simplicity

A Quote by William Bateson on argument, authority, commitment, courage, debate, encouragement, evolution, facts, failure, faith, familiarity, imagination, irony, popularity, power, research, simplicity, theory, and value

Empirical confirmation of Darwin's theory did not prove forthcoming in the first few decades following its publication. Indeed, by the early twentieth century, many noted naturalists had come to regard Darwin's account of evolution by natural selection as a theoretical failure. Some even described their continuing commitment to evolution as a matter of faith, rather an ironic justification in light of the impending Scopes trial of 1925. "I suppose that everyone is familiar in outline with the theory of the origin of species which Darwin promulgated. Through the last fifty years this theme of the natural selection of favored races has been developed and expounded in writings innumerable. Favored races certainly can replace others. The argument is sound, but we are doubtful of its value. For us that debate stands adjourned. We go to Darwin for his incomparable collection of facts. We would fain emulate his scholarship, his width and his power of exposition, but to us he speaks no more with philosophical authority. We read his scheme of evolution as we would those of Leucretius or of Lamarck, delighting in their simplicity and courage." "Modern research lends not the smallest encouragement or sanction to the view that gradual evolution occurs by the transformation of masses of individuals, though that fancy has fixed itself on popular imagination."

William Bateson (1861 - 1926)

Source: Address of the President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, August 14, 1914

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Arthur Ward on day, giving, goodness, greatness, judgment, life, and simplicity

Each of will one day be judged By our standard of life, Not by our standard of living; By our measure of giving, Not by our measure of wealth; By our simple goodness, Not by our seeming greatness.

William Arthur Ward

Source: Mark and Barbara Hall Collection.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Josiah Willard Gibbs on knowledge, research, and simplicity

One of the principal objects of theoretical research in my department of knowledge is to find the point of view from which the subject appears in its greatest simplicity.

Willard Gibbs (1839 - 1903)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Will Cuppy on change, control, cute, justice, learning, schools, and simplicity

Some fishes become extinct, but Herrings go on forever. Herrings spawn at all times and places and nothing will induce them to change their ways. They have no fish control. Herrings congregate in schools, where they learn nothing at all. They move in vast numbers in May and October. Herrings subsist upon Copepods and Copepods subsist upon Diatoms and Diatoms just float around and reproduce. Young Herrings or Sperling or Whitebait are rather cute. They have serrated abdomens. The skull of the Common or Coney Island Herring is triangular, but he would be just the same anyway. (The nervous system of the Herring is fairly simple. When the Herring runs into something the stimulus is flashed to the forebrain, with or without results.)

Will Cuppy (1884 - 1949)

Source: Will Cuppy, How to Become Extinct, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1984, p. 13.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Wheeler McMillen on america, benevolence, constitution, force, home, independence, laws, motherhood, nature, needs, reflection, simplicity, understanding, and yielding

There are times when minds need to turn to simple things. Perhaps for a few of these nights all of us might do well to leave the briefcases at the office and to read again the pages of the Bible, and to re-read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. We might do well to stay home a few days and walk over the fields, or to stand in the shelter of the barn door and reflect upon the relentless and yet benevolent forces of Mother Nature. The laws of nature are relentless. They can never be disobeyed without exacting a penalty. Yet they are benevolent, for when they are understood and obeyed, nature yields up the abundance that blesses those who understand and obey.

Wheeler McMillen

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Wystan Hugh Auden on art, belief, good, ideas, simplicity, and work

All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work "comes" to him.

W.H. Auden (1907 - 1973)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Victor Marie Hugo on beginning, blindness, dawn, day, history, immortality, life, prose, romance, simplicity, songs, traditions, work, and writing

The nearer I approach the end, the clearer I hear around me the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me. It is marvelous yet simple. For half a century I have been writing my thoughts in prose, verse, history, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode and song - I have tried all; but I feel that I have not said a thousandth part of that which is in me. When I go down to the grave I can say like many others, "I have finished my day's work" but I cannot say, "I have finished my life's work"; my day's work will begin the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley. It is an open thoroughfare. It closes in the twilight to open in the dawn. My work is only beginning; my work is hardly above its foundation. I would gladly see it mounting forever. The thirst for the infinite proves infinity.

Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Victor Marie Hugo on blindness, dawn, day, earth, eternity, future, generosity, heart, heaven, history, immortality, justice, lies, life, philosophy, prose, reflection, romance, simplicity, songs, soul, traditions, work, and writing

I feel within me the future life. I am like a forest that has been razed; the new shoots are stronger and brisker. I shall most certainly rise toward the heavens. The sun's rays bathe my head. The earth gives me its generous sap, but the heavens illuminate me with the reflection of-of worlds unknown. Some say the soul results merely from bodily powers. Why, then, does my soul become brighter when my bodily powers begin to waste away? Winter is above me, but eternal spring is within my heart. I inhale even now the fragrance of lilacs, violets, and roses, just as I did when I was twenty. The nearer my approach to the end, the plainer is the sound of immortal symphonies of worlds which invite me. It is wonderful yet simple. It is a fairy tale; it is history. For half a century I have been writing my thoughts in prose and in verse; history, philosophy, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode, and song; all of these have I tried. But I feel that I haven't given utterance to the thousandth part of what lies within me. When I go to the grave I can say as others have said, "I have finished my day's work." But I cannot say, "I have finished my life." My day's work will begin again the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare. It closes on the twilight, but opens on the dawn.

Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Ursula K. Le Guin on art, boredom, children, despair, evil, facts, habits, happiness, intelligence, joy, laws, life, losing, maturity, nobility, pain, passion, people, police, praise, rules, secrets, simplicity, slavery, society, stupidity, tr

They did not use swords, or keep slaves. They were not barbarians. I do not know the rules and laws of their society, but I suspect that they were singularly few. As they did without monarchy and slavery, so they also got on without the stock exchange, the advertisement, the secret police, and the bomb. Yet I repeat that these were not simple folk, not dulcet shepherds, noble savages, bland utopians. They were not less complex than us. The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can't lick 'em, join 'em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold, we can no longer describe a happy man, nor make any celebration of joy. How can I tell you about the people of Omelas? They were not naive and happy children - though their children were, in fact happy. They were mature, intelligent, passionate adults whose lives were not wretched

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929 -)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by unknown on ideas, language, learning, obstacles, simplicity, teaching, thinking, and understanding

No teaching is done well unless the pupil understands. Simple language is required for comprehension. Cloudy or vague expressions, ideas couched in unfamiliar terms, unclear thinking, are but obstacles in the way of learning.

unknown

Source: Albert W. Daw Collection

Contributed by: Zaady

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