Science is the preeminent method of knowing. It is true that intuition has merit, and much that is good and useful is not scientific per se. But if you want to understand the universe, yourself, your society, insect behavior, evolution, or any number of interesting questions, science is your method! It certainly is more reliable and insightful than religion, guessing, superstition, authority, and probably philosophy. In this blog you will find 25 science quotes by a diverse group of famous scientists. If you don’t have polio, ate food shipped in from Latin America, have ever looked through binoculars, or are reading this blog right now, you can thank science!
I have never felt I was wasting time. Science is a process of trial and error. The only sure way to avoid making mistakes is to have no ideas.
Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. ~ Mae Jemison
The ability to learn something new…does not depend on special talents, nor does it operate only in special fields, such as science, art, music, or architecture. But when it does operate, there is an undivided and total interest in what one is doing.
The way to have good ideas is to have a lot of ideas and throw away the bad ones.
The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.
Scientists from many universities, think tanks, NASA, the National Academy of Science, and the Association for the Advancement of Science are warning of planetary catastrophes that stem, at least in part, from unfettered economic expansion. Yet for the most part, these scientific prophets are ignored. If they are even half right, the system needs radical transformation, from the household level to the global economy. For now, the power brokers cannot accept this, and choose denial over truth.
So the answer to the persistent question, What is the purpose of the universe? is quite simply, There is none. ~ Alex Rosenberg
We find in the laws of science the real structure of reality, the truth behind the merely cluttered pictures of everyday life.
I don’t propose to tell anybody what to believe, but for me, believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake. The idea is to withhold belief until there is compelling evidence. If the universe does not comply with our predispositions, okay, now we have a wrenching obligation to accommodate to the way the universe really is.
Is nobody inspired by our present picture of the universe? The value of science remains unsung by singers, so you are reduced to hearing-not a song or a poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age.
What my own views may be is a question of no consequence to anyone but myself. But, as you ask, I may state that my judgment often fluctuates… I think that generally, and more as I grow older, but not always, an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.
People who have the most positive emotion, the most engagement, and the most meaning in life are the happiest, and they have the most life satisfaction.
Either the United States will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.
Science is a cooperative enterprise, spanning the generations; it’s the passing of a torch from teacher to student to teacher; a community of minds reaching back to antiquity and forward to the stars.
…if history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth. The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology. Acceptance of the supernatural conveyed a great advantage throughout prehistory, when the brain was evolving.
Critical thinking is a skill that can be learned and that can be reinforced by habit. The scientific approach to critical thinking is empirical; it is a way of testing our beliefs systematically against the real world. Once we develop our critical thinking skills and begin to examine our beliefs systematically, it can be very empowering. It is, in fact, a defense mechanism against all the machinations that are trying to deceive us —whether for ideological, political, or marketing reasons. Critical thinking also liberates us from being weighed down by the many false beliefs (and perhaps mutually-incompatible beliefs) we tend to hold because of our psychological makeup.
If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Good people can be induced, seduced, and initiated into behaving in evil ways. They can also be led to act in irrational, stupid, self-destructive, antisocial and mindless ways when they are immersed in ‘total situations’…
We never fully grasp the import of any true statement until we have a clear notion of what the opposite untrue statement would be. The error is needed to set off the truth, much as a dark background is required for exhibiting the brightness of a picture.
But I didn’t die. In fact, although there was a cloud hanging over my future, I found to my surprise that I was enjoying life. What really made the difference was that I got engaged to a girl called Jane Wilde, whom I had met about the time I was diagnosed with ALS. This gave me something to live for.
Because of the culturally rich meaning and heritage of wisdom, defining and operationalizing the concept of wisdom as a scientifically grounded psychological construct is not easy. Wisdom may be beyond what psychological methods and concepts can achieve.
As late as 1820, the universe was thought by European scientists to be 6,000 years old. It is now thought to be between fifteen billion and twenty billion years old.
Life need not be easy, provided only that it is not empty. ~ Lisa Meitner
Social scientific research is and always will be tentative and imperfect. It does not claim to transform economics, sociology, and history into exact sciences. But by patiently searching for facts and patterns and calmly analyzing the economic, social, and political mechanisms that might explain them, it can inform democratic debate and focus attention on the right questions. It can help to redefine the terms of debate, unmask certain preconceived or fraudulent notions, and subject all positions to constant critical scrutiny.
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.
A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later such a religion will emerge.
If God and Darwin are compatible, we won’t have to choose between them. We can give unto Darwin that which is Darwin’s, and give unto Abraham, Jesus, or Muhammad that which is his. The budget for medical research will be safe from the troglodytes, and we’ll be able to continue to teach evolution in Mississippi…. ~ Alex Rosenberg
Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
Every living thing is a masterpiece written by nature and edited by evolution – the instructions for running and reproducing the intricate machinery of life.
Our aim must be to make our successive mistakes as quickly as possible. To speed up evolution.
A social scientific scrutiny of the human, rather than natural, world doesn’t easily lend itself to generalisable laws, cast-iron predictions, nor can it always preserve a distinction between fact and value. Defenders of social science need to say that, and to argue that careful, theoretically and methodologically rigorous exploration of these subjects are fundamental to a healthy society even if finding unarguable evidence is extremely difficult.
Not only are we in the universe, but the universe is in us! We knew that we are stardust at the middle of the 20th Century. Now, that is a profound gift. That connects us to the universe like no other fact. That’s beautiful.
…A positive aspiration and effort for an ethical-moral configuration of our common life is of overriding importance. Here no science can save us. I believe, indeed, that overemphasis on the purely intellectual attitude, often directed solely to the practical and factual, in our education, has led directly to the impairment of ethical values.
The words of the powerful may prevail in other spheres of human experience, but in science, the only thing that counts is the evidence, the logic of the argument itself.
That’s why scientists persist in their investigations, why we struggle so desperately for every bit of knowledge, stay up nights seeking the answer to a problem, climb the steepest obstacles to the next fragment of understanding, to finally reach that joyous moment o the kick in the discovery, which is part, of the pleasure of finding things out.
As always in life, people want a simple answer . . . and it’s always wrong. ~ Susan Greenfield
The language of ideas creates a different universe: a universe which has multiplied the monkey’s vocabulary of forty words to the million words in the English dictionary.
It took the brashness of a Newton to plant the flag of modern scientific inquiry and never turn back. We’ve been heading higher ever since.
Philosophers should diligently inquire into the powers and energy of custom, exercise, habit, education, example, imitation, emulation, company, friendship, praise, reproof, exhortation, reputation, laws, books, studies etc.; for these are the things that reign in men’s morals; by these agents the mind is formed and subdued.
Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make it bad. Go figure out how it works.
A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for. ~ Grace Hopper
Have you ever wondered what you really are? Have you ever stopped to think how you got here? [Human beings are, incredibly,] a complex biological creature living on a ball of rock spinning through space. If so, you are in good company. ‘What are we?’ is a question that has been asked for thousands of years, contemplated by some of the greatest minds who ever lived. But even today, far too few people know the answer.
Basically, I have been compelled by curiosity. ~ Mary Leakey
It’s said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That’s false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.
The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
If we are uncritical we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories. In this way it is only too easy to obtain what appears to be overwhelming evidence in favor of a theory which, if approached critically, would have been refuted.
The Wisdom Archive has hundreds of quotes about science and quotes by famous scientists! Check it out, it’s free and there are no ads.
This link has science news you might find useful.