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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index T > John Tyndall Quotes > Science

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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.


John Tyndall Quotes on Science (7 quotes)

>> Click for 43 Science Quotes by John Tyndall

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Believing, as I do, in the continuity of nature, I cannot stop abruptly where our microscopes cease to be of use. Here the vision of the mind authoritatively supplements the vision of the eye. By a necessity engendered and justified by science I cross the boundary of the experimental evidence, and discern in that Matter which we, in our ignorance of its latent powers, and notwithstanding our professed reverence for its Creator, have hitherto covered with opprobrium, the promise and potency of all terrestrial Life.
— John Tyndall
'Address Delivered Before The British Association Assembled at Belfast', (19 Aug 1874). Fragments of Science for Unscientific People: A Series of Detached Essays, Lectures, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 2, 191.
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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)
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In the firmament of science Mayer and Joule constitute a double star, the light of each being in a certain sense complementary to that of the other.
— John Tyndall
In Heat: A Mode of Motion (1800, 1915), 569.
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Religious feeling is as much a verity as any other part of human consciousness; and against it, on its subjective side, the waves of science beat in vain.
— John Tyndall
In 'Professor Virchow and Evolution', Fragments of Science for Unscientific People (1879), Vol. 2, 376.
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The logical feebleness of science is not sufficiently borne in mind. It keeps down the weed of superstition, not by logic but by slowly rendering the mental soil unfit for its cultivation.
— John Tyndall
In 'Science and Spirits', Fragments of Science for Unscientific People (1871), 409.
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We have been scourged by invisible thongs, attacked from impenetrable ambuscades, and it is only to-day that the light of science is being let in upon the murderous dominion of our foes.
— John Tyndall
From Lecture (19 Oct 1876) to the Glasgow Science Lectures Association, 'Fermentation, and its Bearings on the Phenomena of Disease,' printed in The Fortnightly Review (1 Nov 1876), 26 N.S., No. 119, 572.
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[Louis Rendu, Bishop of Annecy] collects observations, makes experiments, and tries to obtain numerical results; always taking care, however, so to state his premises and qualify his conclusions that nobody shall be led to ascribe to his numbers a greater accuracy than they merit. It is impossible to read his work, and not feel that he was a man of essentially truthful mind and that science missed an ornament when he was appropriated by the Church.
— John Tyndall
In The Glaciers of the Alps (1860), 299.
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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
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