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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

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XI:
        If the Earth could be made to rotate twice as fast, managers would
        get twice as much done.  If the Earth could be made to rotate twenty
        times as fast, everyone else would get twice as much done since all
        the managers would fly off.
XII:
        It costs a lot to build bad products.
XIII:
        There are many highly successful businesses in the United States.
        There are also many highly paid executives.  The policy is not to
        intermingle the two.
XIV:
        After the year 2015, there will be no airplane crashes.  There will
        be no takeoffs either, because electronics will occupy 100 percent
        of every airplane's weight.
XV:
        The last 10 percent of performance generates one-third of the cost
        and two-thirds of the problems.
                -- Norman Augustine
Fortunately, the responsibility for providing evidence is on the part of
the person making the claim, not the critic.  It is not the responsibility
of UFO skeptics to prove that a UFO has never existed, nor is it the
responsibility of paranormal-health-claims skeptics to prove that crystals
or colored lights never healed anyone.  The skeptic's role is to point out
claims that are not adequately supported by acceptable evidcence and to
provide plausible alternative explanations that are more in keeping with
the accepted body of scientific evidence.
                -- Thomas L. Creed, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII,
                   No. 2, pg. 215
... we must counterpose the overwhelming judgment provided by consistent
observations and inferences by the thousands.  The earth is billions of
years old and its living creatures are linked by ties of evolutionary
descent.  Scientists stand accused of promoting dogma by so stating, but
do we brand people illiberal when they proclaim that the earth is neither
flat nor at the center of the universe?  Science *has* taught us some
things with confidence!  Evolution on an ancient earth is as well
established as our planet's shape and position.  Our continuing struggle
to understand how evolution happens (the "theory of evolution") does not
cast our documentation of its occurrence -- the "fact of evolution" --
into doubt.
                -- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism",
                   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2.
...we must counterpose the overwhelming judgment provided by consistent
observations and inferences by the thousands.  The earth is billions of
years old and its living creatures are linked by ties of evolutionary
descent.  Scientists stand accused of promoting dogma by so stating, but
do we brand people illiberal when they proclaim that the earth is neither
flat nor at the center of the universe?  Science *has* taught us some
things with confidence!  Evolution on an ancient earth is as well
established as our planet's shape and position.  Our continuing struggle
to understand how evolution happens (the "theory of evolution") does not
cast our documentation of its occurrence -- the "fact of evolution" --
into doubt.
- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism", The Skeptical Inquirer,
  Vol XII No. 2
Prevalent beliefs that knowledge can be tapped from previous incarnations or
from a "universal mind" (the repository of all past wisdom and creativity)
not only are implausible but also unfairly demean the stunning achievements
of individual human brains.
- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Consciousness: Implications for Psi
  Phenomena", The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 163-171
... Fortunately, the responsibility for providing evidence is on the part of
the person making the claim, not the critic.  It is not the responsibility
of UFO skeptics to prove that a UFO has never existed, nor is it the
responsibility of paranormal-health-claims skeptics to prove that crystals
or colored lights never healed anyone.  The skeptic's role is to point out
claims that are not adequately supported by acceptable evidcence and to
provide plausible alternative explanations that are more in keeping with
the accepted body of scientific evidence. ...
- Thomas L. Creed, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, pg. 215
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.  There are many examples of
outsiders who eventually overthrew entrenched scientific orthodoxies, but
they prevailed with irrefutable data.  More often, egregious findings that
contradict well-established research turn out to be artifacts.  I have
argued that accepting psychic powers, reincarnation, "cosmic conciousness,"
and the like, would entail fundamental revisions of the foundations of
neuroscience.  Before abandoning materialist theories of mind that have paid
handsome dividends, we should insist on better evidence for psi phenomena
than presently exists, especially when neurology and psychology themselves
offer more plausible alternatives.
- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Conciousness: Implications for Psi
   Phenomena", The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 163-171
Evolution is as much a fact as the earth turning on its axis and going around
the sun.  At one time this was called the Copernican theory; but, when
evidence for a theory becomes so overwhelming that no informed person
can doubt it, it is customary for scientists to call it a fact.  That all
present life descended from earlier forms, over vast stretches of geologic
time, is as firmly established as Copernican cosmology.  Biologists differ
only with respect to theories about how the process operates.
- Martin Gardner, "Irving Kristol and the Facts of Life",
   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 128-131
...It is sad to find him belaboring the science community for its united
opposition to ignorant creationists who want teachers and textbooks to
give equal time to crank arguments that have advanced not a step beyond
the flyblown rhetoric of Bishop Wilberforce and William Jennings Bryan.
- Martin Gardner, "Irving Kristol and the Facts of Life",
   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 128-131
... The book is worth attention for only two reasons:  (1) it attacks
attempts to expose sham paranormal studies; and (2) it is very well and
plausibly written and so rather harder to dismiss or refute by simple
jeering.
- Harry Eagar, reviewing "Beyond the Quantum" by Michael Talbot,
   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 200-201
In arguing that current theories of brain function cast suspicion on ESP,
psychokinesis, reincarnation, and so on, I am frequently challenged with
the most popular of all neuro-mythologies -- the notion that we ordinarily
use only 10 percent of our brains...

This "cerebral spare tire" concept continues to nourish the clientele of
"pop psychologists" and their many recycling self-improvement schemes.  As
a metaphor for the fact that few of us fully exploit our talents, who could
deny it?  As a refuge for occultists seeking a neural basis of the miraculous,
it leaves much to be desired.
-- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Consciousness:  Implications for
   Psi Phenomena", The Skeptical Enquirer, Vol. XII, No. 2, pg. 171
"Our journeys to the stars will be made on spaceships created by determined,
hardworking scientists and engineers applying the principles of science, not
aboard flying saucers piloted by little gray aliens from some other dimension."
-- Robert A. Baker, "The Aliens Among Us:  Hypnotic Regression Revisited",
   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII, No. 2
While it cannot be proved retrospectively that any experience of possession,
conversion, revelation, or divine ecstasy was merely an epileptic discharge,
we must ask how one differentiates "real transcendence" from neuropathies
that produce the same extreme realness, profundity, ineffability, and sense
of cosmic unity.  When accounts of sudden religious conversions in TLEs
[temporal-lobe epileptics] are laid alongside the epiphanous revelations of
the religious tradition, the parallels are striking.  The same is true of the
recent spate of alleged UFO abductees.  Parsimony alone argues against invoking
spirits, demons, or extraterrestrials when natural causes will suffice.
-- Barry L. Beyerstein, "Neuropathology and the Legacy of Spiritual
   Possession", The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII, No. 3, pg. 255
"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became
a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb. "You aren't nearly
through this adventure yet," he added, and that was pretty true as well.
-- Bilbo Baggins, "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, Chapter XII
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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