„Learn the ABC of science before you try to ascend to its summit.“

— Ivan Pavlov, Bequest to the Academic Youth of Soviet Russia (1936).

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Ivan Pavlov
1849 - 1936
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„For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing.“

—  Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics
Book II, 1103a.33: Cited in: Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (2005), 21:9

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„Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.“

— Max Planck, Where is Science Going?
Where is Science Going? (1932) Variants: Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature, for in the final analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.

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„I don't try to tell the dancers exactly what a dance means before they do it.“

— Martha Graham American dancer and choreographer 1894 - 1991
Context: I don't try to tell the dancers exactly what a dance means before they do it. I can correct it and tell them what they have done after they have done it, and what it means to me. But I don't say, "Be fearful here," "Be angry here," because I think that is intrusion.

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„If you learn music you'll learn most all there is to know.“

— Edgar Cayce Purported clairvoyant healer and psychic 1877 - 1945

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„I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.“

— Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
Context: I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. Looked at from this standpoint, I almost reached the conclusion that often the Negro boy's birth and connection with an unpopular race is an advantage, so far as real life is concerned. With few exceptions, the Negro youth must work harder and must perform his tasks even better than a white youth in order to secure recognition. But out of the hard and unusual struggle through which he is compelled to pass, he gets a strength, a confidence, that one misses whose pathway is comparatively smooth by reason of birth and race. Chapter II: Boyhood Days

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„Change before you have to.“

— Jack Welch American executive: General Electric CEO 1935

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„The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.“

— Werner Heisenberg German theoretical physicist 1901 - 1976
“Der erste Trunk aus dem Becher der Naturwissenschaft macht atheistisch, aber auf dem Grund des Bechers wartet Gott.” in 15 Jahrhunderte Würzburg: e. Stadt u. ihre Geschichte [15 centuries Würzburg. A city and its history] (1979), p. 205, by Heinz Otremba. The quote per se cannot be found in Heisenberg's published works, and Otremba apparently does not declare his source. The journalist Eike Christian Hirsch PhD, a personal aquaintance of Heisenberg, whom he interviewed for his 1981 book Expedition in die Glaubenswelt, informed de.wikiquote on 22 June 2015, that content and style of the quote was completely foreign to Heisenberg's convictions and the way he used to express himself, and that Heisenberg's children, Dr. Maria Hirsch and Prof. Dr. Martin Heisenberg, did not recognize their father in this quote. Hirsch has suggested that the quote and its attribution to Heisenberg may have been fabricated by a fundamentalist English-speaking Christian seeking support for his faith, and he points to the similar precursor remarks of Francis Bacon, in "Of Atheism" (1601): "A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion", and of Alexander Pope, in "An Essay on Criticism" (1709): "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again." However, there is a passage in a lengthy essay written by Heisenberg in 1942, "Ordnung der Wirklichkeit” ("Reality and Its Order"), published in Collected Works. Section C: Philosophical and Popular Writings. Volume I. Physics and Cognition. 1927-1955 (1984), that parallels the ideas expressed in the quote (albeit in a much expanded form): "The first thing we could say was simply: 'I believe in God, the Father, the almighty creator of heaven and earth.' The next step — at least for our contemporary consciousness — was doubt. There is no god; there is only an impersonal law that directs the fate of the world according to cause and effect... And yet [today], we may with full confidence place ourselves into the hands of the higher power who, during our lifetime and in the course of the centuries, determines our faith and therewith our world and our fate." (English translation by M.B.Rumscheidt and N. Lukens, available at http://www.heisenbergfamily.org/t-OdW-english.htm) Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, a protégé of Heisenberg, did publish a version of the quote itself in Die Geschichte der Natur (The History of Nature) (1948), appearing to consider it an adage: "Aus dem Denken gibt es keinen ehrlichen Rückweg in einen naiven Glauben. Nach einem alten Satz trennt uns der erste Schluck aus dem Becher der Erkenntnis von Gott, aber auf dem Grunde des Bechers wartet Gott auf den, der ihn sucht. Wenn es so ist, dann gibt es einen Weg des Denkens, der vorwärts zu religiösen Wahrheiten führt, und nur diesen Weg zu suchen ist lohnend. Wenn es nicht so ist, wird unsere Welt auf die Religion ihre Hoffnungen vergeblich setzen." ("From thinking there is no honest way back into a naive belief. According to an old phrase, the first sip from the cup of knowledge separates us from God, but at the bottom of the cup God is waiting for the one who seeks him. If so, then there is a way of thinking that leads to religious truths, and to seek only that way is rewarding. If it is not so, our world will put its hopes to religion in vain.")

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„We do not know why we are born into the world, but we can try to find out what sort of a world it is — at least in its physical aspects.“

— Edwin Hubble American astronomer 1889 - 1953
Quoted in Edwin Hubble: Mariner of the Nebulae (1996) by Gale E. Christianson, p. 183.

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