Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
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- "I prefer a wicked person who knows he is wicked, to a righteous person who knows he is righteous". Yaakov Yitzchak of Lublin,the Seer of Lublin.
- "Think of how stupid the average person is and realize that half of everybody is stupider than that." Comedian and writer George Carlin
- "Nearly all men can stand adversity. But if you want to test a man's character - give him power." US President Abraham Lincoln
- "Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality."
- US President John F. Kennedy, said in Bonn, West Germany, at the signing of a charter establishing the German Peace Corps, 1963. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, p. 503. While Dante did not say this as such, JFK was paraphrasing Dante's quote from La Comedia Divina, canto 3, lines 35–42: “They are mixed with that repulsive choir of angels … undecided in neutrality. Heaven, to keep its beauty, cast them out, but even Hell itself would not receive them for fear the wicked there might glory over them.” Trans. Mark Musa, p. 21 (1971).
- "...Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that's horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it's nothing. It's just bibble-babble..." Writer Harlan Ellison
- "We know nothing except through logical analysis, and if we reject that sole connexion with reality, we might as well stop trying to be adults and retreat into the capricious dream-world of infantility." H.P._Lovecraft, in a letter sent to Robert E. Howard, 8/16/1932
- "Whoever preserves the life of a single human being ... it is as if he had preserved an entire world" Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5
On the role of scientists and those who do not value them
- Our speculations on the growing antipathy toward academic radicalism on the part of scientists are influenced by a certain sense of how the humanities and the arts enter into the actual lives of our scientific colleagues. On the whole, scientists are deeply cultured people, in the best and most honorable sense. The image of the scientific monomaniac, of science departments devoted to a "naive scientism" is, to say the least, highly misleading. The range of knowledge of music, art, history, philosophy, and literature to be found in a random sample of scientists is, we know from long experience, extensive, and in some fortunate venues, enormous. Most of this learning has been acquired, of necessity, at odd moments here and there -- not through formal or systematic study. As humanists, therefore, scientists are autodidacts. One obvious consequence of this fact is to undercut the argument that traditional humanities departments, in their role as educators, are indispensible bearers of the great treasures of our cultural heritage. There are other, albeit less efficient, routes to education.
- Let us be blunt: Having come so far, we have little left to lose. If, taking a fanciful hypothesis, the humanities department at MIT...were to walk out in a huff, the scientific faculty could, at need with enough released time, patch together a humanities curriculum, to be taught by the scientists themselves. It would have obvious gaps and rough spots, to be sure, and it might with some regularity prove inane; but on the whole it would be, we imagine, no worse than operative. What the opposite situation -- a walkout by the scientists -- would produce, as the humanities department tried to cope with the demand for science education, we leave to the reader's imagination.
- This little exercise in oneupmanship is, of course, utter fantasy. But it does point to something real. The notion that scientists and engineers will always accept as axiomatic the competence and indispensability for higher education of humanists and social scientists is altogether too smug. Other sentiments are clearly astir. How these matters play out in American intellectual life will depend, to some degree, on the ability of the non-scientists to rein in the most grotesque tendencies in their respective fields.
- Higher Superstition, Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt , p.243-244.
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