Confident Quotes (7 quotes)
But for us, its different. Look again at that dot. Thats here. Thats home. Thats us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Error held as truth has much the effect of truth. In politics and religion this fact upsets many confident predictions.
I am willing to believe that my unobtainable sixty seconds within a sponge or a flatworm might not reveal any mental acuity that I would care to ca ll consciousness. But I am also confident ... that vultures and sloths, as close evolutionary relatives with the same basic set of organs, lie on our side of any meaningful (and necessarily fuzzy) borderand that we are therefore not mistaken when we look them in the eye and see a glimmer of emotional and conceptual affinity.
I would not be confident in everything I say about the argument: but one thing I would fight for to the end, both in word and in deed if I were ablethat if we believe we should try to find out what is not known, we should be better and braver and less idle than if we believed that what we do not know is impossible to find out and that we need not even try.
Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know; nor any people so confident as those who entertain us with fabulous stories, such as your alchemists, judicial astrologers, fortune-tellers, and physicians.
There's a tendency these days to use science as a religion, and to see geneticists as the high priests of that religion. But, the irony is that, as geneticists know more, they get less and less confident.
When the mathematician says that such and such a proposition is true of one thing, it may be interesting, and it is surely safe. But when he tries to extend his proposition to everything, though it is much more interesting, it is also much more dangerous. In the transition from one to all, from the specific to the general, mathematics has made its greatest progress, and suffered its most serious setbacks, of which the logical paradoxes constitute the most important part. For, if mathematics is to advance securely and confidently, it must first set its affairs in order at home. [Coauthor with James R. Newman]