Friday, May 04, 2007

Great quotes from Stephen J Gould

I found this great unofficial site for Stephen J Gould which has some great quotes from the evolutionary master:

"Skepticism or debunking often receives the bad rap reserved for activities—like garbage disposal—that absolutely must be done for a safe and sane life, but seem either unglamorous or unworthy of overt celebration. Yet the activity has a noble tradition, from the Greek coinage of ‘skeptic’ (a word meaning ‘thoughtful’) to Carl Sagan's last book, The Demon-Haunted World. […] Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism—and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency. […] Skepticism's bad rap arises from the impression that, however necessary the activity, it can only be regarded as a negative removal of false claims. Not so […]. Proper debunking is done in the interest of an alternate model of explanation, not as a nihilistic exercise. The alternate model is rationality itself, tied to moral decency—the most powerful joint instrument for good that our planet has ever known."

It also has the famous passage of Karl Popper's "conjectures and refutations" which deals with science as falsification, which I had been hunting for a while...


rob said...

for more skepticism check out
skeptic magazine

rob said...

oops wrong link check out skeptic magazine.