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Where We've Been, Where We're Going

Started by Unbeliever, October 18, 2006, 03:59:17 pm

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Quote from: Neil Armstrong, in a speech to Congress, September 16, 1969In the next twenty centuries...humanity may begin to understand its most baffling
mystery - where are we going? The earth is, in fact, traveling many thousands of miles per hour in the direction of the constellation Hercules - to some unknown destination in the cosmos. Man must understand his universe in order to understand his destiny. Mystery, however, is a very necessary ingredient in our lives. Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis for man's desire to understand. Who knows what mysteries will be solved in our lifetime, and what new riddles will become the challenge of the new generation? Science has not mastered prophecy. We predict too much for the next year yet far too little for the next ten. Responding to challenges is one of democracy's great strengths. Our successes in space can be used in the next decade in the solution to many of our planet's

Quote from: Isaac Asimov, "The Coming Decades in Space", [i]The Beginning and the End[/i] (1977)Reaching the moon by three-man vessels in one long bound from Earth is like casting a thin thread across space. The main effort, in the coming decades, will be to strengthen this thread; to make it a cord, a cable, and, finally, a broad highway.

Quote from: Isaac Asimov, "My Own View", in [i]The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction[/i], edited by Robert Holdstock (1978)It is change, continuing change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.

Quote from: John Desmond Bernal, [i]The Origin of Life[/i] (1967)In fact, we will have to give up taking things for granted, even the apparently simple things. We have to learn to understand nature and not merely to observe it and endure what it imposes on us. Stupidity, from being an amiable individual defect, has become a social crime.

Quote from: Albert Einstein, in a message for the Ghandi memorial service, February 11, 1948We must learn the difficult lesson that the future of mankind will only be tolerable when our course, in world affairs as in all other matters, is based upon justice and law rather than the threat of naked force.

Quote from: Robert Kirshner, in [i]Thursday's Universe[/i] by Marcia Bartusiak (1986)Like the fifteenth century navigators, astronomers today are embarked on a voyage of exploration, charting unknown regions. The aim of this adventure is to bring back not gold or spices or silks but something more valuable: a map of the universe that will tell of its origin, its texture, and its fate.

Quote from: Abraham Lincoln, in a speech in Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it.

Quote from: R.L. Lesher and G.J. Howick, [i]Assessing Technology Transfer[/i] (NASA Report SP-5067) (1966)Eight hundred lifespans can bridge 50,000 years. But of these eight hundred people, 650 spent their lives in caves or worse; only the last 70 had any truly effective means of communicating with one another, only the last 6 ever saw a printed word or had any real means of measuring heat or cold, only the last 4 could measure time with any precision; only the last 2 used an electric motor; and the vast majority of items that make up our material world were developed within the life span of the eighth-hundredth person.

Quote from: Hans Moravec, [i]Mind Children[/i] (1998)Our machines...will mature...into something transcending everthing we know - in whom we can take pride when they refer to themselves as our descendents.

Quote from: Jean Perrin, [i]La Science et l'Esperance[/i] (1948)Accustomed, as we are, to laboratory work, to clear predictions, we see clearly what the more ignorant still have not realized; and I put into this category of ignorant certain men who are cultivated, but are completely unaware of science and its enormous potential, and who, by an abberation, unimaginable in the light of what we have already seen, think that the future will always have to be like the past and conclude that there will always be wars, poverty and slavery.

Quote from: Steven Weinberg, [i]The First Three Minutes[/i] (1977)It is very hard to realize that the present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless .
"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