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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index A > Category: Attribute

Attribute Quotes (12 quotes)

But as my conclusions have lately been much misrepresented, and it has been stated that I attribute the modification of species exclusively to natural selection, I may be permitted to remark that in the first edition of this work, and subsequently, I placed in a most conspicuous position—namely, at the close of the Introduction—the following words: “I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification.” This has been of no avail. Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure.
In The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection with additions and corrections from sixth and last English edition (1899), Vol. 2, 293.
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Endure (6)  |  History Of Science (34)  |  Misrepresentation (3)  |  Modification (22)  |  Natural Selection (57)  |  Origin Of Species (36)  |  Remark (9)  |  Species (96)  |  State (43)

I find in the domestic duck that the bones of the wing weigh less and the bones of the leg more, in proportion to the whole skeleton, than do the same bones in the wild duck; and this change may be safely attributed to the domestic duck flying much less, and walking more, than its wild parents.
From On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1861), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Bone (26)  |  Change (133)  |  Domestic (2)  |  Duck (2)  |  Find (50)  |  Fly (28)  |  Leg (4)  |  Parent (24)  |  Proportion (24)  |  Skeleton (9)  |  Walk (24)  |  Weight (41)  |  Whole (46)  |  Wild (12)  |  Wing (16)

It is primarily through the growth of science and technology that man has acquired those attributes which distinguish him from the animals, which have indeed made it possible for him to become human.
In The Human Meaning of Science (1940), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (7)  |  Animal (143)  |  Distinguish (11)  |  Growth (70)  |  Man (258)  |  Possible (19)  |  Science (875)  |  Technology (98)

It is strange that we know so little about the properties of numbers. They are our handiwork, yet they baffle us; we can fathom only a few of their intricacies. Having defined their attributes and prescribed their behavior, we are hard pressed to perceive the implications of our formulas.
'The Mysteries of Arithmetic: Commentary', The World of Mathematics (2000), Vol. 1, 497.
Science quotes on:  |  Baffle (2)  |  Formula (29)  |  Implication (9)  |  Intricacy (4)  |  Number (90)  |  Property (46)

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.
In The Medusa and the Snail (1974, 1979), 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Bacterium (4)  |  Blunder (9)  |  Capacity (15)  |  DNA (50)  |  Error (152)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Marvel (16)  |  Music (26)  |  Reality (67)  |  Slightness (2)  |  Special (25)

The number of humble-bees in any district depends in a great degree on the number of field-mice, which destroy their combs and nests; and Mr. H. Newman, who has long attended to the habits of humble-bees, ... says “Near villages and small towns I have found the nests of humble-bees more numerous than elsewhere, which I attribute to the number of cats that destroy the mice.” Hence it is quite credible that the presence of a feline animal in large numbers in a district might determine, through the intervention first of mice and then of bees, the frequency of certain flowers in that district!
From On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1861), 72.
Science quotes on:  |  Bee (13)  |  Cat (16)  |  Certain (14)  |  Depend (9)  |  Destroy (15)  |  Determine (15)  |  District (6)  |  Elsewhere (3)  |  Flower (24)  |  Food Chain (3)  |  Found (7)  |  Frequency (5)  |  Habit (42)  |  Intervention (4)  |  Mouse (16)  |  Nest (4)  |  Numerous (6)  |  Town (11)  |  Village (3)

The only universal attribute of scientific statements resides in their potential fallibility. If a claim cannot be disproven, it does not belong to the enterprise of science.
Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms: Essays on Natural History (1998), 155.
Science quotes on:  |  Disprove (3)  |  Fallability (3)  |  Statement (28)  |  Universal (26)

The valuable attributes of research men are conscious ignorance and active curiosity.
In 'The Stimulation of Research in Pure Science Which Has Resulted from the Needs of Engineers and of Industry', Science, (March 1927).
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (48)  |  Consciousness (36)  |  Curiosity (52)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Researcher (9)  |  Value (63)

There is a science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to this in virtue of its own nature. Now this is not the same as any of the so-called special sciences; for none of these treats universally of being as being. They cut off a part of being and investigate the attribute of this part; this is what the mathematical sciences for instance do. Now since we are seeking the first principles and the highest causes, clearly there must be some thing to which these belong in virtue of its own nature. If then those who sought the elements of existing things were seeking these same principles, it is necessary that the elements must be elements of being not by accident but just because it is being. Therefore it is of being as being that we also must grasp the first causes.
Aristotle
'Book Gamma (1003a17-1011b23' in Metaphysics, trans. W.D. Ross (1924). Excerpt 'Being Qua Being', in Joseph Margolis and Jacques Catudal, The Quarrel between Invariance and Flux (2001), 18-19.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (25)  |  Being (34)  |  Belonging (8)  |  Cause (122)  |  Existence (150)  |  Grasp (11)  |  Investigation (83)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Nature (534)  |  Part (55)  |  Principle (97)  |  Science (875)  |  So-Called (5)  |  Special (25)  |  Treatment (61)  |  Universality (9)  |  Virtue (27)

There is nothing, in itself, valuable or despicable, desirable or hateful, beautiful or deformed; but that these attributes arise from the particular constitution and fabric of human sentiment and affection.
Essay XVIII, 'The Sceptic', Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects (1742, New ed. 1767), Vol. 1, 184.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (88)  |  Value (63)

We need go back only a few centuries to find the great mass of people depending on religion for the satisfaction of practically all their wishes. From rain out of the sky to good health on earth, they sought their desires at the altars of their gods. Whether they wanted large families, good crops, freedom from pestilence, or peace of mind, they conceived themselves as dependent on the favor of heaven. Then science came with its alternative, competitive method of getting what we want. That is science’s most important attribute. As an intellectual influence it is powerful enough, but as a practical way of achieving man’s desires it is overwhelming.
In 'The Real Point of Conflict between Science and Religion', collected in Living Under Tension: Sermons On Christianity Today (1941), 140-141.
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[It] may be laid down as a general rule that, if the result of a long series of precise observations approximates a simple relation so closely that the remaining difference is undetectable by observation and may be attributed to the errors to which they are liable, then this relation is probably that of nature.
'Mémoire sur les Inégalites Séculaires des Planètes et des Satellites' (I 785, published 1787). In Oeuvres completes de Laplace, 14 Vols. (1843-1912), Vol. 11, 57, trans. Charles Coulston Gillispie, Pierre-Simon Laplace 1749-1827: A Life in Exact Science (1997), 130.
Science quotes on:  |  Approximation (8)  |  Difference (135)  |  Error (152)  |  Nature (534)  |  Observation (264)  |  Precision (19)  |  Relation (35)  |  Result (129)  |  Rule (52)  |  Series (18)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Undetectable (2)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton