Quotes about nature

A collection of quotes on the topic of nature.

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Vandana Shiva photo
Béla Lugosi photo
Jacques-Yves Cousteau photo

„For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.“

—  Jacques-Yves Cousteau French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher 1910 - 1997

Swami Vivekananda photo
Jacques-Yves Cousteau photo

„What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what’s going on.“

—  Jacques-Yves Cousteau French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher 1910 - 1997
Christian Science Monitor (21 July 1971)

Charles Manson photo
Alberto Moravia photo
James Burnett, Lord Monboddo photo

„Though I think that man has from nature the capacity of living, either by prey, or upon the fruits of the earth; it appears to me, that by nature, and in his original state, he is a frugivorous animal, and that he only becomes an animal of prey by acquired habit.“

—  James Burnett, Lord Monboddo Scottish judge, scholar of language evolution and philosopher 1714 - 1799
Of the Origin and Progress of Language (Edinburgh and London: J. Balfour and T. Cadell, 2nd ed., 1774), Vol. I, Book II, Ch. II, pp. 224-225 https://archive.org/stream/originandprogre01conggoog#page/n251/mode/2up.

 Euclid photo

„The laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God.“

—  Euclid Greek mathematician, inventor of axiomatic geometry -323 - -285 BC
The earliest published source found on google books that attributes this to Euclid is A Mathematical Journey by Stanley Gudder (1994), p. xv http://books.google.com/books?id=UiOxd2-lfGsC&q=%22mathematical+thoughts%22+euclid#search_anchor. However, many earlier works attribute it to Johannes Kepler, the earliest located being in the piece "The Mathematics of Elementary Chemistry" by Principal J. McIntosh of Fowler Union High School in California, which appeared in School Science and Mathematics, Volume VII ( 1907 http://books.google.com/books?id=kAEUAAAAIAAJ&pg=PR3#v=onepage&q&f=false), p. 383 http://books.google.com/books?id=kAEUAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA383#v=onepage&q&f=false. Neither this nor any other source located gives a source in Kepler's writings, however, and in an earlier source, the 1888 Notes and Queries, Vol V., it is attributed on p. 165 http://books.google.com/books?id=0qYXAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA165#v=onepage&q&f=false to Plato. It could possibly be a paraphrase of either or both of the following to comments in Kepler's 1618 book Harmonices Mundi (The Harmony of the World)': "Geometry is one and eternal shining in the mind of God" and "Since geometry is co-eternal with the divine mind before the birth of things, God himself served as his own model in creating the world".

Marcus Garvey photo
Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues photo
Pliny the Younger photo
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon photo

„[F]rom the earliest periods of time [man] alone has divided the empire of the world between him and Nature.... [H]e rather enjoys than possesses, and it is by constant and perpetual activity and vigilance that he preserves his advantage, for if those are neglected every thing languishes, changes, and returns to the absolute dominion of Nature. She resumes her power, destroys the operations of man; envelopes with moss and dust his most pompous monuments, and in the progress of time entirely effaces them, leaving man to regret having lost by his negligence what his ancestors had acquired by their industry. Those periods in which man loses his empire, those ages in which every thing valuable perishes, commence with war and are completed by famine and depopulation. Although the strength of man depends solely upon the union of numbers, and his happiness is derived from peace, he is, nevertheless, so regardless of his own comforts as to take up arms and to fight, which are never-failing sources of ruin and misery. Incited by insatiable avarice, or blind ambition, which is still more insatiable, he becomes callous to the feelings of humanity; regardless of his own welfare, his whole thoughts turn upon the destruction of his own species, which he soon accomplishes. The days of blood and carnage over, and the intoxicating fumes of glory dispelled, he beholds, with a melancholy eye, the earth desolated, the arts buried, nations dispersed, an enfeebled people, the ruins of his own happiness, and the loss of his real power.“

—  Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon French natural historian 1707 - 1788
Buffon's Natural History (1797) Vol. 10, pp. 340-341 https://books.google.com/books?id=respAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA340, an English translation of Histoire Naturelle (1749-1804).

Baron d'Holbach photo
Frank Lloyd Wright photo
Rudolf Clausius photo

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