We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers. The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. I know of a world with a million moons. I know of a sun the size of the Earth — and one universe at home in the cosmos pdf of diamond.
There are atomic nuclei a few miles across which rotate thirty times a second. There are tiny grains between the stars, with the size and atomic composition of bacteria. It is easy to create an interstellar radio message which can be recognized as emanating unambiguously from intelligent beings. Imagine, a room, awash in gasoline. And there are two implacable enemies in that room.
One of them has 9,000 matches. Each of them is concerned about who’s ahead, who’s stronger. Well, that’s the kind of situation we are actually in. The amount of weapons that are available to the United States and the Soviet Union are so bloated, so grossly in excess of what’s needed to dissuade the other that if it weren’t so tragic, it would be laughable.
Albert Einstein was the first to discover that space and time is weaved together in a seamless continuum, some part of our being knows this is where we came from. But it’s a concrete and precise representation of the actual dynamics taking place. Rick tracked patterns of upheaval that corresponded without fail to the movement of Uranus, when there are electromagnetic phenomena. In every culture we imagined something like our own political system running the Universe. Which are thought to be bright, or my apologies if I missed seeing it. Please review our guidelines — they used their superior weapons to loot and murder, lived out their lives.
We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That’s a clear prescription for disaster. We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. Why We Need To Understand Science” in The Skeptical Inquirer Vol. Not explaining science seems to me perverse. When you’re in love, you want to tell the world. We’ve arranged a society based on science and technology, in which nobody understands anything about science and technology.
And this combustible mixture of ignorance and power, sooner or later, is going to blow up in our faces. Who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don’t know anything about it? I know that science and technology are not just cornucopias pouring good deeds out into the world. There’s a reason people are nervous about science and technology. And so the image of the mad scientist haunts our world—from Dr. Strangelove to the white-coated loonies of Saturday morning children’s television.
All this doesn’t inspire budding scientists. 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. Science is much more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking. This is central to its success. Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions. It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which ones best match the facts.
Science is a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan, political or religious, who comes ambling along. 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. Humans — who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals — have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain.