"A sufficiently high level of technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clarke.
"This page underscores the fact that the price of true innovation is the scorn of the status quo. However, innovation, whether it be technological, philosophical, artistic, or cultural, as absolutely necessary to the viability of society."
- Richard Shultz, 1996.
"At any given time in history, science was only so far advanced and sometimes violently denied the findings of advanced thinkers - only to come back later to the exact same point - to prove now the truth of what was previously denied."
- B. Nurnberger, Yokohama, Japan, 1996.
"It has been said that science is man's futile attempt to understand Nature. While it becomes important to learn, understand, and apply science in our everyday lives, it is equally important to continue the pursuit of unraveling the secrets of Nature."
- Patrick Bailey (ISNE 1993, from Forward 1).
"Woe to you, you blind leaders of a hoard of blind, who say: 'This should be done and that should not be left undone.' You only represent a false teaching and ignore the laws of Creation."
- Rashid, Isa (The Talmud of Immanuel, 24:29-30).
"Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature."
"Edison's electric lamp is a completely idotic idea."
-Sir William Preece, FRS, Post Office Chief Engineer.
"Nature never deceives us; it is always us who deceive ourselves."
-Jean Jacque Rousseau.
"Humanity has devised many systems of thought to cope with nature. Yet nature, functional and not mechanical as it really is, has slipped thorough our fingers."
"My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose."
"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud."
"It is entirely possible that behind the perception of our senses, worlds are hidden of which we are unaware."
"People are disturbed, not by things, but by the views which they take of them."
"All the evidence we come across in real life is faulty to a greater or lesser extent; and the only question of importance is how good the evidence is; not whether it is perfect or imperfect. Evidence is a matter of degree."
"It is difficult to conceive anything more scientifically bigoted than to postulate that all possible experience conforms to the same type as that with which we are already familiar, and therefore to demand that explanation use only elements familiar in everyday experience."
-P. W. Bridgman The Logic of Modern Physics 1958
In 1772 the residents of Luce in France reported that rock had fallen from the sky, causing considerable damage. During the resulting investigation by the Academie Francaise, the respected chemist Antoine Lavoisier pronounced with absolute certainty that the stone could not have fallen from the sky, because there are no stones in the sky. The strength of Lavoisier's conviction was such that it helped put back the scientific study of meteorites for over a quarter of a century.
-From the editors of Reader's Digest Quest for the Unknown Series volume "Bizarre Phenomena"
"X-rays will prove to be a hoax."
-Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), English physicist and mathematician, who performed mathematical analysis of electricity and magnetism and invented the absolute-temperature scale.
"Anyone who looks for a source of power in the transformation of the atom is talking moonshine."
-Lord Rutherford (1871-1937), physicist developed the theory of atomic structure.
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation before investigation."
The Royal Society of London, a body of eminent scientists, said that Thomas Edison's plan to electrify cities defied scientific principles and would not work.
"We must not be misled to our detriment to assume that the untried driving machines can displace the proved and tried horse."
-General John Carr
"I think there's a world market for about 5 computers."
-Thomas Watson of IBM
"...the French Academy of sciences, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, rejected the idea that rocks could fall from the sky. Everyone knows that there are no rocks in the sky, and those who suggest otherwise must be deluded, insane, lying, or simply mistaken. What we rarely talk about is how the French Academy of sciences reversed itself in 1803 when a proper scientific study, along with physical evidence, was offered, proving that rocks [meteors] could fall from the sky.
Jean-Baptiste Biot published his report, and the scientific community in France accepted his study."
-Kevin D. Randle, Scientific Ufology, 1999.
"Old ideas are not right simply because they are old, and new ideas are not wrong simply because they are new."
-Astrophysicist Tommy Gold
The scientific establishment [must be] prepared to concede that unreason might well have its reasons. Science must admit its catastrophes as well as its triumphs; it must plumb the darkness that shadows Enlightenment reason. Science must also concede that ambiguity and mystery--for which popular mysticism is roundly decried--is often to be found at the very core of its frontier disciplines. And, finally, science will have to accept that it is always shaped by culuture and society--from its theorems to its funding programmes--and that a radically different society and culture may demand a radically different scientific practice.
-Pat Kane, New Statesman (1996), August 23, 1996.
Among explorers of the paranormal, there has long been frustration with scientists who come across as arrogant. As far back as 1961, a Brookings Institution report on the possibility of other life in outer space contained the following comment: "It has been speculated that of all groups, scientists and engineers might be the most devastated by the discovery of relatively superior creatures, since these professions are most clearly associated with the mastery of nature, rather than with the understanding and expression of man."
Laurence W. Frederick, an astronomer at the University of Virginia who helps run the Society for Scientific Exploration, a paranormal investigative group, says: "There are dogmatists on one side, mostly scientists, who won't even think about the possibility that something about the paranormal might be real. But I point to the many times scientists have overlooked things that later became dogma. Stones coming out of the sky were long said by scientists to be the result of lightning hitting rocks. But in 1804, they were identified as meteors after chemical analysis showed they were extraterrestrial.
-Charles S. Clark, CQ Researcher, March 29, 1996
The church seems to almost assume that God can be contained in her sacraments, her scriptures, her rites, and theology. We would never say this, but by habit we act as if God is confined to the cult of the church, as if conventional congregational life says it all about God! But God is far greater, wilder, and freer than all this. Our religion is only a small expression of the Creator, for God's being is expressed in infinite form. God will not be limited by our piety or owned by whatever forms we develop, however good or useful they may be. To recognize this is to begin to see God everywhere, to release God's divine reality from its imaginary religious prison, so that God charges everything with life, direction and love.
-Brian C. Taylor, Setting the Gospel Free, 1996
The spirituality that emerges spontaneously at a certain stage of experiential self-exploration should not be confused with the mainstream religions and their beliefs, doctrines, dogmas, and rituals. Many of them lost entirely the connection with their original source, which is a direct visionary experience of transpersonal realities. They are mainly concerned with such issues as power, money, hierarchies, and ethical, political and social control. It is possible to have a religion with very little spirituality, complete absence thereof, or even one that interferes with genuine spiritual quest.