Hubert Reeves Quotes

Who is Hubert Reeves?

Hubert Reeves is a French Canadian astrophysicist and popularizer of science. Reeves is often referred to as the poet of the stars.

Born July 13, 1932

Books by Hubert Reeves


Best 22 Quotes by Hubert Reeves


Science tries to understand the world; religions (and philosophies) have generally undertaken the task of giving meaning to human life. Provided that both parties remain in their own fields, religion and science can enlighten each other.”

“Earth, blue planet, where a choir master writes the last notes of a cantata which will delight people's hearts for many centuries.”

“Earth, blue planet, where a dictator celebrates Christmas with family while bodies burn, by the thousands, in crematory ovens.”

“Earth, blue planet, where every spring the sun brings back the flowers in the dark undergrowth.”

“Earth, blue planet, where sixteen families have amassed more riches than forty-eight destitute countries.”

“For several thousand years, the Earth was exclusively populated by tiny microscopic animals, invisible to the naked eye. They live in abundance in stagnant waters. They are small on our scale. At the atomic scale, they are gigantic structures; the number of atoms in each one counts by thousands of billions, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, generated in now dead stars. These delicate living structures are more than the sum of the molecules that make them up. They have acquired a property that does not exist in the world of nucleons and atoms: they can die.

Their existence is not automatically ensured by the set of physical forces that link them. To live, they have to incessantly exchange particles with the outside world. The atoms and photons that enter and leave their membranes are intended to keep them in a state of disequilibrium with the environment. When this circulation ceases, the state of equilibrium will return. And they will be dead...

“If we reduce the 4.5 billion years of our planet to a single Earth day, assuming that it appeared at 0:00 a.m., then life is born around 5:00 a.m. and develops throughout the day.

Only around 8 p.m. come the first molluscs. Then at 11 p.m. the dinosaurs arrive, which will disappear at 11:40 p.m. As for our ancestors, they finally land only in the last 5 minutes before 24 hours and only see their brains double in size in the very last minute. The Industrial Revolution only started a hundredth of a second ago.”

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“In the eyes of the Universe, we are nothing but tiny and insignificant sparks. I wish we could show the wisdom not to forget this.”

“It is true that the dangers are great. I will summarize the situation as I see it. There are two different powers. One, power of deterioration; and one, power of restoration… and they are becoming more and more powerful. So it is like a fight with two fighters, which are gaining power. No one knows who will win.”

“Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping.”

“Our logic is supreme, if valid arguments on Earth can be extrapolated to the entire universe.”

“Pure chance only breeds chaos. Pure determinism creates nothing new. It is the combination of these two factors that gives rise to the richness and variety of forms in Nature.”

“Science and religion do not reign over the same domain. The first learns, the second teaches. Doubt is the engine of one, the other has faith for cement.”

“Science updates the debates, it refreshes them. She doesn't kill them. Everyone has to make their choice.”

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“The analogies between the scientific narrative and these myths are undeniable. Is this a coincidence? Or intuitive knowledge? We are ourselves composed of the dust of the Big Bang. Perhaps we carry within us the memory of the universe?”

“The human is the most insane species.”

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“Our academic system rewards people who know a lot of stuff and generally we call those people smart, but at the end of the day who do you want – the person who can figure things out that they've never seen before or the person who can rattle off a bunch of facts?”


More quotes by Neil deGrasse Tyson

“We are ourselves composed of the dust of the Big Bang. Perhaps we carry within us the memory of the universe?”

“We find ourselves in the situation of the first Christians who asked what God was doing before creating the world. The popular response was "He was preparing hell for those who ask that question!"
Saint Augustine did not agree. He had clearly seen the difficulty of such an interrogation. It assumed that time existed 'before' creation. He replied that creation was not only that of matter, but also that of time!”

“We're at war with nature. If we win, we're lost.”

“You search something for some time, and all of a sudden an idea comes. And you say: How did I not think of it before!”

Atoms of Silence Quotes

“These are the limits of the scientific method and of logic itself, insofar as they must rely on language. Our words are built on the objects of our experience. They have acquired their effectiveness by adapting themselves to the occurrences of our everyday world. But when we approach realities of another scale, these words can become obstacles.”

Atoms of Silence

“We must nevertheless present all possible interpretations for each observation, so that competing theories can be formulated and defended. In science, as elsewhere, intellectual inertia, the fashions of the moment, the weight of institutions, and authoritarianism are always to be feared. Heresies play an essential role by keeping our minds argumentative and alert.”

Atoms of Silence

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