Albert Einstein

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)

I FULLY subscribe to the judgment of those writers who maintain that of all the differences between man and the lower animals, the moral sense or conscience is by far the most important. This sense, as Mackintosh remarks, "has a rightful supremacy over every other principle of human action;" it is summed up in that short but imperious word ought, so full of high significance. It is the most noble of all the attributes of man, leading him without a moment's hesitation to risk his life for that of a fellow-creature; or after due deliberation, impelled simply by the deep feeling of right or duty, to sacrifice it in some great cause. Immanuel Kant exclaims, "Duty! Wondrous thought, that workest neither by fond insinuation, flattery, nor by any threat, but merely by holding up thy naked law in the soul, and so extorting for thyself always reverence, if not always obedience; before whom all appetites are dumb, however secretly they rebel; whence thy original?"

(Darwin, C. 1871. The descent of man and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray. p. 70-71)

Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)

About thirty years ago there was much talk that geologists ought only to observe and not theorise; and I well remember some one saying that at this rate a man might as well go into a gravel-pit and count the pebbles and describe the colours. How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!

(Darwin, Francis & Seward, A. C. eds. 1903. More letters of Charles Darwin. A record of his work in a series of hitherto unpublished letters. London: John Murray. Volume 1.p. 195)

Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)

Nevertheless the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, is certainly one of degree and not of kind. We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention, curiosity, imitation, reason, &c., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes in a well-developed condition, in the lower animals.

(Darwin, C. 1871. The descent of man and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray. p. 105)

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002)

In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

In wetenschap kan 'feit' enkel betekenen "bevestigd in die mate dat het pervers zou zijn om het voorlopig niet aan te hangen". Ik kan wel veronderstellen dat appelen morgen beginnen te zweven, maar die mogelijkheid verdient geen equal time in de fysicalessen

Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975)

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution

In de biologie is niets betekenisvol, behalve in het licht van evolutie