Balfour, Arthur James
It is not by mere accumulation of material, nor even by a plant-like development, that our beliefs grow less inadequate to the truths which they strive to represent. Rather we are like one who is perpetually engaged in altering some ancient dwelling in order to satisfy new-born needs. The ground-plan of it is being perpetually modified. We build here; we pull down there. One part is kept in repair, another part is suffered to decay. And even those portions of the structure which may in themselves appear quite unchanged, stand in such new relations to the rest, and are put to such different uses, that they would scarce be recognized by their original designer.
The Foundations of Belief Appendix Section I (p. 350)
Scientists can never hope to be in a position to know the truth, nor would they have any means of recognizing it if it came into their possession.
Critical Thinking Chapter 19 (p. 396)
Whoever attempts to erect a building should take care that the foundation be securely laid; so also in our inquiries after truth, all our proceedings should be founded upon just and incontrovertible grounds.
Philosophical Remarks on the Theory of Comets Introduction (p. xi)
Nothing is too wonderful to be true.
Faraday's Diary March 19,1849
It is possible to know when you are right way ahead of checking all the consequences. You can recognize truth by its beauty and simplicity.
The Character of Physical Law Chapter 7 (p. 171)
The deepest truths require still deeper truths to explain them.
The Art of Scientific Discovery Chapter III (p. 26)
The joy of suddenly learning a former secret and the joy of suddenly discovering a hitherto unknown truth are the same to me—both have the flash of enlightenment, the almost incredibly enhanced vision, and the ecstasy and euphoria of released tension.
I Want to be a Mathematician Chapter 1 (p. 3)
"Scientific truths" is simply another way of saying "the fittest, most beautiful, and most elegant survivors of scientific debate and testing."
Hunting Down the Universe Chapter 1 (p. 6)
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre
We are given to boasting of our age being an age of science. ..Yet though we may exalt research and derive enormous benefits from it, with what pettiness of spirit, poverty of means and general haphazardness do we pursue truth in the world today!. ..[W]e leave it to grow as best it can, hardly tending it, like those wild plants whose fruits are plucked by primitive peoples in their forests.
The Phenomenon of Man Book 4 Chapter III Section 2A (pp. 278, 279)
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