Favorite Quotes

Posted by on Mar 15, 2013 in Fun

My Own

  1. Stand up for your beliefs more than anyone else. Question your beliefs more than anyone else.
  2. Don’t let the apparent complexity of something be the most difficult obstacle to overcome.

Other People

Benjamin Franklin

  1. When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
  2. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Winston Churchill

  1. Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.

Philip K. Dick

  1. Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

Johann Hari

  1. I respect you as a person too much to respect your ridiculous beliefs.

Albert Einstein

  1. Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

Sam Harris

  1. Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply a refusal to deny the obvious. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which the obvious is overlooked as a matter of principle.

Steven Weinberg

  1. Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

Richard Feynman

  1. What I cannot create, I do not understand.
  2. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.
  3. Nature isn’t classical dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you’d better make it quantum mechanical, and by golly it’s a wonderful problem because it doesn’t look so easy.
  4. I’ve got to stop somewhere – I’ll leave you something to imagine.

Niels Bohr

  1.  Your theory is crazy, but it’s not crazy enough to be true.

Carl Sagan

  1. Science is more than a body of knowledge, it’s a way of thinking; a way of skeptically interrogating the universe.
    If we are not able to ask skeptical questions – to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

  1. About impasses: they’re not impasses – that’s just science. Don’t look at it as a problem, look at it as science. There’s the delusion that science is about discovery. It was never about discovery – that’s what get’s reported on in the press – but the press doesn’t report about all the days in the lab where discoveries aren’t happening. They don’t report about all the blind alleys that you don’t know were blind until you get to the end of the alley. That’s the process of science! That’s the trajectory that we’re all buying into here; emotionally, physically, culturally. If you don’t like the dead end, find something else to do – because most of what you do will be dead ends. And your ability to intellectually navigate to the side of them, beneath them over them… is the measure of how good a scientist you are. In fact, if you happen to luck out and have projects that worked out for different ten papers in a row, you’re not being trained as a scientist. [...] It’s just more of the process of science. You’re buying into the process, you’re buying into the journey, you’re not buying into the product. [...] In fact your dead end – you publish that dead end – if you designed the experiment correctly that’s going to be an interesting dead end that he (someone else) doesn’t have to take the next time. [...] And he’s going to reference your paper. Not, “Look, he messed up – hahaha.” He’s going to say these paths did not work for these reasons, and so he takes another assumption.
  2. Just an FYI: If scientists invented the legal system, eye witness testimony would be inadmissible evidence.
  3. Math is the language of the universe. So the more equations you know, the more you can converse with the cosmos.
  4. The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.
  5. The more I learn about the universe, the less convinced I am that there’s any sort of benevolent force that has anything to do with it, at all.
  6. There is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.
  7. I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t.
  8. The knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on earth – the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars- the high mass ones among them- went unstable in their later years- they collapsed and then exploded- scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy- guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems- stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up- many people feel small, cause their small and the universe is big. But I feel big because my atoms came from those stars.
  9. My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.
  10. God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on.
  11. I know that the molecules in my body are traceable to phenomena in the cosmos. That makes me want to grab people on the street and say: ‘Have you HEARD THIS?
  12. People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah’s ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it’s about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.
  13. Whether or not you can never become great at something, you can always become better at it. Don’t ever forget that! And don’t say “I’ll never be good”. You can become better! and one day you’ll wake up and you’ll find out how good you actually became.
  14. One of the biggest problems with the world today is that we have large groups of people who will accept whatever they hear on the grapevine, just because it suits their worldview—not because it is actually true or because they have evidence to support it. The really striking thing is that it would not take much effort to establish validity in most of these cases… but people prefer reassurance to research.
  15. Knowing how to think empowers you far beyond those who know only what to think.
  16. I would teach how science works as much as I would teach what science knows. I would assert (given that essentially, everyone will learn to read) that science literacy is the most important kind of literacy they can take into the 21st century. I would undervalue grades based on knowing things and find ways to reward curiosity. In the end, it’s the people who are curious who change the world.
  17. When asked about which scientist he’d like to meet, Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “Isaac Newton. No question about it. The smartest person ever to walk the face of this earth. The man was connected to the universe in spooky ways. He invented integral and differential calculus, discovered the laws of motion, the laws of gravity, and the laws of optics. Then he turned 26.
  18. Ignorance is a virus. Once it starts spreading, it can only be cured by reason. For the sake of humanity, we must be that cure.
  19. Again and again across the centuries, cosmic discoveries have demoted our self-image. Earth was once assumed to be astronomically unique, until astronomers learned that Earth is just another planet orbiting the Sun. Then we presumed the Sun was unique, until we learned that the countless stars of the night sky are suns themselves. Then we presumed our galaxy, the Milky Way, was the entire known universe, until we established that the countless fuzzy things in the sky are other galaxies, dotting the landscape of our known universe. Today, how easy it is to presume that one universe is all there is. Yet emerging theories of modern cosmology, as well as the continually reaffirmed improbability that anything is unique, require that we remain open to the latest assault on our plea for distinctiveness: multiple universes, otherwise known as the “multiverse,” in which ours is just one of countless bubbles bursting forth from the fabric of the cosmos.
  20. Down there between our legs, it’s like an entertainment complex in the middle of a sewage system. Who designed that?
  21. If humans one day become extinct from a catastrophic collision, there would be no greater tragedy in the history of life in the universe. Not because we lacked the brain power to protect ourselves but because we lacked the foresight. The dominant species that replaces us in post-apocalyptic Earth just might wonder, as they gaze upon our mounted skeletons in their natural history museums, why large-headed Homo sapiens fared no better than the proverbially pea-brained dinosaurs.
  22. Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance.
  23. When I reach for the edge of the universe, I do so knowing that along some paths of cosmic discovery, there are times when, at least for now, one must be content to love the questions themselves.

Richard Dawkins

  1. We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
  2. I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
  3. We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?
  4. Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.
  5. After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked—as I am surprisingly often—why I bother to get up in the mornings.
  6. The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.
  7. Science is the poetry of reality.
  8. Science replaces private prejudice with public, verifiable evidence.
  9. It has become almost a cliché to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics.

Bertrand Russell

  1. Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you wish to believe, or what you think could have beneficent social effects if it were believed; but look only and solely at what are the facts.

Arthur C. Clarke

  1. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Mark Twain

  1. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

George Orwell

  1. The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.

Socrates

  1. Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.

George Carlin

  1. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much. We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living but not a life. We’ve added years to life, not life to years.

Sources for Quotes

  1. Brainy Quote
  2. WikiQuote
  3. Good Reads – Quotes

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