„The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.“

—  Muriel Rukeyser, The Speed of Darkness (1968), "The Speed of Darkness"; this line is sometimes misquoted as "The Universe is made of stories not atoms."
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Muriel Rukeyser39
poet and political activist 1913 - 1980
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„The theory of the "expanding universe" might also be called the theory of the "shrinking atom".“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington British astrophysicist 1882 - 1944
The Expanding Universe (1933), Context: All change is relative. The universe is expanding relatively to our common material standards; our material standards are shrinking relatively to the size of the universe. The theory of the "expanding universe" might also be called the theory of the "shrinking atom". <...>

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E.M. Forster photo

„If God could tell the story of the Universe, the Universe would become fictitious.“

—  E.M. Forster English novelist 1879 - 1970
Aspects of the Novel (1927), Chapter Three: People

Václav Havel photo

„Because it is founded on the search for universal laws, it cannot deal with singularity, that is, with uniqueness. The universe is a unique event and a unique story, and so far we are the unique point of that story. But unique events and stories are the domain of poetry, not science.“

—  Václav Havel playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and 1st President of the Czech Republic 1936 - 2011
The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World (1994), Context: Until recently, it might have seemed that we were an unhappy bit of mildew on a heavenly body whirling in space among many that have no mildew on them at all. this was something that classical science could explain. Yet, the moment it begins to appear that we are deeply connected to the entire universe, science reaches the outer limits of its powers. Because it is founded on the search for universal laws, it cannot deal with singularity, that is, with uniqueness. The universe is a unique event and a unique story, and so far we are the unique point of that story. But unique events and stories are the domain of poetry, not science. With the formulation of the Anthropic Cosmological Principle, science has found itself on the border between formula and story, between science and myth. In that, however, science has paradoxically returned, in a roundabout way, to man, and offers him — in new clothing — his lost integrity. It does so by anchoring him once more in the cosmos.

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„Life exists in the universe only because the carbon atom possesses certain exceptional properties.“

—  James Jeans British mathematician and astronomer 1877 - 1946
The Mysterious Universe (1930), p. 19, Pelican Books 1938 reprint of 1931 2nd ed.

Neil deGrasse Tyson photo
Neil deGrasse Tyson photo
 Novalis photo

„Love works magic.
It is the final purpose
Of the world story,
The Amen of the universe.“

—  Novalis German poet and writer 1772 - 1801
Blüthenstaub (1798), Unsequenced, Die Liebe wirkt magisch. Sie ist der Endzweck der Weltgeschichte, das Amen des Universums. Variant translations: Love is the final end of the world's history, the Amen of the universe. As translated by W. Hastie in Thoughts on Religion, Pt. 1, "Hymns and Thoughts on Religion" (1888), edited by W. Hastie Love is the final purpose of world history — the Amen of the universe. Love works magically... Love causes magic...

 Democritus photo

„Now his principal doctrines were these. That atoms and the vacuum were the beginning of the universe; and that everything else existed only in opinion. (trans. Yonge 1853)“

—  Democritus Ancient Greek philosopher, pupil of Leucippus, founder of the atomic theory 460
The first principles of the universe are atoms and empty space; everything else is merely thought to exist. (trans. by Robert Drew Hicks 1925)

Carl Sagan photo

„The universe was made on purpose, the circle said.“

—  Carl Sagan American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science educator 1934 - 1996
Contact (1985), Context: The universe was made on purpose, the circle said. In whatever galaxy you happen to find yourself, you take the circumference of a circle, divide it by its diameter, measure closely enough, and uncover a miracle — another circle, drawn kilometers downstream of the decimal point. There would be richer messages farther in. It doesn't matter what you look like, or what you're made of, or where you come from. As long as you live in this universe, and have a modest talent for mathematics, sooner or later you'll find it. It's already here. It's inside everything. You don't have to leave your planet to find it. In the fabric of space and in the nature of matter, as in a great work of art, there is, written small, the artist’s signature. Standing over humans, gods, and demons, subsuming Caretakers and Tunnel builders, there is an intelligence that antedates the universe. Chapter 24 (p. 431)

Lorin Morgan-Richards photo

„The universe is made of our thoughts. Our thoughts are infinite.“

—  Lorin Morgan-Richards American poet, cartoonist, and children's writer 1975
Excerpt from the poem Celestial Son in the book Dark Letter Days: Collected Works (2016) by Lorin Morgan-Richards.

Carl Sagan photo

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