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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index R > Arthur David Ritchie Quotes

Arthur David Ritchie
(1891 - 1967)

English chemist and logician.

Science Quotes by Arthur David Ritchie (7 quotes)

But it seems to me equally obvious that the orderliness is not all-pervasive. There are streaks of order to be found among the chaos, and the nature of scientific method is to seek these out and to stick to them when found and to reject or neglect the chaos. It is obvious that we have succeeded in finding some order in nature, but this fact in itself does not prove anything farther.
— Arthur David Ritchie
Scientific Method: An Inquiry into the Character and Validy of Natural Law (1923), 200.
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It is really just as bad technique to make a measurement more accurately than is necessary as it is to make it not accurately enough.
— Arthur David Ritchie
Scientific Method: An Inquiry into the Character and Validy of Natural Law (1923), 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Bad (180)  |  Enough (341)  |  Measurement (174)  |  More (2559)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Technique (80)

People have noted with admiration how the progress of scientific enquiry is like the growth of a coral reef; each generation of little toilers building a sure foundation on which their successors may build yet further. The simile is apt in many ways, and in one way in particular that is worth considering. When we see how industrious and how prolific are the coral insects, our chief astonishment should be, not how vast are the structures they have built, but how few and scattered. Why is not every coast lined with coral? Why is the abyss if ocean not bridged with it. The answer is that coral only lives under certain limitations; it can only thrive at certain depths, in water of certain temperatures and salinities; outside these limits it languishes and dies. Science is like coral in this. Scientific investigators can only work in certain spots of the ocean of Being, where they are at home, and all outside is unknown to them...
— Arthur David Ritchie
Scientific Method: An Inquiry into the Character and Validy of Natural Law (1923), 195. Quoted in Wilson Gee, Social science research methods (1950), 182.
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That our knowledge only illuminates a small corner of the Universe, that it is incomplete, approximate, tentative and merely probable need not concert us. It is genuine nevertheless. Physical science stands as one of the great achievements of the human spirit.
— Arthur David Ritchie
Scientific Method: An Inquiry into the Character and Validy of Natural Law (1923), 201-202.
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The fact that the regions of nature actually covered by known laws are few and fragmentary is concealed by the natural tendency to crowd our experience into those particular regions and to leave the others to themselves. We seek out those parts that are known and familiar and avoid those that are unknown and unfamiliar. This is simply what is called 'Applied Science.'
— Arthur David Ritchie
Scientific Method: An Inquiry into the Character and Validy of Natural Law (1923), 201.
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The first thing the reasonable man must do is to be content with a very little knowledge and a very great deal of ignorance. The second thing he must do is to make the utmost possible use of the knowledge he has and not waste his energy crying for the moon. The third thing he must do is try and see clearly where his knowledge ends and his ignorance begins.
— Arthur David Ritchie
Scientific Method: An Inquiry into the Character and Validy of Natural Law (1923), 177.
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The material universe must consist ... of bodies ... such that each of them exercises its own separate, independent, and invariable effect, a change of the total state being compounded of a number of separate changes each of which is solely due to a separate portion of the preceding state.
— Arthur David Ritchie
A Treatise on Probability (), 249. In Antony Flew, A Dictionary of Philosophy (1984), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (358)  |  Being (1278)  |  Change (595)  |  Compound (113)  |  Consist (223)  |  Due (141)  |  Effect (394)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Material (353)  |  Must (1526)  |  Number (701)  |  Portion (84)  |  Separate (143)  |  State (491)  |  Total (94)  |  Universe (861)


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

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