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Some Quotes

Ignorance is preferable to error; and he’s less remote from the fact who believes nothing, than he who believes what’s flawed.

– Thomas Jefferson

Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-1783)

Bigotry and science can haven’t any communication with one another, for science begins the place bigotry and absolute certainty finish. The scientist believes in proof with out certainty, the bigot in certainty without proof. Let us never forget that tyranny most frequently springs from a fanatical faith in the absoluteness of one’s beliefs.

Ashley Montagu.

At this time we rely less on superstition and custom than individuals did in the previous, not because we are extra rational, but because our understanding of danger allows us to make selections in a rational mode.

– Peter L. Bernstein

Towards the Gods: the exceptional story of danger (1996)

Mark my phrase, if and when these preachers get management of the [Republican] get together, they usually’re positive making an attempt to take action, it’s going to be a horrible rattling drawback. Frankly, these individuals frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. However these Christians consider they’re appearing in the identify of God, so they can’t and gained’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.

Barry Goldwater.

I feel each good Christian should kick Falwell proper in the ass.

Barry Goldwater

Stated in July 1981 in response to Ethical Majority founder Jerry Falwell’s opposition to the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Courtroom, of which Falwell had stated, “Every good Christian should be concerned.” as quoted in Ed Magnuson, “The Brethren’s First Sister,” Time Magazine, (20 July, 1981)

What do you assume science is? There’s nothing magical about science. It’s simply a scientific means for rigorously and completely observing nature and utilizing consistent logic to guage outcomes. Which half of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful remark? Being systematic? Or utilizing consistent logic?

Dr. Steven Novella.

What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they might have burned me. Now they’re content with burning my books.

Sigmund Freud (1933)

Right now the samizdat is digital and burning a replica has the reverse which means. Slightly later, persecution of the Jews was as soon as again the regulation – Freud’s four sisters all died in focus camps, although not by burning.

“Can you show that it’s unimaginable?” “No”, I stated, “I can’t prove it’s impossible. It’s just very unlikely”. At that he stated, “You are very unscientific. If you can’t prove it impossible then how can you say that it’s unlikely?” But that is the means that’s scientific. It is scientific solely to say what’s extra possible and what less possible, and to not be proving all the time the attainable and unimaginable. To outline what I imply, I may need stated to him, “Pay attention, I imply that from my information of the world that I see around me, I feel that it is more likely that the reviews of alien craft are the outcomes of the recognized irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence than of the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestrial intelligence.” It’s simply extra probably. That’s all.

Richard Feynman.

The Character of Bodily Regulation (1965)
chapter 7, “Seeking New Laws,” p. 165-166:

Video of lecture

It has been over half century since Feynman defined this. The stories of flying saucers have continued, however there’s still no valid evidence to help perception in flying saucers. Feynman’s rationalization is an effective definition of unlikely.

An ignorant thoughts is exactly not a spotless, empty vessel, but one that’s crammed with the muddle of irrelevant or deceptive life experiences, theories, details, intuitions, strategies, algorithms, heuristics, metaphors, and hunches that regrettably have the appear and feel of helpful and accurate information.

David Dunning – explaining the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Treat beliefs not as sacred possessions to be guarded but fairly as testable hypotheses to be discarded when the proof mounts towards them.

Philip Tetlock.

Squatting in between those on the aspect of purpose and evidence and those worshipping superstition and fantasy shouldn’t be a better place. It just means you’re halfway to loopy town.

PZ Myers

The reputable powers of authorities prolong to such acts only as are injurious to others. However it does me no damage for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

Thomas Jefferson.

Think about a world through which we are all enlightened by goal truths somewhat than offended by them.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Schooling is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

Will Durant.

You don’t use science to point out that you simply’re right,

you employ science to develop into right.

Randall Munroe

Simply because science doesn’t know all the things doesn’t mean you possibly can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy story most appeals to you.

Dara O’Briain


The essential hassle, you see, is that folks assume that “right” and “wrong” are absolute; that every little thing that isn’t completely and utterly proper is totally and equally mistaken.

Isaac Asimov.

The Relativity of Incorrect

There seems to be in mankind an unacceptable prejudice in favor of historic customs and habitudes which allows practices to proceed long after the circumstances, which previously made them helpful, stop to exist

Benjamin Franklin.

If science proves some belief of Buddhism improper,

then Buddhism should change.

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama.

Ridicule is the solely weapon which can be used towards unintelligible propositions. Ideas have to be distinct before cause can act upon them;

Thomas Jefferson.

Science doesn’t make it inconceivable to consider in God.

It simply makes it attainable to not consider in God.

Stephen Weinberg.

There are not any forbidden questions in science,

no matters too sensitive or delicate to be probed,

no sacred truths.

Carl Sagan.

The reliable powers of authorities prolong to such acts only as are injurious to others. However it does me no damage for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

Thomas Jefferson.

It’s higher to not understand something true,
than to know something false.

Neils Bohr.

God does not play cube with the universe.

Albert Einstein

Stop telling God what to do with his dice.

response by Neils Bohr.

All issues are poison and nothing is without poison, solely the dose permits something to not be toxic.


What isn’t true, as everyone is aware of, is all the time immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the overwhelming majority of men than what is true.

H.L. Mencken.

Every beneficial human being have to be a radical and a rebel, for what he must goal at is to make things better than they are.

Niels Bohr.

How fantastic that we now have met with a paradox. Now we’ve got some hope of making progress.

Niels Bohr.

An professional is a man who has made all the errors which may be made in a very slender subject.

Niels Bohr.

Every sentence I utter have to be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question.

Niels Bohr.

Some subjects are so critical that one can solely joke about them.

Niels Bohr.

I’ve no special skills. I’m only passionately curious.

Albert Einstein.

Few individuals are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social surroundings. Most individuals are even incapable of forming such opinions.

Albert Einstein.

By no means memorize what you possibly can lookup in books.

Albert Einstein.

The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition regulation. For nothing is more damaging of respect for the government and the regulation of the land than passing legal guidelines which can’t be enforced. It’s an open secret that the dangerous improve of crime in the United States is intently related with this.

Albert Einstein.

the probability is excessive that the fact lies in the trendy course. However, on the off-chance that it is in one other course – a course obvious from an unfashionable view of subject concept – who will find it? Solely someone who has sacrificed himself by educating himself quantum electrodynamics from a peculiar and weird level of view; one that he might need to invent for himself. I say sacrificed himself as a result of he probably will get nothing from it, as a result of the fact might lie in another course, maybe even the trendy one.

Richard Feynman. – Nobel Prize speech

So we really should look into theories that don’t work, and science that isn’t science.

Richard Feynman. – Cargo Cult Science

I name this stuff cargo cult science, as a result of they comply with all the obvious precepts and varieties of scientific investigation, however they’re missing something important, because the planes don’t land.

Richard Feynman. – Cargo Cult Science

When you’ve made up your mind to check a concept, otherwise you need to explain some concept, you need to all the time determine to publish it whichever method it comes out. If we solely publish outcomes of a sure type, we will make the argument look good. We must publish each sorts of outcomes.

Richard Feynman. – Cargo Cult Science

If an inexpensive launch schedule is to be maintained, engineering typically cannot be finished fast enough to keep up with the expectations of initially conservative certification standards designed to ensure a very protected car. In these situations, subtly, and sometimes with apparently logical arguments, the standards are altered in order that flights should be licensed in time. They subsequently fly in a relatively unsafe condition, with a chance of failure of the order of a % (it’s troublesome to be extra accurate).

Official administration, on the different hand, claims to consider the chance of failure is a thousand occasions less. One cause for this may be an try and guarantee the authorities of NASA perfection and success as a way to ensure the provide of funds. The other may be that they sincerely believed it to be true, demonstrating an virtually unimaginable lack of communication between themselves and their working engineers.

Richard Feynman. – Rogers’ Fee Report

For a successful know-how, actuality should take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

Richard Feynman. – Rogers’ Commission Report

Science is a means of making an attempt not to fool your self. The primary principle is that you need to not idiot your self, and you’re the best individual to fool.

Richard Feynman.

Science alone of all the topics accommodates within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the biggest academics in the preceding era … Study from science that you should doubt the specialists. As a matter of reality, I also can define science one other approach:

Science is the belief in the ignorance of specialists.

Richard Feynman.

The only solution to have real success in science, the subject I’m familiar with, is to describe the proof very rigorously with out regard to the method you are feeling it must be. When you’ve got a principle, it’s essential to try to clarify what’s good and what’s dangerous about it equally. In science, you study a sort of normal integrity and honesty.

Richard Feynman.

Some individuals say, “How can you live without knowing?” I have no idea what they mean. I all the time reside with out understanding. That is straightforward. The way you get to know is what I need to know.

Richard Feynman.

I don’t know something, but I do know that every thing is fascinating for those who go into it deeply enough.

Richard Feynman.

So, to check the prevailing intellectual requirements, I decided to attempt a modest (although admittedly uncontrolled) experiment: Would a number one North American journal of cultural studies . . . publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions?

The answer, sadly, is yes.

Alan Sokal – A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies.

Drugs is a science of uncertainty and an art of chance.

William Osler.

Widespread sense in matters medical is rare, and is often in inverse ratio to the diploma of schooling.

William Osler.

The larger the ignorance the higher the dogmatism.

William Osler.

The will to take drugs is probably the biggest function which distinguishes man from animals.

William Osler.

One of the first duties of the physician is to teach the plenty not to take drugs.

William Osler.

In the fields of remark probability favors only the prepared mind.

Louis Pasteur.

Science is aware of no country, because information belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation as a result of that nation will stay the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.

Louis Pasteur.

Not far from the invention of hearth must rank the invention of doubt.

Thomas Henry Huxley.

The good tragedy of Science — the slaying of a lovely speculation by an unsightly reality.

Thomas Henry Huxley.

The inspiration of morality is to have executed, once and for all, with mendacity; to surrender pretending to consider that for which there isn’t any proof, and repeating unintelligible propositions about issues beyond the prospects of information.

Thomas Henry Huxley.

My business is to show my aspirations to evolve themselves to reality, not to attempt to make information harmonise with my aspirations.

Thomas Henry Huxley.

There should have been a time, in the starting, once we might have stated – no. But by some means we missed it.

Tom Stoppard

All men might be criminals, if tempted; all men might be heroes, if inspired.

G. Okay. Chesterton

There isn’t a such thing on earth as an uninteresting topic; the solely thing that may exist is an uninterested individual.

G. Okay. Chesterton

Good taste, the final and vilest of human superstitions, has succeeded in silencing us the place all the relaxation have failed.

G. Okay. Chesterton

Men turn into superstitious, not as a result of they have an excessive amount of creativeness, but because they don’t seem to be conscious that they have any.

George Santayana

If we’re uncritical we will all the time discover what we would like: we shall search for, and find, confirmations, and we will look away from, and not see, no matter could be dangerous to our pet theories. On this method it is just too straightforward to obtain what seems to be overwhelming proof in favor of a concept which, if approached critically, would have been refuted.

Karl Popper

It is troublesome to get a person to know something, when his wage relies upon upon his not understanding it!

Upton Sinclair

Freedom is what you do with what’s been accomplished to you.

Jean-Paul Sartre

The place items don’t cross frontiers, armies will.

Frédéric Bastiat

The last word end result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.

Herbert Spencer

Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to provide an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

George Orwell

Details are stubborn issues; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they can’t alter the state of details and evidence.

John Adams

We’re not presuming the answers before we ask the questions.

Lawrence Krauss explaining how science works

Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium.

Higher freedom with danger than peace with slavery.

No matter inspiration is, it’s born from a steady “I don’t know.”

Wislawa Szymborska

All types of torturers, dictators, fanatics, and demagogues struggling for power by approach of a couple of loudly shouted slogans also take pleasure in their jobs, they usually too perform their duties with creative fervor.

Properly, sure, but they “know.” They know, and whatever they know is sufficient for them as soon as and for all.

They don’t need to discover out about anything, since which may diminish their arguments’ pressure.

Wislawa Szymborska.

Concept helps us to bear our ignorance of reality.

George Santayana

Miracles are propitious accidents, the natural causes of that are too difficult to be readily understood.

George Santayana.

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you might have forgotten your goal.

George Santayana

There’s a elementary distinction between faith,

which is predicated on authority,

and science,

which is predicated on statement and purpose.

Science will win as a result of it really works.

Stephen Hawking.

The truth, certainly, is one thing that mankind, for some mysterious cause, instinctively dislikes. Every man who tries to tell it’s unpopular, and even when, by the sheer power of his case, he prevails, he is put down as a scoundrel.

H.L. Mencken.

It’s the pure tendency of the ignorant to consider what is just not true. In an effort to overcome that tendency it isn’t enough to exhibit the true; it’s also vital to show and denounce the false.

H.L. Mencken.