theESP

Quotes

Douglas Adams:

“If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.”

Ep. #265
 

“The invention of the scientific method and science is, I’m sure we’ll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked. If it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn’t withstand the attack then down it goes.”

Ep. #017
 
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz:

“The facts will eventually test all our theories, and they form, after all, the only impartial jury to which we can appeal.”

Ep. #224
 
Jim Al-Khalili:

“For me, I think the greatest achievement of science is to allow humanity to realize that our world is comprehensible. Through science, rational thinking, we can understand how the universe works.”

Ep. #033, Ep. #111
 
Anonymous:

“Common sense is like deodorant. The people who need the most never use it.”

Ep. #172
 

“I just finally discovered what’s wrong with my brain – on the left side there’s nothing right, and on the right side there’s nothing left”

Ep. #199
 

“It’s scientifically proven that people who have had more birthdays are older.”

Ep. #341
 
Jason Arday:

“If we want to make education more inclusive, the best tools we have are solidarity, understanding and love.”

Ep. #389
 
Aristotle:

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

Ep. #047
 

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”

Ep. #187
 

“Wise men speak when they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something .”

Ep. #099
 
Isaac Asimov:

“Science doesn’t purvey absolute truth. Science is a mechanism. It’s a way of trying to improve your knowledge of nature. It’s a system for testing your thoughts against the universe and seeing whether they match. And this works, not just for the ordinary aspects of science, but for all of life. I should think people would want to know that what they know is truly what the universe is like, or at least as close as they can get to it.”

Ep. #277
 

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

Ep. #248
 
Sir David Attenborough:

“If we [humans] disappeared overnight, the world would probably be better off […] It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”

Ep. #191
 

“In my position you can’t go out and just say, “I think,” because it’s a very serious thing. So if you get up and say climate is changing because of CO2 emissions, you better bloody well be right.”

Ep. #324
 

“People sometimes say to me, “Why don’t you admit that the hummingbird, the butterfly, and the Bird-of-Paradise are proof of the wonderful things produced by Creation?” And I always say, “Well, when you say that, you’ve also got to think of a little boy sitting on a riverbank, like here, in West Africa, that’s got a little worm, a living organism, that’s in its eye and boring through its eyeballs and is slowly turning it blind. The creator God that you believe in, presumably, also made that little worm.” Now I personally find that difficult to accommodate and so therefore [sic] when I make these films, I prefer to show what I know to be the facts, what I know to be true, and then people can deduce what they will from that.”

Ep. #273
 
Marcus Aurelius:

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”

Ep. #214
 

“Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.”

Ep. #281
 
Sir Francis Bacon:

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”

Ep. #155
 

“The general root of superstition: namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.

Ep. #174
 

“We rise to great heights by a winding staircase of small steps.”

Ep. #377
 

“Wonder is the seed of knowledge.”

Ep. #386
 
Tom Baker:

“You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.”

Ep. #293
 
Pauline Diana Baynes:

“Believe what you like, but don’t believe everything you read without questioning it.”

Ep. #194
 
Max Beerbohm:

“The one real goal of education is to leave a person asking questions.”

Ep. #105, Ep. #193
 
Alexander Graham Bell:

“Educate the masses, elevate their standard of intelligence, and you will certainly have a successful nation.”

Ep. #342
 

“There cannot be mental atrophy in any person who continues to observe, to remember what he observes, and to seek answers for his unceasing hows and whys about things.”

Ep. #134
 
Lydia Benecke:

“The main problem is that you are playing facts against emotions. Neurologically, facts will always lose, our brain is processing feelings much stronger than factual information.”

Ep. #310
 
Henri Bergson:

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”

Ep. #317
 
Claude Bernard:

“Art is I; Science is We.”

Ep. #338
 

“The great experimental principle, then, is doubt, that philosophic doubt which leaves to the mind its freedom and initiative, and from which the virtues most valuable to investigators in physiology and medicine are derived. “

Ep. #179
 
Niels Bohr:

“An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”

Ep. #357
 

“Physics is to be regarded not so much as the study of something a priori given, but rather as the development of methods of ordering and surveying human experience. In this respect our task must be to account for such experience in a manner independent of individual subjective judgement and therefore objective in the sense that it can be unambiguously communicated in ordinary human language.”

Ep. #243
 
Napoléon Bonaparte:

“The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.”

Ep. #141, Ep. #203
 
Victor Borge:

“Santa Claus had the right idea – visit people only once per year”

Ep. #054
 
Tycho Brahe:

“And when statesman or others worry [the scientist] too much, then he should leave with his possessions.”

Ep. #402
 

“So, mathematical truth prefers simple words since the language of truth is itself simple.”

Ep. #304
 
Wernher von Braun:

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Ep. #344
 
Dara Ó Briain:

“‘Chinese medicine, oh, Chinese medicine! But there are billions of Chinese, Chinese medicine must be working.’
Here’s the skinny on Chinese medicine. A hundred years ago the average life expectancy in China was 30. The life expectancy in China at the moment is 73. And it’s not feckin’ tiger penis that turned it around for the Chinese. Didn’t do much for the tiger, if you don’t mind me pointing that out.”

Ep. #393
 
Derren Brown:

“Science is unusual in that it is cumulative. It is a system built over time, wherein useful information is retained and ideas that simply don’t stand up are discarded, based on the confirmation of knowledge through testing.”

Ep. #263
 
Gerhard Casper:

“The search to know has always been characterized by the need to doubt, the need to be critical, including the need to be self-critical.”

Ep. #087, Ep. #163
 
Dame Agatha Christie:

“Everything must be taken into account. If the fact will not fit the theory – let the theory go.”

Ep. #045
 
Arthur C. Clarke:

​”I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.”

Ep. #120
 

“As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying.”

Ep. #253
 
William Kingdon Clifford:

“Every time we let ourselves believe for unworthy reasons, we weaken our powers of self-control, of doubting, of judicially and fairly weighing evidence. We all suffer severely enough from the maintenance and support of false beliefs and the fatally wrong actions which they lead to, and the evil born when one such belief is entertained is great and wide.”

Ep. #147
 

“If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it—the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.”

Ep. #278
 

“In regard, to the sacred tradition of humanity, we learn that it consists, not in propositions or statements which are to be accepted and believed on the authority of the tradition, but in questions rightly asked, in conceptions which enable us to ask further questions, and in methods of answering questions. The value of all these things depends on their being tested day by day.”

Ep. #153
 

“The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them; for then it must sink back into savagery.”/ William Kingdon Clifford

Ep. #148
 
Gerty Cori:

“The love for and dedication to my work seems to me to be the basis for happiness. As a research worker, the unforgotten moments of my life are those rare ones… when the veil over nature’s secrets seems suddenly to lift and when what was dark and chaotic appears in a clear and beautiful light and pattern”

Ep. #286
 
Jacques-Yves Cousteau:

“What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what’s going on.”

Ep. #237
 
Brian Cox:

“I’m comfortable with the unknown — that’s the point of science. There are places out there, billions of places out there, that we know nothing about. And the fact that we know nothing about them excites me, and I want to go out and find out about them. And that’s what science is. So I think if you’re not comfortable with the unknown, then it’s difficult to be a scientist… I don’t need an answer. I don’t need answers to everything. I want to have answers to find.”

Ep. #226
 

“Skepticism must go hand in hand with rationality. When theories are shown to be false, the correct thing to do is to move on.”

Ep. #264
 

“The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!”

Ep. #025
 
Paul J. Crutzen:

“Imagine our descendants in the year 2200 or 2500. They might liken us to aliens who have treated the Earth as if it were a mere stopover for refueling, or even worse, characterize us as barbarians who would ransack their own home.”

Ep. #302
 
Dezső Csupor:

“It’s not Artificial Intelligence that is truly dangerous, but rather naturally occuring unintelligence.”

Ep. #366
 
Marie Curie:

“Humanity needs practical men, who get the most out of their work, and, without forgetting the general good, safeguard their own interests. But humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit. Without doubt, these dreamers do not deserve wealth, because they do not desire it. Even so, a well-organized society should assure to such workers the efficient means of accomplishing their task, in a life freed from material care and freely consecrated to research.”

Ep. #003
 

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Ep. #170
 
George Cuvier:

“To spread healthy ideas among even the lowest classes of people, to remove men from the influence of prejudice and passion, to make reason the arbiter and supreme guide of public opinion; that is the essential goal of the sciences; that is how science will contribute to the advancement of civilization, and that is what deserves protection of governments who want to insure the stability of their power.”

Ep. #229
 
Georges Cuvier:

“To spread healthy ideas among even the lowest classes of people, to remove men from the influence of prejudice and passion, to make reason the arbiter and supreme guide of public opinion; that is the essential goal of the sciences; that is how science will contribute to the advancement of civilization, and that is what deserves protection of governments who want to insure the stability of their power.”

Ep. #206
 
Ljupka Cvetanova:

“The unspoken rule of democracy: three stupid ones will always outvote two smart ones.”

Ep. #207
 
Helen Czerski:

“Critical thinking is essential to make sense of our world, especially with advertisers and politicians all telling us loudly that they know best. We need to be able to look at the evidence and work out whether we agree with them.”

Ep. #298
 
Baron d’Holbach:

“Religion has ever filled the mind of man with darkness, and kept him in ignorance of his real duties and true interest. It is only by dispelling the clouds and phantoms of Religion, that we shall discover Truth, Reason, and Morality. Religion diverts us from the causes of evils, and from the remedies which nature prescribes; far from curing, it only aggravates, multiplies, and perpetuates them.”

Ep. #309
 
Charles Darwin:

“Doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge is as respectable an object of life, as one can in any likelihood pursue”

Ep. #041
 

“False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often long endure; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, as every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.”

Ep. #251
 

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

Ep. #053
 

“The science of geology is enormously indebted to Lyell – more so, as I believe, than to any other man who ever lived.”

Ep. #404
 

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.”

Ep. #145, Ep. #166, Ep. #204
 
Richard Dawkins:

“[Science] works! Planes fly. Cars drive. Computers compute. If you base medicine on science, you cure people. If you base the design of planes on science, they fly. If you base the design of rockets on science, they reach the moon. It works.”

Ep. #215
 

“I think that the appetite for mystery, the enthusiasm for that which we do not understand, is healthy and to be fostered. It is the same appetite which drives the best of true science, and it is an appetite which true science is best qualified to satisfy.”

Ep. #209
 

“If you want to do evil, science provides the most powerful weapons to do evil; but equally, if you want to do good, science puts into your hands the most powerful tools to do so. The trick is to want the right things, then science will provide you with the most effective methods of achieving them.”

Ep. #267
 

“Science may be weird and incomprehensible – more weird and less comprehensible than any theology – but science works. It gets results. It can fly you to Saturn, slingshotting you around Venus and Jupiter on the way. We may not understand quantum theory (heaven knows, I don’t), but a theory that predicts the real world to ten decimal places cannot in any straightforward sense be wrong.”

Ep. #249
 
René Descartes:

“For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it. The greatest minds, as they are capable of the highest excellence, are open likewise to the greatest aberrations; and those who travel very slowly may yet make far greater progress, provided they keep always to the straight road, than those who, while they run, forsake it”

Ep. #197
 

“Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for every one thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.”

Ep. #268
 

“In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life, to doubt, as far as possible, of all things”

Ep. #085
 
Denis Diderot:

“A thing is not proved just because no one has ever questioned it. What has never been gone into impartially has never been properly gone into. Hence skepticism is the first step toward truth. It must be applied generally, because it is the touchstone.”

Ep. #400
 

“Scepticism is the first step towards truth.”

Ep. #132
 

“Skepticism is the first step toward truth. It must be applied generally, because it is the touchstone.”

Ep. #280
 
Theodosius Dobzhansky:

“Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology. Only if symbols are construed to mean what they are not intended to mean can there arise imaginary, insoluble conflicts. As pointed out above, the blunder leads to blasphemy: the Creator is accused of systematic deceitfulness.”

Ep. #259
 

“Seen in the light of evolution, biology is, perhaps, intellectually the most satisfying and inspiring science. Without that light it becomes a pile of sundry facts — some of them interesting or curious but making no meaningful picture as a whole.”

Ep. #311
 
Emilie du Chatelet:

“Love of learning is the most necessary passion … in it lies our happiness. It’s a sure remedy for what ails us, an unending source of pleasure.”

Ep. #178
 
Albert Einstein:

“A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.”

Ep. #175
 

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Ep. #369
 

“One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike – and yet it is the most precious thing we have.”

Ep. #091
 

“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a holy curiosity. … Don’t stop to marvel.”

Ep. #007, Ep. #255
 
Albert Einstein:

“Nothing that I can do or say will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice, I can help the greatest of all causes — good will among men and peace on earth”

Ep. #399
 
Michael Ende:

“When it comes to controlling human beings there is no better instrument than lies. Because, you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts.”

Ep. #328
 
Edzard Ernst:

“Slowly but surely I became resigned to the fact that, for some alternative medicine zealots, no amount of explanation would ever suffice. To them, alternative medicine seemed to have mutated into a religion, a cult whose central creed must be defended at all costs against the infidel.”

Ep. #349
 

“The fact that any person or institution, however well respected, praises or adopts something never constitutes proof of anything. It might merely illustrate that even well-educated people or powerful institutions can sometimes commit the silliest and most obvious of mistakes.”

Ep. #292
 

“We should listen less to the opinions of those who either overtly promote or stubbornly reject complementary and alternative medicine without acceptable evidence. The many patients who use complementary and alternative medicine deserve better. Patients and healthcare providers need to know which forms are safe and effective. Its future should (and hopefully will) be determined by unbiased scientific evaluation.”

Ep. #363
 
Leonhard Euler:

“Logic is the foundation of the certainty of all the knowledge we acquire.”

Ep. #371
 

“The kind of knowledge which is supported only by observations and is not yet proved must be carefully distinguished from the truth; it is gained by induction, as we usually say. Yet we have seen cases in which mere induction led to error. Therefore, we should take great care not to accept as true such properties of the numbers which we have discovered by observation and which are supported by induction alone. Indeed, we should use such a discovery as an opportunity to investigate more exactly the properties discovered and to prove or disprove them; in both cases we may learn something useful.”

Ep. #408
 
Charles Fabry:

“The impression that science is over has occurred many times in various branches of human knowledge, often because of an explosion of discoveries made by a genius or a small group of men in such a short time that average minds could hardly follow and had the unconscious desire to take breath, to get used to the unexpected things that came to be revealed. Dazzled by these new truths, they could not see beyond. Sometimes an entire century did not suffice to produce this accommodation.”

Ep. #232
 
Enrico Fermi:

“It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge”

Ep. #139
 
Martin H. Fischer:

“It is not hard to learn more. What is hard is to unlearn when you discover yourself wrong.”

Ep. #023
 
Anatole France:

“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”

Ep. #164
 
Rosalind Franklin:

“But you look at science (or at least talk of it) as some sort of demoralizing invention of man, something apart from real life, and which must be cautiously guarded and kept separate from everyday existence. But science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated. Science, for me, gives a partial explanation of life. In so far as it goes, it is based on fact, experience and experiment.”

Ep. #158
 

“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated. Science, for me, gives a partial explanation of life… I do not accept your definition of faith i.e. belief in life after death… Your faith rests on the future of yourself and others as individuals, mine in the future and fate of our successors. It seems to me that yours is the more selfish… [as to] the question of a creator. A creator of what?… I see no reason to believe that a creator of protoplasm or primeval matter, if such there be, has any reason to be interested in our insignificant race in a tiny corner of the universe.”

Ep. #284
 

“Science, for me, gives a partial explanation for life. In so far as it goes, it is based on fact, experience and experiment.”

Ep. #388
 

“You look at science (or at least talk of it) as some sort of demoralising invention of man, something apart from real life, and which must be cautiously guarded and kept separate from everyday existence. But science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.”

Ep. #061
 
Chris French:

“Opinion poll after opinion poll tell us that the majority of population, in one way or another, do express belief in the paranormal. Most people, in any survey, will endorse at least one paranormal claim. Now, either that means that paranormal forces really do exist, or it’s telling us something really interesting about human psychology. So, either way, we should definitely take these types of claims seriously and try to understand what is going on.”

Ep. #320
 
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel:

“Truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in an emergent synthesis which reconciles the two.”

Ep. #345
 
Erich Seligmann Fromm:

“Critical thinking is the only weapon and the only defense that the human being has against the dangers of life. Because if I do not think critically, I will be subject to all influences, to all suggestions, to all errors and to all the lies that are spread, and with which I have been indoctrinated since childhood.”

Ep. #227
 
Hannah Fry:

“I do think we’re at a point in our history where almost all of the big, grand, challenges faced by the human race are those that demand a scientific solution: climate change; access to clean water; over-crowding; plastic waste.”

Ep. #303
 

“I spend quite a lot of time thinking about how curated our information is. What we watch, what we read, what we buy, often who we talk to, is all shaped and influenced by some kind of a mathematical algorithm.”

Ep. #407
 
Stephen Fry:

“The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriousity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.”

Ep. #122, Ep. #330
 

“You’ll often hear the phrase “science doesn’t know everything.” Well, of course it doesn’t know everything. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean that it knows nothing”

Ep. #075
 

“You’ll often hear the phrase ‘science doesn’t know everything.’ Well, of course it doesn’t know everything. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean that it knows nothing. Science knows enough for us to be watched by a few million people now on television, for these light to be working, for quite extraordinary miracles to have taken place in terms of the harnessing of the physical world and our dim approach towards understanding it.”

Ep. #390
 
Galileo Galilei:

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

Ep. #176
 

“I have never met a man so ignorant that I could not learn something from him.”

Ep. #107
 

“In the long run my observations have convinced me that some men, reasoning preposterously, first establish some conclusion in their minds which, either because of its being their own or because of their having received it from some person who has their entire confidence, impresses them so deeply that one finds it impossible ever to get it out of their heads. Such arguments in support of their fixed idea as they hit upon themselves or hear set forth by others, no matter how simple and stupid these may be, gain their instant acceptance and applause. On the other hand whatever is brought forward against it, however ingenious and conclusive, they receive with disdain or with hot rage — if indeed it does not make them ill.”

Ep. #262
 

“In the sciences the authority of thousands of opinions is not worth as much as one tiny spark of reason in one individual. Besides, the modern observations deprive all former writers of any authority, since if they had seen what we see, they would have judged as we judge.”

Ep. #269
 

“Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought: the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them, while on the other hand to know and understand a multitude of things renders men cautious in passing judgment upon anything new.”

Ep. #128
 
Carl Friedrich Gauss:

“I have had my results for a long time: but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them.”

Ep. #375
 

“It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment.”

Ep. #220
 

“There are problems to whose solution I would attach an infinitely greater importance than to those of mathematics, for example touching ethics, or our relation to God, or concerning our destiny and our future; but their solution lies wholly beyond us and completely outside the province of science.”

Ep. #272
 
Uri Geller:

“I’ve stopped caring about skeptics, but if they libel or defame me they will end up in court.”

Ep. #387
 
Alexander Gerst:

“It’s really questionable if aliens would see us as portraying intelligent life. Maybe they would fly to another planet first.”

Ep. #334
 
Ricky Gervais:

“Science is constantly proved all the time. You see, If we took something like any fiction, any holy book, and any other fiction and destroyed it, in a thousand years’ time, that wouldn’t come back just as it was. Whereas if we took every science book and every fact and destroyed them all, in a thousand years they’d all be back because all the same tests would be the same result.”

Ep. #228
 
André Paul Guillaume Gide:

“Most often people seek in life occasions for persisting in their opinions rather than for educating themselves.”

Ep. #192
 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

“Misunderstandings and lethargy perhaps produce more wrong in the world than deceit and malice do. At any rate, the latter two are certainly rarer.”

Ep. #406
 

“Science helps us before all things in this, that it somewhat lightens the feeling of wonder with which Nature fills us; then, however, as life becomes more and more complex, it creates new facilities for the avoidance of what would do us harm and the promotion of what will do us good.”

Ep. #246
 
Ben Goldacre:

“Problems in medicine do not mean that homeopathic sugar pills work; just because there are problems with aircraft design, that doesn’t mean that magic carpets really fly.”

Ep. #275
 
Emma Goldman:

“Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think.”

Ep. #093
 
Jane Goodall:

“There we are, arguably the most intelligent being that’s ever walked planet Earth, with this extraordinary brain, yet we’re destroying the only home we have.”

Ep. #348
 
Natalie Grams-Nobmann:

“Homeopathy doesn’t work beyond the Placebo effect.”

Ep. #296
 

“Only one who is completely informed can decide freely.”

Ep. #382
 
Johannes Gutenberg:

“It is a press, certainly, but a press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams. Through it, God will spread His Word. A spring of truth shall flow from it: like a new star it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance, and cause a light heretofore unknown to shine amongst men.”

Ep. #314
 
Mike Hall:

“If your surgery doesn’t work better than a placebo, it means that the surgery doesn’t work, not that there is a placebo effect.”

Ep. #351
 
Ruth Handler:

“Humans only have one ending. Ideas live forever.”
(in the Movie ‘Barbie’)

Ep. #391
 
Stephen Hawking:

“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”

Ep. #256
 

“I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realisation that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

Ep. #360
 

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”

Ep. #031
 
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel:

“What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.”

Ep. #315
 
Werner Karl Heisenberg:

“An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject, and how to avoid them.”

Ep. #241
 

“If nature leads us to mathematical forms of great simplicity and beauty—by forms I am referring to coherent systems of hypothesis, axioms, etc.—to forms that no one has previously encountered, we cannot help thinking that they are “true,” that they reveal a genuine feature of nature…”

Ep. #211
 
Hermann von Helmholtz:

“Each individual fact, taken by itself, can indeed arouse our curiosity or our astonishment, or be useful to us in its practical applications. But intellectual satisfaction we obtain only from a connection of the whole, just from its conformity with law.”

Ep. #289
 
Jim Herrick:

“The widest cause of secularization may be the steady change of thinking so that there is the expectation that reason and a consideration of cause and effect will help with explanations. Supernatural power began to be removed from explanations of the process of life or society in the seventeenth century, and although there may be a nod towards astrology or the crossed finger today, superstition is not seriously used in decision making. […]
Scientific thinking, which similarly developed in the seventeenth century, has been influential in bringing this change. We now see that tornadoes and earthquakes have rational explanations in terms of climatology and seismology rather than as divine punishments. Most people when deciding whether to take a new job, embark on a divorce, or simply plan a holiday will not seek divine guidance, but rather discuss with themselves or others the issues of cause and effect.”

Ep. #384
 
Christopher Hitchens:

“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence”.

Ep. #270
 
Ladislav Hromadka:

“The basics are knowing which small steps to take – you can’t start out planning world salvation from the get go. You have to be ready to do gruelling work. You have to find role models, who will teach you how to think better. You can’t always trust what you believe yourself. Every truth starts off as a delusion. It can only become truth after it is critiqued.”

Ep. #143
 
Victor Hugo:

“Because a fact seems strange to you, you conclude that it is not one. … All science, however, commences by being strange. Science is successive. It goes from one wonder to another. It mounts by a ladder. The science of to-day would seem extravagant to the science of a former time. Ptolemy would believe Newton mad.”

Ep. #019
 

“Science says the first word on everything, and the last word on nothing”

Ep. #077
 
David Hume:

“In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.”

Ep. #069, Ep. #126, Ep. #169
 

“When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities.”

Ep. #037
 
Holm Gero Hümmler:

“I don’t want to argue with the believers. I want to be there for the people who hear those claims but are not part of the belief system (yet), or who have been a part of it and have started asking questions.”

Ep. #372
 
Thomas Henry Huxley:

“Science … warns me to be careful how I adopt a view which jumps with my preconceptions, and to require stronger evidence for such belief than for one to which I was previously hostile. My business is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonise with my aspirations.”

Ep. #173
 

“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this.”

Ep. #079
 

“The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”

Ep. #245
 

“The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.”

Ep. #276
 

“The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions.”

Ep. #221
 
Christiaan Huygens:

“There are many degrees of Probable, some nearer Truth than others, in the determining of which lies the chief exercise of our Judgment.”

Ep. #321
 
David Icke:

“Life constantly presents the greatest opportunity brilliantly disguised as the biggest disaster.”

Ep. #368
 
Edward Jenner:

“I hope that some day the practice of producing cowpox in human beings will spread over the world. When that day comes, there will be no more smallpox.”

Ep. #274
 
Joseph Joubert:

“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it”

Ep. #049
 

“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.”

Ep. #223
 
Immanuel Kant:

“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.”

Ep. #103, Ep. #156
 

“Skepticism is thus a resting-place for human reason, where it can reflect upon its dogmatic wanderings and make survey of the region in which it finds itself, so that for the future it may be able to choose its path with more certainty. But it is no dwelling-place for permanent settlement. Such can be obtained only through perfect certainty in our knowledge, alike of the objects themselves and of the limits within which all our knowledge of objects is enclosed.”

Ep. #097
 
Jackie Kashian:

“I have friends who have said to me in the last couple of years that they are empaths.
Not I’m empathetic, not I’m sympathetic, not I’m patient tolerant or kind, but I am an empath.
Nope.
Like mantis from Guardians of the Galaxy? Like Deanna Troi from Star Trek the Next Generation? Like a demon from Buffy?
No, you are not an empath. You had a human experience. Someone was crying, you made eye contact. Someone looked up from their phone and you were there.
The word you’re looking for is narcissist.”

Ep. #364
 
Johannes Kepler:

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”

Ep. #346
 

“Of a number of variant hypotheses about the same facts, that one is true which shows why facts, which in the other hypotheses remain unrelated, are as they are, i.e., which demonstrates their orderly and rational mathematical connexion.”

Ep. #135
 
Søren Kierkegaard:

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Ep. #358
 

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

Ep. #331
 
Alfred Korzybski:

“Humans can be literally poisoned by false ideas and false teachings. Many people have a just horror at the thought of putting poison into tea or coffee, but seem unable to realize that, when they teach false ideas and false doctrines, they are poisoning the time-binding capacity of their fellow men and women.”

Ep. #234
 
Walter Kotschnig:

“Let us keep our minds open, by all means, as long as that means keeping our sense of perspective and seeking an understanding of the forces which mould the world. But don’t keep your minds so open that your brains fall out! There are still things in this world which are true and things which are false; acts which are right and acts which are wrong, even if there are statesmen who hide their designs under the cloak of high-sounding phrases.”

Ep. #101, Ep. #216
 
Claire Kroulik-Klingenberg:

“Scientific findings are not enough. Taking into account that today you can really find a study supporting any opinion, it is our role as skeptics to help educate the public about quality sources, manipulation methods, and misinformation methods (…)”

Ep. #383
 
Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki:

“Just sit there and just churn out those words and just send those words off everywhere all over the place and try and get into all the media, even media that overwhelmingly puts forward lies like ‘the Earth is flat’ or ‘that tobacco is good for you’ or ‘that climate change is not real’, because at least you’re getting to a new audience.
So just keep on churning out that material, just doing it over and over and over again. You get good by doing it and you make mistakes.
And ignore opinions, stick to the facts.”

Ep. #352
 
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier:

“We must trust to nothing but facts: These are presented to us by Nature, and cannot deceive. We ought, in every instance, to submit our reasoning to the test of experiment, and never to search for truth but by the natural road of experiment and observation.”

Ep. #009, Ep. #109, Ep. #157
 
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz:

“There is nothing in the understanding which has not come from the senses, except the understanding itself, or the one who understands.”

Ep. #318
 
Stanisław Lem:

“Even the fact that competent experts must serve under politicians of mediocre intelligence and little foresight is a problem that we are stuck with, because the experts themselves cannot agree on any major world issue. A logocracy of quarreling experts might be no better than the rule of the mediocrities to which we are subject. The declining intellectual quality of political leadership is the result of the growing complexity of the world. Since no one, be he endowed with the highest wisdom, can grasp it in its entirety, it is those who are least bothered by this who strive for power.”

Ep. #239
 
da Vinci, Leonardo:

“Experiment is the interpreter of nature. Experiments never deceive. It is our judgment which sometimes deceives itself because it expects results which experiment refuses. We must consult experiment, varying the circumstances, until we have deduced general rules, for experiment alone can furnish reliable rules.”

Ep. #162, Ep. #219
 

“The acquisition of knowledge is always of use to the intellect, because it may thus drive out useless things and retain the good. For nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first known.”

Ep. #055
 

“Those who fall in love with practice without science are like a sailor who enters a ship without a helm or a compass, and who never can be certain whither he is going.”

Ep. #244
 
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg:

“The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth.”

Ep. #367
 
John Locke:

“False and doubtful positions, relied upon as unquestionable maxims, keep those who build on them in the dark from truth.”

Ep. #185
 

“The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.”

Ep. #414
 

“The only defense against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.”

Ep. #370
 
Mark Lynas:

“We cannot criticise global warming sceptics for denying the scientific consensus on climate when we ignore the same consensus on both the safety and the beneficial uses of nuclear power and genetic engineering.”

Ep. #307
 
Dame Hilary Mary Mantel:

“It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.”

Ep. #027, Ep. #159
 
Marabu:

“A miracle healer – fresh of the rack –
praises the ointment of the brand Quack,
and makes the public believe his lies:
the effect is dependent on the price.
 
For 100 Euro it is valid in no time:
no earth ray disturbs the sleeper’s rest.
Those who have already had their brains fried by radiation‘s best
Are willing to pay a fair dime.
 
For 1000 Euro the buyer is
Protected from witchcraft, what a bliss.
The majority nevertheless – every bet –
skeptically prefers an amulet.
 
If ten times more money is not too much glory,
He buys the protection from purgatory.
The best way since ancient times to get golden tools
is with the anxious fear of fools.
 
If one asks for evidence:
this ointment has never failed a chance.
From things that do not exist
This ointment will protect you, that’s the jist!”

Ep. #395
 
Jane Marcet:

“I can assure you that the greatest pleasure I derive from success is the hope of doing good by the propagation of useful truths amongst a class of people, who, excepting in a popular familiar form, would never have become acquainted with them.”

Ep. #385
 
March for Science:

“Are you alive and over 40 years old? You are welcome. Science”

Ep. #071
 
Michael Marshall:

“If we are going to be able to reach people, and if we are going to be successful in stemming the flow of misinformation, conspiracy and paranoia, we have to be able to be patient and personable, to be genuinely curious about other people and their motivations, and to understand as much as possible what can lead people off the beaten track, and into the wilderness.”

Ep. #379
 

“It’s important that we as scientists and skeptics remain open for claims and dialogues.”

Ep. #335
 
Harriet Martineau:

“It is my deliberate opinion that the one essential requisite of human welfare in all ways is scientific knowledge of human nature.”

Ep. #065
 
Lise Meitner:

“Science makes people reach selflessly for truth and objectivity; it teaches people to accept reality, with wonder and admiration, not to mention the deep awe and joy that the natural order of things brings to the true scientist.”

Ep. #011, Ep. #177
 

“Science makes people reach selflessly for truth and objectivity; it teaches people to accept reality, with wonder and admiration, not to mention the deep awe and joy that the natural order of things brings to the true scientist.”

Ep. #124
 
Gregor Mendel:

“The value and utility of any experiment are determined by the fitness of the material to the purpose for which it is used, and thus in the case before us it cannot be immaterial what plants are subjected to experiment and in what manner such experiment is conducted.”

Ep. #356
 
Dmitri Mendeleev:

“It is the function of science to discover the existence of a general reign of order in nature and to find the causes governing this order. And this refers in equal measure to the relations of man – social and political – and to the entire universe as a whole.”

Ep. #312
 
Tim Minchin:

“A famous bon mot asserts that opinions are like arse-holes, in that everyone has one. There is great wisdom in this… but I would add that opinions differ significantly from arse-holes, in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined. We must think critically, and not just about the ideas of others. Be hard on your beliefs. Take them out onto the verandah and beat them with a cricket bat…. Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, your privilege.” 

Ep. #001
 

“I really like Christmas, I don’t go in for ancient wisdom. I don’t believe just ’cause ideas are tenacious It means they’re worthy.”

Ep. #305
 
Desmond Morris:

“We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species.”

Ep. #258
 
Sir Isaac Newton:

“To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. ‘Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”

Ep. #202, Ep. #254
 

“We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. To this purpose the philosophers say that Nature does nothing in vain, and more is in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.” – 1st rule (of 4) of scientific reasoning

Ep. #151
 
Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim:

“I was a scientist and then I noticed: I have to go into science communication! It has turned into a political thing to stand for facts.”

Ep. #287
 
Friedrich Nietzsche:

“A great truth wants to be criticized not idolized”

Ep. #043
 

“It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!”

Ep. #336
 
Alfred Noyes:

“Did Newton, dreaming in his orchard there
Beside the dreaming Witham, see the moon
Burn like a huge gold apple in the boughs
And wonder why should moons not fall like fruit?”

Ep. #392
 
Dara Ó Briain:

“‘Herbal medicine’, “Oh, herbal medicine’s been around for thousands of years!” Indeed it has, and then we tested it all, and the stuff that worked became ‘medicine’. And the rest of it is just a nice bowl of soup and some potpourri, so knock yourselves out.”

Ep. #260
 

“Science knows it doesn’t know everything; otherwise, it’d stop. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.”

Ep. #184
 
Heinz Oberhummer:

“So the next time someone comes to you: ‘We humans have lost touch with the old knowledge, we have to go back to nature’, then ask him where you have to go, and whether you should bring rain protection and be in a good mood. Not that it would be a good idea to use up the resources of our planet as if there were no tomorrow, but where man lives strictly in harmony with nature, it is usually not comfortable.”

Ep. #326
 
John Oliver:

“In science, you don’t just get to cherry-pick the parts that justify what you were going to do anyway! That’s religion!”

Ep. #271
 
J. Robert Oppenheimer:

“Why limit yourself to one dogma?”
(in the movie ‘Oppenheimer’)

Ep. #391
 
George Orwell:

“If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Ep. #333
 

“We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.”

Ep. #181
 
Thomas Paine:

“I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”

Ep. #217
 
Blaise Pascal:

“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”

Ep. #073, Ep. #115, Ep. #212
 

“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”

Ep. #279
 
Louis Pasteur:

“Fortune favours the prepared mind.”

Ep. #374
 

“I am utterly convinced that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will eventually unite not to destroy but to edify, and that the future will belong to those who have done the most for the sake of suffering humanity.”

Ep. #230
 

“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.”

Ep. #021, Ep. #168, Ep. #290
 
Wolfgang Pauli:

“I don’t mind your thinking slowly; I mind your publishing faster than you think.”

Ep. #405
 
Massimo Pigliucci:

“Given the power and influence that science increasingly has in our daily lives, it is important that we as citizens of an open and democratic society learn to separate good science from bunk. This is not just a matter of intellectual curiosity, as it affects where large portions of our tax money go – and in some cases whether people’s lives are lost as a result of nonsense.”

Ep. #257
 

“Once data are ruled out as arbiters among theories, those theories become pointless, just another clever intellectual game.”

Ep. #362
 

“What skeptics are about is to keep that candle lit and spread it as much as possible.”

Ep. #205
 

“You make up shit as you go and then some shit sticks and some stinks.” (referring to the scientific method)

Ep. #343
 
Max Planck:

“Scientific work will never stop, and it would be terrible if it did. If there were no more problems, you would put your hands in your pockets and your head on a pillow and would work no more. In science rest is stagnation, rest is death.”

Ep. #319
 

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Ep. #365
 
Plato:

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything”

Ep. #189
 

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

Ep. #329
 
Massimo Polidoro:

“We are accused of being blasphemous, but we are not interested in people’s religious beliefs. We are people who want to understand the world around us. When people have both sides of a story, they can make up their own minds.”

Ep. #316
 
Karl Popper:

“If we are uncritical we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories. In this way it is only too easy to obtain what appears to be overwhelming evidence in favor of a theory which, if approached critically, would have been refuted.”

Ep. #285
 

“Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.”

Ep. #233
 
William Ramsay:

“Progress is made by trial and failure; the failures are generally a hundred times more numerous than the successes; yet they are usually left unchronicled.”

Ep. #035
 
 Hans Rosling:

“Let the dataset change your mindset.”

Ep. #413
 
Hans Rosling:

“There’s no room for facts when our minds are occupied by fear.”

Ep. #301
 

“We need to let data drive our decisions, not our prejudices.”

Ep. #403
 
Bertrand Russel:

“The scientific attitude of mind involves a sweeping away of all other desires in the interests of the desire to know—it involves suppression of hopes and fears, loves and hates, and the whole subjective emotional life, until we become subdued to the material, able to see it frankly, without preconceptions, without bias, without any wish except to see it as it is, and without any belief that what it is must be determined by some relation, positive or negative, to what we should like it to be, or to what we can easily imagine it to be.”

Ep. #412
 
Bertrand Russell:

“If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance with his instincts, he will accept it even on the slenderest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.”

Ep. #225
 

“Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a fit place to live in, instead.”

Ep. #005
 

“The trouble with the world is that stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt”

Ep. #029
 

“William James used to preach the “will to believe”. For my part, I should wish to preach the “will to doubt” […] what is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.”

Ep. #004
 
Carl Sagan:

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.”

Ep. #294
 
Jonas Salk:

“Nothing happens quite by chance. It’s a question of acretion of information and experience.”

Ep. #119
 
Amardeo Sarma:

“Even skeptics may fall for claims that they wish to be true if they do not remind themselves that they too have their political, ideological, and religious or nonreligious biases that could cloud their objectivity.”

Ep. #378
 
Arthur Schopenhauer:

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”

Ep. #332
 

“The method of viewing things which proceeds in accordance with the principle of sufficient reason is the rational method, and it alone is valid and of use in practical life and in science. The method which looks away from the content of this principle is the method of genius, which is only valid and of use in art.”

Ep. #059
 
Rachel Schraer:

“It’s not only about giving the correct information, but to alert them to misinformation and disinformation floating around.”

Ep. #350
 
Lucius Annaeus Seneca:

“How many discoveries are reserved for the ages to come when our memory shall be no more, for this world of ours contains matter for investigation for all generations.”

Ep. #325
 
William Shakespeare:

“I do present you with a man of mine; Cunning in music and the mathematics; To instruct her fully in those sciences”

Ep. #337
 

“Modest doubt is call’d the beacon of the wise.”

Ep. #081
 
George Bernard Shaw:

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”

Ep. #359
 

“Science is always simple and always profound. It is only the half-truths that are dangerous.”

Ep. #083
 
Mary Shelley:

“In other studies you go as far as others have gone before you, and there is nothing more to know; but in a scientific pursuit there is continual food for discovery and wonder.”

Ep. #051
 

“The beginning is always today.”

Ep. #409
 
Simon Singh:

“All that was required to measure the planet was a man with a stick and a brain. In other words, couple an intellect with some experimental apparatus and almost anything seems achievable.”

Ep. #291
 

“Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation.”

Ep. #340
 
Adam Smith:

“Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.”

Ep. #137
 

“The learned ignore the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of the ideas of their imagination.”

Ep. #339
 
Sokrates:

“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”

Ep. #327
 
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

“Skepticism is a way of freeing the dogmatic mind, and that’s where its value lies.”

Ep. #201
 
Baruch Spinoza:

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”

Ep. #039
 

“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.”

Ep. #067
 
Jonathan Swift:

“You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong. It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday.”

Ep. #183
 
Taylor Swift:

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.”

Ep. #150
 
Albert Szent-Györgyi:

“The essence of the scientific method is that it deals with problems as such and thus it seeks solutions, without prejudice or chauvinism. The question we ask is not who’s right, but what the truth is.”

Ep. #063, Ep. #113
 
Publius Cornelius Tacitus:

“Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty. Take your time to decide don’t rush. “

Ep. #130
 
Marianne Talbot:

“So knowing about the fallacies […] won’t stop your mistaking instances of these fallacies for the real thing. There is no substitute for putting in the mental effort and attention you need to guard against such mistakes.”

Ep. #322
 
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:

“We have gone a long way towards solving a problem when we are able to formulate it.”

Ep. #373
 
Edward Teller:

“We must learn to live with contradictions, because they lead to deeper and more effective understanding.”

Ep. #394
 
Nikola Tesla:

“The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter — for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way. He lives and labors and hopes.”

Ep. #057, Ep. #282
 
They Might Be Giants:

“A scientific theory; Isn’t just a hunch or guess; It’s more like a question; That’s been put through a lot of tests; And when a theory emerges; Consistent with the facts; The proof is with science; The truth is with science”

Ep. #235
 
Greta Thunberg:

“You must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never ever be an option.”

Ep. #361
 
Arne Tiselius:

“We live in a world where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language.”

Ep. #013, Ep. #110
 
Frank Turner:

“Verse:
Last night I had a vision
Of people being congratulated
Instead of ridiculed and hated
For admitting that they made mistakes
Chorus:
Take a breath
Try these for size
I don’t know
I changed my mind”

Ep. #376
 
Tina Turner:

“My kidneys are victims of my not realising that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine.”

Ep. #380
 
Neil deGrasse Tyson:

“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.”

Ep. #002
 
Hendrik Willem van Loon:

“A few drops of science will often disinfect an entire barrel full of ignorance and prejudice.”

Ep. #089
 
Jules Verne:

“Science, my lad, has been built upon many errors; but they are errors which it was good to fall into, for they led to the truth.”

Ep. #167
 

“You cannot oppose reasoning to pride, the principal of all the vices, since, by its very nature, the proud man refuses to listen to it.”

Ep. #355
 
Rein Vihalemm:

“The scientific world picture does not include … things that have not been constructed, that are not understood as artefacts … Instead of the final cause one starts to speak about purpose, which nature itself does not have. Only humans can set aims and achieve them by their activities if they know the laws of nature and set up various processes based on them and organise them purposively.”

Ep. #266
 
Allesandro Volta:

“The language of experience is more authoritative than all kinds of reasoning: facts can destroy our reasoning, not vice versa.”

Ep. #415
 
Voltaire:

“Once your faith, sir, persuades you to believe what your intelligence declares to be absurd, beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life. In days gone by, there were people who said to us: ‘You believe in incomprehensible, contradictory and impossible things because we have commanded you to; now then, commit unjust acts because we likewise order you to do so.’ Nothing could be more convincing. Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”

Ep. #182
 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

“If many a man did not feel obliged to repeat what is untrue, because he has said it once, the world would have been quite different.”

Ep. #117
 
Horace Walpole:

“I have often said, and oftener think, that this world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel – a solution of why Democritus laughed and Heraclitus wept.”

Ep. #195
 
Åsa Wikforss:

“The claim that there is a fundamental contradiction between being a rational, thinking person and having strong emotions is both wrong and dangerous.”

Ep. #410
 
Oscar Wilde:

“The fact is, that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesmanlike habits, supplies their demands.”

Ep. #218
 

“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.”

Ep. #165
 

“There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing”

Ep. #196
 
Robert Winston:

“I think it’s important for scientists to be a bit less arrogant, a bit more humble, recognising we are capable of making mistakes and being fallacious – which is increasingly serious in a society where our work may have unpredictable consequences.”

Ep. #283
 
Lewis Wolpert:

“I would teach the world that science is the best way to understand the world, and that for any set of observations, there is only one correct explanation. Also, science is value-free, as it explains the world as it is. Ethical issues arise only when science is applied to technology – from medicine to industry.”

Ep. #015
 
Master Yoda:

“Do! Or do not! There is no try!”

Ep. #200
 
Ranga Yogeshwar:

“People think that science is like the fire brigade. If there’s a raging fire, people are happy the firefighters exist. But there are also people that say ‘If nothing is on fire, what do we need the fire brigade for?‘”

Ep. #306
 
Anton Zeilinger:

“To people who believe in esotericism, i.e. in energy waves, water dowsing or homeopathy, I say: study quantum mechanics, it is not much stranger, but contrary to your claims it is experimentally proven!”

Ep. #347