VV: What have you learned from science?
EC: Only one thing: that one ought to wash one’s hands before touching nature.
VV: You want to imply that most scientists don’t deserve science?
EC: Yes. But they have made science into something that they deserve.
VV: What is the remedy?
EC: There is no remedy.
VV: At the place where you are now it is not for you to blow the trumpet of the Apocalypsis. Another tuba will spread its miraculous sound. I repeat my question.
EC: The first step would have to be to make science small again and to disengage it from technology and from the pursuit of power.
VV: How would you do this?
EC: I don’t think it can be done according to a blueprint, and it will not take place without a series of catastrophes of a dimension that would make mankind stop and look. Our kind of science has become a disease of the Western mind. We were taught that by digging deeper and deeper we should reach the center of our world. But all we find is rock and fire. So we take the stone as our heart and the flame as our hope.
VV: Is that all that has been found?
EC: We have been lured into a search for the ever-diminishing dimensions. Each new decimal opens a new grotto of delights. Drowning in precision, drunk with controls of controls, we lose ourselves in the quick and dead sands of eternity. It will be too late when we finally become aware of our error. The center of our world is not where we have been looking for it.
Erwin Chargaff, Liber Scriptus Proferetur (from Heraclitean Fire: Sketches from a Life before Nature).