Excellent words from people I have learned from.
Pale Blue Dot
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.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Late in the Day
science describes accurately from outside, poetry describes accurately from inside, both celebrate what they describe.
Duties of the Citizen
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat… The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be a cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder.
Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi
The Systems View of Life
The problem, as already mentioned, is that Intelligent Design is spreading, carrying with itself ignorance and misconceptions about science. Its success is due to a combination of factors; but, basically, it rests on the fact that preaching ignorance and fear is rather efficient in convincing uncritical, simple-minds listeners; and this is combined with a philosophy well rooted in fundamentalism, and turned into a political movement, with political lobbies, usually associated with wealthy, ring-wing politicians. To fight against this cloud of falsehood should be the duty of any scientist who cares for accuracy and the respect of reason. It is the old battle between Galileo and the clergy, the eternal fight against blindness and superstition.
opening address to Forum 2000, international symposia, Prague, Havel 1997
It is my deep conviction that the only option is for something to change in the sphere of the spirit, in the sphere of human conscience, in the actual attitude of man towards the world and his understanding of himself and his place in the overall order of existence.
taken from The Systems View of Life
“Knowledge is like a sphere; the greater its volume, the larger its contact with the unknown.”
Einstein, 1949, p.5
The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science… the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvelous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavor to comprehend a porption, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.
To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.