Max Planck - Science Quotes
31 Sourced Quotes
Long and tedious reflection cannot enable us to shape our decisions and attitudes properly; only that definite and clear instruction which we gain can form a direct inner link to God. This instruction alone is able to give us the inner firmness and lasting peace of mind which must be regarded as the highest boon in life. And if we ascribe to God, in addition to His omnipotence and omniscience, also the attributes of goodness and love, recourse to Him produces an increased feeling of safety and happiness in the human being thirsting for solace. Against this conception not even the slightest objection can be raised from the point of natural science, for as we pointed it out before, questions of ethics are entirely outside of its realm.
Physics would occupy an exceptional position among all the other sciences if it did not recognize the rule that the most far-reaching and valuable results of investigation can only be obtained by following a road leading to a goal which is theoretically unobtainable. This goal is the apprehension of true reality.
Every hypothesis in physical science has to go through a period of difficult gestation and parturition before it can be brought out into the light of day and handed to others, ready-made in scientific form so that it will be, as it were, fool-proof in the hands of outsiders who wish to apply it.
No doctrinal system in physical science, or indeed perhaps in any science, will alter its content of its own accord. Here we always need the pressure of outer circumstances. Indeed the more intelligible and comprehensive a theoretical system is the more obstinately it will resist all attempts at reconstruction or expansion.
No matter where and how far we look, nowhere do we find a contradiction between religion and natural science. On the contrary, we find a complete concordance in the very points of decisive importance. Religion and natural science do not exclude each other, as many contemporaries of ours would believe or fear. They mutually supplement and condition each other. The most immediate proof of the compatibility of religion and natural science, even under the most thorough critical scrutiny, is the historical fact that the very greatest natural scientists of all times — men such as Kepler, Newton, Leibniz — were permeated by a most profound religious attitude.