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Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder by Richard Dawkins
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Unweaving the Rainbow Quotes Showing 1-27 of 27
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“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, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“There is an anaesthetic of familiarity, a sedative of ordinariness which dulls the senses and hides the wonder of existence. For those of us not gifted in poetry, it is at least worth while from time to time making an effort to shake off the anaesthetic. What is the best way of countering the sluggish habitutation brought about by our gradual crawl from babyhood? We can't actually fly to another planet. But we can recapture that sense of having just tumbled out to life on a new world by looking at our own world in unfamiliar ways.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“[I]sn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.
After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with colour, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked -- as I am surprisingly often -- why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be a part of it?”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“The adult world may seem a cold and empty place, with no fairies and no Father Christmas, no Toyland or Narnia, no Happy Hunting Ground where mourned pets go, and no angels - guardian or garden variety. But there are also no devils, no hellfire, no wicked witches, no ghosts, no haunted houses, no daemonic possession, no bogeymen or ogres. Yes, Teddy and Dolly turn out not to be really alive. But there are warm, live, speaking, thinking, adult bedf ellows to hold, and many of us find it a more rewarding kind of love than the childish affection for stuffed toys, however soft and cuddly they may be.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“I believe that an orderly universe, one indifferent to human preoccupations, in which everything has an expla nation even if we still have a long way to go before we find it, is a more beautiful, more wonderful place than a universe tricked out with capricious, ad hoc magic.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“We're going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“Not to grow up properly is to retain our 'caterpillar' quality from childhood (where it is a virtue) into adulthood (where it becomes a vice). In childhood our credulity serves us well. It helps us to pack, with extraordinary rapidity, our skulls full of the wisdom of our parents and our ancestors. But if we don't grow out of it in the fullness of time, our caterpillar nature makes us a sitting target for astrologers, mediums, gurus, evangelists and quacks. The genius of the human child, mental caterpillar extraordinary, is for soaking up information and ideas, not for criticizing them. If critical faculties later grow it will be in spite of, not because of, the inclinations of childhood. The blotting paper of the child's brain is the unpromising seedbed, the base upon which later the sceptical attitude, like a struggling mustard plant, may possibly grow. We need to replace the automatic credulity of childhood with the constructive scepticism of adult science.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“In very different ways, the possibility that the universe is teeming with life, and the opposite possibility that we are totally alone, are equally exciting. Either way, the urge to know more about the universe seems to me irresistible, and I cannot imagine that anybody of truly poetic sensibility could disagree.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“The fact that we slowly apprehend our world, rather than suddenly discover it, should not subtract from its wonder.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“There is an anaesthetic of familiarity, a sedative of ordinariness, which dulls the senses and hides the wonder of existence.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“Each one of us is a city of cells, and each cell a town of bacteria. You are a gigantic megalopolis of bacteria.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“How it feels to me, and I guess to you as well, is that the present moves from the past to the future, like a tiny spotlight, inching its way along a gigantic ruler of time. Everything behind the spotlight is in darkness, the darkness of the dead past. Everything ahead of the spotlight is in the darkness of the unknown future. The odds of your century being the one in the spotlight are the same as the odds that a penny, tossed down at random, will land on a particular ant crawling somewhere along the road from New York to San Francisco. In other words, it is overwhelmingly probable that you are dead.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“In one of those mythic remarks of uncertain authorship, Michael Faraday is alleged to have been asked what was the use of science. ‘Sir,’ Faraday replied. ‘Of what use is a new-born child?’ The obvious thing for Faraday (or Benjamin Franklin, or whoever it was) to have meant was that a baby might be no use for anything at present, but it has great potential for the future. I now like to think that he meant something else, too: What is the use of bringing a baby into the world if the only thing it does with its life is just work to go on living? If everything is judged by how ‘useful’ it is — useful for staying alive, that is — we are left facing a futile circularity. There must be some added value. At least a part of life should be devoted to living that life, not just working to stop it ending.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“The most beautiful thing we can experience,’ he said, ‘is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“Arta reprezentationala de toate tipurile (si, probabil, arta non-reprezentationala de asemenea) depinde de observatia ca un lucru poate tine locul altuia si ca aceasta substitutie poate fi utila pentru gandire sau comunicare.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“Suntem norocosi, noi suntem cei care vom muri. Cei mai multi oameni nu vor muri niciodata pentru ca ei nu se vor naste niciodata. Numarul de oameni potentiali care s-ar fi putut afla aici in locul meu, dar care de fapt nu vor vedea niciodata lumina zilei, depaseste firele de nisip din Peninsula Arabica. Cu siguranta, printre aceste fantome nenascute se afla poeti mai mari decat Keats, oameni de stiinta mai mari decat Newton. Stim acest lucru pentru ca numarul de oameni posibili in urma combinarii ADN-ului nostru depaseste cu mult numarul actual de persoane. In ciuda acestei realitati stupefiante, tu si eu, absolut obisnuiti, suntem aici.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“The mystic is content to bask in the wonder and revel in a mystery that we were not 'meant' to understand. The scientist feels the same wonder but is restless, not content; recognizes the mystery as profound, then adds, 'But we're working on it.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“Indeed, I rather hope that I shall be dead when you do. Don’t misunderstand me. I love life and hope to go on for a long time yet, but any author wants his works to reach the largest possible readership.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“Only human beings guide their behaviour by a knowledge of what happened before they were born and a preconception of what may happen after they are dead; thus only humans find their way by a light that illuminates more than the patch of ground they stand on. P. B. and J. S. MEDAWAR, The Life Science (1977)”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“Premature erection of alleged philosophical problems is sometimes a smokescreen for mischief.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“The meaningless wordplays of modish francophone savants, splendidly exposed in Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont’s Intellectual Impostures (1998), seem to have no other function than to impress the gullible.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“Creierul este o masă de materie de circa 1300g, pe care o puteți ține în mână și care poate concepe un univers de o sută de miliarde de ani-lumină în diametru.” Marian C. Diamond”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
“Isaac Asimov ofera o ilustrare dramatica: este ca si cum toata materia din univers ar fi un bob de nisip, asezat in mijlocul unei camere goale cu lungimea, inaltimea si latimea de 32 km. Si totusi, in acelasi timp, este ca si cum acel bob unic de nisip a fost pulverizat intr-o mie de milioane de milioane de milioane de fragmente, pentru ca acesta e numarul aproximativ de stele din univers. Acestea sunt unele dintre faptele astronomiei si puteti vedea cat sunt de frumoase.”
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder