„In private many scientists admit that science has no explanation for the beginning of life.. . . Darwin never imagined the exquisitely profound complexity that exists even at the most basic levels of life.“

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Louis Pasteur photo

„How do you know that the incessant progress of science will not compel scientists to consider that life has existed during eternity, and not matter?“

—  Louis Pasteur French chemist and microbiologist 1822 - 1895
Context: I have been looking for spontaneous generation for twenty years without discovering it. No, I do not judge it impossible. But what allows you to make it the origin of life? You place matter before life and you decide that matter has existed for all eternity. How do you know that the incessant progress of science will not compel scientists to consider that life has existed during eternity, and not matter? You pass from matter to life because your intelligence of today cannot conceive things otherwise. How do you know that in ten thousand years, one will not consider it more likely that matter has emerged from life? You move from matter to life because your current intelligence, so limited compared to what will be the future intelligence of the naturalist, tells you that things cannot be understood otherwise. If you want to be among the scientific minds, what only counts is that you will have to get rid of a priori reasoning and ideas, and you will have to do necessary deductions not giving more confidence than we should to deductions from wild speculation. Partially quoted in René Dubos, Louis Pasteur: Free Lance of Science, Da Capo Press, Inc., 1950. p 396. Original in French: «La génération spontanée, je la cherche sans la découvrir depuis vingt ans. Non, je ne la juge pas impossible. Mais quoi donc vous autorise à vouloir qu'elle ait été l'origine de la vie? Vous placez la matière avant la vie et vous faites la matière existante de toute éternité. Qui vous dit que, le progrès incessant de la science n'obligera pas les savants, qui vivront dans un siècle, dans mille ans, dans dix mille ans... à affirmer que la vie a été de toute éternité et non la matière.? Vous passez de la matière à la vie parce que votre intelligence actuelle, si bornée par rapport à ce que sera l'intelligence des naturalistes futurs, vous dit qu'elle ne peut comprendre autrement les choses. Qui m'assure que dans dix mille ans on ne considérera pas que c'est de la vie qu'on croira impossible de ne pas passer à la matière? Si vous voulez être au nombre des esprits scientifiques, s, qui seuls comptent, il faut vous débarrasser des idées et des raisonnements a priori et vous en tenir aux déductions nécessaires des faits établis et ne pas accorder plus de confiance qu'il ne faut aux déductions de pures hypothèses." (Pasteur et la philosophie,Patrice Pinet, Editions L'Harmattan, p. 63.

John Maynard Smith photo
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Alan Watts photo
Wilhelm Reich photo

„I am well aware of the fact that the human race has known about the existence of a universal energy related to life for many ages. However, the basic task of natural science consisted of making this energy usable.“

—  Wilhelm Reich Austrian-American psychoanalyst 1897 - 1957
Context: I am well aware of the fact that the human race has known about the existence of a universal energy related to life for many ages. However, the basic task of natural science consisted of making this energy usable. This is the sole difference between my work and all preceding knowledge. Archives of the Orgone Institute; quoted in "The New American Medicine" in Journal of The Mindshift Institute (2002) http://mindshiftinstitute.org/Article_New_American_Medicine.htm

Michael J. Behe photo
Florence Nightingale photo

„Poetry and imagination begin life.“

—  Florence Nightingale English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing 1820 - 1910
Context: Poetry and imagination begin life. A child will fall on its knees on the gravel walk at the sight of a pink hawthorn in full flower, when it is by itself, to praise God for it.

Michael J. Behe photo
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Christopher Moore photo
Bram Stoker photo

„Logically speaking, even the life of an actor has no preface. He begins, and that is all.“

—  Bram Stoker Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula 1847 - 1912
Context: Logically speaking, even the life of an actor has no preface. He begins, and that is all. And such beginning is usually obscure; but faintly remembered at the best. Art is a completion; not merely a history of endeavour. It is only when completeness has been obtained that the beginnings of endeavour gain importance, and that the steps by which it has been won assume any shape of permanent interest. After all, the struggle for supremacy is so universal that the matters of hope and difficulty of one person are hardly of general interest. When the individual has won out from the huddle of strife, the means and steps of his succeeding become of interest, either historically or in the educational aspect — but not before. From every life there may be a lesson to some one; but in the teeming millions of humanity such lessons can but seldom have any general or exhaustive force. The mere din of strife is too incessant for any individual sound to carry far. Fame, who rides in higher atmosphere, can alone make her purpose heard. Well did the framers of picturesque idea understand their work when in her hand they put a symbolic trumpet. Preface

Isaac Asimov photo

„It is very likely that there are many, many planets carrying life, even intelligent life, thoughout the universe, because there are so many stars. By sheer chance, even if those chances are small, a great many life forms and a great many intelligences may exist.“

—  Isaac Asimov American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, known for his works of science fiction and popula... 1920 - 1992
Interview http://americanindian.net/asimov.html in Southwest Airlines Magazine 1979)

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Ben Stein photo
Michel De Montaigne photo

„There were many terrible things in my life and most of them never happened.“

—  Michel De Montaigne (1533-1592) French-Occitan author, humanistic philosopher, statesman 1533 - 1592

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