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But in science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs. Not the man who finds a grain of new and precious quality but to him who sows it, reaps it, grinds it and feeds the world on it.

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For books [Charles Darwin] had no respect, but merely considered them as tools to be worked with. … he would cut a heavy book in half, to make it more convenient to hold. He used to boast that he had made Lyell publish the second edition of one of his books in two volumes, instead of in one, by telling him how ho had been obliged to cut it in half. … his library was not ornamental, but was striking from being so evidently a working collection of books.

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When two texts, or two assertions, perhaps two ideas, are in contradiction, be ready to reconcile them rather than cancel one by the other; regard them as two different facets, or two successive stages, of the same reality, a reality convincingly human just because it is too complex.

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Freud expressed the opinion-not quite in earnest, though, it seeemed to me-that philosophy was the most decent form of sublimation of repressed sexuality, nothing more. In response I put the question, ‘What then is science, particularly psychoanalytic psychology?’ Whereup on he, visible a bit surprised, answered evasively: ‘At least psychology has a social purpose.’

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It’s much more effective to allow solutions to problems to emerge from the people close to the problem rather than to impose them from higher up.

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The world is very complicated and it is clearly impossible for the human mind to understand it completely. Man has therefore devised an artifice which permits the complicated nature of the world to be blamed on something which is called accidental and thus permits him to abstract a domain in which simple laws can be found.

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Physics is becoming so unbelievably complex that it is taking longer and longer to train a physicist. It is taking so long, in fact, to train a physicist to the place where he understands the nature of physical problems that he is already too old to solve them.

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The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.

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If the [Vestiges] be true, the labours of sober induction are in vain; religion is a lie; human law is a mass of folly, and a base injustice; morality is moonshine; our labours for the black people of Africa were works of madmen; and man and woman are only better beasts!

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The world is not as it was when it came from its Maker’s hands. It has been modified by many great revolutions, brought about by an inner mechanism of which we very imperfectly comprehend the movements; but of which we gain a glimpse by studying their effects: and their many causes still acting on the surface of our globe with undiminished power, which are changing, and will continue to change it, as long as it shall last.

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[Vestiges begins] from principles which are at variance with all sober inductive truth. The sober facts of geology shuffled, so as to play a rogue’s game; phrenology (that sinkhole of human folly and prating coxcombry); spontaneous generation; transmutation of species; and I know not what; all to be swallowed, without tasting and trying, like so much horse-physic!! Gross credulity and rank infidelity joined in unlawful marriage, and breeding a deformed progeny of unnatural conclusions!

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We must in imagination sweep off the drifted matter that clogs the surface of the ground; we must suppose all the covering of moss and heath and wood to be torn away from the sides of the mountains, and the green mantle that lies near their feet to be lifted up; we may then see the muscular integuments, and sinews, and bones of our mother Earth, and so judge of the part played by each of them during those old convulsive movements whereby her limbs were contorted and drawn up into their present posture.

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Volcanic action is essentially paroxysmal; yet Mr. Lyell will admit no greater paroxysms than we ourselves have witnessed-no periods of feverish spasmodic energy, during which the very framework of nature has been convulsed and torn asunder. The utmost movements that he allows are a slight quivering of her muscular integuments.

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Considered as a mere question of physics, (and keeping all moral considerations entirely out of sight,) the appearance of man is a geological phenomenon of vast importance, indirectly modifying the whole surface of the earth, breaking in upon any supposition of zoological continuity, and utterly unaccounted for by what we have any right to call the laws of nature.

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I know no disease of the soul but ignorance, a pernicious evil, the darkener of man’s life, the disturber of his reason, and common confounder of truth.

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As an adult after college and as an artist I thought about what was real, what sustained me – it was Christian Science. I was using that when I didn’t know it. Saying yes to the Light and your better instinct.

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Nothing can be believed unless it is first understood; and that for any one to preach to others that which either he has not understood nor they have understood is absurd.

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You’ve got to be fairly solemn [about the environment]. I mean the mere notion that there are three times as many people on Earth as there were when I started making television. How can the Earth accommodate them? When people, including politicians, set their faces against looking at the consequences-it’s just unbelievable that anyone could ignore it.

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My ambition was to bring to bear on medicine a chemical approach. I did that by chemical manipulation of viruses and chemical ways of thinking in biomedical research.

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The modern tradition of equating death with an ensuing nothingness can be abandoned. For there is no reason to believe that human death severs the quality of the oneness in the universe.

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My teacher, Hopkins, often commented on the craving for certainty that led so many physicists into mysticism or into the Church and similar organisations … Faith seems to be an occupational hazard for physicists.