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Author Topic: Science and Society  (Read 1175 times)

Unbeliever

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Science and Society
« on: October 18, 2006, 03:17:41 PM »
Quote from: Anonymous poster to Talk Origins Archive, 2003
Evolution matters because science matters, and too many people (including some presidents) are willing to believe that science is something you can pick and choose from, with "good" science being anything that supports your own views and "bad" science being anything that doesn't. Physicists are great guys because they say nothing to offend us, biologists are mad scientists leading us down the path to perdition with their genetic meddling, evolutionists are self-delusional fools, and anyone studying environmental science is a left-wing tree-hugging extremist whose sole goal is to destroy the American economy and lead us to one-world government. If scientists in a given discipline argue about any conclusion, whoever says what you want to hear is the right one. Too many people can't accept that although scientists are not perfect, and do make mistakes (sometimes whoppers), science isn't something you can pick through like a buffet, accepting only what is to your "taste" and designating the rest inedible. If people feel free to reject the science of evolution, they feel free to reject any science on no better grounds. Whether my students accept evolution may have little direct effect on my future. Whether they understand biology, ecology, environmental geology (water is a big issue in my community), and other subjects and can make informed decisions regarding scientific issues does matter. If they feel free to reject evolution as part of a "buffet" approach to science, their other choices will be no better informed.

Quote from: Philip Noel Baker, in "Science and Disarmament", [i]Impact[/i], 1965
The scientists speak with authority which the ordinary citizen, the non-scientist, cannot challenge, and to which he is compelled to listen. Since they cannot hope for much help from the generals or the ministers, they must act for themselves, in a supreme endeavor to avert the moral dangers which confront mankind.

Quote from: Isaac Asimov
Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.

Quote from: Victor Barnouw, in [i]An Introduction to Anthropology: Volume 2, Ethnology[/i] (1971)
Our problems lie not in the genes of the common man but in the ambitions of those with power.

Quote from: Clarence Darrow, in [i]Summer for the Gods[/i] by Edward J. Larson (1977)
The origin of what we call civilization is not due to religion but to skepticism....The modern world is the child of doubt and inquiry, as the ancient world was the child of fear and faith.

Quote from: Albert Einstein, in "Atomic War or Peace", [i]Atlantic Monthly, November 1945
The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.

Quote from: William S. Beck, in [i]Modern Science and the Nature of Life[/i] (1957)
Fields of learning are surrounded ultimately only by illusory boundaries - like the "rooms" in a hall of mirrors. It is when the illusion is penetrated that progress takes place....Likewise science cannot be regarded as a thing apart, to be studied, admired or ignored. It is a vital part of our culture, our culture is part of it, it permeates our thinking, and its continued separateness from what is fondly called "the humanities" is a preposterous practical joke on all thinking men.

Quote from: Freeman J. Dyson, in [i]Disturbing the Universe[/i] (1979)
There are three reason why, quite apart from scientific considerations, mankind needs to travel in space. The first reason is garbage disposal; we need to transfer industrial processes into space so that the earth may remain a green and pleasant place for our grandchildren to live in. The second reason is to escape material impoverishment; the resources of this planet are finite, and we shall not forgo forever the abundance of solar energy and minerals and living space that are spread out all around us. The third reason is our spiritual need for an open frontier. The ultimate purpose of space travel is to bring to humanity, not only scientific discoveries and an occasional spectacular show on television, but a real expansion of our spirit.

Quote from: Albert Einstein, discussing atomic weapons, in an interview, February 1949,
Responsibility lies with those who make use of these new tools and not with those who contribute to the progress of knowledge: therefore, with the politicians, not with the scientists.

Quote from: Senator J. William Fulbright, in [i]Old Myths and New Realities[/i] (1964)
Science has radically changed the conditions of human life on Earth. It has expanded our knowledge and our power but not our capacity to use them with wisdom.

Quote from: Sir James Jeans, in [i]Astronomy and Cosmogony[/i] (1961)
The cosmogonist has finished his task when he has described to the best of his ability the inevitable sequence of changes which constitute the history of the material universe. But the picture which he draws opens questions of the widest interest not only to science, but also to humanity. What is the significance of the vast processes it portrays? What is the meaning, if any there be which is intelligible to us, of the vast accumulations of matter which appear, on our present interpretation of space and time, to have been created only in order that they may destroy themselves.

Quote from: Jacques Monod, in [i]Chance and Necessity[/i] (1970)
Armed with all the powers, enjoying all the riches they owe to science, our societies are still trying to live by and to teach systems of values already blasted at the root by science itself.

Quote from: Forest Ray Moulton and Justus J. Schifferes, in [i]The Autobiography of Science[i] (second edition) (1960)
In ancient days heroes slew the dragons that terrified men; science is destroying the more dreadful superstitions that have darkened human lives.

Quote from: John Needham, in [i]The Grand Titration[/i] (1969)
Democracy might therefore almost in a sense be termed that practice of which science is the theory.

Quote from: Jawaharlal Nehru, in [i]Proceedings of the National Institutes of Science of India[/i], 1961
It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, of a rich country inhabited by starving people....Who indeed could afford to ignore science today? At every turn we have to seek its aid....The future belongs to science and to those who make friends with science.

Quote from: J. Robert Oppenheimer, in [i]A Passion for Science[/i], edited by L. Wolpert and A. Richards (1988)
The scientist is not responsible for the laws of nature, but it is a scientist's job to find out how these laws operate. It is the scientist's job to find ways in which these laws can serve the human will. However, it is not the scientist's job to determine whether a hydrogen bomb should be used....

Quote from: Talcott Parsons, in [i]The Social System[/i] (1951)
Science is intimately integrated with the whole social structure and cultural traditions. They mutually support each other - only in certain types of society can science flourish, and conversly without a continuous and healthy developement and application of science such a society cannot function properly.


Quote from: Louis Pasteur, in [i]Pasteur and Modern Science[/i], by Rene Dubos (1960)
Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the further the works of thought and intelligence.

Quote from: Linus Pauling, in [i]No More War![/i] (1958)
Science is the search for truth - it is not a game in which one tries to beat his opponents, to do harm to others. We need to have the spirit of science in international affairs, to make the conduct of international affairs the effort to find the right solution, the just solution of international problems, not the effort by each nation to get the better of other nations....
« Last Edit: October 29, 2008, 12:57:39 PM by Unbeliever »
"Some say God is living there [in space]. I was looking around very attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect either angels or gods....I don't believe in God. I believe in man - his strength, his possibilities, his reason."
Gherman Titov, Soviet cosmonaut, in The Seattle Daily Ti