Top 84 Quotes & Sayings by Famous Naturalists

Explore popular quotes by famous naturalists.
Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.
Die gefährlichste Weltanschauung ist die Weltanschauung derer, die die Welt nie angeschaut haben. (The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world)
The eye takes a person into the world. The ear brings the world into a human being. — © Lorenz Oken
The eye takes a person into the world. The ear brings the world into a human being.
Essentially, all life depends upon the soil ... There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.
There is always a sadness about packing. I guess you wonder if where you're going is as good as where you've been.
One thing I encourage a lot of people to realize and do is to just have an adventure.
Decaffeinated coffee is kind of like kissing your sister.
There's no point bleating about the future of pandas, polar bears and tigers when we're not addressing the one single factor putting more pressure on the eco system than any other - namely the ever-increasing population.
If businesses are to redeem themselves in the eyes of the public and regain the trust that they have lost, they should worry a lot more about what they stand for and entrust those with expertise in communication a much freer rein to express this in ways that people might recognise as being sincere and sympathetic, rather than stilted and formulaic.
Learn to use an axe, and respect it and you can't help but love it. But abuse one and it will wear your hands raw and open your foot like an overcooked sausage.
The cat is the only animal which accepts the comforts but rejects the bondage of domesticity.
Only those works which are well-written will pass to posterity: the amount of knowledge, the uniqueness of the facts, even the novelty of the discoveries are no guarantees of immortality ... These things are exterior to a man but style is the man himself.
To be and to think are one and the same for us. — © Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
To be and to think are one and the same for us.
As a farmer, man himself became closely attached to the landscape, firmly rooted to the soil that supported him. At times the soil seemed bountiful and kindly and again stubborn and unfriendly, but it was always a challenge to man's cunning.
An Individual, whatever species it might be, is nothing in the Universe. A hundred, a thousand individuals are still nothing. The species are the only creatures of Nature, perpetual creatures, as old and as permanent as it. In order to judge it better, we no longer consider the species as a collection or as a series of similar individuals, but as a whole independent of number, independent of time, a whole always living, always the same, a whole which has been counted as one in the works of creation, and which, as a consequence, makes only a unity in Nature.
Mere communion with nature, mere contact with the free air, exercise a soothing yet comforting and strengthening influence on the wearied mind, calm the storm of passion, and soften the heart when shaken by sorrow to its inmost depths.
The cells are thus the stomachs of which the plant has millions like mouths.
In general, the more one augments the number of divisions of the productions of nature, the more one approaches the truth, since in nature only individuals exist, while genera, orders, and classes only exist in our imagination.
Although the works of the Creator may be in themselves all equally perfect, the animal is, as I see it, the most complete work of nature, and man is her masterpiece.
There is only truth to be found - no lies, no shams, no illusions, no hypocrisy. Just a truthful place, where all beings are governed by a set of perfect laws that have never changed and never will.
We can only penetrate the rind of the earth.
The human mind cannot create anything. It produces nothing until having been fertilized by experience and meditation; its acquisitions are the germs of its production.
Civilization has its roots in the soil.
To write well is to think well, to feel well, and to render well; it is to possess at once intellect, soul, and taste.
Insight into universal nature provides an intellectual delight and sense of freedom that no blows of fate and no evil can destroy.
It appears that all that can be, is. The Creator's hand does not appear to have been opened in order to give existence to a certain determinate number of species, but it seems that it has thrown out all at once a world of relative and non-relative creatures, an infinity of harmonic and contrary combinations and a perpetuity of destructions and replacements. What idea of power is not given us by this spectacle! What feeling of respect for its Author is not inspired in us by this view of the universe!
In studying other cultures, we learn more about ourselves and our relationship to all things in this world.
Before being free, it is necessary to be just
At no other time has Nature concentrated such a wealth of valuable nourishment into such a small space as in the cocoa bean.
There is not way that you can have a decent life as a man if you aren't awake and aware every moment. Show up for your own life. Don't pass your days in a stupor, content to swallow whatever watery ideas modern society may bottle feed you through the media, satisfied to slumber through life in an instant gratification sugar coma. The most extraordinary gift you've been given is your own humanity, which is about consciousness. So honor that consciousness.
Man thinks, and at once becomes the master of the beings that do not think.
Rassemblons des faits pour nous donner des idées. Let us gather facts in order to get ourselves thinking.
Too many men work on parts of things. Doing a job to completion, satisfies me.
Statistical projections which speak to the senses without fatiguing the mind, possess the advantage of fixing the attention on a great number of important facts.
People often say that I'm curious about too many things at once... But can you really forbid a man from harbouring a desire to know and embrace everything that surrounds him?
Each soil has had its own history. Like a river, a mountain, a forest, or any natural thing, its present condition is due to the influences of many things and events of the past.
The whole of a human being is merely a vertebra.
The style is the man himself. — © Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
The style is the man himself.
The most powerful influence exercised by the Arabs on general natural physics was that directed to the advances of chemistry ; a science for which this race created a new era.(...) Besides making laudatory mention of that which we owe to the natural science of the Arabs in both the terrestrial and celestial spheres, we must likewise allude to their contributions in separate paths of intellectual development to the general mass of mathematical science.
There are several kinds of truths, and it is customary to place in the first order mathematical truths, which are, however, only truths of definition. These definitions rest upon simple, but abstract, suppositions, and all truths in this category are only constructed, but abstract, consequences of these definitions ... Physical truths, to the contrary, are in no way arbitrary, and do not depend on us.
Physio-philosophy has to show how, and in accordance indeed with what laws, the Material took its origin; and, therefore, how something derived its existence from nothing. It has to portray the first periods of the world's development from nothing; how the elements and heavenly bodies originated; in what method by self-evolution into higher and manifold forms, they separated into minerals, became finally organic, and in Man attained self-consciousness.
As historians, we refuse to allow ourselves these vain speculations which turn on possibilities that, in order to be reduced to actuality, suppose an overturning of the Universe, in which our globe, like a speck of abandoned matter, escapes our vision and is no longer an object worthy of our regard. In order to fix our vision, it is necessary to take it such as it is, to observe well all parts of it, and by indications infer from the present to the past.
Only well-written works will descend to posterity. Fulness of knowledge, interesting facts, even useful inventions, are no pledge of immortality, for they may be employed by more skilful hands; they are outside the man; the style is the man himself.
Time is the most important thing in human life, for what is pleasure after the departure of time? and the most consolatory, since pain, when pain has passed, is nothing. Time is the wheel-track in which we roll on towards eternity, conducting us to the Incomprehensible. In its progress there is a ripening power, and it ripens us the more, and the more powerfully, when we duly estimate it. Listen to its voice, do not waste it, but regard it as the highest finite good, in which all finite things are resolved.
Style supposes the reunion and the exercise of all the intellectual faculties. The style is the man.
It is a proverbial expression that every man is the maker of his own fortune, and we usually regard it as implying that every man by his folly or wisdom prepares good or evil for himself. But we may view it in another light, namely, that we may so accommodate ourselves to the dispositions of Providence as to be happy in our lot, whatever may be its privations.
For the little that one has reflected on the origin of our knowledge, it is easy to perceive that we can acquire it only by means of comparison. That which is absolutely incomparable is wholly incomprehensible. God is the only example that we could give here. He cannot be comprehended, because he cannot be compared. But all which is susceptible of comparison, everything that we can perceive by different aspects, all that we can consider relatively, can always be judged according to our knowledge.
Our imagination is struck only by what is great; but the lover of natural philosophy should reflect equally on little things. — © Alexander von Humboldt
Our imagination is struck only by what is great; but the lover of natural philosophy should reflect equally on little things.
The discoveries that one can make with the microscope amount to very little, for one sees with the mind's eye and without the microscope the real existence of all these little beings.
Essentially, all life depends upon the soil
Writing well is at one and the same time good thinking, good feeling, and good expression; it is having wit, soul, and taste, all together.
Love is always having to say I'm sorry.
The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert... I don't live inside buildings because buildings are dead places where nothing grows, where water doesn't flow, and where life stops. I don't want to live in a dead place. People say that I don't live in a real world, but it's modern Americans who live in a fake world, because they have stepped outside the natural circle of life.
The sublime can only be found in the great subjects. Poetry, history and philosophy all have the same object, and a very great object-Man and Nature. Philosophy describes and depicts Nature. Poetry paints and embellishes it. It also paints men, it aggrandizes them, it exaggerates them, it creates heroes and gods. History only depicts man, and paints him such as he is.
Nature is the system of laws established by the Creator for the existence of things and for the succession of creatures. Nature is not a thing, because this thing would be everything. Nature is not a creature, because this creature would be God. But one can consider it as an immense vital power, which encompasses all, which animates all, and which, subordinated to the power of the first Being, has begun to act only by his order, and still acts only by his concourse or consent ... Time, space and matter are its means, the universe its object, motion and life its goal.
Style is the essence of man
Those who write as they speak, even though they speak well, write badly.
Man is the summit, the crown of nature's development, and must comprehend everything that has preceded him, even as the fruit includes within itself all the earlier developed parts of the plant. In a word, Man must represent the whole world in miniature.
Cruelty to animals is one of the most significant vices of a low and ignoble people.
I am convinced, by repeated observation, that marbles, lime-stones, chalks, marls, clays, sand, and almost all terrestrial substances, wherever situated, are full of shells and other spoils of the ocean.
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