Monday, December 06, 2010

Thinking? or just rearranging prejudices?


Words from others on the subject of logic, science, and reason.
'Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he’s been given.’ ~Anton Chekhov

'First, study the present construction. Second, ask for all past experiences …study and read everything you can on the subject.’ ~Thomas Alva Edison

'The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.’ ~Albert Einstein

'If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?’ ~Albert Einstein

'Science is simply common sense at its best-- that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.' ~Thomas Huxley

'Keep your eyes on the stars but keep your feet on the ground.' ~Theodore Roosevelt

'So few of us really think. What we do is rearrange our prejudices.' ~George Vincent

'NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!' ~Charles Dickens

'No one should approach the temple of science with the soul of a money changer.' ~Thomas Browne

'The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny..."' ~Isaac Asimov

'The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.' ~William Lawrence Bragg

'Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.' ~Henri Poincaré, Science and Hypothesis, 1905

'A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go beyond the point reached by the genius of the last generation.' ~Max Gluckman, Politics, Law and Ritual, 1965

'The radical novelty of modern science lies precisely in the rejection of the belief, which is at the heart of all popular religion, that the forces which move the stars and atoms are contingent upon the preferences of the human heart.' ~Walter Lippmann

'Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.' ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

'The greatest discoveries of science have always been those that forced us to rethink our beliefs about the universe and our place in it.' ~Robert L. Park, in The New York Times, 7 December 1999

'Louise: "How did you get here?"
Johnny: "Well, basically, there was this little dot, right? And the dot went bang and the bang expanded. Energy formed into matter, matter cooled, matter lived, the amoeba to fish, to fish to fowl, to fowl to frog, to frog to mammal, the mammal to monkey, to monkey to man, amo amas amat, quid pro quo, memento mori, ad infinitum, sprinkle on a little bit of grated cheese and leave under the grill till Doomsday."' ~From the movie Naked

'Science, like life, feeds on its own decay. New facts burst old rules; then newly divined conceptions bind old and new together into a reconciling law.' ~William James, The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, 1910

Raven photo from our trip to Bryce in May of this year. Some believe ravens are the holders and givers of wisdom-- A Bit about the Raven. I know they are the guardians of the forest, the first to cry an alarm if they see intruders.

10 comments:

Paul said...

I think therefore I am...:-)

mandt said...

I think before I am.....

Parapluie said...

George Vincent made a very clever sounding observation. I am trying to think of where people rearrange their prejudices. There is more evidence of evolution for example. Where their prejudice of superiority is dependent upon on Creationism, do they do any rearranging when evolution is observable in laboratories?
I guess I am slow this morning because, I am not able to visualize this quote in the world about me.

TaraDharma said...

Robert Parks illustrates that facts are not immutable. Much like the quote about facts being stones do not a house make.

Back in the day, my prof. in stellar astronomy said very clearly that what we are studying today is based on the information we currently have. Someday, someone will come along with a new set of "facts" that will utterly change what we understand as truth today.

Great post, Rain. Lots of good stuff to mull over.

mandt said...

"There is more evidence of evolution for example" There is a brilliant article on George Price regarding counter-social Darwinism in the Nation (here): http://www.thenation.com/article/154974/group-george-price
It's fascinating.

Robert the Skeptic said...

My favorite:
"I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges near, pseudoscience and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us - then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls. The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir."
~ Carl Sagan, from the book, The Demon-Haunted World : Science As a Candle in the Dark

Rain said...

Good quotes. The one by Sagan is the fear I think many of us feel

Kay Dennison said...

Then there's . . .

Voltaire:

"No problem can withstand the
assault of sustained thinking."

William James:

"Man can alter his life by altering his thinking."

I need to needlepoint these and hang them where I can see them when I wake each morning.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I didn't realize you were still blogging, my dear...Thank you for coming by and for your lovely commet.

I like these quotes, a lot! I think the one I like best is about stones not making a house....! And the title one too, about prejudices....Really Good Quotes, Rain

Paul said...

"Better an end with horror than a horror without end".