  Useful (97)  |  Utility (33)  |  Karl Weierstrass (6)  |  Work (615)  |  Wrong (137)

Oh, that my words were now written! Oh, that they were printed in a book! That with an graven with an iron pen and lead, in the rock for ever!
Bible
Reference to the antiquity of iron and lead, from Job 19:23-24, in The Holy Bible (1746), 473.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (255)  |  Engraving (2)  |  Iron (64)  |  Pen (12)  |  Printing (13)  |  Writing (76)

Once early in the morning, at two or three in the morning, when the master was asleep, the books in the library began to quarrel with each other as to which was the king of the library. The dictionary contended quite angrily that he was the master of the library because without words there would be no communication at all. The book of science argued stridently that he was the master of the library for without science there would have been no printing press or any of the other wonders of the world. The book of poetry claimed that he was the king, the master of the library, because he gave surcease and calm to his master when he was troubled. The books of philosophy, the economic books, all put in their claims, and the clamor was great and the noise at its height when a small low voice was heard from an old brown book lying in the center of the table and the voice said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” And all of the noise and the clamor in the library ceased, and there was a hush in the library, for all of the books knew who the real master of the library was.
'Ministers of Justice', address delivered to the Eighty-Second Annual Convention of the Tennessee Bar Association at Gatlinburg (5 Jun 1963). In Tennessee Law Review (Fall 1963), 31, No. 1, 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Anger (16)  |  Bible (90)  |  Book (255)  |  Calm (22)  |  Cease (37)  |  Claim (67)  |  Clamor (7)  |  Communication (75)  |  Dictionary (14)  |  Economics (34)  |  King (32)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Library (40)  |  Lord (16)  |  Master (93)  |  Noise (31)  |  Philosophy (251)  |  Poetry (119)  |  Printing Press (3)  |  Quarrel (10)  |  Science (2017)  |  Shepherd (6)  |  Voice (50)  |  Wonder (168)  |  World (877)

Once when lecturing to a class he [Lord Kelvin] used the word “mathematician,” and then interrupting himself asked his class: “Do you know what a mathematician is?” Stepping to the blackboard he wrote upon it:— [an integral expression equal to the square root of pi]
Then putting his finger on what he had written, he turned to his class and said: “A mathematician is one to whom that is as obvious as that twice two makes four is to you. Liouville was a mathematician.”
In Life of Lord Kelvin (1910), 1139.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (156)  |  Blackboard (8)  |  Class (83)  |  Equal (76)  |  Expression (103)  |  Finger (43)  |  Integral (13)  |  Interrupt (5)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (64)  |  Know (536)  |  Lecture (67)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Obvious (77)  |  Pi (9)  |  Say (226)  |  Square Root (8)  |  Step (108)  |  Turn (118)  |  Twice (17)  |  Write (150)

One cannot explain words without making incursions into the sciences themselves, as is evident from dictionaries; and, conversely, one cannot present a science without at the same time defining its terms.
'Of the Division of the Sciences' (1765), Book 4, Chap. 21, in New Essays on Human Understanding, trans. and ed. Peter Remnal (1981), 522.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (190)  |  Dictionary (14)  |  Term (119)

One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.
In Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long (1987), 250.
Science quotes on:  |  Engineering (126)  |  Magic (77)  |  Man (373)  |  Null (2)  |  Supernatural (21)

One merit of mathematics few will deny: it says more in fewer words than any other science.
In 'The Poetry of Mathematics', The Mathematics Teacher (May 1926), 19, No. 5, 293. This is a paraphrase from Voltaire: “One merit of poetry few will deny; it says more and in fewer words than prose.”
Science quotes on:  |  Deny (40)  |  Fewer (8)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Merit (32)  |  Say (226)  |  Science (2017)

One of the principal obstacles to the rapid diffusion of a new idea lies in the difficulty of finding suitable expression to convey its essential point to other minds. Words may have to be strained into a new sense, and scientific controversies constantly resolve themselves into differences about the meaning of words. On the other hand, a happy nomenclature has sometimes been more powerful than rigorous logic in allowing a new train of thought to be quickly and generally accepted.
Opening Address to the Annual Meeting of the British Association by Prof. Arthur Schuster, in Nature (4 Aug 1892), 46, 325.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (45)  |  Controversy (19)  |  Convey (16)  |  Difficulty (142)  |  Diffusion (7)  |  Essential (114)  |  Expression (103)  |  Finding (30)  |  Idea (573)  |  Logic (244)  |  Meaning (110)  |  New (477)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Obstacle (31)  |  Point (122)  |  Power (355)  |  Principal (28)  |  Resolution (18)  |  Rigour (15)  |  Sense (310)  |  Suitability (11)  |  Thought (531)

Richard P. Feynman quote: One of the ways of stopping science would be only to do experiments in the region where you know the l
One of the ways of stopping science would be only to do experiments in the region where you know the law. … In other words we are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.
In The Character of Physical Law (1965, 2001), 158.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (596)  |  Finding (30)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Law (511)  |  Possible (152)  |  Progress (360)  |  Proof (242)  |  Quickly (16)  |  Region (35)  |  Science (2017)  |  Trying (19)  |  Wrong (137)

One word characterises the most strenuous of the efforts for the advancement of science that I have made perseveringly during fifty-five years; that word is failure. I know no more of electric and magnetic force, or of the relation between ether, electricity and ponderable matter, or of chemical affinity, than I knew and tried to teach to my students of natural philosophy fifty years ago in my first session as Professor.
Address (16 Jun 1896), at Celebration for his Jubilee as Professor, at Glasgow University. Printed in The Electrician (19 Jun 1896), 37, 247.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (39)  |  Chemical Affinity (2)  |  Effort (143)  |  Electric (15)  |  Electricity (135)  |  Ether (24)  |  Failure (136)  |  Force (248)  |  Know (536)  |  Magnetic (10)  |  Matter (336)  |  Natural Philosophy (28)  |  Persevere (5)  |  Professor (54)  |  Relation (146)  |  Science (2017)  |  Student (198)  |  Teach (177)

Our country is now at war and the only way out is forward. I would not change one word I have spoken against war but that is no longer the issue. We must now stand together.
As quoted in 'David Starr Jordan Dies at Age of 80', New York Times (20 Sep 1931), N6.
Science quotes on:  |  Country (142)  |  Speak (87)  |  Stand (106)  |  Together (75)  |  War (161)

Philosophy [the universe] is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes ... We cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in the mathematical language ... without whose help it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word of it, and without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Book (255)  |  Comprehend (38)  |  Dark (75)  |  Eye (215)  |  First (306)  |  Grasp (59)  |  Great (517)  |  Help (99)  |  Humanly (4)  |  Impossible (106)  |  Labyrinth (9)  |  Language (214)  |  Learn (277)  |  Lie (114)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Philosophy (251)  |  Single (118)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Understand (320)  |  Universe (678)  |  Vain (29)  |  Wander (20)  |  Write (150)

Physicists are, as a general rule, highbrows. They think and talk in long, Latin words, and when they write anything down they usually include at least one partial differential and three Greek letters.
In 'A Newsman Looks at Physicists', Physics Today (May 1948), 1, No. 1, 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Differential (7)  |  Greek (69)  |  Latin (33)  |  Letter (50)  |  Long (167)  |  Partial (10)  |  Physicist (159)  |  Talk (97)  |  Think (338)  |  Write (150)

Plasticity, then, in the wide sense of the word, means the possession of a structure weak enough to yield to an influence, but strong enough not to yield all at once. Each relatively stable phase of equilibrium in such a structure is marked by what we may call a new set of habits. Organic matter, especially nervous tissue, seems endowed with a very extraordinary degree of plasticity of this sort ; so that we may without hesitation lay down as our first proposition the following, that the phenomena of habit in living beings are due to plasticity of the organic materials of which their bodies are composed.
'The Laws of Habit', The Popular Science Monthly (Feb 1887), 434.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (240)  |  Composition (54)  |  Endow (14)  |  Equilibrium (18)  |  Extraordinary (43)  |  Habit (104)  |  Influence (136)  |  Matter (336)  |  Nerve (69)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Organic (54)  |  Phase (16)  |  Phenomenon (274)  |  Plasticity (5)  |  Stable (17)  |  Strong (71)  |  Structure (219)  |  Tissue (27)  |  Weak (42)  |  Yield (35)

Preconceived ideas are like searchlights which illumine the path of experimenter and serve him as a guide to interrogate nature. They become a danger only if he transforms them into fixed ideas – this is why I should like to see these profound words inscribed on the threshold of all the temples of science: “The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.”
Speech (8 Jul 1876), to the French Academy of Medicine. As translated in René J. Dubos, Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science (1950, 1986), 376. Date of speech identified in Maurice B. Strauss, Familiar Medical Quotations (1968), 502.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (500)  |  Danger (77)  |  Derangement (2)  |  Experimenter (20)  |  Fixed (15)  |  Guide (62)  |  Idea (573)  |  Illuminate (24)  |  Interrogate (3)  |  Mind (733)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Path (83)  |  Preconceive (3)  |  Profound (57)  |  Science (2017)  |  Searchlight (4)  |  Temple (25)  |  Threshold (7)  |  Transform (35)  |  Wish (91)

Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator and change has its enemies.
In The Pursuit of Justice (1964), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (358)  |  Enemy (60)  |  Motivator (2)  |  Nice (12)  |  Progress (360)

Psychogenesis has led to man. Now it effaces itself, relieved or absorbed by another and a higher function—the engendering and subsequent development of the mind, in one word noogenesis. When for the first time in a living creature instinct perceived itself in its own mirror, the whole world took a pace forward.
In Teilhard de Chardin and Bernard Wall (trans.), The Phenomenon of Man (1959, 2008), 181. Originally published in French as Le Phénomene Humain (1955).
Science quotes on:  |  Absorbed (3)  |  Creature (153)  |  Development (270)  |  Engendering (3)  |  First (306)  |  Forward (36)  |  Function (127)  |  Higher (36)  |  Instinct (63)  |  Living (56)  |  Mind (733)  |  Mirror (29)  |  Pace (8)  |  Perceived (4)  |  Subsequent (19)  |  Time (586)  |  Whole (186)  |  World (877)

Psychologists … have found that people making an argument or a supposedly factual claim can manipulate us by the words they choose and the way they present their case. We can’t avoid letting language do our thinking for us, but we can become more aware of how and when language is steering us toward a conclusion that, upon reflection, we might choose to reject.
As co-author with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, in unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation (2007), 70.
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (156)  |  Fact (717)  |  Language (214)  |  Manipulate (6)  |  Psychology (142)  |  Reflection (58)  |  Reject (28)  |  Thinking (228)

Questions that pertain to the foundations of mathematics, although treated by many in recent times, still lack a satisfactory solution. Ambiguity of language is philosophy's main source of problems. That is why it is of the utmost importance to examine attentively the very words we use.
Arithmetices Principia, (1889)
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (1130)

Rulers and generals muster their troops. Magnates muster the sums of money which give them power. The fascist dictators muster the irrational human reactions which make it possible for them to attain and maintain their power over the masses. The scientists muster knowledge and means of research. But, thus far, no organization fighting for freedom has ever mustered the biological arsenal where the weapons are to be found for the establishment and the maintenance of human freedom. All precision of our social existence notwithstanding, there is as yet no definition of the word freedom which would be in keeping with natural science. No word is more misused and misunderstood. To define freedom is the same as to define sexual health. But nobody will openly admit this. The advocacy of personal and social freedom is connected with anxiety and guilt feelings. As if to be free were a sin or at least not quite as it should be. Sex-economy makes this guilt feeling comprehensible: freedom without sexual self-determination is in itself a contradiction. But to be sexual means—according to the prevailing human structure—to be sinful or guilty. There are very few people who experience sexual love without guilt feeling. “Free love” has acquired a degrading meaning: it lost the meaning given it by the old fighters for freedom. In films and in books, to be genital and to be criminal are presented as the same thing.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accord (36)  |  Acquire (37)  |  Admit (44)  |  Anxiety (19)  |  Arsenal (6)  |  Attain (41)  |  Biological (35)  |  Book (255)  |  Comprehensible (4)  |  Connect (29)  |  Contradiction (51)  |  Criminal (15)  |  Define (49)  |  Definition (190)  |  Degrade (7)  |  Dictator (4)  |  Establishment (34)  |  Existence (294)  |  Experience (329)  |  Far (154)  |  Fascist (2)  |  Feel (164)  |  Feelings (14)  |  Fight (43)  |  Fighter (4)  |  Film (10)  |  Find (400)  |  Free (88)  |  Freedom (100)  |  General (154)  |  Give (197)  |  Guilt (9)  |  Guilty (8)  |  Health (151)  |  Human (544)  |  Irrational (11)  |  Keep (97)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Least (72)  |  Lose (91)  |  Love (214)  |  Maintain (32)  |  Maintenance (13)  |  Mass (76)  |  Mean (101)  |  Means (167)  |  Misunderstand (4)  |  Misuse (10)  |  Money (140)  |  Muster (2)  |  Natural Science (87)  |  Nobody (47)  |  Old (143)  |  Openly (2)  |  Organization (84)  |  People (382)  |  Personal (65)  |  Possible (152)  |  Power (355)  |  Precision (49)  |  Present (173)  |  Prevail (16)  |  Reaction (61)  |  Research (583)  |  Ruler (15)  |  Same (154)  |  Scientist (511)  |  Sexual (4)  |  Sin (30)  |  Sinful (2)  |  Social (107)  |  Structure (219)  |  Sum (41)  |  Troop (5)  |  Weapon (66)

Science and mathematics [are] much more compelling and exciting than the doctrines of pseudoscience, whose practitioners were condemned as early as the fifth century B.C. by the Ionian philosopher Heraclitus as “night walkers, magicians, priests of Bacchus, priestesses of the wine-vat, mystery-mongers.” But science is more intricate and subtle, reveals a much richer universe, and powerfully evokes our sense of wonder. And it has the additional and important virtue—to whatever extent the word has any meaning—of being true.
Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science (1979, 1986), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Bacchus (2)  |  Compelling (8)  |  Condemnation (15)  |  Doctrine (74)  |  Exciting (17)  |  Extent (49)  |  Heraclitus (15)  |  Important (200)  |  Intricate (21)  |  Magician (13)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Philosopher (163)  |  Priest (19)  |  Priestess (2)  |  Pseudoscience (16)  |  Science (2017)  |  Subtle (33)  |  Truth (901)  |  Virtue (61)

Science cannot tell us a word about why music delights us, of why and how an old song can move us to tears.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Delight (64)  |  Move (92)  |  Music (95)  |  Old (143)  |  Science (2017)  |  Song (27)  |  Tear (22)  |  Tell (108)

Science has hitherto been proceeding without the guidance of any rational theory of logic, and has certainly made good progress. It is like a computer who is pursuing some method of arithmetical approximation. Even if he occasionally makes mistakes in his ciphering, yet if the process is a good one they will rectify themselves. But then he would approximate much more rapidly if he did not commit these errors; and in my opinion, the time has come when science ought to be provided with a logic. My theory satisfies me; I can see no flaw in it. According to that theory universality, necessity, exactitude, in the absolute sense of these words, are unattainable by us, and do not exist in nature. There is an ideal law to which nature approximates; but to express it would require an endless series of modifications, like the decimals expressing surd. Only when you have asked a question in so crude a shape that continuity is not involved, is a perfectly true answer attainable.
Letter to G. F. Becker, 11 June 1893. Merrill Collection, Library of Congress. Quoted in Nathan Reingold, Science in Nineteenth-Century America: A Documentary History (1966), 231-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (96)  |  Answer (243)  |  Approximation (22)  |  Arithmetic (114)  |  Attainment (40)  |  Commitment (20)  |  Computer (103)  |  Crudity (4)  |  Decimal (14)  |  Endless (28)  |  Error (272)  |  Exactitude (8)  |  Existence (294)  |  Flaw (10)  |  Good (336)  |  Guidance (20)  |  Hitherto (6)  |  Ideal (69)  |  Logic (244)  |  Method (225)  |  Modification (34)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Necessity (141)  |  Opinion (173)  |  Perfection (87)  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Progress (360)  |  Provision (16)  |  Pursuit (76)  |  Question (399)  |  Rapidity (16)  |  Rationality (15)  |  Satisfaction (56)  |  Science (2017)  |  Sense (310)  |  Series (50)  |  Theory (687)  |  Time (586)  |  Time Has Come (8)  |  Truth (901)  |  Universality (12)

Science in the modern world has many uses, its chief use, however, is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich. The word “kleptomania” is a vulgar example of what I mean.
From 'Celts and Celtophiles', in Heretics (1905, 1909), 171.
Science quotes on:  |  Chief (37)  |  Cover (37)  |  Error (272)  |  Long (167)  |  Modern (156)  |  Provision (16)  |  Rich (61)  |  Use (76)  |  World (877)

Science says the first word on everything, and the last word on nothing.
In Victor Hugo and Lorenzo O'Rourke (trans.) Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography: (Postscriptum de ma vie) (1907), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Last Word (9)  |  Science (2017)

Scientists often invent words to fill the holes in their understanding.These words are meant as conveniences until real understanding can be found. … Words such as dimension and field and infinity … are not descriptions of reality, yet we accept them as such because everyone is sure someone else knows what the words mean.
In God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment (2004), 20-21.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (45)  |  Convenience (32)  |  Description (81)  |  Dimension (38)  |  Everyone (34)  |  Field (170)  |  Fill (58)  |  Hole (15)  |  Infinity (72)  |  Invention (316)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Reality (184)  |  Sure (14)  |  Understanding (325)

Sin is commitable in thought, word or deed; so is virtue.
Science quotes on:  |  Deed (21)  |  Sin (30)  |  Thought (531)  |  Virtue (61)

Since it is necessary for specific ideas to have definite and consequently as far as possible selected terms, I have proposed to call substances of similar composition and dissimilar properties isomeric, from the Greek ίσομερης (composed of equal parts).
Jahrebericht (1832). As translated in Henry M. Leicester and Herbert S. Klickstein, A Source Book in Chemistry 1400-1900 (1952), 265.
Science quotes on:  |  Composition (54)  |  Dissimilar (6)  |  Greek (69)  |  Idea (573)  |  Isomer (5)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Property (122)  |  Similar (34)  |  Substance (84)  |  Term (119)

Something to remember. If you have remembered every word in this article, your memory will have recorded about 150 000 bits of information. Thus, the order in your brain will have increased by about 150 000 units. However, while you have been reading the article, you will have converted about 300 000 joules of ordered energy, in the form of food, into disordered energy, in the form of heat which you lose to the air around you by convection and sweat. This will increase the disorder of the Universe by about 3 x 1024 units, about 20 million million million times the increase in order because you remember my article.
An afterword to his three-page article discussing thermodynamics and entropy, in 'The Direction of Time', New Scientist (9 Jul 1987), 49.
Science quotes on:  |  Article (22)  |  Bit (22)  |  Brain (209)  |  Convection (2)  |  Convert (22)  |  Disorder (22)  |  Energy (214)  |  Food (150)  |  Heat (100)  |  Increase (143)  |  Information (117)  |  Joule (2)  |  Memory (105)  |  Million (108)  |  Order (238)  |  Record (67)  |  Remember (79)  |  Sweat (15)  |  Time (586)  |  Universe (678)

Spoken words are the symbols of mental experience, and written words are the symbols of spoken words.
Aristotle
In De Interpretatione, translated by E.M. Edghill in On Interpretation, Chap. 1, second sentence.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (329)  |  Mental (77)  |  Spoken (2)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Written (5)

Study the hindrances, acquaint yourself with the causes which have led up to the disease. Don’t guess at them, but know them through and through if you can; and if you do not know them, know that you do not, and still inquire. “Cannot” is a word for the idle, the indifferent, the self-satisfied, but it is not admissible in science. “I do not know” is manly if it does not stop there, but to say “I cannot” is a judgment both entirely illogical, and in itself bad as favouring rest in ignorance.
In Sir William Withey Gull and Theodore Dyke Acland (ed.), A Collection of the Published Writings of William Withey Gull (1896), lix.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaint (9)  |  Admissible (3)  |  Bad (97)  |  Cause (283)  |  Diagnosis (62)  |  Disease (275)  |  Favor (30)  |  Guess (48)  |  Hindrance (6)  |  Idle (14)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Illogical (2)  |  Indifferent (16)  |  Inquire (9)  |  Judgment (96)  |  Know (536)  |  Manly (2)  |  Rest (92)  |  Say (226)  |  Science (2017)  |  Self-Satisfied (2)  |  Stop (73)  |  Study (456)

Such is the substance of my faith; and if I were to sum up my credo in a single word, it would be that proud motto of Fustel de Coulanges, Quaero, I seek to learn.
From Conclusion of Presidential Address (29 Dec 1950) read at the annual dinner of the American Historical Association, Chicago, 'Faith of a Historian', The American Historical Review (Jan 1951), 56, No. 2, 261-275.
Science quotes on:  |  Faith (156)  |  Learn (277)  |  Motto (28)  |  Pride (64)  |  Seek (101)  |  Single (118)  |  Substance (84)  |  Sum Up (3)

Teaching a school is but another word for sure and not very slow destruction.
In Thomas Carlyle and ‎Charles Eliot Norton (ed.), Early Letters of Thomas Carlyle (1886), Vol. 1, 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Destruction (85)  |  School (115)  |  Slow (54)  |  Teach (177)

That small word “Force,” they make a barber's block,
Ready to put on
Meanings most strange and various, fit to shock
Pupils of Newton....
The phrases of last century in this
Linger to play tricks—
Vis viva and Vis Mortua and Vis Acceleratrix:
Those long-nebbed words that to our text books still
Cling by their titles,
And from them creep, as entozoa will,
Into our vitals.
But see! Tait writes in lucid symbols clear
One small equation;
And Force becomes of Energy a mere
Space-variation.
'Report on Tait's Lecture on Force:— B.A., 1876', reproduced in Bruce Clarke, Energy Forms: Allegory and Science in the Era of Classical Thermodynamics (2001), 19. Maxwell's verse was inspired by a paper delivered at the British Association (B.A.. He was satirizing a “considerable cofusion of nomenclature” at the time, and supported his friend Tait's desire to establish a redefinition of energy on a thermnodynamic basis.
Science quotes on:  |  Barber (5)  |  Block (12)  |  Clarity (40)  |  Clinging (3)  |  Creeping (4)  |  Energy (214)  |  Equation (91)  |  Force (248)  |  Lingering (2)  |  Lucidity (5)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (327)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Phrase (25)  |  Play (109)  |  Poem (91)  |  Pupil (29)  |  Shock (13)  |  Space (256)  |  Strange (89)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Peter Guthrie Tait (8)  |  Textbook (27)  |  Title (18)  |  Trick (24)  |  Variation (60)  |  Various (46)  |  Vital (38)

The arithmetization of mathematics … which began with Weierstrass … had for its object the separation of purely mathematical concepts, such as number and correspondence and aggregate, from intuitional ideas, which mathematics had acquired from long association with geometry and mechanics. These latter, in the opinion of the formalists, are so firmly entrenched in mathematical thought that in spite of the most careful circumspection in the choice of words, the meaning concealed behind these words, may influence our reasoning. For the trouble with human words is that they possess content, whereas the purpose of mathematics is to construct pure thought. But how can we avoid the use of human language? The … symbol. Only by using a symbolic language not yet usurped by those vague ideas of space, time, continuity which have their origin in intuition and tend to obscure pure reason—only thus may we hope to build mathematics on the solid foundation of logic.
In Tobias Dantzig and Joseph Mazur (ed.), Number: The Language of Science (1930, ed. by Joseph Mazur 2007), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (37)  |  Aggregate (14)  |  Association (20)  |  Avoid (50)  |  Begin (104)  |  Behind (38)  |  Build (113)  |  Careful (24)  |  Choice (78)  |  Circumspection (3)  |  Conceal (17)  |  Concept (142)  |  Construct (40)  |  Content (62)  |  Continuity (29)  |  Correspondence (15)  |  Entrench (2)  |  Firmly (6)  |  Foundation (105)  |  Geometry (213)  |  Hope (174)  |  Human (544)  |  Idea (573)  |  Influence (136)  |  Intuition (57)  |  Language (214)  |  Latter (20)  |  Logic (244)  |  Long (167)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Mean (101)  |  Mechanics (54)  |  Number (275)  |  Object (167)  |  Obscure (30)  |  Opinion (173)  |  Origin (86)  |  Possess (48)  |  Pure (97)  |  Purpose (188)  |  Reason (449)  |  Separation (36)  |  Solid (50)  |  Space (256)  |  Spite (13)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Thought (531)  |  Time (586)  |  Trouble (71)  |  Vague (25)  |  Karl Weierstrass (6)

The animals of the Burgess Shale are holy objects–in the unconventional sense that this word conveys in some cultures. We do not place them on pedestals and worship from afar. We climb mountains and dynamite hillsides to find them. We quarry them, split them, carve them, draw them, and dissect them, struggling to wrest their secrets. We vilify and curse them for their damnable intransigence. They are grubby little creatures of a sea floor 530 million years old, but we greet them with awe because they are the Old Ones, and they are trying to tell us something.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Afar (6)  |  Animal (351)  |  Awe (33)  |  Carve (5)  |  Climb (34)  |  Convey (16)  |  Creature (153)  |  Culture (101)  |  Curse (15)  |  Dissection (28)  |  Draw (53)  |  Dynamite (6)  |  Find (400)  |  Floor (19)  |  Greet (6)  |  Hillside (4)  |  Holy (17)  |  Intransigence (2)  |  Little (182)  |  Million (108)  |  Mountain (144)  |  Object (167)  |  Old (143)  |  Pedestal (2)  |  Place (171)  |  Quarry (11)  |  Sea (186)  |  Secret (129)  |  Sense (310)  |  Split (12)  |  Struggle (76)  |  Tell (108)  |  Try (139)  |  Unconventional (4)  |  Vilify (2)  |  Worship (24)  |  Wrest (3)  |  Year (297)

The art of those who govern…, consists above all in the science of employing words.
From the original French, “L’art des gouvernants…, consiste surtout a savoir manier les mots,” in Psychologie des Foules (1895), 95. English text in The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1897), Book 2. Chap. 2, 101.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (280)  |  Employ (35)  |  Govern (26)  |  Politics (94)  |  Science (2017)

The dexterous management of terms and being able to fend and prove with them, I know has and does pass in the world for a great part of learning; but it is learning distinct from knowledge, for knowledge consists only in perceiving the habitudes and relations of ideas one to another, which is done without words; the intervention of sounds helps nothing to it. And hence we see that there is least use of distinction where there is most knowledge: I mean in mathematics, where men have determined ideas with known names to them; and so, there being no room for equivocations, there is no need of distinctions.
In Conduct of the Understanding, Sect. 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Consist (45)  |  Determine (71)  |  Distinct (44)  |  Distinction (44)  |  Great (517)  |  Habit (104)  |  Help (99)  |  Idea (573)  |  Intervention (12)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Learn (277)  |  Least (72)  |  Management (12)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Mean (101)  |  Name (164)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (72)  |  Need (275)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Part (216)  |  Pass (90)  |  Perceive (39)  |  Prove (107)  |  Relation (146)  |  Room (38)  |  See (368)  |  Sound (86)  |  Term (119)  |  World (877)

The Earth was small, light blue, and so touchingly alone, our home that must be defended like a holy relic. The Earth was absolutely round. I believe I never knew what the word round meant until I saw Earth from space.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (38)  |  Alone (100)  |  Belief (500)  |  Blue (56)  |  Defend (28)  |  Earth (632)  |  Holy (17)  |  Home (83)  |  Know (536)  |  Light (345)  |  Mean (101)  |  Relic (6)  |  Round (26)  |  See (368)  |  Small (160)  |  Space (256)

The energy of a covalent bond is largely the energy of resonance of two electrons between two atoms. The examination of the form of the resonance integral shows that the resonance energy increases in magnitude with increase in the overlapping of the two atomic orbitals involved in the formation of the bond, the word ‘overlapping” signifying the extent to which regions in space in which the two orbital wave functions have large values coincide... Consequently it is expected that of two orbitals in an atom the one which can overlap more with an orbital of another atom will form the stronger bond with that atom, and, moreover, the bond formed by a given orbital will tend to lie in that direction in which the orbital is concentrated.
Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals (1939), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (280)  |  Bond (26)  |  Concentration (18)  |  Conincidence (4)  |  Direction (73)  |  Electron (72)  |  Energy (214)  |  Examination (65)  |  Expectation (54)  |  Extent (49)  |  Formation (58)  |  Increase (143)  |  Integral (13)  |  Magnitude (41)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Orbital (2)  |  Overlap (6)  |  Region (35)  |  Resonance (2)  |  Significance (71)  |  Strength (78)  |  Value (234)

The first objection to Darwinism is that it is only a guess and was never anything more. It is called a “hypothesis,” but the word “hypothesis,” though euphonioous, dignified and high-sounding, is merely a scientific synonym for the old-fashioned word “guess.” If Darwin had advanced his views as a guess they would not have survived for a year, but they have floated for half a century, buoyed up by the inflated word “hypothesis.” When it is understood that “hypothesis” means “guess,” people will inspect it more carefully before accepting it.
'God and Evolution', New York Times (26 Feb 1922), 84. Rebuttals were printed a few days later from Henry Fairfield Osborn and Edwin Grant Conklin.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (45)  |  Charles Darwin (300)  |  Dignity (22)  |  Evolution (530)  |  Guess (48)  |  Hypothesis (249)  |  Old-Fashioned (5)  |  Survival (57)  |  Synonym (2)

The flights of the imagination which occur to the pure mathematician are in general so much better described in his formulas than in words, that it is not remarkable to find the subject treated by outsiders as something essentially cold and uninteresting— … the only successful attempt to invest mathematical reasoning with a halo of glory—that made in this section by Prof. Sylvester—is known to a comparative few, …
In Presidential Address British Association for the Advancement of Science (1871), Nature Vol. 4, 271,
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (119)  |  Better (185)  |  Cold (58)  |  Comparative (13)  |  Describe (55)  |  Essentially (14)  |  Find (400)  |  Flight (63)  |  Formula (78)  |  General (154)  |  Glory (57)  |  Halo (5)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Invest (12)  |  Know (536)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Modern Mathematics (33)  |  Occur (43)  |  Outsider (6)  |  Prof (2)  |  Pure (97)  |  Reason (449)  |  Remarkable (48)  |  Section (11)  |  Subject (231)  |  Successful (39)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (48)  |  Treat (33)  |  Uninteresting (6)

The Greeks have given us one of the most beautiful words of our language, the word “enthusiasm” – a God within. The grandeur of the acts of men is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a God within!
Speech (27 Apr 1882) on his reception into the Académie Française, as translated in Maurice Benjamin Strauss, Familiar Medical Quotations (1968), 490.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (137)  |  Enthusiasm (41)  |  Greek (69)  |  Inspiration (58)  |  Language (214)

The history of the word sankhyā shows the intimate connection which has existed for more than 3000 years in the Indian mind between ‘adequate knowledge’ and ‘number.’ As we interpret it, the fundamental aim of statistics is to give determinate and adequate knowledge of reality with the help of numbers and numerical analysis. The ancient Indian word Sankhyā embodies the same idea, and this is why we have chosen this name for the Indian Journal of Statistics.
Editorial, Vol. 1, Part 1, in the new statistics journal of the Indian Statistical Institute, Sankhayā (1933). Also reprinted in Sankhyā: The Indian Journal of Statistics (Feb 2003), 65, No. 1, xii.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequate (24)  |  Aim (85)  |  Ancient (102)  |  Connection (106)  |  Determinate (6)  |  Embody (16)  |  Fundamental (153)  |  Help (99)  |  History (366)  |  India (16)  |  Interpret (17)  |  Journal (18)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Mind (733)  |  Name (164)  |  Number (275)  |  Reality (184)  |  Statistics (147)

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 (78)  |  Obstruct (3)  |  Understand (320)  |  Unfit (11)  |  Wonderful (58)

The images evoked by words being independent of their sense, they vary from age to age and from people to people, the formulas remaining identical. Certain transitory images are attached to certain words: the word is merely as it were the button of an electric bell that calls them up.
From Psychologie des Foules (1895), 91. English text in The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1897), Book 2, Chap. 2, 97. The original French text is, “Les images évoquées par les mots étant indépendantes de leur sens, varient d’âge en âge, de peuple à peuple, sous l’identité des formules. A certains mots s’attachent transitoirement certaines images: le mot n’est que le bouton d’appel qui les fait apparaître.” Notice the original French, “le bouton d’appel” translates more directly as “call button” and “of an electric bell” is added in translation for clarity, but is not in the French text. The ending could also be translated as “that makes them appear.”
Science quotes on:  |  Age (174)  |  Attach (13)  |  Bell (15)  |  Button (4)  |  Call (126)  |  Electric (15)  |  Evoke (7)  |  Formula (78)  |  Identical (19)  |  Image (55)  |  Independent (65)  |  Mere (74)  |  Sense (310)  |  Transitory (4)  |  Vary (24)

The imagination of the crowds … is impressed above all by images. … It is possible to evoke them through the judicious use of words and formulas.
From Psychologie des Foules (1895), 90. English text in The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1897), Book 2, Chap. 2, 95. Original French text: “L’imagination des foules … est impressionnée surtout par des images. … Il est possible de les évoquer par l’emploi judicieux des mots et des formules.” A paraphrase is also seen, without the ellipses, as “Crowds are influenced mainly by images produced by the judicious employment of words and formulas.”
Science quotes on:  |  Crowd (22)  |  Evoke (7)  |  Formula (78)  |  Image (55)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Influence (136)  |  Judicious (3)  |  Use (76)

The impossibility of separating the nomenclature of a science from the science itself, is owing to this, that every branch of physical science must consist of three things; the series of facts which are the objects of the science, the ideas which represent these facts, and the words by which these ideas are expressed. Like three impressions of the same seal, the word ought to produce the idea, and the idea to be a picture of the fact.
Elements of Chemistry (1790), trans. R. Kerr, Preface, xiv.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (717)  |  Idea (573)  |  Impression (68)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Seal (12)

The language of the street is always strong. What can describe the folly and emptiness of scolding like the word jawing?
Science quotes on:  |  Describe (55)  |  Emptiness (10)  |  Folly (32)  |  Jaw (4)  |  Language (214)  |  Scold (6)  |  Street (23)  |  Strong (71)

The losses of the natural world are our loss, their silence silences something within the human mind. Human language is lit with animal life: we play cats-cradle or have hare-brained ideas; we speak of badgering, or outfoxing someone; to squirrel something away and to ferret it out. … When our experience of the wild world shrinks, we no longer fathom the depths of our own words; language loses its lustre and vividness.
In 'Fifty Years On, the Silence of Rachel Carson’s Spring Consumes Us', The Guardian (25 Sep 2012),
Science quotes on:  |  Animal Life (5)  |  Badger (2)  |  Cat (36)  |  Depth (49)  |  Experience (329)  |  Fathom (8)  |  Fox (8)  |  Hare (3)  |  Human Mind (80)  |  Idea (573)  |  Language (214)  |  Lose (91)  |  Loss (73)  |  Lustre (3)  |  Natural World (25)  |  Play (109)  |  Shrink (15)  |  Silence (43)  |  Squirrel (7)  |  Wild (48)

The magic words are squeamish ossifrage.
With co-authors A. Shamir, and L. Adleman. This sentence is the decoded result from factoring a 129-digit composite number known as RSA-129. (RSA is formed from the initials of the authors’ last names.) The task required some 600 persons using 1,600 computers, linked by the Internet, that worked on the factoring for eight months. The coded message appeared in Martin Gardner, 'Mathematical Games: A New Kind of Cypher That Would Take Millions of Years to Break',Scientific American (Aug 1977), No. 237, 120-124. See Brian Hayes, American Scientist (Jul-Aug 1994), 82, No. 4, 312-316.
Science quotes on:  |  Magic (77)

The mathematically formulated laws of quantum theory show clearly that our ordinary intuitive concepts cannot be unambiguously applied to the smallest particles. All the words or concepts we use to describe ordinary physical objects, such as position, velocity, color, size, and so on, become indefinite and problematic if we try to use them of elementary particles.
In Across the Frontiers (1974), 114.
Science quotes on:  |  Apply (71)  |  Become (173)  |  Color (98)  |  Concept (142)  |  Describe (55)  |  Elementary (45)  |  Formulate (14)  |  Indefinite (8)  |  Intuitive (12)  |  Law (511)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Object (167)  |  Particle (99)  |  Physical (127)  |  Position (75)  |  Quantum Theory (57)  |  Size (60)  |  Small (160)  |  Unambiguously (2)  |  Velocity (15)

The mathematician's patterns, like the painter's or the poet's must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colours or the words must fit together in a harmonious way.
In A Mathematician's Apology (1940, reprint with Foreward by C.P. Snow 1992), 85.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (236)  |  Color (98)  |  Harmony (69)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Painter (20)  |  Pattern (78)  |  Poet (78)

The Mathematics, I say, which effectually exercises, not vainly deludes or vexatiously torments studious Minds with obscure Subtilties, perplexed Difficulties, or contentious Disquisitions; which overcomes without Opposition, triumphs without Pomp, compels without Force, and rules absolutely without Loss of Liberty; which does not privately over-reach a weak Faith, but openly assaults an armed Reason, obtains a total Victory, and puts on inevitable Chains; whose Words are so many Oracles, and Works as many Miracles; which blabs out nothing rashly, nor designs anything from the Purpose, but plainly demonstrates and readily performs all Things within its Verge; which obtrudes no false Shadow of Science, but the very Science itself, the Mind firmly adhering to it, as soon as possessed of it, and can never after desert it of its own Accord, or be deprived of it by any Force of others: Lastly the Mathematics, which depends upon Principles clear to the Mind, and agreeable to Experience; which draws certain Conclusions, instructs by profitable Rules, unfolds pleasant Questions; and produces wonderful Effects; which is the fruitful Parent of, I had almost said all, Arts, the unshaken Foundation of Sciences, and the plentiful Fountain of Advantage to human Affairs.
Address to the University of Cambridge upon being elected Lucasian Professor of Mathematics (14 Mar 1664). In Mathematical Lectures (1734), xxviii.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (73)  |  Chain (50)  |  Compel (20)  |  Conclusion (156)  |  Delude (3)  |  Difficulty (142)  |  Estimates of Mathematics (29)  |  Experience (329)  |  Faith (156)  |  False (96)  |  Foundation (105)  |  Fountain (16)  |  Instruction (70)  |  Liberty (25)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Mind (733)  |  Miracle (66)  |  Oracle (4)  |  Pomp (2)  |  Principle (279)  |  Purpose (188)  |  Question (399)  |  Rashly (2)  |  Reason (449)  |  Rule (170)  |  Science (2017)  |  Science And Art (177)  |  Shadow (52)  |  Torment (14)  |  Victory (29)

The method I take to do this is not yet very usual; for instead of using only comparative and superlative Words, and intellectual Arguments, I have taken the course (as a Specimen of the Political Arithmetic I have long aimed at) to express myself in Terms of Number, Weight, or Measure; to use only Arguments of Sense, and to consider only such Causes, as have visible Foundations in Nature.
From Essays in Political Arithmetic (1679, 1755), 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (80)  |  Cause (283)  |  Comparative (13)  |  Considering (6)  |  Expressing (2)  |  Foundation (105)  |  Intellectual (116)  |  Measure (100)  |  Method (225)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Number (275)  |  Political Arithmetic (3)  |  Sense (310)  |  Superlative (3)  |  Term (119)  |  Visible (37)  |  Weight (75)

The nineteenth century planted the words which the twentieth ripened into the atrocities of Stalin and Hitler. There is hardly an atrocity committed in the twentieth century that was not foreshadowed or even advocated by some noble man of words in the nineteenth.
In Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), 40.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (33)  |  Advocate (13)  |  Atrocity (5)  |  Century (130)  |  Commit (21)  |  Foreshadow (4)  |  Hardly (19)  |  Adolf Hitler (19)  |  Nineteenth (6)  |  Noble (50)  |  Plant (198)  |  Ripen (4)  |  Stalin_Joseph (5)

The only distinct meaning of the word “natural” is stated, fixed, or settled; since what is natural as much requires and presupposes an intelligent agent to render it so, i.e. to effect it continually or at stated times, as what is supernatural or miraculous does to effect it for once.
In The Analogy of Revealed Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature (1791), 43. Charles Darwin placed this quote on the title page of his On the Origin of Species.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (32)  |  Effect (164)  |  Fixed (15)  |  Intelligent (47)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Miraculous (10)  |  Natural (161)  |  Presuppose (6)  |  Render (30)  |  Requirement (46)  |  Settled (3)  |  Stated (3)  |  Supernatural (21)

The original question, “Can machines think?,” I believe too meaningless to deserve discussion. Nevertheless I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.
(1950) As quoted in The World of Mathematics (1956), 2083.
Science quotes on:  |  Alter (23)  |  Contradict (11)  |  Machine (154)  |  Opinion (173)  |  Speak (87)  |  Think (338)

The people of Sydney who can speak of my work [on flying-machine models] without a smile are very scarce; it is doubtless the same with American workers. I know that success is dead sure to come, and therefore do not waste time and words in trying to convince unbelievers.
As quoted in Octave Chanute, Progress in Flying Machines (1894), 231.
Science quotes on:  |  American (45)  |  Certain (121)  |  Convince (23)  |  Doubtless (8)  |  Flying Machine (10)  |  Know (536)  |  Model (79)  |  People (382)  |  Same (154)  |  Scarce (8)  |  Smile (19)  |  Speak (87)  |  Success (245)  |  Sydney (2)  |  Time (586)  |  Trying (19)  |  Unbeliever (2)  |  Waste (64)  |  Work (615)  |  Worker (30)

The reasoning of mathematicians is founded on certain and infallible principles. Every word they use conveys a determinate idea, and by accurate definitions they excite the same ideas in the mind of the reader that were in the mind of the writer. When they have defined the terms they intend to make use of, they premise a few axioms, or self-evident principles, that every one must assent to as soon as proposed. They then take for granted certain postulates, that no one can deny them, such as, that a right line may be drawn from any given point to another, and from these plain, simple principles they have raised most astonishing speculations, and proved the extent of the human mind to be more spacious and capacious than any other science.
In Diary, Works (1850), Vol. 2, 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (32)  |  Assent (6)  |  Astonishing (9)  |  Axiom (52)  |  Capacious (2)  |  Certain (121)  |  Convey (16)  |  Define (49)  |  Definition (190)  |  Deny (40)  |  Determinate (6)  |  Draw (53)  |  Excite (15)  |  Extent (49)  |  Founded (20)  |  Give (197)  |  Grant (32)  |  Human Mind (80)  |  Idea (573)  |  Infallible (8)  |  Intend (16)  |  Line (88)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Mind (733)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (72)  |  Plain (31)  |  Point (122)  |  Postulate (31)  |  Premise (25)  |  Principle (279)  |  Propose (23)  |  Prove (107)  |  Raise (34)  |  Reader (37)  |  Reasoning (92)  |  Right (192)  |  Same (154)  |  Science (2017)  |  Self-Evident (12)  |  Simple (169)  |  Soon (34)  |  Spacious (2)  |  Speculation (102)  |  Term (119)  |  Writer (44)

The recent ruling by the Supreme Court restricting obscenity in books, magazines and movies, requires that we re-examine our own journals for lewd contents. The recent chemical literature provides many examples of words and concepts whose double meaning and thinly veiled overtones are an affront to all clean chemists. What must a layman think of ‘coupling constants’, ‘tickling techniques’, or indeed ‘increased overlap’? The bounds of propriety are surely exceeded when heterocyclic chemists discuss homoenolization.
In Chemical Engineering News (8 Oct 1973), 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (255)  |  Chemist (88)  |  Clean (28)  |  Concept (142)  |  Journal (18)  |  Layman (18)  |  Lewd (2)  |  Literature (79)  |  Magazine (24)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Movie (16)  |  Obscenity (2)  |  Overlap (6)  |  Propriety (4)  |  Supreme Court (2)  |  Technique (48)  |  Tickling (2)

The results of mathematics are seldom directly applied; it is the definitions that are really useful. Once you learn the concept of a differential equation, you see differential equations all over, no matter what you do. This you cannot see unless you take a course in abstract differential equations. What applies is the cultural background you get from a course in differential equations, not the specific theorems. If you want to learn French, you have to live the life of France, not just memorize thousands of words. If you want to apply mathematics, you have to live the life of differential equations. When you live this life, you can then go back to molecular biology with a new set of eyes that will see things you could not otherwise see.
In 'A Mathematician's Gossip', Indiscrete Thoughts (2008), 213.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (79)  |  Application (164)  |  Background (30)  |  Concept (142)  |  Course (83)  |  Cultural (23)  |  Definition (190)  |  Differential Equation (13)  |  Directly (21)  |  Eye (215)  |  France (26)  |  French (17)  |  Learn (277)  |  Life (1113)  |  Live (266)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Memorize (3)  |  Molecular Biology (24)  |  New (477)  |  Result (361)  |  See (368)  |  Seldom (28)  |  Specific (35)  |  Theorem (88)  |  Thousand (151)  |  Useful (97)  |  Want (173)

The science of metaphysics promises more than it performs. The study of … metaphysics begins with a torrent of tropes, and a copious current of words, yet loses itself at last, in obscurity and conjecture, like the Niger in his barren deserts of sand.
Reflection 342, in Lacon: or Many things in Few Words; Addressed to Those Who Think (1820), 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Barren (15)  |  Begin (104)  |  Conjecture (32)  |  Copious (2)  |  Current (53)  |  Desert (38)  |  Lose (91)  |  Metaphysic (6)  |  Obscurity (25)  |  Perform (32)  |  Promise (37)  |  Sand (33)  |  Science (2017)  |  Study (456)  |  Torrent (5)

The shortest and surest way of arriving at real knowledge is to unlearn the lessons we have been taught, to remount to first principles, and take no body’s word about them.
In Letters, on the Spirit of Patriotism: On the Idea of a Patriot King (1749), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (64)  |  Arriving (2)  |  First (306)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Lesson (41)  |  Mount (10)  |  Nobody (47)  |  Principle (279)  |  Real (144)  |  Shortest (2)  |  Surest (5)  |  Taught (4)  |  Unlearn (5)

The story is told of Lord Kelvin, a famous Scotch physicist of the last century, that after he had given a lecture on atoms and molecules, one of his students came to him with the question, “Professor, what is your idea of the structure of the atom.”
“What,” said Kelvin, “The structure of the atom? Why, don’t you know, the very word ‘atom’ means the thing that can’t be cut. How then can it have a structure?”
“That,” remarked the facetious young man, “shows the disadvantage of knowing Greek.”
As described in 'Assault on Atoms' (Read 23 Apr 1931 at Symposium—The Changing World) Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (1931), 70, No. 3, 219.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (280)  |  Century (130)  |  Cut (39)  |  Disadvantage (9)  |  Facetious (2)  |  Greek (69)  |  Idea (573)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (64)  |  Know (536)  |  Lecture (67)  |  Molecule (131)  |  Physicist (159)  |  Professor (54)  |  Question (399)  |  Scottish (2)  |  Story (72)  |  Structure (219)  |  Student (198)

The ten most important two-letter words in the English language: “if it is to be, it is up to me.” …
[Remember] the African parable of the sparrow who while flying through the sky heard a clap of thunder. He fell to the ground with his two little legs sticking up.
An eagle flying nearby saw the sparrow and asked “Hey, man, what’s happening?”
Replied the sparrow, “The sky is falling down.”
Mocked the eagle, “And what are you going to do, hold it up with those two little legs of yours?”
Replied the sparrow, “One does what one can with what one has.”
In address, to the Economic Club of Detroit (14 Jan 1990), 'Where Do We Go From Here?' on the massiechairs.com website.
Science quotes on:  |  African (2)  |  Clap (3)  |  Do (24)  |  Eagle (13)  |  Fall (118)  |  Flying (20)  |  Ground (88)  |  Hear (60)  |  Hold (90)  |  Importance (213)  |  Leg (18)  |  Mocking (4)  |  Parable (4)  |  Sky (124)  |  Sparrow (6)  |  Sticking (3)  |  Thunder (14)

The tendency of the sciences has long been an increasing proclivity of separation and dismemberment … The mathematician turns away from the chemist; the chemist from the naturalist; the mathematician, left to himself divides himself into a pure mathematician and a mixed mathematician, who soon part company … And thus science, even mere physical science, loses all traces of unity. A curious illustration of this result may be observed in the want of any name by which we can designate the students of the knowledge of the material world collectively. We are informed that this difficulty was felt very oppressively by the members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, at their meetings at York, Oxford and Cambridge, in the last three summers. There was no general term by which these gentlemen could describe themselves with reference to their pursuits … some ingenious gentleman [William Whewell] proposed that, by analogy with artist, they might form Scientist, and added that there could be no scruple … when we have words such as sciolist, economist, and atheist—but this was not generally palatable.
In Review of Mrs Somerville, 'On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences', The Quarterly Review (1834), 51, 58-61.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (56)  |  Artist (60)  |  Atheist (15)  |  Chemist (88)  |  Description (81)  |  Designation (9)  |  Difficulty (142)  |  Dismemberment (3)  |  Division (33)  |  Economist (17)  |  Illustration (28)  |  Ingenious (25)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Name (164)  |  Naturalist (54)  |  Palatable (2)  |  Physical Science (65)  |  Proposal (11)  |  Scientist (511)  |  Term (119)  |  William Whewell (69)

The term ecology comes from the Greek word oikos, and means ‘the household.’ Ecological responsibility, then, begins at home and expands to fill the entire planet.
The Green Lifestyle Handbook
Science quotes on:  |  Begin (104)  |  Ecological (7)  |  Ecology (68)  |  Entire (46)  |  Expand (22)  |  Fill (58)  |  Greek (69)  |  Home (83)  |  Household (8)  |  Means (167)  |  Planet (261)  |  Responsibility (54)  |  Term (119)

The ultimate origin of the difficulty lies in the fact (or philosophical principle) that we are compelled to use the words of common language when we wish to describe a phenomenon, not by logical or mathematical analysis, but by a picture appealing to the imagination. Common language has grown by everyday experience and can never surpass these limits. Classical physics has restricted itself to the use of concepts of this kind; by analysing visible motions it has developed two ways of representing them by elementary processes; moving particles and waves. There is no other way of giving a pictorial description of motions—we have to apply it even in the region of atomic processes, where classical physics breaks down.
Max Born
Atomic Physics (1957), 97.
Science quotes on:  |  Classical Physics (5)  |  Language (214)  |  Particle (99)  |  Quantum Physics (16)  |  Wave (67)

The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.
Former governor of Wisconsin, Founder of Earth Day.
Science quotes on:  |  Conscience (38)  |  Future (283)  |  Generation (134)  |  Hearing (28)  |  Sacrifice (32)  |  Test (122)  |  Thanks (8)  |  Ultimate (83)  |  Willingness (9)

The word atom signifies without parts—not to be divided. You divide it in thought; for, if you were to divide it in reality, it would no longer be an atom.
In A Philosophical Dictionary (1824), Vol. 1, 338.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (280)  |  Divide (38)  |  Indivisible (12)  |  Reality (184)  |  Thought (531)

The word which God has written on the brow of every man is Hope.
Les Miserables. Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 142
Science quotes on:  |  Brow (3)  |  God (528)  |  Hope (174)  |  Write (150)

The word “definition” has come to have a dangerously reassuring sound, owing no doubt to its frequent occurrence in logical and mathematical writings.
In 'Two Dogmas of Empiricism', From a Logical Point of View: Nine Logico-Philosophical Essays (1953, 1961), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Dangerous (59)  |  Definition (190)  |  Frequent (18)  |  Logical (51)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Occurrence (32)  |  Reassure (7)  |  Sound (86)  |  Writings (5)

The word “dis-aster,” in fact, means “bad star.”
As quoted in Douglas Martin, 'Kenneth Franklin, Astronomer, Dies at 84', New York Times (21 Jun 2007), C13. This is etymologically correct. The word comes from late 16th century Italian disastro ‘ill-starred event,’ the prefix dis expresses negation + astro from Latin for 'star.'
Science quotes on:  |  Bad (97)  |  Disaster (40)  |  Fact (717)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Star (335)

The word “mathematics” is a Greek word and, by origin, it means “something that has been learned or understood,” or perhaps “acquired knowledge,” or perhaps even, somewhat against grammar, “acquirable knowledge,” that is, “learnable knowledge,” that is, “knowledge acquirable by learning.”
'Why Mathematics Grows', Journal of the History of Ideas (Jan-Mar 1965), 26, No. 1, 4. In Salomon Bochner and Robert Clifford Gunning (ed.) Collected Papers of Salomon Bochner (1992), Vol. 4, 192.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquiring (5)  |  Definition (190)  |  Grammar (13)  |  Greek (69)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Learning (177)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Origin (86)  |  Understanding (325)

The word “universe” means the general assemblage of all nature, and it also means the heaven that is made up of the constellations and the courses of the stars.
Vitruvius
In De Architectura, Book 9, Chap 1, Sec. 2. As translated in Morris Hicky Morgan (trans.), Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture (1914), 257.
Science quotes on:  |  Assemblage (6)  |  Constellation (15)  |  Course (83)  |  Heaven (150)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Star (335)  |  Universe (678)

The words are strung together, with their own special grammar—the laws of quantum theory—to form sentences, which are molecules. Soon we have books, entire libraries, made out of molecular “sentences.” The universe is like a library in which the words are atoms. Just look at what has been written with these hundred words! Our own bodies are books in that library, specified by the organization of molecules—but the universe and literature are organizations of identical, interchangeable objects; they are information systems.
In The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature (1983), 255.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (280)  |  Body (240)  |  Book (255)  |  Element (162)  |  Entire (46)  |  Formation (58)  |  Grammar (13)  |  Hundred (64)  |  Identical (19)  |  Information (117)  |  Library (40)  |  Literature (79)  |  Molecule (131)  |  Object (167)  |  Organization (84)  |  Quantum Theory (57)  |  Sentence (28)  |  Special (73)  |  Specification (6)  |  String (19)  |  System (190)  |  Universe (678)  |  Writing (76)

The words figure and fictitious both derive from the same Latin root, fingere. Beware!
In Facts from Figures (1951), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Beware (10)  |  Derive (33)  |  Figure (67)  |  Latin (33)  |  Root (58)

The words of poems are the tuft and final applause of science.
In poem, 'The Indications', Leaves of Grass (1867), 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Applause (9)  |  Final (47)  |  Poem (91)  |  Science (2017)  |  Tuft (2)

The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.
Happy Thought', in A Child's Garden of Verses (1885), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Full (63)  |  Happiness (92)  |  King (32)  |  Thing (37)

There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.
African Game Trails (1910), ix. This is one of the quotations inscribed in the Roosevelt Memorial rotunda at the American Museum of Natural History.
Science quotes on:  |  Charm (24)  |  Hidden (42)  |  Melancholy (9)  |  Mystery (150)  |  Revelation (34)  |  Spirit (152)  |  Wilderness (39)

There are science teachers who actually claim that they teach “a healthy skepticism.” They do not. They teach a profound gullibility, and their dupes, trained not to think for themselves, will swallow any egregious rot, provided it is dressed up with long words and an affectation of objectivity to make it sound scientific.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 189.
Science quotes on:  |  Affectation (3)  |  Dupe (3)  |  Gullibility (2)  |  Objectivity (9)  |  Rot (5)  |  Skepticism (20)  |  Swallow (20)  |  Teacher (117)  |  Thinking (228)

There is a popular cliché ... which says that you cannot get out of computers any more than you have put in..., that computers can only do exactly what you tell them to, and that therefore computers are never creative. This cliché is true only in a crashingly trivial sense, the same sense in which Shakespeare never wrote anything except what his first schoolteacher taught him to write—words.
In The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design (1966, 1986), 64. Excerpted in Richard Dawkins, ‘Creation and Natural Selection’. New Scientist (25 Sep 1986), 111, 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Cliche (6)  |  Computer (103)  |  Creativity (70)  |  Do (24)  |  Exactly (13)  |  Exception (39)  |  First (306)  |  Input (2)  |  Never (26)  |  Output (10)  |  Popular (28)  |  Sense (310)  |  William Shakespeare (101)  |  Teacher (117)  |  Trivial (40)  |  Truth (901)  |  Writing (76)

There is always the danger in scientific work that some word or phrase will be used by different authors to express so many ideas and surmises that, unless redefined, it loses all real significance.
'Valence and Tautomerism', Journal of the American Chemical Society (1913), 35, 1448.
Science quotes on:  |  Author (58)  |  Idea (573)  |  Nomenclature (138)

There is no area in our minds reserved for superstition, such as the Greeks had in their mythology; and superstition, under cover of an abstract vocabulary, has revenged itself by invading the entire realm of thought. Our science is like a store filled with the most subtle intellectual devices for solving the most complex problems, and yet we are almost incapable of applying the elementary principles of rational thought. In every sphere, we seem to have lost the very elements of intelligence: the ideas of limit, measure, degree, proportion, relation, comparison, contingency, interdependence, interrelation of means and ends. To keep to the social level, our political universe is peopled exclusively by myths and monsters; all it contains is absolutes and abstract entities. This is illustrated by all the words of our political and social vocabulary: nation, security, capitalism, communism, fascism, order, authority, property, democracy. We never use them in phrases such as: There is democracy to the extent that... or: There is capitalism in so far as... The use of expressions like “to the extent that” is beyond our intellectual capacity. Each of these words seems to represent for us an absolute reality, unaffected by conditions, or an absolute objective, independent of methods of action, or an absolute evil; and at the same time we make all these words mean, successively or simultaneously, anything whatsoever. Our lives are lived, in actual fact, among changing, varying realities, subject to the casual play of external necessities, and modifying themselves according to specific conditions within specific limits; and yet we act and strive and sacrifice ourselves and others by reference to fixed and isolated abstractions which cannot possibly be related either to one another or to any concrete facts. In this so-called age of technicians, the only battles we know how to fight are battles against windmills. [p.222]
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (96)  |  Abstract (79)  |  Abstraction (38)  |  Accord (36)  |  Act (113)  |  Action (184)  |  Actual (47)  |  Age (174)  |  Apply (71)  |  Area (29)  |  Authority (63)  |  Battle (34)  |  Beyond (104)  |  Capacity (62)  |  Capitalism (7)  |  Casual (7)  |  Change (358)  |  Communism (10)  |  Comparison (61)  |  Complex (94)  |  Concrete (31)  |  Condition (157)  |  Contain (67)  |  Contingency (11)  |  Cover (37)  |  Degree (79)  |  Democracy (26)  |  Device (28)  |  Element (162)  |  Elementary (45)  |  End (194)  |  Entire (46)  |  Entity (30)  |  Evil (78)  |  Exclusively (10)  |  Expression (103)  |  Extent (49)  |  External (52)  |  Fact (717)  |  Far (154)  |  Fascism (3)  |  Fight (43)  |  Fill (58)  |  Fix (24)  |  Greek (69)  |  Idea (573)  |  Illustrate (9)  |  Incapable (17)  |  Independent (65)  |  Intellectual (116)  |  Intelligence (164)  |  Interdependence (4)  |  Interrelation (7)  |  Invade (5)  |  Isolate (20)  |  Keep (97)  |  Know (536)  |  Level (66)  |  Limit (121)  |  Live (266)  |  Lose (91)  |  Mean (101)  |  Means (167)  |  Measure (100)  |  Method (225)  |  Mind (733)  |  Modify (15)  |  Monster (24)  |  Myth (48)  |  Mythology (13)  |  Nation (132)  |  Necessity (141)  |  Objective (60)  |  Order (238)  |  Ourselves (51)  |  P (2)  |  People (382)  |  Phrase (25)  |  Play (109)  |  Political (36)  |  Possibly (19)  |  Principle (279)  |  Problem (483)  |  Property (122)  |  Proportion (70)  |  Rational (54)  |  Reality (184)  |  Realm (54)  |  Reference (32)  |  Relate (19)  |  Relation (146)  |  Represent (41)  |  Reserve (15)  |  Revenge (7)  |  Sacrifice (32)  |  Same (154)  |  Science (2017)  |  Security (33)  |  Seem (140)  |  Simultaneous (17)  |  So-Called (21)  |  Social (107)  |  Solve (74)  |  Specific (35)  |  Sphere (56)  |  Store (19)  |  Strive (41)  |  Subject (231)  |  Subtle (33)  |  Superstition (56)  |  Technician (7)  |  Themselves (44)  |  Thought (531)  |  Time (586)  |  Unaffected (4)  |  Universe (678)  |  Vary (24)  |  Vocabulary (5)  |  Whatsoever (9)  |  Windmill (4)

There's many a true word spoken in jest; scientists are abominably solemn; therefore scientists miss many a true word.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  Abominable (4)  |  Jest (3)  |  Solemnity (5)  |  Speech (46)  |  Truth (901)

These machines [used in the defense of the Syracusans against the Romans under Marcellus] he [Archimedes] had designed and contrived, not as matters of any importance, but as mere amusements in geometry; in compliance with king Hiero’s desire and request, some time before, that he should reduce to practice some part of his admirable speculation in science, and by accommodating the theoretic truth to sensation and ordinary use, bring it more within the appreciation of people in general. Eudoxus and Archytas had been the first originators of this far-famed and highly-prized art of mechanics, which they employed as an elegant illustration of geometrical truths, and as means of sustaining experimentally, to the satisfaction of the senses, conclusions too intricate for proof by words and diagrams. As, for example, to solve the problem, so often required in constructing geometrical figures, given the two extremes, to find the two mean lines of a proportion, both these mathematicians had recourse to the aid of instruments, adapting to their purpose certain curves and sections of lines. But what with Plato’s indignation at it, and his invectives against it as the mere corruption and annihilation of the one good of geometry,—which was thus shamefully turning its back upon the unembodied objects of pure intelligence to recur to sensation, and to ask help (not to be obtained without base supervisions and depravation) from matter; so it was that mechanics came to be separated from geometry, and, repudiated and neglected by philosophers, took its place as a military art.
Plutarch
In John Dryden (trans.), Life of Marcellus.
Science quotes on:  |  Accommodate (10)  |  Adapt (26)  |  Admirable (19)  |  Aid (39)  |  Amusement (23)  |  Annihilation (7)  |  Appreciation (25)  |  Archimedes (52)  |  Art (280)  |  Ask (156)  |  Back (103)  |  Base (70)  |  Both (81)  |  Bring (89)  |  Certain (121)  |  Compliance (5)  |  Conclusion (156)  |  Construct (40)  |  Contrive (6)  |  Corruption (10)  |  Curve (32)  |  Defense (18)  |  Design (110)  |  Desire (139)  |  Diagram (13)  |  Elegant (15)  |  Embody (16)  |  Employ (35)  |  Example (92)  |  Experimental (19)  |  Extreme (53)  |  Figure (67)  |  Find (400)  |  First (306)  |  General (154)  |  Geometry (213)  |  Good (336)  |  Help (99)  |  Hiero (2)  |  Illustration (28)  |  Importance (213)  |  Indignation (4)  |  Instrument (90)  |  Intelligence (164)  |  Intricate (21)  |  Invective (2)  |  King (32)  |  Line (88)  |  Machine (154)  |  Marcellus (2)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (120)  |  Matter (336)  |  Mean (101)  |  Means (167)  |  Mechanic (22)  |  Mere (74)  |  Military (29)  |  Neglect (33)  |  Object (167)  |  Obtain (45)  |  Ordinary (67)  |  Originator (3)  |  Part (216)  |  People (382)  |  Philosopher (163)  |  Place (171)  |  Plato (73)  |  Practice (90)  |  Problem (483)  |  Proof (242)  |  Proportion (70)  |  Pure (97)  |  Purpose (188)  |  Recourse (12)  |  Recur (4)  |  Reduce (52)  |  Repudiate (3)  |  Request (7)  |  Require (78)  |  Roman (26)  |  Satisfaction (56)  |  Science (2017)  |  Section (11)  |  Sensation (28)  |  Sense (310)  |  Separate (69)  |  Shameful (3)  |  Solve (74)  |  Speculation (102)  |  Supervision (4)  |  Sustain (23)  |  Syracuse (5)  |  Time (586)  |  Truth (901)  |  Turn (118)

These specimens, which I could easily multiply, may suffice to justify a profound distrust of Auguste Comte, wherever he may venture to speak as a mathematician. But his vast general ability, and that personal intimacy with the great Fourier, which I most willingly take his own word for having enjoyed, must always give an interest to his views on any subject of pure or applied mathematics.
In R. Graves, Life of W. R. Hamilton (1882-89), Vol. 3, 475.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (104)  |  Applied Mathematics (15)  |  Auguste Comte (20)  |  Distrust (8)  |  Enjoy (36)  |  Fourier (5)  |  General (154)  |  Great (517)  |  Interest (234)  |  Intimacy (6)  |  Justify (23)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (120)  |  Personal (65)  |  Profound (57)  |  Pure (97)  |  Speak (87)  |  Specimen (16)  |  Subject (231)  |  Vast (88)  |  Venture (18)  |  View (169)  |  Willing (8)

These thoughts did not come in any verbal formulation. I rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterward.
As quoted as a comment to an unnamed friend, “when discussing the genesis of his ideas,” in Howard W. Eves Mathematical Circles Adieu, (1977), 59. Eves also states that “Dr. Gerald Holton, professor of physics at Harvard University, believed Einstein’s habit, from infancy on, of thinking in concepts rather than words played a key role in Einstein’s scientific work.”
Science quotes on:  |  Afterward (5)  |  Express (62)  |  Formulation (25)  |  Rarely (20)  |  Think (338)  |  Thought (531)  |  Verbal (8)

Think impossible and dreams get discarded, projects get abandoned, and hope for wellness is torpedoed. But let someone yell the words it’s possible, and resources we hadn’t been aware of come rushing in to assist us in our quest.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (48)  |  Assist (9)  |  Aware (30)  |  Discard (19)  |  Dream (162)  |  Hope (174)  |  Impossible (106)  |  Let (61)  |  Possible (152)  |  Project (30)  |  Quest (32)  |  Resource (60)  |  Rush (17)  |  Someone (21)  |  Think (338)  |  Wellness (3)

Thinking is the activity I love best, and writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers. I can write up to 18 hours a day. Typing 90 words a minute, I’ve done better than 50 pages a day. Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put an orgy in my office and I wouldn't look up—well, maybe once.
When accepting the James T. Grady award from the American Chemical Society. As quoted in Something About the Author (1981), Vol. 26, 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (127)  |  Concentration (18)  |  Finger (43)  |  Interfere (11)  |  Look (52)  |  Love (214)  |  Office (22)  |  Orgy (3)  |  Thinking (228)  |  Writing (76)

This discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call serendipity, a very expressive word, which as I have nothing better to tell you, I shall endeavour to explain to you: you will understand it better by the derivation than by the definition. I once read a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of: for instance, one of them discovered that a mule blind of the right eye had travelled the same road lately, because the grass was eaten only on the left side, where it was worse than on the right—now do you understand serendipity?
Letter to Sir Horace Mann (28 Jan 1754), in W. S. Lewis, Warren Hunting Smith and George L. Lam (eds.), Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann (1960), Vol. 20, 407-408.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (65)  |  Blind (47)  |  Definition (190)  |  Derivation (12)  |  Discovery (675)  |  Eating (21)  |  Endeavor (41)  |  Explanation (177)  |  Expressive (2)  |  Eye (215)  |  Fairy (8)  |  Grass (35)  |  Instance (32)  |  Kind (137)  |  Mule (2)  |  Prince (13)  |  Quest (32)  |  Right (192)  |  Road (62)  |  Sagacity (8)  |  Serendipity (15)  |  Traveled (2)  |  Understand (320)

This new force, which was unknown until now, is common to organic and inorganic nature. I do not believe that this is a force entirely independent of the electrochemical affinities of matter; I believe, on the contrary, that it is only a new manifestation, but since we cannot see their connection and mutual dependence, it will be easier to designate it by a separate name. I will call this force catalytic force. Similarly, I will call the decomposition of bodies by this force catalysis, as one designates the decomposition of bodies by chemical affinity analysis.
'Some Ideas on a New Force which Acts in Organic Compounds', Annales chimie physiques, 1836, 61, 146. Translated in Henry M. Leicester and Herbert S. Klickstein, A Source Book in Chemistry 1400-1900 (1952), 267.
Science quotes on:  |  Catalyst (7)

This property of human languages—their resistance to algorithmic processing— is perhaps the ultimate reason why only mathematics can furnish an adequate language for physics. It is not that we lack words for expressing all this E = mc² and ∫eiS(Φ)DΦ … stuff … , the point is that we still would not be able to do anything with these great discoveries if we had only words for them. … Miraculously, it turns out that even very high level abstractions can somehow reflect reality: knowledge of the world discovered by physicists can be expressed only in the language of mathematics.
In 'Mathematical Knowledge: Internal, Social, And Cultural Aspects', Mathematics As Metaphor: Selected Essays (2007), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (38)  |  Adequate (24)  |  Discovery (675)  |  Great (517)  |  Human (544)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Lack (77)  |  Language (214)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Miraculous (10)  |  Physics (342)  |  Processing (2)  |  Property (122)  |  Reality (184)  |  Reason (449)  |  Reflect (31)  |  Resistance (25)  |  Ultimate (83)  |  World (877)

This [the fact that the pursuit of mathematics brings into harmonious action all the faculties of the human mind] accounts for the extraordinary longevity of all the greatest masters of the Analytic art, the Dii Majores of the mathematical Pantheon. Leibnitz lived to the age of 70; Euler to 76; Lagrange to 77; Laplace to 78; Gauss to 78; Plato, the supposed inventor of the conic sections, who made mathematics his study and delight, who called them the handles or aids to philosophy, the medicine of the soul, and is said never to have let a day go by without inventing some new theorems, lived to 82; Newton, the crown and glory of his race, to 85; Archimedes, the nearest akin, probably, to Newton in genius, was 75, and might have lived on to be 100, for aught we can guess to the contrary, when he was slain by the impatient and ill mannered sergeant, sent to bring him before the Roman general, in the full vigour of his faculties, and in the very act of working out a problem; Pythagoras, in whose school, I believe, the word mathematician (used, however, in a somewhat wider than its present sense) originated, the second founder of geometry, the inventor of the matchless theorem which goes by his name, the pre-cognizer of the undoubtedly mis-called Copernican theory, the discoverer of the regular solids and the musical canon who stands at the very apex of this pyramid of fame, (if we may credit the tradition) after spending 22 years studying in Egypt, and 12 in Babylon, opened school when 56 or 57 years old in Magna Græcia, married a young wife when past 60, and died, carrying on his work with energy unspent to the last, at the age of 99. The mathematician lives long and lives young; the wings of his soul do not early drop off, nor do its pores become clogged with the earthy particles blown from the dusty highways of vulgar life.
In Presidential Address to the British Association, Collected Mathematical Papers, Vol. 2 (1908), 658.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (67)  |  Act (113)  |  Action (184)  |  Age (174)  |  Aid (39)  |  Akin (5)  |  Analytic (10)  |  Apex (4)  |  Archimedes (52)  |  Art (280)  |  Aught (2)  |  Babylon (5)  |  Become (173)  |  Belief (500)  |  Blow (22)  |  Bring (89)  |  Call (126)  |  Called (9)  |  Canon (3)  |  Carry (58)  |  Clog (5)  |  Conic Section (7)  |  Contrary (34)  |  Copernican Theory (3)  |  Credit (19)  |  Crown (26)  |  Delight (64)  |  Die (79)  |  Discoverer (15)  |  Drop (39)  |  Dusty (8)  |  Early (60)  |  Earthy (2)  |  Egypt (22)  |  Energy (214)  |  Leonhard Euler (33)  |  Extraordinary (43)  |  Fact (717)  |  Faculty (64)  |  Fame (37)  |  Founder (15)  |  Full (63)  |  Carl Friedrich Gauss (73)  |  General (154)  |  Genius (230)  |  Geometry (213)  |  Glory (57)  |  Great (517)  |  Guess (48)  |  Handle (15)  |  Harmonious (9)  |  Highway (13)  |  Human Mind (80)  |  Impatient (3)  |  Invent (49)  |  Inventor (55)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (24)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (61)  |  Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (49)  |  Let (61)  |  Life (1113)  |  Live (266)  |  Long (167)  |  Longevity (6)  |  Manner (56)  |  Marry (8)  |  Master (93)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Medicine (340)  |  Musical (7)  |  Name (164)  |  New (477)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (327)  |  Old (143)  |  Open (66)  |  Originate (21)  |  Pantheon (2)  |  Particle (99)  |  Past (150)  |  Philosophy (251)  |  Plato (73)  |  Pore (7)  |  Present (173)  |  Probably (47)  |  Problem (483)  |  Pursuit (76)  |  Pyramid (9)  |  Pythagoras (34)  |  Race (102)  |  Regular (13)  |  Roman (26)  |  Say (226)  |  School (115)  |  Second (57)  |  Send (21)  |  Sense (310)  |  Sergeant (2)  |  Solid (50)  |  Soul (163)  |  Spend (42)  |  Stand (106)  |  Study (456)  |  Suppose (48)  |  Theorem (88)  |  Tradition (49)  |  Undoubtedly (3)  |  Vigour (12)  |  Vulgar (15)  |  Wide (27)  |  Wife (23)  |  Wing (48)  |  Work (615)  |  Year (297)  |  Young (97)

Thus, we see that one of the obvious origins of human disagreement lies in the use of noises for words.
Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1958), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Disagreement (12)  |  Human (544)  |  Noise (31)

To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-apply'd moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God’s word, or in the book of God’s works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both.
In Of Proficience and Advancement of Learning Divine and Human (1605), collected in The Works of Francis Bacon (1711), Vol. 2, 417. Charles Darwin placed this quote on the title page of his On the Origin of Species.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (255)  |  Both (81)  |  Conceit (12)  |  Conclusion (156)  |  Divinity (16)  |  Endeavour (25)  |  Endless (28)  |  God (528)  |  Maintain (32)  |  Moderation (2)  |  Philosophy (251)  |  Progress (360)  |  Search (103)  |  Sobriety (2)  |  Study (456)  |  Thinking (228)  |  Weak (42)  |  Work (615)

To deride the hope of progress is the ultimate fatuity, the last word in poverty of spirit and meanness of mind.
From The Hope of Progress (1973), 137. Medawar defends science against the attacks of critics who claim that science cannot enrich our lives.
Science quotes on:  |  Deride (2)  |  Hope (174)  |  Last Word (9)  |  Meanness (5)  |  Mind (733)  |  Poverty (31)  |  Progress (360)  |  Spirit (152)  |  Ultimate (83)

To make “beauty” the objects of the æsthetic emotion, we must give to the word an over-strict and unfamiliar definition.
In Art (1913), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Aelig (3)  |  Beauty (236)  |  Definition (190)  |  Emotion (77)  |  Give (197)  |  Object (167)  |  Unfamiliar (7)

To me, it [the 1962 space flight of Friendship 7] is not something that happened a long time ago. It seems like a couple of days ago, really. It’s a rare day I don’t think about it, relive it in my mind. I can remember every switch I flipped, every move I made, every word I spoke and every word spoken to me. Clear as a bell.
As reported by Howard Wilkinson in 'John Glenn Had the Stuff U.S. Heroes are Made of', The Cincinnati Enquirer (20 Feb 2002).
Science quotes on:  |  Friendship 7 (3)  |  Mind (733)  |  Move (92)  |  Remember (79)  |  Space Flight (23)  |  Switch (10)  |  Think (338)

To say that mind is a product or function of protoplasm, or of its molecular changes, is to use words to which we can attach no clear conception. You cannot have, in the whole, what does not exist in any of the parts; and those who argue thus should put forth a definite conception of matter, with clearly enunciated properties, and show, that the necessary result of a certain complex arrangement of the elements or atoms of that matter, will be the production of self-consciousness. There is no escape from this dilemma—either all matter is conscious, or consciousness is something distinct from matter, and in the latter case, its presence in material forms is a proof of the existence of conscious beings, outside of, and independent of, what we term matter. The foregoing considerations lead us to the very important conclusion, that matter is essentially force, and nothing but force; that matter, as popularly understood, does not exist, and is, in fact, philosophically inconceivable. When we touch matter, we only really experience sensations of resistance, implying repulsive force; and no other sense can give us such apparently solid proofs of the reality of matter, as touch does. This conclusion, if kept constantly present in the mind, will be found to have a most important bearing on almost every high scientific and philosophical problem, and especially on such as relate to our own conscious existence.
In 'The Limits of Natural Selection as Applied to Man', last chapter of Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection (1870), 365-366.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparently (19)  |  Argue (22)  |  Arrangement (57)  |  Atom (280)  |  Attach (13)  |  Bearing (9)  |  Being (41)  |  Case (98)  |  Certain (121)  |  Change (358)  |  Clear (96)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Complex (94)  |  Conception (87)  |  Conclusion (156)  |  Conscious (40)  |  Consciousness (80)  |  Consideration (83)  |  Constantly (27)  |  Definite (42)  |  Dilemma (7)  |  Distinct (44)  |  Element (162)  |  Escape (45)  |  Especially (30)  |  Essentially (14)  |  Exist (144)  |  Existence (294)  |  Experience (329)  |  Fact (717)  |  Force (248)  |  Form (305)  |  Forth (13)  |  Found (11)  |  Function (127)  |  Give (197)  |  High (150)  |  Important (200)  |  Inconceivable (12)  |  Independent (65)  |  Latter (20)  |  Lead (158)  |  Material (153)  |  Matter (336)  |  Mind (733)  |  Molecular (7)  |  Necessary (142)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Outside (48)  |  Part (216)  |  Philosophical (23)  |  Presence (33)  |  Present (173)  |  Problem (483)  |  Product (82)  |  Production (114)  |  Proof (242)  |  Property (122)  |  Protoplasm (12)  |  Reality (184)  |  Really (78)  |  Relate (19)  |  Repulsive (7)  |  Resistance (25)  |  Result (361)  |  Say (226)  |  Scientific (230)  |  Self-Consciousness (2)  |  Sensation (28)  |  Sense (310)  |  Show (90)  |  Solid (50)  |  Term (119)  |  Touch (76)  |  Understood (9)  |  Whole (186)

To sum up all, let it be known that science and religion are two identical words. The learned do not suspect this, no more do the religious. These two words express the two sides of the same fact, which is the infinite. Religion—Science, this is the future of the human mind.
In Victor Hugo and Lorenzo O'Rourke (trans.) Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography: (Postscriptum de ma vie) (1907), 325.
Science quotes on:  |  Expression (103)  |  Fact (717)  |  Future (283)  |  Human Mind (80)  |  Identical (19)  |  Infinite (128)  |  Learned (24)  |  Religious (49)  |  Science And Religion (299)  |  Side (51)  |  Suspicion (28)

Truth is an abstract word which most men use indifferently in their books and judgments, for error and falsehood.
In 'Truth', Philosophical Dictionary (1824), Vol. 6, 297.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (79)  |  Book (255)  |  Error (272)  |  Falsehood (25)  |  Indifferent (16)  |  Judgment (96)  |  Truth (901)

Unfortunately, the study of organic remains is beset with two evils, which, though of an opposite character, do not neutralize each other so much as at first sight might be anticipated: the one consisting of a strong desire to find similar organic remains in supposed equivalent deposits, even at great distances; the other being an equally strong inclination to discover new species, often as it would seem for the sole purpose of appending the apparently magical word nobis.
In Geological Manual (1832), Preface, iii.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparently (19)  |  Character (113)  |  Consisting (5)  |  Deposit (10)  |  Desire (139)  |  Discover (190)  |  Distance (76)  |  Equally (25)  |  Equivalent (17)  |  Evil (78)  |  Find (400)  |  First Sight (6)  |  Inclination (23)  |  Magic (77)  |  New (477)  |  Opposite (50)  |  Organic (54)  |  Purpose (188)  |  Remains (9)  |  Seem (140)  |  Similar (34)  |  Sole (19)  |  Species (217)  |  Strong (71)  |  Study (456)  |  Supposed (5)  |  Unfortunately (18)

Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, “to be free from freedom.”
In The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (1951), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Ardent (6)  |  Avail (4)  |  Burden (27)  |  Choose (57)  |  Escape (45)  |  Free (88)  |  Freedom (100)  |  Individual (215)  |  Join (25)  |  Mass (76)  |  Movement (81)  |  Nazi (8)  |  Responsibility (54)  |  Self (43)  |  Talent (61)  |  Young (97)

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
In The Elements of Style (1918).
Science quotes on:  |  Concise (6)  |  Drawing (21)  |  Line (88)  |  Machine (154)  |  Paragraph (3)  |  Part (216)  |  Reason (449)  |  Sentence (28)  |  Unnecessary (15)  |  Vigorous (20)  |  Write (150)

Visible from Earth orbit … tropical rain forests of equatorial regions are huge expanses of monotonous, mottled dark green. During the day they are frequently covered with enormous thunderstorms that extend for hundreds of miles. The view has an air of fantasy about it, and you grope for words to describe what you see. My personal reaction was one of feeling humble, awed, and privileged to be witness to such a scene.
In How Do You Go To The Bathroom In Space?: All the Answers to All the Questions You Have About Living in Space (1999), 107.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (187)  |  Awe (33)  |  Covered (5)  |  Describe (55)  |  Earth (632)  |  Enormous (40)  |  Equatorial (2)  |  Fantasy (9)  |  Feel (164)  |  Green (32)  |  Grope (3)  |  Humble (31)  |  Hundred (64)  |  Mile (38)  |  Orbit (69)  |  Privilege (24)  |  Rain Forest (29)  |  Thunderstorm (5)  |  Tropical (8)  |  View (169)  |  Visible (37)  |  Witness (31)

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (184)  |  Become (173)  |  Character (113)  |  Destiny (36)  |  Habit (104)  |  Thought (531)  |  Watch (63)

We all know, from what we experience with and within ourselves, that our conscious acts spring from our desires and our fears. Intuition tells us that that is true also of our fellows and of the higher animals. We all try to escape pain and death, while we seek what is pleasant. We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organized that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race. Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual’s instinct for self preservation. At the same time, as social beings, we are moved in the relations with our fellow beings by such feelings as sympathy, pride, hate, need for power, pity, and so on. All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man’s actions. All such action would cease if those powerful elemental forces were to cease stirring within us. Though our conduct seems so very different from that of the higher animals, the primary instincts are much alike in them and in us. The most evident difference springs from the important part which is played in man by a relatively strong power of imagination and by the capacity to think, aided as it is by language and other symbolical devices. Thought is the organizing factor in man, intersected between the causal primary instincts and the resulting actions. In that way imagination and intelligence enter into our existence in the part of servants of the primary instincts. But their intervention makes our acts to serve ever less merely the immediate claims of our instincts.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Act (113)  |  Action (184)  |  Aid (39)  |  Alike (22)  |  Animal (351)  |  Capacity (62)  |  Causal (7)  |  Cease (37)  |  Claim (67)  |  Conduct (29)  |  Conscious (40)  |  Death (297)  |  Describe (55)  |  Desire (139)  |  Device (28)  |  Difference (242)  |  Different (176)  |  Easily (35)  |  Elemental (3)  |  Enter (29)  |  Escape (45)  |  Evident (25)  |  Existence (294)  |  Experience (329)  |  Factor (45)  |  Fear (140)  |  Feelings (14)  |  Fellow (37)  |  Force (248)  |  General (154)  |  Hate (37)  |  High (150)  |  Hunger (14)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Immediate (42)  |  Important (200)  |  Impulse (33)  |  Individual (215)  |  Inner (39)  |  Instinct (63)  |  Intelligence (164)  |  Intersect (4)  |  Intervention (12)  |  Intuition (57)  |  Know (536)  |  Language (214)  |  Less (101)  |  Love (214)  |  Merely (78)  |  Move (92)  |  Need (275)  |  Organize (20)  |  Ourselves (51)  |  Pain (99)  |  Part (216)  |  Pity (13)  |  Play (109)  |  Pleasant (20)  |  Power (355)  |  Powerful (65)  |  Preservation (32)  |  Pride (64)  |  Primary (37)  |  Race (102)  |  Relation (146)  |  Relatively (6)  |  Result (361)  |  Rule (170)  |  Same (154)  |  Seek (101)  |  Seem (140)  |  Self (43)  |  Servant (16)  |  Serve (56)  |  Social (107)  |  Spring (69)  |  Stir (14)  |  Strong (71)  |  Symbolic (15)  |  Sympathy (23)  |  Tell (108)  |  Think (338)  |  Thought (531)  |  Time (586)  |  True (192)  |  Try (139)

We are told that “Mathematics is that study which knows nothing of observation, nothing of experiment, nothing of induction, nothing of causation.” I think no statement could have been made more opposite to the facts of the case; that mathematical analysis is constantly invoking the aid of new principles, new ideas, and new methods, not capable of being defined by any form of words, but springing direct from the inherent powers and activities of the human mind, and from continually renewed introspection of that inner world of thought of which the phenomena are as varied and require as close attention to discern as those of the outer physical world (to which the inner one in each individual man may, I think, be conceived to stand somewhat in the same relation of correspondence as a shadow to the object from which it is projected, or as the hollow palm of one hand to the closed fist which it grasps of the other), that it is unceasingly calling forth the faculties of observation and comparison, that one of its principal weapons is induction, that it has frequent recourse to experimental trial and verification, and that it affords a boundless scope for the exercise of the highest efforts of the imagination and invention.
In Presidential Address to British Association, Exeter British Association Report (1869), pp. 1-9, in Collected Mathematical Papers, Vol. 2, 654.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (127)  |  Afford (16)  |  Aid (39)  |  Attention (113)  |  Boundless (13)  |  Call (126)  |  Capable (49)  |  Case (98)  |  Causation (10)  |  Close (66)  |  Comparison (61)  |  Conceive (36)  |  Constantly (27)  |  Continually (16)  |  Correspondence (15)  |  Define (49)  |  Direct (81)  |  Discern (13)  |  Effort (143)  |  Exercise (63)  |  Experiment (596)  |  Experimental (19)  |  Fact (717)  |  Faculty (64)  |  Fist (3)  |  Form (305)  |  Forth (13)  |  Frequent (18)  |  Grasp (59)  |  Hand (140)  |  High (150)  |  Hollow (4)  |  Human Mind (80)  |  Imagination (268)  |  Individual (215)  |  Induction (58)  |  Inherent (30)  |  Inner (39)  |  Introspection (4)  |  Invention (316)  |  Invoke (6)  |  Know (536)  |  Mathematical Analysis (12)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Method (225)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (72)  |  New (477)  |  New Ideas (16)  |  Nothing (376)  |  Object (167)  |  Observation (444)  |  Opposite (50)  |  Outer (13)  |  Palm (5)  |  Phenomenon (274)  |  Physical World (12)  |  Power (355)  |  Principal (28)  |  Principle (279)  |  Project (30)  |  Recourse (12)  |  Relation (146)  |  Renew (8)  |  Require (78)  |  Same (154)  |  Scope (23)  |  Shadow (52)  |  Spring (69)  |  Stand (106)  |  Statement (71)  |  Study (456)  |  Tell (108)  |  Think (338)  |  Thought (531)  |  Trial (28)  |  Unceasingly (2)  |  Vary (24)  |  Verification (27)  |  Weapon (66)  |  World (877)

We do not know the mode of action of almost all remedies. Why therefore fear to confess our ignorance? In truth, it seems that the words “I do not know” stick in every physicians throat.
In Bulletin de l’Académie impériale de médecine (1860), 25, 733.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (184)  |  Confess (14)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Know (536)  |  Physician (240)  |  Remedy (54)  |  Stick (24)  |  Throat (10)  |  Truth (901)

We pass the word around; we ponder how the case is put by different people, we read the poetry; we meditate over the literature; we play the music; we change our minds; we reach an understanding. Society evolves this way. Not by shouting each other down, but by the unique capacity of unique, individual human beings to comprehend each other.
Essay, 'On Committees' collected in The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher (1974, 1979), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Society (224)

We profess to teach the principles and practice of medicine, or, in other words, the science and art of medicine. Science is knowledge reduced to principles; art is knowledge reduced to practice. The knowing and doing, however, are distinct. ... Your knowledge, therefore, is useless unless you cultivate the art of healing. Unfortunately, the scientific man very often has the least amount of art, and he is totally unsuccessful in practice; and, on the other hand, there may be much art based on an infinitesimal amount of knowledge, and yet it is sufficient to make its cultivator eminent.
From H.G. Sutton, Abstract of Lecture delivered at Guy's Hospital by Samuel Wilks, 'Introductory to Part of a Course on the Theory and Practice of Medicine', The Lancet (24 Mar 1866), 1, 308
Science quotes on:  |  Cultivation (27)  |  Distinction (44)  |  Doing (36)  |  Eminence (12)  |  Healing (18)  |  Infinitesimal (15)  |  Knowledge (1275)  |  Medicine (340)  |  Practice (90)  |  Principle (279)  |  Profession (59)  |  Science And Art (177)  |  Scientist (511)  |  Success (245)  |  Sufficiency (13)  |  Uselessness (22)

We shall never understand each other until we reduce the language to seven words.
In Kahlil Gibran: The Collected Works (207), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Language (214)  |  Linguistics (28)  |  Reduce (52)  |  Understand (320)

What distinguishes the language of science from language as we ordinarily understand the word? … What science strives for is an utmost acuteness and clarity of concepts as regards their mutual relation and their correspondence to sensory data.
In Out of My Later Years (1950, 1956), 112. Footnoted on page 277 as from 'The Common Language of Science', a broadcast recording for the Science Conference, London (28 Sep 1941) and published in Advancement of Science, 2, No. 5, 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Acuteness (3)  |  Clarity (40)  |  Concept (142)  |  Correspondence (15)  |  Data (119)  |  Distinguish (58)  |  Language (214)  |  Mutual (27)  |  Ordinary (67)  |  Relation (146)  |  Science (2017)  |  Sense (310)  |  Striving (2)  |  Understanding (325)  |  Utmost (11)

What is it indeed that gives us the feeling of elegance in a solution, in a demonstration? It is the harmony of the diverse parts, their symmetry, their happy balance; in a word it is all that introduces order, all that gives unity, that permits us to see clearly and to comprehend at once both the ensemble and the details.
From 'L’Avenir des Mathématiques', Science et Méthode (1908, 1920), Livre Premier, Chap. 2, 25. English as in Henri Poincaré and George Bruce Halsted (trans.), 'The Future of Mathematics', Science and Method collected in The Foundations of Science: Science and Hypothesis, The Value of Science, Science and Method (1913), 372. From the French, “Qu’est-ce qui nous donne en effet dans une solution, dans une démonstration, le sentiment de l’élégance? C’est l’harmonie des diverses parties, leur symétrie, leur heureux balancement; c’est en un mot tout ce qui y met de l'ordre, tout ce qui leur donne de l’unité, ce qui nous permet par conséquent d’y voir clair et d’en comprendre l’ensemble en même temps que les détails”.
Science quotes on:  |  Balance (54)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Comprehend (38)  |  Demonstration (81)  |  Detail (84)  |  Diverse (16)  |  Elegance (29)  |  Ensemble (4)  |  Feeling (91)  |  Happy (45)  |  Harmony (69)  |  Introduce (41)  |  Order (238)  |  Part (216)  |  Permit (29)  |  Proof (242)  |  See (368)  |  Solution (208)  |  Symmetry (37)  |  Unity (53)

What is that we human beings ultimately depend on? We depend on our words. We are suspended in language. Our task is to communicate experience and ideas to others.
Quoted in Aage Petersen, 'The Philosophy of Niels Bohr', Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1963, 19, 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Communication (75)  |  Human Nature (60)  |  Language (214)

Whatever you can teach him from the nature of things themselves, do not teach him by words. Leave him to himself to see, hear, find, stumble, rise again, and be mistaken. Give no words when action or deed is possible. What he can do for himself, let him do.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (184)  |  Deed (21)  |  Find (400)  |  Give (197)  |  Hear (60)  |  Leave (126)  |  Let (61)  |  Mistake (128)  |  Nature Of Things (8)  |  Possible (152)  |  Rise (70)  |  See (368)  |  Stumble (15)  |  Teach (177)

When I use the phrase “Cosmic Facts,” the reader is asked not to assume too rigid a meaning for the word “facts”; what is considered factual today is tomorrow recognized as capable of further refinement.
From Of Stars and Men: The Human Response to an Expanding Universe (1958 Rev. Ed. 1964), Foreword.
Science quotes on:  |  Capable (49)  |  Consider (79)  |  Cosmic (47)  |  Fact (717)  |  Further (6)  |  Meaning (110)  |  Phrase (25)  |  Recognize (64)  |  Refinement (13)  |  Rigid (12)  |  Today (115)  |  Tomorrow (38)

When we learn a new word, it is the key to untold treasures.
In Letter (29 May 1898), at age almost 18, to Mrs. Lawrence Hutton, excerpted in The Story of My Life: With her Letters (1887-1901) (1903, 1921), 242.
Science quotes on:  |  Key (49)  |  Learn (277)  |  Linguistics (28)  |  New (477)  |  Treasure (45)  |  Untold (6)

When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men's minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.
In Norbert Guterman, The Anchor Book of Latin Quotations (1990), 193.
Science quotes on:  |  Brief (19)  |  Brimming (2)  |  Faithfully (3)  |  Instruction (70)  |  Learn (277)  |  Lesson (41)  |  Mind (733)  |  Pour (10)  |  Retain (19)  |  Side (51)  |  Unnecessary (15)

Whenever ideas fail, men invent words.
Martin H. Fischer, Howard Fabing (ed.) and Ray Marr (ed.), Fischerisms (1944).
Science quotes on:  |  Idea (573)  |  Invention (316)

Who ever thought up the word “Mammogram?” Every time I hear it, I think I’m supposed to put my breast in an envelope and send it to someone.
Jan King
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Breast (8)  |  Envelope (5)  |  Hear (60)  |  Send (21)  |  Someone (21)  |  Suppose (48)  |  Think (338)  |  Thought (531)  |  Time (586)

Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 239
Science quotes on:  |  Attain (41)  |  Deed (21)  |  Grace (17)  |  Moment (103)  |  Quality (92)  |  Sometimes (42)

Words change their meanings, just as organism s evolve. We would impose an enormous burden on our economy if we insisted on payment in cattle every time we identified a bonus as a pecuniary advantage (from the Latin pecus, or cattle, a verbal fossil from a former commercial reality).
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (73)  |  Bonus (2)  |  Burden (27)  |  Cattle (13)  |  Change (358)  |  Commercial (26)  |  Economy (54)  |  Enormous (40)  |  Evolution (530)  |  Former (25)  |  Fossil (111)  |  Identify (12)  |  Impose (22)  |  Insist (18)  |  Latin (33)  |  Meanings (5)  |  Organism (148)  |  Payment (6)  |  Pecuniary (2)  |  Reality (184)  |  Time (586)  |  Verbal (8)

Words differently arranged have a different meaning, and meanings differently arranged have different effects.
In Pensées. As translated by W.F. Trotter in Blaise Pascal: Thoughts, Letters, and Minor Works (1910), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrange (20)  |  Different (176)  |  Effect (164)  |  Meaning (110)

Words divide, pictures unite.
In Otto Neurath, Empiricism and Sociology (1973), 217.
Science quotes on:  |  Division (33)  |  Maxim (17)  |  Picture (75)  |  Unity (53)

Words learned by rote a parrot may rehearse,
But talking is not always to converse;
Not more distinct from harmony divine,
The constant creaking of a country sign.
Science quotes on:  |  Converse (7)  |  Country (142)  |  Distinct (44)  |  Divine (60)  |  Harmony (69)  |  Learn (277)  |  Linguistics (28)  |  Rehearse (2)  |  Rote (4)  |  Sign (55)  |  Talk (97)

Words well up freely from the breast, without necessity or intent, and there may well have been no wandering horde in any desert that did not already have its own songs. For man, as a species, is a singing creature, though the notes, in his case, are also coupled with thought.
On Language (1836), trans. Peter Heath (1988), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  Language (214)  |  Song (27)  |  Thought (531)

Words were originally magic, and the word retains much of its old magical power even to-day, With words one man can make another blessed, or drive him to despair;… Words call forth effects and are the universal means of influencing human beings. Therefore let us not underestimate the use of words in psychotherapy.
From a series of 28 lectures for laymen, Part One, 'The Psychology of Errors'. Lecture 1, 'Introduction' collected in Sigmund Freud and G. Stanley Hall (trans.), A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1920), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Bless (8)  |  Despair (27)  |  Effect (164)  |  Human Being (72)  |  Influence (136)  |  Linguistics (28)  |  Magic (77)  |  Means (167)  |  Original (54)  |  Power (355)  |  Psychotherapy (2)  |  Retain (19)  |  Underestimate (5)  |  Universal (99)

Ye knowe eek, that in forme of speche is chaunge
With-inne a thousand yeer, and wordes tho
That hadden prys, now wonder nyce and straunge
Us thinketh hem; and yet they spake hem so,
And spedde as wel in love as men now do.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (358)  |  Linguistics (28)  |  Speak (87)  |  Speech (46)

[Alchemists] enrich the ears of men with vain words, but empty their Pockets of their Money. Whence it appears to be no Art, but a Composition of Trifles, and inventions of mad brains.
In The Vanity of the Arts and Sciences (1530), translation (1676), 313.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemist (17)  |  Appear (113)  |  Art (280)  |  Brain (209)  |  Composition (54)  |  Ear (25)  |  Empty (39)  |  Enrich (11)  |  Invention (316)  |  Mad (24)  |  Money (140)  |  Pocket (11)  |  Trifle (12)  |  Vain (29)

[In the Royal Society, there] has been, a constant Resolution, to reject all the amplifications, digressions, and swellings of style: to return back to the primitive purity, and shortness, when men deliver'd so many things, almost in an equal number of words. They have exacted from all their members, a close, naked, natural way of speaking; positive expressions; clear senses; a native easiness: bringing all things as near the Mathematical plainness, as they can: and preferring the language of Artizans, Countrymen, and Merchants, before that, of Wits, or Scholars.
The History of the Royal Society (1667), 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Amplification (3)  |  Clarity (40)  |  Countryman (4)  |  Digression (2)  |  Easiness (3)  |  Expression (103)  |  Language (214)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Member (39)  |  Merchant (6)  |  Plainness (2)  |  Primitive (41)  |  Purity (14)  |  Rejection (26)  |  Resolution (18)  |  Return (54)  |  Royal Society (10)  |  Scholar (37)  |  Sense (310)  |  Speaking (37)  |  Style (22)  |  Swelling (5)  |  Wit (34)

[Perfecting a script is] verbal carpentry. … That's what my speciality is, really, and always has been. If you can use four words instead of five that’s good.
Two quotes from interview with Joe Shute, 'David Attenborough at 90: ‘I think about my mortality every day’', The Telegraph (29 Oct 2016).
Science quotes on:  |  Edit (2)  |  Perfecting (2)  |  Script (2)  |  Verbal (8)

[S]ome physicists describe gravity in terms of ten dimensions all curled up. But those aren't real words—just placeholders, used to refer to parts of abstract equations.
In God's Debris: A Thought Experiment (2004), 20-21.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (79)  |  Curl (3)  |  Dimension (38)  |  Equation (91)  |  Gravity (100)  |  Physicist (159)  |  Real (144)  |  Reference (32)  |  Ten (3)  |  Term (119)

[The teaching of Nature] is harsh and wasteful in its operation. Ignorance is visited as sharply as wilful disobedience—incapacity meets with the same punishment as crime. Nature’s discipline is not even a word and a blow, and the blow first; but the blow without the word. It is left to you to find out why your ears are boxed.
The object of what we commonly call education—that education in which man intervenes, and which I shall distinguish as artificial education—is to make good these defects in Nature’s methods; to prepare the child to receive Nature’s education, neither incapably, nor ignorantly, nor with wilful disobedience; and to understand the preliminary symptoms of her displeasure, without waiting for the box on the ear. In short, all artificial education ought to he an anticipation of natural education. And a liberal education is an artificial education, which has not only prepared a man to escape the great evils of disobedience to natural laws, but has trained him to appreciate and to seize upon the rewards, which Nature scatters with as free a hand as her penalties.
From Inaugural Address as Principal, South London Working Men’s College, in 'A Liberal Education; and Where to Find it', Macmillan's Magazine (Mar 1868), 17, 370.
Science quotes on:  |  Blow (22)  |  Child (244)  |  Crime (25)  |  Discipline (52)  |  Disobedience (4)  |  Education (328)  |  Harsh (8)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Incapacity (3)  |  Natural Law (31)  |  Nature (1199)  |  Penalty (6)  |  Punishment (11)  |  Reward (48)  |  Teaching (107)

[The word] genius is derived from gignere, gigno; I bring forth, I produce; it always supposes invention, and this quality, is the only one which belongs to all the different kinds of genius.
From the original French, “Celui de génie dérive de gignere, gigno; j’enfante, je produis; il suppose toujours invention: & cette qualité est la seule qui appartienne à tous les génies différents,” in 'Du Génie', L’Esprit (1758), Discourse 4, 476. English version from Claude Adrien Helvétius and William Mudford (trans.), 'Of Genius', De l’Esprit or, Essays on the Mind and its several Faculties (1759), Essay 4, Chap. 1, 241.
Science quotes on:  |  Derive (33)  |  Different (176)  |  Genius (230)  |  Invention (316)  |  Kind (137)  |  Produce (98)  |  Quality (92)  |  Suppose (48)

…the simplicity, the indispensableness of each word, each letter, each little dash, that among all artists raises the mathematician nearest to the World-creator; it establishes a sublimity which is equalled in no other art,—Something like it exists at most in symphonic music.
As quoted in Robert E. Moritz, 'Meaning, Methods and Mission of Modern Mathematics', The Scientific Monthly (May 1928), 26, No. 5, 424.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (280)  |  Artist (60)  |  Creator (50)  |  Dash (2)  |  Equal (76)  |  Establish (55)  |  Exist (144)  |  Indispensable (24)  |  Letter (50)  |  Mathematician (361)  |  Music (95)  |  Raise (34)  |  Science And Art (177)  |  Simplicity (145)  |  Sublime (27)  |  World (877)

“Obvious” is the most dangerous word in mathematics.
In The Queen of the Sciences (1938), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Dangerous (59)  |  Mathematics (1130)  |  Obvious (77)

“Wu Li” was more than poetic. It was the best definition of physics that the conference would produce. It caught that certain something, that living quality that we were seeking to express in a book, that thing without which physics becomes sterile. “Wu” can mean either “matter” or “energy.” “Li” is a richly poetic word. It means “universal order” or “universal law.” It also means “organic patterns.” The grain in a panel of wood is Li. The organic pattern on the surface of a leaf is also Li, and so is the texture of a rose petal. In short, Wu Li, the Chinese word for physics, means “patterns of organic energy” (“matter/ energy” [Wu] + “universal order/organic patterns” [Li]). This is remarkable since it reflects a world view which the founders of western science (Galileo and Newton) simply did not comprehend, but toward which virtually every physical theory of import in the twentieth century is pointing!
In The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (1979), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (33)  |  Book (255)  |  Catch (30)  |  Chinese (7)  |  Comprehend (38)  |  Conference (11)  |  Definition (190)  |  Energy (214)  |  Express (62)  |  Founder (15)  |  Galileo Galilei (121)  |  Grain (27)  |  Law (511)  |  Leaf (49)  |  Matter (336)  |  Mean (101)  |  Means (167)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (327)  |  Order (238)  |  Organic (54)  |  Panel (2)  |  Pattern (78)  |  Petal (3)  |  Physics (342)  |  Poem (91)  |  Produce (98)  |  Quality (92)  |  Remarkable (48)  |  Rose (9)  |  Science (2017)  |  Seek (101)  |  Sterile (11)  |  Surface (100)  |  Texture (6)  |  Theory (687)  |  Universal (99)  |  Western (19)  |  Wood (49)  |  World View (2)


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.