Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) |
by Linux fortune |

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. Therefore ... in the Old Silurian Period the Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long ... seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long. ... There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesome returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.-- Mark Twain | |

"What a wonder is USENET; such wholesale production of conjecture fromsuch a trifling investment in fact." -- Carl S. Gutekunst | |

Conjecture: All odd numbers are prime.Mathematician's Proof: 3 is prime. 5 is prime. 7 is prime. By induction, all odd numbers are prime. Physicist's Proof: 3 is prime. 5 is prime. 7 is prime. 9 is experimental error. 11 is prime. 13 is prime ... Engineer's Proof: 3 is prime. 5 is prime. 7 is prime. 9 is prime. 11 is prime. 13 is prime ... Computer Scientists's Proof: 3 is prime. 3 is prime. 3 is prime. 3 is prime... | |

We laugh at the Indian philosopher, who to account for the support of the earth, contrived the hypothesis of a huge elephant, and to support the elephant, a huge tortoise. If we will candidly confess the truth, we know as little of the operation of the nerves, as he did of the manner in which the earth is supported: and our hypothesis about animal spirits, or about the tension and vibrations of the nerves, are as like to be true, as his about the support of the earth. His elephant was a hypothesis, and our hypotheses are elephants. Every theory in philosophy, which is built on pure conjecture, is an elephant; and every theory that is supported partlyby fact, and partly by conjecture, is like Nebuchadnezzar's image, whosefeet were partly of iron, and partly of clay. -- Thomas Reid, "An Inquiry into the Human Mind", 1764 |