With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.— Steven Weinberg
The most floundering Steven Weinberg quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain
A physicist friend of mine once said that in facing death, he drew some consolation from the reflection that he would never again have to look up the word "hermeneutics" in the dictionary.
Science doesn't make it impossible to believe in God, it just makes it possible not to believe in God
It does not matter whether you win or lose, what matters is whether I win or lose!
All logical arguments can be defeated by the simple refusal to reason logically
I think one of the great historical contributions of science is to weaken the hold of religion. That's a good thing.
How strange it would be if the final theory were to be discovered in our lifetimes! The discovery of the final laws of nature will mark a discontinuity in human intellectual history, the sharpest that has occurred since the beginning of modern science in the seventeenth century. Can we now imagine what that would be like?
One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment.
The whole history of the last thousands of years has been a history of religious persecutions and wars, pogroms, jihads, crusades. I find it all very regrettable, to say the least.
If there is a God that has special plans for humans, then He has taken very great pains to hide His concern for us. To me it would seem impolite if not impious to bother such a God with our prayers.
For good people to do evil things, it takes religion.
The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.
Science should be taught not in order to support religion and not in order to destroy religion. Science should be taught simply ignoring religion.
In our universe we are tuned into the frequency that corresponds to physical reality. But there are an infinite number of parallel realities coexisting with us in the same room, although we cannot tune into them.
The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.
Maybe nature is fundamentally ugly, chaotic and complicated. But if it's like that, then I want out.
The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.
I can hope that this long sad story, this progression of priests and ministers and rabbis and ulamas and imams and bonzes and bodhisattvas, will come to an end. I hope this is something to which science can contribute ... it may be the most important contribution that we can make.
It is positively spooky how the physicist finds the mathematician has been there before him or her.
The universe is an enormous direct product of representations of symmetry groups.
In trying to get votes for the Superconducting Super Collider, I was very much involved in lobbying members of Congress, testifying to them, bothering them, and I never heard any of them talk about postmodernism or social constructivism. You have to be very learned to be that wrong.
Though aware that there is nothing in the universe that suggests any purpose for humanity, one way that we can find a purpose is to study the universe by the methods of science, without consoling ourselves with fairy tales about its future, or about our own.
They felt that science would be corrosive to religious belief and they were worried about it. Damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive to religious belief and it's a good thing.
If you have bought one of those T-shirts with Maxwell's equations on the front, you may have to worry about its going out of style, but not about its becoming false. We will go on teaching Maxwellian electrodynamics as long as there are scientists.
It is almost irrestible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that we were somehow built in from the beginning.
Quantum field theory, which was born just fifty years ago from the marriage of quantum mechanics with relativity, is a beautiful but not very robust child.
If history is any guide at all, it seems to me to suggest that there is a final theory. In this century we have seen a convergence of the arrows of explanation, like the convergence of meridians toward the North Pole.
A theorist today is hardly considered respectable if he or she has not introduced at least one new particle for which there is no experimental evidence.
The more we refine our understanding of God to make the concept plausible, the more it seems pointless.
[Science] is corrosive of religious belief, and it's a good thing too.
There is now a feeling that the pieces of physics are falling into place, not because of any single revolutionary idea or because of the efforts of any one physicist, but because of a flowering of many seeds of theory, most of them planted long ago.
It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless.
I enjoy being at a meeting that doesn't start with an invocation!
Anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion, should be done and may, in fact, in the end, be our greatest contribution to civilization.
In science we don't have prophets. We have heroes, but not prophets.
It seems that scientists are often attracted to beautiful theories in the way that insects are attracted to flowers — not by logical deduction, but by something like a sense of smell.
If (the antiproton) had not been discovered, the foundations of physics really would have crumbled.
If there is no solace in the fruits of our research, there is at least some consolation in the research itself. Men and women are not content to comfort themselves with tales of gods and giants, or to confine their thoughts to the daily affairs of life; they also build telescopes and satellites and accelerators and sit at their desks for endless hours working out the meaning of the data they gather.
In complexity, it is only simplicity that can be interesting.
How then did we come to the "standard model"? And how has it supplanted other theories, like the steady state model? It is a tribute to the essential objectivity of modern astrophysics that this consensus has been brought about, not by shifts in philosophical preference or by the influence of astrophysical mandarins, but by the pressure of empirical data.
Even in the dark times between experimental breakthroughs, there always continues a steady evolution of theoretical ideas, leading almost imperceptibly to changes in previous beliefs.
Premature as the question may be, it is hardly possible not to wonder whether we will find any answer to our deepest questions, any signs of the workings of an interested God, in a final theory. I think that we will not.
As you learn more and more about the irrelevance of human life to the general mechanism of the universe, the idea of an interested god, becomes increasingly implausible.
On balance the moral influence of religion has been awful.
This is often the way it is in physics - our mistake is not that we take our theories too seriously, but that we do not take them seriously enough. It is always hard to realize that these numbers and equations we play with at our desks have something to do with the real world. Even worse, there often seems to be a general agreement that certain phenomena are just not fit subjects for respectable theoretical and experimental effort.
I don't need to argue here that the evil in the world proves that the universe is not designed, but only that there are no signs of benevolence that might have shown the hand of a designer.
Journalists generally have no bias toward one cosmological theory or another, but many have a natural preference for excitement.
My advice is to go for the messes - that's where the action is.
[C]reationists [and] other religious enthusiasts [are], in many parts of the world ..., the most dangerous adversaries of science.
If language is to be of any use to us, then we ought to try and preserve the meaning of words, and 'god' historically has not meant the laws of nature.