“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.” 
― Jacob BronowskiThe Ascent of Man

“Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding” 
― Jacob Bronowski

“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 personal. 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 to touch people.” 
― Jacob BronowskiThe Ascent of Man

Self-righteousness, dogma, hubris, arrogance, egotism, and ignorance can lead to misguided policies. 

"If only people like Hitler or Stalin had remembered that.  It was not science that murdered these people.  It was people who would not accept that they could be wrong."

Jacob BronowskiCatholicism and other questions of religion

The Ascent of Man (6 of 6) Knowledge or Certainty - Jacob Bronowski

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