Any topic under the sun.


Postby stcordova » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:34 pm

The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.

TH Huxley
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Re: Quotes

Postby Tragic Mishap » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:04 pm

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

~Max Planck
Tragic Mishap
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Re: Quotes

Postby johnspenn » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:43 pm

I love seeing scientists and scientismists full of misplaced overconfidence and having to eat a little humble pie when their predictions about the powers of science fail miserably.

"We still know very, very little about the structure of colloidal gels and even less about the physiochemical structure of the protoplasm. But this ignorance of ours is certainly only temporal. What we do not know today we shall certainly know tomorrow. A whole army of biologists is studying the structure and organization of living matter, while no less number of physicists and chemists are daily revealing to us new properties of dead things. Like two parties of workers boring from the two opposite ends of a tunnel, they are working towards the same goal. The work has already gone a long way and very, very soon the last barriers between the living and the dead will crumble under the attack of patient work and powerful scientific thought."
-Alexander Oparin, "The Origin of Life" 1924 (A man with an admirable, if misplaced, faith in science)

"However, the origin of life—or, to be more precise, the origin of the first replicator systems and the origin of translation-remains a huge enigma, and progress in solving these problems has been very modest — in the case of translation, nearly negligible. Some potentially fruitful observations and ideas exist, such as the discovery of plausible hatcheries for life, the networks of inorganic compartments at hydrothermal vents, and the chemical versatility of ribozymes that fuels the RNA World hypothesis. However, these advances remain only preliminaries, even if important ones, because they do not even come close to a coherent scenario for prebiological evolution, from the first organic molecules to the first replicator systems, and from these to bona fide biological entities in which information storage and function are partitioned between distinct classes of molecules (nucleic acids and proteins, respectively)."

"In my view, all advances notwithstanding, evolutionary biology is and will remain woefully incomplete until there is at least a plausible, even if not compelling, origin of life scenario."
-Koonin, Eugene V. (2012). The Logic of Chance: The Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution. , Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as FT Press Science, New Jersey, page 417. (At least he's honest)
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