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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index W > Thomas Wright Quotes

Thomas Wright
(22 Sep 1711 - 25 Feb 1786)

English astronomer who first speculated that our Solar System was part of a vast flat disk of stars (the Milky Way) and further away were the vaguely perceived nebulae that he proposed were their own separate collections of stars.


Science Quotes by Thomas Wright (3 quotes)

In this great celestial creation, the catastrophy of a world, such as ours, or even the total dissolution of a system of worlds, may possibly be no more to the great Author of Nature, than the most common accident in life with us, and in all probability such final and general Doomsdays may be as frequent there, as even Birthdays or mortality with us upon the earth. This idea has something so cheerful in it, that I know I can never look upon the stars without wondering why the whole world does not become astronomers; and that men endowed with sense and reason should neglect a science they are naturally so much interested in, and so capable of enlarging their understanding, as next to a demonstration must convince them of their immortality, and reconcile them to all those little difficulties incident to human nature, without the least anxiety. All this the vast apparent provision in the starry mansions seem to promise: What ought we then not to do, to preserve our natural birthright to it and to merit such inheritance, which alas we think created all to gratify alone a race of vain-glorious gigantic beings, while they are confined to this world, chained like so many atoms to a grain of sand.
— Thomas Wright
In The Universe and the Stars: Being an Original Theory on the Visible Creation, Founded on the Laws of Nature (1750, 1837), 132.
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Of … habitable worlds, such as the Earth, all which we may suppose to be of a terrestrial or terraqueous nature, and filled with beings of the human species, subject to mortality, it may not be amiss in this place to compute how many may he conceived within our finite view every clear Star-light night. … In all together then we may safely reckon 170,000,000, and yet be much within compass, exclusive Of the Comets which I judge to be by far the most numerous part of the creation.
— Thomas Wright
In The Universe and the Stars: Being an Original Theory on the Visible Creation, Founded on the Laws of Nature (1750, 1837), 131-132.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Being (1278)  |  Clear (100)  |  Comet (61)  |  Compass (34)  |  Compute (18)  |  Creation (329)  |  Earth (998)  |  Exclusive (29)  |  Finite (60)  |  Habitable (3)  |  Human (1470)  |  Judge (108)  |  Light (609)  |  Most (1729)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Night (120)  |  Numerous (68)  |  Reckon (31)  |  Species (402)  |  Star (430)  |  Starlight (5)  |  Subject (522)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Together (387)  |  View (488)  |  World (1778)

Since as the Creation is, so is the Creator also magnified, we may conclude in consequence of an infinity, and an infinite all-active power, that as the visible creation is supposed to be full of siderial systems and planetary worlds, so on, in like similar manner, the endless Immensity is an unlimited plenum of creations not unlike the known Universe.… That this in all probability may be the real case, is in some degree made evident by the many cloudy spots, just perceivable by us, as far without our starry Regions, in which tho’ visibly luminous spaces, no one Star or particular constituent body can possibly be distinguished; those in all likelyhood may be external creation, bordering upon the known one, too remote for even our Telescopes to reach.
— Thomas Wright
In The Universe and the Stars: Being an Original Theory on the Visible Creation, Founded on the Laws of Nature (1750, 1837), 143-144.
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See also:
  • 22 Sep - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Wright'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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