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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index T > Sir John Arthur Thomson Quotes

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Sir John Arthur Thomson
(8 Jul 1861 - 12 Feb 1933)

Scottish naturalist.


Science Quotes by Sir John Arthur Thomson (11 quotes)

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John Arthur Thomson
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A prolonged war in which a nation takes part is bound to impoverish the breed, since the character of the breed depends on the men who are left.
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
As given in David Starr Jordan, War and the Breed: The Relation of War to the Downfall of Nations (1915), 178.
Science quotes on:  |  Breed (18)  |  Character (82)  |  Dependence (32)  |  Left (13)  |  Nation (111)  |  War (144)

All Nature bristles with the marks of interrogation—among the grass and the petals of flowers, amidst the feathers of birds and the hairs of mammals, on mountain and moorland, in sea and sky-everywhere. It is one of the joys of life to discover those marks of interrogation, these unsolved and half-solved problems and try to answer their questions.
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
In Riddles of Science (1932), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Bird (96)  |  Bristle (2)  |  Discover (115)  |  Feather (10)  |  Flower (65)  |  Grass (30)  |  Hair (19)  |  Interrogation (4)  |  Joy (61)  |  Life (917)  |  Mammal (28)  |  Mark (28)  |  Moorland (2)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Petal (2)  |  Problem (362)  |  Question (315)  |  Sea (143)  |  Sky (68)  |  Unsolved (7)

Sooner or later nature does everything that is physically possible.
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
On Growth and Form (1917).

The chief end of science is to make things clear, the educative aim is to foster the inquisitive spirit.
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
In Riddles of Science (1932), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (58)  |  Chief (25)  |  Clear (52)  |  Education (280)  |  End (141)  |  Foster (2)  |  Inquisitive (3)  |  Science (1699)  |  Spirit (113)

The Doctrine of Evolution states the fact that the present is the child of the past and the parent of the future.
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
In Outline of Science: A Plain Story Simply Told (1922), Vol. 1, 185.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (189)  |  Doctrine (53)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fact (609)  |  Future (229)  |  Parent (39)  |  Past (109)  |  Present (103)

The man who has grit enough to bring about the afforestation or the irrigation of a country is not less worthy of honor than its conqueror.
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
As given in David Starr Jordan, War and the Breed: The Relation of War to the Downfall of Nations (1915), 83.
Science quotes on:  |  Conqueror (4)  |  Country (121)  |  Honor (21)  |  Irrigation (6)  |  Reforestation (3)  |  Worth (74)

The most powerful factors in the world are clear ideas in the minds of energetic men of good will.
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
In Outline of Science (1922), Vol. 1, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Clear (52)  |  Energetic (5)  |  Factor (34)  |  Good (228)  |  Idea (440)  |  Mind (544)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Will (29)  |  World (667)

There is no counting the unsolved problems of Natural History.
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
In Riddles of Science (1932), 102.
Science quotes on:  |  Count (34)  |  Natural History (44)  |  Problem (362)  |  Unsolved (7)

Was it not the great philosopher and mathematician Leibnitz who said that the more knowledge advances the more it becomes possible to condense it into little books?
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
Opening remark in 'Introductory Note', Outline of Science: A Plain Story Simply Told (1922), Vol. 1, iii. Webmaster has not yet identified the quote in Leibnitz's original words (translated). If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Book (181)  |  Condense (6)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Little (126)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Possible (100)

When I was young Science walked hand-in-hand with Art; now she walks arm-in-arm with Trade.
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
Clifford Dobell, 'D' Arcy Wentworth Thompson 1860-1948', Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 1948-1949 (1949), 613.

When science makes minor mysteries disappear, greater mysteries stand confessed. For one object of delight whose emotional value science has inevitably lessened—as Newton damaged the rainbow for Keats—science gives back double. To the grand primary impressions of the world­power, the immensities, the pervading order, and the universal flux, with which the man of feeling has been nurtured from of old, modern science has added thrilling impressions of manifoldness, intricacy, uniformity, inter-relatedness, and evolution. Science widens and clears the emotional window. There are great vistas to which science alone can lead, and they make for elevation of mind. The opposition between science and feeling is largely a misunderstanding. As one of our philosophers has remarked, science is in a true sense 'one of the humanities.'
— Sir John Arthur Thomson
J. Arthur Thomson (ed.), The Outline of Science: A Plain Story Simply Told (1921/2), Vol. 2, Science and Modern Thought, 787.


See also:
  • 8 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Thomson's birth.

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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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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Bible
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
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Nikola Tesla
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Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
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- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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- 10 -
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