“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?”
“If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?”
“A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At teh end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever, " said the old lady. "But it turtles all the way down!”
“Ever since the dawn of civilization, people have not been content to see events as unconnected and inexplicable. They have craved an understanding of the underlying order in the world. Today we still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from. Humanity's deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.”
“If there really is a complete unified theory that governs everything, it presumably also determines your actions. But it does so in a way that is impossible to calculate for an organism that is as complicated as a human being. The reason we say that humans have free will is because we can't predict what they will do.”
“The increase of disorder or entropy is what distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time.”
“IF you remember every word in this book, your memory will have recorded about two million pieces of information: the order in your brain will have increased by about two million units. However, while you have been reading the book, you will have converted at least a thousand calories of ordered energy, in the form of food, into disordered energy, in the form of heat that you lose to the air around you by convection and sweat. This will increase the disorder of the universe by about twenty million million million million units - or about ten million million million times the increase in order in your brain - and that's if you remember everything in this book.”
“Only time(whatever that may be) will tell.”
“Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory.”
“The rate of progress is so rapid that what one learns at school or university is always a bit out of date. Only a few people can keep up with the rapidly advancing frontier of knowledge, and they have to devote their whole time to it and specialize in a small area. The rest of the population has little idea of the advances that are being made
or the excitement they are generating.”
“In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, "The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language." What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!”
“We find ourselves in a bewildering world. We want to make sense of what we see around us and to ask: What is the nature of the universe? What is our place in it and where did it and we come from? Why is it the way it is?”
“There could be whole antiworlds and antipeople made out of antiparticles. However, if you meet your antiself, don’t shake hands! You would both vanish in a great flash of light.”
“Today will still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from. Humanity's deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.”
“What did God do before he created the universe?”
“As we shall see, the concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the universe. This was first pointed out by St. Augustine. When asked: "What did God do before he created the universe?" Augustine didn't reply: "He was preparing Hell for people who asked such questions.”
“... if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God.”
“A million million million million (1 with twenty-four zeros after it) miles, the size of the observable universe.”
“A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements. It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations.”
“Einstein never accepted that the universe was governed by chance; his feelings were summed up in his famous statement “God does not play dice.”
“It is said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But the universe is the ultimate free lunch.”
“Or in other words, why does disorder increase in the same direction of time as that in which the universe expands?”
“…only in the few universes that are like ours would intelligent beings develop and ask the question: “Why is the universe the way we see it?” The answer is then simple: If it had been any different, we would not be here!”
“A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”
“We now know that our galaxy is only one of some hundred thousand million that can be seen using modern telescopes, each galaxy itself containing some hundred thousand million stars.”
“This means it will take about a thousand million million million million years for the earth to run into the sun, so there’s no immediate cause for worry!”
“We have developed from the geocentric cosmologies of Ptolemy and his forebears, through the heliocentric cosmology of Copernicus and Galileo, to the modern picture in which the earth is a medium-sized planet orbiting around an average star in the outer suburbs of an ordinary spiral galaxy, which is itself only one of about a million million galaxies in the observable universe.”
“The pain of her absence makes me even more aware of how much she's become a part of me.”
“It was tied with a Windsor knot. Bond mistrusted anyone who tied his tie with a Windsor knot. It showed too much vanity. It was often the mark of a cad. Bond decided to forget his prejudice.”
“I thought you'd be better at this."
Bridget shrugged. "'Cause your dad's a cop."
"Right," Matt said, shifting his body so he wasn't blocking the light. "Why wouldn't he teach me Breaking and Entering 101?"
Bridget stifled a yawn. "Might be helpful now."
"Patience, grasshopper." Matt inserted a second metal prong into the lock. "I know a few tricks."
Bridget heard a soft click, and Matt raised his eyebrows in an unspoken "I told you so" before twisting the handle. The door swung open.
"Slick, MacGyver," Bridget whispered, patting him on the head. "Remind me to give you a cookie.”
“Thus 2t Grams confronts us with the same interpretive dilemma as the one in The Wings of the Dove: is the suicidal sacrificial gesture a true ethical act or not? In contrast to Wings, the answer here is yes: there is no narcissistic staging of one's death at work when Paul shoots himself, no manipulative strategy of using one's death as a gift destined to secretly sabotage what it appears to make possible.”
“chest. Everything looked strange and slow. Vernon bent over him. He felt him give his chest a big shove, and he felt his arms being raised. All at once the pressure seemed to break, and he coughed violently. Vernon rolled him to his side. He coughed, coughed again, felt a blinding icy headache take hold. Reality returned with a vengeance. Tom struggled to sit up. Vernon put his arms under his shoulders and supported him. “What happened?” “This foolish brother of yours, this Vernito, jumped into that river and pulled you out from under those logs. I have never seen such craziness in my life.” “He did?” Tom turned and looked at Vernon. He was soaked, and his forehead was cut. Blood and water ran together into his beard. Vernon grasped him, and he stood up. His head cleared a little more, and the pounding headache began to subside. He look down into the roaring chute of water ripping into the frenzied pool jammed full of broken tree trunks and branches. He looked at Vernon again. It finally sank in. “You,” he said incredulously. Vernon shrugged. “You saved my life.” “Well, you saved mine,” he said, almost defensively. “You decapitated a snake for me. All I did was jump.” Don Alfonso said, “By the Virgin Mary, I still cannot”
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