„No former age was ever in such a favorable position with regard to the sources of our knowledge of human nature. Psychology, ethnology, anthropology, and history have amassed an astonishingly rich and constantly increasing body of facts. Our technical instruments for observation and experimentation have been immensely improved, and our analyses have become sharper and more penetrating. We appear, nevertheless, not yet to have found a method for the mastery and organization of this material…. Unless we succeed in finding a clue of Ariadne to lead us out of this labyrinth, we can have no real insight into the general character of human culture; we shall remain lost in a mass of disconnected and disintegrated data which seem to lack all conceptual unity.“

—  Ernst Cassirer, An Essay on Man (1944), End of Chapter 1
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Ernst Cassirer
1874 - 1945

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„We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.“

—  Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science
Physics and Philosophy (1958), This has also appeared in the alternate form: "What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."

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„We begin to wonder if it is due to the fact that we don't know enough. But it can't be that. Because in terms of accumulated knowledge we know more today than men have known in any period of human history. We have the facts at our disposal. We know more about mathematics, about science, about social science, and philosophy than we've ever known in any period of the world's history. So it can't be because we don't know enough. And then we wonder if it is due to the fact that our scientific genius lags behind. That is, if we have not made enough progress scientifically. Well then, it can't be that. For our scientific progress over the past years has been amazing.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
1950s, Rediscovering Lost Values (1954), Context: There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong. I don't think we have to look too far to see that. I'm sure that most of you would agree with me in making that assertion. And when we stop to analyze the cause of our world's ills, many things come to mind. We begin to wonder if it is due to the fact that we don't know enough. But it can't be that. Because in terms of accumulated knowledge we know more today than men have known in any period of human history. We have the facts at our disposal. We know more about mathematics, about science, about social science, and philosophy than we've ever known in any period of the world's history. So it can't be because we don't know enough. And then we wonder if it is due to the fact that our scientific genius lags behind. That is, if we have not made enough progress scientifically. Well then, it can't be that. For our scientific progress over the past years has been amazing. Man through his scientific genius has been able to dwarf distance and place time in chains, so that today it's possible to eat breakfast in New York City and supper in London, England. Back in about 1753 it took a letter three days to go from New York City to Washington, and today you can go from here to China in less time than that. It can't be because man is stagnant in his scientific progress. Man's scientific genius has been amazing. I think we have to look much deeper than that if we are to find the real cause of man's problems and the real cause of the world's ills today. If we are to really find it I think we will have to look in the hearts and souls of men.

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„All the knowledge we have of nature depends upon facts; for without observations and experiments our natural philosophy would only be a science of terms and an unintelligible jargon.“

—  John Theophilus Desaguliers French-born British natural philosopher and clergyman 1683 - 1744
Course of Experimental Philosophy, 1745, Context: All the knowledge we have of nature depends upon facts; for without observations and experiments our natural philosophy would only be a science of terms and an unintelligible jargon. But then we must call in Geometry and Arithmetics, to our Assistance, unless we are willing to content ourselves with natural History and conjectural Philosophy. For, as many causes concur in the production of compound effects, we are liable to mistake the predominant cause, unless we can measure the quantity and the effect produced, compare them with, and distinguish them from, each other, to find out the adequate cause of each single effect, and what must be the result of their joint action. p. v: Preface

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„I have always fiercely defended the position that we should base our view of the world on the state of our knowledge, on fact, and not on what we would like it to be.“

—  James D. Watson American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist. 1928
To question genetic intelligence is not racism (2007), Context: Science is no stranger to controversy. The pursuit of discovery, of knowledge, is often uncomfortable and disconcerting. I have never been one to shy away from stating what I believe to be the truth, however difficult it might prove to be. This has, at times, got me in hot water. Rarely more so than right now, where I find myself at the centre of a storm of criticism. I can understand much of this reaction. For if I said what I was quoted as saying, then I can only admit that I am bewildered by it. To those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief. I have always fiercely defended the position that we should base our view of the world on the state of our knowledge, on fact, and not on what we would like it to be. This is why genetics is so important. For it will lead us to answers to many of the big and difficult questions that have troubled people for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. But those answers may not be easy, for, as I know all too well, genetics can be cruel. My own son may be one of its victims. Warm and perceptive at the age of 37, Rufus cannot lead an independent life because of schizophrenia, lacking the ability to engage in day-to-day activities.

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