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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Heinz R. Pagels Quotes

Heinz R. Pagels
(19 Feb 1939 - 23 Jul 1988)

American physicist and writer whose books include The Cosmic Code (1982), Perfect Symmetry (1985), and The Dreams of Reason: The Rise of the Sciences of Complexity (1988). He was Executive Director, of the New York Academy of Sciences. He died in a mountain climbing accident.

Science Quotes by Heinz R. Pagels (9 quotes)

I like to browse in occult bookshops if for no other reason than to refresh my commitment to science.
— Heinz R. Pagels
The Dreams of Reason: The Computer and the Rise of the Science of Complexity (1988). In Adam Frank, The Constant Fire (2009), 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Browse (2)  |  Commitment (11)  |  Occult (4)  |  Reason (330)  |  Refresh (2)  |  Science (1699)

It is unlikely that we will ever see a star being born. Stars are like animals in the wild. We may see the very young, but never their actual birth, which is a veiled and secret event. Stars are born inside thick clouds of dust and gas in the spiral arms of the galaxy, so thick that visible light cannot penetrate them.
— Heinz R. Pagels
Perfect Symmetry: The Search for the Beginning of Time (1985), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Birth (81)  |  Cloud (44)  |  Dust (42)  |  Event (97)  |  Galaxy (38)  |  Gas (46)  |  Penetration (13)  |  Secret (98)  |  Seeing (48)  |  Spiral (7)  |  Star (251)  |  Thick (3)  |  Veil (12)

Physicists speak of the particle representation or the wave representation. Bohr's principle of complementarity asserts that there exist complementary properties of the same object of knowledge, one of which if known will exclude knowledge of the other. We may therefore describe an object like an electron in ways which are mutually exclusive—e.g., as wave or particle—without logical contradiction provided we also realize that the experimental arrangements that determine these descriptions are similarly mutually exclusive. Which experiment—and hence which description one chooses—is purely a matter of human choice.
— Heinz R. Pagels
The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature (1982), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (45)  |  Assertion (23)  |  Niels Bohr (50)  |  Choice (64)  |  Complementarity (2)  |  Contradiction (44)  |  Description (72)  |  Determination (53)  |  Electron (66)  |  Exclusion (11)  |  Existence (254)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Mutual (22)  |  Object (110)  |  Particle (90)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Property (96)  |  Realization (33)  |  Representation (27)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Wave (55)

Science cannot resolve moral conflicts, but it can help to more accurately frame the debates about those conflicts.
— Heinz R. Pagels
The Dreams of Reason: The Computer and the Rise of the Sciences of Complexity (1988). In Vicki Cassman, Human Remains (2008), 69.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (52)  |  Conflict (49)  |  Frame (17)  |  Moral (100)  |  Science (1699)

Science has explored the microcosmos and the macrocosmos; we have a good sense of the lay of the land. The great unexplored frontier is complexity.
— Heinz R. Pagels
In The Dreams of Reason: The Computer and the Rise of the Sciences of Complexity (1988), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Complexity (80)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Frontier (16)  |  Science (1699)  |  Unexplored (11)

Science is not the enemy of humanity but one of the deepest expressions of the human desire to realize that vision of infinite knowledge. Science shows us that the visible world is neither matter nor spirit; the visible world is the invisible organization of energy.
— Heinz R. Pagels
The Cosmic Code (1982), 348.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (34)  |  Desire (101)  |  Enemy (52)  |  Energy (185)  |  Expression (82)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Invisible (30)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Matter (270)  |  Organization (79)  |  Realize (43)  |  Respect (57)  |  Science (1699)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Visible (20)  |  Vision (55)  |  World (667)

The words are strung together, with their own special grammar—the laws of quantum theory—to form sentences, which are molecules. Soon we have books, entire libraries, made out of molecular “sentences.” The universe is like a library in which the words are atoms. Just look at what has been written with these hundred words! Our own bodies are books in that library, specified by the organization of molecules—but the universe and literature are organizations of identical, interchangeable objects; they are information systems.
— Heinz R. Pagels
In The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature (1983), 255.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (251)  |  Body (193)  |  Book (181)  |  Element (129)  |  Entire (29)  |  Formation (54)  |  Grammar (10)  |  Hundred (46)  |  Identical (17)  |  Information (102)  |  Library (37)  |  Literature (64)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Object (110)  |  Organization (79)  |  Quantum Theory (55)  |  Sentence (20)  |  Special (51)  |  Specification (5)  |  String (17)  |  System (141)  |  Universe (563)  |  Word (221)  |  Writing (72)

The world changed from having the determinism of a clock to having the contingency of a pinball machine.
— Heinz R. Pagels
On quantum theory's break with classical Newtonian physics, The Cosmic Code Simon & Schuster 82
Science quotes on:  |  Change (291)  |  Clock (26)  |  Contingency (11)  |  Determinism (7)  |  Machine (133)  |  World (667)

Theoretical and experimental physicists are now studying nothing at all—the vacuum. But that nothingness contains all of being.
— Heinz R. Pagels
The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature (1982), 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (39)  |  Content (39)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Experimental Physicist (8)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Nothingness (3)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Study (331)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Theory (582)  |  Vacuum (29)



Quotes by others about Heinz R. Pagels (1)

Theorists write all the popular books on science: Heinz Pagels, Frank Wilczek, Stephen Hawking, Richard Feynman, et al. And why not? They have all that spare time.
In Leon Lederman and Dick Teresi, The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question (1993), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (181)  |  Richard P. Feynman (107)  |  Stephen W. Hawking (45)  |  Popular (21)  |  Science (1699)  |  Spare (6)  |  Spare Time (3)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Time (439)  |  Frank Wilczek (2)  |  Writing (72)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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