The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense

By Michael Shermer | Go to book overview

PART I
BORDERLANDS
THEORIES

Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known, we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end the words were said by Oliver Cromwell:“I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.” I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died at Auschwitz, to stand here by the pond as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.

—Jacob Bronowski, final paragraphs, chapter 11
“Knowledge or Certainty,” The Ascent of Man, 1973

-35-

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