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The Ascent of Man

Jacob Bronowski

Top 10 Best Quotes

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.”

“There is no absolute knowledge. And those who claim it, whether they are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy.”

“Every animal leaves traces of what it was; man alone leaves traces of what he created.”

“This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave.”

“Many theories of the ancient world seem terribly childish today, a hodge-podge of fables and false comparisons.But our theories will seem childish five-hundred years from now.Every theory is based on some analogy, and sooner or later the theory fails because the analogy turns out to be false. A theory in its day helps to solve the problems of the day.”

“Man is unique not because he does science, and he is unique not because he does art, but because science and art equally are expressions of his marvellous plasticity of mind.”

“Fifty years from now if an understanding of man's origins, his evolution, his history, his progress is not in the common place of the school books we shall not exist.”

“There are two parts to the human dilemma. One is the belief that the end justifies the means. That push-button philosophy, that deliberate deafness to suffering, has become the monster in the war machine. The other is the betrayal of the human spirit: the assertion of dogma that closes the mind, and turns a nation, a civilization, into a regiment of ghosts--obedient ghosts or tortured ghosts.”

“That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to the pertinent answer.”

“we must always remember that the real content of evolution (biological as well as cultural) is the elaboration of new behaviour.”

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Book Keywords:

learning, education, humanity, biology, existence, textbooks, understanding, philosophy, creativity, origins, science, origin-of-humanity, evolution, school-textbooks

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