Preface for the Evolution of Science
How to study nature: observation, empiricism, quantification.
Awe at what we don't know; awe at what we do know.
The first of those who studied science were misled in their search for truth and the nature of things by their inexperience.
Aristotle, Physics, Ch 8, book I
Is astronomy different from physics or a department of it? It seems absurd that the physicist should be supposed to know the nature of sun or moon, but not to know any of their essential attributes, particularly as the writers on physics obviously do discuss their shape also and whether the earth and the world are spherical or not.
Aristotle, Physics, Ch 2, book II
For genera that are quite distinct yet often times present many identical phenomena, sleep, respiration, growth, decay, death, and other similar affections and conditions, which may be passed over for the present, as we are not yet prepared to treat of them with clearness and precision.
Aristotle, On the Parts of Animals, Ch 1, Book I
Neglect of mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since on who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences of the things of this world. And what is worst, those who are thus ignorant are unable to perceive their own ignorance and so do not seek a remedy.
Roger Bacon, Opus Magus
Reasoning draws a conclusion and helps us understand, but unless the mind discovers a fact by the path of experience, one cannot sort the real from the unimagined. Therefore reasoning does not suffice, but experience does.
Roger Bacon, Opus Magus
...del motimento annuo della Terra, "of the annual movement of the earth", the only place in all of his writings in which Galileo actually said the earth moved.
Galileo Galilei, History and Demonstrations Concerning Sunspots and Their Phenomena
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him.
It i have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants.
Isaac Newton, letter to Robert Hooke
I know not what I appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell, whilst the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me.
Memoirs of Newton
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species
Without speculation there is no good and original observation.
One reason why mathematics enjoys special esteem, above all other sciences, is that its laws are absolutely certain and indisputable, while those of other sciences are to some extent debatable and in constant danger of being overthrown by newly discovered facts.
Albert Einstein, Sidelights on Relativity
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.
I maintain there is much more wonder in science that in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true.