Take a Child Outside Week 2008

Posted on 24th September 2008 by Ryan Somma in science holidays


Last year I ran a series of photos and quotes in celebration of Take a Child Outside Week that purely rejoiced in nature. For this year’s event, running from September 24th through the 30th, I’ve chosen quotes emphasizing the importance of nature in education and understanding ourselves:

Hawaiian Tree Fern

Hawaiian Tree Fern
Credit: brewbook

Sit down before a fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion. Follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.
– Thomas Henry Huxley

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
– Albert Einstein



Credit: justus.thane

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest–a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
– Albert Einstein

Human beings are part of nature. Anything they do is natural. It’s impossible for anything in nature to do anything unnatural.
– Philip Jose Farmer



Credit: Colin Warren

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge. . . observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.
– Denis Diderot

Nature does not give to those who will not spend.
– R. J. Baughan



Credit: Noel Zia Lee

Man, being the servant and interpreter of nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature: beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.
– Sir Francis Bacon

We cannot command nature except by obeying her.
– Sir Francis Bacon



Helianthus annuus
Credit: Esdras Calderan

God could cause us considerable embarrassment by revealing all the secrets of nature to us: we should not know what to do for sheer apathy and boredom.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To the dull mind all nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world sparkles with light.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson



Credit: cobalt123

Science is a mechanism, a way of trying to improve your knowledge of nature. It’s a system for testing your thoughts against the universe, and seeing whether they match.
– Isaac Asimov

It can’t be Nature, for it is not sense.
– Charles Churchill

Nature never says one thing, Wisdom another.
– Juvenal



Credit: AriCee

Fortunately science, like that nature to which it belongs, is neither limited by time nor by space. It belongs to the world, and is of no country and no age. The more we know, the more we feel our ignorance; the more we feel how much remains unknown.
– Humphrey Davy

Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding.
– Jacob Brownowski


  1. Isn’t that funny…we took Daniel for a hike in the mountains in Indian Springs yesterday. He got carsick on the way, so he did the hike in his spiderman underpants and brown leather shoes. We saw barrel cactuses, predator poop (we don’t know what it was, but there was fur in the poop), horse poop, junipers, and some pretty blue birds I have yet to identify.

    Hooray for taking children outside!

    Comment by Kristina — September 25, 2008 @ 1:58 am

  2. You rock! Daniel’s gonna be one smart, inquisitive cookie when he grows up! : )

    Comment by ideonexus — September 25, 2008 @ 7:38 pm

  3. […] off the beaten path.  Meanwhile, September 24th – September 30th is Take a Child Outside Week (HT Ryan Somma).  Being in beautiful southwest Virginia, there is no shortage of great places outside to take a […]

    Pingback by Off the Beaten Paths: Hikes for T.A.C.O. Week « TGAW — September 29, 2008 @ 2:21 am

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