Ain’t that the truth! : Max Planck on scientific truths

“A new scientific truth does not triumph

by convincing its opponents and making

them see the light, but rather because its

opponents eventually die.

Max Planck

(April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947)

Nobel Prize-winning German physicist


My only resolution for 2014, apart from completing publication of four ebooks by August,  is to embark on some re-reads of a few of the books which have made the most powerful impression on me in the last few years. One of these is undoubtedly Peter Russell’s “From Science to God”, from which (p17) the above quote is taken. The book is“…the story of Peter Russell’s lifelong exploration into the nature of consciousness – how he went from being a convinced atheist, studying mathematics and physics, to realising a profound personal synthesis of the mystical and scientific.”

Peter Russell
Peter Russell

I have had a lifelong interest in science. But my capacity to understand its paradigms is seriously handicapped by having done Classics instead of science at school – not that reading Homer in the original Greek wasn’t great fun! Thus people like Russell, who can clarify and inspire without being patronising to the scientifically uneducated like me, are a great gift to the world! If you want to find out more about Peter Russell, his website is :

200 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Peter Russell 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

2 thoughts on “Ain’t that the truth! : Max Planck on scientific truths

  1. Even if you’d not added another word, that quotation from Planck would have done it. That’s just funny — and unfortunately a bit more true than we might like to think!

    I do think I remember you mentioning Peter Russell before. I just went over to his site and had a look around. I’m going to pass on the information about him to a fellow, now in his sixties, who occasionally groans about the same affliction – interested in science, but fears inadequacy.

    Another writer I know we’ve at least mentioned is Loren Eiseley. He was the one who finally fascinated me with his world view, and with the notion that the scientists might have a firmer grip on the ineffable than the religionists.

    1. This is such a big subject! Last evening I went to a talk at Glasgow’s ‘Aye Write’ book festival which is an annual treat for bibliophiles in these parts, to hear the doughty 90 + year old UK philosopher Mary Midgely give a talk on her latest book” Are you an illusion?” in which she gives reductionists an erudite trouncing! What a pleasure….I’d recommend the book which I have just begun to read.

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