As anyone with even half a braincell tuned into current affairs will know, we are living in an era where humans seem to need the strong seasoning of certainty even more than ever. Militant atheism seems hell bent (pardon the expression, a tad inappropriate in this context, eh what?!) on ramming down our collective throats their conviction that religion is pernicious rubbish. And militant religious fanatics have been turning to their usual tools, honed to a fine art over many bloodsoaked centuries, of persecution and/or slaughter in the name of whatever faith they aver is ‘the one and only truth’.
How totally refreshed I was, therefore, given our current less than calm and reasonable collective context, to come across a wonderful opinion piece in last week’s New Scientist magazine, from which the following quote is taken:
” But when we reach the end of the pier of everything we know, we find that it only takes us part of the way. Beyond that all we see is uncharted water. Past the end of the pier lies all the mystery about our deeply strange existence: the equivalence of mass and energy, dark matter, multiple spatial dimensions, how to build consciousness, and the big questions of meaning and existence….good scientists are comfortable holding many possibilities at once, rather than committing to a particular story over others. In light of this, I have found myself surprised by the amount of certainty out there….”
David Eagleman is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. His book of ‘possibilian’ tales, Sum, became an international best-seller and is published in 22 languages.
To read the whole of the opinion piece “Why I am a ‘possibilian'” which I found so refreshing, click HERE.
And now I am away to Amazon to order a copy of Sum which looks to be a most intriguing and stimulating read.
300 words copyright Anne Whitaker/David Eagleman 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page
4 thoughts on “Favourite Quotes: on the mystery of “our deeply strange existence” from scientist David Eagleman”
by email, 29.9.10, from “Anna”
That is a wonderful essay….. just what I needed to read today. Thank you so much.
And thanks to you. I loved the article,so it is great to share it and have it appreciated!
Thanks, my dear old friend, for sending me this link. Good to know that there is a 3rd Way that is not a sell out! Let me know what you think of the book.
Yes, I thought you would find the article supportive. Just about to order the book this very afternoon!