The telephone is the greatest single enemy of scholarship; for what our intellectual forebears used to inscribe in ink now goes once over a wire into permanent oblivion.

Theory and fact are equally strong and utterly interdependent; one has no meaning without the other. We need theory to organize and interpret facts, even to know what we can or might observe. And we need facts to validate theories and give them substance.

There are no shortcuts to moral insight. Nature is not intrinsically anything that can offer comfort or solace in human terms -- if only because our species is such an insignificant latecomer in a world not constructed for us. So much the better. The answers to moral dilemmas are not lying out there, waiting to be discovered. They reside, like the kingdom of God, within us -- the most difficult and inaccessible spot for any discovery or consensus.

We do live in a conceptual trough that encourages such yearning for unknown and romanticized greener pastures of other times. The future doesn't seem promising, if only because we can extrapolate some disquieting present trends into further deterioration: pollution, nationalism, environmental destruction, and aluminum bats. Therefore, we tend to take refuge in a rose-colored past […]. I do not doubt the salutary, even the essential, properties of this curiously adaptive human trait, but we must also record the down side. Legends of past golden ages become impediments when we try to negotiate our current dilemma.

Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away while scientists debate rival theories for explaining them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air pending the outcome. And human beings evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered. [...] Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). 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.

Western field-work conjures up images of struggle on horseback… toughing it out on one canteen a day as you labor up and down mountains. The value of a site is supposedly correlated with the difficulty of getting there. This, of course, is romantic drivel. Ease of access is no measure of importance. The famous La Brea tar pits are right in downtown Los Angeles. To reach the Clarkia lake beds, you turn off the main road at Buzzard's Roost Trophy Company and drive the remaining fifty yards right up to the site.

In the Universe it may be that Primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare. Some would say it has yet to occur on Earth.

Our search for understanding will never come to an end, and that we will always have the challenge of new discovery. Without it, we would stagnate.

The intelligent beings in these regions should therefore not be surprised if they observe that their locality in the universe satisfies the conditions that are necessary for their existence. It is a bit like a rich person living in a wealthy neighborhood not seeing any poverty.

Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.

There are many kinds of success in life worth having. It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railroad man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor; or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison. It may be true that he travels farthest who travels alone; but the goal thus reached is not worth reaching. And as for a life deliberately devoted to pleasure as an end — why, the greatest happiness is the happiness that comes as a by-product of striving to do what must be done, even though sorrow is met in the doing. There is a bit of homely philosophy, quoted by Squire Bill Widener, of Widener's Valley, Virginia, which sums up one's duty in life: Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.

I came hither [Craigenputtoch] solely with the design to simplify my way of life and to secure the independence through which I could be enabled to remain true to myself.

I should not really object to dying were it not followed by death.

There has been war since the beginning of time and we are no smarter than the people that have gone before us. There is apt to be some more war.

These baccalaureate addresses given to graduates don’t offer ’em much encouragement outside of advising ’em to vote the straight Republican ticket.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft, and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor

And then there is the thrill of creatively sowing ideas and inspiration into the minds of others. Often our contributions will actually change lives by sharing appreciation, courage, love, and joy. Carry the ideal of being a creative sower, that you are on the side of growth, plenty, peace, and progress. Make it a point to scatter creative seeds every day of your life!

It is sexual energy which governs the structure of human feeling and thinking.

Certainly he is not of the generation that regards honesty as the best policy. However, he does regard it as a policy.

She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants, and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as Saint Anne, the mother of Mary; and all this has been to her but as the sound of lyres and flutes, and lives only in the delicacy with which it has molded the changing lineaments, and tinged the eyelids and the hands.