Celebrating 20 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index T > John Tyndall Quotes > Fact

Thumbnail of John Tyndall (source)
John Tyndall
(2 Aug 1820 - 4 Dec 1893)

Irish physicist who demonstrated why the sky is blue. He wrote on diverse topics, including crystals, glaciers and radiation. His studies also included spontaneous generation, the germ theory of disease and ozone.




Every occurrence in Nature is preceded by other occurrences which are its causes, and succeeded by others which are its effects. The human mind is not satisfied with observing and studying any natural occurrence alone, but takes pleasure in connecting every natural fact with what has gone before it, and with what is to come after it.
— John Tyndall
In Forms of Water in Clouds and Rivers, Ice and Glaciers (1872), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (312)  |  Before (8)  |  Cause (545)  |  Connection (163)  |  Effect (394)  |  Fact (1216)  |  Human (1471)  |  Human Mind (129)  |  Mind (1344)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature (1938)  |  Observation (570)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Other (2234)  |  Pleasure (181)  |  Preceding (8)  |  Satisfaction (74)  |  Study (658)  |  Studying (70)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Succeeding (14)

If you ask me whether science has solved, or is likely to solve, the problem of this universe, I must shake my head in doubt. We have been talking of matter and force; but whence came matter, and whence came force? You remember the first Napoleon’s question, when the savans who accompanied him to Egypt discussed in his presence the problem of the universe, and solved it to their apparent satisfaction. He looked aloft to the starry heavens, and said—“It is all very well, gentlemen, but who made all these!” That question still remains unanswered, and science makes no attempt to answer it.
— John Tyndall
Lecture 'On Matter and Force', to nearly 3,000 working men, at the Dundee Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Sep 1867), reported in 'Dundee Meeting, 1867', Chemical News and Journal of Physical Science (Nov 1867)
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (22)  |  All (4105)  |  Aloft (5)  |  Answer (369)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Ask (411)  |  Attempt (253)  |  Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (19)  |  Discuss (23)  |  Doubt (307)  |  Egypt (29)  |  First (1284)  |  Force (488)  |  Gentleman (26)  |  Head (81)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Look (582)  |  Make (25)  |  Matter (802)  |  Must (1526)  |  Napoleon (16)  |  Presence (63)  |  Problem (687)  |  Question (625)  |  Remain (349)  |  Remember (181)  |  Satisfaction (74)  |  Science (3888)  |  Shake (41)  |  Solve (131)  |  Star (432)  |  Still (613)  |  Talk (100)  |  Talking (76)  |  Unanswered (8)  |  Universe (863)

It is as fatal as it is cowardly to blink facts because they are not to our taste.
— John Tyndall
From Presidential Address (1 Oct 1877), 'Science and Man', in The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art (Jan 1878), N.S. 27, No. 1, 75. Also in Fragments of Science (1879), Vol. 2, 362.
Science quotes on:  |  Blink (2)  |  Fact (1216)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fatality (3)  |  Taste (90)

Newton’s passage from a falling apple to a falling moon was an act of the prepared imagination. Out of the facts of chemistry the constructive imagination of Dalton formed the atomic theory. Davy was richly endowed with the imaginative faculty, while with Faraday its exercise was incessant, preceding, accompanying and guiding all his experiments. His strength and fertility as a discoverer are to be referred in great part to the stimulus of the imagination.
— John Tyndall
In 'The Scientific Use of the Imagination', Fragments of Science: A Series of Detached Essays, Addresses, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 2, 104.
Science quotes on:  |  Apple (41)  |  Atomic Theory (16)  |  John Dalton (22)  |  Experiment (706)  |  Fall (231)  |  Michael Faraday (86)  |  Imagination (333)  |  Moon (239)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (336)  |  Preparation (59)  |  Stimulus (29)

The mutton in the study gathered over it a thick blanket of Penicillium. On the 13th [December 1875] it had assumed a light brown colour as if by a faint admixture of clay; but the infusion became transparent. The ‘clay’ here was the slime of dead or dormant Bacteria, the cause of their quiescence being the blanket of Penicillium. I found no active life in this tube, while all the others swarmed with Bacteria. In every case where the mould was thick and coherent the Bacteria died, or became dormant, and fell to the bottom of the sediment … The Bacteria which manufacture a green pigment appear to be uniformly victorious in their fight with the Penicillium.
— John Tyndall
From paper read to the Royal Institution (1 Jan 1876). In 'Professor Tyndall on the Optical Deportment of the Atmosphere in Relation to Putrefaction and Infection' , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1876), 166, 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Active (77)  |  All (4105)  |  Bacteria (48)  |  Being (1278)  |  Blanket (10)  |  Bottom (33)  |  Brown (23)  |  Cause (545)  |  Clay (10)  |  Coherence (13)  |  Death (394)  |  Dormant (4)  |  Fight (44)  |  Gather (72)  |  Green (64)  |  Infusion (4)  |  Life (1805)  |  Light (612)  |  Manufacture (29)  |  Manufacturing (28)  |  Mold (33)  |  Mutton (4)  |  Other (2234)  |  Penicillium (3)  |  Pigment (8)  |  Quiescence (2)  |  Sediment (8)  |  Slime (6)  |  Study (658)  |  Swarm (14)  |  Transparent (16)  |  Victory (40)

There is, however, no genius so gifted as not to need control and verification. ... [T]he brightest flashes in the world of thought are incomplete until they have been proved to have their counterparts in the world of fact. Thus the vocation of the true experimentalist may be defined as the continued exercise of spiritual insight, and its incessant correction and realisation. His experiments constitute a body, of which his purified intuitions are, as it were, the soul.
— John Tyndall
In 'Vitality', Scientific Use of the Imagination and Other Essays (1872), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (538)  |  Bright (79)  |  Brightest (12)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Continuation (20)  |  Control (167)  |  Correction (42)  |  Counterpart (9)  |  Definition (226)  |  Exercise (111)  |  Experiment (706)  |  Experimentalist (20)  |  Fact (1216)  |  Flash (49)  |  Genius (289)  |  Gift (104)  |  Gifted (24)  |  Incessant (9)  |  Incomplete (30)  |  Incompleteness (2)  |  Insight (102)  |  Intuition (78)  |  Need (292)  |  Proof (295)  |  Purification (7)  |  Realisation (4)  |  Realization (43)  |  Soul (230)  |  Spirit (267)  |  Spiritual (92)  |  Thought (960)  |  Verification (32)  |  Vocation (7)  |  World (1782)

To him [Faraday], as to all true philosophers, the main value of a fact was its position and suggestiveness in the general sequence of scientific truth.
— John Tyndall
Faraday as a Discoverer (1868), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4105)  |  Enquiry (87)  |  Fact (1216)  |  Michael Faraday (86)  |  General (511)  |  Philosopher (260)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Scientific Truth (23)  |  Sequence (68)  |  Truth (1068)  |  Value (376)


See also:
  • 2 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Tyndall's birth.
  • John Tyndall - context of quote “Fatal…to blink facts” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • John Tyndall - context of quote “Fatal…to blink facts” - Large image (800 x 400 px)
  • John Tyndall - context of quote “The First Experiment a Child Makes” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • John Tyndall - context of quote “The First Experiment a Child Makes” - Large image (800 x 400 px)
  • On Matter and Force - John Tyndall’s Lecture to general public at Dublin (1867).
  • A Vision of Modern Science: John Tyndall and the Role of the Scientist in Victorian Culture, by Ursula DeYoung. - 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
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (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


by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.