Lewis Thomas Quotes
103 Sourced Quotes
We pass the word around; we ponder how the case is put by different people, we read the poetry; we meditate over the literature; we play the music; we change our minds; we reach an understanding. Society evolves this way, not by shouting each other down, but by the unique capacity of unique, individual human beings to comprehend each other.
I am entitled to say, if I like, that awareness exists in all the individual creatures on the planet-worms, sea urchins, gnats, whales, subhuman primates, superprimate humans, the lot. I can say this because we do not know what we are talking about: consciousness is so much a total mystery for our own species that we cannot begin to guess about its existence in others.
The great secret, known to internists and learned early in marriage by internist's wives, but still hidden from the general public, is that most things get better by themselves. Most things, in fact, are better by morning. Obviously, it is a great time-saver and money-saver for the physician's family that anxiety about disease is not handled as though it were the disease itself; there is perhaps greater willingness to accept anxiety as a natural, often transient, phenomenon. And certainly there is much less ambition to deploy the full technology of medicine as a corrective for the human condition.
Cells are required to stick precisely to the point. Any ambiguity, any tendency to wander from the matter at hand, will introduce grave hazards for the cells, and even more for the host in which they live. Minor inaccuracies may cause reactions in which neighboring cells are recognized as foreign, and done in. There is a theory that the process of aging may be due to the cumulative effect of imprecision, a gradual degrading of information. It is not a system that allows for deviating.