Quotes - Science


"I don't like it, and I'm sorry I ever had anything to do with it."
-- Erwin Schrodinger talking about quantum mechanics.

"If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants."
-- Sir Isaac Newton

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"Only two things are certain: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not certain about the universe."
-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
-- Ernest (1st Baron) Rutherford (1871-1937)

"The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell."
-- St. Augustine (354-430)

"It is a safe rule to apply that, when a mathematical or philosophical author writes with a misty profundity, he is talking nonsense."
-- Alfred North Whitehead, An Introduction to Mathematics, 1948

"Physics is not a religion. If it were, we'd have a much easier time raising money."
-- Leon Lederman

"What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does."
-- Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988), QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, Penguin Books, London, 1990, p 9.

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."
-- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax."
-- Lord Kelvin, while president of the Royal Society

Ginsberg's Theorem (The modern statement of the three laws of thermodynamics)
1. You can't win.
2. You can't even break even.
3. You can't get out of the game.
The perversity of the universe tends towards a maximum.

"Trying to determine the structure of a protein by UV spectroscopy was like trying to determine the structure of a piano by listening to the sound it made while being dropped down a flight of stairs."
-- Francis Crick [1916- ]

"He seems to have an inordinate fondness for beetles."
-- John Burdon Sanderson Haldane, British geneticist and writer (1892-1964), when asked late in his life whether his studies had taught him anything about God that he might care to share (JBS Haldane was an atheist. Beetles comprise about a quarter of all known species.)

"Wandering in a vast forest at night, I have only a faint light to guide me. A stranger appears and says to me: 'My friend, you should blow out your candle in order to find your way more clearly.' This stranger is a theologian."
-- Diderot, c1762

"First you guess. Don't laugh, this is the most important step. Then you compute the consequences. Compare the consequences to experience. If it disagrees with experience, the guess is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn't matter how beautiful your guess is or how smart you are or what your name is. If it disagrees with experience, it's wrong. That's all there is to it."
-- Richard Feynman, from a PBS show on Dr. Feynman. He was describing to his class how to look for a new law of physics

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

"The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."
-- T H Huxley (1887-1975)

"Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition."
-- Anon.