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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index W > Category: Worthless

Worthless Quotes (15 quotes)

A science which does not bring us nearer to God is worthless.
In Gravity and Grace, (1947, 1952), 105.
Science quotes on:  |  Nearer (8)  |  Science And God (4)

As for types like my own, obscurely motivated by the conviction that our existence was worthless if we didn’t make a turning point of it, we were assigned to the humanities, to poetry, philosophy, painting—the nursery games of humankind, which had to be left behind when the age of science began. The humanities would be called upon to choose a wallpaper for the crypt, as the end drew near.
From More Die of Heartbreak (1987, 1997), 246-247.
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I am more fond of achieving than striving. My theories must prove to be facts or be discarded as worthless. My efforts must soon be crowned with success, or discontinued.
The Rest of My Life, ch. 4 (1937).Wells wrote, in addition to other works, the popular 'Fleming Stone' detective series.
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If you cannot—in the long run—tell everyone what you have been doing, your doing has been worthless.
Concluding remark of the first of four public lectures for the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies at University College, Dublin (Feb 1950), 'The Spiritual Bearing of Science on Life', collected in Science and Humanism: Physics in Our Time (1951). Reprinted in 'Nature and the Greeks' and 'Science and Humanism' (1996), 112.
Science quotes on:  |  Doing (36)  |  Telling (23)

In the 1920s, there was a dinner at which the physicist Robert W. Wood was asked to respond to a toast … “To physics and metaphysics.” Now by metaphysics was meant something like philosophy—truths that you could get to just by thinking about them. Wood took a second, glanced about him, and answered along these lines: The physicist has an idea, he said. The more he thinks it through, the more sense it makes to him. He goes to the scientific literature, and the more he reads, the more promising the idea seems. Thus prepared, he devises an experiment to test the idea. The experiment is painstaking. Many possibilities are eliminated or taken into account; the accuracy of the measurement is refined. At the end of all this work, the experiment is completed and … the idea is shown to be worthless. The physicist then discards the idea, frees his mind (as I was saying a moment ago) from the clutter of error, and moves on to something else. The difference between physics and metaphysics, Wood concluded, is that the metaphysicist has no laboratory.
In 'Wonder and Skepticism', Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.
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Is any knowledge worthless? Try to think of an example.
From chapter 'Jottings from a Note-Book', in Canadian Stories (1918), 169.
Science quotes on:  |  Example (57)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Think (205)  |  Try (103)

It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas … If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you … On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones.
In 'The Burden of Skepticism', Skeptical Inquirer (Fall 1987), 12, No. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Balance (43)  |  Conflicting (3)  |  Distinguish (32)  |  Exquisite (12)  |  Gullibility (2)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Idea (440)  |  Need (211)  |  New (340)  |  On The Other Hand (16)  |  Openness (5)  |  Scrutiny (13)  |  Sense (240)  |  Skeptical (6)  |  Useful (66)

Mere knowledge is comparatively worthless unless digested into practical wisdom and common sense as applied to the affairs of life.
As quoted, without citation, in John Walker, A Fork in the Road: Answers to Daily Dilemmas from the Teachings of Jesus Christ (2005), 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Affair (24)  |  Apply (38)  |  Common Sense (69)  |  Comparatively (6)  |  Digest (5)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Mere (41)  |  Practical (93)  |  Wisdom (151)

On Sept 15th [1852] Mr Goulburn, Chancellor of the Exchequer, asked my opinion on the utility of Mr Babbage's calculating machine, and the propriety of spending further sums of money on it. I replied, entering fully into the matter, and giving my opinion that it was worthless.
In George Biddell Airy and Wilfrid Airy (ed.), Autobiography of Sir George Biddell Airy (1896), 152.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (99)  |  Charles Babbage (44)  |  Chancellor (3)  |  Money (125)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Propriety (3)  |  Reply (18)  |  Spending (7)  |  Sum (30)  |  Utility (23)

Several of my young acquaintances are in their graves who gave promise of making happy and useful citizens and there is no question whatever that cigarettes alone were the cause of their destruction. No boy living would commence the use of cigarettes if he knew what a useless, soulless, worthless thing they would make of him.
Quoted in Henry Ford, The Case Against the Little White Slaver (1914), Vol. 1, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaintance (13)  |  Boy (33)  |  Cause (231)  |  Cigarette (22)  |  Citizen (23)  |  Commencement (6)  |  Destruction (80)  |  Grave (20)  |  Happy (22)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Promise (27)  |  Question (315)  |  Soul (139)  |  Usefulness (70)  |  Uselessness (21)  |  Youth (57)

That theory is worthless. It isn’t even wrong!
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Theory (582)  |  Wrong (116)

There must be some one quality without which a work of art cannot exist; possessing which, in the least degree, no work is altogether worthless.
In Art (1913), 7.
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To render aid to the worthless is sheer waste. Rain does not freshen the Dead Sea, but only enables it to dissolve more salt.
From chapter 'Jottings from a Note-Book', in Canadian Stories (1918), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (23)  |  Dead (45)  |  Dissolve (9)  |  Enable (25)  |  Rain (28)  |  Render (17)  |  Salt (23)  |  Sea (143)  |  Sheer (6)  |  Waste (57)

We are living in an age of awesome agricultural enterprise that needs to be interpreted. We find our simple faith in science dominated by the Religion of PhDeism under the reign of Data; so narrow in people and often so meaningless in context as to be worthless to the scientific farmer.
Letter to Joshua Lederberg (19 Apr 1970), Joshua Lederberg papers, National Library of Medicine (online). Hildebrand was a response to a Lederberg's letter published in the Washington Post (18 Apr 1970) about 'Ecology Has All Requisites of an Authentic Religion.' Note that Sam Murchid claimed this term PhDeism in another context in his diaries (as seen in diaries of 1964 and others).
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[Science] is not perfect. It can be misused. It is only a tool. But it is by far the best tool we have, self-correcting, ongoing, applicable to everything. It has two rules. First: there are no sacred truths; all assumptions must be critically examined; arguments from authority are worthless. Second: whatever is inconsistent with the facts must be discarded or revised. ... The obvious is sometimes false; the unexpected is sometimes true.
Cosmos (1985), 277.
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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)
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Sophie Germain
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Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
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Carl Gauss
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- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
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Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
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Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
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Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
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- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
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- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
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Archimedes
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- 30 -
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Richard Feynman
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- 20 -
Carl Sagan
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- 10 -
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