Quotes by Paul Davies

To expect alien technology to be just a few decades ahead of ours is too incredible to be taken seriously.

Cosmologists have attempted to account for the day-to-day laws you find in textbooks in terms of fundamental ‘superlaws,’ but the superlaws themselves must still be accepted as brute facts. So maybe the ultimate laws of nature will always be off-limits to science.

Traditionally, scientists have treated the laws of physics as simply ‘given,’ elegant mathematical relationships that were somehow imprinted on the universe at its birth, and fixed thereafter. Inquiry into the origin and nature of the laws was not regarded as a proper part of science.

The birth of science as we know it arguably began with Isaac Newton’s formulation of the laws of gravitation and motion. It is no exaggeration to say that physics was reborn in the early 20th-century with the twin revolutions of quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity.

Is there anything science should not try to explain? Science is knowledge and knowledge is power – power to do good or evil. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

A permanent base on Mars would have a number of advantages beyond being a bonanza for planetary science and geology. If, as some evidence suggests, exotic micro-organisms have arisen independently of terrestrial life, studying them could revolutionise biology, medicine and biotechnology.

For me, science is already fantastical enough. Unlocking the secrets of nature with fundamental physics or cosmology or astrobiology leads you into a wonderland compared with which beliefs in things like alien abductions pale into insignificance.

Science, we are repeatedly told, is the most reliable form of knowledge about the world because it is based on testable hypotheses. Religion, by contrast, is based on faith. The term ‘doubting Thomas’ well illustrates the difference.

In science, a healthy skepticism is a professional necessity, whereas in religion, having belief without evidence is regarded as a virtue.

The origin of life is one of the great outstanding mysteries of science.