Full record for Clarke's First Law n.

Definition "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
OED requirements antedating 1962
Earliest cite Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future
Comment Fred Bacon submitted a cite from a 1977 reprint of "Profiles of the Future"; it was subsequently verified in the 1962 first edition by Scott Neugroschl. This cite is for the form "Clarke's Law", and for the text of the law itself.
Talin sent in a cite from Clarke's 1972 "Report on Planet Three" in a chapter "Technology and the Future", in which Clarke explicitly names and numbers the laws. (this article is described as edited from a transcription of tapes of a lecture given to the American Institute of Architects in May 1967.)
Bill Mullins sent a cite from a review (in the London Times, Dec 6 1962) of Profiles of the Future, which described two of the Laws, but did not number them.

We would like to see any cites antedating 1972 in which it is explicitly named as "Clarke's First Law"

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for Clarke's First Law n.

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1962 Times Dec. 6 18/6 He also operates under two laws. The first, which asserts that anything that is theoretically possible will be done if men want it enough, is frequently used to keep his mantle in place against the searching wind of improbability. The second, which is used as a cloak of a different kind, is called Clarke's Law: ‘When a distinguished but elderly scientist statest that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.’
1972 A. C. Clarke Lost Worlds of 2001 189 The other is Clarke's Third [Footnote begins] Oh, very well. The First: ‘When a distinguished but elderly scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.’(Profiles of the Future) The Second: ‘The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.’ [Footnote ends] Law: ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’
1972 A. C. Clarke Report on Planet Three 129 Clarke's First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. Second Law: The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.