"It is not a snobbish rich-man's college, devoted to leisurely nonsense. It is the property of the people of the state, and what they want — or what they are told they want — is a mill to turn out men an women who will lead moral lives, play bridge, drive good cars, be enterprising in business, and occasionally mention books, though they are not expected to have time to read them. It is a Ford Motor Factory, and if its products rattle a little, they are beautifully standardized, with perfectly interchangeable parts." Chapter 2, I, p. 10.
"He was permitted, without restriction, to speak of himself as immoral, agnostic and socialistic, so long as it was universally known that he remained pure, Presbyterian, and Republican." Chapter 2, II, p. 12.
"In the study of the profession to which he had looked forward all his life he found irritation and vacuity as well as serene wisdom; he saw no one clear path to Truth but a thousand paths to a thousand truths far-off and doubtful." Chapter 2, VI, p. 21.
"'Gentlemen, the most important part of living is not the living but the pondering upon it. And the most important part of experimentation is not doing the experiment but making notes, ve-ry accurate quantitative notes — in ink. I am told that a great many clever people feel they can keep notes in their heads. I have often observed with pleasure that such persons do not have heads in which to keep their notes. This iss very good, because thus the world never sees their results and science is not encumbered with them.'" (Gottlieb) Chapter 4, I, p. 36.
"There was much conversation, most of which sounded like the rest of it." Chapter 14, I, p. 141.
"Like all ardent agnostics, Martin was a religious man." Chapter 16, IV, p. 165.
"It is one of the major tragedies that nothing is more discomforting than the hearty affection of the Old Friends who never were friends." Chapter 20, I, p. 203.
"He preached to himself, as Max Gottlieb had once preached to him, the loyalty of dissent, the faith of being very doubtful, the gospel of not bawling gospels, the wisdom of admitting the probably ignorance of one's self and of everybody else, and the energetic acceleration of a Movement for going very slow." Chapter 21, II, p. 219.
"Pickerbaugh apparently believed that this research would take six weeks; Martin had hoped to do it in two years; and with the present interruptions it would require two hundred." Chapter 21, III, p. 220.
"He still had a fragment of his boyhood belief that congressmen were persons of intelligence and importance." Chapter 22, I, p. 228.
"'I must say I'm not very fond of oratory that's so full of energy it hasn't any room for facts.'" (Martin) Chapter 22, III, p. 233.
"It is not known whether Martin every completely accepted as a gentleman-scholar the Clay Tredgold who was devoted to everything about astronomy except studying it." Chapter 22, IV, p. 235.
"She had called Martin a 'lie-hunter,' a 'truth-seeker.' They decided now that most people who call themselves 'truth-seekers' — persons who scurry about chattering of Truth as though it were a tangible separable thing, like houses or salt or bread — did not so much desire to find Truth as to cure their mental itch. In novels, these truth-seekers quested the 'secret of life' in laboratories which did not seem to be provided with Bunsen flames or reagents; or they went, at great expense and much discomfort from hot trains and undesirable snakes, to Himalayan monasteries, to learn from unaseptic sages that the Mind can do all sort of edifying things if one will but spend thirty or forty years in eating rice and gazing on one's navel. To these high matters Martin responded, 'Rot!' He insisted that there is no Truth but only many truths; that Truth is not a colored bird to be chased among the rocks and captured by its tail, but a skeptical attitude toward life. He insisted that no one could expect more than, by stubbornness or luck, to have the kind of work he enjoyed and an ability to become better acquainted with the facts of that work than the average job-holder." Chapter 25, I, pp. 260 - 261.
"'I make many mistakes. But there is one thing I keep always pure: the religion of a scientist. The normal man, he does not care much what he does except that he should eat and sleep and make love. But the scientist is intensely religious — he is so religious that he will not accept quarter-truths, because they are an insult to his faith. He hates the preachers who talk their fables, but he is not too kindly to the anthropologists and historians who can only make guesses, yet they have the nerf to call themselves scientists! Oh, yes, he is a man that all nice good-natured people should naturally hate! He speaks no meaner of the ridiculous faith-healers and chiropractors than he does of the doctors that want to snatch our science before it is tested and rush around hoping they heal people, and spoiling all the clues with their footsteps; and worse than the imbeciles who have not even heard of science, he hates pseudo-scientists; and worse than those comic dream-scientists he hates the men that are allowed in a clean kingdom like biology but know only one text-book and how to lecture to nincompoops. He is the only real revolutionary, the authentic scientist, because he alone knows how liddle he knows.'" (Gottlieb) Chapter 26, I, pp. 267-268.
"'They've got at [it] with thoroughness. For four years they've stuck to making plans.'" (Holabird) Chapter 40, I, pp. 421 - 422.
"He did not go through the turmoil of deciding; he leaped to decision without it." Chapter 40, I, p. 424.