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Scientific Quotes
Thursday, June 30, 2005
By: Matthew Doucette

(Back to all quotes.)


“A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” - Albert Einstein

“After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.” - Albert Einstein

“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.” - Albert Einstein

“All these constructions and the laws connecting them can be arrived at by the principle of looking for the mathematically simplest concepts and the link between them.” - Albert Einstein

“Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.” - Albert Einstein

“Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it” - Niels Bohr

“Dinosaur fossils were placed in rocks by prankster God just to make human beings think the world is older than it is.” - Bill Hicks, comedian

“Equations are just the boring part of mathematics. I attempt to see things in terms of geometry.” - Stephen Hawking

“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for insects as well as for the stars. Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance.” - Albert Einstein

“Everything that can be counted doesn't necessarily count; everything that counts can't necessarily be counted.” - Albert Einstein

“For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner ... on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. ... That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that.” - Carl Sagan

“For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.” - Vincent van Gogh

“God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.” - Albert Einstein

“God does not play dice.” - Albert Einstein

“Happy is he who gets to know the reasons for things.” - Virgil, 70-19 BCE, Roman poet

“I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.” - Stephen Jay Gould

“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.” - Albert Einstein

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” - Galileo Galilei

“I do not like it, and I am sorry I ever had anything to do with it.” - Erwin Schrödinger, 1887-1961, Austrian physicist. Nobel Prize, 1933, speaking of quantum mechanics

“I have deep faith that the principle of the universe will be beautiful and simple.” - Albert Einstein

“I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was able to reason.” - Stephen Hawking

“I know little about nature and hardly anything about men.” - Albert Einstein

“I sometimes envy the great men of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment who had a very real possibility of learning a large fraction of all human knowledge. But then I think of all we have achieved since then and I know I have the better deal.” - Bill Arnett

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.” - Stephen W. Hawking

“I think that a particle must have a separate reality independent of the measurements. That is an electron has spin, location and so forth even when it is not being measured. I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.” - Albert Einstein

“I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.” - Albert Einstein

“If I were to start taking care of my grooming, I would no longer be my own self... so the hell with it... I will continue to be unconcerned about it, which surely has the advantage that I'm left in peace by many a fop who would otherwise come to see me.” - Albert Einstein, (on clothing)

“If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies.” - Albert Einstein

“If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. If, however, my theory is proven false, France will call me a German, and Germany will call me a Jew.” - Albert Einstein

“If we die, do not mourn for us. This is a risky business we're in, and we accept those risks. The space program is too valuable to this country to be halted for too long if a disaster should ever happen.” - Gus Grissom, (Three weeks before he was killed in the Apollo 1 fire.)

“If we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason -- for then we would know the mind of God.” - Stephen Hawking

“If we find the answer [the unified theory], it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason -- for we would know the mind of God.” - Stephen Hawking

“If you never gaze with wonder at the Moon, you're missing the big picture.” - JD

“In light of knowledge attained, the happy achievement seems almost a matter of course, and any intelligent student can grasp it without too much trouble. But the years of anxious searching in the dark, with their intense longing, their alterations of confidence and exhaustion, and the final emergence into the light - only those who have experienced it can understand it.” - Albert Einstein

“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” - Galileo Galilei

“In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.” - Paul Dirac

“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell

“It has been said that the primary function of schools is to impart enough facts to make children stop asking questions. Some, with whom the schools do not succeed, become scientists... and I never stopped asking questions.” - Knut Schmidt-Nielsen

“It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.” - Thomas Carlyle, Scottish essayist & philosopher (1795 - 1881), in Sartor Resartus III

“It is appallingly obvious that our technology exceeds our humanity.” - Albert Einstein

“It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.” - Stephen Hawking

“It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.” - Albert Einstein

“It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.” - Albert Einstein, (on clothing)

“Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.” - Blaise Pascal

“Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.” - Galileo Galilei

“May every young scientist remember and not fail to keep his eyes open for the possibility that an irritating failure of his apparatus to give consistent results may once or twice in a lifetime conceal an important discovery.” - Patrick Blackett

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” - Blaise Pascal

“Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.” - Albert Einstein

“My goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the universe, why it as it is and why it exists as all.” - Albert Einstein

“Newton, forgive me.” - Albert Einstein

“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” - Albert Einstein

“Noah and his ark, Adam and his Eve, straight up fairy stories even children don't believe.” - MC Hawking, (Stephen Hawking parody)

“Nuclear weapons need large facilities, but genetic engineering can be done in a small lab. You can't regulate every lab in the world. The danger is that either by accident or design, we create a virus that destroys us.” - Stephen Hawking

“Physical reality is consistent with universal laws. Where the laws do not operate, there is no reality -- we judge reality by the responses of our senses. Once we are convinced of the reality of a given situation, we abide by its rules.” - Spock, Spectre of the Gun, stardate 4385.3.

“Quantum mechanics is very impressive. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory yields a lot, but it hardly brings us any closer to the secret of the Old One. In any case I am convinced that He doesn't play dice.” - Albert Einstein

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” - Albert Einstein

“Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.” - Alan Turing

“Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself.” - Richard Feynman

“Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.” - Adam Smith, 1723-90, Scottish economist, "The Wealth of Nations", 1776

“Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don't know.” - Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970, English philosopher, mathematician

“Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being.” - Albert Einstein, 1936, responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray

“Scientists don't believe anything.Scientists test things.” - Simon Conway-Morris, Evolutionary Biologist

“Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?” - Oliver Heaviside, 1850-1925, English physicist

“The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.” - Lewis Thomas

“The chess-board is the world; the pieces are the phenomena of the universe; the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance.” - Thomas Henry Huxley, 1825-95, English biologist

“The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” - Albert Einstein

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” - Albert Einstein

“The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.” - Albert Einstein

“The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. It would not perhaps be too fanciful to say that a new idea is the most quickly acting antigen known to science. If we watch ourselves honestly we shall often find that we have begun to argue against a new idea even before it has been completely stated.” - Wilfred Batten Lewis Trotter, 1872-1939, English surgeon

“The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is good as dead.” - Albert Einstein

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.” - Albert Einstein

“The speed of time is one second per second.” - unknown

“The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?” - Stephen Hawking

“The world has changed far more in the past 100 years than in any other century in history. The reason is not political or economic but technological -- technologies that flowed directly from advances in basic science.” - Stephen Hawking

“There are grounds for cautious optimism that we may now be near the end of the search for the ultimate laws of nature.” - Stephen Hawking

“Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum mechanics cannot possibly have understood it.” - Niels Henrik David Bohr, 1885-1962, Danish physicist

“Today scientists describe the universe in terms of two basic partial theories - the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics... The general theory of relativity describes the force of gravity and the large-scale structure of the universe, that is, the structure on scales from only a few miles to as large as a million million million million (1 with twenty-four zeros after it) miles, the size of the observable universe. Quantum mechanics, on the other hands, deals with phenomena on extremely small scales, such as a millionth of a millionth of an inch. Unfortunately, however, these two theories are known to be inconsistent with each other - they cannot both be correct.” - Stephen W. Hawking

“Today, everybody remembers Galileo. How many can name the bishops and professors who refused to look through his telescope?” - James Hogan, Mind Matters

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” - Stephen Hawking

“We know very little, and yet it is astonishing that we know so much, and still more astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power.” - Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970, English philosopher, mathematician

“We see only what we know.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet, dramatist

“We shouldn't be surprised that conditions in the universe are suitable for life, but this is not evidence that the universe was designed to allow for life.” - Stephen Hawking

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it is tied to everything else in the universe.” - John Muir, 1838-1914, U.S. naturalist, explorer

“Whether they ever find life there or not, I think Jupiter should be considered an enemy planet.” - Jack Handey


About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning, indie game studio that I co-founded with my twin brother. We make arcade-style intense retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $180,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won contests, and held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.

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