The Greatest

Science Quotes

We can lick gravity, but the paperwork’s a bit tougher.
-Wernher von Braun

Crash programs fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby in a month.
-Wernher von Braun

Damn it, Smithers, this isn’t rocket science; it’s brain surgery!
-Mr. Burns, “Treehouse of Horror II”

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.
-Wernher von Braun

Sometimes I think we’re alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case the idea is quite staggering.
-Arthur C. Clarke

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.
Albert Einstein

I have a quantum car. Every time I look at the speedometer I get lost.
Steven Wright

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not, “Eureka!” (“I found it!”) but rather, “Hmm…that’s funny…”
Isaac Asimov

The human body was designed by a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.
-Albert Szent-Györgyi

What is the use of a new-born child?
Benjamin Franklin, when asked the use of a new invention

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
-Linus Pauling

If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn’t.
-Lyall Watson

Here’s a simple experiment that you might want to try if there is absolutely nothing else going on in your life. All you need is a cork, a bar magnet, and a pail of water. Simply attach your magnet to your cork, then drop it into the water, and voilà (literally, “you have a compass”)—you have a compass. How does it work? Simple. Notice that, no matter which way you turn the bucket, the cork always floats on top of the water (unless the magnet is too heavy). Using this scientific principle, early hardy mariners were able to tell at a glance whether they were sinking!
Dave Barry

The man who doesn’t know what the universe is doesn’t know where he lives.
-Marcus Aurelius

The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living.
-Henry Poincaré

OK, so what&#8217s the speed of dark?
Steven Wright

Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe.
Albert Einstein

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl.
-Mike Adams

Half the secret of resistance is cleanliness, the other half is dirtiness.

Science is facts. Just as houses are made of stones, so science is made of facts. But a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.
-Henri Poincaré

We are an intelligent species and the use of our intelligence quite properly gives us pleasure. In this respect the brain is like a muscle: when it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.
-Carl Sagan, Broca&#8217s Brain

The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn&#8217t need its brain anymore so it eats it. It&#8217s rather like getting tenure.
-Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained

Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don&#8217t know.
-Bertrand Russell

Physics is very muddled again at the moment; it is much too hard for me anyway, and I wish I were a movie comedian or something like that and had never heard anything about physics!
-Wolfgang Pauli, 1925

I do not like it, and I am sorry I ever had anything to do with it.
-Erwin Schrödinger, on quantum mechanics

…all nature is perverse & will not do as I wish it.
-Charles Darwin

As we delight in the strange and exotic beauty of orchid flowers, it is salutary to reflect that we are, in essence, looking at their genitalia.
-a British biologist (from The Beak of the Finch)

This isn&#8217t right; this isn&#8217t even wrong!
-Wolfgang Pauli, to something given to him by a student

If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use? Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?
-Seymour Cray, father of supercomputing

#3 pencils and quadrille pads.
-Seymour Cray, when asked what CAD tools he used to design the Cray I supercomputer

I just bought a Mac to help me design the next Cray.
-Seymour Cray, when informed that Apple had recently bought a Cray supercomputer to help them design the next Mac

The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense.
-Edsgar Dijkstra

C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg.
-Bjarne Stroustrup

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
-Pablo Picasso

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.
-Paul Erdos

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.
-Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it&#8217s the exact opposite.
-Paul Dirac

One of the critical differences between you [as an embryo] and a machine is that the machine is never required to function until after it is built. Every animal has to function as it builds itself.
-Scott Gilbert

What can be more curious than that the hand of a man, formed for grasping, that of a mole for digging, the leg of a horse, the paddle of a porpoise, and the wing of a bat should all be constructed on the same pattern and should include similar bones, and in the same relative positions?
-Charles Darwin

Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?
-Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
Dave Barry

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
Dave Barry

When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.

-Buckminster Fuller

Lisa, get in here… In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!
-Homer Simpson

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
-Douglas Adams

I believe there exists, and I feel within me, an instinct for truth, or knowledge or discovery, of something of the same nature as the instinct of virtue, and that our having such an instinct is reason enough for scientific researches without any practical results ever ensuing from them.
-Charles Darwin

Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it.
Albert Einstein

Scientists tell us that the fastest animal on earth, with a top speed of 120 ft/sec, is a cow that has been dropped out of a helicopter.
Dave Barry

Black holes are where God divided by zero.
Steven Wright

Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more&#8212it is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must henceforward bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow&#8212this is what evolution is.
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
-Theodosius Dobzhansky

Homosexual Dolphin Has Highly Developed Sense Of Gay-Nar
-The Onion

God created the integers, everything else is the work of man.
-Leopold Konecker

This week, Georgia’s board of education approved a plan that allows teachers to keep using the word &#8220Evolution&#8221 when teaching biology. Though, as a compromise, dinosaurs are now called &#8220Jesus Horses.&#8221
-Jimmy Fallon, SNL

It’s okay to sleep with a hypothesis, but you should never marry one.

Q. As a fourth-year medical student, I am wondering if there is any way to remember the difference between “prostrate” and “prostate.”
A. We contacted the Mayo Clinic, which informs us that surgeons there use this simple poem:
If two R’s are found, it is down on the ground
If one R is on hand, then it is a gland
Dave Barry

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
-Carl Sagan

Hardware, n:
Parts of a computer system that can be kicked.

Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars&#8212mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is ‘mere’. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more?
-Richard Feynman

Correlation doesn’t imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing ‘look over there’.
Randall Munroe

Every day, hundreds of observations and experiments pour into the hopper of the scientific literature…and every fact that has something to do with evolution confirms its truth. Every fossil that we find, every DNA molecule that we sequence, every organ system that we dissect supports the idea that species evolved from common ancestors. Despite innumerable possible explanations that could prove evolution untrue, we don’t have a single one. We don’t find mammals in Precambrian rocks, humans in the same layers as dinosaurs, or any other fossils out of evolutionary order. DNA sequencing supports the evolutionary relationships of species originally deduced from the fossil record. And, as natural selection predicts, we find no species with adaptations that benefit only a different species. We do find dead genes and vestigial organs, incomprehensible under the idea of special creation. Despite a million chances to be wrong, evolution always comes up right. That is as close as we can get to a scientific fact.
-Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True

A hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.
-Samuel Butler