People often quote famous personalities, such as scientists, artists and writers in attempt to strengthen the validity of their arguments. However, the quotes are often out of place for a given situation. In my eyes individual quotes are rarely really wise. They remind me of a force without a specification on where it is acting on, or under what specific conditions, and therefore their regime of validity is limited. Furthermore, the Universe is very deep in a sense, so that it is really hard or even impossible for our most complicated thoughts to be correct. According to my understanding of the singular whole entity which we call "Universe", although it is true that there are people which we call "authorities", there can be really no authorities when we compare ourselves to the Universe. We are all very insignificant in a cosmic sense. We can't have an opinion on so many things, which unfortunately for us, also happen to be the most significant for us. For example: we don't now how to treat effectively so many deadly diseases. At the end of the day most of the quotes from Einstein that appear on the web, are probably just misinformation. Finally, in everyday life, none of us attempts to be rigorous in every single verbal sentence, as this would mean non-economical expenditure of energy. However, people will sometimes examine with their "whole brain" something that someone might have said with "half of his brain" working. The most simple and obvious statements are needless to be quoted as everyone knows that they are correct, however the less obvious ones, are also the ones with the highest uncertainty and probability of being wrong. Even so, I have selected 10 quotes from famous scientists. Start your day by getting inspiration from these inspired men:
1. "An Experiment, like every other event which takes place, is a natural phenomenon; but in a Scientific Experiment the circumstances are so arranged that the relations between a particular set of phenomena may be studied to the best advantage."
James Clerk Maxwell
This idea applies with equal significance to theoretical physics and is perhaps a wise strategy of thinking about various complicated elements of everyday life.
The idea of the so called "boundary conditions" which are so important in theoretical physics is not unrelated in my own mind. One tries to create idealised systems and by studying their behaviour at limiting conditions we can gain insight about the intrinsic nature of their deeper logic.
2. "A God who rewards and punishes is for him unthinkable, because man acts in accordance with an inner and outer necessity, and would, in the eyes of God, be as little responsible as an inanimate object is for the movements which it makes."
As humans, we are part of the Universe and hence we follow the logical flow of the Universe. Hence, in a very specific sense, we are irresponsible for our actions. The quote of course, together with the book of Albert Einstein "The Cosmic Religion", from which it was taken, shows that Albert Einstein didn't believe in the common religions. For him the only religion was the harmony and the beauty of the Universe, and it was exactly this amazement that kept him working hard, despite so many inevitable hard obstacles and failures.
3. "Nothing is more practical than a good theory."
From a theoretical perspective experimentation seems essential, from an experimental point of view theory seems needless, but certainly without theory and logic, experiments would be of no significance.
4. "Rise above oneself and grasp the world"
This quote appears on the prestigious Fields Medal, a well known prize awarded every 4 years to the best mathematicians. At the end of the day there is no easy life for anyone on the Earth, and the struggle is inevitable. We all must be very respectful to those who with personal sacrifice have raised themselves significantly above their original skills to give us insights about the Universe.
5. "Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things." Isaac Newton
Truth and Beauty are both singular, and they are identical in my mind. An intelligent mind by all means should see elegance and beauty, whereas the weak brain only understands chaos, in the place of the elegant structure (certainly a drama). Truth is an experience without previous experience.
6. "All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them." Galileo Galilei
This quote points to the previous quote by Newton, which in turn points to the simplicity and elegance of the Universe. At least now we should all know where to look for the truth. We should all get rid of a myriad of epicycles in our minds and replace them with an elegant elliptic orbit.
7. "An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." Niels Bohr
The idea maybe appears unpleasant to many people, but it is certainly more or less true for all humans. The history of Science is a proof of the statement. Don't ever be offended by arrogant teachers.
8. "You 've never heard of an English lover, only an English patient"
That's not 100% true of course, but I would like to ask him if he thinks about genes or environment as the cause.
9. "My advice to other disabled people would be concentrate on the things your disability doesn't prevent you from doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in the spirit as well as physically."
After all, we are all disabled in the cosmic sense. Our senses and brain fail to capture the greatness in its entity, and the human body remains still in the cosmic scale. Looking things from a different perspective might ease the indisputable suffering of any illness, at least at an intellectual level.
10. "An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men." ― Charles Darwin
I would also add, that monkeys would be much smarter than humans (alas only effectively), because they would never make World War 3, and pollute the environment.