Some more quotes by Feynman, on his blackboard he wrote "that which I cannot derive I do not understand". Someone once said to him "Stephen Hawking can calculate Feynman diagrams in his head, now thats smart". Feynman replied "Yeah but really smart is to come up with Feynman diagrams"

• Poets are always complaining that scientists take away from the beauty of the stars. Mere globs of gas atoms! Nothing is mere. I too can see the stars on a desert night and feel them. Stuck on this tiny carousel my little eye can catch million year old light. But what of the pattern, the meaning, the why? For far more awesome is the truth than any artists of the past could imagine. Where are the poets of the present to speak of it? Who are the poets who can speak of Jupiter as if he was a man - and when it is a huge spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must remain silent?

• The law of gravity has all the typical characteristics of a scientific law. It's simple, beautiful, mathematical, and incomplete. It's beautiful because it's simple, and it's mathematical because that's how nature speaks to us. (Gravity is a force of attraction between two bodies which goes inversely as the square of the distance between them). And it's incomplete because it didn't account for the little wobble in Mercury's orbit around the sun, and although Einstein fixed that with 'General Relativity' gravity still doesn't fit together with any of the other known laws of science.
(How about this? There is a force of repulsion between electrons - it's called the electromagnetic force - and it also goes inversely as the square of the distance between them. Compared to this force, gravity is extremely weak. It is 1/10 to the power of 24 bigger is electricity ! Where else is there a number as big as 10 to the power of 24? Well, the diameter if the universe is 10 to the 24 times bigger than the diameter of a proton. If you could shrink down all of the universe to the diameter of a proton then all the gravity would be contained in this tiny space and would be equal and opposite to the repulsive electromagnetic force. They would cancel each other out and then you would have NOTHING! Which is roughly the state of affairs just before the big bang.)
• ~
When you're thinking about something you don't understand you get this terrible unhappy feeling called confusion. You can't penetrate this thing and most of the time you feel rather unhappy with this confusion. And the reason for this confusion is that we're all some kind of apes trying to reach the banana - and we can't quite make it. And I feel like this all the time. I'm some kind of ape trying to put two sticks together and I always feel stupid. But sometimes the sticks go together and I reach the banana.

• I think it is more interesting to live not knowing answers than to have answers that might be wrong. I have approximate answers, possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely certain of anything, and there's some things I know nothing about at all - like whether it means anything to ask,'Why are we here?' I might think about it for a little while, but if I can't figure it out then I'll go to something else. I'm not afraid of being lost in a mysterious universe with no purpose, which is the way it is, possibly. It doesn't frighten me.

• The Universe is like a huge game of chess and the scientists who are trying to work out the rules only get to look at a little corner of the game. They might notice that a particular bishop always lands on a black square. They might then work out that this bishop only ever moves on diagonal lines. This gives them a deeper understanding of why it is always on a black square. And then something really weird happens. Two pieces move at once and kind of swap over. What was that all about? Well it's castling and it takes a while to work out the rules for something complicated like that. And then the scientist might notice that the bishop which he always thought was on a black square is on a white square. Now that very interesting and it might take a long time to work out how that happened. And it takes some working out to discover that a pawn went all the way to the other end but instead of 'Queening' it with a queen the player preferred to 'queen' it with a bishop. Scientists are interested in these kind of strange exceptions, and if they study their little corner of the chess board for long enough they might be able to work out all the rules. In chess the more you understand the more complicated it gets. In science it gets simpler. The history of science shows us that lots of things we thought were all different turned out to be only different aspects of the same thing. So it gets easier. Whereas before heat motion, and sound were all different, now we understand why they are all to do with motion and obey the mechanical laws. Whereas before, electricity, magnetism, and light were all different, now we understand that they're all connected and obey the laws of electrodynamics. Scientists haven't fitted gravity into the picture...yet t

Wiccanpiper says re Richard P. Feynman: And, of course, his famous quote from the Challenger hearings: "Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."