By: John Horgan read in 2008
37 Karl Popper: "We must distinguish between truth, which is objective and absolute, and certainty, which is subjective."
44 Thomas Kuhn: "There are perfectly good reasons why mathematics can be considered a language, but there is a very good reason why it isn't....it has no meaning."
47 "Kuhn saw--he knew!--that reality is ultimately unknowable; any attempt to describe it obscures as much as it illuminates."
56 Feyerabend's autobiography: Killing Time, published in 1995
87 David Bohm: "At each level we have something which is taken as appearance and something else is taken as the essence which explains the appearance. But then when we move to another level essence and appearance interchange their rules, right?"
160 Crick and Koch: "Consciousness...[is] synonymous with awareness, and all forms of awareness--whether directed toward objects in the world or highly abstract, internal concepts--seem to involve the same underlying mechanism, one that combines attention with short-term memory. (Crick and Koch credited William James with inventing this definition.)"
162 Crick and Koch: "Neurons must be the model for any model of the mind." I think that is an unnecessary limitation.
173 A book to read: The Self and Its Brain, by John Eccles and Karl Popper.
200 Christopher Langton: "Unlike most biological phenomena, subjective states cannot be reduced to mechanical functions. "No mechanical explanation you could possibly give is going to give you that explanation for this sense of awareness, of I-ness, of my being here now.""
214 Murray Gell-Mann: "[W]e don't need something else in order to get something else"
215 Murray Gell-Mann: "Roger Penrose has written two foolish books based on the long-discredited fallacy that Goedel's theorem has something to do with consciousness requiring...something else."
238 "When we gather information from the world, we contribute to its entropy and hence its unknowability."
252 Freeman Dyson's Maximum Diversity Principle: "[T]he laws of nature and the initial conditions are such as to make the universe as interesting as possible."
254 Freeman Dyson on God: "I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. God may be considered to be either a world soul or a collection of world souls. We are the chief inlets of God on this planet at the present stage in his development. We may later grow with him as he grows, or we may be left behind."
257 Woody Allen: "I don't want to live forever through my works. I want to live forever by not dying."
258 "The difference between the scientist and the engineer is that the former seeks what is True, the latter what is Good."
261 Horgan's mystical experience.
263 Dyson: "God is not omniscient or omnipotent but grows and learns as we humans grow and learn."
264 Socinus - 16th Century cleric burned at the stake for heresy for claiming that God was not omnipotent or omniscient.
265 Charles Hartshorne: "God...is not a being but a "mode of becoming"; there was no beginning to this becoming, and there will be no end. Ever."
266 Horgan: "I am fond, overly fond, of mocking scientists who take their own metaphysical fantasies too seriously."
©2008 Paul R. Martin, All rights reserved.