Quotes about science

A collection of quotes on the topic of science.

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Temple Grandin photo
Albert Einstein photo

„Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

Source: Attributed in posthumous publications, p. 94
Context: Religion and science go together. As I've said before, science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind. They are interdependent and have a common goal—the search for truth. Hence it is absurd for religion to proscribe Galileo or Darwin or other scientists. And it is equally absurd when scientists say that there is no God. The real scientist has faith, which does not mean that he must subscribe to a creed. Without religion there is no charity. The soul given to each of us is moved by the same living spirit that moves the universe.

Jose Cecilio del Valle photo
Hans Kelsen photo
William Thomson photo
H.P. Lovecraft photo

„I can better understand the inert blindness & defiant ignorance of the reactionaries from having been one of them. I know how smugly ignorant I was—wrapped up in the arts, the natural (not social) sciences, the externals of history & antiquarianism, the abstract academic phases of philosophy, & so on—all the one-sided standard lore to which, according to the traditions of the dying order, a liberal education was limited. God! the things that were left out—the inside facts of history, the rational interpretation of periodic social crises, the foundations of economics & sociology, the actual state of the world today … & above all, the habit of applying disinterested reason to problems hitherto approached only with traditional genuflections, flag-waving, & callous shoulder-shrugs! All this comes up with humiliating force through an incident of a few days ago—when young Conover, having established contact with Henneberger, the ex-owner of WT, obtained from the latter a long epistle which I wrote Edwin Baird on Feby. 3, 1924, in response to a request for biographical & personal data. Little Willis asked permission to publish the text in his combined SFC-Fantasy, & I began looking the thing over to see what it was like—for I had not the least recollection of ever having penned it. Well …. I managed to get through, after about 10 closely typed pages of egotistical reminiscences & showing-off & expressions of opinion about mankind & the universe. I did not faint—but I looked around for a 1924 photograph of myself to burn, spit on, or stick pins in! Holy Hades—was I that much of a dub at 33 … only 13 years ago? There was no getting out of it—I really had thrown all that haughty, complacent, snobbish, self-centred, intolerant bull, & at a mature age when anybody but a perfect damned fool would have known better! That earlier illness had kept me in seclusion, limited my knowledge of the world, & given me something of the fatuous effusiveness of a belated adolescent when I finally was able to get around more in 1920, is hardly much of an excuse. Well—there was nothing to be done … except to rush a note back to Conover & tell him I'd dismember him & run the fragments through a sausage-grinder if he ever thought of printing such a thing! The only consolation lay in the reflection that I had matured a bit since '24. It's hard to have done all one's growing up since 33—but that's a damn sight better than not growing up at all.“

—  H.P. Lovecraft American author 1890 - 1937

Letter to Catherine L. Moore (7 February 1937), in Selected Letters V, 1934-1937 edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, pp. 407-408
Non-Fiction, Letters

Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff photo
Chien-Shiung Wu photo
Évariste Galois photo

„[This] science is the work of the human mind, which is destined rather to study than to know, to seek the truth rather than to find it.“

—  Évariste Galois French mathematician, founder of group theory 1811 - 1832

Of mathematics — as quoted in Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty (1980) by Morris Kline, p. 99.

Jiddu Krishnamurti photo

„The fact is there is nothing that you can trust; and that is a terrible fact, whether you like it or not. Psychologically, there is nothing in the world that you can put your faith, your trust, or your belief in. Neither your gods, nor your science can save you, can bring you psychological certainty; and you have to accept that you can trust in absolutely nothing.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti Indian spiritual philosopher 1895 - 1986

Bombay, Second Public Talk (25 February 1962)
1960s
Context: The fact is there is nothing that you can trust; and that is a terrible fact, whether you like it or not. Psychologically, there is nothing in the world that you can put your faith, your trust, or your belief in. Neither your gods, nor your science can save you, can bring you psychological certainty; and you have to accept that you can trust in absolutely nothing. That is a scientific fact, as well as a psychological fact. Because, your leaders — religious and political — and your books — sacred and profane — have all failed, and you are still confused, in misery, in conflict. So, that is an absolute, undeniable fact.

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Alice A. Bailey photo
Isaac Asimov photo

„The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.“

—  Isaac Asimov American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, known for his works of science fiction and popular … 1920 - 1992

Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), edited with Jason A. Shulman, p. 281
General sources

Freeman Dyson photo
Jagadish Chandra Bose photo
Paul Valéry photo

„The artist works out his own formulas; the interest of science lies in the art of making science.“

—  Paul Valéry French poet, essayist, and philosopher 1871 - 1945

Moralités (1932)
Context: Science is feasible when the variables are few and can be enumerated; when their combinations are distinct and clear. We are tending toward the condition of science and aspiring to do it. The artist works out his own formulas; the interest of science lies in the art of making science.

Edmund Husserl photo

„Experience by itself is not science.“

—  Edmund Husserl German philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology 1859 - 1938

... bloße Erfahrung ist keine Wissenschaft.
Pure Phenomenology, 1917

Citát „Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.“
Rosalind Franklin photo

„Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.“

—  Rosalind Franklin British chemist, biophysicist, and X-ray crystallographer 1920 - 1958

in answer to her father, who accused her of making science her religion, as related by [Brenda Maddox, Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA‎, Perennial, 2003, 0060985089, 61]

Cesar Chavez photo
Donald Ervin Knuth photo

„Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.“

—  Donald Ervin Knuth, Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About

Foreword to the book A=B http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~wilf/AeqB.html (1996)
Source: Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About

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.

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