"It is only when you watch the dense mass of thousands of ants, crowded together around the Hill, blackening the ground, that you begin to see the whole beast, and now you observe it thinking, planning, calculating. It is an intelligence, a kind of live computer, with crawling bits for its wits."
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."Lewis Thomas on Albert Einstein
"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."Lewis Thomas on Albert Einstein
"Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."Lewis Thomas on Albert Einstein
"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them."Lewis Thomas on Albert Einstein
"We should take care not to make the intellect our god it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality."Lewis Thomas on Albert Einstein
"A lot of people fear death because they think that so overwhelming an experience has to be painful, but I've seen quite a few deaths, and, with one exception, I've never known anyone to undergo anything like agony. That's amazing when you think about it. I mean, how complicated the mechanism is that's being taken apart."
"A multitude of bees can tell the time of day, calculate the geometry of the sun's position, argue about the best location for the next swarm. Bees do a lot of close observing of other bees maybe they know what follows stinging and do it anyway."
"I won't compare ants and people, but ants give us a useful model of how single members of a community can become so organized that they end up resembling, in effect, one big collective brain. Our own exploding population and communication technology are leading us that way."
"Survival, in the cool economics of biology, means simply the persistence of one's own genes in the generations to follow."
"There's really no such thing as the agony of dying. I'm quite sure that pain is shut off at the moment of death. You see, something happens when the body knows it's about to go. Peptide hormones are released by cells in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Endorphins. They attach themselves to the cells responsible for feeling pain."
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