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Paul Davies – 17 Quotes

 

17 Quotes by Paul Davies

 

Perhaps the best motivation for going to Mars is political. It is obvious that no single nation currently has either the will or the resources to do it alone, but a consortium of nations and space agencies could achieve it within 20 years.

– Paul Davies


Should we find a second form of life right here on our doorstep, we could be confident that life is a truly cosmic phenomenon. If so, there may well be sentient beings somewhere in the galaxy wondering, as do we, if they are not alone in the universe.

– Paul Davies


The way life manages information involves a logical structure that differs fundamentally from mere complex chemistry. Therefore chemistry alone will not explain life’s origin, any more than a study of silicon, copper and plastic will explain how a computer can execute a program.

– Paul Davies


Man-made computers are limited in their performance by finite processing speed and memory. So, too, the cosmic computer is limited in power by its age and the finite speed of light.

– Paul Davies


Science, we are repeatedly told, is the most reliable form of knowledge about the world because it is based on testable hypotheses. Religion, by contrast, is based on faith. The term ‘doubting Thomas’ well illustrates the difference.

– Paul Davies


We will never fully explain the world by appealing to something outside it that must simply be accepted on faith, be it an unexplained God or an unexplained set of mathematical laws.

– Paul Davies


Clearly, some creative thinking is badly needed if humans are to have a future beyond Earth. Returning to the Moon may be worthy and attainable, but it fails to capture the public’s imagination. What does get people excited is the prospect of a mission to Mars.

– Paul Davies


Is there anything science should not try to explain? Science is knowledge and knowledge is power – power to do good or evil. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

– Paul Davies


Imagine a civilisation that’s way in advance of us wants to communicate with us, and assist us in our development. The information we provide to them must reflect our highest aspirations and ideals, and not just be some crazy person’s bizarre politics or religion.

– Paul Davies


In science, a healthy skepticism is a professional necessity, whereas in religion, having belief without evidence is regarded as a virtue.

– Paul Davies


A permanent base on Mars would have a number of advantages beyond being a bonanza for planetary science and geology. If, as some evidence suggests, exotic micro-organisms have arisen independently of terrestrial life, studying them could revolutionise biology, medicine and biotechnology.

– Paul Davies


Cosmologists have attempted to account for the day-to-day laws you find in textbooks in terms of fundamental ‘superlaws,’ but the superlaws themselves must still be accepted as brute facts. So maybe the ultimate laws of nature will always be off-limits to science.

– Paul Davies


For me, science is already fantastical enough. Unlocking the secrets of nature with fundamental physics or cosmology or astrobiology leads you into a wonderland compared with which beliefs in things like alien abductions pale into insignificance.

– Paul Davies


The birth of science as we know it arguably began with Isaac Newton’s formulation of the laws of gravitation and motion. It is no exaggeration to say that physics was reborn in the early 20th-century with the twin revolutions of quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity.

– Paul Davies


The origin of life is one of the great outstanding mysteries of science.

– Paul Davies


Traditionally, scientists have treated the laws of physics as simply ‘given,’ elegant mathematical relationships that were somehow imprinted on the universe at its birth, and fixed thereafter. Inquiry into the origin and nature of the laws was not regarded as a proper part of science.

– Paul Davies


To expect alien technology to be just a few decades ahead of ours is too incredible to be taken seriously.

– Paul Davies


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