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Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > John Smeaton Quotes

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John Smeaton
(8 Jun 1724 - 28 Oct 1792)

English civil engineer regarded as the father of civil engineering in Britain, who built the third Eddystone Lighthouse, Plymouth, Devon (1756-59).


Science Quotes by John Smeaton (3 quotes)

In my intercourse with mankind, I have always found those who would thrust theory into practical matters to be, at bottom, men of no judgement and pure quacks.
— John Smeaton
Quoted in James Kip Finch, Engineering Classics of James Kip Finch.
Science quotes on:  |  Engineering (115)  |  Theory (582)

It is contrary to the usual practice of professional men to give their opinions upon each other's work unless regularly called upon in the way of their profession.
— John Smeaton
Science quotes on:  |  Engineering (115)  |  Opinion (146)

Stone, wood and iron are wrought and put together by mechanical methods, but the greatest work is to keep right the animal part of the machinery.
— John Smeaton
Science quotes on:  |  Engineering (115)



Quotes by others about John Smeaton (2)

The history of men of science has one peculiar advantage, as it shows the importance of little things in producing great results. Smeaton learned his principle of constructing a lighthouse, by noticing the trunk of a tree to be diminished from a curve to a cyclinder ... and Newton, turning an old box into a water-clock, or the yard of a house into a sundial, are examples of those habits of patient observation which scientific biography attractively recommends.
Pleasures, Objects, and Advantages of Literature (1855), 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Lighthouse (4)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Observation (418)  |  Sundial (5)

...learning chiefly in mathematical sciences can so swallow up and fix one's thought, as to possess it entirely for some time; but when that amusement is over, nature will return, and be where it was, being rather diverted than overcome by such speculations.
An Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England (1850), 154
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Lighthouse (4)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Observation (418)  |  Sundial (5)


See also:
  • 8 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Smeaton's birth.
  • Smeaton's Tower, by Christopher Severn. - book suggestion.

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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