Paul Davies

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Paul Davies, September 2006

Paul Charles William Davies, AM (born 22 April 1946) is an English physicist, writer and broadcaster, a professor at Arizona State University as well as the Director of BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science. His research interests are in the fields of cosmology, quantum field theory, and astrobiology.


Space and Time in the Modern Universe (1977)[edit]

  • In the emerging picture of mankind in the universe, the future (if it exists) will surely entail discoveries about space and time which will open up whole new perspectives in the relationship between mankind, mind, and the uni-verse.… But what is now? There is no such thing in physics;it is not even clear that ‘now’ could ever be described, let alone explained, in terms of physics.… Notions such as ‘the past,’ ‘the present’ and ‘the future’ seem to be more linguistic than physical.… There is no universal now, but only a personal one—a ‘here and now.’ This strongly suggests that we look to the mind, rather than to the physical world, as the origin of the division of time into past, present, and future.…There is none of this in physics.… No physical experiment has ever been performed to detect the passage of time. As soon as the objective world of reality is considered, the passage of time disappears like a ghost into the night.

Other Worlds: A Portrait of Nature in Rebellion, Space, Superspace, and the Quantum Universe (1980)[edit]

  • Science, it is usually believed, helps us to build a picture of objective reality – the world 'out there'. With the advent of the quantum theory, that very reality appears to have crumbled, to be replaced by something so revolutionary and bizarre that its consequences have not yet been properly faced.
    • 'Prologue', p. 12

God and the New Physics (1983)[edit]

  • The brain is the medium of expression of the human mind. Similarly the entire physical universe would be the medium of expression of the mind of a natural God.
    • Ch. 17: 'The physicist's conception of nature', p. 223

The Cosmic Blueprint: New Discoveries In Nature's Creative Ability To Order Universe (1988)[edit]

  • That the universe has organized its own self-awareness – is for me powerful evidence that there is 'something going on' behind it all. The impression of design is overwhelming. Science may explain all the processes whereby the universe evolves its own destiny, but that still leaves room for there to be a meaning behind existence.
    • Ch. 14: 'Is There a Blueprint?', p. 203

The Matter Myth: Towards 21st-century Science (1991)[edit]

  • Matter as such has been demoted from its central role, to be replaced by concepts such as organization, complexity and information.
    • Ch. 1: 'The Death of Materialism', p. 9

The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World (1992)[edit]

  • The scientific quest is a journey into the unknown.
    • Ch. 1: 'Reason and Belief', p. 21
  • What is remarkable is that human beings are actually able to carry out this code-breaking operation, that the human mind has the necessary intellectual equipment for us to "unlock the secrets of nature"...
    • Ch. 6: 'The Mathematical Secret', p. 148
  • Human beings have always been struck by the complex harmony and intricate organization of the physical world. The march of the heavenly bodies across the sky, the rhythms of the seasons, the pattern of a snowflake, the myriads of living creatures so well adapted to their environment – all these things seem too well arranged to be a mindless accident.
    • Ch. 8: 'Designer Universe', p. 194
  • I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama. Our involvement is too intimate.
    • Ch. 9: 'The Mystery at the End of the Universe', p. 232

The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life (1999)[edit]

  • In each and every one of us lies a message. It is inscribed in an ancient code, its beginnings lost in the mists of time. Decrypted, the message contains instructions on how to make a human being. Nobody wrote the message; nobody invented the code. They came into existence spontaneously. Their designer was Mother Nature herself, working only within the scope of her immutable laws and capitalizing on the vagaries of chance.The message isn't written in ink or type, but in atoms, strung together in an elaborately arranged sequence to form DNA, short for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is the most extraordinary molecule on Earth.
    • Ch. 1: 'The Meaning of Life', p. 41
  • The laws of nature are rigged not only in favor of complexity, or just in favor of life, but also in favor of mind. To put it dramatically, it implies that mind is written into the laws of nature in a fundamental way.
    • Ch. 10: 'A Bio-Friendly Universe?', p. 271

The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence (2010)[edit]

  • To a physicist like me, life looks to be little short of magic: all those dumb molecules conspiring to achieve such clever things!
    • Ch. 2: 'Life: Freak Side-Show or Cosmic Imperative?', p. 31

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