Thursday, May 7, 2009

Skeptical Slogans

As I was reviewing Carl Sagans book The Demon-Haunted World for a project for the society I took note of the slogans and sayings in the book. They are great and help gel the basis of skepticism itself. So here they are and the author if known:

All science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike-and yet it is the most precious thing we have. A. Einstien.

Trust a witness in all matters in which neither his self-interest, his passions, his prejudices, no the love of the marvelous is strongly concerned. When they are involved, require corroborative evidence in exact proportion to the contravention of probablility by the thing testified. T. H. Husley.

Fear of things invisible is the natural seed of that which every one in himself calleth religion. T. Hobbs.

A credulous mind...finds most delight in believing strange things, and the stranger they are the easier they pass with him; but never regards those that are plain and feasible, for every man can believe such. S. Butler

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibley one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. S. Holmes

Magic, it must be remembered, is an art which demands collaboration between the artist and his public. E. M. Butler

Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts. C. Sagan

Arguments from authority carry little weight- "authorities" have made mistakes. C. Sagan

Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it is yours. C. Sagan

If there's a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work, not just most of them. C. Sagan

When faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well, choose the simplier. Occams Razor.

Reliance on carefully designed and controlled experiments is Key. C. Sagan

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. C. Darwin

If the world does not in all respects correspond to our wishes, is this the fault of science, or of those who would impose their wishes on the world? C. Sagan

Nothing is too wonderful to be true. M. Faraday

Insight, untested and unsupported, is an insufficient guarantee fo truth. B. Russell

The heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes- an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive, and the most ruthlessly skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. C. Sagan

Uncritically accepting every proffered notion, idea, and hypothesis is tantamount to knowing nothing. C. Sagan

Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness. G. Washington

Ubi dubium ibi libertas
(Where there is doubt, there is freedom)

Skeptical DoDo

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