Camille Flammarion Quotes

Nicolas Camille Flammarion FRAS (26 February 1842 – 3 June 1925) was a French astronomer and author. He was a prolific author of more than fifty titles, including popular science works about astronomy, several notable early science fiction novels, and works on psychical research and related topics. He also published the magazine L'Astronomie, starting in 1882. He maintained a private observatory at Juvisy-sur-Orge, France.

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Camille Flammarion


Le Verrier-without leaving his study, without even looking at the sky-had found the unknown planet [Neptune] solely by mathematical calculation, and, as it were, touched it with the tip of his pen!

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What intelligent being, what being capable of responding emotionally to a beautiful sight, can look at the jagged, silvery lunar crescent trembling in the azure sky, even through the weakest of telescopes, and not be struck by it in an intensely pleasurable way, not feel cut off from everyday life here on Earth and transported toward that first step on celestial journeys?

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May we attribute to the color of the herbage and plants, which no doubt clothe the plains of Mars, the characteristic hue of that planet, which is noticeable by the naked eye, and which led the ancients to personify it as a warrior?

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Lightning is like an elementary spirit, eccentric or rational, clever or silly, passing from one extreme to the other.

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Lightning seems a thought, which instead of being attached to a brain, is attached to an electric current.

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That hemisphere of the moon which faces us is better known than the earth itself; its vast desert plains have been surveyed to within a few acres; its mountains and craters have been measured to within a few yards; while on the earth's surface there are 30,000,000 square kilometres (sixty times the extent of France), upon which the foot of man has never trod, which the eye of man has never seen.

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The present inhabitation of Mars be a race superior to ours is very probable.

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Men have had the vanity to pretend that the whole creation was made for them, while in reality the whole creation does not suspect their existence.

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The universe is so immense that it appears immutable, and that the duration of a planet such as that of the earth is only a chapter, less than that, a phrase, less still, only a word of the universeâ??s history.

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If humankind - from humble farmers in the fields and toiling workers in the cities to teachers, people of independent means, those who have reached the pinnacle of fame or fortune, even the most frivolous of society women - if they knew what profound inner pleasure awaits those who gaze at the heavens, then France, nay, the whole of Europe, would be covered with telescopes instead of bayonets, thereby promoting universal happiness and peace.

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It is in the name of Jesus, himself become God, that fanaticism ignominiously condemned to the stake men like Giodano Bruno, Vanini, Ã?tienne Dolet, John Huss, Savanarola, and numerous other heroic victims; that the Inquisition ordered Galileo to belie his conscience; that thousands and thousands of unfortunates accused of witchcraft were burnt alive in popular ceremonies; it was with the express benediction of Pope Gregory XIII that the butchery of St. Bartholomew drenched Paris in blood.

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Nature is so varied in its modes of action, so multiple in the manisftations of its power, that we have no night to set any limits to its capabilities.

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There are men who would be afraid to commit themselves on the doctrine that castor oil is a laxative.

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If the existence of human beings leads to nothing, what is all this comedy about?

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The supernatural does not exist.

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