Quotes about science

A collection of quotes on the topic of science.

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Ernesto Che Guevara photo

„The Cuban Revolution takes up Marx at the point where he himself left science to shoulder his revolutionary rifle.“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara Argentine Marxist revolutionary 1928 - 1967

Notes on the Cuban Revolution (1960)
Context: The Cuban Revolution takes up Marx at the point where he himself left science to shoulder his revolutionary rifle. And it takes him up at that point, not in a revisionist spirit, of struggling against that which follows Marx, of reviving "pure" Marx, but simply because up to that point Marx, the scientist, placed himself outside of the history he studied and predicted. From then on Marx, the revolutionary, could fight within history.

Haile Selassie photo

„The progress of science can be said to be harmful to religion only in so far as it is used for evil aims and not because it claims a priority over religion in its revelation to man. It is important that spiritual advancement must keep pace with material advancement.“

—  Haile Selassie Emperor of Ethiopia 1892 - 1975

Interview in The Voice of Ethiopia (5 April 1948).
Context: The progress of science can be said to be harmful to religion only in so far as it is used for evil aims and not because it claims a priority over religion in its revelation to man. It is important that spiritual advancement must keep pace with material advancement. When this comes to be realized man's journey toward higher and more lasting values will show more marked progress while the evil in him recedes into the background. Knowing that material and spiritual progress are essential to man, we must ceaselessly work for the equal attainment of both. Only then shall we be able to acquire that absolute inner calm so necessary to our well-being.
It is only when a people strike an even balance between scientific progress and spiritual and moral advancement that it can be said to possess a wholly perfect and complete personality and not a lopsided one.

Rudolf Steiner photo
Benjamin Rush photo

„Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship … To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic and have no place in a republic … The Constitution of this republic should make the special privilege for medical freedom as well as religious freedom.“

—  Benjamin Rush American physician, educator, author 1745 - 1813

As quoted by Terry Dorian, Total Health and Restoration: A 180-Day Journey (2002), p. 49. Other versions include:
[The] Constitution of this republic should make special provisions for medical freedom as well as religious freedom ... To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privilege to another will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic. They are fragments of monarchy and have no place in a republic. [in Robert L. Schwartz, "Laetrile: The Battle Moves into the Courtroom," American Bar Association Journal, February 1979, p. 226, no citation given]
Unless we put medical freedom into the constitution the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship and force people who wish doctors and treatment of their own choice to submit to only what the dictating outfit offers.
Laws restricting the practice of the healing art to one class of physicians and denying equal privileges to others, constitutes the Bastilles of Medicine, for they prevent progress. They are relics of Monarchy, and therefore have no place in a Republic. [in Thomas Morgan, "National Board of Health. The Other Side of the Question, As It Appears to Thomas Morgan," Youngstown Vindicator, 27 January 1911, p. 6]
This quote is often cited with regards to Rush, and can rarely be found attributed to his autobiography, but does not exist in that book http://books.google.com/books?id=EkTM9Kn9F4IC&q=%22into+the+constitution%22#v=onepage&q=%22into%20the%20constitution%22&f=false http://hpy.sagepub.com/content/16/1/89.abstract. The quote contains words and phrasing that seem anachronistic to late 18th century America.
Misattributed

Albert Einstein photo
Werner Heisenberg photo

„The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.“

—  Werner Heisenberg German theoretical physicist 1901 - 1976

“Der erste Trunk aus dem Becher der Naturwissenschaft macht atheistisch, aber auf dem Grund des Bechers wartet Gott.” in 15 Jahrhunderte Würzburg: e. Stadt u. ihre Geschichte [15 centuries Würzburg. A city and its history] (1979), p. 205, by Heinz Otremba. Otremba does not declare his source, and the quote per se cannot be found in Heisenberg's published works.
The journalist Eike Christian Hirsch PhD, a personal acquaintance of Heisenberg, whom he interviewed for his 1981 book Expedition in die Glaubenswelt, claimed in de.wikiquote.org on 22 June 2015, that the content and style of the quote was completely foreign to Heisenberg's convictions and the way he used to express himself, and that Heisenberg's children, Dr. Maria Hirsch and Prof. Dr. Martin Heisenberg, did not recognize their father in this quote.
Statements similar to the quote were made by Francis Bacon, in "Of Atheism" (1601): "A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion", and Alexander Pope, in "An Essay on Criticism" (1709): "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."
There is a passage in a lengthy essay written by Heisenberg in 1942, "Ordnung der Wirklichkeit” ("Reality and Its Order"), published in Collected Works. Section C: Philosophical and Popular Writings. Volume I. Physics and Cognition. 1927-1955 (1984), that parallels the ideas expressed in the quote (albeit in a much expanded form):
"The first thing we could say was simply: 'I believe in God, the Father, the almighty creator of heaven and earth.' The next step — at least for our contemporary consciousness — was doubt. There is no god; there is only an impersonal law that directs the fate of the world according to cause and effect... And yet [today], we may with full confidence place ourselves into the hands of the higher power who, during our lifetime and in the course of the centuries, determines our faith and therewith our world and our fate." (English translation by M.B.Rumscheidt and N. Lukens, available at http://www.heisenbergfamily.org/t-OdW-english.htm)
Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, a protégé of Heisenberg, did publish a version of the quote itself in Die Geschichte der Natur (The History of Nature) (1948), appearing to consider it an adage:
"Aus dem Denken gibt es keinen ehrlichen Rückweg in einen naiven Glauben. Nach einem alten Satz trennt uns der erste Schluck aus dem Becher der Erkenntnis von Gott, aber auf dem Grunde des Bechers wartet Gott auf den, der ihn sucht. Wenn es so ist, dann gibt es einen Weg des Denkens, der vorwärts zu religiösen Wahrheiten führt, und nur diesen Weg zu suchen ist lohnend. Wenn es nicht so ist, wird unsere Welt auf die Religion ihre Hoffnungen vergeblich setzen." ("From thinking there is no honest way back into a naive belief. According to an old phrase, the first sip from the cup of knowledge separates us from God, but at the bottom of the cup God is waiting for the one who seeks him. If so, then there is a way of thinking that leads to religious truths, and to seek only that way is rewarding. If it is not so, our world will put its hopes to religion in vain.")
Misattributed

Jagadish Chandra Bose photo

„[Science] was a human heritage] belonging neither to the East or the West.“

—  Jagadish Chandra Bose Bengali polymath, physicist, biologist, botanist and archaeologist 1858 - 1937

In page=107
Science and National Consciousness in Bengal: 1870-1930

Ali Al-Wardi photo
Mortimer J. Adler photo
Norbert Wiener photo

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Galileo Galilei photo

„I have succeeded in proving; and what I consider more important, there have been opened up to this vast and most excellent science, of which my work is merely the beginning, ways and means by which other minds more acute than mine will explore its remote corners.“

—  Galileo Galilei Italian mathematician, physicist, philosopher and astronomer 1564 - 1642

Author, Third Day. Change of Position<!--p.153 [190]-->
Dialogues and Mathematical Demonstrations Concerning Two New Sciences (1638)
Context: It has been observed that missiles and projectiles describe a curved path of some sort; however no one has pointed out the fact that this path is a parabola. But this and other facts, not few in number or less worth knowing, I have succeeded in proving; and what I consider more important, there have been opened up to this vast and most excellent science, of which my work is merely the beginning, ways and means by which other minds more acute than mine will explore its remote corners.

David Hilbert photo
Neil deGrasse Tyson photo
Karl Kraus photo

„Science is spectral analysis. Art is light synthesis.“

—  Karl Kraus Czech playwright and publicist 1874 - 1936

Half-Truths and One-And-A-Half Truths (1976)

Avicenna photo

„Now it is established in the sciences that no knowledge is acquired save through the study of its causes and beginnings, if it has had causes and beginnings; nor completed except by knowledge of its accidents and accompanying essentials.“

—  Avicenna medieval Persian polymath, physician, and philosopher 980 - 1037

"On Medicine, (c. 1020) http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1020Avicenna-Medicine.html
Context: The knowledge of anything, since all things have causes, is not acquired or complete unless it is known by its causes. Therefore in medicine we ought to know the causes of sickness and health. And because health and sickness and their causes are sometimes manifest, and sometimes hidden and not to be comprehended except by the study of symptoms, we must also study the symptoms of health and disease. Now it is established in the sciences that no knowledge is acquired save through the study of its causes and beginnings, if it has had causes and beginnings; nor completed except by knowledge of its accidents and accompanying essentials. Of these causes there are four kinds: material, efficient, formal, and final.

Vladimir Lenin photo
Vladimir Lenin photo
Marcelo Gleiser photo

„Science treads in the same footsteps of our ancestors, answering to our longing to understand where we fit in as we look up to the sky.“

—  Marcelo Gleiser Brazilian physicist 1959

Source: https://news.dartmouth.edu/news/2016/03/quoted-marcelo-gleiser-stories-about-universe

Periyar E. V. Ramasamy photo
Mahadev Govind Ranade photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“