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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Allan Rex Sandage Quotes

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Allan Rex Sandage
(18 Jun 1926 - 13 Nov 2010)

American astronomer who co-discovered (1960), the first optical identification of a quasi-stellar radio source (quasar), a star-like object that is a strong emitter of radio waves.


Science Quotes by Allan Rex Sandage (18 quotes)

Astronomy is a science in which you are not able to touch anything you study.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (231)  |  Science (3880)  |  Study (656)  |  Touch (142)

Everything is always in trouble at the frontier. Any science that is not in this kind of trouble is dead.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Dead (59)  |  Everything (476)  |  Frontier (38)  |  Kind (557)  |  Science (3880)  |  Trouble (107)

I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Chaos (91)  |  Existence (460)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Find (999)  |  God (758)  |  Improbable (14)  |  Instead (21)  |  Miracle (83)  |  Mystery (178)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Order (632)  |  Organize (29)  |  Principle (510)  |  Science And Religion (310)  |  Something (719)  |  Why (491)

It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It is only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in Sharon Begley, 'Science Finds God', Newsweek (1998).
Science quotes on:  |  Complicated (115)  |  Conclusion (255)  |  Driven (4)  |  Existence (460)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  More (2559)  |  Mystery (178)  |  Science (3880)  |  Supernatural (25)  |  Through (849)  |  Understand (607)  |  Understanding (514)  |  World (1778)

It would be as if you were appointed to be copy editor to Dante. If you were the assistant to Dante, and then Dante died, and then you had in your possession the whole of “The Divine Comedy,” what would you do?
— Allan Rex Sandage
On the challenge of taking over (from the late Edwin Hubble) and continuing the universe expansion research at the new 200-inch telescope on Palomar Mountain, California. It was just as the telescope was going into operation, and Sandage was a fresh Ph.D. at age 27. As quoted in Obituary, 'Allan Sandage, 84, Astronomer, Dies; Charted Cosmos’s Age and Expansion', New York Times (17 Nov 2010), B19.
Science quotes on:  |  Appoint (3)  |  Assistant (6)  |  Biography (242)  |  Comedy (4)  |  Copy (33)  |  Dante Alighieri (10)  |  Die (86)  |  Divine (112)  |  Do (1908)  |  Editor (9)  |  Possession (65)  |  Whole (738)

I’m very intense in my work. At any given moment, I think I know the answer to some problem, and that I’m right. Since science is the only self-correcting human institution I know of, you should not be frightened to take an extreme stand, if that causes the stand to be examined more thoroughly than it might be if you are circumspect. I’ve always been positive about the value of the Hubble constant, knowing full well that it probably isn’t solved.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (366)  |  Cause (542)  |  Circumspect (2)  |  Constant (144)  |  Correct (87)  |  Examine (78)  |  Extreme (75)  |  Hubble Constant (2)  |  Human (1470)  |  Institution (68)  |  Intense (20)  |  Know (1519)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Moment (254)  |  More (2559)  |  Positive (94)  |  Probably (49)  |  Problem (679)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3880)  |  Self (267)  |  Self-Correcting (5)  |  Solved (2)  |  Stand (274)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thorough (40)  |  Thoroughly (67)  |  Value (368)  |  Work (1351)

No thinking observer was there at the “beginning,” [of the universe] although most of our personal nucleons, borrowed only for our lifetime from the nuclide pool, must have been there shortly thereafter
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (305)  |  Borrow (30)  |  Lifetime (31)  |  Most (1729)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nucleon (5)  |  Observer (43)  |  Origin Of The Universe (19)  |  Personal (67)  |  Pool (15)  |  Thinking (415)  |  Universe (861)

Science cannot answer the deepest questions. As soon as you ask why is there something instead of nothing, you have gone beyond science.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Deep (233)  |  Instead (21)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Question (622)  |  Science (3880)  |  Something (719)  |  Soon (186)  |  Why (491)

So the universe will continue to expand forever, and the galaxies will get farther and farther apart, and things will just die. That’s the way it is. It doesn't matter whether I feel lonely about it or not.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in Obituary, 'Allan Sandage, 84, Astronomer, Dies; Charted Cosmos’s Age and Expansion', New York Times (17 Nov 2010), B19.
Science quotes on:  |  Continue (165)  |  Die (86)  |  Expand (53)  |  Farther (51)  |  Feel (366)  |  Forever (103)  |  Galaxies (29)  |  Galaxy (51)  |  Lonely (24)  |  Matter (801)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Universe (861)  |  Way (1216)  |  Will (2354)

Suppose you were given a watch, a tube to sight with and a string, and then asked to determine the distance to the nearest star. Or you were asked the chemical composition, pressure or temperature of the Sun. A hundred or more years ago, these questions seemed impossible. Now astronomers are answering them all the time, and they believe their answers. Why? Because there are many parallel ways and tests, and they all give the same answers.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  All The Time (4)  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Astronomer (94)  |  Belief (578)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Composition (84)  |  Determine (144)  |  Distance (163)  |  Hundred (228)  |  Impossible (253)  |  More (2559)  |  Parallel (43)  |  Pressure (63)  |  Question (622)  |  Seem (145)  |  Sight (132)  |  Star (430)  |  String (21)  |  Sun (387)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Test (212)  |  Time (1877)  |  Tube (5)  |  Watch (109)  |  Way (1216)  |  Why (491)  |  Year (932)

The greatest mystery is why there is something instead of nothing, and the greatest something is this thing we call life.
— Allan Rex Sandage
In Through a Window by Alan Lightman and Roberta Brawer (1990).
Science quotes on:  |  Call (769)  |  Greatest (329)  |  Life (1799)  |  Mystery (178)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Something (719)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Why (491)

The study of origins is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient evidence.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Conclusion (255)  |  Draw (137)  |  Drawing (56)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Insufficient (9)  |  Origin (241)  |  Study (656)  |  Sufficient (128)

To cosmologists that [the universe is expanding] is the most amazing scientific discovery ever made. … It’s an audacious quest that is unparalleled in human inquiry. … We have entered what once was the ethereal realm only of speculative philosophers.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Amazing (35)  |  Audacious (4)  |  Cosmologist (5)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Enter (142)  |  Ethereal (8)  |  Expand (53)  |  Human (1470)  |  Inquiry (79)  |  Most (1729)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Quest (39)  |  Realm (85)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Speculation (126)  |  Universe (861)  |  Unparalleled (3)

Until recently even the most generous assessment places the subject [of the origin of the universe] at the edges of objective inquiry if not entirely outside the scientific method.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Assessment (3)  |  Edge (47)  |  Entirely (34)  |  Generous (17)  |  Inquiry (79)  |  Method (506)  |  Most (1729)  |  Objective (92)  |  Origin (241)  |  Origin Of The Universe (19)  |  Outside (141)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Scientific Method (176)  |  Subject (522)  |  Universe (861)

[Astronomy] gets you outside yourself into something much bigger
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (231)  |  Bigger (5)  |  Outside (141)  |  Something (719)  |  Yourself (7)

[On research] It’s got to be fun. I don't think anybody should tell you that he’s slogged his way through 25 years on a problem and there's only one reward at the end, and that's the value of the Hubble constant. That’s a bunch of hooey. The reward is learning all the wonderful properties of the things that don’t work.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in Obituary, 'Allan Sandage, 84, Astronomer, Dies; Charted Cosmos’s Age and Expansion', New York Times (17 Nov 2010), B19.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Anybody (42)  |  Constant (144)  |  End (590)  |  Fun (39)  |  Hubble Constant (2)  |  Learn (632)  |  Learning (274)  |  Problem (679)  |  Property (169)  |  Research (677)  |  Reward (68)  |  Tell (340)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Through (849)  |  Value (368)  |  Way (1216)  |  Wonderful (149)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (932)

[The science of cosmology is] closest to the soul because it has to do with origins, and that somehow generates strong opinions.
— Allan Rex Sandage
As quoted in John Noble Wilford, 'Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest', New York Times (12 Mar 1991), C10.
Science quotes on:  |  Close (69)  |  Cosmology (26)  |  Do (1908)  |  Generate (16)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Origin (241)  |  Science (3880)  |  Somehow (48)  |  Soul (227)  |  Strong (174)

[Walter] Baade, like all scientists of substance, had a set view of how things were put together, to be sure a view to be always challenged by the scientist himself, but defended as well against all less informed mortals who objected without simon-pure reasons.
— Allan Rex Sandage
From Owen Gingerich in Physics Today (1994), 47, No.12, 34-40. As quoted and cited in Donald Lynden-Bell and Franηois Schweizer, 'Allan Rex Sandage: 18 June 1926—13 November 2010', Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (2012), Vol. 58, 251.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  All (4107)  |  Walter Baade (3)  |  Biography (242)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Defend (30)  |  Himself (461)  |  Inform (47)  |  Informed (5)  |  Mortal (54)  |  Object (422)  |  Pure (292)  |  Reason (744)  |  Scientist (825)  |  Set (394)  |  Substance (248)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Together (387)  |  View (488)



Quotes by others about Allan Rex Sandage (1)

Dr. [Allan] Sandage was a man of towering passions and many moods, and for years, you weren't anybody in astronomy if he had not stopped speaking to you.
In Obituary, 'Allan Sandage, 84, Astronomer, Dies; Charted Cosmos’s Age and Expansion', New York Times (17 Nov 2010), B19.
Science quotes on:  |  Anybody (42)  |  Astronomy (231)  |  Biography (242)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mood (13)  |  Passion (114)  |  Speak (232)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Stop (80)  |  Tower (42)  |  Towering (11)  |  Year (932)


See also:

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
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