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#10630We dedicate this book to our fellow citizens who, for love of truth, take from
their own wants by taxes and gifts, and now and then send forth one of
themselves as dedicated servant, to forward the search into the mysteries and
marvelous simplicities of this strange and beautiful Universe, Our home.
-- "Gravitation", Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler
#10631"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."
#10632We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.
#10633We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure
that it wasn't a fish.
-- Marshall McLuhan
#10634We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids?
-- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission
#10635We have a equal opportunity Calculus class -- it's fully integrated.
#10636We laugh at the Indian philosopher, who to account for the support
of the earth, contrived the hypothesis of a huge elephant, and to support
the elephant, a huge tortoise. If we will candidly confess the truth, we
know as little of the operation of the nerves, as he did of the manner in
which the earth is supported: and our hypothesis about animal spirits, or
about the tension and vibrations of the nerves, are as like to be true, as
his about the support of the earth. His elephant was a hypothesis, and our
hypotheses are elephants. Every theory in philosophy, which is built on
pure conjecture, is an elephant; and every theory that is supported partly
by fact, and partly by conjecture, is like Nebuchadnezzar's image, whose
feet were partly of iron, and partly of clay.
-- Thomas Reid, "An Inquiry into the Human Mind", 1764
#10637... we must be wary of granting too much power to natural selection
by viewing all basic capacities of our brain as direct adaptations.
I do not doubt that natural selection acted in building our oversized
brains -- and I am equally confident that our brains became large as
an adaptation for definite roles (probably a complex set of interacting
functions). But these assumptions do not lead to the notion, often
uncritically embraced by strict Darwinians, that all major capacities
of the brain must arise as direct products of natural selection.
-- S.J. Gould, "The Mismeasure of Man"
#10638We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful
new world. We will see it when we believe it.
-- Saul Alinsky
#10639... we must counterpose the overwhelming judgment provided by consistent
observations and inferences by the thousands. The earth is billions of
years old and its living creatures are linked by ties of evolutionary
descent. Scientists stand accused of promoting dogma by so stating, but
do we brand people illiberal when they proclaim that the earth is neither
flat nor at the center of the universe? Science *has* taught us some
things with confidence! Evolution on an ancient earth is as well
established as our planet's shape and position. Our continuing struggle
to understand how evolution happens (the "theory of evolution") does not
cast our documentation of its occurrence -- the "fact of evolution" --
into doubt.
-- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism",
The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2.
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