Richard Feynman awards Albert Einstein Award (1954) E. O. Lawrence Award (1962) Nobel Prize in Physics (1965) Oersted Medal (1972) National Medal of Science (1979)
Ron and Frank review the book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Feynman On Flying Saucers
I had a conversation about flying saucers some years ago with laymen. You see, because I'm scientific they think I know all about flying saucers!
So, I said, I don't think there are flying saucers.
My antagonist said. Is it impossible that there are flying saucers?! Can you prove that it's impossible?
I said, No, I can't prove it's impossible. It's just very unlikely.
That they say, is very unscientific. If you can't prove it impossible, then how can you say it's unlikely?
But, that's the way it is, scientifically. It is scientific only to say what's more likely or less likely, and not to be proving all the time what's possible or impossible.
To define what I mean, I finally said to him. Listen. I mean that from my knowledge of the world that I see around me, I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the result of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence rather than the unknown rational efforts of extraterrestrial intelligence.
The last statement has also been reported as UFOs are better explained in terms of the unknown irrational characteristics of terrestrial beings rather than by any unknown rational efforts of extraterrestrial beings.