„Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.“

—  Max Planck, Where is Science Going? (1932) Variants: Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature, for in the final analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.
Max Planck photo
Max Planck1
1858 - 1947
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„There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in part.“

—  Bram Stoker Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula 1847 - 1912

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„It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in nature.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
As quoted in Introduction to Philosophy (1935) by George Thomas White Patrick and Frank Miller Chapman, p. 44 Variant translations: I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence — as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvellous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavor to comprehend a portion, be it never so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.

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„Natural science does not simply describe and explain nature; it is part of the interplay between nature and ourselves; it describes nature as exposed to our nature of questioning.“

—  Werner Heisenberg German theoretical physicist 1901 - 1976
Context: [I]n the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory we can indeed proceed without mentioning ourselves as individuals, but we cannot disregard the fact that natural science is formed by men. Natural science does not simply describe and explain nature; it is part of the interplay between nature and ourselves; it describes nature as exposed to our nature of questioning. This was a possibility of which Descartes could not have thought, but it makes a sharp separation between the world and the I impossible. If one follows the great difficulty which even eminent scientists like Einstein had in understanding and accepting the Copenhagen interpretation... one can trace the roots... to the Cartesian partition.... it will take a long time for it [this partition] to be replaced by a really different attitude toward the problem of reality. <!--p. 81

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„In each case we are confronted by the same mysterious act — the manifestation of something of a wholly different order, a reality that does not belong to our world, in objects that are an integral part of our natural "profane" world.“

—  Mircea Eliade Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer and philosopher 1907 - 1986
Context: Man becomes aware of the sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself, as something wholly different from the profane. To designate the act of manifestation of the sacred, we have proposed the term hierophany. It is a fitting term, because it does not imply anything further; it expresses no more than is implicit in its etymological content, i. e., that something sacred shows itself to us. It could be said that the history of religions — from the most primitive to the most highly developed — is constituted by a great number of hierophanies, by manifestations of sacred realities. From the most elementary hierophany — e. g. manifestation of the sacred in some ordinary object, a stone or a tree — to the supreme hierophany (which, for a Christian, is the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ) there is no solution of continuity. In each case we are confronted by the same mysterious act — the manifestation of something of a wholly different order, a reality that does not belong to our world, in objects that are an integral part of our natural "profane" world. The Sacred and the Profane : The Nature of Religion: The Significance of Religious Myth, Symbolism, and Ritual within Life and Culture (1961), translated from the French by William R. Trask, [first published in German as Das Heilige und das Profane (1957)]

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„I am saying to modern scientists and theologians: don't imagine that our latest ideas about the Big Bang or the human genome have solved the mysteries of the universe or the mysteries of life. Here are Bacon's words again: "The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding".“

—  Freeman Dyson theoretical physicist and mathematician 1923
Context: I am saying to modern scientists and theologians: don't imagine that our latest ideas about the Big Bang or the human genome have solved the mysteries of the universe or the mysteries of life. Here are Bacon's words again: "The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding". In the last four hundred years, science has fulfilled many of Bacon's dreams, but it still does not come close to capturing the full subtlety of nature.

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„We are disposed, somewhat by culture and somewhat by nature, to solve our problems by violence, and even to enjoy doing so.“

—  Wendell Berry author 1934
Context: We are disposed, somewhat by culture and somewhat by nature, to solve our problems by violence, and even to enjoy doing so. And yet by now all of us must at least have suspected that our right to live, to be free, and to be at peace is not guaranteed by any act of violence. It can be guaranteed only by our willingness that all other persons should live, be free, and be at peace — and by our willingness to use or give our own lives to make that possible.

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„The purpose of science in understanding who we are as humans is not to rob us of our sense of mystery, not to cure us of our sense of mystery. The purpose of science is to constantly reinvent and reinvigorate that mystery.“

—  Robert M. Sapolsky American endocrinologist 1957
Context: The purpose of science in understanding who we are as humans is not to rob us of our sense of mystery, not to cure us of our sense of mystery. The purpose of science is to constantly reinvent and reinvigorate that mystery. To always use it in a context where we are helping people in trying to resist the forces of ideology that we are all familiar with.

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„A part is greater than the whole;
By hints are mysteries told.“

—  Lucy Larcom American teacher, poet, author 1824 - 1893
Context: A part is greater than the whole; By hints are mysteries told. The fringes of eternity, — God's sweeping garment-fold, In that bright shred of glittering sea, I reach out for and hold.

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„God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And, I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see.“

—  Frank Lloyd Wright American architect (1867-1959) 1867 - 1959
Context: God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And, I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see. If we wish to know the truth concerning anything, we'll find it in the nature of that thing. As quoted in Truth Against the World : Frank Lloyd Wright speaks for an organic architecture (1987) edited by Patrick J. Meehan <!-- p. 29 -->