The triumphs of engineering skill rest on a chemical foundation.A great discovery solves a great problem, but there is a grain of discovery in the solution of any problem.
In Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, trans. (Translated as Truth never triumphsits opponents just die out.
More loosely paraphrased as Science advances one funeral at a time.) Engineering, too, owes its most useful materials to the achievements of chemists in identifying, separating, and transforming materials: structural steel for the framework of bridges and buildings, portland cement for roadways and aqueducts, pure copper for the electrical industries, aluminum alloys for automobiles and airplanes, porcelain for spark plugs and electrical insulators.
If we do discover a complete unified theory, it should be in time understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists.
Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of why it is that we and the universe exist.
But the causes, the mechanisms of this evolution are still unknown.
'Discussion sur la Machoire Humaine de la Naulette (Belgique)', Bulletin de la Societé d'Anthropologie de Paris, 2nd Series, I (1866), 595. Erik Trinkaus and Pat Shipman, The Neanderthals: Changing the Image of Mankind (1993), 103-4.The soil is preserved and shaded; and the microbes necessary for its fertility are neither scorched, nor frozen, nor washed away.A forest is the triumph of the organisation of mutually dependent species.Yes, if it is shown to me that my humble ancestors were quadrupedal animals, arboreal herbivores, brothers or cousins of those who were also the ancestors of monkeys and apes, far from blushing in shame for my species because of its genealogy and parentage, I will be proud of all that evolution has accomplished, of the continuous improvement which takes us up to the highest order, of the successive triumphs that have made us superior to all of the other species ... I will conclude in saying: the fixity of species is almost impossible, it contradicts the mode of succession and of the distribution of species in the sequence of extant and extinct creatures.It is therefore extremely likely that species are variable and are subject to evolution.Eine neue wissenschaftliche Wahrheit pflegt sich nicht in der Weise durchzusetzen, da ihre Gegner berzeugt werden und sich als belehrt erklren, sondern vielmehr dadurch, da ihre Gegner allmhlich aussterben und da die heranwachsende Generation von vornherein mit der Wahrheit vertraut gemacht ist.A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. Also seen paraphrased in shortened form as: Die Wahrheit triumphiert nie, ihre Gegner sterben nur aus.Benefits are valuable according to their duration and extent, like the showers from heaven, but the benign remedy Vaccination saves millions of lives every century, like the blessing of the sun, universal and everlasting.(Remark made near the end of his life.) If it is true as Whewell says, that the essence of the triumphs of Science and its progress consists in that it enables us to consider evident and necessary, views which our ancestors held to be unintelligible and were unable to comprehend, then the extension of the number concept to include the irrational, and we will at once add, the imaginary, is the greatest forward step which pure mathematics has ever taken. As translated in Robert douard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomaths Quotation-book (1914), 281.From the original German, Wenn es wahr ist, dass, wie Whewell meint, das Wesen der Triumphe der Wissenschaft und ihres Fortschrittes darin besteht, dass wir veranlasst werden, Ansichten, welche unsere Vorfahren fr unbegreiflich hielten und unfhig waren zu begreifen, fr evident und nothwendig zu halten, so war die Erweiterung des Zahlenbegriffes auf das Irrationale, und wollen wir sogleich hinzufgen, das Imaginre, der grsste Fortschritt, den die reine Mathematik jemals gemacht hat.As soon as it was observed that the stars retained their relative places, that the times of their rising and setting varied with the seasons, that sun, moon, and planets moved among them in a plane, then a new order of things began.Science had begun, and the first triumph of it was the power of foretelling the future; eclipses were perceived to recur in cycles of nineteen years, and philosophers were able to say when an eclipse was to be looked for. Theories were invented to account for their eccentricities; and, false as those theories might be, the position of the planets could be calculated with moderate certainty by them.