In order to shake a hypothesis, it is sometimes not necessary to do anything more than push it as far as it will go.
—Denis Diderot (1713–84) French Philosopher, Writer
The temptation to form premature theories upon insufficient data is the bane of our profession.
—Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) Scottish Writer
A theory is no more like a fact than a photograph is like a person.
—E. W. Howe (1853–1937) American Novelist, Editor
Unaware of the absurdity of it, we introduce our own petty household rules into the economy of the universe for which the life of generations, peoples, of entire planets, has no importance in relation to the general development.
—Alexander Herzen (1812–70) Russian Revolutionary, Writer
Theories are always very thin and insubstantial, experience only is tangible.
—Hosea Ballou (1771–1852) American Theologian
The wise man regulates his conduct by the theories both of religion and science. But he regards these theories not as statements of ultimate fact but as art-forms.
—J. B. S. Haldane (1892–1964) British Biologist, Geneticist
No theory is good unless it permits, not rest, but the greatest work. No theory is good except on condition that one use it to go on beyond.
—Andre Gide (1869–1951) French Novelist
Even for practical purposes theory generally turns out the most important thing in the end.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841–1935) American Jurist, Author