…If the question is whether I think that there is a person who has created Heavens and Earth, and responds to our prayers, then definitely my answer is no, with much certainty.
If the question is whether I believe that “God” is a powerful something in the people, which causes a lot of disasters but also a lot of good, then of course I believe it. In fact, I am extremely curious about religion. I think that we should study what is religion much more than what is done. There is a sort of taboo in this, a sort of respect towards people who “believe in God”, which makes it difficult to understand better.
I think that viewing the “belief in God” just as a bunch of silly superstitions is wrong. The “belief in God” is one form of human religious attitude, and human religious attitude is something very general and universal about our functioning. Something which is important for man, and we have not yet understood.
…you can be great in solving Maxwell’s equations and pray to God in the evening. But there is an unavoidable clash between science and certain religions, especially some forms of Christianity and Islam, those that pretend to be repositories of “absolute Truths.” The problem is not that scientists think they know everything. It is the opposite: scientists know that there are things we simply do not know, and naturally question those who pretend to know. Many religious people are disturbed by this, and have difficulty in coping with it. The religious person says, “I know that God has created light saying, ‘Fiat Lux.’” The scientist does not believe the story. The religious people feel threatened. And here the clash develops. But not all religions are like that. Many forms of Buddhism, for instance, have no difficulty with the continual critical attitude of science. …
Response from an interview with physicist Carlo Rovelli, to the questions: “Do you believe in God?” and “Are science and religion compatible?”
August 21, 2014
…Einstein, Heisenberg, Newton, Bohr… and many … of the greatest scientists of all times … read philosophy, learned from philosophy, and could have never done the great science they did without the input they got from philosophy, as they claimed repeatedly. You see: the scientists that talk philosophy down are simply superficial: they have a philosophy (usually some ill-digested mixture of Popper and Kuhn) and think that this is the “true” philosophy, and do not realize that this has limitations.
Excerpt from an interview with physicist Carlo Rovelli of Aix-Marseille University and the Intitut Universitaire de France.
August 21, 2014••••••
What is the “mystery of the universe”? There isn’t a “mystery of the universe.” There is an ocean of things we do not know. Many of them we’ll figure out, if we continue to be somewhat rational and do not kill one another first (which is well possible.) There will always be plenty of things that we will not understand, I think, but what do I know? In any case, we are very very very far from any complete comprehension of everything we would like to know.
I have no idea what “absolute truth” means. I think that science is the attitude of those who find funny the people saying they know something is absolute truth. Science is the awareness that our knowledge is constantly uncertain. What I know is that there are plenty of things that science does not understand yet. And science is the best tool found so far for reaching reasonably reliable knowledge.
Responses from an interview with physicist Carlo Rovelli, to the questions: “Can physics—or science in general—ever completely solve the mystery of the universe?” and “Can science attain absolute truth?”
August 21, 2014
I found physics, where … revolutions succeed. I got in love with it. It has been a passion that hasn’t ended. … [Physics] has been much better than I expected. Infinite fun and enthusiasm. Investigating the secrets of the world. Thinking things that nobody else has thought before. Great adventures in thinking. Great companions of travel. Fantastic.
Excerpts from an interview with physicist Carlo Rovelli of Aix-Marseille University and the Intitut Universitaire de France.
August 21, 2014
In a feverish dream, you hatch a theory that to make the largest chewing gum bubble imaginable, you need to blow it up so that the radius is increasing at a constant rate of 6 millimeters per second.
Fred the spherical cow is happily grazing on cubical grass pellets. He grows in volume at a rate of 6 cubic feet per day.
Coursera, Calc 1 as taught by Jim Fowler
Well, yeah. Problems like this probably will lead to some screwed up dreams.
Clothes are people’s extended skin, wheels extended feet, camera and telescope extended eyes. Our technological creations are extrapolations of the bodies that our genes build. In this way, we can think of technology as our extended body. If technology is an extension of humans, it is not an extension of our genes but our minds.
Technology is the exoskeleton of ideas.
Symbolic representation of the Universe as a self-excited system brought into being by ‘self-reference’. The universe gives birth to communicating participators. Communicating participators give meaning to the universe…With such a concept goes the endless series of receding reflections one sees in a pair of facing mirrors.
John Archibald Wheeler (July 9, 1911 – April 13, 2008) was an American theoretical physicist who was largely responsible for reviving interest in general relativity in the United States after World War II. Wheeler also worked with Niels Bohr in explaining the basic principles behind nuclear fission. … He is also known for … for coining the term “quantum foam"…