Science & Pseudoscience Review in Mental Health

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Quotes, Stories, and Bon Mots related to Pseudoscience & Mistaken Pronouncements

"It has a 100% cure rate for......"
-- A Pseudoscientist

"A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth."
-- G. Goebbles

"...man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on."
-- Winston S. Churchill

Said in 1903 "The most important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplemented in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote."
-- Albert A. Michelson

"But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."
--Carl Sagan

"'The scientific method,' Thomas Henry Huxley once wrote, 'is nothing but the normal working of the human mind.' That is to say, when the mind is working; that is to say further, when it is engaged in correcting its mistakes."
-- Neil Postman

"Almost everything that distinguishes the modern world from earlier centuries is attributable to science, which achieved its most spectacular triumphs in the seventeenth century."
-- Bertrand Russell

"I think there's a world market for about five computers."
-- Thomas Watson (Founder of IBM)

"I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true."
--Carl Sagan

"Space travel is utter bilge."
-- Richard Woolley (U.K. Astronomer Royal in 1956, one year before Sputnik)

"History is full of people who out of fear, or ignorance, or lust for power has destroyed knowledge of immeasurable value which truly belongs to us all. We must not let it happen again."
-- Carl Sagan

"So many centuries after the Creation, it is unlikely that anyone could find hitherto unknown lands of any value."
-- Spanish Royal Commission, rejecting Christopher Columbus' proposal to sail west.

"I am not very skeptical... a good deal of skepticism in a scientific man is advisable to avoid much loss of time, but I have met not a few men, who... have often thus been deterred from experiments or observations which would have proven serviceable."
-- Charles Darwin

"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives."
--Tolstoy

"In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion."
--Carl Sagan

"It is really quite amazing by what margins competent but conservative scientists and engineers can miss the mark, when they start with the preconceived idea that what they are investigating is impossible. When this happens, the most well-informed men become blinded by their prejudices and are unable to see what lies directly ahead of them."
-- Arthur C. Clarke

"When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself."
-- Mark Twain

"Doubt everything or believe everything: these are two equally convenient strategies. With either we dispense with the need for reflection."
-- Henri Poincare

"I believe there is no source of deception in the investigation of nature which can compare with a fixed belief that certain kinds of phenomena are IMPOSSIBLE."
--William James

"Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced."
-- Alfred North Whitehead

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
-- Arthur C. Clarke's First Law

"There is no better soporific and sedative than skepticism."
-- Nietzche

"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Schopenhauer

"I have steadily endeavored to keep my mind free so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject), as soon as the facts are shown to be opposed to it."
-- Darwin

"I love fools' experiments, I am always making them."
-- Darwin

"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish."
-- David Hume

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived, and dishonest - but the myth - persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic."
-- John F. Kennedy

"Trust a witness in all matters in which neither his self-interest, his passions, his prejudices, nor the love of the marvelous is strongly concerned. When they are involved, require corroborative evidence in exact proportion to the contravention of probability by the thing testified."
-- Thomas H. Huxley

"..the real world's all we've got. Believers in the supernatural claim to have special wisdom about the world. But real wisdom means knowing truth from falsehood, knowing the difference between evidence and wishful thinking. Yes, the real world is mysterious and sometimes frightening. But would the supernatural make it better? The real world has beauty, poetry, love and the joy of honest discovery. Isn't that enough?"
-- John Stossel

"I know a lot of people without brains who do an awful lot of talking."
--The Scarecrow -From the Wizard of Oz


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