Richard P. Feynman

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.

"When I am talking about atoms, I believe that someday we will be able to handle and control them individually."1a

"One of the most promising hypotheses in all of biology is that everything the animals do or that living creatures do can be understood in terms of what atoms ca do, that is, in terms of physical laws, ultimately, and perpetual attention to this possibility -- so far no exception has been demonstrated -- has again and again made suggestions as to how the mechanisms actually occur. . . the world is so wonderful in the sense that stars are made of the same atoms as the cows and as ourselves, and as stones."1b

"The other thing that gives a scientific man the creeps in the world today are the methods of choosing leaders -- in every nation."1c

"A scientist is never certain."1d

" . . . [A]ll of the information that man has carefully accumulated in all the books in the world can be written in this form in a cube of material one two-hundredths of an inch wide . . ."1e

"Scientific knowledge is an enabling power to do either good or bad -- but it does not carry instructions on how to use it."1f

"Mathematics is looking for patterns."1g

"That principle, the separation of the true from the false by experiment or experience, that principle and the resultant body of knowledge which is consistent with that principle. That is science."1h

The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist.

"The most obvious characteristic of science is its application, the fact that as a consequence of science one has a power to do things. . .
Now this power to do things carries with it
no instructions on how to use it, whether to use it for good or for evil."

" . . . [T]here is nothing more exciting than the truth, the pay dirt of the scientist, discovered by his painstaking efforts."2b

" . . . [O]bservation is the ultimate and final judge of the truth of an idea. But "prove" used in this way really means "test" . . ."2c

" . . . 'The exception proves that the rule is wrong.' That is the principle of science. If there is an exception to any rule, and if it can be proved by observation, that rule is wrong."2d

"The rules that describe nature seem to be mathematical. . . Why nature is mathematical is, again, a mystery."2e

"All scientific knowledge is uncertain."2f

" . . . [I]t turns out that falsehood and evil can be taught as easily as good."2g

"I would like to point out that people are not honest. Scientists are not honest at all, either. It's useless. Nobody's honest. . . By honest I don't mean that you only tell what's true. But you make clear the entire situation. You make clear all the information that is required for somebody else who is intelligent to make up their mind."2h

"It is marvelous, is it not, that someone with no force can control someone with force."2i

Interesting Link   

* Italics in the original.

1 Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988). The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. Edited by Jeffrey Robbins. Foreword by Freeman Dyson. Carl Feynman and Michelle Feynman, 1999. Reading, MA: Perseus Publishing.
a  2. Computing Machines in the Future, at 45.
b  4. What Is and What Should Be the Role of Scientific Culture in Modern Society, at 102.
c  Ibid., at 109.
d  Ibid., at 111.
e  5. There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom, at 123.
f  6. The Value of Science, at 142.
g  8. What Is Science?, at 175.
 12. Richard Feynman Builds a Universe, at 240.

2 Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988). The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist. Michelle Feynman and Carl Feynman, 1998. Reading, MA: Perseus Books.
a  The Uncertainty of Science, at 5.
b  Ibid., at 12-13.
c  Ibid., at 15.
d  Ibid., at 15-16.
e  Ibid., at 24.
f  Ibid., at 26.
g  The Uncertainty of Values, at 31.
h  The Unscientific Age, at 106.
 Ibid., at 119.