Miscellaneous Quotations


Quotations on Science and Wisdom

By Professor William Reville, University College Cork. (From an article first appeared in The Irish Times, May 19, 2005)

For a little bit of early Summer amusement, I offer you a miscellaneous selection of quotations on science and wisdom.

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd rather have been talking” – Aristotle.
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it” – Aristotle.
“Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night” - Isaac Asimov.
“You can observe a lot by watching” – Yogi Berra.
“Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount” - Omar N. Bradley.
“You aren't wealthy until you have something money can't buy” – Garth Brooks.
“The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none” - Thomas Carlyle.
“No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism” -Winston Churchill.
“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes” -Winston Churchill.
“Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten” - Cree Indian Prophecy.
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood” - Marie Curie.
“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love” - Albert Einstein.
“Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler” - Albert Einstein
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed” - Albert Einstein.
“The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle” -Albert Einstein.
“Whether you think you can or think you can't -- you are right” - Henry Ford.
“In the struggle against evil, there is no shame in defeat -- only in not fighting” - Steven Hart.
“Your friend is the man who knows all about you and still likes you” - Elbert Hubbard.
“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” - Immanuel Kant.
“You know nothing for sure...except the fact that you know nothing for sure” - John F. Kennedy.
“Life is what happens while you are making other plans” - John Lennon.
“It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and say the opposite” - Sam Levenson.

“There are two rules for success: 1) Never tell everything you know” - Roger H. Lincoln.

“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?” - Abraham Lincoln.

“Religion and science both profess peace (and the sincerity of the professors is not being doubted), but each always turns out to have a dominant part in any war that is going or contemplated” - Howard Nemerov.

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you” – Friedrich Nietzsche.

“Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger” - Friedrich Nietzsche

“When the passions become masters, they are vices” - Blaise Pascal.

“Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don't know.” - Bertrand Russell.

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible” - Bertrand Russell.

“The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it” - Alan Saporta.

“A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education” - George Bernard Shaw.

“The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is” - George Bernard Shaw.

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

”You cannot kill time without injuring eternity” – Henry David Thoreau.

“Let us be thankful for the fools; but for them the rest of us could not succeed” - Mark Twain.

“I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won't” - Mark Twain.

“Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more” - Mark Twain.

“When you're arguing with a fool, make sure he isn't doing the same thing” – unknown.

“If you have to swallow a frog, try not to think about it. If you have to swallow two frogs, don't swallow the smaller one first” – unknown.

“A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies” - Oscar Wilde.

Arts Quotations

By Professor William Reville, University College Cork. (From an article first appeared in The Irish Times, February 8, 2007)

Today, I offer you a selection of quotations on the arts. You can find many more on the website of the Maricopa Centre for Learning and Instruction.

"A great sculpture can roll down a hill without breaking." Michelangelo (1475-1564).

"Beauty is the purgation of superfluities." Michelangelo.

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be." Abraham Maslow (American Psychologist, 1908-1970).

"All art is but imitation of nature." Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - 65 A.D.).

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Aristotle (382-322 BC).

"Art is a higher type of knowledge than experience." Aristotle.

"Life is short, art is long..." Hippocrates (Greek, Father of Medicine, 460-370 BC).

"Architecture is inhabited sculpture." Constantin Brancusi (Romanian sculptor, 1876-1957).

"Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist." Rene Magritte (Belgian surrealist artist, 1898-1967).

"Art is a lie that helps us to realize the truth." Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).

Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." Pablo Picasso.

"There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun." Pablo Picasso.

"To draw, you must close your eyes and sing." Pablo Picasso.

"What good are computers? They can only give you answers." Pablo Picasso.

"Art is made to disturb. Science reassures. There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain." Georges Braque (French painter and sculptor, 1882-1963).

"Art is not the bread, but the wine of life." J ohn Paul Richter (German novelist, 1763-1825).

"Art is the signature of civilizations." Beverly Sills (American Opera singer, (1929-).

"Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life." Henry Miller (American writer, 1891-1890).

"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well-spent brings happy death." Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).

"Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master." Leonardo da Vinci.

"Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything." Eugene Delacroix (French painter, 1798-1863).

"We work not only to produce but to give value to time." Eugene Delacroix.

"Color in a picture is like enthusiasm in life." Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890).

"How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun." Vincent Van Gogh.

"He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist." St. Fancis of Assisi (1182-1226).

"I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me." Henri Matisse (French painter, 1869-1954).

"Work cures everything." Matisse.

"If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens." Grandma Moses (American Folk artist, 1860-1961).

"If the artist sees nothing within him, then he should also refrain from painting what he sees before him." Caspar David Friedrich (German painter, 1774-1840).

"Life without industry is guilt, and industry without art is brutality." John Ruskin (Art and social critic, 1819-1900).

"The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract." Paul Klee (Swiss painter, 1879-1940).

"Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible." Paul Klee.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

"There are more valid facts and details in works of art than there are in history books." Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977).

"There are three forms of visual art: Painting is art to look at, sculpture is art you can walk around, and architecture is art you can walk through." Dan Rice (American entertainer, 1823-1989).

"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing." Salvador Dali (1904-1989).

"When I was a kid, a book I read advised young artist to be themselves. That decided it for me. I was a corny kind of guy, so I went in for corn." Walt Disney (1901-1966).

"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college and that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, You mean they forget?" Howard Ikemoto (American artist and teacher).

"When the subject is strong, simplicity is the only way to treat it." Jacob Lawrence (American painter, 1917-2000).

"Without fear and illness, I could never have accomplished all I have." Edvard Munch (Norwegian painter, 1863-1944).

"Every good painter paints what he is." Jackson Pollack (American abstract painter, 1912-1956).

"Art should never try to be popular. The public should try to make itself artistic." Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).

"Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one." Stella Adler (American actress and teacher, 1901-1992).

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." Franz Kafka (1883-1924).

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home." Twyla Tharp (American dancer, 1941-).

"If a work of art or a new style disturbs you, then it is probably good work. If you hate it, it is probably great." Leo Steinberg (American art historian, 1920-).

"Art is either plagiarism or revolution." Paul Gauguin (French painter, 1848-1903).

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Edgar Degas (French artist, 1834-1917).

"I feel as though I haven't seen an object until I actually start painting it." Janet Fish (American painter, 1938-).

"Art is skill, that is the first meaning of the word." Eric Gill (British sculptor, 1882-1940).

"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely." Auguste Rodin (French artist 1840-1917).


By Professor William Reville, University College Cork. (From an article first appeared in The Irish Times, August 10, 2006)

This week I offer you a random selection of quotations, mainly on wisdom. I hope you enjoy mulling them over in the summer sunshine.

Basic research may seem very expensive. I am a well-paid scientist. My hourly wage is equal to that of a plumber, but sometimes my research remains barren of results for weeks, months or years and my conscience begins to bother me for wasting taxpayers’ money. But, in reviewing my life’s work, I have to think that the expense was not wasted. Basic research, to which we owe everything, is relatively very cheap when compared with other outlays of modern society. The other day I made a rough calculation, which led me to the conclusion that if one were to add up all the money ever spent by man on basic research, one would find it to be just about equal to the money spent by the Pentagon this past year (Albert Szent-Gyorgyi).

The worst prison would be a closed heart. (Pope John Paul II.)

Each day is a little life. (Arthur Schopenhauer.)

Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud. (Sophocles.)

I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.  (Anne Frank.)

My life is my message. (Mahatma Ghandi.)

We can believe what we choose.  We are answerable for what we choose to believe. (Cardinal Newman.)

I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. (Franklin Delanor Roosevelt.)

All of the significant battles are waged within the self. (Sheldon Kopp.)

It does not require many words to speak the truth. (Chief Joseph.)

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. (Ralph Waldo Emerson.)

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing on one's own sunshine. (Ralph Waldo Emerson.)

It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself. (Ralph Waldo Emerson.)

Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain. (Ralph Waldo Emerson.)

When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live. (Samuel Johnson.)

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. (William Shakespeare.)

The cost of a thing is the amount of life that must be exchanged for it. (Henry David Thoreau.)

The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. (Henry David Thoreau.)

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. (Henry David Thoreau.)

Try not to be a man of success, but rather try to be a man of value. (Albert Einstein.)

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. (Albert Einstein.)

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: "It might have been!" (John Greenleaf Whittier.)

No man is a failure who is enjoying life.  (William Feather.)

Think you can, think you can't; either way you'll be right. (Henry Ford.)

It’s not the employer who pays the wages. The employers only handle the money. It’s the customer who pays the wages. (Henry Ford.)

If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn. (Andrew Mason.)

The first half of our lives are ruined by our parents, and the second half by our children. (Clarence Darrow.)

You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can't sit on it for long. (Boris Yeltsin.)

Humour makes all things tolerable. (Henry Ward Beecher.)

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. (John Lennon.)

If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased. (Mother's Advice to Katharine Hepburn.)

If you don't paddle your own canoe, you don't move. (Katharine Hepburn.)

Character is much easier kept than recovered. (Thomas Paine.)

Nothing I never said ever did me any harm. (Calvin Coolidge.)

Don't talk unless you can improve the silence. (New England Saying.)
Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward. (Soren Kierkegaard.)

I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man I have ever met! (Dwight L. Moody.)

When you were born, the world rejoiced and you cried; live your life so that when you die the world cries and you rejoice. (Cherokee saying.)

It is better to travel well than to arrive. (Buddha.)

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. (Buddha.)

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. (Buddha.)

What we think, we become. (Buddha.)

Luxury is more deadly than any foe. (Juvenal.)

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t. (Blaise Pascal.)

The Kingdom of Heaven is within you … seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all things will be added onto you. (Jesus Christ.)

Fear is only as deep as the mind allows. (Japanese proverb.)

I write music with an exclamation point! (Richard Wagner.)

Wagner’s music is better than it sounds. (Mark Twain.)

It is better to deserve an honour and not receive it than to receive an honour and not deserve it. (Mark Twain.)

Ambition can creep as well as soar. (Edmund Burke.)

The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth. (Chinese proverb.)

A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain. (Robert Frost.)

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that. (Norman Vincent Peale.)