01 December 2018

Data Science: The Science in Data Science (Just the Quotes)

"The aim of every science is foresight. For the laws of established observation of phenomena are generally employed to foresee their succession. All men, however little advanced make true predictions, which are always based on the same principle, the knowledge of the future from the past." (Auguste Compte, "Plan des travaux scientifiques nécessaires pour réorganiser la société", 1822)

"Science is nothing but the finding of analogy, identity, in the most remote parts." (Ralph W Emerson, 1837)

"Therefore science always goes abreast with the just elevation of the man, keeping step with religion and metaphysics; or, the state of science is an index of our self-knowledge." (Ralph W Emerson, "The Poet", 1844)

"It may sound quite strange, but for me, as for other scientists on whom these kinds of imaginative images have a greater effect than other poems do, no science is at its very heart more closely related to poetry, perhaps, than is chemistry." (Just Liebig, 1854)

"Science is the systematic classification of experience." (George H Lewes, "The Physical Basis of Mind", 1877)

"Science is the observation of things possible, whether present or past; prescience is the knowledge of things which may come to pass, though but slowly." (Leonardo da Vinci, "The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci", 1883)

"While science is pursuing a steady onward movement, it is convenient from time to time to cast a glance back on the route already traversed, and especially to consider the new conceptions which aim at discovering the general meaning of the stock of facts accumulated from day to day in our laboratories." (Dmitry Mendeleyev, "The Periodic Law of the Chemical Elements", Journal of the Chemical Society Vol. 55, 1889)

"The aim of science is always to reduce complexity to simplicity." (William James, "The Principles of Psychology", 1890)

"Science is not the monopoly of the naturalist or the scholar, nor is it anything mysterious or esoteric. Science is the search for truth, and truth is the adequacy of a description of facts." (Paul Carus, "Philosophy as a Science", 1909)

"Science is reduction. Mathematics is its ideal, its form par excellence, for it is in mathematics that assimilation, identification, is most perfectly realized. The universe, scientifically explained, would be a certain formula, one and eternal, regarded as the equivalent of the entire diversity and movement of things." (Émile Boutroux, "Natural law in Science and Philosophy", 1914)

"Abstract as it is, science is but an outgrowth of life. That is what the teacher must continually keep in mind. […] Let him explain […] science is not a dead system - the excretion of a monstrous pedantism - but really one of the most vigorous and exuberant phases of human life." (George A L Sarton, "The Teaching of the History of Science", The Scientific Monthly, 1918)

"The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, ‘Seek simplicity and distrust it’." (Alfred N Whitehead, "The Concept of Nature", 1919)

"Science is simply setting out on a fishing expedition to see whether it cannot find some procedure which it can call measurement of space and some procedure which it can call the measurement of time, and something which it can call a system of forces, and something which it can call masses." (Alfred N Whitehead, "The Concept of Nature", 1920)

"Science is a magnificent force, but it is not a teacher of morals. It can perfect machinery, but it adds no moral restraints to protect society from the misuse of the machine. It can also build gigantic intellectual ships, but it constructs no moral rudders for the control of storm tossed human vessel. It not only fails to supply the spiritual element needed but some of its unproven hypotheses rob the ship of its compass and thus endangers its cargo." (William J Bryan, "Undelivered Trial Summation Scopes Trial", 1925)

"Science is but a method. Whatever its material, an observation accurately made and free of compromise to bias and desire, and undeterred by consequence, is science." (Hans Zinsser, "Untheological Reflections", The Atlantic Monthly, 1929)

"Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation. When a man tells you that he knows the exact truth about anything, you are safe in inferring that he is an inexact man." (Bertrand Russell, "The Scientific Outlook", 1931)

"The common view of science is that it is a sort of machine for increasing the race’s store of dependable facts. It is that only in part; in even larger part it is a machine for upsetting undependable facts." (Will Durant, 1931)

"One has to recognize that science is not metaphysics, and certainly not mysticism; it can never bring us the illumination and the satisfaction experienced by one enraptured in ecstasy. Science is sobriety and clarity of conception, not intoxicated vision."(Ludwig Von Mises, "Epistemological Problems of Economics", 1933)

"Modern positivists are apt to see more clearly that science is not a system of concepts but rather a system of statements." (Karl R Popper, "The Logic of Scientific Discovery", 1934)

"Science is a system of statements based on direct experience, and controlled by experimental verification. Verification in science is not, however, of single statements but of the entire system or a sub-system of such statements." (Rudolf Carnap, "The Unity of Science", 1934)

"Science is the attempt to discover, by means of observation, and reasoning based upon it, first, particular facts about the world, and then laws connecting facts with one another and (in fortunate cases) making it possible to predict future occurrences." (Bertrand Russell, "Religion and Science, Grounds of Conflict", 1935)

"[…] that all science is merely a game can be easily discarded as a piece of wisdom too easily come by. But it is legitimate to enquire whether science is not liable to indulge in play within the closed precincts of its own method. Thus, for instance, the scientist’s continuous penchant for systems tends in the direction of play." (Johan Huizinga, "Homo Ludens", 1938)

"Science makes no pretension to eternal truth or absolute truth; some of its rivals do. That science is in some respects inhuman may be the secret of its success in alleviating human misery and mitigating human stupidity." (Eric T Bell, "Mathematics: Queen and Servant of Science", 1938)

"Science is the attempt to make the chaotic diversity of our sense experience correspond to a logically uniform system of thought." (Albert Einstein, "Considerations Concerning the Fundaments of Theoretical Physics", Science Vol. 91 (2369), 1940)

"Science is the organised attempt of mankind to discover how things work as causal systems. The scientific attitude of mind is an interest in such questions. It can be contrasted with other attitudes, which have different interests; for instance the magical, which attempts to make things work not as material systems but as immaterial forces which can be controlled by spells; or the religious, which is interested in the world as revealing the nature of God." (Conrad H Waddington, "The Scientific Attitude", 1941)

"Science, in the broadest sense, is the entire body of the most accurately tested, critically established, systematized knowledge available about that part of the universe which has come under human observation. For the most part this knowledge concerns the forces impinging upon human beings in the serious business of living and thus affecting man’s adjustment to and of the physical and the social world. […] Pure science is more interested in understanding, and applied science is more interested in control […]" (Austin L Porterfield, "Creative Factors in Scientific Research", 1941)

"Science is an interconnected series of concepts and schemes that have developed as a result of experimentation and observation and are fruitful of further experimentation and observation."(James B Conant, "Science and Common Sense", 1951)

"[…] theoretical science is essentially disciplined exploitation of metaphor." (Anatol Rapoport, "Operational Philosophy", 1953)

"Prediction is all very well; but we must make sense of what we predict. The mainspring of science is the conviction that by honest, imaginative enquiry we can build up a system of ideas about Nature which has some legitimate claim to ‘reality’." (Stephen Toulmin, "The Philosophy of Science: An Introduction", 1953)

"An engineering science aims to organize the design principles used in engineering practice into a discipline and thus to exhibit the similarities between different areas of engineering practice and to emphasize the power of fundamental concepts. In short, an engineering science is predominated by theoretical analysis and very often uses the tool of advanced mathematics." (Qian Xuesen, "Engineering cybernetics", 1954))

"The true aim of science is to discover a simple theory which is necessary and sufficient to cover the facts, when they have been purified of traditional prejudices." (Lancelot L Whyte, "Accent on Form", 1954)

"Science is the creation of concepts and their exploration in the facts. It has no other test of the concept than its empirical truth to fact." (Jacob Bronowski, "Science and Human Values", 1956)

"The progress of science is the discovery at each step of a new order which gives unity to what had seemed unlike." (Jacob Bronowski, "Science and Human Values", 1956)

"[…] any serious examination of the basic concepts of any science is far more difficult than the elaboration of their ultimate consequences." (George F J Temple, "Turning Points in Physics", 1959)

"Science is usually understood to depict a universe of strict order and lawfulness, of rigorous economy - one whose currency is energy, convertible against a service charge into a growing common pool called entropy." (Paul A Weiss,"Organic Form: Scientific and Aesthetic Aspects", 1960)

"[…] the progress of science is a little like making a jig-saw puzzle. One makes collections of pieces which certainly fit together, though at first it is not clear where each group should come in the picture as a whole, and if at first one makes a mistake in placing it, this can be corrected later without dismantling the whole group." (Sir George Thomson, "The Inspiration of Science", 1961)

"Science is the reduction of the bewildering diversity of unique events to manageable uniformity within one of a number of symbol systems, and technology is the art of using these symbol systems so as to control and organize unique events. Scientific observation is always a viewing of things through the refracting medium of a symbol system, and technological praxis is always handling of things in ways that some symbol system has dictated. Education in science and technology is essentially education on the symbol level." (Aldous L Huxley, "Essay", Daedalus, 1962)

"The important distinction between science and those other systematizations [i.e., art, philosophy, and theology] is that science is self-testing and self-correcting. Here the essential point of science is respect for objective fact. What is correctly observed must be believed [...] the competent scientist does quite the opposite of the popular stereotype of setting out to prove a theory; he seeks to disprove it." (George G Simpson, "Notes on the Nature of Science", 1962)

"What, then, is science according to common opinion? Science is what scientists do. Science is knowledge, a body of information about the external world. Science is the ability to predict. Science is power, it is engineering. Science explains, or gives causes and reasons." (John Bremer "What Is Science?" [in "Notes on the Nature of Science"], 1962)

"Science is a matter of disinterested observation, patient ratiocination within some system of logically correlated concepts. In real-life conflicts between reason and passion the issue is uncertain. Passion and prejudice are always able to mobilize their forces more rapidly and press the attack with greater fury; but in the long run (and often, of course, too late) enlightened self-interest may rouse itself, launch a counterattack and win the day for reason." (Aldous L Huxley, "Literature and Science", 1963)

"Science is a way to teach how something gets to be known, what is not known, to what extent things are known (for nothing is known absolutely), how to handle doubt and uncertainty, what the rules of evidence are, how to think about things so that judgments can be made, how to distinguish truth from fraud, and from show." (Richard P Feynman, "The Problem of Teaching Physics in Latin America", Engineering and Science, 1963)

"The aim of science is to apprehend this purely intelligible world as a thing in itself, an object which is what it is independently of all thinking, and thus antithetical to the sensible world. [...] The world of thought is the universal, the timeless and spaceless, the absolutely necessary, whereas the world of sense is the contingent, the changing and moving appearance which somehow indicates or symbolizes it." (Robin G Collingwood, "Essays in the Philosophy of Art", 1964)

"The central task of a natural science is to make the wonderful commonplace: to show that complexity, correctly viewed, is only a mask for simplicity; to find pattern hidden in apparent chaos." (Herbert A Simon, "The Sciences of the Artificial", 1969)

"The central task of a natural science is to make the wonderful commonplace: to show that complexity, correctly viewed, is only a mask for simplicity; to find pattern hidden in apparent chaos." (Herbert A Simon, "The Sciences of the Artificial", 1969)

"Science is a product of man, of his mind; and science creates the real world in its own image." (Frank E Egler, "The Way of Science", 1970)

"To do science is to search for repeated patterns, not simply to accumulate facts [...]" (Robert H. MacArthur, "Geographical Ecology", 1972)

"Science is systematic organisation of knowledge about the universe on the basis of explanatory hypotheses which are genuinely testable. Science advances by developing gradually more comprehensive theories; that is, by formulating theories of greater generality which can account for observational statements and hypotheses which appear as prima facie unrelated." (Francisco J Ayala, "Studies in the Philosophy of Biology: Reduction and Related Problems", 1974)

"A mature science, with respect to the matter of errors in variables, is not one that measures its variables without error, for this is impossible. It is, rather, a science which properly manages its errors, controlling their magnitudes and correctly calculating their implications for substantive conclusions." (Otis D Duncan, "Introduction to Structural Equation Models", 1975)

"The very nature of science is such that scientists need the metaphor as a bridge between old and new theories." (Earl R MacCormac, "Metaphor and Myth in Science and Religion", 1976)

"Facts do not ‘speak for themselves’; they are read in the light of theory. Creative thought, in science as much as in the arts, is the motor of changing opinion. Science is a quintessentially human activity, not a mechanized, robot-like accumulation of objective information, leading by laws of logic to inescapable interpretation." (Stephen J Gould, "Ever Since Darwin", 1977)

"Science is not a heartless pursuit of objective information. It is a creative human activity, its geniuses acting more as artists than information processors. Changes in theory are not simply the derivative results of the new discoveries but the work of creative imagination influenced by contemporary social and political forces." (Stephen J Gould, "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History", 1977)

"Engineering or Technology is the making of things that did not previously exist, whereas science is the discovering of things that have long existed." (David Billington, "The Tower and the Bridge: The New Art of Structural Engineering", 1983)

"Science is a process. It is a way of thinking, a manner of approaching and of possibly resolving problems, a route by which one can produce order and sense out of disorganized and chaotic observations. Through it we achieve useful conclusions and results that are compelling and upon which there is a tendency to agree." (Isaac Asimov, "‘X’ Stands for Unknown", 1984)

"If doing mathematics or science is looked upon as a game, then one might say that in mathematics you compete against yourself or other mathematicians; in physics your adversary is nature and the stakes are higher." (Mark Kac, "Enigmas Of Chance", 1985)

"Science is defined as a set of observations and theories about observations." (F Albert Matsen, "The Role of Theory in Chemistry", Journal of Chemical Education Vol. 62 (5), 1985)

"We expect to learn new tricks because one of our science based abilities is being able to predict. That after all is what science is about. Learning enough about how a thing works so you'll know what comes next. Because as we all know everything obeys the universal laws, all you need is to understand the laws." (James Burke, "The Day the Universe Changed", 1985)

"Science is human experience systematically extended (by intent, methodology and instrumentation) for the purpose of learning more about the natural world and for the critical empirical testing and possible falsification of all ideas about the natural world. Scientific hypotheses may incorporate only elements of the natural empirical world, and thus may contain no element of the supernatural." (Robert E Kofahl, Correctly Redefining Distorted Science: A Most Essential Task", Creation Research Society Quarterly Vol. 23, 1986)

"Science is not a given set of answers but a system for obtaining answers. The method by which the search is conducted is more important than the nature of the solution. Questions need not be answered at all, or answers may be provided and then changed. It does not matter how often or how profoundly our view of the universe alters, as long as these changes take place in a way appropriate to science. For the practice of science, like the game of baseball, is covered by definite rules." (Robert Shapiro, "Origins: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth", 1986)

"Science doesn't purvey absolute truth. Science is a mechanism. It's a way of trying to improve your knowledge of nature. It's a system for testing your thoughts against the universe and seeing whether they match. And this works, not just for the ordinary aspects of science, but for all of life. I should think people would want to know that what they know is truly what the universe is like, or at least as close as they can get to it." (Isaac Asimov, [Interview by Bill Moyers] 1988)

"Science doesn’t purvey absolute truth. Science is a mechanism, a way of trying to improve your knowledge of nature. It’s a system for testing your thoughts against the universe, and seeing whether they match." (Isaac Asimov, [interview with Bill Moyers in The Humanist] 1989)

"The view of science is that all processes ultimately run down, but entropy is maximized only in some far, far away future. The idea of entropy makes an assumption that the laws of the space-time continuum are infinitely and linearly extendable into the future. In the spiral time scheme of the timewave this assumption is not made. Rather, final time means passing out of one set of laws that are conditioning existence and into another radically different set of laws. The universe is seen as a series of compartmentalized eras or epochs whose laws are quite different from one another, with transitions from one epoch to another occurring with unexpected suddenness." (Terence McKenna, "True Hallucinations", 1989)

"Science is (or should be) a precise art. Precise, because data may be taken or theories formulated with a certain amount of accuracy; an art, because putting the information into the most useful form for investigation or for presentation requires a certain amount of creativity and insight." (Patricia H Reiff, "The Use and Misuse of Statistics in Space Physics", Journal of Geomagnetism and Geoelectricity 42, 1990)

"On this view, we recognize science to be the search for algorithmic compressions. We list sequences of observed data. We try to formulate algorithms that compactly represent the information content of those sequences. Then we test the correctness of our hypothetical abbreviations by using them to predict the next terms in the string. These predictions can then be compared with the future direction of the data sequence. Without the development of algorithmic compressions of data all science would be replaced by mindless stamp collecting - the indiscriminate accumulation of every available fact. Science is predicated upon the belief that the Universe is algorithmically compressible and the modern search for a Theory of Everything is the ultimate expression of that belief, a belief that there is an abbreviated representation of the logic behind the Universe's properties that can be written down in finite form by human beings." (John D Barrow, New Theories of Everything", 1991)

"The goal of science is to make sense of the diversity of Nature." (John D Barrow, "Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation", 1991)

"Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about  reverence, not mastery." (Richard Power, "Gold Bug Variations", 1993)

"Statistics as a science is to quantify uncertainty, not unknown." (Chamont Wang, "Sense and Nonsense of Statistical Inference: Controversy, Misuse, and Subtlety", 1993)

"Clearly, science is not simply a matter of observing facts. Every scientific theory also expresses a worldview. Philosophical preconceptions determine where facts are sought, how experiments are designed, and which conclusions are drawn from them." (Nancy R Pearcey & Charles B. Thaxton, "The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy", 1994)

"Science is distinguished not for asserting that nature is rational, but for constantly testing claims to that or any other affect by observation and experiment." (Timothy Ferris, "The Whole Shebang: A State-of-the Universe’s Report", 1996)

"Science is more than a mere attempt to describe nature as accurately as possible. Frequently the real message is well hidden, and a law that gives a poor approximation to nature has more significance than one which works fairly well but is poisoned at the root." (Robert H March, "Physics for Poets", 1996)

"The art of science is knowing which observations to ignore and which are the key to the puzzle." (Edward W Kolb, "Blind Watchers of the Sky", 1996)

"Mathematics is the study of analogies between analogies. All science is. Scientists want to show that things that don’t look alike are really the same. That is one of their innermost Freudian motivations. In fact, that is what we mean by understanding." (Gian-Carlo Rota, "Indiscrete Thoughts", 1997)

"Religion is the antithesis of science; science is competent to illuminate all the deep questions of existence, and does so in a manner that makes full use of, and respects the human intellect. I see neither need nor sign of any future reconciliation." (Peter W Atkins, "Religion - The Antithesis to Science", 1997)

"[…] the pursuit of science is more than the pursuit of understanding. It is driven by the creative urge, the urge to construct a vision, a map, a picture of the world that gives the world a little more beauty and coherence than it had before." (John A Wheeler, "Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics", 1998)

"The rate of the development of science is not the rate at which you make observations alone but, much more important, the rate at which you create new things to test." (Richard Feynman, "The Meaning of It All", 1998)

"The passion and beauty and joy of science is that we humans have invented a process to understand the universe in a way that is true for everyone. We are finding universal truths." (Bill Nye, 2000)

"The poetry of science is in some sense embodied in its great equations, and these equations can also be peeled. But their layers represent their attributes and consequences, not their meanings." (Graham Farmelo, 2002)

"Science is the art of the appropriate approximation. While the flat earth model is usually spoken of with derision it is still widely used. Flat maps, either in atlases or road maps, use the flat earth model as an approximation to the more complicated shape." (Byron K. Jennings, "On the Nature of Science", Physics in Canada Vol. 63 (1), 2007)

"It is ironic but true: the one reality science cannot reduce is the only reality we will ever know. This is why we need art. By expressing our actual experience, the artist reminds us that our science is incomplete, that no map of matter will ever explain the immateriality of our consciousness." (Jonah Lehrer, "Proust Was a Neuroscientist", 2011)

"Science, at its core, is simply a method of practical logic that tests hypotheses against experience. Scientism, by contrast, is the worldview and value system that insists that the questions the scientific method can answer are the most important questions human beings can ask, and that the picture of the world yielded by science is a better approximation to reality than any other." (John M Greer, "After Progress: Reason and Religion at the End of the Industrial Age", 2015)

More quotes on "Science" at quotablemath.blogspot.com.

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