Monday, January 13, 2014

Science and Imagination

"It’s easy feel small and powerless when faced with this vast reality. Indeed, we humans have had this experience before, over and over again discovering that what we thought was everything was merely a small part of a larger structure: our planet, our solar system, our Galaxy, our universe and perhaps a hierarchy of parallel universes, nested like Russian dolls. However, I find this empowering as well, because we've repeatedly underestimated not only the size of our cosmos, but also the power of our human mind to understand it. Our cave-dwelling ancestors had just as big brains as we have, and since they didn't spend their evenings watching TV, I'm sure they asked questions like “What's all that stuff up there in the sky?” and “Where does it all come from?”. They'd been told beautiful myths and stories, but little did they realize that they had it in them to actually figure out the answers to these questions for themselves. And that the secret lay not in learning to fly into space to examine the celestial objects, but in letting their human minds fly. When our human imagination first got off the ground and started deciphering the mysteries of space, it was done with mental power rather than rocket power."
Max Tegmark, M.I.T. professor department of Physics
"Science is imagination in a straitjacket."
Richard Feynman

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