When Knowledge Conquered Fear


“When Isaac Newton was born in this house in 1642, the world was very different. Everyone looked at the perfection of the clockwork motions of the planets in the sky and could only understand it as the work of a master clockmaker. How else to explain it? There was only one way such a thing could come about in their imagination. God. For reasons beyond our understanding, God just created the solar system that way. But that explanation is the closing of a door – it doesn’t lead to other questions.

With one foot still in the Middle Ages, Isaac Newton imagined the whole solar system. Newton’s laws of gravity and motion revealed how the sun held distant worlds captive. His laws swept away the need for a master clockmaker to explain the precision and beauty of the solar system. Gravity is the clockmaker. Newton’s answer to why the solar system is the way it is opened the way to an infinite number of questions.”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Ep. 3: When Knowledge Conquered Fear)

James Randi > Quote

“There exists in society a very special class of persons that I have always referred to as the Believers. These are folks who have chosen to accept a certain religion, philosophy, theory, idea or notion and cling to that belief regardless of any evidence that might, for anyone else, bring it into doubt. They are the ones who encourage and support the fanatics and the frauds of any given age. No amount of evidence, no matter how strong, will bring them any enlightenment. They are the sheep who beg to be fleeced and butchered, and who will battle fiercely to preserve their right to be victimized.”

-James Randi.