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    paul davies Quotes

    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
    tags: world  faith 
     
    Matter is regarded as being constituted by a region of space in which the field is extremely intense . . . . . . There is no place in this new kind of Physics both for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: reality  space  physics 
     
    The development of artificial intelligence may well imply that man will relinquish his intellectual supremacy in favor of thinking machines. With oceans of time available for future innovation, there seems to be no reason why machines cannot achieve and surpass anything of which the human brain is capable.
    — Paul Davies
    Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here.
    — 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
    tags: alone  right  universe 
     
    Mathematics is universal. It's discovered by human beings, but the rules of mathematics are the same throughout the universe and the laws of the universe.
    — Paul Davies
    We might expect intelligent life and technological communities to have emerged in the universe billions of years ago. Given that human society is only a few thousand years old, and that human technological society is mere centuries old, the nature of a community with millions or even billions of years of technological and social progress cannot even be imagined. ... What would we make of a billion-year-old technological community?
    — Paul Davies
    An argument often given for why Earth couldn't host another form of life is that once the life we know became established, it would have eliminated any competition through natural selection. But if another form of life were confined to its own niche, there would be little direct competition with regular life.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: earth  competition 
     
    The Universe is not a collection of objects, but is an inseparable web of vibrating energy patterns in which no one component has reality independently from the entirety. Included in the entirety is the observer.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: reality  energy  universe 
     
    If we knew we were not alone in the universe it would have a very, very deep impact on our worldview, on our understanding of our place in the universe.
    — Paul Davies
    To a physicist life looks nothing short of a miracle. It's just amazing what living things can do.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: living  miracle 
     
    We know that within the solar system is very unlikely there will be anything more advanced than microbial life, but if we think outside the solar system and then, the distances are, of course, immense, then there could be Earth-like planets with more advanced form of life.
    — Paul Davies
    It is hard to resist the impression that the present structure of the universe, apparently so sensitive to minor alterations in numbers, has been rather carefully thought out...The seemingly miraculous concurrence of these numerical values must remain the most compelling evidence for cosmic design.
    — 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
    tags: belief  virtue  healthy 
     
    Science is about explaining the world, and religion is about interpreting it. There shouldn't be any conflict.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: world  conflict 
     
    There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all. . . It seems as though somebody has fine tuned nature's numbers to make the Universe. . . The impression of design is overwhelming.
    — Paul Davies
    The temptation to believe that the Universe is the product of some sort of design, a manifestation of subtle aesthetic and mathematical judgment, is overwhelming. The belief that there is "something behind it all" is one that I personally share with, I suspect, a majority of physicists.
    — Paul Davies
    The laws of physics ... seem to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design... The universe must have a purpose.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: law  universe  physics 
     
    It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: opinion  god  path 
     
    Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it as a brute fact....I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama.
    — Paul Davies
    The thing about lucid dreams is that it's not like the real world where you are constrained by all sorts of things, including the laws of physics - you can do magic.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: world  magic  law  real  physics  dreams 
     
    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
    Scientists have no agreed theory of the origin of life - plenty of scenarios, conjectures and just-so stories, but nothing with solid experimental support.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: stories  scientist 
     
    Searching for alternative life on Earth might seem misconceived, because there is excellent evidence that every kind of life so far studied evolved from a common ancestor that lived billions of years ago. Yet most of the life that exists on Earth has never been properly classified.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: searching  earth  year 
     
    So how can we test the idea that the transition from nonlife to life is simple enough to happen repeatedly? The most obvious and straightforward way is to search for a second form of life on Earth. No planet is more Earth-like than Earth itself, so if the path to life is easy, then life should have started up many times over right here.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: time  earth  right  path  ideas 
     
    The language of chemistry simply does not mesh with that of biology. Chemistry is about substances and how they react, whereas biology appeals to concepts such as information and organisation. Informational narratives permeate biology.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: language  biology 
     
    The vast majority of terrestrial species are in fact microbes, and scientists have only begun scratching the surface of the microbial realm. It is entirely possible that examples of life as we don't know it have so far been overlooked.
    — Paul Davies
    Things changed with the discovery of neutron stars and black holes - objects with gravitational fields so intense that dramatic space and time-warping effects occur.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: star  space  discovery  black 
     
    Although gravity is by far the weakest force of nature, its insidious and cumulative action serves to determine the ultimate fate not only of individual astronomical objects but of the entire cosmos. The same remorseless attraction that crushes a star operates on a much grander scale on the universe as a whole.
    — Paul Davies
    The secret of our success on planet Earth is space. Lots of it. Our solar system is a tiny island of activity in an ocean of emptiness.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: secret  earth  space  ocean  success 
     
    Very, very slowly, the dwarf remnants of what was once our mighty sun will cool and dim, until it embarks on its final metamorphosis, gradually solidifying into a crystal of extraordinary rigidity. Eventually it will fade out completely, merging quietly into the blackness of space.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: space 
     
    No attempt to explain the world, either scientifically or theologically, can be considered successful until it accounts for the paradoxical conjunction of the temporal and the atemporal, of being and becoming. And no subject conforms this paradoical conjuction more starkly than the origin of the universe.
    — Paul Davies
    If we're looking for intelligence in the universe I think everybody assumes that this has to start with life and so the question is: "How likely is it that there will be life elsewhere in the universe?"
    — Paul Davies
    Science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview. ..even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith the existence of a law-like order in nature that is at least in part comprehensible to us.
    — Paul Davies
    The origin of life is one of the great outstanding mysteries of science.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: mystery 
     
    To expect alien technology to be just a few decades ahead of ours is too incredible to be taken seriously.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: technology 
     
    If we're thinking about old civilizations, those that formed a long time ago and there were stars and planets around long before Earth even existed, then these are going to be towards the center of the galaxy. That is the place to look if you think there are ancient civilizations that have made beacons or some other way of attracting our attention.
    — Paul Davies
    Many billions of years will elapse before the smallest, youngest stars complete their nuclear burning and shrink into white dwarfs. But with slow, agonizing finality perpetual night will surely fall.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: star  night  nuclear  year 
     
    The anthropic principle is an unfortunate name as it implies something about humanity.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: humanity 
     
    For millennia mankind has believed that nothing can come out of nothing. Today we can argue that everything has come out of nothing. Nobody has to pay for the universe. It is the ultimate free lunch.
    — Paul Davies
    tags: mankind  universe 
     
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