Science (quotes)

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What is science?

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Science is the systematic study of the physical and natural world through observation and experimentation

  • Science: The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.  Oxford Dictionary
  • Science: Knowledge from the careful study of the structure and behaviour of the physical world, especially by watching, measuring, and doing experiments, and the development of theories to describe the results of these activities.  Cambridge Dictionary
  • Science: A branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws.  Dictionary.com
  • Science: Knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method.  Merriam Webster
  • Scientific method: Principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.  Merriam Webster
  • TechnologyProgressRationalityKnowledgeFactsRealityTruthExperimentationDiscovery
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The power of science and its rewards

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Many extol the virtues of science

  • For science is … like virtue, its own exceeding great reward. Charles Kingsley
  • Consecrate the morning of your reason to the study of the sciences: they are of infinite resource in the course of life; they form the heart, polish the mind, and instruct man in his duties. Nabi-Effendi
  • Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver … in the end, the fresh air brings vigour, and the great spaces have a splendour of their own. Bertrand Russell
  • Science, testing absolutely all thoughts, all works, has already burst well upon the world–a sun, mounting, most illuminating, most glorious–surely never again to set. Walt Whitman
  • Science is not a perfect instrument, but it is a superb and invaluable tool that works harm only when taken as an end in itself. Carl Jung
  • The most remarkable discovery ever made by scientists, was science itself. Jacob Bronowski
  • The only thing not worth destroying is science. That would be useless. Science is unchangeable, and if you destroyed it today, it would rise up again the same as before. Leonid Andreyev
  • Virtue
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Science plays a vital role in our society

  • Science has an important part to play in our everyday existence, and there is far too much neglect of science; but its intention is to supplement not to supplant the familiar outlook. Arthur Eddington
  • The real and legitimate goal of the sciences is the endowment of human life with new commodities. Francis Bacon
  • Through art and science in their broadest senses it is possible to make a permanent contribution towards the improvement and enrichment of human life and it is these pursuits that we students are engaged in. Frederick Sanger
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Science is the father of knowledge …

  • The amount of scientific information we’ve discovered in the last twenty years is more than all the discoveries up to that point, from the beginning of language. Daniel J. Levitin
  • Part of the strength of science is that it has tended to attract individuals who love knowledge and the creation of it. Phillip Hauge Abelson
  • Science doesn’t purvey absolute truth. Science is a mechanism. It’s 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. And this works, not just for the ordinary aspects of science, but for all of life. I should think people would want to know that what they know is truly what the universe is like, or at least as close as they can get to it. Isaac Asimov
  • Science is often misrepresented as ”the body of knowledge acquired by performing replicated controlled experiments in the laboratory.” Actually, science is something broader: the acquisition of reliable knowledge about the world. Jared Diamond
  • Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. Hippocrates
  • There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance. Hippocrates
  • Scientific apparatus offers a window to knowledge, but as they grow more elaborate, scientists spend ever more time washing the windows. Isaac Asimov
  • The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.  Thomas Berger
  • What science cannot discover, mankind cannot know. Bertrand Russell
  • Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. Immanuel Kant
  • Knowledge
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… dispelling ignorance …

  • Science is the topography of ignorance. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • The greatest of all the accomplishments of 20th century science has been the discovery of human ignorance.  Lewis Thomas
  • So long as the mother, Ignorance, lives, it is not safe for Science, the offspring, to divulge the hidden cause of things. Johannes Kepler
  • Ignorance
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… dispelling myths and superstitions

  • Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cosy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigour, and the great spaces have a splendour of their own. Bertrand Russell  
  • Science has rolled its war wagons over the crushed myths of so many religious beliefs. It has marshalled its mechanics to explain the motions of the sun, moon, and stars. It has mapped the heavens, leaving no place for gods to live. Evan Walker
  • When man seized the loadstone of science, the loadstar of superstition vanished in the clouds. R. Alger
  • Science and reason liberate us from the shackles of superstition by offering us a framework for understanding our shared humanity. Ultimately, we all have the capacity to treasure life and enrich the world in incalculable ways. Gad Saad  
  • Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. Adam Smith
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Science aids our ability to understand how the world works …

  • Science has a simple faith, which transcends utility. It is the faith that it is the privilege of man to learn to understand, and that this is his mission. Vannevar Bush
  • Science is an intellectual journey, and to me, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey to get there. It’s a way of thinking and it’s an intellectual curiosity, a desire to know how the world works, and to know what the fundamental principles of the world are, and to know our place in it. I think once we stop asking questions like “what is the age of the universe,” or “how are the instructions of DNA carried out on a microscopic level,” once we stop asking questions like that, we’re dead. Alan Lightman
  • Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding. Brian Greene
  • The history of science can be viewed as the recasting of phenomena that were once thought to be accidents as phenomena that can be understood in terms of fundamental causes and principles. Alan Lightman
  • The quick harvest of applied science is the usable process, the medicine, the machine. The shy fruit of pure science is Understanding. Lincoln Barnett  
  • The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible. Albert Einstein
  • Understanding
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… to understand the very nature of reality

  • Science is the poetry of reality. Richard Dawkins
  • Science is the process of trying to understand the nature of reality. And it’s a fundamental of science that we believe reality exists, instead of having it be a human construct or all a matter of relative point of view. There isn’t another side of the story in science. There are the right and wrong answers, and you do a better or worse job of understanding that reality, but we do believe reality is there. That’s fundamental to what we’re doing. Lucy Jones
  • Reality
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Science creates new ideas and new ways of thinking

  • The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.  Sir William Lawrence Bragg
  • All of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking. Albert Einstein
  • Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. Carl Sagan
  • The measure of greatness in a scientific idea is the extent to which it stimulates thought and opens up new lines of research. Paul A.M. Dirac
  • The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I’ve found it!), but ‘That’s funny…’ Isaac Asimov
  • To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires a creative imagination and marks the real advances in science. Albert Einstein
  • Whenever we pride ourselves upon finding a newer, stricter way of thought or exposition … we lose something of the ability to think new thoughts. And equally, of course, whenever we rebel against the sterile rigidity of formal thought and exposition and let our ideas run wild, we likewise lose. As I see it, the advances in scientific thought come from a combination of lose and strict thinking, and this combination is the most precious tool of science.  Gregory Bateson
  • IdeasThinkingExplore new ideasOpen-mindedness
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Science interprets and re-creates nature

  • Science admires and bows to nature. Pawel Strzelecki
  • Science is Nature’s interpreter. James Lendall Basford
  • Science, like art, is not a copy of nature but a re-creation of her. Jacob Bronowski
  • Scientific theory is a contrived foothold in the chaos of living phenomena. Wilhelm Reich
  • The proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it. Barry Commoner
  • Nature
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Science aids us in our quest for truth

  • If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again. Penn Jillette
  • In science, it is a service of the highest merit to seek out those fragmentary truths attained by the ancients, and to develop them further. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Science is not to be regarded merely as a storehouse of facts to be used for material purposes, but as one of the great human endeavours to be ranked with arts and religion as the guide and expression of man’s fearless quest for truth. Sir Richard Arman Gregory
  • Science is truth with her wings clipped. Austin O’Malley
  • Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth. Jules Verne  
  • Some people think that science is just all this technology around, but NO it’s something much deeper than that. Science, scientific thinking, scientific method is for me the only philosophical construct that the human race has developed to determine what is reliably true. Sir Harry Kroto
  • The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it. Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • When Kepler found his long-cherished belief did not agree with the most precise observation, he accepted the uncomfortable fact. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions; that is the heart of science. Carl Sagan
  • There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be. Charles Pierce
  • Scientists are Peeping Toms at the keyhole of eternity. Arthur Koestler
  • Truth
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Science helps us to find order in chaos

  • The great contribution of science is to demonstrate that a person can regard the world as chaos, but can find in himself a method of perceiving, within that chaos, small arrangements of order, that out of himself, and out of the order that previous scientists have generated, he can make things that are exciting and thrilling to make, that are deeply spiritual contributions to himself and to his friends. The scientist comes to the world and says, “I do not understand the divine source, but I know, in a way that I don’t understand, that out of chaos I can make order, out of loneliness I can make friendship, out of ugliness I can make beauty. Edwin H. Land
  • The progress of science is the discovery at each step of a new order which gives unity to what had seemed unlike. Jacob Bronkowski
  • The universe contains vastly more order than Earth-life could ever demand. All those distant galaxies, irrelevant for our existence, seem as equally well ordered as our own. Paul Davies  
  • The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired. Stephen W. Hawking
  • There is a new science of complexity which says that the link between cause and effect is increasingly difficult to trace; that change (planned or otherwise) unfolds in non-linear ways; that paradoxes and contradictions abound; and that creative solutions arise out of diversity, uncertainty and chaos. Andy Hargreaves
  • Scientific truth is always paradox, if judged by everyday experience, which catches only the delusive appearance of things. Karl Marx
  • It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order – and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order. Douglas R. Hofstadter
  • Chaos
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Science works and gets results …

  • It is the chief characteristic of the religion of science that it works. Isaac Asimov
  • Science may be weird and incomprehensible–more weird and less comprehensible than any theology–but science works. It gets results. It can fly you to Saturn, slingshotting you around Venus and Jupiter on the way. We may not understand quantum theory (heaven knows, I don’t), but a theory that predicts the real world to ten decimal places cannot in any straightforward sense be wrong. Richard Dawkins
  • Science is magic that works. Kurt Vonnegut
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… bringing great discoveries and benefits  

  • All science is concerned with the relationship of cause and effect. Each scientific discovery increases man’s ability to predict the consequences of his actions and thus his ability to control future events. Lawrence J Peters
  • Science, the partisan of no country, but the beneficent patroness of all, has liberally opened a temple where all may meet. Her influence on the mind, like the sun on the chilled earth, has long been preparing it for a higher cultivation and further improvement. The philosopher of one country sees not an enemy in the philosopher of another: He takes his seat in the temple of science, and asks not who sits beside him. Thomas Paine
  • Science is the tool of the Western mind and with it more doors can be opened than with bare hands. It is part and parcel of our knowledge and obscures our insight only when it holds that the understanding given by it is the only kind there is. Carl Gustav
  • A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go beyond the point reached by the genius of the last generation. Max Gluckman
  • Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce. John F. Kennedy
  • Discovery
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Science is responsible for our advances in modern technology …

  • Technology: Machinery and devices developed from scientific knowledge.  Oxford Dictionary
  • Technology: The study and knowledge of the practical, especially industrial, use of scientific discoveries.  Cambridge Dictionary
  • Technology is the procedure by which scientific man masters nature for the purpose of moulding his existence, delivering himself from want, and giving his environment the form that appeals to him. Karl Jaspers
  • The science of today is the technology of tomorrow. Edward Teller
  • ProgressTechnology
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… and has lifted humanity to higher levels of well being

  • I shall devote only a few lines to the expression of my belief in the importance of science … it is by this daily striving after knowledge that man has raised himself to the unique position he occupies on earth, and that his power and well-being have continually increased. Marie Curie
  • It sounds like a fairy-tale, but not only that; this story of what man by his science and practical inventions has achieved on this earth, where he first appeared as a weakly member of the animal kingdom, and on which each individual of his species must ever again appear as a helpless infant… is a direct fulfilment of all, or of most, of the dearest wishes in his fairy-tales. Sigmund Freud
  • Science and reason liberate us from the shackles of superstition by offering us a framework for understanding our shared humanity. Ultimately, we all have the capacity to treasure life and enrich the world in incalculable ways. Gad Saad  
  • Science helps us before all things in this, that it somewhat lightens the feeling of wonder with which Nature fills us; then, however, as life becomes more and more complex, it creates new facilities for the avoidance of what would do us harm and the promotion of what will do us good. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Through art and science in their broadest senses it is possible to make a permanent contribution towards the improvement and enrichment of human life and it is these pursuits that we students are engaged in. Frederick Sanger
  • Well-being
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Science shines a light on the extraordinary physical universe that we live in …

  • We know from science that nothing in the universe exists as an isolated or independent entity. Margaret J. Wheatley
  • At 13.7 billion years old, 45 billion light years across and filled with 100 billion galaxies – each containing hundreds of billions of stars – the Universe as revealed by modern science is humbling in scale and dazzling in beauty. Professor Brian Cox
  • Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science. Edwin Powell Hubble  
  • I think science has enjoyed an extraordinary success because it has such a limited and narrow realm in which to focus its efforts. Namely, the physical universe. Ken Jenkins
  • We are an impossibility in an impossible universe. Ray Bradbury
  • The universe
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… and reveals to us our humble place in it

  • We owe a huge debt to Galileo for emancipating us all from the stupid belief in an Earth- centred or man-cantred (let alone God-cantered) system. He quite literally taught us our place and allowed us to go on to make extraordinary advances in knowledge. Christopher Hitchens  
  • When science discovers the centre of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it. Bernard Baily
  • If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits? Carl Sagan   
  • The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos. Stephen Jay Gould
  • Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. Carl Sagan
  • Humility
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The scientific method

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Science uses a specific method and way of looking at the world

  • So, what is science, and why do we consider it so useful and important? Despite the Hollywood stereotypes, science is not about white lab coats and bubbling beakers or sparkling apparatuses. Science is a way of looking at the world using a specific toolbox–the scientific method. Donald Prothero
  • Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.  Carl Sagan
  • The distinctive feature of science is that it is both broad and deep: broad in the way it tackles all physical phenomena and deep in the way it weaves them, economically, into a common explanatory scheme requiring fewer and fewer assumptions. No other system of thought can match its breadth and depth. Paul Davies
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Science operates on observation

  • Observation is a passive science, experimentation an active science. Claude Bernard
  • Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science. Robert Green Ingersoll
  • Science is simply common sense at its best – that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic. Thomas Henry Huxley
  • Science progresses best when observations force us to alter our preconceptions. Vera Rubin
  • This process of self-discovery is scientific and the invariable rule of science has to be applied – experiment and observe. Barry Long
  • Truth in science is always determined from observational facts.  David Douglass
  • When Kepler found his long-cherished belief did not agree with the most precise observation, he accepted the uncomfortable fact. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions; that is the heart of science. Carl Sagan
  • Observation
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Science operates on experimentation …

  • Observation is a passive science, experimentation an active science. Claude Bernard
  • Science is a combination of theory and experiment and the two together are how you make progress. Lisa Randall
  • Scientists actively approach the door to knowledge–the boundary of the domain of what we know. We question and explore and we change our views when facts and logic force us to do so. We are confident only in what we can verify through experiments or in what we can deduce from experimentally confirmed hypotheses. Lisa Randall
  • Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth. Jules Verne
  • No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong. Albert Einstein
  • Experimentation
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… and the evidence it brings

  • Science replaces private prejudice with public, verifiable evidence. Richard Dawkins
  • The success of science, both its intellectual excitement and its practical application, depend upon the self-correcting character of science. There must be a way of testing any valid idea. It must be possible to reproduce any valid experiment. The character or beliefs of the scientists are irrelevant; all that matters is whether the evidence supports his contention. Carl Sagan
  • That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. Christopher Hitchens
  • Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan
  • Do you know what we call opinion in the absence of evidence? We call it prejudice. Michael Crichton
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Science operates on direct experience

  • There is no human experience that can be termed true science unless it can be mathematically demonstrated. And if thou sayest that the sciences which begin and end in the mind are true, this cannot be conceded, but must be denied for many reasons, and firstly because in such mental discourses experience is eliminated, and without experience there can be no certainty. Leonardo da Vinci
  • Science is the systematic classification of experience. George Henry Lewes
  • Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science. Robert Green Ingersoll
  • There are but few proverbial sayings that are not true, for they are all drawn from experience itself, which is the mother of all sciences.  Miguel de Cervantes
  • Experience
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Science operates on facts …

  • False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often long endure; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, as every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened. Charles Darwin
  • I would rather discover a single fact, even a small one, than debate the great issues at length without discovering anything at all. Galileo Galilei
  • Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion. Democritus of Abdera
  • Science: An orderly arrangement of what at the moment seems to be the facts.  
  • Facts
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… developing these facts into ideas and theories

  • I’m not afraid of facts, I welcome facts but a congeries of facts is not equivalent to an idea. This is the essential fallacy of the so-called scientific mind. People who mistake facts for ideas are incomplete thinkers; they are gossips. Cynthia Ozick
  • The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.  Sir William Lawrence Bragg
  • In scientific work, those who refuse to go beyond fact rarely get as far as fact. Thomas Henry Huxley
  • Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house. Henri Poincare
  • If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts. Albert Einstein
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Science operates on reason

  • Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science. Robert Green Ingersoll
  • In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei
  • For in the sciences the authority of thousands of opinions is not worth as much as one tiny spark of reason in an individual man. Besides, the modern observations deprive all former writers of any authority, since if they had seen what we see, they would have judged as we judge. Galileo Galilei
  • To make reason the arbiter and supreme guide of public opinion; that is the essential goal of the sciences; that is how science will contribute to the advancement of civilization. Georges Cuvier
  • Reason,   Logic,   Rationality
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Science operates by asking questions

  • Every scientific fulfilment raises new questions; it asks to be surpassed and outdated. Max Weber
  • The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge. Thomas Berger
  • The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions. Claude Levi-Strauss
  • To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires a creative imagination and marks the real advances in science. Albert Einstein
  • That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer. Jacob Bronowski  
  • The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.  Albert Einstein
  • We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good. Carl Sagan
  • Millions saw the apple fall, Newton was the only one who asked why?  Bernard M. Baruch
  • Questions
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Science operates on cause and effect

  • Science is the knowledge of consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another. Thomas Hobbes
  • The history of science can be viewed as the recasting of phenomena that were once thought to be accidents as phenomena that can be understood in terms of fundamental causes and principles. Alan Lightman
  • All science is concerned with the relationship of cause and effect. Each scientific discovery increases man’s ability to predict the consequences of his actions and thus his ability to control future events. Lawrence J Peters
  • Coincidences are a true paradox. On the one hand, they seem to be the source of our greatest irrationalities—seeing causal connections when science tells us they aren’t there. On the other hand, some of our greatest feats of scientific discovery depend on coincidences.  Josh Tenenbaum
  • Human beings are infinitely fallible, completely unreliable. Science is not. Science is absolute. Under strict principles, if you do A and B, then C will occur. This rarely happens if you inject the inefficiencies of humanity into the process. David Baldacci
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The spirit of great science

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Great science is free …

  • Better for science that she should be free, in holy poverty, to go where she will and say what she knows, than that she should be hired out at so much a year to say things pleasing to the many, and to those who guide the many. Charles Kingsley
  • Freedom is the oxygen without which science cannot breathe. David Sarnoff
  • No one should approach the temple of science with the soul of a money changer. Thomas Browne
  • Freedom
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… free of creed …

  • Science … commits suicide when it adopts a creed. Thomas Henry Huxley
  • Science corrects the old creeds, sweeps away, with every new perception, our infantile catechisms, and necessitates a faith commensurate with the grander orbits and universal laws which it discloses. Ralph Waldo Emerson
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… and free of dogma

  • Dogmas–religious, political, scientific–arise out of erroneous belief that thought can encapsulate reality or truth. Dogmas are collective conceptual prisons. And the strange thing is that people love their prison cells because they give them a sense of security and a false sense of “I know.”  Eckhart Tolle     
  • Indeed, in view of its function, religion stands in greater need of a rational foundation of its ultimate principles than even the dogmas of science. Muhammad Iqbal
  • Ideology and dogma
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Great science takes its time

  • There is no greater impediment to progress in the sciences than the desire to see it take place too quickly. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
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Great science concerns itself with truth above all else …

  • In disputes upon moral or scientific points, ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So, you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.  James Burgh
  • Truth
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… and strives to be free of bias

  • The scientific attitude of mind involves a sweeping away of all other desires in the interests of the desire to know–it involves suppression of hopes and fears, loves and hates, and the whole subjective emotional life, until we become subdued to the material, able to see it frankly, without preconceptions, without bias, without any wish except to see it as it is, and without any belief that what it is must be determined by some relation, positive or negative, to what we should like it to be, or to what we can easily imagine it to be.  Bertrand Russell
  • Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgements of all kinds remain necessary. Albert Einstein
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Great science is based on common sense, yet also defies it

  • Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man’s upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.  Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out and minutely articulated.  George Santayana
  • Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact. Thomas Henry Huxley  
  • Science is simply common sense at its best – that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic. Thomas Henry Huxley
  • Science is, I believe, nothing but trained and organized common sense, differing from the latter only as a veteran may differ from a raw recruit: and its methods differ from those of common sense only so far as the guardsman’s cut and thrust differ from the manner in which a savage wields his club. Thomas Henry Huxley
  • Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. Richard Feynman
  • Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. Immanuel Kant
  • Scientific revolutions, almost by definition, defy common sense. Michio Kaku
  • Common sense
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Great science does not bow to conservative pressure and outdated views

  • A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. Max Planck
  • History, though, shows us that the people who end up changing the world—the great political, social, scientific, technological, artistic, even sports revolutionaries—are always nuts, until they’re right, and then they’re geniuses. John Eliot
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Great science aims for simplicity without being simplistic

  • The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler. Edward Teller
  • The simple explanation always follows the complex solution. Lunsford’s Rule of Scientific Endeavour  
  • But I should not have to explain to you how important it is for science and simplicity to coexist. One must not fear to be a little child again, when times of wonder are at hand. Jody Lynn Nye
  • Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone. Albert Einstein
  • Science may be described as the art of systematic oversimplification.  Karl R. Popper
  • SimplicityConfusion
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Great science opens its eyes wide to possibility

  • Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  Robert Heinlein
  • Every fact of science was once Damned. Every invention was considered impossible. Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. The entire web of culture and “progress,” everything on earth that is man- made and not given to us by nature, is the concrete manifestation of some man’s refusal to bow to Authority. We would own no more, know no more, and be no more than the first apelike hominids if it were not for the rebellious, the recalcitrant, and the intransigent. As Oscar Wilde truly said, “Disobedience was man’s Original Virtue.”  Robert Anton Wilson
  • However far modern science and techniques have fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one lesson: Nothing is impossible. Lewis Mumford
  • The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance — the idea that anything is possible. Ray Bradbury
  • This is perhaps the most beautiful time in human history; it is really pregnant with all kinds of creative possibilities made possible by science and technology which now constitute the slave of man – if man is not enslaved by it. Jonas Salk
  • Possibility
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Great science knows there is always more to know …

  • Nothing is so dangerous to the progress of the human mind than to assume that our views of science are ultimate, that there are no mysteries in nature, that our triumphs are complete and that there are no new worlds to conquer. Humphry Davy
  • 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 of no age. The more we know, the more we feel our ignorance; the more we feel how much remains unknown; and in philosophy, the sentiment of the Macedonian hero can never apply — there are always new worlds to conquer.  Sir Humphrey Davy
  • Science becomes dangerous only when it imagines that it has reached its goal. George Bernard Shaw
  • Beginner’s mind
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… that new discoveries are always waiting to be made

  • Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. Carl Sagan
  • New discoveries in science will continue to create a thousand new frontiers for those who still would adventure.  Herbert Hoover
  • There isn’t in all the world a perfect railroad, nor a good government, nor a sound law. Physics, mathematics, and especially the most advanced and exact of the sciences are being fundamentally revised. . . Psychology, economics, and sociology are awaiting a Darwin, whose work in turn is awaiting an Einstein. Lincoln Steffens
  • The best picture has not yet been painted; the greatest poem is still unsung; the mightiest novel remains to be written; the divinest music has not been conceived, even by Bach. In science, probably ninety nine percent of the knowable has not yet been discovered. Lincoln Steffens
  • Discovery
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Great science moves forever forwards, building on its discoveries

  • There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. Isaac Asimov
  • Nothing tends more to the corruption of science than to suffer it to stagnate. These waters must be troubled before they can exert their virtues. A man who works beyond the surface of things, though he may be wrong himself, yet he clears the way for others, and may chance to make even his errors subservient to the cause of truth. Edmund Burke
  • In the history of science, we have discovered a sequence of better and better theories or models, from Plato to the classical theory of Newton to modern quantum theories. It is natural to ask: Will this sequence eventually reach an end point, an ultimate theory of the universe, that will include all forces and predict every observation we can make, or will we continue forever finding better theories, but never one that cannot be improved upon?  Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow
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Great science is humble about how little it knows

  • Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.  Charles Darwin
  • It is an essential part of the scientific enterprise to admit ignorance, even to exult in ignorance as a challenge to future conquests. Richard Dawkins
  • People keep saying “science doesn’t know everything!” Well, science “knows” it doesn’t know everything; otherwise it would stop. Dara O Briain
  • Keeping that not knowing is the best way to interface between the known and the unknown at the kind of edge of creativity and science. Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Great science is always open to changing its mind in the face of new evidence …

  • I like the scientific spirit – the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine – it always keeps the way beyond open.   Walt Whitman
  • In science, it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. Carl Sagan  
  • It is sometimes important for science to know how to forget the things she is sure of. Jean Rostand
  • Science differs from politics or religion, in precisely this one discipline: we agree in advance to simply reject our own findings when they have been shown to be in error. Robert Pollack
  • Science is ever self-corrective. Pierre Simon Laplace
  • It is the tension between creativity and scepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science. Carl Sagan
  • When Kepler found his long-cherished belief did not agree with the most precise observation, he accepted the uncomfortable fact. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions; that is the heart of science. Carl Sagan
  • When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?  John Maynard Keynes
  • We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress. Richard Feynman
  • ChangeOpen-mindedness
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… always open to new and better ideas …

  • Those who are really convinced that they have made progress in science would not demand freedom for the new views to continue side by side with the old, but the substitution of the new views for the old. Vladimir Lenin
  • The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable.  L. Mencken
  • Ideas
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… always making room for a healthy level of doubt

  • Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain. Richard Feynman
  • True science teaches, above all, to doubt and to be ignorant. Miguel de Unamuno
  • Bad science and bad religion simply swap roles, the former proclaiming Truth, the latter worshiping Doubt. Jeffrey Satinover
  • Can that which is the greatest virtue in philosophy, Doubt (called “the father of inventions” by Galileo), be in religion what the priests term it, the greatest of sins?  Christian Nestell Bovee
  • If you thought that science was certain – well, that is just an error on your part. Richard Feynman
  • Doubt
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Great science persists and persists

  • I traversed the highway to science in the manner of dogs who are taken out for exercise by their masters; I turned a hundred times forward and backwards, and when I arrived I was weary. Georg Christoph
  • At no time am I a quick thinker or writer: whatever I have done in science has solely been by long pondering, patience and industry. Charles Darwin
  • Perseverance
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Great science makes room for paradox

  • The world of science lives fairly comfortably with paradox. We know that light is a wave, and also that light is a particle. The discoveries made in the infinitely small world of particle physics indicate randomness and chance, and I do not find it any more difficult to live with the paradox of a universe of randomness and chance and a universe of pattern and purpose than I do with light as a wave and light as a particle. Living with contradiction is nothing new to the human being. Madeleine L’Engle
  • The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. Niels Bohr
  • Paradox
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Great science concerns itself with ethics

  • As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying.  Arthur C. Clarke
  • Scientific progress makes moral progress a necessity; for if man’s power is increased, the checks that restrain him from abusing it must be strengthened. Madame de Stael
  • Scientific truth is marvellous, but moral truth is divine and whoever breathes its air and walks by its light has found the lost paradise.  Horace Mann
  • Science is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon eternal truths. Art is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon things beautiful and immortal and ever-changing. To morals belong the lower and less intellectual spheres. Oscar Wilde
  • Morality and ethics
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Great science has a heart

  • I believe that for permanent survival, man must balance science with other qualities of life, qualities of body and spirit as well as those of mind — qualities he cannot develop when he lets mechanics and luxury insulate him too greatly from the earth to which he was born. Charles Lindbergh
  • If the world kept a journal, many of the entries would be conversations concerning the advancement of scientific knowledge and its importance to humanity.  I offer the following conversation as an added entry:  “And what is as important as knowledge?” asked the mind.  “Caring,” answered the heart.  Flavia Weedn
  • The Seven Social Sins are: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. Frederick Lewis Donaldson
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Great science makes room for mystery and wonder

  • Whether one sees the world as God’s creation or as a secular mystery that science is on the way to figuring out, there is no denying the beauty and majesty of everything from mountain ranges, deserts, and rain forests to the exquisite details in the design of an ordinary mosquito. Robert C. Solomon
  • The growing knowledge of science does not refute man’s intuition of the mystical. Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or in time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvellous it becomes. Charles Lindbergh
  • The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.  Albert Einstein
  • In wilderness, I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.  Charles A. Lindbergh
  • Both the person of science and the person of action live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it.   Robert Oppenheimer
  • MysteryWonder
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Great science operates on imagination and intuition, not just reason and logic

  • Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination. John Dewey
  • I think imagination is at the heart of everything we do. Scientific discoveries couldn’t have happened without imagination. Art, music, and literature couldn’t exist without imagination. And so, anything that strengthens imagination, and reading certainly does that, can help us for the rest of our lives. Lloyd Alexander
  • I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.  Albert Einstein
  • Traditional scientific method has always been at the very best, 20-20 hindsight. It’s good for seeing where you’ve been. It’s good for testing the truth of what you think you know, but it can’t tell you where you ought to go. Robert M. Pirsig
  • We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry. Maria Montessori
  • ImaginationIntuition
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Science has its detractors and naysayers

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Not everyone extols Science

  • Science is always discovering odd scraps of magical wisdom and making a tremendous fuss about its cleverness. Aleister Crowley
  • Science is for the laboratory. Other men, who stand alone and face the elemental forces of nature, know that science as a shining, world-conquering hero, is a myth. Science lives in concrete structures full of bright factory toys, insulated from the earth’s great forces. The priesthood of this new cult are seldom called upon to stand and face the onslaught.  Hammond Innes
  • Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts. Richard Feynman
  • The invocation of science, of its ground rules, of the exclusive validity of the methods that science has now completely become, now constitutes a surveillance authority punishing free, uncoddled, undisciplined thought and tolerating nothing of mental activity other than what has been methodologically sanctioned. Science and scholarship, the medium of autonomy, has degenerated into an instrument of heteronomy.  Theodor W. Adorno
  • The wallpaper with which the men of science have covered the world of reality is falling to tatters. The grand whorehouse which they have made of life requires no decoration; it is essential only that the drains function adequately.  Henry Miller
  • There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. Mark Twain
  • Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.  George Bernard Shaw
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Science has its pitfalls and dangers

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Science and the progress it brings is a double-edged sword

  • I know that science and technology are not just cornucopias pouring good deeds out into the world. Scientists not only conceived nuclear weapons; they also took political leaders by the lapels, arguing that their nation — whichever it happened to be — had to have one first…. There’s a reason people are nervous about science and technology … the image of the mad scientist haunts our world–from Dr. Faust to Dr. Frankenstein to Dr. Strangelove to the white-coated loonies of Saturday morning children’s television. (All this doesn’t inspire budding scientists.) But there’s no way back. We can’t just conclude that science puts too much power into the hands of morally feeble technologists or corrupt, power-crazed politicians and decide to get rid of it. Advances in medicine and agriculture have saved more lives than have been lost in all the wars in history. Advances in transportation, communication, and entertainment have transformed the world. The sword of science is double-edged. Rather, its awesome power forces on all of us, including politicians, a new responsibility — more attention to the long-term consequences of technology, a global and transgenerational perspective, an incentive to avoid easy appeals to nationalism and chauvinism. Mistakes are becoming too expensive.  Carl Sagan
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Our scientific advances have far exceeded our humanity

  • Science has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men. Jean Rostand
  • It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. Albert Einstein
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Our scientific advances have far exceeded our social advances

  • If there is technological advance without social advance, there is, almost automatically, an increase in human misery, in impoverishment. Michael Harrington
  • The drive toward complex technical achievement offers a clue to why the U.S. is good at space gadgetry and bad at slum problems. John Kenneth Galbraith
  • Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils. Nelson Mandela
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Our scientific advances have far exceeded our advance in wisdom

  • The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. Isaac Asimov
  • Science says: “We must live,” and seeks the means of prolonging, increasing, facilitating and amplifying life, of making it tolerable and acceptable; wisdom says: “We must die,” and seeks how to make us die well. Miguel de Unamuno
  • If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. Omar Bradley
  • Wisdom
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Our scientific advances have far exceeded our spiritual evolution

  • Science had better not free the minds of men too much, before it has tamed their instincts. Jean Rostand
  • Alas, our technology has marched ahead of our spiritual and social evolution, making us, frankly, a dangerous people. Steven M. Greer
  • The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but the recognition of its own dysfunction. Eckhart Tolle
  • Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all- the apathy of human beings. Helen Keller
  • EvolutionSpirituality
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Our scientific advances have far exceeded our moral and ethical evolution

  • Scientific progress makes moral progress a necessity; for if man’s power is increased, the checks that restrain him from abusing it must be strengthened.  Madame de Stael
  • Science cannot stop while ethics catches up – and nobody should expect scientists to do all the thinking for the country. Elvin Stackman
  • Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. Omar Bradley
  • As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying. Arthur C. Clarke
  • The general public has long been divided into two parts those who think science can do anything, and those who are afraid it will. Dixie Lee Ray  
  • EvolutionMorality and ethics
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Our scientific advances have far exceeded our ability to predict its long-term consequences  

  • Science has not yet mastered prophecy. We predict too much for the next year and yet far too little for the next ten. Neil Armstrong
  • We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.  Carl Sagan
  • Consequences
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As a result, science has developed the capacity to be very destructive

  • Science, already oppressive with its shocking revelations, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species — if separate species we be — for its reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world. P. Lovecraft
  • The amplification of thought as science and technology, although intrinsically neither good nor bad, has also become destructive because so often the thinking out of which it comes has no roots in awareness. Eckhart Tolle
  • We have genuflected before the god of science only to find that it has given us the atomic bomb, producing fears and anxieties that science can never mitigate. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an axe in the hand of a pathological criminal. Albert Einstein
  • Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know—and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know—even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction—than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too. Isaac Asimov
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Science is far from having the answers to all life’s mysteries

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Science does not give us all the answers

  • It is reasonable to expect the doctor to recognize that science may not have all the answers to problems of health and healing. Norman Cousins
  • No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere. Sigmund Freud
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Science cannot explain the deepest mysteries of existence

  • We are so impressed by scientific clank that we feel we ought not to say that the sunflower turns because it knows where the sun is. It is almost second nature to us to prefer explanations with a large vocabulary. We are much more comfortable when we are assured that the sunflower turns because it is heliotropic. The trouble with that kind of talk is that it tempts us to think that we know what the sunflower is up to. But we don’t. The sunflower is a mystery, just as every single thing in the universe is. Robert Farrer Capon
  • We have learnt that nothing is simple and rational except what we ourselves have invented; that God thinks in terms neither of Euclid nor of Riemann; that science has “explained” nothing; that the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness. Aldous Huxley
  • Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explains not, then it says there is nothing to explain. Bram Stoker, Dracula
  • Science: The creation of dilemmas by the solution of mysteries. Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
  • The real mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, it is a reality to be experienced. J. Van der Leeuw
  • Man is manifestly not the measure of all things. This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name. Sam Harris
  • Mystery
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Science explains how but not why …

  • Science is wonderfully equipped to answer the question “How?” but it gets terribly confused when you ask the question “Why?  Erwin Chargaff
  • The key distinction between science and religion might well be the character of the questions they choose to ask. … Religion asks “why,” in the sense of the presumption of an underlying purpose, whereas science asks “how.” Lisa Randal
  • Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? Stephen Hawking   
  • Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion. Isaac Newton
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… and is thus poor at providing our human existence with a sense of meaning …

  • Specialised meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hall-mark of true science. Aldous Huxley
  • On their way toward modern science human beings have discarded meaning. The concept is replaced by the formula, the cause by rules and probability. Theodor W. Adorno
  • What was once called the objective world is a sort of Rorschach ink blot, into which each culture, each system of science and religion, each type of personality, reads a meaning only remotely derived from the shape and colour of the blot itself.  Lewis Mumford
  • It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein
  • Science is clearly one of the most profound methods that humans have yet devised for discovering truth, while religion remains the single greatest force for generating meaning. Ken Wilber
  • Meaning
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… although some disagree on this point

  • The search for meaning is not limited to science: it is constant and continuous – all of us engage in it during all our waking hours the search continues even in our dreams. There are many ways of finding meaning, and there are no absolute boundaries separating them. One can find meaning in poetry as well as in science in the contemplations of a flower as well as in the grasp of an equation. We can be filled with wonder as we stand under the majestic dome of the night sky and see the myriad lights that twinkle and shine in its seemingly infinite depths. We can also be filled with awe as we behold the meaning of the formulae that define the propagation of light in space, the formation of galaxies, the synthesis of chemical elements, and the relation of energy, mass and velocity in the physical universe. The mystical perception of oneness and the religious intuition of a Divine intelligence are as much a construction of meaning as the postulation of the universal law of gravitation. Ervin Laszlo
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Science, so far, has been unable to explain the mystery of consciousness

  • Consciousness, unprovable by scientific standards, is forever, then, the impossible phantom in the predictable biologic machine, and your every thought a genuine supernatural event. Your every thought is a ghost, dancing. Alan Moore
  • Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve. Max Planck
  • Science sometimes falls short when trying to fathom the depths of our essence – and our inspiration comes from that essence. Lance Secretan
  • Science does not reveal anything beyond this life. Pierre Forestier
  • I confess that there is nothing to teach: no religion, no science, no writings which will lead your mind back to Spirit. Today I speak this way, tomorrow that, but always the Path is beyond words and beyond mind.   Lao Tzu
  • Consciousness
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Science is overly focused on physical phenomena

  • The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. Nikola Tesla
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Science cannot (yet) replicate life

  • Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favour compared with the products of nature, the living cell of the plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.  Thomas Alva Edison
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Science and wonder

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Some argue that science reduces wonder to a sterile formula

  • On their way toward modern science human beings have discarded meaning. The concept is replaced by the formula, the cause by rules and probability. Theodor W. Adorno
  • It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.  Albert Einstein
  • Our sunsets have been reduced to wavelengths and frequencies. The complexities of the universe have been shredded into mathematical equations. Even our self-worth as human beings has been destroyed. Dan Brown
  • Science will never be able to reduce the value of a sunset to arithmetic. Nor can it reduce friendship to formula. Laughter and love, pain and loneliness, the challenge of beauty and truth: these will always surpass the scientific mastery of nature. Louis Orr  
  • That’s the whole problem with science. You’ve got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder. Bill Watterson
  • In the end, science as we know it has two basic types of practitioners. One is the educated man who still has a controlled sense of wonder before the universal mystery, whether it hides in a snail’s eye or within the light that impinges on that delicate organ. The second kind of observer is the extreme reductionist who is so busy stripping things apart that the tremendous mystery has been reduced to a trifle, to intangibles not worth troubling one’s head about. Loren Eiseley
  • Without science, everything is a miracle.  Lawrence M. Krauss
  • Human science fragments everything in order to understand it, kills everything in order to examine it. Leo Tolstoy
  • Wonder
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Others argue that science expands our sense of wonder through its discoveries

  • The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable. It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver. It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite.  Richard Dawkins
  • Imagine for a moment that we are nothing but the product of billions of years of molecules coming together and ratcheting up through natural selection, that we are composed only of highways of fluids and chemicals sliding along roadways within billions of dancing cells, that trillions of synaptic conversations hum in parallel, that this vast egg like fabric of micron-thin circuitry runs algorithms undreamt of in modern science, and that these neural programs give rise to our decision making, loves, desires, fears, and aspirations. To me, that understanding would be a numinous experience, better than anything ever proposed in anyone’s holy text.  David Eagleman
  • The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder. Albert Einstein
  • Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence, not mastery. Richard Powers
  • Nature composes some of her loveliest poems for the microscope and the telescope. Theodore Roszak
  • We all have a thirst for wonder. It’s a deeply human quality. Science and religion are both bound up with it. What I’m saying is, you don’t have to make stories up, you don’t have to exaggerate. There’s wonder and awe enough in the real world. Nature’s a lot better at inventing wonders than we are. Carl Sagan
  • Scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man’s struggle for good and evil seems inadequate. Richard P. Feynman
  • The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be. Douglas Adams
  • Discovery
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Let science strengthen your sense of magic, not dampen it  

  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke
  • Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, people mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, people mistake medicine for magic. Thomas Szasz
  • It doesn’t stop being magic just because you know how it works. Terry Pratchett
  • Science is magic that works. Kurt Vonnegut
  • Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.  Terry Pratchett
  • This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle wonderful, inscrutable, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it. Thomas Carlyle  
  • Miracles are not contrary to nature but only contrary to what we know about nature.  Augustine of Hippo
  • Science, you don’t know, looks like magic. Christopher Moore
  • I love science, and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awed by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and reinvigorate it. Robert M. Sapolsky
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Science and religion

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Some argue that science greatly diminishes the need for a belief in God

  • God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance. Neil deGrasse Tyson  
  • How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?” Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.” Carl Sagan
  • Our ignorance is God; what we know is science. Robert G. Ingersoll  
  • I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful. Stephen Hawking
  • AtheismGod
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Others argue that science greatly expands our concept of God

  • A little science estranges a man from God. A lot of science brings him back.  Francis Bacon
  • Let science extend the domain of actual knowledge, and lay bare as it may the secrets of the material world. It only exposes more and more the proportions of the great cathedral, and shows us the lamps of God’s glory, and the infinite recesses of his love. It only wafts us on through the ever-rolling harmonies of the universe, until we pause before that awful veil of mystery in which he hides the essence of his being and the counsels of his thought.   H. Chapin
  • Let science, by cultivating man’s intellect, elevate him to nobler and more spiritual views of God’s wisdom and power. Josiah P. Cooke
  • Science cannot answer the deepest questions. As soon as you ask why there is something instead of nothing, you have gone beyond science.  I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos.  There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is the explanation for the miracle of existence –why there is something instead of nothing.   Allan R. Sandage
  • Science tells me God must exist. My mind tells me I will never understand God. And my heart tells me I am not meant to. Dan Brown
  • Science unfolds the wisdom of God. Juan De Pineda
  • The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you. Werner Heisenberg
  • The humble knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God than the deepest search after science. Thomas à Kempis
  • The universe has no sides, no end, can’t be mapped. Enough to make a man talk about God, make a man superstitious and worship an idol. The science never gets as far as the strangeness. Jeanette Winterson   
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Science asserts that if God exists, then God is a God of natural laws

  • Conceive of God in terms of universal Nature – a nature God in whom we really live and move and have our being, with who our relation is as intimate and constant as that of the babe in its mother’s womb, or the apple upon the bough. This is the God that science and reason reveal to us – the God we touch with our hands, see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and from whom there is no escape, who is, indeed, from everlasting to everlasting. John Burroughs
  • The god whom science recognizes must be a God of universal laws exclusively, a God who does a wholesale, not a retail business. He cannot accommodate his processes to the convenience of individuals. William James
  • Above, far above the prejudices and passions of men soar the laws of nature. Eternal and immutable, they are the expression of the creative power they represent what is, what must be, what otherwise could not be. Man can come to understand them: he is incapable of changing them. Vilfredo Pareto
  • Human laws change, but science is divine, and its laws are eternal. Alphonso X
  • I’m not religious in the normal sense. I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws. Stephen Hawking
  • Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. Albert Einstein
  • What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn’t prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary. Stephen Hawking 
  • The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by ‘God,’ one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity. Carl Sagan
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Some argue that religion and science are not compatible

  • Thus, I came…to a deep religiosity, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of 12. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached a conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true…. Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this experience…an attitude which has never left me. Albert Einstein
  • The major obstacle to a religious renewal is the intellectual classes, who are highly influential and tend to view religion as primitive superstition. They believe that science has left atheism as the only respectable intellectual stance. Robert Bork  
  • Christian theology is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is opposed to every other form of rational thinking. Henry Louis Mencken
  • Oh, that’s typical of you modern young men; you’ve nibbled at science and it’s made you ill, because you’ve not been able to satisfy that old craving for the absolute that you absorbed in your nurseries. You’d like science to give you all the answers at one go, whereas we’re only just beginning to understand it, and it’ll probably never be anything but an eternal quest. And so, you repudiate science, you fall back on religion, and religion won’t have you anymore. Émile Zola
  • Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines. Bertrand Russell
  • Science embraces facts and debates opinion; religion embraces opinion and debates the facts. Tom Heehler
  • Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings. Victor J. Stenger
  • Scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man’s struggle for good and evil seems inadequate. Richard P. Feynman   
  • The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable. L. Mencken
  • The key distinction between science and religion might well be the character of the questions they choose to ask. Religion asks “why,” in the sense of the presumption of an underlying purpose, whereas science asks “how.”   Lisa Randall   
  • Bad science and bad religion simply swap roles, the former proclaiming Truth, the latter worshiping Doubt. Jeffrey Satinover
  • It is this mythical, or rather symbolic, content of the religious traditions which is likely to come into conflict with science. This occurs whenever this religious stock of ideas contains dogmatically fixed statements on subjects which belong in the domain of science. Albert Einstein
  • Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved? Carl Sagan
  • There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works. Stephen Hawking
  • It doesn’t seem to me that this fantastically marvellous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil – which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama. Richard Feynman
  • Religion
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… especially because science is the very antithesis of blind faith

  • Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved. Tim Minchin
  • Scientists do not join hands every Sunday and sing “Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!” If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.  Dan Barker  
  • The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church. Ferdinand Magellan  
  • What is wrong with the admission that something exists beyond our understanding? The day science substantiates God in a lab is the day people stop needing faith! Dan Brown
  • When you’re thirsty and it seems that you could drink the entire ocean that’s faith; when you start to drink and finish only a glass or two that’s science. Anton Chekhov
  • Can that which is the greatest virtue in philosophy, Doubt (called “the father of inventions” by Galileo), be in religion what the priests term it, the greatest of sins? Christian Nestell Bovee
  • Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some of us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end, we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.  Dan Brown
  • I don’t want to believe. I want to know. Carl Sagan
  • Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt. Richard Feynman
  • To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. Isaac Asimov
  • A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth. Albert Einstein
  • The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification. Thomas Henry Huxley
  • When scientifically investigating the natural world, the only thing worse than a blind believer is a seeing denier. Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Faith
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Others argue that science and religion can complement each other …

  • True science, so far from being an enemy to religious truth, will always stand as the mediator in the ever-pending conflict between religious faith and human reason. S. West
  • All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.  Albert Einstein
  • As all truth is from God, it necessarily follows that true science and true religion can never be at variance.  Horace Mann
  • If there is any religion that could respond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism. Albert Einstein
  • The antagonism between science and religion is real only to those who take a narrow view of both, the perfect battle for bigots from both camps. George Zebrowski
  • Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.  Dan Brown
  • Science and religion, religion and science, put it as I may, they are two sides of the same glass, through which we see darkly until these two, focusing together, reveal the truth.  Pearl Buck
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… and that science can even re-invent and enrich religion

  • A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge. Carl Sagan
  • How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?” Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.” Carl Sagan
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Many argue that science and religion both have valid roles to play

  • Science is wonderfully equipped to answer the question “How?” but it gets terribly confused when you ask the question “Why?  Erwin Chargaff
  • The key distinction between science and religion might well be the character of the questions they choose to ask. … Religion asks “why,” in the sense of the presumption of an underlying purpose, whereas science asks “how.” Lisa Randall
  • Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein
  • Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Science can only determine what is, but not what shall be, and beyond its realm, value judgements remain indispensable. Religion, on the other hand, is concerned only with evaluating human thought and actions; it is not qualified to speak of real facts and the relationships between them. Albert Einstein
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True religion embraces science

  • The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.  Albert Einstein
  • The religion that is afraid of science dishonours God and commits suicide. Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Dogma is the enemy of both science and religion

  • Dogma is often the corruption of someone else’s spiritual experience. Belief systems are often the enemy of the very spiritual truths they supposedly uphold.  Most religious beliefs are not merely the foe of reason, of science.  They are the enemy of God; not the man-made tyrant in the sky, but the very source of life, love, and truth.  Beau Porden
  • Indeed, in view of its function, religion stands in greater need of a rational foundation of its ultimate principles than even the dogmas of science. Muhammad Iqbal  
  • Ideology and dogma
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Science and spirituality

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Science can be a deep source of spirituality

  • There are many sources of spirituality; religion may be the most common, but it is by no means the only. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades. Michael Shermer
  • Does scientific explanation of the world diminish its spiritual beauty? I think not. Science and spirituality are complementary, not conflicting; additive, not detractive. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades. Michael Shermer
  • I don’t understand why people insist on pitting concepts of evolution and creation against each other. Why can’t they see that spiritualism and science are one? That bodies evolve and souls evolve and the universe is a fluid package that marries them both in a wonderful package called a human being. What’s wrong with that idea? Garth Stein
  • Spirituality leaps where science cannot yet follow, because science must always test and measure, and much of reality and human experience is immeasurable. Miriam Simos
  • Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both. Carl Sagan
  • Spirituality
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Spirituality, itself, can be said to be a kind of science

  • Try to be like a scientific researcher, observing the mind and body with curiosity and objectivity, and without judgment. Bob Stahl
  • This process of self-discovery is scientific and the invariable rule of science has to be applied – experiment and observe. Barry Long
  • Stripped of all its outer encrustations, spirituality emerges as a science, as scientific as any other, as verifiable in its results. Let any seeker take it up and let him create in the laboratory of the soul the conditions that are prerequisite; as sure as the day follows the night shall he rise into the Kingdom of God. Sant Kirpal Singh
  • The science is simple: When you give the world love and respect, the world will give you love and respect back. Russell Simmons
  • Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul. Amit Ray
  • Science is an objective enquiry that entails looking out onto the world and asking ‘what is it?’ Spirituality is a subjective enquiry that entails looking within and asking ‘who am I?’ Tim Freke
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Science and art

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While it can be argued there are distinct differences between science and art …

  • Inspiration in Science may have to do with ideas, but not in Art. In art it is in the senses that are instinctively responsive to the medium of expression. Arthur Erickson
  • Art upsets, science reassures. Georges Braque
  • Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer; art is everything else. Donald Ervin Knuth
  • Art
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… it can also be argued they are deeply compatible

  • Art is science made clear. Wilson Mizner
  • Art disturbs, science reassures. Georges Braque
  • Art has a double face, of expression and illusion, just like science has a double face: the reality of error and the phantom of truth. Publilius Syrus
  • Art is science made clear. Jean Cocteau
  • Science is the truth that lights the way and Art is the truth that warms the heart. Jacob Bronowski
  • Science, like art, is not a copy of nature but a re-creation of her.
  • The good qualities in our soul are most successfully and forcefully awakened by the power of art. Just as science is the intellect of the world, art is its soul. Maxim Gorky
  • Truth exists for the wise, beauty for the feeling heart. Friedrich von Schiller  
  • Doubtless it is true that while consciousness is occupied in the scientific interpretation of a thing, which is now and again “a thing of beauty,” it is not occupied in the aesthetic appreciation of it. But it is no less true that the same consciousness may at another time be so wholly possessed by the aesthetic appreciation as to exclude all thought of the scientific interpretation. The inability of a man of science to take the poetic view simply shows his mental limitation; as the mental limitation of a poet is shown by his inability to take the scientific view. The broader mind can take both. Herbert Spencer
  • There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous. Raymond Thornton Chandler
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It can be argued that in many ways, great science is itself an art

  • The glory of science is not in a truth more absolute than the truth of Bach or Tolstoy, but in the act of creation itself. The scientist’s discoveries impose his own order on chaos, as the composer or painter imposes his; an order that always refers to limited aspects of reality, and is based on the observer’s frame of reference, which differs from period to period as a Rembrandt nude differs from a nude by Manet. Arthur Koestler
  • After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in aesthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well. Albert Einstein
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Science holds the potential to re-invent art

  • The idea of a new art based upon science, in opposition to the art of the old world that was based on imagination, an art that should explain all things and embrace modern life in its entirety, in its endless ramifications, be, as it were, a new creed in a new civilization, filled me with wonder, and I stood dumb before the vastness of the conception, and the towering height of the ambition. George Moore
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The softer sciences

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Advertising as a science

  • Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art. William Bernbach
  • Advertising isn’t a science. It’s persuasion. And persuasion is an art. William Bernbach
  • Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it. Stephen Butler Leacock
  • Advertising
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Democracy as a science

  • Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage. L. Mencken
  • Democracy
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Cooking as a science

  • I approach cooking from a science angle because I need to understand how things work. If I understand the egg, I can scramble it better. It’s a simple as that. Alton Brown
  • When people think science and cooking, they have no idea that it’s not correctly expressed. We’re actually applying the scientific method. People think chemistry and physics are science, but the scientific method is something else…. It’s the science that the world of cooking generates: science of butter; science of the croissant. Ferran Adria
  • Cooking
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Investing as a science

  • Investing is not a natural science but rather a social science. So, it’s never purely empirical; what you are trying to do is everything you possibly can to enhance your probabilities of being right more often than being wrong. William Browne
  • Investing
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Psychology as a science

  • It is still open to question whether psychology is a natural science, or whether it can be regarded as a science at all. Ivan Pavlov
  • Like all Science, psychology is knowledge; and like Science again, it is knowledge of a definite thing, the mind. James Mark Baldwin
  • Psychology: The science that tells you what you already know in words you can’t understand.
  • Psychology
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Life as a science

  • Life is not an exact science, it is an art. Samuel Butler
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Management as a science

  • Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet. Henry Mintzberg
  • Management
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Raising children as a science

  • Raising children is a creative endeavour, an art, rather than a science. Bruno Bettelheim
  • Parenting
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Sociology as a science

  • Sociology: the science with the greatest number of methods and the least results.   H French Poincare
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Human relations as a science

  • Today the most useful person in the world is the man or woman who knows how to get along with other people. Human relations is the most important science in the broad curriculum of living. Stanley C. Allyn
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Philosophy as a science

  • Philosophy … is a science, and as such has no articles of faith; accordingly, in it nothing can be assumed as existing except what is either positively given empirically, or demonstrated through indubitable conclusions. Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Philosophy
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Statistics as a science

  • Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions. Evan Esar  
  • Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures. Evan Esar
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Miscellaneous thoughts

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Science is perception

  • Science is nothing but perception. Plato
  • Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out and minutely articulated. George Santayana
  • There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago. J. Robert Oppenheimer
  • Perception
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Science can frighten

  • It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man. Loren Eiseley  
  • The greater the scientific advance, the more primitive the fear. Don Delillo
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On a lighter note

  • A new study shows that American students are becoming less proficient in science, and if the trend continues, we will become a nation that’s science and chemistry illiterate. And you thought a lot of meth labs are blowing up now? Jay Leno
  • All science is either physics or stamp collecting.  Ernest Rutherford
  • Art is science made clear.  Wilson Mizner
  • Behavioural psychology is the science of pulling habits out of rats. Douglas Busch
  • Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage. H. L. Mencken
  • Don’t tell me about the scientific advances of the twentieth century. So men are planning a trip to the moon. So computers run every large industry in America. So body organs are being transplanted like perennials. Big deal! You show me a washer that will launder a pair of socks and return them to you as a pair, and I’ll light a firecracker. Erma Bombeck
  • Donated his brain to science before he was done using it.
  • Drug: A substance that when injected into a guinea pig produces a scientific paper.
  • Every revolutionary idea – in Science Politics Art or whatever – evokes three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the three phrases: 1. It is completely impossible; don’t waste my time. 2. It is possible but it is not worth doing. 3. I said it was a good idea all along.   Clarke’s Law of Revolutionary Ideas
  • Every scientific truth goes through three states: first people say it conflicts with the Bible; next they say it has been discovered before; lastly they say they always believed it.  Louis Agassiz
  • Great moments in science: Einstein discovers that time is actually money.  Gary Larson
  • He has left his body to science and science is contesting the will.  David Frost
  • I’m pretty sure I’m going to die without knowing what 95% of a scientific calculator is used for.
  • If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate. Henry J. Tillman
  • In my opinion, we don’t devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks. Bill Watterson
  • It is a scientific fact that your body will not absorb cholesterol if you take it from another person’s plate.  Dave Barry
  • It’s a scientific fact; for every year, a person lives in Hollywood they lose two points of their IQ.  Truman Capote
  • It’s so hard to believe in anything anymore. I mean, it’s like, religion, you really can’t take it seriously, because it seems so mythological, it seems so arbitrary…but, on the other hand, science is just pure empiricism, and by virtue of its method, it excludes metaphysics. I guess I wouldn’t believe in anything anymore if it weren’t for my lucky astrology mood watch. Steve Martin
  • Lester: If you play your cards right you could have my body. Halley Reed: Wouldn’t you rather leave it to science?  Mia Farrow
  • Men and women belong to different species and communication between them is a science still in its infancy.  Bill Cosby
  • My ignorance of science is such that if anyone mentioned copper nitrate I should think he was talking about policemen’s overtime. Frederick Donald Coggan
  • My theory [is] that modern science was largely conceived of as an answer to the servant problem and that it is generally practiced by those who lack a flair for conversation.  Fran Lebowitz
  • Now, I’m no scientist, but I know what endorphins are. They’re tiny little magical elves that swim through your blood stream and tell funny jokes to each other. When they reach your brain, you hear what they’re saying and that boosts your health and happiness. “Knock Knock… Who’s There?.. Little endorphin… Little endorphin who?… Little Endorphin Annie.” And then the endorphins laugh and then you laugh. See? Its Science.  Ellen DeGeneres
  • Peter Marshall: Modern science can’t really explain why but if you go outside at night stand on your head and stare at the full moon you will notice something unusual. What? Paul Lynde: Yes in eight seconds rain will fill up your nose.  Paul Lynde
  • Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it. Richard Feynman
  • Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement. Oscar Wilde
  • Science has always been too dignified to invent a good backscratcher.  Don Marquis
  • Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it.  Albert Einstein
  • Science is an intellectual dead end you know? It’s a lot of little guys in tweed suits cutting up frogs on foundation grants.  Woody Allen
  • Science is seeking a cure for thirst and I happen to be the guinea pig.  Norm
  • Science is Truth. Don’t be misled by fact.  Finagle’s Creed
  • Science was my most favourited subject, especially the Old Testament.  Jack McBrayer
  • Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough.  Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them.  Victoria Glendinning
  • Science: An orderly arrangement of what at the moment seems to be the facts.
  • Scientists are Peeping Toms at the keyhole of eternity. Arthur Koestler
  • Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten. Terry Pratchett
  • The Church says: The body is a sin. Science says: The body is a machine. Advertising says: The body is a business. The body says: I am a fiesta. Eduardo Galeano
  • The mathematical probability of a common cat doing exactly as it pleases is the one scientific absolute in the world. Lynn M. Osband
  • The most exciting phrase to hear in science the one that heralds new discoveries is not …Eureka!’ but  …That’s funny    Isaac Asimov
  • The National Academy of Sciences would be unable to give a unanimous decision if asked whether the sun would rise tomorrow.  Paul Ehrlich
  • The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. Mark Russell
  • The world is full of strange phenomena that cannot be explained by the laws of logic or science; Dennis Rodman is only one example.  Dave Barry
  • There are three stages in scientific discovery. First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally they credit the wrong person. Bill Bryson
  • When I die I’m leaving my body to science fiction.  Steven Wright
  • When science discovers the centre of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it. Bernard Baily
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