* Source: Sceptical Essays, 1928, chap. 3: Is Science Superstitious?

( Modern life is built on science in two respects. On the one hand, we all depend upon scientific inventions and discoveries for our daily bread and for our comforts and amusements. On the other hand, certain habits of mind, connected with a scientific outlook, have spread gradually during the past three centuries from a few men of genius to large sections of the population. These two operations of science are bound up together when we consider sufficiently long periods, but either might exist without the other for several centuries. ...)

( The scientific outlook, therefore, is a matter of importance to mankind, either for good or evil. But the scientific outlook itself is twofold, like the artistic outlook. The creator and the appreciator are different people and require quite different habits of mind. The scientific creator, like every other, is apt to be inspired by passions to which he gives an intellectualist expression amounting to an undemonstrated faith, without which he would probably achieve little. The appreciator does not need this kind of faith; he can see things in proportion and make necessary reservations, and may regard the creator as a crude and barbaric person in comparison with himself. ...

( As civilisation becomes more diffused and more traditional, there is a tendency for the habits of mind of the appreciator to conquer those who might be creators, with the result that the civilisation in question becomes Byzantine and retrospective. ...)