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Natural History Museums Quotes


"Chicago is a wonderful area because it's blessed with a tremendous number of museums of various sorts, not only the Art Institute of Chicago but the Field Museum of Natural History, the Oriental Museum on the south side." - Warren MacKenzie

"Rumour has it that the gardens of natural history museums are used for surreptitious burial of those intermediate forms between species which might disturb the orderly classifications of the taxonomist." - David Lack

"Museums, I love museums." - Tony Randall

"The DEEP SEA has more history in it than all the museums of the world-combined." - Robert Ballard

"If humans one day become extinct from a catastrophic collision, there would be no greater tragedy in the history of life in the universe. Not because we lacked the brain power to protect ourselves but because we lacked the foresight. The dominant species that replaces us in post-apocalyptic Earth just might wonder, as they gaze upon our mounted skeletons in their natural history museums, why large headed Homo sapiens fared no better than the proverbially peabrained dinosaurs." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

"Natural history is not about producing fables." - David Attenborough

"In the history of art there are periods when bread seems so beautiful that it nearly gets into museums." - Janet Flanner

"There's probably more history now preserved underwater than in all the museums of the world combined. And there's no law governing that history. It's finders keepers." - Robert Ballard

"Mathematics without natural history is sterile, but natural history without mathematics is muddled." - John Maynard Smith

"History is representational, while time is abstract; both of these artifices may be found in museums, where they span everybody's own vacancy" - Robert Smithson

"The deep sea is the largest museum on earth, it contains more history than all the museums on land combined, and yet we're only now penetrating it." - Robert Ballard

"This is the worst problem with living history museums. They always leave the best parts out. Like typhus. And opium. And scarlet letters. Shunning. Witch-burning." - Chuck Palahniuk

"The centuries-old history and culture of India, majestic architectural monuments and museums of Delhi, Agra and Mumbai have a unique attractive force." - Vladimir Putin

"History is representational, while time is abstract; both of these artifices may be found in museums, where they span everybody's own vacancy." - Robert Smithson

"There is no counting the unsolved problems of Natural History." - J. Arthur Thomson

"The great proliferation of museums in the nineteenth century was a product of the marriage of the exhibition as a way of awakening intelligent interest in the visitor with the growth of collections that was associated with empire and middle-class affluence. Attendance at museums was as much associated with moral improvement as with explanation of the human or natural world." - Richard Fortey

"Small museums are great. Big museums are a drag." - Peter Zumthor

"Natural history is not equivalent to biology. Biology is the study of life. Natural history is the study of animals and plants-of organisms. Biology thus includes natural history, and much else besides." - Marston Bates

"The museums are here to teach the history of art and something more as well, for, if they stimulate in the weak a desire to imitate, they furnish the strong with the means of their emancipation." - Edgar Degas

"In college I had to major in something, so I was like, "Okay I like art history, so I will major in that." I never really had any ambitions to work in museums or anything, though." - Walter Martin

"I always try to have a book on hand, traveling is an excellent way of providing perspective, and studying Art History has made going to art museums way more fun than you can imagine." - Gideon Glick

"I love doing normal things - movies, shopping, going out with friends, writing, reading, taking hot bubble baths - that's a big one for relaxation. I also love to go to art and history museums." - Christina Aguilera

"what are the objects of an useful American education? classical knowlege, modern languages & chiefly French, Spanish, & Italian; Mathematics; Natural philosophy; Natural History; Civil History; Ethics." - Thomas Jefferson

"I think we may class the lawyer in the natural history of monsters." - John Keats

"History is a realm in which human freedom and natural necessity are curiously intermingled." - Reinhold Niebuhr

"He (Shoeless Joe Jackson) was the finest natural hitter in the history of the game." - Ty Cobb

"Don't set out to teach theism from your natural history... You spoil both." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"History unravels; circumstances, following their natural inclination, prefer to remain ravelled." - Penelope Lively

"History is one war after another with a bunch of murders and natural disasters in between." - Sarah Vowell

"This sprawling epic is as lively as a natural history museum diorama." - Stephanie Zacharek

"Don't set out to teach theism from your natural history.... You spoil both." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Fairy tales and myths are forms of cultural storage for the natural history of life." - William Irwin Thompson

"Hurricane Katrina is without question the worst natural disaster in American history,." - Douglas Brinkley

"The French, I think, in general, are strangely prolix in their natural history." - Gilbert White

"Horror is the natural reaction to the last 5,000 years of history." - Robert Anton Wilson

"We are all museums of fear." - Charles Bukowski

"...History shows that ... (people) can be deflected from their natural tendencies by artful propaganda, bogus crises, or other political trickery." - Robert Higgs

"No rational order of divine intelligence unites species. The natural ties are genealogical along contingent pathways of history." - Stephen Jay Gould

"Her interest in natural history was confined to observation of the crows' feet gathering around her eyes." - Nicolas Bentley

"In the past few decades, Earth's natural systems have endured more pressure than in all preceding human history." - Sylvia Earle

"Natural selection, as it has operated in human history, favors not only the clever but the murderous." - Barbara Ehrenreich

"I believe that natural history has lost much by the vague general treatment that is so common." - Ernest Thompson Seton

"I seldom go into a natural history museum without feeling as if I were attending a funeral." - John Burroughs

"Museums are managers of consciousness. They give us an interpretation of history, of how to view the world and locate ourselves in it. They are, if you want to put it in positive terms, great educational institutions. If you want to put it in negative terms, they are propaganda machines." - Hans Haacke

"But we cannot rely on memorials and museums alone. We can tell ourselves we will never forget and we likely won't. But we need to make sure that we teach history to those who never had the opportunity to remember in the first place." - Dan Rather

"I enjoy art, architecture, museums, churches and temples; anything that gives me insight into the history and soul of the place I'm in. I can also be a beach bum - I like to laze in the shade of a palm tree with a good book or float in a warm sea at sundown." - Cherie Lunghi

"The only place where poverty should be is in museums." - Muhammad Yunus

"In the museums, everything is in quotation marks." - Mason Cooley

"Libraries and museums are the DNA of our culture." - Vartan Gregorian

"I don't like museums; there's nothing to buy." - Violet Trefusis

"Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space." - Orhan Pamuk

"A living civilization creates; a dying, builds museums." - Martin H Fischer

"In museums and palaces we are alternate radicals and conservatives." - Henry James

"Our universities and museums are respected around the country." - Jane Byrne

"A CD. How quaint. We have these in museums." - Eoin Colfer

"You read about me in history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death." - Norma Mccorvey

"Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution - paths that a sensible God would never tread but that a natural process, constrained by history, follows perforce." - Stephen Jay Gould

"Give me one other part of history where everybody shows up to the same social space. Fragmentation is a more natural state of being." - danah boyd

"It is a stark and arresting fact that, since the middle of the 20th century, humankind has consumed more natural resources than in all previous human history" - Margaret Beckett

"The birds and I share a natural history. It is a matter of rootedness, of living inside a place for so long that the mind and imagination fuse." - Terry Tempest Williams

"A boy is a piece of existence quite separate from all things else, and deserves separate chapters in the natural history of men." - Henry Ward Beecher

"The commonest forms of amateur natural history in the United States are probably gardening, bird watching, the maintenance of aquarium fish, and nature photography." - Marston Bates

"A laboratory of natural history is a sanctuary where nothing profane should be tolerated. I feel less agony at improprieties in churches than in a scientific laboratory." - Louis Agassiz

"In studying history we are finding out about ourselves, and in the last resort the natural sciences and even mathematics have the same final end." - Vivian Hunter Galbraith

"History ... may be regarded as an artificial extension and : broadening of our memories and may be used to overcome the natural bewilderment of all unfamiliar situations." - James Harvey Robinson

"We must change the system of education and instruction. Unfortunately, history has shown us that brotherhood must be learned, when it should be natural." - Josephine Baker

"Make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games; they encourage it in some schools." - Robert Falcon Scott

"My work since the late '80s specifically questioned what was presented as the 'natural' order of things in the history of post-war-N.Y. painting." - Deborah Kass

"The American Museum of Natural History is my son's absolute favorite place in the world! So we really, really, really love New York." - Mark Teixeira

"Jesus was a human being, bound by history and the natural world; an extraordinary man, to be sure, but still a man." - Paul Verhoeven

"Visual surprise is natural in the Caribbean; it comes with the landscape, and faced with its beauty, the sigh of History dissolves." - Derek Walcott

"You can only get really unpopular decisions through if the electorate is convinced of the value of the environment. That's what natural history programmes should be for." - David Attenborough

"While my interest in natural history has added very little to my sum of achievement, it has added immeasurably to my sum of enjoyment in life." - Theodore Roosevelt

"If I had a choice as to my perfect career, I would make a couple of films a year and then concentrate on natural history." - Dominic Monaghan

"But, as we have before been led to remark, most of Mr. Darwin's statements elude, by their vagueness and incompleteness, the test of Natural History facts." - Richard Owen

"The religion of art, like the religion of politics, was born from the ruins of Christianity. Art inherited from the old religion the power of consecrating things and endowing them with a sort of eternity; museums are our temples, and the objects displayed in them are beyond history. Politics-or more precisely, Revolution-co-opted the other function of religion: changing human beings and society. Art was an asceticism, a spiritual heroism; Revolution was the construction of a universal church." - Octavio Paz

"Anyone who has walked through the deserted palaces of Versailles or Vienna realise how much of a part of the life of a nation is lost when a monarchy is abolished. If buckingham palace and windsor castle were transformed into museums, if one politician competed against another for president of the republic, Britain would be a sadder and less interesting place. Our politicians are not men such as could challenge more than a thousand years of history." - William Rees-Mogg

"It is hard not to be inspired when you're living in New York. It doesn't matter what you do. I think that there is so much going on in this city. I like walking around or taking the subway, thinking about all the history here, looking at the architecture and all the people; of course, the museums. It's tough to find a better place to live." - Diego Klattenhoff

"... in going over the history of all the inventions for which history could be obtained it became more and more clear that in addition to training and in addition to extensive knowledge, a natural quality of mind was also necessary." - Reginald Fessenden

"The use of natural history is to give us aid in supernatural history: the use of the outer creation, to give us language for the beings and changes of the inward creation." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Once we begin to speak of men mixing their labour with the earth, we are in a whole world of new relations between man and nature, and to separate natural history from social history becomes extremely problematic." - Raymond Williams

"You cannot just quote from history and above all you cannot take it out of context, in however humorous a fashion . On the contrary history has a natural continuity which must be respected" - Gottfried Bohm

"All over the planet, nature is being transformed into 'un-nature' at breakneck speed...My life is part of natural history. I long to know where that history came from and where it is going." - Hiroshi Sugimoto

"The history of harmony is the history of the development of the human ear, which has gradually assimilated, in their natural order, the successive intervals of the harmonic series." - Nadia Boulanger

"Our main inspiration [with Alix MacKenzie], I think, came from the Field Museum of Natural History, because they had pieces which were selected not for art content but for their relationship to the anthropological history of mankind." - Warren MacKenzie

"Except for the people who were there that one day they discovered the polio vaccine, being part of history is rarely a good idea. History is one war after another with a bunch of murders and natural disasters in between." - Sarah Vowell

"My heart goes out to victims and survivors of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy and to their families. This disaster will go down in history books as one of the largest natural disasters in U.S. history." - Ellen Tauscher

"Let us not underrate the value of a fact; it will one day flower in a truth. It is astonishing how few facts of importance are added in a century to the natural history of any animal. The natural history of man himself is still being gradually written." - Henry David Thoreau

"I am particularly fond of Natural History of Fossils because this treatise, more than any other work written in English, records a short episode expressing one of the grand false starts in the history of natural science-and nothing can be quite so informative and instructive as a juicy mistake." - Stephen Jay Gould

"I was brought up in a family which valued natural history. Both my parents knew the names of all the British wildflowers, so as we went walking the country, I was constantly being exposed to a natural history sort of knowledge." - Richard Dawkins

"I am particularly fond of [Emmanuel Mendes da Costa's] Natural History of Fossils because this treatise, more than any other work written in English, records a short episode expressing one of the grand false starts in the history of natural science and nothing can be quite so informative and instructive as a juicy mistake." - Stephen Jay Gould

"Our supplies of natural resources are not finite in any economic sense. Nor does past experience give reason to expect natural resources to become more scarce. Rather, if history is any guide, natural resources will progressively become less costly, hence less scarce, and will constitute a smaller proportion of our expenses in future years." - Julian Simon

"Almost everyone... seems to be quite sure that the differences between the methodologies of history and of the natural sciences are vast. For, we are assured, it is well known that in the natural sciences we start from observation and proceed by induction to theory. And is it not obvious that in history we proceed very differently? Yes, I agree that we proceed very differently. But we do so in the natural sciences as well." - Karl Popper

"That a thing made by hand, the work and thought of a single craftsman, can endure much longer than its maker, through centuries in fact, can survive natural catastrophe, neglect, and even mistreatment, has always filled me with wonder. Sometimes in museums, looking at a humble piece of pottery from ancient Persia or Pompeii, or a finely wrought page from a medieval illuminated manuscript toiled over by a nameless monk, or a primitive tool with a carved handle, I am moved to tears. The unknown life of the maker is evanescent in its brevity, but the work of his or her hands and heart remains." - Susan Vreeland

"History has neither the venerableness of antiquity, nor the freshness of the modern. It does as if it would go to the beginning ofthings, which natural history might with reason assume to do; but consider the Universal History, and then tell us,-when did burdock and plantain sprout first?" - Henry David Thoreau

"Racial history is therefore natural history and the mysticism of the soul at one and the same time; but the history of the religion of the blood, conversely, is the great world story of the rise and downfall of peoples, their heroes and thinkers, their inventors and artists." - Alfred Rosenberg

"A country that has few museums is both materially poor and spiritually poor...Museums, like theaters and libraries, are a means to freedom." - Wendy Beckett

"I believe profoundly in the importance of museums; I would go as far as to say that you can judge a society by the quality of its museums." - Richard Fortey

"I can no more explain why I like "natural history" than why I like California canned peaches; nor why I do not care for that enormous brand of natural history which deals with invertebrates any more than why I do not care for brandied peaches. All I can say is that almost as soon as I began to read at all I began to like to read about the natural history of beasts and birds and the more formidable or interesting reptiles and fishes." - Theodore Roosevelt

"History is history." - Troy Vincent

"The thing that helps me do a good job is that I don't feel the need to explain everything about the world to my reader. I'm not writing a history text on the Four Corners. I'm telling a story that's set there. The setting belongs in the background for the most part, and it's easy for fantasy authors to forget that. That's one of the unfortunate parts of Tolkien's legacy, in my opinion. Read the first hundred pages of the Fellowship of the Ring and you start to get pissed, "Shut up about the Shire's museums! Isn't the world supposed to be in peril or something?"" - Patrick Rothfuss

"we defer therefore till this time twelve month to avail ourselves of the instruction of that place, and particularly of your kindness in the two branches of Botany and Natural history to which we wish him particularly to apply." - Thomas Jefferson

"The perfect woman is a higher type of humanity than the perfect man, and also something much rarer. The natural history of animals furnishes grounds in support of this theory." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Biology can be divided into the study of proximate causes, the study of the physiological sciences (broadly conceived), and into the study of ultimate (evolutionary) causes, the subject of natural history." - Ernst Mayr

"Indeed the general natural Tendency of Reading good History, must be, to fix in the Minds of Youth deep Impressions of the Beauty and Usefulness of Virtue of all Kinds, Publick Spirit, Fortitude." - Benjamin Franklin

"Americans took a great deal too much credit for creating wealth, when most of the time they had really just been living off natural bounty unprecedented in the history of the world." - Jane Smiley

"Yes, Isaac Taylor, who has just published 'The World of Mind,' is the Isaac Taylor, author of the 'Natural History of Enthusiasm.' I dare say by this time there is a want of fatty particles in his brain." - George Eliot

"When the views entertained in this volume on the origin of species, or when analogous views are generally admitted, we can dimly forsee that there will be a considerable revolution in natural history." - Charles Darwin

"To write about history or language is supposed to be within the reach of every man. To write about natural science is allowed to be within the reach only of those who have mastered the subjects on which they write." - Edward Augustus Freeman

"In a cabinet of natural history, we become sensible of a certain occult recognition and sympathy in regard to the most unwieldy and eccentric forms of beast, fish, and insect." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I cannot be much pleased without an appearance of truth; at least of possibility - I wish the history to be natural though the sentiments are refined; and the characters to be probable, though their behaviour is excelling." - Frances Burney

"Whenever one reads of the determination of the species, or opens a book on natural science and history, in whatever language, one inevitably comes across the name of Linne." - Johannes V. Jensen

"Courses in prosody, rhetoric and comparative philology would be required of all students, and every student would have to select three courses out of courses in mathematics, natural history, geology, meteorology, archaeology, mythology, liturgics, cooking." - W H Auden

"A woman's natural quality is to attract, and having attracted to enchain; and how influential she may be for good or evil, the history of every age makes clear." - Mary Eliza Haweis

"To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or sea-side stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall." - Thomas Henry Huxley

"The concentration of wealth is a natural result of this concentration of ability, and regularly recurs in history. The rate of concentration varies (other factors being equal) with the economic freedom permitted by morals and laws." - Will Durant

"I know whom we must is the Church. For all its history, it's tried to suppress and control every natural impulse.That is what the Church does, and every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling." - Philip Pullman

"This entire process of stellar evolution is by natural process alone. We do not have to invoke Divine intervention at any stage in the history of the life-cycle of the stars that we observe." - Hugh Ross

"If you have a good story, it doesn't have to be overproduced. I want our stories to reveal the wonders of the human spirit and the richness of life in California, including its history, people, culture and natural wonders." - Huell Howser

"To persons uninstructed in natural history, their country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall." - Thomas Huxley

"This hideous doctrine of eternal torment after death has probably caused more terror and misery, more cruelty and more violation of natural human sympathy, than any belief in the history of mankind. Yet this doctrine was taught unambiguously by Jesus." - Margaret E. Knight

"Birds, it must be admitted, are the most exciting and most deserving of the vertebrates; they are perhaps the best entre into the study of natural history, and a very good wedge into conservation awareness." - Roger Tory Peterson

"All interesting issues in natural history are questions of relative frequency, not single examples. Everything happens once amidst the richness of nature. But when an unanticipated phenomenon occurs again and again-finally turning into an expectation-then theories are overturned." - Stephen Jay Gould

"I cannot be much pleased without an appearance of truth; at least of possibility I wish the history to be natural though the sentiments are refined; and the characters to be probable, though their behaviour is excelling" - Fanny Burney

"War is an old, old plant on this earth, and a natural history of it would have to tell us under what soil conditions it grows, where it plays havoc, and how it is eliminated." - Ruth Benedict

"Go to the source for ideas, go to the Metropolitan Museum, find your inspiration in nature, go to the Museum of Natural History, but never rely on something that someone else has done." - Van Day Truex

"Each soil has had its own history. Like a river, a mountain, a forest, or any natural thing, its present condition is due to the influences of many things and events of the past." - Charles Kellogg

"If you have a good story, it does' have to be overproduced. I want our stories to reveal the wonders of the human spirit and the richness of life in California, including its history, people, culture and natural wonders." - Huell Howser

"It's funny, when you look back in history books or American cookery books, one of the reasons that the quinces and cranberries are used so often is because of their natural jelling properties." - Alton Brown

"If you take a look at our natural history, there's always a moment where the young lion wants to challenge the older lion and, inherently, that's going to be problematic, and I don't think we're any different." - Kiefer Sutherland

"I do realise that talk of natural kinds dates back to Aristotle, but I'd better not say too much about ancient philosophers lest I be convicted of practicing history of philosophy without a license." - Hilary Kornblith

"With humanity's long proud history of standing firm against natural enemies, sometimes in the face of almost certain defeat and extinction, we would be cowardly and stupid to leave the field on the eve of our greatest potential victory." - John Steinbeck

"The victory of Christianity over paganism was the greatest psychic revolution in the history of our culture. By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects." - Lynn I. White

"Once or twice a year we go to church, as we might visit the Museum of Natural History, on a sudden impulse to see a strange sight, such as a whale suspended in air." - E B White

"What you have witnessed since Christopher Hitchens's opposition to the 1991 invasion of Iraq] is something unique in natural history: the first ever metamorphosis of a butterfly into a slug." - George Galloway

"To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall." - Thomas Henry Huxley

"Think what you would have been now, if instead of being fed with tales and old wives' fables in childhood, you had been crammed with geography and natural history!" - Charles Lamb

"The history of the development of mechanics is quite indispensable to a full comprehension of the science in its present condition. It also affords a simple and instructive example or the processes by which natural science generally is developed." - Ernst Mach

"He took pains to avoid self-depreciation, self-mockery, ambiguity, irony, subtlety, vulnerability, a civilized world-weariness and a tragic sense of history-the very things, he says, that are most natural to him." - Don Delillo

"The more you look back into English history, the more you are forced to the conclusion that alongside civility and the deeply held convictions about individual rights, the English have a natural taste for disorder." - Anna Pavlova

"To those who have chosen the profession of medicine, a knowledge of chemistry, and of some branches of natural history, and, indeed, of several other departments of science, affords useful assistance." - Charles Babbage

"In the history of science, we often find that the study of some natural phenomenon has been the starting point in the development of a new branch of knowledge." - C V Raman

"In all works on Natural History, we constantly find details of the marvellous adaptation of animals to their food, their habits, and the localities in which they are found." - Alfred Russel Wallace

"It has been generally the custom of writers on natural history to take the habits and instincts of animals as the fixed point, and to consider their structure and organization as specially adapted to be in accordance with them." - Alfred Russel Wallace

"The wine world is so big. Yes, there are styles of wines I don't like. Orange wine, natural wines and low-alcohol wines. Truth is on my side, and history will prove I am right." - Robert M Parker Jr

"In the old days... it was a basic, cardinal fact that producers didn't have opinions. When I was producing natural history programmes, I didn't use them as vehicles for my own opinion. They were factual programmes." - David Attenborough

"I like animals. I like natural history. The travel bit is not the important bit. The travel bit is what you have to do in order to go and look at animals." - David Attenborough

"The process of making natural history films is to try to prevent the animal knowing you are there, so you get glimpses of a non-human world, and that is a transporting thing." - David Attenborough

"Natural Texas politicians make terrible, terrible presidential candidates. Phil Gramm, I remember the 'Phil Gramm for President' campaign. I thought that was the worst thing in the history of the world, but Rick Perry was possibly worse." - Gail Collins

"The problem with allowing God a role in the history of life is not that science would cease, but rather that scientists would have to acknowledge the existence of something important which is outside the boundaries of natural science." - Phillip E Johnson



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