Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A change in motion is proportional to the motive force impressed and takes place along the straight line in which that force is impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index C > Category: Creature

Creature Quotes (51 quotes)

...the study of butterflies—creatures selected as the types of airiness and frivolity—instead of being despised, will some day be valued as one of the most important branches of Biological science.
From The Naturalist on the River Amazons: A record of Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian life, and Aspects of Nature under the Equator, During Eleven Years of Travel (1864), 413.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (83)  |  Branch (23)  |  Butterfly (9)  |  Frivolity (2)  |  Importance (106)  |  Selection (20)  |  Study (157)  |  Type (15)  |  Value (63)

Ode to The Amoeba
Recall from Time's abysmal chasm
That piece of primal protoplasm
The First Amoeba, strangely splendid,
From whom we're all of us descended.
That First Amoeba, weirdly clever,
Exists today and shall forever,
Because he reproduced by fission;
He split himself, and each division
And subdivision deemed it fitting
To keep on splitting, splitting, splitting;
So, whatsoe'er their billions be,
All, all amoebas still are he.
Zoologists discern his features
In every sort of breathing creatures,
Since all of every living species,
No matter how their breed increases
Or how their ranks have been recruited,
From him alone were evoluted.
King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba
And Hoover sprang from that amoeba;
Columbus, Shakespeare, Darwin, Shelley
Derived from that same bit of jelly.
So famed is he and well-connected,
His statue ought to be erected,
For you and I and William Beebe
Are undeniably amoebae!
(1922). Collected in Gaily the Troubadour (1936), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Abyss (9)  |  Amoeba (13)  |  William Beebe (3)  |  Billion (24)  |  Breed (8)  |  Chasm (5)  |  Christopher Columbus (10)  |  Charles Darwin (216)  |  Division (19)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Fission (6)  |  Hoover_Herbert (2)  |  Jelly (2)  |  Life (460)  |  Matter (135)  |  Poem (76)  |  Protoplasm (7)  |  Reproduction (34)  |  William Shakespeare (63)  |  Mary Shelley (7)  |  Species (96)  |  Split (4)  |  Statue (5)  |  Zoologist (7)

Strictly Germ-proof

The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup
Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gamboled up;
They looked upon the Creature with a loathing undisguised;—
It wasn't Disinfected and it wasn't Sterilized.

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap.

In sulphurated hydrogen they steeped its wiggly ears;
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of hard-boiled shears;
They donned their rubber mittens and they took it by the hand
And elected it a member of the Fumigated Band.

There's not a Micrococcus in the garden where they play;
They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day;
And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic Cup—
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic Pup.
Printed in various magazines and medical journals, for example, The Christian Register (11 Oct 1906), 1148, citing Women's Home Companion. (Making fun of the contemporary national passion for sanitation.)
Science quotes on:  |  Antiseptic (4)  |  Baby (6)  |  Cold (24)  |  Disease (170)  |  Freezing (8)  |  Garden (10)  |  Germ (16)  |  Hygiene (7)  |  Microbe (10)  |  Play (22)  |  Soap (5)  |  Steam (15)  |  Sterile (2)  |  Vapor (2)  |  Wash (3)

A bewildering assortment of (mostly microscopic) life-forms has been found thriving in what were once thought to be uninhabitable regions of our planet. These hardy creatures have turned up in deep, hot underground rocks, around scalding volcanic vents at the bottom of the ocean, in the desiccated, super-cold Dry Valleys of Antarctica, in places of high acid, alkaline, and salt content, and below many meters of polar ice. ... Some deep-dwelling, heat-loving microbes, genetic studies suggest, are among the oldest species known, hinting that not only can life thrive indefinitely in what appear to us totally alien environments, it may actually originate in such places.
In Life Everywhere: the Maverick Science of Astrobiology (2002), xi.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (14)  |  Alien (16)  |  Alkali (3)  |  Antarctica (4)  |  Bewilderment (3)  |  Genetics (79)  |  Heat (48)  |  Ice (17)  |  Life (460)  |  Life-Form (4)  |  Microbe (10)  |  Ocean (56)  |  Origin (36)  |  Rock (54)  |  Salt (17)  |  Thriving (2)  |  Volcano (24)

A mathematician who can only generalise is like a monkey who can only climb UP a tree. ... And a mathematician who can only specialise is like a monkey who can only climb DOWN a tree. In fact neither the up monkey nor the down monkey is a viable creature. A real monkey must find food and escape his enemies and so must be able to incessantly climb up and down. A real mathematician must be able to generalise and specialise. ... There is, I think, a moral for the teacher. A teacher of traditional mathematics is in danger of becoming a down monkey, and a teacher of modern mathematics an up monkey. The down teacher dishing out one routine problem after another may never get off the ground, never attain any general idea. and the up teacher dishing out one definition after the other may never climb down from his verbiage, may never get down to solid ground, to something of tangible interest for his pupils.
From 'A Story With A Moral', Mathematical Gazette (Jun 1973), 57, No. 400, 86-87
Science quotes on:  |  Climb (6)  |  Down (11)  |  Enemy (26)  |  Escape (14)  |  Find (50)  |  Food (77)  |  Generalization (16)  |  Incessant (3)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Monkey (26)  |  Real (28)  |  Specialization (8)  |  Tree (88)  |  Up (3)

All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou are bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.
Frankenstein (1818), Ch. 10, ed. M. K. Joseph (1971), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  Annihilation (5)  |  Creator (15)  |  Hatred (7)  |  Spurn (2)  |  Tie (2)  |  Wretched (2)

All Modern Men are descended from a Wormlike creature but it shows more on some people.
The Great Bustard and Other People (1944), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (342)  |  Human (168)  |  Worm (12)

And I believe there are many Species in Nature, which were never yet taken notice of by Man, and consequently of no use to him, which yet we are not to think were created in vain; but it's likely ... to partake of the overflowing Goodness of the Creator, and enjoy their own Beings. But though in this sense it be not true, that all things were made for Man; yet thus far it is, that all the Creatures in the World may be some way or other useful to us, at least to exercise our Wits and Understandings, in considering and contemplating of them, and so afford us Subject of Admiring and Glorifying their and our Maker. Seeing them, we do believe and assert that all things were in some sense made for us, we are thereby obliged to make use of them for those purposes for which they serve us, else we frustrate this End of their Creation.
John Ray
The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation (1691), 169-70.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Consideration (38)  |  Contemplation (17)  |  Creation (129)  |  Exercise (26)  |  Frustration (3)  |  Maker (4)  |  Nature (534)  |  Notice (11)  |  Purpose (66)  |  Species (96)  |  Understanding (231)  |  Usefulness (54)  |  Vain (15)  |  Wit (13)

And many kinds of creatures must have died,
Unable to plant out new sprouts of life.
For whatever you see that lives and breathes and thrives
Has been, from the very beginning, guarded, saved
By it's trickery for its swiftness or brute strength.
And many have been entrusted to our care,
Commended by their usefulness to us.
For instance, strength supports a savage lion;
Foxes rely on their cunning; deer their flight.
On the Nature of Things, trans. Anthony M. Esolen (1995), Book 5, lines 852-60, 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Death (183)  |  Deer (4)  |  Fox (2)  |  Life (460)  |  Lion (4)  |  Strength (25)  |  Usefulness (54)

Animals have genes for altruism, and those genes have been selected in the evolution of many creatures because of the advantage they confer for the continuing survival of the species.
In Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony(1984), 143.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (22)  |  Altruism (3)  |  Animal (143)  |  Continuation (13)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Gene (49)  |  Selection (20)  |  Species (96)  |  Survival (32)

As I show you this liquid, I too could tell you, 'I took my drop of water from the immensity of creation, and I took it filled with that fecund jelly, that is, to use the language of science, full of the elements needed for the development of lower creatures. And then I waited, and I observed, and I asked questions of it, and I asked it to repeat the original act of creation for me; what a sight it would be! But it is silent! It has been silent for several years, ever since I began these experiments. Yes! And it is because I have kept away from it, and am keeping away from it to this moment, the only thing that it has not been given to man to produce, I have kept away from it the germs that are floating in the air, I have kept away from it life, for life is the germ, and the germ is life.'
Quoted in Patrice Debré, Louis Pasteur, trans. Elborg Forster (1994), 169.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (84)  |  Creation (129)  |  Development (122)  |  Element (68)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Float (8)  |  Germ (16)  |  Gift (26)  |  Immensity (7)  |  Jelly (2)  |  Language (71)  |  Life (460)  |  Low (3)  |  Observation (264)  |  Origin Of Life (11)  |  Production (72)  |  Question (159)  |  Repetition (18)  |  Science (875)  |  Wait (15)  |  Water (122)

As physicists have arranged an extensive series of effects under the general term of Heat, so they have named another series Light, and a third they have called Electricity. We find ... that all these principles are capable of being produced through the medium of living bodies, for nearly all animals have the power of evolving heat; many insects, moreover, can voluntarily emit light; and the property of producing electricity is well evinced in the terrible shock of the electric eel, as well as in that of some other creatures. We are indeed in the habit of talking of the Electric fluid, or the Galvanic fluid, but this in reality is nothing but a licence of expression suitable to our finite and material notions.
In the Third Edition of Elements of Electro-Metallurgy: or The Art of Working in Metals by the Galvanic Fluid (1851), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (143)  |  Effect (72)  |  Electricity (82)  |  Expression (44)  |  Finding (19)  |  Habit (42)  |  Heat (48)  |  Insect (38)  |  Light (117)  |  Living Body (2)  |  Nothing (89)  |  Notion (15)  |  Physicist (74)  |  Principle (97)  |  Production (72)  |  Reality (67)  |  Shock (7)  |  Terrible (4)

Being the inventor of sex would seem to be a sufficient distinction for a creature just barely large enough to be seen by the naked eye.
[Comment about Volvox, a freshwater green algae, which appears indetermimately plantlike and animal-like during its reproductive cycle.]
The Great Chain of Life (1957), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Algae (3)  |  Distinction (19)  |  Inventor (25)  |  Microorganism (19)  |  Sex (30)

Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king and officers of sorts;
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home,
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad,
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds;
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent-royal of their emperor.
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold;
The civil citizens kneading up the honey;
The poor mechanic porters crowding
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate;
The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone.
Henry V (1599), I, ii.
Science quotes on:  |  Abroad (3)  |  Burden (9)  |  Citizen (11)  |  Gate (4)  |  Gold (19)  |  Honey (4)  |  Justice (11)  |  King (11)  |  Kingdom (18)  |  Majesty (4)  |  Mason (2)  |  Merchant (4)  |  Nature (534)  |  Officer (2)  |  Order (60)  |  Roof (5)  |  Soldier (2)  |  Sting (3)  |  Teaching (64)  |  Tent (3)  |  Velvet (2)

Even the humblest creature has to know how to react to the difference between food and toxin if it's to survive. ... Life and some level of intelligent behavior—discerning and doing what's best for one's survival—appear to go hand in hand.
In Life Everywhere: the Maverick Science of Astrobiology (2002), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  Difference (135)  |  Discern (2)  |  Food (77)  |  Intelligence (76)  |  Life (460)  |  Reaction (48)  |  Survival (32)  |  Toxin (4)

Every creature alive on the earth today represents an unbroken line of life that stretches back to the first primitive organism to appear on this planet; and that is about three billion years.
In talk, 'Origin of Death' (1970).
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (47)  |  Back (17)  |  Billion (24)  |  Earth (250)  |  First (42)  |  Life (460)  |  Line (18)  |  Organism (70)  |  Planet (84)  |  Primitive (17)  |  Unbroken (3)  |  Year (69)

Every creature has its own food, and an appropriate alchemist with the task of dividing it ... The alchemist takes the food and changes it into a tincture which he sends through the body to become blood and flesh. This alchemist dwells in the stomach where he cooks and works. The man eats a piece of meat, in which is both bad and good. When the meat reaches the stomach, there is the alchemist who divides it. What does not belong to health he casts away to a special place, and sends the good wherever it is needed. That is the Creator's decree... That is the virtue and power of the alchemist in man.
Volumen Medicinae Paramirum (c. 1520), in Paracelsus: Essential Readings, edited by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (1990), 50-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemist (5)  |  Blood (63)  |  Body (88)  |  Cast (9)  |  Change (133)  |  Cook (9)  |  Creator (15)  |  Decree (2)  |  Digestion (15)  |  Division (19)  |  Excretion (3)  |  Flesh (10)  |  Food (77)  |  Health (93)  |  Power (103)  |  Stomach (11)  |  Tincture (2)  |  Virtue (27)

From whence it is obvious to conclude that, since our Faculties are not fitted to penetrate into the internal Fabrick and real Essences of Bodies; but yet plainly discover to us the Being of a GOD, and the Knowledge of our selves, enough to lead us into a full and clear discovery of our Duty, and great Concernment, it will become us, as rational Creatures, to imploy those Faculties we have about what they are most adapted to, and follow the direction of Nature, where it seems to point us out the way.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 4, Chapter 12, Section 11, 646.
Science quotes on:  |  Duty (26)  |  Essence (19)  |  Faculty (21)  |  God (234)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Rational (18)

Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time ants show up in the potato salad. The 8,800 known species of the family Formicidae make up from 10% to 15% of the world's animal biomass, the total weight of all fauna. They are the most dominant social insect in the world, found almost everywhere except in the polar regions. Ants turn more soil than earthworms; they prune, weed and police most of the earth's carrion. Among the most gregarious of creatures, they are equipped with a sophisticated chemical communications system. To appreciate the strength and speed of this pesky invertebrate, consider that a leaf cutter the size of a man could run repeated four-minute miles while carrying 750 lbs. of potato salad.
From book review, 'Nature: Splendor in The Grass', Time (3 Sep 1990).
Science quotes on:  |  Ant (10)  |  Carrion (4)  |  Carry (7)  |  Communication (37)  |  Dominant (6)  |  Earthworm (3)  |  Equipment (11)  |  Fauna (5)  |  Insect (38)  |  Invertebrate (2)  |  Mile (11)  |  Run (9)  |  Soil (24)  |  Sophistication (6)  |  Species (96)  |  Speed (11)  |  Strength (25)  |  Weed (7)  |  Weight (41)

How near one Species to the next is join'd,
The due Gradations please a thinking Mind;
and there are Creatures which no eye can see,
That for a Moment live and breathe like me:
Whom a small Fly in bulk as far exceeds,
As yon tall Cedar does the waving Reeds:
These we can reach—and may we not suppose
There still are Creatures more minute than those.
'The Enquiry'. In Poems Upon Several Occasions (1748), 198.
Science quotes on:  |  Breathe (9)  |  Eye (67)  |  Fly (28)  |  Mind (272)  |  Reed (2)  |  Species (96)

I am entitled to say, if I like, that awareness exists in all the individual creatures on the planet—worms, sea urchins, gnats, whales, subhuman primates, superprimate humans, the lot. I can say this because we do not know what we are talking about: consciousness is so much a total mystery for our own species that we cannot begin to guess about its existence in others.
In Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony(1984), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Awareness (14)  |  Beginning (71)  |  Cannot (7)  |  Consciousness (36)  |  Existence (150)  |  Gnat (4)  |  Guess (14)  |  Human (168)  |  Individual (59)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Lot (2)  |  Mystery (74)  |  Other (17)  |  Planet (84)  |  Primate (4)  |  French Saying (51)  |  Species (96)  |  Talk (21)  |  Total (13)  |  Whale (10)  |  Worm (12)

I cannot think of a single field in biology or medicine in which we can claim genuine understanding, and it seems to me the more we learn about living creatures, especially ourselves, the stranger life becomes.
In 'On Science and Certainty', Discover Magazine (Oct 1980).
Science quotes on:  |  Becoming (7)  |  Biology (83)  |  Cannot (7)  |  Claim (24)  |  Especially (4)  |  Field (69)  |  Learning (130)  |  Life (460)  |  Medicine (185)  |  More (7)  |  Ourselves (6)  |  Seeming (5)  |  Single (26)  |  Strangeness (9)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Understanding (231)

I think I may fairly make two postulata. First, That food is necessary to the existence of man. Secondly, That the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state. These two laws ever since we have had any knowledge of mankind, appear to have been fixed laws of our nature; and, as we have not hitherto seen any alteration in them, we have no right to conclude that they will ever cease to be what they are now, without an immediate act of power in that Being who first arranged the system of the universe; and for the advantage of his creatures, still executes, according to fixed laws, all its various operations.
First 'Essay on the Principle of Population' (1798), reprinted in Parallel Chapters from the First and Second editions of An Essay on the Principle of Population (1895), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (22)  |  Advantage (22)  |  Alteration (15)  |  Being (34)  |  Cease (5)  |  Conclude (3)  |  Creator (15)  |  Existence (150)  |  Fixed (6)  |  Food (77)  |  God (234)  |  Immediate (8)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Law (273)  |  Law Of Nature (30)  |  Man (258)  |  Mankind (111)  |  Nature (534)  |  Necessary (19)  |  Passion (24)  |  Postulate (19)  |  Power (103)  |  Present (36)  |  Remain (18)  |  Right (49)  |  Sex (30)  |  State (43)  |  System (66)  |  Universe (291)

If patterns of ones and zeros were 'like' patterns of human lives and death, if everything about an individual could be represented in a computer record by a long string of ones and zeros, then what kind of creature would be represented by a long string of lives and deaths?
Vineland (1900, 1997), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Binary (4)  |  Death (183)  |  Individual (59)  |  Life (460)  |  String (11)

If we may believe our logicians, man is distinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of laughter.
The Spectator (26 Sep 1712), No. 494.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Distinguishing (8)  |  Faculty (21)  |  Laughter (11)  |  Logician (3)  |  Man (258)

If we reflect that a small creature such as this is provided, not only with external members, but also with intestines and other organs, we have no reason to doubt that a like creature, even if a thousand million times smaller, may already be provided with all its external and internal organs... though they may be hidden from our eyes. For, if we consider the external and internal organs of animalcules which are so small that a thousand million of them together would amount to the size of a coarse grain of sand, it may well be, however incomprehensible and unsearchable it may seem to us, that an animalcule from the male seed of whatever members of the animal kingdom, contains within itself... all the limbs and organs which an animal has when it is born.
Letter to the Gentlemen of the Royal Society, 30 Mar 1685. In The Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1957), Vol. 5, 185.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal Kingdom (4)  |  Animalcule (8)  |  Intestine (4)  |  Microorganism (19)  |  Organ (40)  |  Reproduction (34)

In space there are countless constellations, suns and planets; we see only the suns because they give light; the planets remain invisible, for they are small and dark. There are also numberless earths circling around their suns, no worse and no less than this globe of ours. For no reasonable mind can assume that heavenly bodies that may be far more magnificent than ours would not bear upon them creatures similar or even superior to those upon our human earth.
As quoted in Dave Goldberg, The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality (2013), 74.
Science quotes on:  |  Assume (6)  |  Bear (6)  |  Body (88)  |  constellation (3)  |  Countless (4)  |  Dark (12)  |  Earth (250)  |  Globe (20)  |  Heaven (55)  |  Human (168)  |  Invisible (10)  |  Light (117)  |  Magnificent (8)  |  Mind (272)  |  Planet (84)  |  Reasonable (4)  |  Similar (6)  |  Small (35)  |  Space (68)  |  Sun (115)  |  Superior (14)

It follows from the supreme perfection of God, that in creating the universe has chosen the best possible plan, in which there is the greatest variety together with the greatest order; the best arranged ground, place, time; the most results produced in the most simple ways; the most of power, knowledge, happiness and goodness the creatures that the universe could permit. For since all the possibles in I understanding of God laid claim to existence in proportion to their perfections, the actual world, as the resultant of all these claims, must be the most perfect possible. And without this it would not be possible to give a reason why things have turned out so rather than otherwise.
The Principles of Nature and Grace (1714), The Philosophical Works of Leibnitz (1890), ed. G. M. Duncan, 213-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Existence (150)  |  God (234)  |  Happiness (58)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Perfection (43)  |  Plan (40)  |  Universe (291)  |  Variety (29)  |  World (231)

It is in moments of illness that we are compelled to recognize that we live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom, whole worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us, and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body.
'Le Côté de Guermantes', À la recherche du temps perdu (1913-27).
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (13)  |  Body (88)  |  Disease (170)  |  Illness (9)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Live (14)  |  Recognize (11)  |  Understanding (231)

Know thyself! This is the source of all wisdom, said the great thinkers of the past, and the sentence was written in golden letters on the temple of the gods. To know himself, Linnæus declared to be the essential indisputable distinction of man above all other creatures. I know, indeed, in study nothing more worthy of free and thoughtful man than the study of himself. For if we look for the purpose of our existence, we cannot possibly find it outside ourselves. We are here for our own sake.
As translated and quoted in Ernst Haeckel and E. Ray Lankester (trans.) as epigraph for Chap. 9, The History of Creation (1886), Vol. 1, 244.
Science quotes on:  |  Declare (5)  |  Distinction (19)  |  Essential (41)  |  Existence (150)  |  Find (50)  |  Free (13)  |  God (234)  |  Golden (2)  |  Great (62)  |  Indisputable (5)  |  Know (25)  |  Letter (16)  |  Ourselves (6)  |  Outside (10)  |  Past (42)  |  Purpose (66)  |  Sake (8)  |  Sentence (10)  |  Source (33)  |  Study (157)  |  Temple (12)  |  Thinker (6)  |  Thoughtful (3)  |  Wisdom (91)  |  Writing (50)

Know, oh Brother (May God assist thee and us by the Spirit from Him) that God, Exalted Be His Praise, when He created all creatures and brought all things into being, arranged them and brought them into existence by a process similar to the process of generation of numbers from one, so that the multiplicity [of numbers] should be a witness to his Oneness, and their classification and order an indication of the perfection of His wisdom in creation. And this would be a witness to the fact, too, that they [creatures] are related to Him who created them, in the same way as the numbers are related to the One which is prior to two, and which is the principle, origin and source of numbers, as we have shown in our treatise on arithmetic.
Rasa'il. In Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Science and Civilisation in Islam (1968), 155-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (129)  |  Evolution (342)  |  God (234)

Linnaeus had it constantly in mind:'The closer we get to know the creatures around us, the clearer is the understanding we obtain of the chain of nature, and its harmony and system, according to which all things appear to have been created.'
In 'The Two Faces of Linnaeus', in Tore Frängsmyr (ed.), Linnaeus: The Man and his Work (1983, 1994), 16. Quoted in David Weinberger, Everything is Miscellaneous (2007), 241.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (129)  |  Harmony (27)  |  Carolus Linnaeus (24)  |  Nature (534)  |  System (66)  |  Understanding (231)

Many animals even now spring out of the soil,
Coalescing from the rains and the heat of the sun.
Small wonder, then, if more and bigger creatures,
Full-formed, arose from the new young earth and sky.
The breed, for instance, of the dappled birds
Shucked off their eggshells in the springtime, as
Crickets in summer will slip their slight cocoons
All by themselves, and search for food and life.
Earth gave you, then, the first of mortal kinds,
For all the fields were soaked with warmth and moisture.
On the Nature of Things, trans. Anthony M. Esolen (1995), Book 5, lines 794-803, 181.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (143)  |  Bird (57)  |  Cocoon (2)  |  Cricket (5)  |  Earth (250)  |  Food (77)  |  Heat (48)  |  Life (460)  |  Moisture (5)  |  Rain (17)  |  Search (40)  |  Sky (32)  |  Soil (24)  |  Sun (115)

Most educated people are aware that we're the outcome of nearly 4 billion years of Darwinian selection, but many tend to think that humans are somehow the culmination. Our sun, however, is less than halfway through its lifespan. It will not be humans who watch the sun's demise, 6 billion years from now. Any creatures that then exist will be as different from us as we are from bacteria or amoebae.
Lecture (2006), reprinted as 'Dark Materials'. As cited in J.G. Ballard, 'The Catastrophist', collected in Christopher Hitchens, Arguably: Selected Essays (2011), 353
Science quotes on:  |  Amoeba (13)  |  Aware (4)  |  Bacteria (17)  |  Billion (24)  |  Culmination (2)  |  Charles Darwin (216)  |  Difference (135)  |  Education (177)  |  Existence (150)  |  Lifespan (5)  |  Natural Selection (57)  |  Outcome (6)  |  Person (38)  |  Sun (115)  |  Watch (16)  |  Year (69)

Nature clasps all her creatures in a universal embrace; there is not one of them which she has not plainly furnished with all means necessary to the conservation of its being.
The Essays of Michel de Montaigne, Book 2, Chapter 12, 'Apology for Raymond Sebond', trans. M. A. Screech (1991), 509.
Science quotes on:  |  Conservation (44)  |  Embrace (13)  |  Furnish (7)  |  Means (25)  |  Nature (534)  |  Necessary (19)  |  Universal (26)

Not all living creatures die. An amoeba, for example, need never die; it need not even, like certain generals, fade away. It just divides and becomes two new amoebas.
In talk, 'Origin of Death' (1970).
Science quotes on:  |  Amoeba (13)  |  Death (183)  |  Division (19)  |  General (26)  |  Life (460)

Psychogenesis has led to man. Now it effaces itself, relieved or absorbed by another and a higher function—the engendering and subsequent development of the mind, in one word noogenesis. When for the first time in a living creature instinct perceived itself in its own mirror, the whole world took a pace forward.
In Teilhard de Chardin and Bernard Wall (trans.), The Phenomenon of Man (1959, 2008), 181. Originally published in French as Le Phénomene Humain (1955).
Science quotes on:  |  Development (122)  |  Engendering (3)  |  First (42)  |  Forward (7)  |  Function (41)  |  Higher (18)  |  Instinct (24)  |  Living (24)  |  Mind (272)  |  Mirror (10)  |  Perceived (2)  |  Subsequent (5)  |  Time (170)  |  Whole (46)  |  Word (97)  |  World (231)

That no real Species of Living Creatures is so utterly extinct, as to be lost entirely out of the World, since it was first Created, is the Opinion of many Naturalists; and 'tis grounded on so good a Principle of Providence taking Care in general of all its Animal Productions, that it deserves our Assent. However great Vicissitudes may be observed to attend the Works of Nature, as well as Humane Affairs; so that some entire Species of Animals, which have been formerly Common, nay even numerous in certain Countries; have, in Process of time, been so perfectly soft, as to become there utterly unknown; tho' at the same time it cannot be denyed, but the kind has been carefully preserved in some other part of the World.
'A Discourse concerning the Large Horns frequently found under Ground in Ireland, Concluding from them that the great American Deer, call'd a Moose, was formerly common in that Island: With Remarks on some other things Natural to that Country', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1697), 19, 489.
Science quotes on:  |  Extinction (38)  |  Horn (5)  |  Ireland (2)  |  Life (460)  |  Moose (2)  |  Nature (534)  |  Species (96)

That special substance according to whose mass and degree of development all the creatures of this world take rank in the scale of creation, is not bone, but brain.
The Foot-prints of the Creator: Or, The Asterolepis of Stromness (1850, 1859), 160.
Science quotes on:  |  Bone (26)  |  Brain (106)  |  Creation (129)  |  Development (122)  |  Mass (23)  |  Special (25)  |  Substance (39)

The 31th of May, I perceived in the same water more of those Animals, as also some that were somewhat bigger. And I imagine, that [ten hundred thousand] of these little Creatures do not equal an ordinary grain of Sand in bigness: And comparing them with a Cheese-mite (which may be seen to move with the naked eye) I make the proportion of one of these small Water-creatures to a Cheese-mite, to be like that of a Bee to a Horse: For, the circumference of one of these little Animals in water, is not so big as the thickness of a hair in a Cheese-mite.
Letter to H. Oldenburg, 9 Oct 1676. In The Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1957), Vol. 2, 75.
Science quotes on:  |  Bee (13)  |  Horse (17)  |  Microorganism (19)  |  Microscope (47)  |  Water (122)

The 4th sort of creatures... which moved through the 3 former sorts, were incredibly small, and so small in my eye that I judged, that if 100 of them lay [stretched out] one by another, they would not equal the length of a grain of course Sand; and according to this estimate, ten hundred thousand of them could not equal the dimensions of a grain of such course Sand. There was discover'd by me a fifth sort, which had near the thickness of the former, but they were almost twice as long.
The first time bacteria were observed.
Letter to H. Oldenburg, 9 Oct 1676. In The Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1957), Vol. 2, 95.
Science quotes on:  |  Bacteria (17)  |  Microorganism (19)  |  Microscope (47)

The combination of such characters, some, as the sacral ones, altogether peculiar among Reptiles, others borrowed, as it were, from groups now distinct from each other, and all manifested by creatures far surpassing in size the largest of existing reptiles, will, it is presumed, be deemed sufficient ground for establishing a distinct tribe or sub-order of Saurian Reptiles, for which I would propose the name of Dinosauria.
'Report on British Fossil Reptiles', Report of the Eleventh Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1842), 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Borrowing (4)  |  Character (39)  |  Combination (37)  |  Dinosaur (13)  |  Distinct (12)  |  Distinction (19)  |  Establishment (19)  |  Existence (150)  |  Group (24)  |  Largest (4)  |  Manifestation (21)  |  Nomenclature (102)  |  Order (60)  |  Peculiarity (11)  |  Presume (2)  |  Proposition (28)  |  Reptile (14)  |  Size (21)  |  Sufficiency (13)  |  Surpass (4)  |  Tribe (2)

The Earth Speaks, clearly, distinctly, and, in many of the realms of Nature, loudly, to William Jennings Bryan, but he fails to hear a single sound. The earth speaks from the remotest periods in its wonderful life history in the Archaeozoic Age, when it reveals only a few tissues of its primitive plants. Fifty million years ago it begins to speak as "the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that hath life." In successive eons of time the various kinds of animals leave their remains in the rocks which compose the deeper layers of the earth, and when the rocks are laid bare by wind, frost, and storm we find wondrous lines of ascent invariably following the principles of creative evolution, whereby the simpler and more lowly forms always precede the higher and more specialized forms.
The earth speaks not of a succession of distinct creations but of a continuous ascent, in which, as the millions of years roll by, increasing perfection of structure and beauty of form are found; out of the water-breathing fish arises the air-breathing amphibian; out of the land-living amphibian arises the land-living, air-breathing reptile, these two kinds of creeping things resembling each other closely. The earth speaks loudly and clearly of the ascent of the bird from one kind of reptile and of the mammal from another kind of reptile.
This is not perhaps the way Bryan would have made the animals, but this is the way God made them!
The Earth Speaks to Bryan (1925), 5-6. Osborn wrote this book in response to the Scopes Monkey Trial, where William Jennings Bryan spoke against the theory of evolution. They had previously been engaged in the controversy about the theory for several years. The title refers to a Biblical verse from the Book of Job (12:8), “Speak to the earth and it shall teach thee.”
Science quotes on:  |  Air (84)  |  Amphibian (5)  |  Animal (143)  |  Bird (57)  |  Breath (15)  |  William Jennings Bryan (13)  |  Earth (250)  |  Eon (3)  |  Erosion (12)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Failure (58)  |  Fish (33)  |  Fossil (73)  |  Frost (6)  |  History (156)  |  Land (27)  |  Layer (8)  |  Life (460)  |  Mammal (17)  |  Million (29)  |  Nature (534)  |  Period (24)  |  Plant (96)  |  Primitive (17)  |  Realm (16)  |  Remains (3)  |  Reptile (14)  |  Rock (54)  |  Sound (21)  |  Speaking (30)  |  Storm (13)  |  Succession (30)  |  Tissue (15)  |  Wind (28)

The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.
Spoken by Old Man in What is Man? In What is Man? and Other Essays (1917), 89.
Science quotes on:  |  Cannot (7)  |  Do (19)  |  Fact (325)  |  Inferiority (4)  |  Intellect (99)  |  Moral (38)  |  Proof (136)  |  Right (49)  |  Superiority (6)  |  Wrong (50)

The power that produced Man when the monkey was not up to the mark, can produce a higher creature than Man if Man does not come up to the mark. What it means is that if Man is to be saved, Man must save himself. There seems no compelling reason why he should be saved. He is by no means an ideal creature. At his present best many of his ways are so unpleasant that they are unmentionable in polite society, and so painful that he is compelled to pretend that pain is often a good. Nature holds no brief for the human experiment: it must stand or fall by its results. If Man will not serve, Nature will try another experiment.
Back to Methuselah: a Metabiological Pentateuch (1921), xvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Another (5)  |  Best (42)  |  Brief (4)  |  Compelling (5)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Fall (30)  |  Good (81)  |  Higher (18)  |  Himself (9)  |  Human (168)  |  Ideal (26)  |  Man (258)  |  Mark (14)  |  Monkey (26)  |  Nature (534)  |  Pain (49)  |  Pleasant (6)  |  Polite (3)  |  Power (103)  |  Present (36)  |  Pretend (4)  |  Production (72)  |  Reason (173)  |  Result (129)  |  Save (13)  |  Serve (13)  |  Society (84)  |  Stand (24)

The universe seems to me infinitely strange and foreign. At such a moment I gaze upon it with a mixture of anguish and euphoria; separate from the universe, as though placed at a certain distance outside it; I look and I see pictures, creatures that move in a kind of timeless time and spaceless space, emitting sounds that are a kind of language I no longer understand or ever register.
‘Interviews: Brief Notes for Radio’, Notes and Counter-Notes: Writings on the Theatre (1964), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Distance (26)  |  Emit (2)  |  Foreign (8)  |  Gaze (4)  |  Infinitely (2)  |  Kind (27)  |  Language (71)  |  Mixture (11)  |  Moment (21)  |  Movement (31)  |  Outside (10)  |  Picture (25)  |  Place (32)  |  Register (5)  |  Separate (9)  |  Sound (21)  |  Space (68)  |  Strange (17)  |  Time (170)  |  Understanding (231)  |  Universe (291)

To me, cruelty is the worst of human sins. Once we accept that a living creature has feelings and suffers pain, then by knowingly and deliberately inflicting suffering on that creature, we are guilty, whether it be human or animal.
As given, without further citation, in Bollimuntha Venkata Ramana Rao, The Book of Uncommon Quips and Quotations (2003), 12. Please contact Webmaster if you know the primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (143)  |  Cruelty (7)  |  Deliberately (3)  |  Feeling (47)  |  Guilt (5)  |  Human (168)  |  Pain (49)  |  Sin (13)  |  Suffering (20)

We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do.
The Stockholm Conference: Only One Earth (1972), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Earth (250)  |  Forgetting (8)  |  Good (81)  |  Walk (24)

Why should a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog? ... or a cat, or a gazelle, or a lion, or any other animal one chooses to take for a walk? I have a liking for lobsters. They are peaceful, serious creatures. ... Goethe had an aversion to dogs, and he wasn't mad. They know the secrets of the sea, they don't bark.
[By walking a lobster at the end of a blue silk ribbon in the gardens of the Palais-Royal, he mocked middle-class pretensions, but caused concern for his sanity.]
Quoted by his friend, Théophile Gautier, in Portraits et souvenirs littéraires (1875). In Théophile Gautier, My Fantoms, translated by Richard Holmes (1976), 150.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (143)  |  Aversion (3)  |  Cat (16)  |  Choice (40)  |  Dog (24)  |  Gazelle (2)  |  Liking (3)  |  Lion (4)  |  Lobster (2)  |  Madness (15)  |  Peace (23)  |  Ridicule (9)  |  Sanity (5)  |  Seriousness (7)  |  Walk (24)

Your creatures can come into being only, like shoot from stem, as part of an endlessly renewed process of evolution.
In Hymn of the Universe (1969), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (342)  |  Part (55)  |  Process (97)  |  Renewed (2)  |  Shoot (3)  |  Stem (7)

[T]he human desire to escape the flesh, which took one form in asceticism, might take another form in the creation of machines. Thus, the wish to rise above the bestial body manifested itself not only in angels but in mechanical creatures. Certainly, once machines existed, humans clearly attached to them feelings of escape from the flesh.
The Fourth Discontinuity: The Co-Evolution of Humans and Machines (1993), 218.
Science quotes on:  |  Angel (10)  |  Bestial (2)  |  Body (88)  |  Creation (129)  |  Desire (46)  |  Escape (14)  |  Feeling (47)  |  Flesh (10)  |  Human (168)  |  Machine (56)  |  Manifestation (21)

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
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Author Icon
who invites your feedback

Today in Science History

Most Popular

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.
- 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
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
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
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
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
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton