Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.
If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans. … We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.
~Stephen Hawking, Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking (2010), also quoted in “Stephen Hawking warns over making contact with aliens” at BBC News (25 April 2010).
The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.
The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.
We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up to now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future.
~Max Planck, The Universe in the Light of Modern Physics (1931). Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (1858 – 1947) was one of the most important German physicists of the late 19th and early 20th century, winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918; he is considered to be the founder of quantum theory.
Anyone who slaps a “this page is best viewed with Browser X” label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network.
~Tim Berners-Lee (in Technology Review, July 1996)
Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.
Dare to do things worthy of imprisonment if you mean to be of consequence.
~Juvenal. Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, known in English as Juvenal, was a Roman poet active in the late 1st and early 2nd century a.d., who wrote the Satires.
Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one.
Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”
~Acts 5:29 (NLT)
An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
Even for the physicist the description in plain language will be a criterion of the degree of understanding that has been reached.
~Werner Karl Heisenberg. Werner Karl Heisenberg (1901 – 1976) was a German theoretical physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 “for the creation of quantum mechanics.”
I never think of the future−it comes soon enough.
Science in the modern world has many uses; its chief use, however, is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich.
~G. K. Chesterton. Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG (1874 – 1936) was an English writer. He wrote on philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction. Chesterton is often referred to as the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.”
We have lost the art of living, and in the most important science of all, the science of daily life, the science of behavior, we are complete ignoramuses. We have psychology instead.
~D.H. Lawrence. David Herbert Lawrence (1885 – 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.
Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.
~Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and the most influential physicist of the 20th century. While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”), he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory.
A great fortune is a great slavery.
~Seneca. Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca; ca. 4 B.C.– A.D. 65) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work, humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature.
Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves.
~Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
A man’s soul may be buried and perish under a dungheap or in a furrow of the field, just as well as under a pile of money.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne (born Nathaniel Hathorne; July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864), American novelist and short story writer.
The supreme task of the physicist is the discovery of the most general elementary laws from which the world-picture can be deduced logically. But there is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance, and this Einfühlung [literally, empathy or “feeling one’s way in”] is developed by experience.
~Albert Einstein, Preface to Max Planck’s “Where is Science Going?“ (1933)
Though today’s quantum theory shows no sign of weakness, someday it may collapse.
~Nick Herbert, Quantum Theory Takes Charge, Chapter 3, p. 52. Nick Herbert (b. 1936, Pittsburgh) is an American physicist and author, best known for his book Quantum Reality. Herbert studied Engineering Physics at the Ohio State University, graduating in 1959. He received a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University in 1967 for work on nuclear scattering experiments.
Physics and philosophy are at most a few thousand years old, but probably have lives of thousands of millions of years stretching away in front of them. They are only just beginning to get under way.
~James Jeans (1942), Physics and Philosophy, p. 217
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
~Albert Einstein, Mein Weltbild (1931)
[T]he “paradox” is only a conflict between reality and your feeling of what reality “ought to be.”
~Richard Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1964) Volume III,