Science would be ruined if (like sports) it were to put competition above everything else, and if it were to clarify the rules of competition by withdrawing entirely into narrowly defined specialties. The rare scholars who are nomads-by-choice are essential to the intellectual welfare of the settled disciplines.
…a science is said to be useful if its development tends to accentuate the existing inequalities in the destribution of wealth, or more directly promotes the destruction of human life.
Any impatient student of mathematics or science or engineering who is irked by having algebraic symbolism thrust upon him should try to get along without it for a week.
Eric Temple Bell
From Mount Hollywood, Los Angeles looks rather nice, enveloped in a haze of changing colors. Actually, and in spite of all the healthful sunshine and ocean breezes, it is a bad place – full of old, dying people, who were born old of tired pioneer parents, victims of America – full of curious wild and poisonous growths, decadent religious cults and fake science, and wildcat enterprises, which, with their aim for quick profit, are doomed to collapse and drag down multitudes of people.
A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.
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George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)
Einstein’s space is no closer to reality than Van Gogh’s sky. 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 Rembrant nude differs from a nude by Manet.
Arthur Koestler (1905 – 1983), The Act of Creation, London, 1970, p. 253
In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists – that is why they invented hell.
Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)
Observance of customs and laws can very easily be a cloak for a lie so subtle that our fellow human beings are unable to detect it. It may help us to escape all criticism, we may even be able to deceive ourselves in the belief of our obvious righteousness. But deep down, below the surface of the average man’s conscience, he hears a voice whispering, “There is something not right,” no matter how much his rightness is supported by public opinion or by the moral code.
Carl G. Jung, in the introduction to Frances G. Wickes’ “Analysis der Kinderseele” (The Inner World of Childhood), 1931
Science is nothing but trained and organized common sense.
Thomas H. Huxley (1825 – 1895