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My collection of (mostly) quotations and links (mostly) about skepticism, science, philosophical naturalism, freethought and humanism. Mostly. With occasional music. (Formerly “Un bon mot ne prove rein”.)
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Informal infographic depicting evolution 

Dork Tower : “Asking for it

Pascal’s Wager fail, Could Be Worse

h/t WEIT

As I understand it, the claim is that the less you use homeopathy, the better it works. Sounds plausible to me.

David Deutsch, “Homeopathy

David Deutsch

You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I’ll show you a hundred retrogressions.

Frank Sinatra, interview, Playboy, February 1963

Playboy, February 1963

h/t WEIT

The dehumanizing idea that illness is connected to sin is a common feature of religious thinking about disease and sickness in general. Periods of crisis, like this one, may empower religious leaders to speak openly about the way that their traditions understand disease, but these explanations are not the product only of such exceptional moments of crisis. They are, rather, deep, long-lived, and fundamental aspects of how religious communities think about the sick among them. Both the leaders who present Ebola and other crises as divine punishment and the commentators who attribute this perspective to human nature under stress — and thereby excuse it — are participating in the perpetuation of a dangerous and destructive mode of thinking.

Joel Baden (professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School) and Candida Moss (professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame), “Ebola Is Not God’s Wrath”, Slate

h/t WEIT

What is elementary, worldly wisdom? Well, the first rule is that you can’t really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang ‘em back. If the facts don’t hang together on a latticework of theory, you don’t have them in a usable form. You’ve got to have models in your head. And you’ve got to array your experience—both vicarious and direct—on this latticework of models. You may have noticed students who just try to remember and pound back what is remembered. Well, they fail in school and in life. You’ve got to hang experience on a latticework of models in your head.

Charlie Munger, “Elementary Worldly Wisdom” (speech)

Charlie Munger

h/t Jana Vembunarayanan

Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself.

Albert Camus, Nobel banquet speech (1957)

Albert Camus