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Kepler Quotes

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"The heavens declare the glory of Kepler and Newton." - Auguste Comte

"[Kepler] preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions, and that is the heart of science." - Carl Sagan

"Before the days of Kepler the heavens declared the glory of the Lord." - George Santayana

"Today is just the beginning of Kepler. Because of its super energy-efficient architecture, we will extend GPUs into datacenters, to super thin notebooks, to superphones." - Jen-Hsun Huang

"The mission of NASA's Kepler telescope is to lift the scales from our eyes and reveal to us just how typical our home world is. Kepler operates by measuring the dimming of stars as planets pass ('transit') in front of them. It has found thousands of previously unknown worlds." - Seth Shostak

"When Kepler found his long-cherished belief did not agree with the most precise observation, he accepted the uncomfortable fact. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions, that is the heart of science." - Carl Sagan

"It may be said that the conceptions of differential quotient and integral, which in their origin certainly go back to Archimedes, were introduced into science by the investigations of Kepler, Descartes, Cavalieri, Fermat and Wallis. . . ." - Sophus Lie

"Experimental investigation, to borrow a phrase employed by Kepler respecting the testing of hypotheses, is "a very great thief of time." Sometimes it costs many days to determine a fact that can be stated in a line." - John William Draper

"Data from orbiting telescopes like NASA's Kepler Mission hint that the tally of habitable planets in our galaxy is many billion. If E.T.'s not out there, then Earth is more than merely special - it's some sort of miracle." - Seth Shostak

"This plucky NASA telescope is able to find planets en masse. If you compare planet hunting to prospecting for gold, then Kepler is equivalent to trading in your trusty pan for a diesel-powered sluice box." - Seth Shostak

"What a deep faith in the rationality of the structure of the world and what a longing to understand even a small glimpse of the reason revealed in the world there must have been in Kepler and Newton to enable them to unravel the mechanism of the heavens in long years of lonely work!" - Albert Einstein

"All Science is necessarily prophetic, so truly so, that the power of prophecy is the test, the infallible criterion, by which any presumed Science is ascertained to be actually & verily science. The Ptolemaic Astronomy was barely able to prognosticate a lunar eclipse; with Kepler and Newton came Science and Prophecy." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Foreshadowings of the principles and even of the language of [the infinitesimal] calculus can be found in the writings of Napier, Kepler, Cavalieri, Pascal, Fermat, Wallis, and Barrow. It was Newton's good luck to come at a time when everything was ripe for the discovery, and his ability enabled him to construct almost at once a complete calculus." - W. W. Rouse Ball

"...from the time of Kepler to that of Newton, and from Newton to Hartley, not only all things in external nature, but the subtlest mysteries of life and organization, and even of the intellect and moral being, were conjured within the magic circle of mathematical formulae." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"[Newton wrote to Halley ... that he would not give Hooke any credit] That, alas, is vanity. You find it in so many scientists. You know, it has always hurt me to think that Galileo did not acknowledge the work of Kepler." - Albert Einstein

"Even Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, and Albert Einstein made serious mistakes. But the scientific enterprise arranges things so that teamwork prevails: What one of us, even the most brilliant among us, misses, another of us, even someone much less celebrated and capable, may detect and rectify." - Carl Sagan

"My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall we laugh, or shall we cry?" - Galileo Galilei

"I wish, my dear Kepler, that we could have a good laugh together at the extraordinary stupidity of the mob. What do you think of the foremost philosophers of this University? In spite of my oft-repeated efforts and invitations, they have refused, with the obstinacy of a glutted adder, to look at the planets or the Moon or my glass [telescope]." - Galileo Galilei

"Mr. Dalton's permanent reputation will rest upon his having discovered a simple principle, universally applicable to the facts of chemistry - in fixing the proportions in which bodies combine, and thus laying the foundation for future labors... his merits in this respect resemble those of Kepler in astronomy." - Humphry Davy

"[Kepler] had to realize clearly that logical-mathematical theoretizing, no matter how lucid, could not guarantee truth by itself; that the most beautiful logical theory means nothing in natural science without comparison with the exactest experience. Without this philosophic attitude, his work would not have been possible." - Albert Einstein

"In the four years since its launch, Kepler has chalked up 122 new and confirmed planets. It's also caught the scent of nearly three thousand additional objects, of which probably 80 percent or more will turn out to be other-worldly orbs." - Seth Shostak

"Among the great men who have philosophized about [the action of the tides], the one who surprised me most is Kepler. He was a person of independent genius, [but he] became interested in the action of the moon on the water, and in other occult phenomena, and similar childishness." - Galileo Galilei

"A taxonomy of abilities, like a taxonomy anywhere else in science, is apt to strike a certain type of impatient student as a gratuitous orgy of pedantry. Doubtless, compulsions to intellectual tidiness express themselves prematurely at times, and excessively at others, but a good descriptive taxonomy, as Darwin found in developing his theory, and as Newton found in the work of Kepler, is the mother of laws and theories." - Raymond Cattell

"When the great Kepler bad at length discovered the harmonic laws that regulate the motions of the heavenly bodies, he exclaimed: "Whether my discoveries will be read by posterity or by my contemporaries is a matter that concerns them more than me. I may well be contented to wait one century for a reader, when God Himself, during so many thousand years, has waited for an observer like myself." - Thomas B. Macaulay

"Lest we forget, the birth of modern physics and cosmology was achieved by Galileo, Kepler and Newton breaking free not from the close confining prison of faith (all three were believing Christians, of one sort or another) but from the enormous burden of the millennial authority of Aristotelian science. The scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was not a revival of Hellenistic science but its final defeat." - David Bentley Hart

"I do not think that G. H. Hardy was talking nonsense when he insisted that the mathematician was discovering rather than creating, nor was it wholly nonsense for Kepler to exult that he was thinking God's thoughts after him. The world for me is a necessary system, and in the degree to which the thinker can surrender his thought to that system and follow it, he is in a sense participating in that which is timeless or eternal." - Brand Blanshard

"We have to start at ground zero and ask what it means to have a real connection with God and what it means to pray. We have to recast our whole understanding of God. We live on the other side of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Steven Hawking, a whole group of people who have recast the way we think about reality." - John Shelby Spong

"Kepler's discovery would not have been possible without the doctrine of conics. Now contemporaries of Kepler-such penetrating minds as Descartes and Pascal-were abandoning the study of geometry ... because they said it was so UTTERLY USELESS. There was the future of the human race almost trembling in the balance; for had not the geometry of conic sections already been worked out in large measure, and had their opinion that only sciences apparently useful ought to be pursued, the nineteenth century would have had none of those characters which distinguish it from the ancien regime." - Charles Sanders Peirce

"[P]olitical and social and scientific values ... should be correlated in some relation of movement that could be expressed in mathematics, nor did one care in the least that all the world said it could not be done, or that one knew not enough mathematics even to figure a formula beyond the schoolboy s=(1/2)gt2. If Kepler and Newton could take liberties with the sun and moon, an obscure person ... could take liberties with Congress, and venture to multiply its attraction into the square of its time. He had only to find a value, even infinitesimal, for its attraction." - Henry Adams

"After a duration of a thousand years, the power of astrology broke down when, with Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, the progress of astronomy overthrew the false hypothesis upon which the entire structure rested, namely the geocentric system of the universe. The fact that the earth revolves in space intervened to upset the complicated play of planetary influences, and the silent stars, related to the unfathomable depths of the sky, no longer made their prophetic voices audible to mankind. Celestial mechanics and spectrum analysis finally robbed them of their mysterious prestige." - Franz Cumont

"Oh, my dear Kepler, how I wish that we could have one hearty laugh together. Here, at Padua, is the principal professor of philosophy, whom I have repeatedly and urgently requested to look at the moon and planets through my glass, [telescope] which he pertinaciously refuses to do. Why are you not here? what shouts of laughter we should have at this glorious folly! and to hear the professor of philosophy at Pisa laboring before the grand duke with logical arguments, as if with magical incantations, to charm the new planets out of the sky." - Galileo Galilei



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