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Meditation 425
Quotations XXXV

"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-fifth in an ongoing series. Quotations are now indexed to assist anyone trying to locate a specific one.

  1. All gods are better than their conduct. Mark Twain

  2. Scientific creationism may be poor science, but it is powerful politics. And politically, it may succeed. Laurie Godfrey

  3. Scientists believe in proof without certainty: most people believe in certainty without proof. Ashley Montagu

  4. He is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature. George Bernard Shaw

  5. Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being ruled by those who are dumber. Plato

  6. Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing. HL Mencken

  7. Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses. Sigmund Freud

  8. Blake expressed some doubt as to whether God had made the tiger. But the tiger is in many ways an admirable animal. We have now to ask if God made the tapeworm. And it is questionable whether an affirmative answer fits in either with what we know about the process of evolution or what many of us believe about the moral perfection of God.
    JBS Haldane

  9. Doubt everything or believe everything: these are two equally convenient strategies. With either we dispense with the need for reflection. Henri Poincare

  10. The gift of truth excels all other gifts. Buddha

  11. It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues. Abraham Lincoln

  12. I want you to have all the academic freedom you want as long as you wind up saying the bible account (of creation) is true and all others are not. Jerry Falwell

  13. You are not able even to serve man. How can you serve the spirits?
    You do not even understand even life. How can you understand death? Confucious

  14. The god who is reputed to have created fleas to keep dogs from moping over their situation must also have created fundamentalists to keep rationalists from getting flabby. Let us be thankful for our blessings. Garret Hardin

  15. We're all worm bait waiting to happen. It's what you do while you wait that matters. Kinky Friedman

  16. Creationists use facts the same way a drunk uses a lightpost: for support instead of illumination. Robert G Ingersoll

  17. Astrology is Taurus. F. W. Dedering

  18. It has often and confidently been asserted, that man's origin can never be known; but ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge; it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. Charles Darwin

  19. However much the creationist leaders might hammer away at their scientific and philosophical points, they would be helpless and a laughing-stock if that were all they had. It is religion that recruits their squadrons. Tens of millions of Americans, who neither know nor understand the actual arguments for - of even against - evolution, march in the army of the night, their Bibles held high. And they are a strong and frightening force, impervious to, and immunized against, the feeble lance of mere reason. Isaac Asimov

  20. Writers always sound insufferably smug when they sit back and assert that their job is only to ask questions and not to answer them. But, in good part, it is true. And once you become committed to one particular answer, your freedom to ask new questions is seriously impaired. David Hare