Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index O > Category: Organic

Organic Quotes (18 quotes)

As our researches have made clear, an animal high in the organic scale only reaches this rank by passing through all the intermediate states which separate it from the animals placed below it. Man only becomes man after traversing transitional organisatory states which assimilate him first to fish, then to reptiles, then to birds and mammals.
Annales des Sciences Naturelles (1834), 2 (ii), 248. Trans. in E. S. Russell, Form and Function (1916), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (138)  |  Assimilation (8)  |  Below (4)  |  Bird (54)  |  Clarification (4)  |  Fish (31)  |  Intermediate (10)  |  Mammal (16)  |  Man (258)  |  Organization (49)  |  Pass (18)  |  Rank (13)  |  Reach (30)  |  Reptile (13)  |  Research (358)  |  Scale (20)  |  Separation (23)  |  State (42)

But I think that in the repeated and almost entire changes of organic types in the successive formations of the earth—in the absence of mammalia in the older, and their very rare appearance (and then in forms entirely. unknown to us) in the newer secondary groups—in the diffusion of warm-blooded quadrupeds (frequently of unknown genera) through the older tertiary systems—in their great abundance (and frequently of known genera) in the upper portions of the same series—and, lastly, in the recent appearance of man on the surface of the earth (now universally admitted—in one word, from all these facts combined, we have a series of proofs the most emphatic and convincing,—that the existing order of nature is not the last of an uninterrupted succession of mere physical events derived from laws now in daily operation: but on the contrary, that the approach to the present system of things has been gradual, and that there has been a progressive development of organic structure subservient to the purposes of life.
'Address to the Geological Society, delivered on the Evening of the 18th of February 1831', Proceedings of the Geological Society (1834), 1, 305-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Absence (4)  |  Abundance (9)  |  Appearance (45)  |  Change (129)  |  Combination (36)  |  Convincing (6)  |  Development (117)  |  Earth (238)  |  Emphasis (9)  |  Formation (32)  |  Genus (13)  |  Gradual (9)  |  Law (269)  |  Life (439)  |  Mammal (16)  |  Nature (524)  |  Progression (8)  |  Proof (133)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Quadruped (3)  |  Repeat (10)  |  Secondary (6)  |  Structure (101)  |  Subservience (3)  |  Succession (29)  |  Tertiary (2)  |  Unknown (39)

Education is an organic necessity of a human being.
In Thoughts Selected From the Writings of Horace Mann (1872), 235.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (173)  |  Human Being (15)  |  Necessity (78)

Heredity is the general expression of the periodicity of organic life. All generations belong to a continuous succession of waves, in which every single one resembles its predecessors and its followers.
In 'On the Principles of Animal Morphology', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1888), 15, 295. Original as Letter to Mr John Murray, communicated to the Society by Professor Sir William Turner. Page given as in collected volume published 1889.
Science quotes on:  |  Belong (10)  |  Continuous (7)  |  Expression (43)  |  Follower (4)  |  Generation (50)  |  Heredity (44)  |  Life (439)  |  Periodicity (2)  |  Predecessor (13)  |  Resemble (2)  |  Succession (29)  |  Wave (32)

I should be the last to discard the law of organic heredity ... but the single word “heredity” cannot dispense science from the duty of making every possible inquiry into the mechanism of organic growth and of organic formation. To think that heredity will build organic beings without mechanical means is a piece of unscientific mysticism.
In 'On the Principles of Animal Morphology', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1888), 15, 294-295. Original as Letter to Mr John Murray, communicated to the Society by Professor Sir William Turner. Page given as in collected volume published 1889.
Science quotes on:  |  Build (22)  |  Discard (11)  |  Duty (23)  |  Formation (32)  |  Growth (65)  |  Heredity (44)  |  Inquiry (12)  |  Law (269)  |  Means (25)  |  Mechanical (11)  |  Mechanism (25)  |  Mysticism (4)  |  Think (16)  |  Unscientific (6)

Man has risen, not fallen. He can choose to develop his capacities as the highest animal and to try to rise still farther, or he can choose otherwise. The choice is his responsibility, and his alone. There is no automatism that will carry him upward without choice or effort and there is no trend solely in the right direction. Evolution has no purpose; man must supply this for himself. The means to gaining right ends involve both organic evolution and human evolution, but human choice as to what are the right ends must be based on human evolution.
The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man (1949), 310.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (138)  |  Basis (21)  |  Capacity (14)  |  Choice (38)  |  Choice (38)  |  Development (117)  |  Direction (25)  |  Effort (37)  |  End (48)  |  Evolution (332)  |  Fall (30)  |  Highest (4)  |  Human (155)  |  Man (258)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Responsibility (23)  |  Right (48)  |  Rise (12)  |  Supply (14)  |  Trend (7)

Now, we propose in the first place to show, that this law of organic progress is the law of all progress. Whether it be in the development of the Earth, in the development in Life upon its surface, in the development of Society, of Government, of Manufactures, of Commerce, of Language, Literature, Science, Art, this same evolution of the simple into the complex, through a process of continuous differentiation, holds throughout. From the earliest traceable cosmical changes down to the latest results of civilization, we shall find that the transformation of the homogeneous into the heterogeneous is that in which Progress essentially consists.
'Progress: Its Law and Cause', Westminster Review (1857), 67, 446-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (76)  |  Change (129)  |  Civilization (84)  |  Commerce (9)  |  Complexity (49)  |  Continuous (7)  |  Cosmos (21)  |  Development (117)  |  Differentiation (11)  |  Earth (238)  |  Government (48)  |  Heterogeneity (3)  |  Homogeneity (3)  |  Language (67)  |  Law (269)  |  Life (439)  |  Literature (32)  |  Manufacturing (14)  |  Progress (198)  |  Proposition (28)  |  Science (850)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Society (81)  |  Surface (35)  |  Trace (10)  |  Transformation (27)

Once the forest has been removed and the swamp starts being drained, that organic matter begins to oxidise and give off continuing emissions. It’s sort of like the goose that keeps on giving.
From interview with Inter Press Service (IPS), with Stephen de Tarczynski, 'Environment—Indonesia: Deforestation Causing More Than Landslides' (9 Mar 2008).
Science quotes on:  |  Carbon Dioxide (14)  |  Climate Change (19)  |  Continuation (13)  |  Deforestation (25)  |  Drain (4)  |  Emission (8)  |  Forest (53)  |  Giving (4)  |  Global Warming (13)  |  Goose (4)  |  Keeping (5)  |  Oxidation (5)  |  Removal (7)  |  Swamp (2)

Physical chemistry is all very well, but it does not apply to organic substances.
Quoted in L. E. Sutton's obituary of Nevil V. Sidgwick, Proceedings of the Chemical Society (1958), 312.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (68)  |  Physical Chemistry (5)  |  Substance (37)

Physio-philosophy has to show how, and in accordance indeed with what laws, the Material took its origin; and, therefore, how something derived its existence from nothing. It has to portray the first periods of the world's development from nothing; how the elements and heavenly bodies originated; in what method by self-evolution into higher and manifold forms, they separated into minerals, became finally organic, and in Man attained self-consciousness.
In Lorenz Oken, trans. by Alfred Tulk, Elements of Physiophilosophy (1847), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Accordance (4)  |  Body (88)  |  Creation (124)  |  Definition (82)  |  Derivation (8)  |  Development (117)  |  Element (68)  |  Evolution (332)  |  Existence (145)  |  First (39)  |  Form (65)  |  Heaven (53)  |  Law (269)  |  Man (258)  |  Manifold (4)  |  Material (54)  |  Method (73)  |  Mineral (24)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Origin (33)  |  Origination (5)  |  Period (22)  |  Separation (23)  |  Showing (3)  |  World (206)

Plasticity, then, in the wide sense of the word, means the possession of a structure weak enough to yield to an influence, but strong enough not to yield all at once. Each relatively stable phase of equilibrium in such a structure is marked by what we may call a new set of habits. Organic matter, especially nervous tissue, seems endowed with a very extraordinary degree of plasticity of this sort ; so that we may without hesitation lay down as our first proposition the following, that the phenomena of habit in living beings are due to plasticity of the organic materials of which their bodies are composed.
'The Laws of Habit', The Popular Science Monthly (Feb 1887), 434.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (88)  |  Composition (29)  |  Equilibrium (12)  |  Extraordinary (18)  |  Habit (41)  |  Influence (46)  |  Matter (131)  |  Nerve (52)  |  Nomenclature (99)  |  Phase (7)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Plasticity (2)  |  Stable (5)  |  Strong (7)  |  Structure (101)  |  Tissue (15)  |  Weak (10)  |  Word (96)  |  Yield (6)

Scientific practice is above all a story-telling practice. ... Biology is inherently historical, and its form of discourse is inherently narrative. ... Biology as a way of knowing the world is kin to Romantic literature, with its discourse about organic form and function. Biology is the fiction appropriate to objects called organisms; biology fashions the facts “discovered” about organic beings.
Primate Visions: Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science(1989), 4-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Appropriateness (5)  |  Biology (82)  |  Discourse (7)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Fact (311)  |  Fashion (9)  |  Fiction (8)  |  Form (65)  |  Function (41)  |  History (151)  |  Inherently (2)  |  Kin (5)  |  Knowledge (662)  |  Literature (32)  |  Narrative (3)  |  Object (44)  |  Organism (66)  |  Practice (26)  |  Romantic (2)  |  Science (850)  |  World (206)

The Archetypal idea was manifested in the flesh, under divers such modifications, upon this planet, long prior to the existence of those animal species that actually exemplify it. To what natural laws or secondary causes the orderly succession and progression of such organic phaenomena may have been committed we as yet are ignorant. But if, without derogation of the Divine power, we may conceive the existence of such ministers, and personify them by the term 'Nature,' we learn from the past history of our globe that she has advanced with slow and stately steps, guided by the archetypal light, amidst the wreck of worlds, from the first embodiment of the Vertebrate idea under its old Ichthyic vestment, until it became arrayed in the glorious garb of the Human form.
On the Nature of Limbs (1849), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (26)  |  Animal (138)  |  Archetype (3)  |  Array (3)  |  Cause (116)  |  Commitment (8)  |  Conception (28)  |  Divine (16)  |  Embodiment (2)  |  Evolution (332)  |  Example (21)  |  Existence (145)  |  Globe (17)  |  Glory (17)  |  History (151)  |  Human (155)  |  Idea (220)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Learning (123)  |  Manifestation (21)  |  Minister (4)  |  Natural Law (7)  |  Nature (524)  |  Orderly (2)  |  Past (40)  |  Personification (3)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Progression (8)  |  Secondary (6)  |  Slow (6)  |  Species (91)  |  Stately (4)  |  Step (25)  |  Succession (29)  |  Term (34)  |  Vertebrate (11)  |  Wreck (3)

The magnetic force is animate, or imitates a soul; in many respects it surpasses the human soul while it is united to an organic body.
In De Magnete. Cited in Gerrit L. Verschuur, Hidden Attraction (1996), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Animation (2)  |  Body (88)  |  Force (72)  |  Human (155)  |  Imitation (7)  |  Magnetism (20)  |  Respect (24)  |  Soul (51)  |  Surpassing (3)  |  Uniting (2)

There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical. A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly. 'Tis the crown and glory of organic science that it does through final cause, link material and moral; and yet does not allow us to mingle them in our first conception of laws, and our classification of such laws, whether we consider one side of nature or the other. You have ignored this link; and, if I do not mistake your meaning, you have done your best in one or two pregnant cases to break it. Were it possible (which, thank God, it is not) to break it, humanity, in my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalize it, and sink the human race into a lower grade of degradation than any into which it has fallen since its written records tell us of its history.
Letter to Charles Darwin (Nov 1859). In Charles Darwin and Francis Darwin (ed.), Charles Darwin: His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of His Published Letters (1892), 217.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (116)  |  Classification (57)  |  Crown (10)  |  Degradation (6)  |  Folly (9)  |  Glory (17)  |  History (151)  |  Human Race (27)  |  Humanity (45)  |  Ignore (7)  |  Law (269)  |  Meaning (53)  |  Mingle (2)  |  Mistake (36)  |  Moral (38)  |  Nature (524)  |  Record (22)  |  Science (850)

Through [the growing organism's] power of assimilation there is a constant encroachment of the organic upon the inorganic, a constant attempt to convert all available material into living substance, and to indefinitely multiply the total number of individual organisms.
In History of the Human Body (1919), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Assimilation (8)  |  Conversion (11)  |  Growth (65)  |  Indefinitely (3)  |  Individual (54)  |  Inorganic (5)  |  Life (439)  |  Multiplication (11)  |  Number (88)  |  Substance (37)  |  Total (13)

We set out, therefore, with the supposition that an organised body is not produced by a fundamental power which is guided in its operation by a definite idea, but is developed, according to blind laws of necessity, by powers which, like those of inorganic nature, are established by the very existence of matter. As the elementary materials of organic nature are not different from those of the inorganic kingdom, the source of the organic phenomena can only reside in another combination of these materials, whether it be in a peculiar mode of union of the elementary atoms to form atoms of the second order, or in the arrangement of these conglomerate molecules when forming either the separate morphological elementary parts of organisms, or an entire organism.
Mikroskopische Untersuchungen über die Uebereinstimmung in der Struktur und dem Wachsthum der Thiere und Pflanzen (1839). Microscopic Researches into the Accordance in the Structure and Growth of Animals and Plants, trans. Henry Smith (1847), 190-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (26)  |  Atom (164)  |  Blind (8)  |  Combination (36)  |  Definite (5)  |  Development (117)  |  Difference (129)  |  Elementary (11)  |  Fundamental (56)  |  Idea (220)  |  Inorganic (5)  |  Kingdom (17)  |  Law (269)  |  Material (54)  |  Molecule (80)  |  Morphology (11)  |  Nature (524)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Operation (54)  |  Organism (66)  |  Organization (49)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Power (98)  |  Supposition (25)  |  Union (6)

We've been fighting from the beginning for organic architecture. That is, architecture where the whole is to the part as the part is to the whole, and where the nature of materials, the nature of the purpose, the nature of the entire performance becomes a necessity—architecture of democracy.
Quoted in Aline B. Louchheim, 'Wright Analyzes Architect's Need', New York Times (26 May 1953), 23. Wright was interviewed at age 83 for the opening of a small exhibition of his work at the gallery of the National Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York.
Science quotes on:  |  Architecture (21)  |  Democracy (5)  |  Fight (7)  |  Material (54)  |  Nature (524)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Part (55)  |  Performance (16)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Whole (46)


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
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

New Book


The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets,
by Simon Singh

Cleverly embedded in many Simpsons plots are subtle references to mathematics, because the show's brilliant comedy writers with advanced degrees in math or science. Singh offers an entirely new insight into the most successful show in television history.