Behind every argument is someone's ignorance.

Confirm a nominee with no visible judicial philosophy who lacks the basic skills of persuasive argument and clear writing.

The Founders, in particular Thomas Jefferson, were aware that, to make the fledgling republic successful, the populace had to be educated, to give them the tools to differentiate between rational forms of argumentation and antidemocratic logical fallacies and other illegitimate means of persuasion. But setting up an educational system is not enough -- especially when "education" is more and more apt to be defined by the ability to pass a cut-and-dried multiple-choice test. (Odd - conservatives favor these too.) We have to become able to distinguish a real argument from a fallacious one.

As we have seen, an adaptive challenge consists of a gap between the shared values people hold and the reality of their lives, or of a conflict among people in a community over values or strategy. 1. What’s causing the distress? 2. What internal contradictions does the distress represent? 3. What are the histories of these contradictions? 4. What perspectives and interests have I and others come to represent to various segments of the community that are now in conflict? 5. In what ways are we in the organization or working group mirroring the problem dynamics in the community?

An empty barrel makes the greatest sound. (Ignorant stupid people talk more often and more loudly than wise ones; just as an empty pot makes a loud noise when it is struck, while a full pot makes little noise)

The Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them.

No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there.

That all who are happy are equally happy is not true. A peasant and a philosopher may be equally satisfied, but not equally happy.

The men who can be charged with fewest failing are generally most ready to allow them.

Almost no one is foolish enough to imagine that he automatically deserves great success in any field of activity; yet almost everyone believes that he automatically deserves success in marriage.

If all history is only an amplification of biography, the history of science may be most instructively read in the life and work of the men by whom the realms of Nature have been successively won.

I should dearly love that the world should be ever so little better for my presence. Even on this small stage we have our two sides, and something might be done by throwing all one's weight on the scale of breadth, tolerance, charity, temperance, peace, and kindliness to man and beast. We can't all strike very big blows, and even the little ones count for something.

It is no ready-made article; it has grown through the centuries as native to our country and people as the oak, ash, or thorn. It has given her people freedom and taught them the difference between freedom and license. That is the Constitution that is threatened to-day, not quite openly yet, by the Socialist Party in their conference, tendenciously by sketching a course of action which if it takes place means the destruction of the Constitution. You may dispute that as much as you like, but in effect taking away the executive power of the House of Commons is the way every tyranny starts. It is proletarian Hitlerism and nothing else, and it can be nothing else. I want you to realize it in time.

Not since the Lord himself showed his stuff to Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones had anyone shown such grace and skill in the reconstruction of animals from disarticulated skeletons. Charles R. Knight, the most celebrated of artists in the reanimation of fossils, painted all the canonical figures of dinosaurs that fire our fear and imagination to this day.

The argument that the literal story of Genesis can qualify as science collapses on three major grounds: the creationists' need to invoke miracles in order to compress the events of the earth's history into the biblical span of a few thousand years; their unwillingness to abandon claims clearly disproved, including the assertion that all fossils are products of Noah's flood; and their reliance upon distortion, misquote, half-quote, and citation out of context to characterize the ideas of their opponents.

The causes of life's history [cannot] resolve the riddle of life's meaning.

The contingency of history (both for life in general and for the cultures of Homo sapiens) and human free will (in the factual rather than theological sense) are conjoined concepts, and no better evidence can be produced than the experimental production of markedly different solutions in identical environments.

The net of science covers the empirical realm: what is the universe made of (fact) and why does it work this way (theory). The net of religion extends over questions of moral meaning and value.

We are glorious accidents of an unpredictable process with no drive to complexity, not the expected results of evolutionary principles that yearn to produce a creature capable of understanding the mode of its own necessary construction.

We live in an essential and unresolvable tension between our unity with nature and our dangerous uniqueness. Systems that attempt to place and make sense of us by focusing exclusively either on the uniqueness or the unity are doomed to failure. But we must not stop asking and questing because the answers are complex and ambiguous.