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Jacob Bronowski

Datum narození: 18. leden 1908
Datum úmrtí: 22. srpen 1974

Jacob Bronowski byl britský matematik a biolog polského původu.


„Lidské dítě, lidská bytost, je mozaika zvířete a anděla.“

„It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.“ The Ascent of Man


„It's said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That's false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken."

I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have topeople.“

„Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding“

„Every animal leaves traces of what it was; man alone leaves traces of what he created.“

„Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.” Jacob Bronowski in Science and Human Values“ Science & Human Values

„The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of man.“

„There is no absolute knowledge. And those who claim it, whether they are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy.“ The Ascent of Man


„This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave.“ The Ascent of Man

„Science, like art, is not a copy of nature but a re-creation of her.“ Science & Human Values

„Many theories of the ancient world seem terribly childish today, a hodge-podge of fables and false comparisons. But our theories will seem childish five-hundred years from now. Every theory is based on some analogy, and sooner or later the theory fails because the analogy turns out to be false. A theory in its day helps to solve the problems of the day.“ The Ascent of Man

„The richness of human life is that we have many lives; we live the events that do not happen (and some that cannot) as vividly as those that do; and if thereby we die a thousand deaths, that is the price we pay for living a thousand lives.“


„Dream or nightmare, we have to live our experience as it is, and we have to live it awake. We live in a world which is penetrated through and through by science and which is both whole and real. We cannot turn it into a game simple by taking sides.“

„The act of imagination is the opening of the system so that it shows new connections. Every act of act of imagination is the discovery of likenesses between two things which were thought unlike. An example is Newton’s thinking of the likeness between the thrown apple and moon sailing majestically in the sky. Hence, the ‘discovery’ of the laws of gravity.“

„The values by which we are to survive are not rules for just and unjust conduct, but are those deeper illuminations in whose light justice and injustice, good and evil, means and ends are seen in fearful sharpness of outline.“

„The poem or the discovery exists in two moments of vision: the moment of appreciation as much as that of creation; for the appreciator must see the movement, wake to the echo which was started in the creation of the work. In the moment of appreciation we live again the moment when the creator saw and held the hidden likeness. When a simile takes us aback and persuades us together, when we find a juxtaposition in a picture both odd and intriguing, when a theory is at once fresh and convincing, we do not merely nod over someone else's work. We re-enact the creative act, and we ourselves make the discovery again...

... Reality is not an exhibit for man's inspection, labeled: "Do not touch." There are no appearances to be photographed, no experiences to be copied, in which we do not take part. We re-make nature by the act of discovery, in the poem or in the theorem. And the great poem and the deep theorem are new to every reader, and yet are his own experiences, because he himself re-creates them. They are the marks of unity in variety; and in the instant when the mind seizes this for itself, in art or in science, the heart misses a beat.“

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