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Who said: “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, ... finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell ... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index W > Oscar Wilde Quotes

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Oscar Wilde
(16 Oct 1854 - 30 Nov 1900)

Irish-English author and playwright remembered especially for his wit whose writings include plays, numerous short stories, poems and a novel. Of his plays, The Importance of being Earnest remains the most popular.

Science Quotes by Oscar Wilde (19 quotes)

Chiromancy is a most dangerous science, and one that ought not to be encouraged, except in a “tκte-ΰ-tκte.”
— Oscar Wilde
Aphorism collected in Sebastian Melmoth (1908), 15. Note: Sebastian Melmoth was the pseudonym used by Oscar Wilde in his exile in France after released from prison. Chiromancy is palmistry.
Science quotes on:  |  Dangerous (50)  |  Encourage (18)  |  Science (1741)

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
— Oscar Wilde
In his dialogue 'The Critic As Artist', collected in Intentions (1904), 101.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (12)  |  Education (286)  |  Knowledge (1148)  |  Nothing (302)  |  Remember (60)  |  Teaching (100)  |  Time (491)  |  Worth (83)

I see the moon like a clipped piece of silver. Like gilded bees the stars cluster round her.
— Oscar Wilde
In his dialogue 'The Critic As Artist', collected in Intentions (1904), 101.
Science quotes on:  |  Bee (21)  |  Cluster (12)  |  Gilded (2)  |  Moon (174)  |  Piece (32)  |  See (307)  |  Silver (31)  |  Star (310)

It is only the unimaginative who ever invents. The true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes, and he annexes everything
— Oscar Wilde
'Olivia at the Lyceum', Dramatic Review (30 May 1885). In Reviews (1908), 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Invention (287)

Now and then, in the course of the century, a great man of science, like Darwin; a great poet, like Keats; a fine critical spirit, like M. Renan; a supreme artist, like Flaubert, has been able to isolate himself, to keep himself out of reach of the clamorous claims of others, to stand “under the shelter of the wall,” as Plato puts it, and so to realise the perfection of what was in him, to his own incomparable gain, and to the incomparable and lasting gain of the whole world.
— Oscar Wilde
In Sebastian Melmoth (1908), 133-134.
Science quotes on:  |  Artist (48)  |  Century (103)  |  Clamor (7)  |  Critical (35)  |  Charles Darwin (286)  |  Gustave Flaubert (9)  |  Gain (53)  |  Great (355)  |  Incomparable (8)  |  Isolate (12)  |  John Keats (9)  |  Perfection (75)  |  Plato (49)  |  Poet (62)  |  Realise (12)  |  Renan_Ernest (2)  |  Science (1741)  |  Shelter (14)  |  Spirit (126)  |  Supreme (26)  |  Wall (23)  |  World (746)

Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.
— Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde and Alvin Redman (ed.), 'Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young', The Wit and Humor of Oscar Wilde (1959), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Science And Religion (271)

Science is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon eternal truths. Art is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon things beautiful and immortal and ever-changing.
— Oscar Wilde
In his dialogue 'The Critic As Artist', collected in Intentions (1904), 174.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (200)  |  Change (324)  |  Eternal (48)  |  Eye (190)  |  Immortal (14)  |  Moral (104)  |  Science And Art (159)  |  Truth (764)

Sir Robert Chiltern. You think science cannot grapple with the problem of women?
Mrs. Cheveley. Science can never grapple with the irrational. That is why it has no future before it in this world.
— Oscar Wilde
In play, An Ideal Husband (1912, 2001), Act 1, 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Grapple (4)  |  Irrational (7)  |  Problem (382)  |  Science (1741)

Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.
— Oscar Wilde
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Condition (130)  |  Result (267)  |  Science (1741)  |  Success (215)

The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray, and the advantage of science is that it is not emotional.
— Oscar Wilde
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (48)  |  Astray (7)  |  Emotion (64)  |  Emotional (16)  |  Lead (120)

The Governor was strong upon
The Regulation Act:
The Doctor said that Death was but
A scientific fact:
And twice a day the Chaplain called,
And left a little tract.
— Oscar Wilde
The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1901), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Death (277)  |  Fact (628)

The nineteenth century is a turning point in history, simply on account of the work of two men, Darwin and Renan, the one the critic of the Book of Nature, the other the critic of the books of God. Not to recognise this is to miss the meaning of one of the most important eras in the progress of the world.
— Oscar Wilde
In Essay, 'The Critic as Artist With Some Remarks Upon the Importance of Doing Nothing and Discussing Everything' (1890), published in essay collection Intentions (1891), 174.
Science quotes on:  |  19th Century (22)  |  Book (188)  |  Critic (18)  |  Charles Darwin (286)  |  Era (14)  |  God (474)  |  History (314)  |  Important (135)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Progress (320)  |  Recognition (64)  |  Renan_Ernest (2)  |  Turning Point (3)  |  Work (493)  |  World (746)

The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.
— Oscar Wilde
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Annoy (2)  |  Expression (85)  |  Machine (136)  |  Piano (8)  |  Play (74)  |  Relation (98)  |  Sister (4)

To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.
— Oscar Wilde
In Lily Splane, Quantum Consciousness (2004), 309
Science quotes on:  |  Unexpected (26)

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
— Oscar Wilde
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 22
Science quotes on:  |  Exist (105)  |  Live (230)  |  People (316)  |  Rare (34)  |  World (746)

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
— Oscar Wilde
Lady Windermere’s Fan. Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 22
Science quotes on:  |  Gutter (3)  |  Star (310)

What is truth? In matters of religion it is simply the opinion that has survived. In matters of science it is the ultimate sensation. In matters of art it is one’s last mood.
— Oscar Wilde
In Sebastian Melmoth (1908), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Mood (8)  |  Opinion (150)  |  Science And Art (159)  |  Science And Religion (271)  |  Sensation (26)  |  Survive (36)  |  Truth (764)  |  Ultimate (71)

[The attitude of the Renaissance towards the antique world was that] Archaeology to them was not a mere science for the antiquarian; it was a means by which they could touch the dry dust of antiquity into the very breath and beauty of life, and fill with the new wine of romanticism forms that else had been old and out-worn.
— Oscar Wilde
In his essay 'The Truth of Masks', collected in Intentions (1904), 213.
Science quotes on:  |  Antique (3)  |  Antiquity (13)  |  Archaeology (43)  |  Attitude (51)  |  Beauty (200)  |  Breathe (30)  |  Dry (14)  |  Dust (47)  |  Life (993)  |  Old (118)  |  Renaissance (8)  |  Romanticism (5)  |  Science (1741)  |  Touch (61)  |  Worn (4)

[The Niagara Falls] would be more impressive if it flowed the other way.
— Oscar Wilde
Quoted in 'Professors, Politics, and Palaver', Science (19 Aug 1977), 197, 742.
Science quotes on:  |  Flow (39)  |  Impressive (14)  |  Niagara Falls (4)  |  Opposite (40)


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)
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- 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



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