Some Timely Quotes
De t'ings dat yo li'ble To read in de Bible - It ain't necessarily so.
--It Ain't Necessarily So, Porgy and Bess (George Gershwin)
Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory."
--Scott D. Weitzenhoffer
Ph.D., D.Sc., D.Litt.
The tragedy of young-earth creationism is that it takes a relatively recent and extreme view of Genesis, applies to it an unjustified scientific gloss, and then asks sincere and well-meaning seekers to swallow this whole, despite the massive discordance with decades of scientific evidence from multiple disciplines. Is it any wonder that many sadly turn away from faith concluding that they cannot believe in a God who asks for an abandonment of logic and reason?
--Francis S. Collins, Director National Human Genome Research Institute, writing in Faith and the Human Genome
Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
--Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975) Russian geneticist and evolutionary biologist
Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo. (The drop excavates the stone, not with force but by falling often.)
--Publius Ovidius Naso, Epistulae Ex Ponto (Letters from the Black Sea)
I know not what I appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
--Isaac Newton (1642-1727) Quoted in D Brewster, Memoirs of Newton
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
--Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts.
--Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003)
Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.
--Carl Sagan, 1934-1996
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
--Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.
--Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof.
those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I
notice it always coincides with their own desires.
--Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906, Quaker, teacher, temperance and abolition organizer and women's rights leader
Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to
play chess with a pigeon - it knocks the pieces over, craps on the
board, and flys [sic] back to its flock to claim victory.
--Anonymous reviewer of Eugenie Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism : An Introduction. See ScienceDaily
Looking to future generations, there is no
cause to fear that the social instincts will grow weaker... the social
instincts, - the prime principle of man's moral constitution - with the
aid of active intellectual powers and the effects of habit, naturally lead
to the golden rule, "As ye would that men should do to you; do ye to them
likewise"; and this lies at the foundation of morality.
--Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1871, Part I, Chap. IV
In a year when humans have
slotted a spacecraft neatly through a gap in the rings of Saturn and fired a
projectile into a comet 135 million kilometres away, surely it isn't too much to
ask that our scientific techniques should be able to determine the correct age
of the earth to within a small margin of error?
--Dr Alex Ritchie, BSc. (Hons) Geology, Ph.D in Sydney Morning Herald Webdiary Debate, 15- 24 June 2005
The biblical story of the perfect and
finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian
mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.
--Bishop John Shelby Spong, A Call for a New Reformation, 1998
There is a relative order
to the fossilized species of plants found in the geologic record for which
Flood Geology cannot account, unless you can imagine apple and orange
trees with Nike sneakers on their roots, racing past the magnolias and
primitive mammals, leaving the ginkgoes back there with the dinosaurs when
the Flood waters began to rise.
--Frank R. Zindler, Creationism on the Rocks, Dial-An-Atheist, Greatest Hits from Ohio
God made all the animals in a single day; he
could have swept them all away in the flood and re-created them in one day
when they were again needed. Therefore it was an odd idea to save
specimens of them for eleven months in the ark, whilst aware that eight
persons could not feed or water them by any human possibility. If they
were to be preserved by miracle, the ark was not necessary -- to let them
swim would have answered the purpose and been more indubitably miraculous.
--Mark Twain, God of the Bible vs. God of the Present Day
The Deluge: A punishment inflicted on the
human race by an all-knowing God, who, through not having foreseen the
wickedness of men, repented of having made them, and drowned them once for
all to make them better -- an act which, as we all know, was accompanied
by the greatest success.
--Voltaire, Dictionary of Theology
Why did God fill the world with his own children, knowing that he would have to destroy them? And why does this same God tell me how to raise my children when he had to drown his?
--Robert Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses
There is no god higher
If every fossil were
magicked away, the comparative study of modern organisms, of how their
patterns of resemblances, especially of their genetic sequences, are
distributed among species, and of how species are distributed among
continents and islands, would still demonstrate, beyond all sane doubt,
that our history is evolutionary, and that all living creatures are
cousins. Fossils are a bonus. A welcome bonus, to be sure, but
not an essential one. It is worth remembering this when creationists
go on (as they tediously do) about "gaps" in the fossil record. The
fossil record could be one big gap, and the evidence for evolution would
still be overwhelmingly strong. At the same time, if we had only
fossils and no other evidence, the fact of evolution would again be
overwhelmingly supported. As things stand, we are blessed with both.
--Professor Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale
A lie repeated
often enough convinces the liar, and many creationists may now have
forgotten that they are lying at all.
--Frederick Turner, Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Dallas, Texas, Darwin and Design: The Evolution of a Flawed Debate
I do not detract from God. Everything that is, is
from him, and because of him. But [nature] is not confused and without
system, and so far as human knowledge has progressed it should be given a
hearing. Only when it fails utterly should there be recourse to God.
It gets worse when you realize that for YECs,
22 months is only 1.4 million years in evolutionary time....
--Nick Matzke, National Center for Science Education, on discovering that the ICC's Sixth International Conference on Creationism required "high quality papers" to be submitted to ICC some 22 months prior to the commencement of the conference
A biology or earth science
course taught without the inclusion of evolution is an inferior course.
Students who take these courses without being told that evolution unifies
the data and concepts of the field are being cruelly short-changed. They
will leave the course having been misled that science largely consists of
the tedious memorization of lists of facts, rather than a tool we can use
to help us understand the world of nature. This episodic, atomistic view
of science is particularly regrettable: it turns students away from
studying science, and perhaps worse yet, defeats our efforts to produce a
scientifically literate society.
--Anthropologist Eugenie C. Scott Ph.D.
--John Morley, Journalist, Biographer and Statesman, 1838-1923
If we are going to teach creation
science as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the
stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.
--Judith Hayes, Californian freelance writer
It is not the strongest of the species that
survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is
the most adaptable to change.
--Attributed to Charles Darwin,1809-1882
Our critiques of creationism are: (a) that it
stops scientific progress in its tracks by answering questions in a way
that closes off further research; and (b) that there is no real attempt to
meld the approach with the existing methods of science. We know that the
creationists say this is not true, but their hypotheses relate to books of
obscure origin or to faith rather than to observation.
-- JR Minkel, Scientists Know Better Than You--EvenWhen They're Wrong
By not vigorously exposing and confronting the
educational injustice that the creationist movement is inflicting upon an
ever-increasing number of young people, will we regret our inaction when,
as adults, this growing crop of fundamentalists become school board
members, military personnel, journalists, teachers, and politicians? If we
think the situation is bad now, wait until a creationist who also believes
in the prophecies of the End Times has their finger on the trigger of a
nuclear weapon. Then the real fun will begin.
--James K. Willmot, Edward Blyth: Creationist or Just Another Misinterpreted Scientist?
Opponents say natural selection is not a
theory supported by observation or experiment; that it is not based on
fact; and that it cannot be proved. Well, no, you cannot prove the theory
to people who won't believe in it any more than you can prove that the
Battle of Hastings took place in 1066. However, we know the battle
happened then, just as we know the course of evolution on earth
unambiguously shows that Darwin was right.
--David Attenborough, quoted in How Darwin won the evolution race