“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”—Descartes
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”—Galilei
“If the enjoyment of happiness is a great good, the power of imparting it to others is greater.”—Bacon
“Who so itcheth to Philosophy must set to work by putting all things to the doubt.”—Brun
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”—Voltaire
“For Erasmus Darwin the theory of evolution was no mere scientific hypothesis but the very basis of his philosophy of life. For, if all forms of life have a common microscopic ancestor, we should look on the animals and insects as our cousins- ‘man . . . Should eye with tenderness all living forms, His brother-emmets, and his sister-worms.’”—King-Hele 1999
“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”—Einstein, as quoted in Quantum Reality, Beyond the New Physics
“For biologists of today, evolution is no longer a hypothesis but simply a fact, documented by the changes in the gene pools of species from generation to generation and by the changes in the fossil biota in accurately dated geological strata. Current resistance is limited entirely to opponents with religious commitments.”—Mayr 1982
“I hold that the scientific revolution from 1500 onward was an essential part of the Renaissance, …” “Since that time we have been in the unique position of trying to form a single picture of the whole of nature including man. That is a new enterprise; it differs from the preceding enterprises in that it’s not magical, by which I mean that it does not suppose the existence of two logics, a natural logic and a supernatural logic.”—Bronowski 1978
“Donald T. Campbell, one of the most respected philosophers of science of this century, had a vision of science in which flawed, venal people together yield the noblest of products. His hypothetical realism is addressed to those with faith that science edges towards truth, and shows us how—via variation and selective retention, and competition among the cooperators—ego-involved, over-committed, and under-informed mortals could bring this about.”—Heyes 1997
“Four splendid lines of Virgil came to mind, the only ones I ever memorized, where the Sibyl warns Aeneas of the Underworld: The way downward is easy from Avernus. Black Dis’s door stands open night and day. But to retrace your steps to heaven’s air, There is the trouble, there is the toil . . .” We do not understand ourselves yet and descend farther from heaven’s air if we forget how much the natural world means to us.”—E. O. Wilson from The Diversity of Life 1992
“The world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”—Sagan
“Against the background presumption that our aim is to understand the world of experience, a world of unbroken regularity, these [epistemic] values are tools or standards that we cherish, since ‘they are presumed to promote the truth-like character of science, its character as the most secure knowledge available to us of the world we seek to understand’ Hence, an ‘epistemic value is one we have reason to believe will, if pursued, help toward the attainment of such knowledge’”—Ruse from Monad to Man: The Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology 1996
“My work is based on the assumption that clarity and consistency in our moral thinking is likely, in the long run, to lead us to hold better views on ethical issues.”—Singer in Heilpädagogik online, 01/03, p. 53
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Degler, C. N. (1991). In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of
Darwinism in American Social Thought. New York: Oxford University
Heyes, C. (1997). A Tribute to Donald T. Campbell. Biology and Philosophy,
King-Hele, D. (1999). Erasmus Darwin: A Life of Unequalled Achievement.
London: Giles de la Mare.
Laudan, L. (1996). Beyond Positivsim and Relativism. Boulder: Westview
Mayr, E. (1982). The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and
Inheritance. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Orel, V.(1996). Gregor Mendel the First Geneticist. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford
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Biology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Wilson, E. O. (1992). The Diversity of Life. Cambridge, MA: Belknap