Philosophy is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes ... We cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in the mathematical language ... without whose help it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word of it, and without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.
The Milky Way is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.
Take note, theologians, that in your desire to make matters of faith out of propositions relating to the fixity of sun and earth you run the risk of eventually having to condemn as heretics those who would declare the earth to stand still and the sun to change position -- eventually, I say, at such a time as it might be proved that the earth moves and the sun stands still.
Spots are on the surface of the solar body where they are produced and also dissolved, some in shorter and others in longer periods. They are carried around the Sun; an important occurrence in itself.
They know that it is human nature to take up causes whereby a man may oppress his neighbor, no matter how unjustly... Hence they have had no trouble in finding men who would preach the damnability and heresy of the new doctrine from the very pulpit...
To command the professors of astronomy to confute their own observations is to enjoin an impossibility, for it is to command them not to see what they do see, and not to understand what they do understand, and to find what they do not discover.
To excite in us tastes, odors, and sounds I believe that nothing is required in external bodies except shapes, numbers, and slow or rapid movements. ... if ears, tongues, and noses were removed, shapes and numbers and motions would remain, but not odors or tastes or sounds.
We must say that there are as many squares as there are numbers.
It is very pious to say and prudent to affirm that the holy Bible can never speak untruth -- whenever its true meaning is understood. But I believe nobody will deny that it is often very abstruse, and may say things which are quite different from what its bare words signify.
But of all other stupendous inventions, what sublimity of mind must have been his who conceived how to communicate his most secret thoughts to any other person, though very far distant, either in time or place? And with no greater difficulty than the various arrangement of two dozen little signs upon paper? Let this be the seal of all the admirable inventions of man.