Theories Quotes

Quotes tagged as "theories" (showing 1-30 of 73)
Arthur Conan Doyle
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

Aldous Huxley
“Man is so intelligent that he feels impelled to invent theories to account for what happens in the world. Unfortunately, he is not quite intelligent enough, in most cases, to find correct explanations. So that when he acts on his theories, he behaves very often like a lunatic.”
Aldous Huxley

Derek Landy
“Just because an apple falls one hundred times out of a hundred does not mean it will fall on the hundred and first.”
Derek Landy, Death Bringer

J.B.S. Haldane
“The four stages of acceptance:
1. This is worthless nonsense.
2. This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view.
3. This is true, but quite unimportant.
4. I always said so."

(Review of The Truth About Death, in: Journal of Genetics 1963, Vol. 58, p.464)”
J.B.S. Haldane

Criss Jami
“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Paolo Bacigalupi
“Pure data. You don’t believe data—you test data.” He grimaced. “If I could put my finger on the moment we genuinely fucked ourselves, it was the moment we decided that data was something you could use words like believe or disbelieve around.”
Paolo Bacigalupi, The Water Knife

Oliver Sacks
“There are, of course, inherent tendencies to repetition in music itself. Our poetry, our ballads, our songs are full of repetition; nursery rhymes and the little chants and songs we use to teach young children have choruses and refrains. We are attracted to repetition, even as adults; we want the stimulus and the reward again and again, and in music we get it. Perhaps, therefore, we should not be surprised, should not complain if the balance sometimes shifts too far and our musical sensitivity becomes a vulnerability.”
Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

“The dismaying truth is that birtherism is part of a larger pattern of rejection of reality that has taken hold of intimidating segments of one of the two political parties that alternate in power in our governing institutions. It is akin to the view that global warming is a hoax, or that the budget can be balanced through spending cuts alone, or that contraception causes abortion, or that evolution is just another theory, on a par with the theory that the earth is six thousand years old.”
Hendrik Hertzberg

Santosh Kalwar
“There are several theories on sex and all of them are lies.”
Santosh Kalwar, Quote Me Everyday

Michael Crichton
“Most areas of intellectual life have discovered the virtues of speculation, and have embraced them wildly. In academia, speculation is usually dignified as theory.”
Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton
“A wonderful area for speculative academic work is the unknowable. These days religious subjects are in disfavor, but there are still plenty of good topics. The nature of consciousness, the workings of the brain, the origin of aggression, the origin of language, the origin of life on earth, SETI and life on other worlds...this is all great stuff. Wonderful stuff. You can argue it interminably. But it can't be contradicted, because nobody knows the answer to any of these topics.”
Michael Crichton

Robert A. Heinlein
“You were probably educated in the conventional economic theories of your period which were magnificent and most ingenious, but--if you will pardon my saying so--all wrong.”
Robert A. Heinlein, For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs

“Why do we love the idea that people might be secretly working together to control and organise the world? Because we don't like to face the fact that our world runs on a combination of chaos, incompetence and confusion.”
Jonathan Cainer

“History is a hermaphrodite with many distinguished lovers. We are neither mysteries nor strangers but the living breath of revelation made flesh by the unrestrained desires of a free and universal love. Universal me. Universal you.”
--from Past Present and Future are One”
Aberjhani, Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love

Eric Idle
“Mere lack of evidence, of course, is no reason to denounce a theory. Look at intelligent design. The fact that it is bollocks hasn’t stopped a good many people from believing in it. Darwinism itself is only supported by tons of evidence, which is a clear indication that Darwin didn’t write his books himself.”
Eric Idle

“The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence.”
National Academy of Sciences

Hari Kunzru
“What if one were to want to hunt for these hidden presences? You can’t just rummage around like you’re at a yard sale. You have to listen. You have to pay attention. There are certain things you can’t look at directly. You need to trick them into revealing themselves. That’s what we’re doing with Walter, Jaz. We’re juxtaposing things, listening for echoes. It’s not some silly cybernetic dream of command and control, modeling the whole world so you can predict the outcome. It’s certainly not a theory of everything. I don’t have a theory of any kind. What I have is far more profound.’

‘What’s that?’

‘A sense of humor.’

Jaz looked at him, trying to find a clue in his gaunt face, in the clear gray eyes watching him with such - what? Amusement? Condescension? There was something about the man which brought on a sort of hermeneutic despair. He was a forest of signs.

‘We’re hunting for jokes.’ Bachman spoke slowly, as if to a child. ‘Parapraxes. Cosmic slips of the tongue. They’re the key to the locked door. They’ll help us discover it.’

‘Discover what?’

‘The face of God. What else would we be looking for?”
Hari Kunzru, Gods Without Men

Jameson Currier
“The older you get, the more theories you make up about things.”
Jameson Currier, The Third Buddha

Elizabeth Gilbert
“Boehme makes such leaps, such contradictions, such confusions of thought. It is as though he wishes to vault directly into heaven upon the strength of his logic, but his logic is deeply impaired." She reached across the table for a book and flung it open. "In this chapter here, for instance, he is trying to find keys to God's secrets hidden inside the plants of the Bible- but what are we to make of it, when his information is simply incorrect? He spends a full chapter interpreting 'the lilies of the field' as mentioned in the book of Matthew, dissecting every letter of the word 'lilies,' looking for revelation within the syllables... but Ambrose, 'the lilies of the field' itself is a mistranslation. It would not have 'been' lilies that Christ discussed in his Sermon on the Mount. There are only two varieties of lily native to Palestine, and both are exceedingly rare. They would not have flowered in such abundance as to have ever filled a meadow. They would not have been familiar enough to the common man. Christ, tailoring his lesson to the widest possible audience, would more likely have referred to a ubiquitous flower, in order that his listeners would comprehend his metaphor. For that reason, it is exceedingly probable that Christ was talking about the anemones of the field- probably 'Anemone coronaria'- though we cannot be certain...”
Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things

“Every time that we consider our past, examine our present environment, and speculate about the future, we engage in mental projection. Contemplation merges into thinking, and thinking unspools into theorizing suppositions. Every act of attentiveness expands our state of awareness. Deductive surmises represent an ongoing process of making applicable connections between theories and facts. Devising working hypothesis represents one of the highest intellectual achievements of humankind.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

Christophe Galfard
“Mankind has uncovered two extremely efficient theories: one that describes our universe's structure (Einstein's gravity: the theory of general relativity), and one that describes everything our universe contains (quantum field theory), and these two theories won't talk to each other.”
Christophe Galfard, The Universe in Your Hand: A Journey Through Space, Time, and Beyond

Michael  Grant
“There were dozens of theories about what it was, that dome. Every scientist in the world, it seemed, had made a pilgrimage to the site. Tests had been conducted, measurements taken.
They had tried drilling through it. Under it. Had flown over it. Had dug beneath it. Had approached it by submarine.
Nothing worked.
Every species of doomsayer from Luddite to End Times nut had had his say. It was a judgment. On America’s technological obsession, on America’s moral failure. This. That. Something else.
Then the twins had popped out. Just like that. First Emma. Then, a few minutes later, Anna. Alive and well at the exact moment of their fifteenth birthday.
They told tales of life inside the bowl. What they called the FAYZ.
Connie Temple’s heart had swelled with pride for what she had learned of her son, Sam. And crashed into despair with tales of her other son, her unacknowledged child, Caine.
Then, nothing. No other kids arrived for a while.
Black despair settled over the families as they realized that it would be only these two. Months passed. Many lost faith. How could kids survive alone?
But then, the Prophetess had reached into their dreams.
One night Connie Temple had a lurid, incredible dream. She’d never had such a detailed dream. It was terrifying. The power of it took her breath away. There was a girl in that dream.
This girl spoke to her in the dream. It’s a dream, the girl said.
Yes, just a dream, Connie had answered.
Not just a dream. Never say “just” a dream, the girl had corrected. A dream is a window to another reality.
Who are you? Connie had asked.
My name is Orsay. I know your son.
Connie had been about to say, Which one? But some instinct stopped her. The girl did not look dangerous. She looked hungry.
Do you have a message for Sam? the girl asked.
Yes, Connie said. Tell him to let them go.
Let them go.
Let them go off into the red sunset.

Michael Grant, Lies

“Discovery commences with the awareness of anomaly, i.e. with the recognition that nature has somehow violated the paradigm-induced expectations that govern normal science. It then continues with a more or less extended exploration of the area of anomaly. And it closes only when the paradigm theory has been adjusted so that the anomalous has become the expected.”
Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Eric    Weiner
“The creator of Bambi was secretly writing pornographic novels on the side. This single fact tells you everything you need to know about turn-of-the-century Vienna, and why it was the perfect place for Sigmund Freud and his far-fetched theories about the human psyche.”
Eric Weiner, The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley

Marcus du Sautoy
“To understand this new frontier, I will have to try to master one of the most difficult and counterintuitive theories ever recorded in the annals of science: quantum physics. Listen to those who have spent their lives immersed in this world and you will have a sense of the challenge we face. After making his groundbreaking discoveries in quantum physics, Werner Heisenberg recalled, "I repeated to myself again and again the question: Can nature possibly be so absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments?" Einstein declared after one discovery, "If it is correct it signifies the end of science." Schrödinger was so shocked by the implications of what he'd cooked up that he admitted, "I do not like it and I am sorry I had anything to do with it." Nevertheless, quantum physics is now one of the most powerful and well-tested pieces of science on the books. Nothing has come close to pushing it off its pedestal as one of the great scientific achievements of the last century. So there is nothing to do but to dive headfirst into this uncertain world. Feynman has some good advice for me as I embark on my quest: "I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, 'But how can it be like that?' because you will get 'down the drain,' into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.”
Marcus du Sautoy, The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science

“The moon has seen many a theory come and go.”
Marty Rubin

Kurt Vonnegut
“No respecter of evidence has ever found the least clue as to what life is all about, and what people should do with it.

Oh, there have been lots of brilliant guesses. But honest, educated people have to identify with them as such--as guesses. What are guesses worth? Scientifically and legally, they are not worth doodley-squat. As the saying goes: “Your guess is as good as mine.”

The guesses we like best, as with so many things we like best, were taught to us in childhood--by people who loved us and wished us well. We are reluctant to criticize those guesses. It is an ultimate act of rudeness to find fault with anything which is given to us in a spirit of love. So a modern, secular education is often painful. By its very nature, it invites us to question the wisdom of the ones we love.

Too bad.

I have said that one guess is as good as another, but that is only roughly so. Some guesses are crueler than others--which is to say, harder on human beings, and on other animals as well. The belief that God wants heretics burned to death is a case in point. Some guesses are more suicidal than others. The belief that a true lover of God is immune to the bites of copperheads and rattlesnakes is a case in point. Some guesses are greedier and more egocentric than others. Belief in the divine right of kings and presidents is a case in point.

Those are all discredited guesses. But it is reasonable to suppose that other bad guesses are poisoning our lives today. A good education in skepticism can help us to discover those bad guesses, and to destroy them with mockery and contempt. Most of them were made by honest, decent people who had no way of knowing what we know, or what we can find out, if we want to. We have one hell of a lot of good information about our bodies, about our planet, and the universe--about our past. We don’t have to guess as much as the old folks did.

Bertrand Russell declared that, in case he met God, he would say to Him, “Sir, you did not give us enough information.” I would add to that, “All the same, Sir, I’m not persuaded that we did the best we could with the information we had. Toward the end there, anyway, we had tons of information.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage

J.B.S. Haldane
“I suppose the process of acceptance will pass through the usual four stages: i) this is worthless nonsense; ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view; iii) this is true, but quite unimportant; iv) I always said so.”
J.B.S. Haldane

John Maynard Keynes
“Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. ... in the field of economic and political philosophy there are not many who are influenced by new theories after they are twenty-five or thirty years of age, so that the ideas which civil servants and politicians and even agitators apply to current events are not likely to be the newest.”
John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money

Francis Bacon
“...the specious meditations, speculations, and theories of mankind are but a kind of insanity, only there is no one to stand by and observe it.”
Francis Bacon, Novum Organum

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