The “instinct of rebellion”

In a recent conversation with my students, I mentioned the phrase “instinct of rebellion” to describe our current research; yet, it was considered  a little too ‘radical’ by some, and thus generated further discussions, and thoughts too. This discussion lead to the idea that we should built a Blog, associating with Qi Chen Lab website with a navigating button “Thoughts“, as an extension of our research.  

Here I’d like to show the origin of the phrase “instinct of rebellion” (to my knowledge), quoting from an old reading when I was in high school – that I never forget ever since. I searched the web and paste it as blew, from which you may find why I love it so much.  

Built into man, is an instinct. I have chosen to call it the “instinct of rebellion”, since it reveals itself as a drive or urge toward mastery over every obstacle, natural or man-made, that stands as a barrier between man and his distant, perhaps never-to-be-achieved but always-striven-after goals. It is this instinct that underwrites his survival, this instinct from which he derives his nature: a great and powerful dynamic that makes him what he is – restless, seeking, curious, forever unsatisfied, eternally struggling and eventually victorious.
Because of the instinct of rebellion, man has never been content with the limits of his body; it has led him to extend his senses almost infinitely, so that his fingers now probe the space, his eyes magnify the nuclei of atoms, and his ears detect whispers from the bottoms of the seas. Because of the instinct of rebellion man has never been content with the limits of his mind: it has led him to inquire its secrets of the universe, to gather and learn and manipulate the fabulous inventory of the cosmos, to seek the very mysteries of creation. Because of the instinct of rebellion, man has never been content, finally, with the limits of his life: it has caused him to deny death and to war with mortality……

-Qi Chen Lab (