Misconceptions about genetics. The biggest misconception I see is the idea that there is a gene for something: there is a gene for alcoholism, for cancer, for diabetes, for voting Republican, all these things are meant to be in our genes and there is a gene for it. But, in fact, genes are recipes, the recipes our cells use to make proteins. The human genome.
There was this idea that once we had the complete human genome that we would know all the genes and know all the things. And we discovered a huge amount of complexity, there are a million control switches in the genome, controlling this 20, or so genes. We now have a lot of questions when we thought we were going to get answers. But the human genome is an amazing thing and an amazing achievement but it has been problematic, I suppose! There were two things that really blew my mind when I was researching for the book.
The first thing was the realisation that we learn about genes, we learn about how our genes work and we draw nice lines of DNA and genes and boxes and switches and all this kind of stuff, almost like a circuit diagram, but realising that at some point biology becomes chemistry: these are molecules, moving, interacting, and then when you get even smaller, chemistry becomes physics, and as a biologist who hates physics I found this very upsetting.
That really blew my mind.
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And then the other stuff that really blew my mind was learning more about the concept of information that can be transmitted down the generations not through genes. And learning more about that is…mind…blown. Or alternatively order online by emailing superhero cosmicshambles.
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You can make a monthly or a one off pledge. All pledges are greatly appreciated and will go directly towards making more great podcasts, documentaries and the like. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is. Hinshaw, p. From the context it seems that White did not specify whether he had heard Einstein himself say this or whether he was repeating a quote that had been passed along by someone else, so without a primary source the validity of this quote should be considered questionable.
Some have argued that elsewhere Einstein defined a "miracle" as a type of event he did not believe was possible— Einstein on Religion by Max Jammer quotes on p. A 'miracle,' however, is an exception from lawfulness; hence, there where lawfulness does not exist, also its exception, i. Reichenstein, Die Religion der Gebildeten , p. However, it is clear from the context that Einstein was stating only that miracles cannot exist in a domain quantum mechanics where lawful rationality does not exist.
He did not claim that miracles could never exist in any domain. Indeed, Einstein clearly believed, as seen in many quotations above, that the universe was comprehensible and rational, but he also described this characteristic of the universe as a "miracle". In another example, he is quoted as claiming belief in a God, "Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Dellinger , p. We are like a little child entering a huge library.
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The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how.
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It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books - a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. Attributed without source to Einstein in Mieczyslaw Taube, Evolution of Matter and Energy on a Cosmic and Planetary Scale , page 1 In December, , he made the following statement: "I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country.
I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my life. There is no other information in the FBI's released files as to what source attributed this statement to Einstein, and the files are full of falsehoods, including the accusation that Einstein was secretly pro-communist, when in fact he was openly so Albert Einstein Vierick Interview Common sense is actually nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of eighteen. However, this post from quoteinvestigator.
Einstein" in Harper's Magazine, from May , in which Barrett wrote "But as Einstein has pointed out, common sense is actually nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of eighteen. In any case, the interview was republished in a book of the same title, and Einstein wrote a foreword which praised Barrett's work on the book, so it's likely he read the quote about common sense and at least had no objection to it, whether or not he recalled making the specific comment.
Unsourced variant: Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. Fairy tales and more fairy tales. The story is given as follows: "In the current New Mexico Library Bulletin, Elizabeth Margulis tells a story of a woman who was a personal friend of the late dean of scientists, Dr.
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Motivated partly by her admiration for him, she held hopes that her son might become a scientist. One day she asked Dr. Einstein's advice about the kind of reading that would best prepare the child for this career. To her surprise, the scientist recommended 'Fairy tales and more fairy tales. Einstein persisted, adding that creative imagination is the essential element in the intellectual equipment of the true scientist, and that fairy tales are the childhood stimulus to this quality. Variant: "First, give him fairy tales; second, give him fairy tales, and third, give him fairy tales!
Variant: "Fairy tales … More fairy tales … Even more fairy tales". Variant: "If you want your children to be brilliant, tell them fairy tales. If you want them to be very brilliant, tell them even more fairy tales. This version can be found in Usenet posts from before , like this one from Variant: "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.
If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. Although similar to many of Einstein's comments about the importance of intuition and imagination, no sources for this can be found prior to The Psychology of Consciousness by Robert Evan Ornstein , p. A number of early sources from the s and s attribute it to The Intuitive Edge by Philip Goldberg , which also provides no original source.
Two things are infinite: the universe and the human stupidity. As discussed in this entry from The Quote Investigator , the earliest published attribution of a similar quote to Einstein seems to have been in Gestalt therapist Frederick S. Perls ' book Gestalt Theory Verbatim , where he wrote on p.
Einstein has proved that the universe is limited. The quote itself may be a variant of a similar quote attributed even earlier to the philosopher Ernest Renan , found for example in The Public: Volume 18 from , which says on p. Since these variants have not been found in Renan's own writings, they may represent false attributions as well. They may also be variants of an even older saying; for example, the book Des vers by Guy de Maupassant includes on p. The earth has its boundaries, but human stupidity is infinite!
Aber beim Universum bin ich mir nicht ganz sicher. Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous. No original source where Einstein supposedly said this has been located, and it is absent from authoritative sources such as Calaprice, The Ultimate Quotable Einstein. Misattributed [ edit ] I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction.
The world will have a generation of idiots.
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Variants : I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots. I fear the day when technology overlaps our humanity. It will be then that the world will have permanent ensuing generations of idiots. Although it is a popular quote on the internet, there is no substantial evidence that Einstein actually said that. Contempt prior to investigation is what enslaves a mind to Ignorance.
This or similar statements are more often misattributed to Herbert Spencer , but the source of the phrase "contempt prior to investigation" seems to have been William Paley , A View of the Evidences of Christianity : "The infidelity of the Gentile world, and that more especially of men of rank and learning in it, is resolved into a principle which, in my judgment, will account for the inefficacy of any argument, or any evidence whatever, viz. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks.
Then I looked to individual writers who, as literary guides of Germany, had written much and often concerning the place of freedom in modern life; but they, too, were mute. After the quote appeared in Time magazine 23 December , p.
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I made this statement during the first years of the Nazi-Regime — much earlier than — and my expressions were a little more moderate. Cornelius Greenway of Brooklyn, who asked if Einstein would write out the statement in his own hand, Einstein was more vehement in his repudiation of the statement 14 November  : The wording of the statement you have quoted is not my own.
Einstein also made some scathingly negative comments about the behavior of the Church under the Nazi regime and its behavior towards Jews throughout history in a conversation with William Hermanns recorded in Hermanns' book Einstein and the Poet The concentration camps make the actions of Ghengis Khan look like child's play.