Intelligence may indeed be a benign influence creating isolated groups of philosopher-kings far apart in the heavens. . . On the other hand, intelligence may be a cancer of purposeless technological exploitation, sweeping across a galaxy as irresistibly as it has swept across our own planet.
Destructive criticism is the biggest single enemy of human potential. It is worse than cancer or heart disease. While those diseases can ultimately lead to the deterioration and death of an individual, destructive criticism kills the soul of the person but leaves the body walking around.
The man in the street has unfortunately been sold the idea that the breakthrough cure for cancer is just around the corner. . . The very prospect of effective treatment seems so remote that it doesn't even enter into the speculative day-to-day conversation of people engaged in cancer research. . . New treatments have not produced any detectable decline in the total annual cancer mortality, even for children.
Cancer taught me a plan for more purposeful living, and that in turn taught me how to train and to win more purposefully. It taught me that pain has a reason, and that sometimes the experience of losing things-whether health or a car or an old sense of self-has its own value in the scheme of life. Pain and loss are great enhancers.
Evolution lies at the heart of biology. It is seamlessly and continuously linked to health research to better understand such conditions as AIDS or bird flu or Parkinson's or cancer or heart disease. Every biomedical experiment, every tiny advance, every major breakthrough ultimately connects to the principles first postulated by Darwin.