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256 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1988
“His most valuable contribution to physics is as a sustainer of morale; when he bursts into the room with his latest brain-wave and proceeds to expound on it with the most lavish sound effects and waving about of the arms, life at least is not dull.”
—Physicist Freeman Dyson on Richard Feynman, November 1947
”When we read about [scientific discoveries] in the newspaper, it says ‘Scientists say this discovery may have importance in the search for a cure for cancer.’ The paper is only interested in the use of the idea, not the idea itself. Hardly anyone can understand the importance of an idea, it is so remarkable. Except that, possibly, some children catch on. And when a child catches on to an idea like that, we have a scientist. It is too late for them to get the spirit when they are in our universities, so we must attempt to explain these ideas to children.”
“We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on. It is our responsibility to leave the people of the future a free hand. In the impetuous youth of humanity, we can make grave errors that can stunt our growth for a long time. This we will do if we say we have the answers now, so young and ignorant as we are. If we suppress all discussion, all criticism, proclaiming ‘This is the answer, my friends; man is saved!’ we will doom humanity for a long time to the chains of authority, confined to the limits of our present imagination. It has been done so many times before.”
Obsah radioaktivního fosforu v mozku krysy se sníží během dvou týdnů na polovinu. Co to teď znamená? To znamená, že fosfor v mozku krysy - a také v mém nebo vašem - není stejný jako pred čtrnácti dny. Což znamená, že atomy mozku se neustále obnovují. Ty, co tam byly předtím jsou pryč. Tak co je to ta naše mysl? Co jsou to ty atomy nadané vědomím? Brambory z minulého týdne.
"When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty—some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain"