Entries from July 2007 ↓

on science

Science is a lot like sex. Sometimes something useful comes of it, but that’s not the reason we’re doing it.

–Richard Feynman

on evolution

“Whoever can scare people enough (produce bio-survival anxiety) can sell them quickly on any verbal map that seems to give them relief, i.e. cure the anxiety. By frightening people with Helland then offering them Salvation, the most ignorant or crooked individuals can “sell” a whole system of thought that cannot bear two minutes of rational analysis. And any domesticated primate alpha male, however cruel or crooked, can rally the primate tribe behind him by howling that a rival alpha male is about to lead his gang in an attack on this habitat. These two mammalian reflexes are known, respectively, as Religion and Patriotism.  They work for domesticated primates, as for the wild primates, because they are Evolutionary Relative Successes. (So far.)”

– Robert Anton Wilson, in ‘Prometheus Rising’, 1983.

moral authority

“No one can stop Mr. Bush from freeing a pathetic little fall guy
like Scooter Libby. But only those who paid the ultimate price
for the avoidable bungling of Iraq have the moral authority to
pardon Mr. Bush.”

– Frank Rich, New York Times columnist, commenting on
U.S. President George W. Bush commuting the prison sentence
given to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Jr. for perjury and
obstruction of justice in the C.I.A. leak case.