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Galileo Galilei Quotes On Mathematics, Astronomy, and the Universe

Renaissance man, Galileo Galilei, is well-known as one of the most intellectual people in our world’s history. These Galileo Galilei quotes about science, mathematics, and astronomy will inspire you to question how the world works.

Galileo Galilei was born in 1564 in Pisa, Italy. When he was born, I doubt that anyone knew the amount of influence Galilei would have on the world for centuries to come.

Galileo was a polymath — a man of knowledge in many subjects. He studied math, science, engineering, physics, and astronomy.

Galileo would later become known as the father of observational astronomy, father of modern physics, father of the scientific method, and father of modern science.

A Drawing of Galileo Galilei

Let these Galileo Galilei quotes inspire you to think outside the box.

Don’t forget to also check out these Albert Einstein quotes about love, imagination and war.

Galileo Galilei quotes about mathematics

1. “If I were again beginning my studies, I would follow the advice of Plato and start with mathematics.” — Galileo Galilei

2. “We must say that there are as many squares as there are numbers.” — Galileo Galilei

3. “The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.” — Galileo Galilei

4. “What has philosophy got to do with measuring anything? It’s the mathematicians you have to trust, and they measure the skies like we measure a field.” — Galileo Galilei

5. “Mathematics is the key and door to the sciences.” — Galileo Galilei

6. “Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.” — Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei quotes about science

7. “Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so.” – Galileo Galilei

8. “Surely, God could have caused birds to fly with their bones made of solid gold, with their veins full of quicksilver, with their flesh heavier than lead, and with their wings exceedingly small. He did not, and that ought to show something. It is only in order to shield your ignorance that you put the Lord at every turn to the refuge of a miracle.” — Galileo Galilei

9. “It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment.” — Galileo Galilei

10. “By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.” — Galileo Galilei

11. “Vision, I say, is related to light itself. But of this sensation and the things pertaining to it, I pretend to understand but little; and since even a long time would not suffice to explain that trifle, or even to hint at an explanation, I pass over this in silence.” — Galileo Galilei

12. “In the sciences, the authority of thousands of opinions is not worth as much as one tiny spark of reason in an individual man.” — Galileo Galilei

13. “Science proceeds more by what it has learned to ignore than what it takes into account.” — Galileo Galilei

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14. “I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations.” — Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei quotes about astronomy

15. “To command their professors of astronomy to refute their own observations is to command them not to see what they do see and not to understand what they do understand.” — Galileo Galilei

16. “The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.” — Galileo Galilei

17. “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.” — Galileo Galilei

18. “I therefore concluded, and decided unhesitatingly, that there are three stars in the heavens moving about Jupiter, as Venus and Mercury about the Sun; which at length was established as clear as daylight by numerous other observations. Referring to his pioneering telescope observations.” — Galileo Galilei

19. “We see only the simple motion of descent, since that other circular one common to the Earth, the tower, and ourselves remains imperceptible. There remains perceptible to us only that of the stone, which is not shared by us; and, because of this, sense shows it as by a straight line, always parallel to the tower, which is built upright and perpendicular upon the terrestrial surface.” — Galileo Galilei

20. “The number of fixed stars which observers have been able to see without artificial powers of sight up to this day can be counted. It is therefore decidedly a great feat to add to their number, and to set distinctly before the eyes other stars in myriads, which have never been seen before, and which surpass the old, previously known stars in number more than ten times.” — Galileo Galilei

21. “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” — Galileo Galilei

22. “The surface of the Moon is not smooth, uniform, and precisely spherical as a great number of philosophers believe it to be, but is uneven, rough, and full of cavities and prominences, being not unlike the face of the Earth, relieved by chains of mountains and deep valleys.” — Galileo Galilei

23. “In my studies of astronomy and philosophy I hold this opinion about the universe, that the Sun remains fixed in the center of the circle of heavenly bodies, without changing its place; and the Earth, turning upon itself, moves around the Sun.” — Galileo Galilei

24. “The Milky Way is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.” — Galileo Galilei

25. “It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon.” — Galileo Galilei

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Galileo Galilei quotes about the mysteries of the universe

26. “Infinities and indivisibles transcend our finite understanding, the former on account of their magnitude, the latter because of their smallness; Imagine what they are when combined.” — Galileo Galilei

27. “I’ve loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” — Galileo Galilei

28. “Philosophy is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols, in which it is written.” — Galileo Galilei

29. “If you could see the earth illuminated when you were in a place as dark as night, it would look to you more splendid than the moon.” — Galileo Galilei

30. “Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not.” — Galileo Galilei

Wise Galileo Galilei quotes about his observations on life

31. “I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.” — Galileo Galilei

32. “The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.” — Galileo Galilei

33. “Where the senses fail us, reason must step in.” — Galileo Galilei

34. “It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.” — Galileo Galilei

35. “Nature…does not act by means of many things when it can do so by means of a few.” — Galileo Galilei

36. “Nothing occurs contrary to nature except the impossible, and that never occurs.” — Galileo Galilei

37. “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.” — Galileo Galilei

38. “See now the power of truth; the same experiment which at first glance seemed to show one thing, when more carefully examined, assures us of the contrary.” — Galileo Galilei

39. “Being beautiful is not in the way you dress nor on the pigments you put in your face. Being beautiful is being simple.” — Galileo Galilei

40. “In time you may discover everything that can be discovered, and still your progress will only be progress away from humanity.” — Galileo Galilei

41. “They seemed to forget that the increase of known truths stimulates the investigation, establishment, and growth of the arts; not their domination or destruction.” — Galileo Galilei

42. “Their vain presumption of knowing all can take beginning solely from their never having known anything; for if one has but once experienced the perfect knowledge of one thing, and truly tasted what it is to know, he shall perceive that of infinite other conclusions he understands not so much as one.” — Galileo Galilei

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More Galileo Galilei quotes

43. “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.” — Galileo Galilei

44. “With regard to matters requiring thought: the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them.” — Galileo Galilei

45. “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” — Galileo Galilei

46. “To know and understand a multitude of things renders men cautious in passing judgment upon anything new.” — Galileo Galilei

47. “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use.” — Galileo Galilei

48. “There are those who reason well, but they are greatly outnumbered by those who reason badly.” — Galileo Galilei

49. “Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.” — Galileo Galilei

50. “They know that it is human nature to take up causes whereby a man may oppress his neighbor, no matter how unjustly.” — Galileo Galilei

51. “Passion is the genesis of genius.” – Galileo Galilei

52. “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” – Galileo Galilei

53. “Knowing thyself, that is the greatest wisdom.” – Galileo Galilei

54. “I give infinite thanks to God, who has been pleased to make me the first observer of marvelous things.” – Galileo Galilei

55. “Who would set a limit to the mind of man? Who would dare assert that we know all there is to be known?” – Galileo Galilei

What did you learn from these Galileo Galilei quotes?

Modern science has much to thank Galileo for, including the discovery of craters on the moon, the phases of Venus, Jupiter’s moons, and even the discovery of stars in the Milky Way.

However, the world was not ready for Galileo’s discoveries during his lifetime. He was put on trial for holding the belief that the earth revolves around the sun, which was contrary to the Catholic Church, and he was made to publically retract this observation.

Galileo lived out the last of his years under house arrest. He spent this time writing out all of his scientific discoveries in a book that would go on to inspire scientists and great thinkers for centuries to come.

Did you enjoy these Galileo Galilei quotes and sayings? Which quote was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

Sckylar Gibby-Brown
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