Notable Quotes

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul…”
Mark Twain

“Ideology is a poor substitute for rational thought…”
Afarensis

“It isn’t faith that makes good science…it’s curiosity”
Prof. Jacob Barnhardt, The Day the Earth Stood Still

“This man wishes to be accorded the same privilege as a sponge. He wishes to think!”
Clarence Darrow, Inherit the Wind

“…I become fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason…”
Klaatu, The Day the Earth Stood Still

“I want you to grab life by its little bunny ears and get in its face…”
The Simpsons

“This is between me and the vegetable…”
Seymour Krelborn, The Little Shop of Horrors

“There are bad laws and cruel laws and the people who enforce them are both bad and cruel…”
Thea, Isle of the Dead

“With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.” Jean- Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation

You may not be willing to admit that you resemble an ape; if your thousandth ancestor is more like an ape than you are, you may, if you wish, call it a coincidence. But if that thousandth ancestor’s forebears become progressively more simian as you trace back the geneological lines, you will have to admit that somewhere in your family tree there squats an ape. Earnest Hooten Up from the Ape, 2nd Edition 1946 page 277

The whole edifice of the Haeckelian program became irrelevant when developmental biologists shifted their efforts to understanding mechanisms of embryonic development. It became explicitly incorrect with the demise of Lamarckian heredity in the face of Mendalian genetics in the early twentieth century. – Rudolf Raff, The Shape of Life: Genes, Development, and the Evolution of Animal Form

“But the limit of tolerance for these human foibles is obtained when the proponent of a questionable scientific doctrine endeavors to maintain it against all possible odds by misrepresentation, misinformation and suppression of contradictory data, and by insinuating unfairness in opponents of his views.”
Franz Weidenreich, Morphology of Solo Man

“Man stands alone in the universe, a unique product of a long, unconcious, impersonal material process with unique understanding and potentialities. These he owes to no one but himself, and it is to himself that he is responsible. He is not the creature of uncontrollable and undeterminable forces, but his own master. He can and must decide and manage his own destiny.”
George Gaylord Simpson, Life of the Past

This kind of argument is generically entitled the Argument from Design. The ambiguity in the early versions of these ideas happens to match an ambiguity in the modern term “design.” When we refer to a design, we sometimes merely mean a pattern. Gentle waves on beach sand or winter frost on a window can make interesting designs. In other cases design implies purpose and the contrivence of means to ends. The front end of an automobile may be designed to crumple on impact. Here the design involves a means (the crumpling and resulting absorption of the force of impact) and an end (reduction of impact on the passengers). The goodness in the second kind of design is a function of how well the means serve the end. A means/end relation provides a clear interpretation of what “good” means. But what would make a mere pattern “good?”
The two versions of the Argument from Design remained conflated through the medieval period.
Ron Amundson, Historical Development of the Concept of Adaptation in Adaptation, Edited by Rose and Lauder

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
Frederich Nietzsche

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
The Declaration of Independence

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