Guest Quotes (4 quotes)
One would like to see mankind spend the balance of the century in a total effort to clean up and groom the surface of the globe wipe out the jungles, turn deserts and swamps into arable land, terrace barren mountains, regulate rivers, eradicate all pests, control the weather, and make the whole land mass a fit habitation for Man. The globe should be our and not natures home, and we no longer natures guests.
We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do.
We have little more personal stake in cosmic destiny than do sunflowers or butterflies. The transfiguration of the universe lies some 50 to 100 billion years in the future; snap your fingers twice and you will have consumed a greater fraction of your life than all human history is to such a span. ... We owe our lives to universal processes ... and as invited guests we might do better to learn about them than to complain about them. If the prospect of a dying universe causes us anguish, it does so only because we can forecast it, and we have as yet not the slightest idea why such forecasts are possible for us. ... Why should nature, whether hostile or benign, be in any way intelligible to us? Al the mysteries of science are but palace guards to that mystery.
[My dream dinner guest is] Charles Darwin. Its an obvious answer, but its the truth. Think of any problem and before you start theorising, just check up whether Charles Darwin mentioned it in one of those green books sitting on your shelf. Whether its earthworms, human gestures or the origin of species, the observations that man made are unbelievable. He touched on so many subjects. Then, Alexander von Humboldt, the last polymath. There was no aspect of the natural world that he wasnt curious about or didnt write about in Kosmos, an extraordinary book.