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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index W > John Wilkins Quotes

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John Wilkins
(1614 - 19 Nov 1672)

English churchman, scholar and scientist who was one of the founders and the first secretary of the Royal Society, London. He wrote for the common reader the Discovery (1638) and the Discourse (1640) which showed how reason and experience supported Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo rather than Aristotlian or literal biblical doctrines.


Science Quotes by John Wilkins (3 quotes)

'Tis certain that our senses are extremely disproportioned for comprehending the whole compass and latitude of things.
— John Wilkins
In Mathematical Magic; or the Wonders That May Be Performed by Mechanical Geometry (1680), 116
Science quotes on:  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Compass (34)  |  Comprehension (66)  |  Extremely (16)  |  Latitude (4)  |  Nature Of Things (29)  |  Sense (770)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Whole (738)

As soon as the art of Flying is Found out, some of their Nation will make one of the first Colonies, that shall Transplant into that other World.
— John Wilkins
In A Discovery of a New World, Or, a Discourse: Tending to Prove, that 'tis Probable There May Be Another Habitable World in the Moon (1638, 1684), 159.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Astronaut (32)  |  Colony (8)  |  First (1284)  |  Flying (72)  |  Moon (238)  |  Nation (194)  |  Other (2236)  |  Soon (186)  |  Space Travel (19)  |  Transplant (12)  |  Will (2354)  |  World (1778)

Whatever is Natural doth by that appear, adorned with all imaginable Elegance and Beauty. There are such inimitable gildings and embroideries in the smallest seeds of Plants, but especially in the parts of Animals, in the head or eye of a small Fly: such accurate order and symmetry in the frame of the most minute creatures, a Lowse or a Mite, as no man were able to conceive without seeing of them. Whereas the most curious works of Art, the sharpest finest Needle, doth appear as a blunt rough bar of iron, coming from the furnace or the forge. The most accurate engravings or embossments, seem such rude bungling deformed works, as if they had been done with a Mattock or a Trowel.
— John Wilkins
In Of the Principles and Duties of Natural Religion (1675), 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (87)  |  Adornment (4)  |  All (4107)  |  Animal (617)  |  Art (657)  |  Beauty (300)  |  Coming (114)  |  Conceive (99)  |  Creature (233)  |  Curious (91)  |  Elegance (37)  |  Embroidery (2)  |  Engraving (4)  |  Eye (423)  |  Fly (146)  |  Forge (9)  |  Inimitable (6)  |  Iron (96)  |  Louse (6)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mattock (2)  |  Microscope (80)  |  Minute (125)  |  Mite (4)  |  Most (1729)  |  Natural (796)  |  Order (632)  |  Plant (295)  |  Seed (93)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Small (479)  |  Symmetry (43)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Work (1351)



Quotes by others about John Wilkins (1)

There is scarce any one invention, which this nation has produced in our age, but it has some way or other been set forward by his assistance. ... He is indeed a man born for the good of mankind, and for the honour of his country. ... So I may thank God, that Dr. Wilkins was an Englishman, for wherever he had lived, there had been the chief seat of generous knowledge and true philosophy.
In Micrographia, Preface. Cited in Charles Coulston Gillispie, Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1976), Vol. 14, 369-370.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Assistance (21)  |  Born (33)  |  Chief (97)  |  Country (251)  |  Englishman (3)  |  Forward (102)  |  Generous (17)  |  God (758)  |  Good (889)  |  Honour (56)  |  Indeed (323)  |  Invention (377)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mankind (340)  |  Nation (194)  |  Other (2236)  |  Philosophy (382)  |  Produced (187)  |  Production (183)  |  Scarce (10)  |  Seat (6)  |  Set (394)  |  Thank (46)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Way (1216)  |  Wherever (51)


See also:
  • 19 Nov - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Wilkins's death.

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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