The more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become.
We are each entitled to our own opinion, but no one is entitled to his own facts.
In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that`s a really good argument; my position is mistaken", and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn`t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
Only a fool of a scientist would dismiss the evidence and reports in front of him and substitute his own beliefs in their place.
Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. (I live on the twenty-first floor.)
Science is merely an extremely powerful method of winnowing what`s true from what feels good.
When we are self-indulgent and uncritical, when we confuse hopes and facts, we slide into pseudoscience and superstition.
There are many sources of spirituality; religion may be the most common, but it is by no means the only. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades.
I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.
Even the most vaunted experts are susceptible to wishful thinking and can be blinded to a truth by a conviction that is supported more by emotional attachment than reason.
When you`re reading or skimming argumentative essays, especially by philosophers, here is a quick trick that may save you much time and effort, especially in this age of simple searching by computer: look for "surely" in the document, and check each occurrence. Not always, not even most of the time, but often the word "surely" is as good as a blinking light locating a weak point in the argument.
Myths, whether in written or visual form, serve a vital role of asking unanswerable questions and providing unquestionable answers. Most of us, most of the time, have a low tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. We want to reduce the cognitive dissonance of not knowing by filling the gaps with answers. Traditionally, religious myths have served that role, but today - the age of science - science fiction is our mythology.
Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.