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Meditation 450
Quotations XXXVI

"I hate quotations, tell me what you know." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

But as some people do like quotations and think they can be useful in succinctly communicating an opinion, we will publish a selection occasionally, mostly but not entirely relevant to agnosticism, rationalism, and free thought. This is the thirty-sixth in an ongoing series. Quotations are now indexed to assist anyone trying to locate a specific one.

  1. You don't protect any of your individual liberties by lying down and going to sleep.John Scopes

  2. God's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn. Mark Twain

  3. The main conclusion arrived at in my work, namely, that man is descended from some lowly organized form, will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many. But there can hardly be a doubt that we are descended from barbarians. Charles Darwin

  4. If the Bible and the microscope do not agee, the microscope is wrong.
    William Jennings Bryan

  5. Look friends, the only possible way to enjoy life is not to be afraid to die. A zest for living requires a willingness to die, you cannot have the first without the second. Robert A. Heinlein

  6. If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?Albert Einstein

  7. In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei

  8. The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best -- and therefore never scrutinize or question. Stephen Jay Gould

  9. Well did God make man in a breath of holy fire
    Or did he crawl on up out of the muck and mire
    Well the man on the street believes what the bible tells him so
    Well you can ask me, mister, because I know
    Tell them soul-suckin' preachers to come on down and see
    Part man, part monkey, baby that's me.
    Bruce Springsteen (Part Man, Part Monkey)

  10. One always begins with the simple, then comes the complex, and by superior enlightenment one often reverts in the end to the simple. Such is the course of human intelligence.Voltaire

  11. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them. Mark Twain

  12. A danger sign of the lapse from true skepticism into dogmatism is an inability to respect those who disagree. In philosophical discussion, the merest hint of dogmatic certainty as to finality of statement is an exhibition of folly. Alfred North Whitehead

  13. There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation. Herbert Spencer

  14. We have long since lost the true names of things. It is precisely because squandering the goods of others is called generosity and recklessness in wrongdoing is called courage, that the republic is reduced to ruins. Cato the Younger

  15. As long as we do science, some things will always remain unexplained. Fritjof Capra

  16. The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand. Frank Herbert

  17. Let the mind be enlarged... to the grandeur of the mysteries, and not the mysteries contracted to the narrowness of the mind. Francis Bacon

  18. The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. F. Scott Fitzgerald

  19. The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think. Aristotle

  20. Science for me is very close to art. Scientific discovery is an irrational act. It's an intuition which turns out to be reality at the end of it --and I see no difference between a scientist developing a marvellous discovery and an artist making a painting. Carlo Rubbia