Gravity's Rainbow

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Revelations

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I mean no disrespect when I say that prescientific people, regardless of their innate genius, could never guess the nature of physical reality beyond the tiny sphere attainable by unaided common sense.  Nothing else ever worked, no exercise from myth, revelation, and trance, or any other conceivable means; and notwithstanding the emotional satisfaction it gives, mysticism, the strongest prescientific probe into the unknown has yielded zero.  No shaman’s spell or fast upon a sacred mountain can summon the electromagnetic spectrum.  Prophets of the great religions were kept unaware of its existence, not because of a secretive god but because they lacked the hard-won knowledge of physics.

From Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge

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