Scientific Quotes

"A witty saying proves nothing."

The following are humorous (and sometimes serious too) quotes gathered from the Web, Usenet's personal .sig and other sources. Since it's all a big rip-off, I am assuming no copyright whatsoever. I don't even guarantee that they are accurate. Now that you've been warned, enjoy.

On this page:

Astronomy & Space

"Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."    — Plato.
"All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct."    — Buy at Amazon.comCarl Sagan.
"The universe contains everything and nothing. There is very little of everything. And more nothing than you can possibly imagine."    — Terry Pratchett.
"Every generation of humans believed it had all the answers it needed, except for a few mysteries they assumed would be solved at any moment. And they all believed their ancestors were simplistic and deluded. What are the odds that you are the first generation of humans who will understand reality ?"    — Scott Adams.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."    — Douglas Adams (1952—2001), British writer. Buy at Amazon.comThe Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Introduction.
"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea."    — Buy at Amazon.comDouglas Adams (1952—2001).
"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody 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."    — Buy at Amazon.comDouglas Adams (1952—2001).
"The last stars will die out 120 trillion years from now, followed by 10106 years of just black holes. Condensed, that's like the universe starting with 1 second of stars and then a billion billion billion billion billion billion billion years of just black holes. Stars are basically the immediate after-effects of the Big Bang. A one-second sizzle of brightness before settling into eternal darkness. We live in that one bright second."
"A scientist can discover a new star, but he cannot make one. He would have to ask an engineer to do that."    — Buy at Amazon.comGordon L. Glegg, American Engineer, 1969.
"Listen; there's a hell of a good universe next door: let's go."    — Buy at Amazon.comE. E. Cummings (1894—1962), US poet.
"Last night as I lay in bed looking at the stars I thought 'Where the hell is the ceiling ?'"
"When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either."    — Leo Burnett.
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."    — Les Brown.
"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."    — Seen on a T-shirt.
"There are eight planets, unless of course you still count Pluto in which case there are nine million planets."
"The solar system consists of Jupiter plus debris."    — Isaac Asimov.
"Magnetohydrodynamics combines the intuitive nature of Maxwell's equations with the easy solvability of the Navier-Stokes equations. It's so straightforward physicists add 'relativistic' or 'quantum' just to keep it from getting boring."    — xkcd
"The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program."    — Buy at Amazon.comLarry Niven.

The Milky Way seen through a fisheye lens.
"The exploration and ultimate colonization of the solar system is the only future worthy of truly great nations at this time in history. The Soviets, who cannot even feed themselves, seem to understand this."    — John S. Powers.
"NASA should simply send an unmanned probe to Mars containing a well-sealed, well-protected capsule containing a check for $1,000,000,[insert your favorite number of zeroes here], payable to bearer. The first person who manages to get there and collect it gets to keep it."    — dpbsmith about placing humans on Mars.
"At NASA Headquarters:
Reporter — Why did you name the Mars rover Curiosity ?
Scientist &mdash The prototype killed a shit ton of cats. Next question."    — @shadygrenade.
"On Earth, curiosity drives scientists. On Mars, scientists drive Curiosity."
"Mars is the only known planet inhabited solely by robots."
"Why don't you light that candle ?"    — Alan Shepard while waiting for the first american rocket to launch.
"My goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all."    — Buy at Amazon.comStephen Hawking.
"When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."    — Isaac Asimov.
"It's a good thing the guy in charge of naming galaxies was into chocolate bars and not Chinese food. Otherwise, the Milky Way might have been named Moo Goo Gui Pan, and who wants to have to learn about that ?"    — Paul Paternoster.
"The rocket worked perfectly except for landing on the wrong planet."    — Buy at Amazon.comWernher von Braun upon learning that the first V-2 has successfully bombed London.
"I have learned to use the word 'impossible' with the greatest caution."    — Buy at Amazon.comWernher von Braun.
"There is just one thing I can promise you about the outer-space program: your tax dollar will go farther."    — Buy at Amazon.comWernher von Braun.
"Crash programs fail because they are based on theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby in a month."    — Buy at Amazon.comWernher von Braun.
"We can lick gravity, but the paperwork's a bit tougher."    — Buy at Amazon.comWerner von Braun.
"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down ? That's not my department."    — Buy at Amazon.comWerner von Braun.
"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."    — Buy at Amazon.comWerner von Braun.
"Our german scientists are better than their german scientists."    — From the movie Buy at Amazon.comThe right stuff.
"If you stacked all the US currency together, you could probably reach the moon, but I bet the Apollo program was still more economical."    — Larry Baum.

Rocket scientists
...more at seti@home."    — Top reasons to run seti@home.
"seti@home was fun. seti@work got me fired..."
"I'm sick of people making fun of 'Uranus' Let's rename it! Let's call it Urrektum..."
"Fifty-five crystal spheres geared to God's crankshaft is my idea of a satisfying universe. I can't think of anything more trivial than quarks, quasars, big bangs and black holes."    — Buy at Amazon.comTom Stoppard (1937- ), Czech-born British dramatist.

Divide by zero: that was close.
"We are still too close to the birth of the universe to be certain about its death."    — Buy at Amazon.comJ. D. Bernal.
"God could cause us considerable embarrassment by revealing all the secrets of nature to us: we should not know what to do for sheer apathy and boredom."    — Buy at Amazon.comGoethe (Johann Wolfgang von; 1749-1832), German poet and dramatist.
"It is impossible to transcend the laws of nature. You can only determine that your understanding of nature has changed."    — Nick Powers.
"Why is it that if someone tells you that there are 1 billion stars in the universe you will believe them, but if they tell you a wall has wet paint you will have to touch it to be sure ?"
"The universe is simple; it's the explanation that's complex."
"The scientific method makes one assumption, and one assumption only: the Universe obeys a set of rules. That's it. There is one corollary, and that is that if the Universe follows these rules, then those rules can be deduced by observing the way Universe behaves."    —
"The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage."    — Mark Russell.
"And then God created Saturn... And He liked it, so He put a ring on it."
"Louise: How did you get here?
Johnny: Well, basically, there was this little dot, right? And the dot went bang and the bang expanded. Energy formed into matter, matter cooled, matter lived, the amoeba to fish, to fish to fowl, to fowl to frog, to frog to mammal, the mammal to monkey, to monkey to man, amo amas amat, quid pro quo, memento mori, ad infinitum, sprinkle on a little bit of grated cheese and leave under the grill till Doomsday."    — Buy at Amazon.comNaked.
"Astronomers say the universe is finite, which is a comforting thought for those people who can't remember where they leave things."    — Buy at Amazon.comWoody Allen.
"If you want to create an apple pie from scratch, you must first create a universe."    — Carl Sagan.
"In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time."    — Edward P. Tryon.
"The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest."    — Buy at Amazon.comKilgore Trout.
"Only in the US will you find people who think the moon landing was fake and wrestling is real."    — t3hpwn.
"Photons have mass ?!? I didn't even know they were Catholic..."
"Photons don't check bags at the airport because they are travelling light."
"There is no light. The Sun sucks dark. In fact it sucks dark so hard that the friction of the dark moving to the Sun causes the Sun to be very hot. The flow of dark towards the Sun interrupted by the Earth causes the side of the Earth away from the Sun to accumulate dark, thus causing Night. As the Earth rotates the dark caught on the night side can then be pulled off, this causing the absence of dark known as Day.
What we call light bulbs are truly dark suckers as well. That is why light bulbs are hot, just like the Sun. When a light bulb is full of dark and won't suck dark any more, it cools off. If you look in old light bulbs you can even seen the accumulation of dark.
Dark is also heavier than water. This can be seen in the oceans where the deeper you go the darker it gets."    — The eric conspiracy.
"I'm astounded by people who want to 'know' the universe when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown."    — Buy at Amazon.comWoody Allen.
"We are an impossibility in an impossible universe."    — Buy at Amazon.comRay Bradbury.
"I look forward to the invention of faster-than-light travel. What I'm not looking forward to is the long wait in the dark once I arrive at my destination."    — Marc Beland.
"OK, so what's the speed of dark ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comStephen Wright.
"To the guy who invented zero: thanks for nothing."
"Black holes are where God divided by zero."    — Buy at Amazon.comStephen Wright.
"What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth ? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad."    — Buy at Amazon.comDave Barry.
"We have seen pictures [of mars] where there there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."    — Buy at Amazon.comDan Quayle.
"Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering."    — Buy at Amazon.comArthur C. Clarke.
"We're alone in the universe. The other intelligent life? They're alone too."
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us."    — Buy at Amazon.comCalvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson).

"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition."    — Carl Sagan.
"READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE: According to certain suggested versions of the grand unified theory, the primary particles constituting this product may decay to nothingness within the next 1032 Years."    — Engineering warning labels.
"Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun."    — Bumper sticker.
"The Earth is the cradle of Humanity. But one doesn't always live in the cradle."    — Buy at Amazon.comKonstantin Tsiolkovsky.
Man is an artifact designed for space travel. He is not designed to remain in his present biologic state any more than a tadpole is designed to remain a tadpole."    — William Burroughs.
"If you think there are no new frontiers, watch a boy ring the front doorbell on his first date."    — Olin Miller.
"During the heat of the space race in the 1960's, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a ball point pen to write in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules. After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was developed at a cost of about $1 million U.S. The pen worked and also enjoyed some modest success as a novelty item back here on Earth.
The Soviet Union, faced with the same problem, used a pencil."
"With every passing hour our solar system comes forty-three thousand miles closer to globular cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules, and still there are some misfits who continue to insist that there is no such thing as progress."    — Ransom K. Ferm.
"If the Earth is the size of a pea in New York, then the Sun is a beachball 50m away, Pluto is 4km away, and the next nearest star is in Tokyo. Now shrink Pluto's orbit into a coffee cup; then our Milky Way Galaxy fills North America."    — Wayne Hayes.
"Whenever anyone says, 'theoretically', they really mean, 'not really'."    — Dave Parnas.
"The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination — but the combination is locked up in the safe."    — Buy at Amazon.comPeter DeVries.
"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."    — Terry Pratchett, Buy at Amazon.comReaper Man.
"Nothing is faster than the speed of light. To prove this to yourself, try opening the refrigerator door before the light comes on."
"New ideas pass through three periods:
• It can't be done.
• It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing.
• I knew it was a good idea all along !"   — Buy at Amazon.comArthur C. Clarke.

I need grants


"If it's green or wriggles, it's biology.
If it stinks, it's chemistry.
If it doesn't work, it's physics..."    — Handy guide to science.
"In science there is only physics, all the rest is just stamp collecting."    — Lord Kelvin (1824-1907).
"They asked me how well I understood theoretical physics. I said I had a theoretical degree in physics. They said welcome aboard."
"A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms."
"According to BBC Horizon, the UK spends more on ring tones than the world spends on fusion research."
"A mystic is someone who wants to understand the universe, but is too lazy to study physics."
"The New Scientist is to Nature what the National Enquirer is to the New York Times. But, hey, lots of people read the National Enquirer..."
"The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy."    — Buy at Amazon.comSteven Weinberg.
"Experiments should be reproducible — they should all fail in the same way."
"Numbers in physics are just convenient ways to express a measurement; they are not of numerological significance (well, maybe the fine structure constant...)"    — Badge17.
"What in the world is electricity ? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster ?"
"I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio."    — Buy at Amazon.comRodney Dangerfield ( -2004).
"Electrical force is defined as something which causes motion of electrical charge; an electrical charge is something which exerts electric force."    — Buy at Amazon.comArthur Eddington (1882—1944), British astronomer.
"Her own mother lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house."    — Buy at Amazon.comJames Thurber (1894—1961), US humorist.
If I could go back in time to meet anyone, I'm pretty sure I'd choose Tesla. He's kinda like Edgar Allen Poe, Ghandi and Einstein all in one."    — Morriganne.
"I like you, but I wouldn't want to see you working with subatomic particles."    — Bumper sticker.
"Wave if you've met Schrodinger."    — Bumper sticker.
"I recently heard about this young adult novel in which Schrodinger's cat and Pavlov's dog team up for a cross county adventure... So I headed on down to the library to see if they had a copy for my 10 year old daughter. The librarian said that my description rang a bell but she wasn't sure if it was there or not."    — badjokesbyjeff.
"Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives."    — Bumper sticker.
"When I hear of Schrödinger's cat, I reach for my pistol."    — Stephen Hawking.
"There may be more than one way to skin a cat, but you only get one try per cat."
"Don't bother me, I'm busy conserving energy, momentum, and angular momentum."
"A policeman pulls Werner Heisenberg over on the autobahn for speeding.
Policeman: Sir, do you know how fast you were going ?
Heisenberg: No, but I know exactly where I am."
"When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"If my theory of relativity is proven correct, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"The faster you go, the shorter you are."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein about Relativity.
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"The physicist's greatest tool is his wastebasket."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein
"OMG I just found out that Albert Einstein was a real person ! All this time I thought he was a theoretical physicist."    — @logosaetos
"I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops."    — Buy at Amazon.comStephen Jay Gould.

Physicists make great parents.

Right: Physicists make great parents.

"I don't like electrons; they've always had a negative influence on society."    — Chris Lipe.
"— I think I lost an electron.
— Are you sure ?
— Yeah, I'm positive."
"Distance / time = Velocity; Velocity / time = Acceleration. Acceleration / time = Jerk. Jerk / time = Upper Management."
"Nothing in this world is to be feared... only understood."    — Buy at Amazon.comMarie Curie.
"Give me a firm place to stand and I will move the earth."    — Buy at Amazon.comArchimedes (287-212 BC)
"Research ! A mere excuse for idleness; it has never achieved, and will never achieve any results of the slightest value."    — Buy at Amazon.comBenjamin Jowett (1817-93), British theologian.
"Physics is to math what sex is to masturbation."    — Buy at Amazon.comRichard P. Feynman (1918-88).
"The only physics Computer Science majors should comment on is maybe a brief discussion on the issues of electrons, physical limitations of spinning platters, and maybe what would happen if the dvd were to crash into the cd-rom."    — patchezzzz.
"With the bomb squad, you can usually stop running after the first couple of blocks. If it involves the physics department, keep going."
"We're pleased to announce we are still here to report the results."
"We haven't the money, so we've got to think."    — Buy at Amazon.comErnest Rutherford (1871—1937), British physicist.
"Einstein — the greatest Jew since Jesus. I have no doubt that Einstein's name will still be remembered and revered when Lloyd George, Foch and William Hohenzollern share with Charlie Chaplin that ineluctable oblivion which awaits the uncreative mind."    — Buy at Amazon.comJ. B. S. Haldane (1892—1964), British geneticist.
"Nature, and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
God said: 'Let Newton be !' and all was light."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlexander Pope (1688—1744), British poet.
"It did not last: the Devil howling 'Ho !
Let Einstein be !
' restored the status quo."    — Buy at Amazon.comJohn Collings Squire (1884—1958), British journalist.
"That is how the atom is split. But what does it mean ? To us who think in terms of practical use it means — Nothing !"    — Ritchie Calder (1898—1976), US engineer and sculptor. The Daily Herald, 27 June 1932.
"Man is slightly nearer to the atom than the stars. From his central position he can survey the grandest works of Nature with the astronomer, or the minutest works with the physicist."    — Buy at Amazon.comArthur Eddington (1882—1944), British astronomer.
"All that glitters is not gold, but at least it contains free electrons."
"I believe my theory of relativity to be true. But it will only be proved for certain in 1981, when I am dead."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein (1879—1955).
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"They say that something as small as a butterfly beating its wings in China can cause a hurricane in America, so maybe we should go to China and kill all the butterflies, just to be safe."    — Ken Advent.
"A vacuum can only exist, I imagine, by the things which enclose it."    — Buy at Amazon.comZelda Fitzgerald (1900-48), US writer.
"Shelley and Keats were the last English poets who were at all up to date in their chemical knowledge."    — J. B. S. Haldane (1892—1964), British geneticist.
"I have a quantum car. Every time I look at the speedometer I get lost..."
"If you aren't confused by quantum mechanics, you haven't really understood it."    — Neils Bohr.
"Quantum Mechanics: The stuff dreams are made of."    — Buy at Amazon.comStephen Wright.
"Science has been the slow process of showing that the exciting magical world we believed in doesn't exist, and there is nothing but boring reality. Well, except for quantum mechanics, which showed boring reality doesn't exist, and everything is basically magic."    — @existentialcoms.
"He thought the formula for water was H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O (H-to-O)."
"Love is a matter of chemistry, but sex is a matter of physics."
"Science has 'explained' nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness."    — Buy at Amazon.comAldous Huxley (1894—1964), British novelist.

Drawing from XKCD, the most geeky online cartoon.
"We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up to now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future."    — Buy at Amazon.comMax Planck (1858—1947), German physicist.
"Prediction is difficult, especially the future."    — Buy at Amazon.comNiels Bohr.
"The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life."    — Buy at Amazon.comErnest Renan (1823-92), French philosopher and theologian.
"People must understand that science is inherently neither a potential for good nor for evil. It is a potential to be harnessed by man to do his bidding."    — Buy at Amazon.comGlenn T. Seaborg (1912- ), US physicist.
"Modern Physics is an instrument of Jewry for the destruction of Nordic science... True physics is the creation of the German spirit."    — Rudolphe Tomaschek, Nazi scientist (pathetic, heh ?).
"Whenever science makes a discovery, the devil grabs it while the angels are debating the best way to use it."    — Alan Valentine.
"Classical physics has been superseded by quantum theory: quantum theory is verified by experiments. Experiments must be described in terms of classical physics."    — C. F. von Weizsäcker (1912- ), German physicist and philosopher.
"If silicon had been a gas I should have been a major-general."    — Buy at Amazon.comJames Whistler (1834—1903), US painter. Referring to his failure in a West Point chemistry examination.
"The airplane stays up because it doesn't have the time to fall."    — Buy at Amazon.comOrville Wright (1871—1948), US aviator. Explaining the principles of powered flight.
"Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it."    — Buy at Amazon.comRichard Feynman.
"Physics is like sex: I just don't get it."    — RaefWolfe.
"I canna change the laws of physics, Captain — but I can find ye a loophole."
"Some things have to be believed to be seen."    — Ralph Hodgson on ESP.
"The human race likes to give itself airs. One good volcano can produce more greenhouse gases in a year than the human race has in its entire history."    — Buy at Amazon.comRay Bradbury.
"It is odd, but on the infrequent occasions when I have been called upon in a formal place to play the bongo drums, the introducer never seems to find it necessary to mention that I also do theoretical physics."    — Buy at Amazon.comRichard Feynman.
"The mole is a quantity of substance. The new prefix 'guaca' is defined such that one guacamole equals Avocado's Number."    — G. Byrne.
"My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage."    — Found in a resume.
"Meteorologists have now weighted a rainbow and found out that they're pretty light."
"A seminar on time travel will be held two weeks ago."


"We are each entitled to our own opinion, but no one is entitled to his own facts."    — Buy at Amazon.comPatrick Moynihan.
"Facts are stubborn things."    — Buy at Amazon.comJohn Adams (1770).
"Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable."
"Facts are stupid things."    — Buy at Amazon.comRonald Reagan (1988—2004).
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."    — Buy at Amazon.comAldous Huxley (1894—1963).
"You won't like me when I'm angry. Because I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources."    — The Credible Hulk.
"Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science."    — Buy at Amazon.comHenri Poincaré.
"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views... which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering."    — Buy at Amazon.comDr Who.
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true !"    — Buy at Amazon.comHomer Simpson.
"When it comes to science, thou shalt ban the verb 'to believe' out of thy vocabulary."
"It's a poorly understood fact that any unwanted facts can simply go 'poof' if you scream LIBURAL LIBURAL LIBURAL over and over."
"Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on."    — Buy at Amazon.comWinston Churchill.

The underground ice core storage area, covered in ice flakes, Antarctica.
"The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'evidence'."
"Facts mean nothing when they are preempted by appearance. Do not underestimate the power of impression over reality."    — Brian Herbert, Dune House Harkonnen.
"There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery."    — Enrico Fermi (1901—1954), Italian physicist.
"The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."    — Buy at Amazon.comT. H. Huxley (1825-95), British biologist.
"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life — so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."    — Buy at Amazon.comMatt Cartmill.
"Facts speak louder than statistics."    — Geoffrey Streatfield (1897—1978), British lawyer.
"Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'."    — xkcd.
"That's not right. That's not even wrong."    — Wolfgang Pauli.
"Reason, Observation, and Experience — the Holy Trinity of Science."    — Buy at Amazon.comRobert G. Ingersoll (1833-99), US lawyer and agnostic.
"There's a common myth that evidence speaks for itself. It doesn't. It just sits there on the lab table, incapable of speaking."
"An approximate answer to the right problem is worth a good deal more than an exact answer to an approximate problem."    — John Tukey.
"Many persons nowadays seem to think that any conclusion must be very scientific if the arguments in favor of it are derived from twitching of frogs' legs (especially if the frogs are decapitated) and that, on the other hand, any doctrine chiefly vouched for by the feelings of human beings (with heads on their shoulders) must be benighted and superstitious."    — William James (1842—1910), US psychologist and philosopher.
"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning."    — Marlo Thomas.
"There is no doubt that great revolutions of human scientific thought will occur in the next century, and in the century after that, and in thousands of centuries afterward. So which of our current pet scientific dogmas will be among the first washed away by new facts and sudden clarities ?"    — Anonymous.
"A hypothesis or theory is clear, decisive, and positive, but it is believed by no one but the man who created it. Experimental findings, on the other hand, are messy, inexact things, which are believed by everyone except the man who did that work."    — Buy at Amazon.comHarlow Shapley (1885—1972).
"These, Gentlemen, are the opinions upon which I base my facts."    — Buy at Amazon.comWinston Churchill.
"Figures won't lie, but liars will figure."    — General Charles H. Grosvenor.

Experimental cat

The Bomb

"My God what have we done ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comEnola Gay co-pilot's log book record.
"Now we are all sons of bitches."    — Kenneth Bainbridge (1904- ), US physicist. After the first atomic test.
"The way to win an atomic war is to make certain it never starts."    — Buy at Amazon.comOmar Nelson Bradley (1893—1981), US general.
"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."    — Buy at Amazon.comGandhi.

Don't drop !
"New Mexico sucks so bad it's the first place the US ever thought to nuke."    — CanadianHambone.
"A nuclear war can ruin your whole day."
"If that's the only thing that's stopping war then thank God for the bomb."    — Ozzy Osborne about nuclear deterrence.
"Of course the whole point is lost if you keep it a secret ! Why didn't you tell the world, eh ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comDr. Strangelove.
"Some of the more environmentally aware dinosaurs were worried about the consequences of an accident with the new Iridium enriched fusion reactor. 'If it goes off only the cockroaches and mammals will survive' they said."    — Derek Tearne.
"If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein (1879—1955), German-born US physicist. Reflecting on his role in the development of the atom bomb.
"Surely the right course is to test the Russians, not the bombs."    — Buy at Amazon.comHugh Gaitskell (1906-63), British Labour politician.
"Hitherto man had to live with the idea of death as an individual; from now onward mankind will have to live with the idea of its death as a species."    — Buy at Amazon.comArthur Koestler (1905-83), Hungarian-born British writer. Referring to the development of the atomic bomb.
"I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."    — Buy at Amazon.comJ. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-67), US physicist. Quoting Vishnu from the Gita, at the first atomic test in New Mexico, 16 July 1945.
"Never pick a fight with a country that believes in reincarnation and has nuclear weapons."

Paperbag bang.
"To adopt nuclear disarmament would be akin to behaving like a virgin in a brothel."    — David Penhaligon (1944-86), British politician.
"We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comI. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission.
"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly."    — Buy at Amazon.comWoody Allen.
"The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"Building up arms is not a substitute for diplomacy."    — Buy at Amazon.comSamuel Pisar (1929- ), Polish-born US writer and lawyer.
"You may reasonably expect a man to walk a tightrope safely for ten minutes; it would be unreasonable to do so without accident for two hundred years."    — Buy at Amazon.comBertrand Russell (1872—1970), British philosopher. On the subject of nuclear war.
"I don't know how the third world war will be fought, but I do know that the fourth one will be fought with sticks and stones..."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"Nuclear war could alleviate some of the factors leading to today's ecological disturbances that are due to current high population concentrations and heavy industrial production."    — US Office of Civil Defense, 1982.
"It's summit time again... They're talking of partial nuclear disarmament. This is also like talking about partial circumcision. It's a strange thing. You either go all the way or you fucking forget it."    — Buy at Amazon.comRobin Williams (1952- ), US actor.

The infamous and elusive green flash of the sun seen on the high polar plateau of Antarctica.
"The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them."    — Buy at Amazon.comRush Limbaugh.
"A nuclear war can ruin your whole day."    — Bumper Sticker.
"When you've seen one nuclear war, you've seen them all."
"It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a new bomber."
"If we get involved in a nuclear war, would the electromagnetic pulses from exploding bombs damage my videotapes ?"
"Nuke them till they glow, then shoot them in the dark."
"I sometimes feel like I missed out by being born after the golden age of radium enemas."    — dontthink.
"The bad news is that the Iranians have the bomb; the good news is that they're going to have to drop it from the back of a camel."
"An encounter with a beautiful woman is good medicine for the well organized logical mind   a little jolt never hurt. Note that the anarchists have been saying this for years about the A-bomb and civilization."    — Encyclopadia Apocryphia.

Science comic

Biology & Medicine

"I have a sore throat."
2000 BC : "Eat this root"
1200 AD : "That root is heathen, say this prayer."
1500 AD : "That prayer is superstition, drink this elixir."
1800 AD : "That elixir is snake oil, Take this pill."
1950 AD : "That pill is ineffective, Take this antibiotic."
2000 AD : "That antibiotic is artificial, here why don't you eat this root."    — A short history of medicine.
"The human brain casts to boolean."
"It has recently been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."
"If rats are experimented on they will develop cancer."    — Morton's Law.
"Cancer research is a growth industry."    — George Carlin.
"A mouse is an animal that, if killed in sufficiently many and creative ways, will generate a PhD."
"Does the name Doctor Pavlov ring a bell ?"
"Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division."
"DNA stands for National Dyslexia Association."
"I saw a microbiologist today. He was much bigger than I expected."
"In the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry."    — Sigmund Freud.
"Back in my biology graduate school days, an important question upon opening the refrigerator was, 'Is this dinner or a project ?'."    — Kozar.
"Stem cells are like toenail clippings with a better career plan."    — Scott Adams.
"People who can't distinguish between etymology and entomology bug me in ways I cannot put into words."    — Tal Waterhouse.
"When you google Alzheimer's symptoms... and all the links are purple."
"Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment (I live on the twenty-first floor)."    — Alan Sokal (1955-), US mathematician and physicist.

Teach the controversy.
"Evolution is a 'theory', just like gravity. If you don't like it, go jump off a bridge."
"There is no theory of evolution. Evolution is a fact. The theory is of how it happened."
"It is a lot better to come from an evolved monkey than from a fallen angel."    — Buy at Amazon.comMarcellin Boule.
"What is notable about creation 'scientists' is that they never seem to accomplish anything of note in biology. Hardly any of them have publications in major scientific peer-reviewed journals. None have won any of the major scientific awards. While scientists who use evolution as a research tool are making discoveries not merely in evolution, but in fields as far afield as biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology, and molecular biology, creation 'scientists' don't seem to do anything but creation science. The ultimate test of a theory is how useful it is in providing a basis for discovery. Many scientists don't even care about evolutionary issues per se, any more than they care about number theory. They use evolutionary theory for the same reason that they use mathematics — because their experience has shown them that it is an indispensable tool in their own area of study."    — tgibbs.
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."    — Theodosius Dobzhansky (1973).
"You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching."    — Charles Darwin's father, to him.
"Creationism is not a scientific alternative to natural selection any more than the stork theory is an alternative to sexual reproduction."    — Hayes, 1996.
"People who believe the earth was created 6000 years ago, when it's actually 4.5 billion years old, should also believe the width of North America is 8 yards. That is the scale of the error."    — Richard Dawkins.
"Who called them creationists and not primate change deniers ?"    — Pessimus Prime.
"Keep your stickers out of my science book; I don't paste crap in your bible."
"Believe in Darwin; cancer cures smoking."    — Bumper sticker.
"Evolution is cleverer than you are."    — Buy at Amazon.comFrancis Crick.
"Anthropocentrism is a vice biologists are broken of early on. Religious people often find the idea that humans aren't special, that the world wasn't made just for us, positively abhorrent. Strangely these same religions often preach humility. What a contradiction."    — sqrt(2).
"It is the creationists who blasphemously are claiming that God is cheating us in a stupid way."    — J. W. Nienhuys.
"Evolution was far more thrilling to me than the biblical account. Who would not rather be a rising ape than a falling angel ? To my juvenile eyes, Darwin was proved true every day. It doesn't take much to make us flip back into monkeys again."    — Terry Pratchett.
"Personally I'd rather be adopted. Since it would mean that I was picked instead of randomly produced."    — veryinky.
"I have a hunch that the unknown sequences of DNA will decode into copyright notices and patent protections."    — Buy at Amazon.comDonald E. Knuth.

Cloning: results may vary
"I think scientists should stop wasting valuable resources trying to cure cancer and focus on more important issues, like keeping me from drooling in my sleep."    — Bill Hewins.
"Saying that we should circumcise babies to protect them from HIV makes as much sense as saying we should give mastectomies to all young women to protect them from breast cancer."
"Make no doubt, we have the finest medical/patent science system in the United State of America that human greed can fashion."    — Hackus.
"Support bacteria, it's the only culture some people have."    — Bumper sticker.
"It is not a simple life to be a single cell, although I have no right to say so, having been a single cell so long ago myself that I have no memory at all of that stage of my life."    — Buy at Amazon.comLewis Thomas.
"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."    — Buy at Amazon.comEdward Abbey.
"A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg."    — Buy at Amazon.comSamuel Butler (1835—1902)
"Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child which carries the heavy burden of genetic disease."    — Bob Edwards.
"Staph only."    — Seen on a clinical microbiology lab door.
"I am not a medical practitioner, but i do distribute rohypnol to coeds on occasion."    — skrooyoo.
"That's the problem with nature. Something's always stinging you or oozing mucus on you. Let's go watch TV."    — Buy at Amazon.comCalvin.
"A polar bear is a rectangular bear after a coordinate transform."
Polaroids /nm./: what polar bears get from sitting on ice caps.

Animal testing protest
"Campaigns to bearproof all garbage containers in wild areas have been difficult because, as one biologist put it, 'There is a considerable overlap between the intelligence levels of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists'."
"— Did you hear about the homeopath who forgot to take his medicine ?
— He died of an overdose."
"The human body was designed by a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area ?"    — Robin Williams.
"An elephant is a mouse, built to government specifications."    — John Herro.
"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."    — Buy at Amazon.comA Bit of Fry and Laurie.
"I sleep better at night knowing that scientists can clone sheep."    — Jeff Ayers.
"Already for thirty-five years he had not stopped talking and almost nothing of fundamental value had emerged."    — Buy at Amazon.comJames Dewey Watson (1928- ), US geneticist. Referring to the British biophysicist Francis Crick with whom he discovered the structure of DNA (1953).
"Nature wants 5 of your 7 children dead. It wants you dead by 50. Everything better than that is brought to you by science and technology."    — David Frum.
"Along with many scientists he considered the discovery of psychedelics one of the three major scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century, the other two being the splitting of the atom and the manipulation of genetic structures."    — Buy at Amazon.comLaura Huxley Referring to Aldous Huxley.

Children are a blessing... You never know when you'll need a blood transfusion or a spare kidney.
"There are more microbes per person than the entire population of the world. Imagine that. Per person. This means that if the time scale is diminished in proportion to that of space it would be quite possible for the whole story of Greece and Rome to be played out between farts."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlan Bennett (1934- ), British dramatist and actor.
"Medical scientists are nice people, but you should not let them treat you."    — August Bier (1861—1949), German surgeon.
"Life exists in the universe only because the carbon atom possesses certain exceptional properties."    — James Jeans (1877—1946), British scientist.
"Water is H2O, hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing, that makes it water and nobody knows what that is."    — Buy at Amazon.comD. H. Lawrence (1885—1930), British novelist.
"It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast."    — Buy at Amazon.comKonrad Lorenz (1903-89), Austrian zoologist and pioneer of ethology.

Immature Adelie penguin still with some down feathers, Antarctica.
"There are no such things as applied sciences, only applications of science."    — Buy at Amazon.comLouis Pasteur (1822-95), French scientist.
"The people — could you patent the sun ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comJonas E. Salk (1914- ), US virologist. On being asked who owned the patent on his polio vaccine.
"You are 87% water; the other 13% keeps you from drowning."    — P. E. Morris.
"Imagine a survivor of a failed civilization with only a tattered book on aromatherapy for guidance in arresting a cholera epidemic. Yet, such a book would more likely be found amid the debris than a comprehensible medical text."    — Buy at Amazon.comJames Lovelock.
"We've made great medical progress in the last generation. What used to be merely an itch is now an allergy."    — Anonymous.
"Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice' ?"
"Measure twice, cut once... and apply a firm pressure to stop the bleeding until the paramedics arrive."
"Organic life, we are told, has developed gradually from the protozoon to the philosopher, and this development, we are assured, is indubitably an advance. Unfortunately it is the philosopher, not the protozoon, who gives us this assurance."    — Buy at Amazon.comBertrand Russell (1872—1970), British philosopher.
"Medicine, the only profession that labors incessantly to destroy the reason for its own existence."    — James Bryce.
"My parents went to Zaire and all I got was this damn retrovirus..."    — T-shirt.
"Vaccine mandates are making teachers who don't believe in science quit, nurses who don't believe in medicine resign, and police officers who don't believe in public safety retire.
I call that a great side effect."    — @MeidasTouch.

Math sucks


"One of the chief triumphs of modern mathematics consists in having discovered what mathematics really is."    — Buy at Amazon.comBertrand Russell (1901).
"The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell."    — Saint Augustine.
"Math illiteracy strikes 8 out of 5 people."
"Dear algebra: stop asking us to find your X: he's not coming back."
"I made a graph showing my past relationships. It has an ex axis and a why axis."    — Sara Stewart.
"I'm not sure how many problems I have because math is one of them."
"Life is good for only two things, discovering mathematics and teaching mathematics."    — Siméon Poisson.
"I poured root beer into a square glass. Now I just have beer."    — PM_ME_TINY_DINOSAURS.
"Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes."
"Algebra: A weapon of math destruction."
"Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence."
"Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house."    — Lazarus Long.
"Every triangle is a love triangle when you love triangles."    — Pythagoras.
"Q: Why couldn't Pythagoras get a car loan?
A: He couldn't find anyone to cosine!"
"God is real, unless declared integer."
"There's a fine line between a numerator and a denominator. Only a fraction of you will find this funny..."
"I don't like numbers that can't be written as a fraction. It's an irrational fear."
"The above proposition is occasionally useful."    — Bertrand Russel after spending 465 pages to prove that 1+1=2 in Principia Mathematica.
"Biology is really chemistry.
Chemistry is really physics.
Physics is really math.
And math is really hard."
"According to my calculations, this problem doesn't exist."
"Belief is no substitute for arithmetic."    — Henry Spencer.
"I never could make out what those damned dots meant."    — Buy at Amazon.comLord Randolph Churchill (1849-95), British Conservative politician. Referring to decimal points.
"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein (1879—1955).
"I'd like a large order of FiboNachos."
"Okay sir, that'll cost as much as a small order and a medium order combined."
"Möbius strippers never show you their backsides."
"Why did the Chicken Cross the Mobius strip ?
To get to the same side."
"All over China, parents tell their children to stop complaining and to finish their quadratic equations and trigonometric functions because there are sixty-five million American kids going to bed with no math at all."    — Michael Cunningham.
"The creator of the universe works in mysterious ways. But he uses a base ten counting system and likes round numbers."    — Scott Adams.
"What's it going to take for mathematicians to get some mainstream coverage ? A sex scandal ?"    — GrimDawg.
"My math teacher staples burger king applications to failed tests."
"Gentlemen, e^(i*pi) + 1 = 0 is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don't know what it means. But we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be truth."    — Benjamin Peirce, 19th century Harvard mathematician.
"Which University department is second-cheapest to run ? Mathematics — all they need are pencils, paper and a bin.
So, which University department is the cheapest to run ? Philosophy: they just need pencils and paper."
"Alcohol and calculus don't mix. Never drink and derive."
"The mathematician has reached the highest rung on the ladder of human thought."    — Havelock Ellis (1859—1939).
"I think sex is better than logic, but I can't prove it."
"One has to be able to count, if only so that at fifty one doesn't marry a girl of twenty."    — Buy at Amazon.comMaxim Gorky.
"Moriarty: — How are you at Mathematics ?
Harry Secombe: — I speak it like a native."    — Buy at Amazon.comSpike Milligan (1918-), British comic actor and author.
"One geometry cannot be more true than another; it can only be more convenient. Geometry is not true, it is advantageous."    — Robert T. Pirsig (1928-), US writer. Buy at Amazon.comZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
"A physicist is someone who averages the first 3 terms of a divergent series..."
"I love only nature, and I hate mathematicians."    — Buy at Amazon.comRichard P. Feynman (1918-88).

Math limit
"Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe — because, like Spinoza's God, it won't love us in return."    — Buy at Amazon.comBertrand Russell (1872—1970), British philosopher.
"The whole is more than the sum of the parts."    — Buy at Amazon.comAristotle (384-322 BC)
"I knew a mathematician who said 'I do not know as much as God. But I know as much as God knew at my age'."    — Milton Shulman (1925-), Canadian writer, journalist, and critic.
"Round numbers are always false."    — Buy at Amazon.comSamuel Johnson (1709-84), British lexicographer.
"Math is to physics like masturbation is to sex."
"No, it is a very interesting number, it is the smallest number expressible as a sum of two cubes in two different ways."    — Buy at Amazon.comSrinivasa Ramanujan (1887—1920), Indian mathematician. The mathematician G. H. Hardy had referred to the number '1729' as 'dull'.
"Circle: A line that meets its other end without ending."
"Do you like mathematics ? If you do, then stand up, subtract your clothing, add a bed, divide your legs and let's multiply !"
"A sine curve goes off to infinity, or at least the end of the blackboard."
"Mathematicians do it in theory.
Mathematicians take it to the limit."
"Engineers think that equations approximate the real world.
Scientists think that the real world approximates equations.
Mathematicians are unable to make the connection."
"Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin."    — Buy at Amazon.comJohn Von Neumann.

On the importance of arithmetics in prehistoric times...
"You aren't a real engineer until you make one $50000 mistake."
"The optimist says the glass is half full, the pessimist say the glass is half empty, the engineer says the glass is too large, the optometrist says the glasses are half-price and the thirsty guy says: 'Hey, who drank my water ?'"
"Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math."    — Bumper sticker.
"I heard you were good at algebra. Can you replace my X without asking Y ?"
"It is rare to find learned men who are clean, do not stink and have a sense of humour."    — Buy at Amazon.comMontesquieu (1689—1755) about Buy at Amazon.comLeibniz (1646—1716).
"The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people."
"It was mentioned on CNN that the new prime number discovered recently is four times bigger than the previous record."    — John Blasik.
"Algoreithm /n/ a computational procedure whereby a majority is made equivalent to a minority by factoring in nine."    — Jim Rosenberg.
"Q: Do you know what is the square root of 69 ?
A: Ate something (8.xxxxxxx....)"
"There are 3 kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't."    — Bumper sticker.
"Chess is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time."    — Buy at Amazon.comGeorge Bernard Shaw.
"The number you have dialed is imaginary. Rotate phone 90 degrees and try again."
"Sobriété, rigueur et exactitude sont les trois mamelles des mathématiques."    — Manix, my math sup professor.

There are many more mathematical quotes there.

How to lie with statistics.


"The average human has about one breast and one testicle."    — From Statistics 101.
"There are two popes per square kilometer in Vatican."
"Most people have more than the average number of legs."
"Chance is the pseudonym God uses when He'd rather not sign His own name."    — Buy at Amazon.comAnatole France (1844—1924).
"Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions."    — Evan Esar (1899-1995), American Humorist.
"The probability of the bread falling buttered side down is directly proportional to the price of the carpet."
"97.25% of statistics are wrong."
"If your model is bad enough, the confidence intervals will fall outside of the printable area."
"Information is the inverse of probability."    — Claude Shannon (1916-2001), US mathematician.
"If you place a statistician's head in ice and his feet in boiling water, then on the average he is quite comfortable (but his comfort has a large variance)."
"Surveys are lies compounded by statistics."
"96.37% of the people who use statistics in arguments make them up."
"Medical statistics are a little bit like a bikini: what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital."    — Irving R. Levine.
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."    — Buy at Amazon.comDisraeli (1804-81), British statesman.
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts — for support rather than illumination."    — Buy at Amazon.comAndrew Lang.
"Law of Probability Dispersal: Whatever it is that hits the fan will not be evenly distributed."
"Statistics are no substitute for judgment."    — Buy at Amazon.comHenry Clay.
"All generalizations are false, including this one."
"Statisticians do it with 95% confidence."
"You cannot feed the hungry on statistics."    — Buy at Amazon.comDavid Lloyd George (1863—1945), British Liberal statesman. Advocating Tariff Reform.
"Statistics will prove anything, even the truth."    — Noël Moynihan (1916- ), British doctor and writer.
"I am one of the unpraised, unrewarded millions without whom Statistics would be a bankrupt science. It is we who are born, who marry, who die, in constant ratios."    — Buy at Amazon.comLogan Pearsall Smith (1865—1946), US writer.
"A single death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic."    — Buy at Amazon.comJoseph Stalin.
"It is bad luck to be superstitious."
"Anybody can win, unless there happens to be a second entry."
"I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages."    — William H. Mauldin.
"It is now proved beyond doubt that smoking is one of leading causes of statistics."    — Buy at Amazon.comFletcher Knebel.
"There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up."    — Buy at Amazon.comRex Todhunter Stout (1886—1975), US writer.
"I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is, when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political statistic."    — Buy at Amazon.comWinston Churchill.
"There was the high-ranking officer in WWII who spent months counting all the bullet holes on the returning bombers, then did a big presentation on how those areas should have armor added. At the end of his presentation a lower-ranking officer asked 'Shouldn't we, instead, add more armor to those areas that are only lightly holed ? After all, this sample represents only the planes that came back'."
"Depend on the Buy at Amazon.comrabbit's foot if you will, but remember, it didn't work for the rabbit !"    — R.E. Shay.
"Statistics: on average, not very useful."

Genie, Genius...

Murphy's Laws

"Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem."    — Occam's Razor.
"Entropy isn't what it used to be."
"Things get worse under pressure."    — Murphy's Law of Thermodynamics.
"The three laws of thermodynamics: (1) You can't win. (2) You can't break even. (3) You can't even quit."
"Any inanimate object, regardless of its composition or configuration, may be expected to perform at any time in a totally unexpected manner for reasons that are either totally obscure or completely mysterious."    — Dr. Fyodor Flap.
"Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe."    — Buy at Amazon.comDouglas Adams (1952—2001).
"WARNING: Do not look into laser with remaining eye !"    — Sign found at MIT's Junior Lab.
"We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."    — Amara's Law.
"The future, according to some scientists, will be exactly like the past, only more expensive."    — Buy at Amazon.comJohn Sladek.
"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."    — Godwin's Law.
"A corollary of Finagle's law, normally taking the form Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."    — Hanlon's Razor.
"Don't attribute to malice that which can be attributed to entropy."    — Joe Touch.
"If you have a difficult task, give it to a lazy person; they will find an easier way to do it."    — Hlade's Law.
"In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty."    — Imbesi's Law of the Conservation of Filth.
"If you cannot measure, then your knowledge is meager and unsatisfactory."    — Lord Kelvin's dictum.
"What you cannot measure doesn't exist."    — My own rule of thumb.
"What hasn't been tested doesn't work."    — Trapnell's Law.
"The percentage of working hardware in the world is constant."    — Tuttle's Law.
"A person who lives in luxury and has clearly spent a lot of money must obviously have sufficient income to pay as tax. Alternatively, a person who lives frugally and shows no sign of being wealthy must have substantial savings and can therefore afford to pay it as tax."    — John Morton, tax collector for King Henry VII of England.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."    — Santayana's Law.
"No scientific discovery, not even Stigler's law, is named after its original discoverer."    — Stigler's law of eponymy.
"When a body is immersed in water — the telephone rings."    — Archimedes' Other Law.
"Be an optimist, at least until they start moving animals in pairs to Cape Kennedy."    — Anonymous.

Deep (?) Thoughts

"The Union of Concerned Scientists says the Bush administration manipulates and suppresses science. The administration points out that the Union of Bought and Paid for Scientists disagrees."    —
"Enough research will tend to support your theory."    — Murphy's Law of Research
"I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory."    — Bumper sticker.
"It always takes longer than you think even when you take Hofstadter's Law into account."    — Buy at Amazon.comHofstadter's Law.
"Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood."    — Teague's Paradox.
"Anything that happens enough times to irritate you will happen at least once more."    — Tom Parkin's Continuum.
"Art is 'I'; science is 'we'."    — Buy at Amazon.comClaude Bernard (1813-1878).
"Geology rocks but geography is where it's at."
"Just because you can't understand something, it doesn't mean that it's wrong."
"Your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it."
"I can't understand it. I can't even understand the people who can understand it."    — Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.
"When you are a student, it's called plagiarism; when you are a professor, it's called scholarship."
"Research is the transformation of money to knowledge. Innovation is the transformation of knowledge to money."    — Dr. Hans Meixner.
"I don't know what carbon dating is but nothing else is working and I have nothing to lose."    — Woahh Mann.
"Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low."    — Wallace S. Sayre.
"The usual rejoinder to someone who says 'They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Galileo' is to say 'But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown'."    — Buy at Amazon.comCarl Sagan.
"Science is merely an extremely powerful method of winnowing what's true from what feels good."    — Buy at Amazon.comCarl Sagan.
"Of course there is learning without teaching. It's just commonly referred to by another name: science."
"When something is used to its full potential it will break."    — Poulsen's Theorem
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."
"Grantarctica /n./ The cold, isolated place where scientists without funding dwell."
The Science Graduate asks "How does it work ?"
The Economics Graduate asks "How much does it cost ?"
The Engineering Graduate asks "How can we make it ?"
The Liberal Arts Graduate asks "Do you want fries with that ?"
   — Jesse N. Schell.
"An engineer makes a $500 item with $50 worth of parts. A designer then adds $450 worth of crap."
"There are many questions which fools can ask that wise men cannot answer."    — Buy at Amazon.comGeorge Polyá (1887—1985).
"The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"If Einstein was so smart how come people only call you 'Einstein' when you do something really stupid ?"    — Brian Regan.
"Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don't have the balls to live in the real world."    — Mary Shafer, NASA Ames Dryden.
"No one wants to learn from mistakes, but we cannot learn enough from successes to go beyond the state of the art."    — Buy at Amazon.comHenry Petroski.
"Science is a good thing. News reporters are good things too. But it's never a good idea to put them in the same room."    — Buy at Amazon.comScott Adams.
"The best substitute for brains is silence."
"The country is accustomed to having foreign workers come here for unpleasant, low-paying jobs such as fruit picking. Why shouldn't engineering go the same way ?"    — Richard F. Etter.
"We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comJean Cocteau (1889—1963).
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."    — Buy at Amazon.comGalileo Galilei.
"Better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot."
"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."    — Bumper sticker.
"The gene pool could use a little chlorine."    — Bumper sticker.
"The problem with the gene pool is that there is no life guard."
"Neurotics build dream castles, psychotics live in them and psychiatrists collect the rent."
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"Very few people do anything creative after the age of thirty-five. The reason is that very few people do anything creative before the age of thirty-five."    — Buy at Amazon.comJoel Hildebrand (1881—1983).
"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...'"    — Buy at Amazon.comIsaac Asimov.
"Science seldom renders men amiable; women, never."    — Edmone-Pierre Chanvot de Beauchêne (1748—1824).
"Private practice and marriage — those twin extinguishers of science."    — Buy at Amazon.comPaul Broca (1824-80).
"A first-rate laboratory is one in which mediocre scientists can produce outstanding work."    — Buy at Amazon.comPatrick Maynard Stuart Blackett (1897—1974).
"That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to the pertinent answer."    — Buy at Amazon.comJacob Bronowski (1908-74), British scientist and writer.
"No one should approach the temple of science with the soul of a money changer."    — Buy at Amazon.comThomas Browne (1605-82), English physician and writer.
"Mystics always hope that science will some day overtake them."    — Buy at Amazon.comBooth Tarkington (1869—1946), US novelist.
"Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know."    — Buy at Amazon.comBertrand Russell (1872—1970), British philosopher.
"The term Science should not be given to anything but the aggregate of the recipes that are always successful. All the rest is literature."    — Buy at Amazon.comPaul Valéry (1871—1945), French poet and writer.
"It is, of course, a bit of a drawback that science was invented after I left school."    — Buy at Amazon.comLord Carrington (1919- ), British statesman.
"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."    — Buy at Amazon.comArthur C. Clarke (1917- ), British science-fiction writer.
"When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion — the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right."    — Buy at Amazon.comIsaac Asimov (1920—1992), in answer to Clarke's First Law.
"Science is always wrong. It never solves a problem without creating ten more."    — Buy at Amazon.comGeorge Bernard Shaw (1856—1950), Irish dramatist and critic.
"Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition."    — Adam Smith (1723-90), Scottish economist.
"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Szent-Györgyi (1893-92), Hungarian-born US biochemist.
"But in science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs."    — Francis Darwin (1848—1925), British scientist.
"Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce."    — Buy at Amazon.comJohn F. Kennedy (1917-63), US statesman. Inaugural Address, 20 Jan 1961.
"Science may be described as the art of systematic over-simplification."    — Buy at Amazon.comKarl Popper (1902—1994), Austrian-born British philosopher.
"Should we force science down the throats of those that have no taste for it ? Is it our duty to drag them kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century ? I am afraid that it is."    — George Porter (1920- ), British chemist.
"The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas."    — Buy at Amazon.comLinus Pauling.
"What is the use of a new-born child ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comBenjamin Franklin (1706—1790), on being asked the use of a new invention.
"If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X+Y+Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined."    — Buy at Amazon.comSamuel Goldwyn.
"The function of an expert is not to be more right than other people, but to be wrong for more sophisticated reasons."    — David Butler.
"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field."    — Buy at Amazon.comNiels Bohr (1885—1962)
"An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less."    — Buy at Amazon.comNicholas Murray Butler (1862—1947)
"Isn't it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists ?"    — Kelvin Throop.
"The Sept. 11 attacks of 2001 left a lingering psychological impact on the nation...."    — From a psychological study funded by NSF.
"There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking."    — Buy at Amazon.comSir Joshua Reynolds.

Launch of a weather balloon, Antarctica.
"Theft from a single author is plagiarism — from three or more it is research."
"For the scientific acquisition of knowledge is almost as tedious as the routine acquisition of wealth."    — Buy at Amazon.comEric Linklater (1899—1974)
"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth."    — Buy at Amazon.comNiels Bohr.
"Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think."    — Buy at Amazon.comNiels Bohr.
"It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong."    — Buy at Amazon.comIsaac Asimov.
"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"As far as I'm concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlbert Einstein.
"The function of genius is not to give new answers, but to pose new questions which time and mediocrity can resolve."    — Buy at Amazon.comH.R. Trevor-Roper.
"You know Einstein got really terrible grades ? Well, mine are even worse !"    — Buy at Amazon.comCalvin.
"You know how people are. They only recognize greatness when some authority confirms it."    — Buy at Amazon.comCalvin.
"Some scholars are like donkeys, they merely carry a lot of books."
"I've always wanted to be a scientist. That way, I could get a bunch of grants and do research into whether money can really buy happiness."    — Kyannke.
"No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it."    — Buy at Amazon.comC. Schulz.
"A good catchword can obscure analysis for fifty years."    — Buy at Amazon.comWendell L. Willkie.
"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it."    — Buy at Amazon.comMark Twain.
"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't."    — Buy at Amazon.comAnatole France.
"We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems."    — Buy at Amazon.comJohn W. Gardner.
"Thus the metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the 9mm bullet."    — Buy at Amazon.comDave Barry.
"If God had wanted us to use the metric system, Jesus would have had 10 apostles."
"If God wanted us to use the metric system, he would have given us 10 fingers and toes."
"The most dangerous thing in the world is to try to leap a chasm in two jumps."    — Buy at Amazon.comWilliam Lloyd George.
"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."    — Buy at Amazon.comJames Thurber.
"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man."    — Buy at Amazon.comElbert Hubbard (1856—1915), US writer.
"In science, read, by preference, the newest works; in literature the oldest."    — Buy at Amazon.comEdward Bulwer-Lytton (1803—1873)
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt."    — Buy at Amazon.comBertrand Russel.
"We have stopped believing in progress. What progress that is !"    — Buy at Amazon.comJorge Luis Borges (1899—1986), Argentinian writer.
"I once cheated on a metaphysics exam. I looked deep into the soul of the student beside me."    — Buy at Amazon.comWoody Allen.
"All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income."    — Buy at Amazon.comSamuel Butler (1835—1902), British writer.
"The important thing is not to stop questioning."
"Science sans conscience n'est que ruine de l'âme."    — Buy at Amazon.comRabelais (1483—1553).

Conclusion /nm./: the place where you got tired of thinking.

Go take a look at the key to scientific research literature and the Engineering Terminology.