“The dance of atoms, electrons and nuclei, which in all its fury is subject to God's eternal laws, has been entangled with another restless Universe which may well be the Devil's: the human struggle for power and domination, which eventually becomes history. My optimistic enthusiasm about the disinterested search for truth has been severely shaken. I wonder at my simplemindedness when I re-read what I said on the modern fulfillment of the alchemist’s dream: ‘Now however, the motive is not the lust for gold, cloaked by the mystery of magic arts, but the scientists' pure curiosity. For it is clear from the beginning that we may not expect wealth, too.’ Gold means power, power to rule and to have a big share in the riches of this world. Modern alchemy is even a short-cut to this end, it provides power directly; a power to dominate and to threaten and hurt on a scale never heard of before. And this power we have actually seen displayed in ruthless acts of warfare, in the devastation of whole cities and the destruction of their population.”
From the Postscript to 'The restless universe' (1951), pp. 225-226
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