18th-century Scientist Quotes
One observer will relate an event with the most extravagant encomiums; another will detract from its real merit; a third, by some oblique insinuation, will cast suspicion on the motive; and a fourth will represent it as a crime of the blackest dye. These different descriptions represent the character of the respective observers.
Geological facts being of an historical nature, all attempts to deduce a complete knowledge of them merely from their still, subsisting consequences, to the exclusion of unexceptionable testimony, must be deemed as absurd as that of deducing the history of ancient Rome solely from the medals or other monuments of antiquity it still exhibits, or the scattered ruins of its empire, to the exclusion of a Livy, a Sallust, or a Tacitus.
Chemistry is not yet a science. We are very far from the knowledge of first principles. We should avoid every thing that has the pretensions of a full system. The whole of chemical science should, as yet, be analytical, like Newton's Optics, in the form of a general law, at the very end of our induction, as the reward of our labour.
The number of known metals had been increased by one — from 17 to 18.... A few years ago we thrilled to hear of the discovery of the final planet by Sir William Herschel. He calls the new member of our solar system Uranus. I propose to borrow from the honor of that great discovery and call this new element Uranium.
As the History of any Science ought to relate the labours, the discoveries, and the errors of the cultivators of that Science; and to shew the obstacles which they have been obliged to surmount, and the mistaken paths into which they have sometimes been misled; it cannot therefore fail of being very useful to persons engaged in the same pursuits.
The nerves have been hitherto considered as chords that have no powers of contraction within themselves, but only serving as a medium, by means of which the influence of the brain may be communicated to the muscles, and the impressions made upon the different parts of the body conveyed to the brain.