Celebrating 19 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 > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Homer William Smith Quotes

Homer William Smith
(1895 - 1962)

American physiologist.

Science Quotes by Homer William Smith (3 quotes)

Superficially, it might be said that the function of the kidneys is to make urine; but in a more considered view one can say that the kidneys make the stuff of philosophy itself.
— Homer William Smith
'The Evolution of the Kidney', Lectures on the Kidney (1943), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Consider (416)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Function (228)  |  Kidney (18)  |  More (2559)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Say (984)  |  French Saying (67)  |  Stuff (21)  |  Superficial (12)  |  Urine (16)  |  View (488)

The responsibility for maintaining the composition of the blood in respect to other constituents devolves largely upon the kidneys. It is no exaggeration to say that the composition of the blood is determined not by what the mouth ingests but by what the kidneys keep; they are the master chemists of our internal environment, which, so to speak, they synthesize in reverse. When, among other duties, they excrete the ashes of our body fires, or remove from the blood the infinite variety of foreign substances which are constantly being absorbed from our indiscriminate gastrointestinal tracts, these excretory operations are incidental to the major task of keeping our internal environment in an ideal, balanced state. Our glands, our muscles, our bones, our tendons, even our brains, are called upon to do only one kind of physiological work, while our kidneys are called upon to perform an innumerable variety of operations. Bones can break, muscles can atrophy, glands can loaf, even the brain can go to sleep, without immediately endangering our survival, but when the kidneys fail to manufacture the proper kind of blood neither bone, muscle, gland nor brain can carry on.
— Homer William Smith
'The Evolution of the Kidney', Lectures on the Kidney (1943), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (49)  |  Absorption (12)  |  Ash (20)  |  Atrophy (7)  |  Balance (77)  |  Being (1278)  |  Blood (134)  |  Body (537)  |  Bone (95)  |  Brain (270)  |  Break (99)  |  Call (769)  |  Carry (127)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Composition (84)  |  Condition (356)  |  Constant (144)  |  Constituent (45)  |  Determined (9)  |  Do (1908)  |  Environment (216)  |  Exaggeration (15)  |  Excretion (7)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  Fire (189)  |  Foreign (45)  |  Gland (14)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Immediate (95)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Incidental (15)  |  Indiscriminate (2)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Innumerable (55)  |  Internal (66)  |  Keep (101)  |  Kidney (18)  |  Kind (557)  |  Loaf (5)  |  Major (84)  |  Manufacture (29)  |  Manufacturing (27)  |  Master (178)  |  Mouth (53)  |  Muscle (45)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perform (121)  |  Performance (48)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Proper (144)  |  Removal (11)  |  Remove (45)  |  Respect (207)  |  Responsibility (66)  |  Reverse (33)  |  Say (984)  |  Sleep (76)  |  Speak (232)  |  State (491)  |  Substance (248)  |  Survival (94)  |  Synthesis (57)  |  Task (147)  |  Tract (5)  |  Variety (132)  |  Work (1351)

There are those who say that the human kidney was created to keep the blood pure, or more precisely, to keep our internal environment in an ideal balanced state. This I must deny. I grant that the human kidney is a marvelous organ, but I cannot grant that it was purposefully designed to excrete urine or to regulate the composition of the blood or to subserve the physiological welfare of Homo sapiens in any sense. Rather I contend that the human kidney manufactures the kind of urine that it does, and it maintains the blood in the composition which that fluid has, because this kidney has a certain functional architecture; and it owes that architecture not to design or foresight or to any plan, but to the fact that the earth is an unstable sphere with a fragile crust, to the geologic revolutions that for six hundred million years have raised and lowered continents and seas, to the predacious enemies, and heat and cold, and storms and droughts; to the unending succession of vicissitudes that have driven the mutant vertebrates from sea into fresh water, into desiccated swamps, out upon the dry land, from one habitation to another, perpetually in search of the free and independent life, perpetually failing, for one reason or another, to find it.
— Homer William Smith
From Fish to Philosopher (1953), 210-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Architecture (48)  |  Balance (77)  |  Blood (134)  |  Certain (550)  |  Cold (112)  |  Composition (84)  |  Contention (14)  |  Continent (76)  |  Creation (327)  |  Crust (38)  |  Denial (17)  |  Deny (66)  |  Design (195)  |  Drought (13)  |  Dry (57)  |  Earth (996)  |  Enemy (82)  |  Environment (216)  |  Excretion (7)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Failure (161)  |  Find (998)  |  Fluid (51)  |  Foresight (6)  |  Fragile (21)  |  Fragility (2)  |  Free (232)  |  Fresh (67)  |  Function (228)  |  Geology (220)  |  Grant (73)  |  Habitation (7)  |  Heat (174)  |  Homo Sapiens (23)  |  Human (1468)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Independent (67)  |  Internal (66)  |  Keep (101)  |  Kidney (18)  |  Kind (557)  |  Land (115)  |  Life (1795)  |  Lowering (4)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Maintenance (20)  |  Manufacture (29)  |  Manufacturing (27)  |  Marvel (35)  |  Marvelous (29)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Organ (115)  |  Owe (71)  |  Perpetual (57)  |  Perpetually (20)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Plan (117)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Predator (6)  |  Pure (291)  |  Purity (14)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Raise (35)  |  Reason (744)  |  Regulation (24)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Say (984)  |  French Saying (67)  |  Sea (308)  |  Search (162)  |  Sense (770)  |  Serve (59)  |  Sphere (116)  |  State (491)  |  Storm (51)  |  Storms (18)  |  Succession (77)  |  Swamp (7)  |  Unstable (8)  |  Urine (16)  |  Vertebrate (20)  |  Vicissitude (6)  |  Water (481)  |  Welfare (25)  |  Year (933)


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)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (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.