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#10380Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.
#10381Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves
up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
-- Winston Churchill
#10382Modern psychology takes completely for granted that behavior and neural
function are perfectly correlated, that one is completely caused by the
other. There is no separate soul or lifeforce to stick a finger into the
brain now and then and make neural cells do what they would not otherwise.
Actually, of course, this is a working assumption only. ... It is quite
conceivable that someday the assumption will have to be rejected. But it
is important also to see that we have not reached that day yet: the working
assumption is a necessary one and there is no real evidence opposed to it.
Our failure to solve a problem so far does not make it insoluble. One cannot
logically be a determinist in physics and biology, and a mystic in psychology.
-- D.O. Hebb, "Organization of Behavior: A Neuropsychological
Theory", 1949
#10383More than any time in history, mankind now faces a crossroads. One path
leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction.
Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
-- Woody Allen, "Side Effects"
#10384"Multiply in your head" (ordered the compassionate Dr. Adams) "365,365,365,
365,365,365 by 365,365,365,365,365,365". He [ten-year-old Truman Henry
Safford] flew around the room like a top, pulled his pantaloons over the
tops of his boots, bit his hands, rolled his eyes in their sockets, sometimes
smiling and talking, and then seeming to be in an agony, until, in not more
than one minute, said he, 133,491,850,208,566,925,016,658,299,941,583,225!"
An electronic computer might do the job a little faster but it wouldn't be
as much fun to watch.
-- James R. Newman, "The World of Mathematics"
#10385Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem.
-- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"
#10386My geometry teacher was sometimes acute, and sometimes obtuse, but always,
always, he was right.
[That's an interesting angle. I wonder if there are any parallels?]
#10387 My message is not that biological determinists were bad scientists or
even that they were always wrong. Rather, I believe that science must be
understood as a social phenomenon, a gutsy, human enterprise, not the work of
robots programmed to collect pure information. I also present this view as
an upbeat for science, not as a gloomy epitaph for a noble hope sacrificed on
the alter of human limitations.
I believe that a factual reality exists and that science, though often
in an obtuse and erratic manner, can learn about it. Galileo was not shown
the instruments of torture in an abstract debate about lunar motion. He had
threatened the Church's conventional argument for social and doctrinal
stability: the static world order with planets circling about a central
earth, priests subordinate to the Pope and serfs to their lord. But the
Church soon made its peace with Galileo's cosmology. They had no choice; the
earth really does revolve about the sun.
-- S.J. Gould, "The Mismeasure of Man"
#10388Mystics always hope that science will some day overtake them.
-- Booth Tarkington
#10389Natural laws have no pity.
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