Friday, September 18, 2020


Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature.  We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague.  Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her -- a tireless and resolute champion of justice.

-- Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr, in a statement announcing the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 18 September 2020

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Not Real Magic

"I'm writing a book on magic," I explain, and I'm asked, "real magic?"  By real magic people mean miracles, thaumaturgical acts, and supernatural powers.  "No," I answer: "Conjuring tricks, not real magic."

Real magic, in other words, refers to magic that is not real, while the magic that is real, that can actually be done, is not real magic. 

-- Lee Siegel, conjurer and author of Net of Magic: Wonders and Deceptions in India, quoted in Noesis #206, September 2020

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Human-To-Human Relations

In my view, anything that makes the Middle East more like the European Union and less like the Syrian civil war is a good thing. ...

I can't predict how it will all play out, but when the most technologically advanced and globalized Arab state, the U.A.E., decides to collaborate with the most technologically advanced and globalized non-Arab state in the region, Israel, I suspect new energies will get unlocked and new partnerships forged that should be good for both Arab-Israeli and Jewish-Muslim human-to-human relations.

-- Thomas L. Friedman, The Love Triangle That Spawned Trump's Mideast Peace Deal, New York Times, 15 September 2020

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Evidence And Science

Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history.  This year we are compelled to do so.  We do not do this lightly.

The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people -- because he rejects evidence and science.

-- Scientific American Editorial Board, in the October 2020 Issue

Monday, September 14, 2020


Energy demand from air conditioning worldwide is projected to triple to 6,200 terawatt-hours by 2050, which is the equivalent of a quarter of the total annual electricity consumption today. This is one reason many are trying to make more efficient air conditioning tech, as the current units have not seen the massive leaps in efficiency seen in other electrical technology like solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicles, and with billions of new air conditioners awaiting purchase in the decades to come, the sooner the better. In Los Angeles alone, rising temperatures could increase peak summertime electricity demand by 51 percent by 2060 under the worst case scenario. India is projected to install 1.1 billion AC units by 2050, which would make air conditioning account for 45 percent of peak electricity demand in the nation compared to 10 percent today.

-- Walt Hickey in NumLock News, citing James Temple, MIT Technology Review, 2 September 2020

Friday, September 11, 2020

9/11 Generation

Never before in our history has America asked so much over such a sustained period of an all-volunteer force.  So I can say without fear of contradiction or being accused of exaggeration, the 9/11 generation ranks among the greatest our nation has ever produced, and it was born -- it was born -- it was born right here on 9/11.

-- George W. Bush (1946 -), 43rd President of the United States, Obama: America does not give in to fear, (11 September 2011)

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Settled In

Judgments on the president's pandemic leadership have settled in.  It was inadequate and did harm.  He experienced Covid-19 not as a once-in-a-lifetime medical threat but merely a threat to his re-election argument, a gangbusters economy.  He denied the scope and scale of the crisis, sent economic adviser Larry Kudlow out to say we have it "contained" and don't forget to buy the dip.  Mr. Trump essentially admitted he didn't want more testing because it would result in more positives.

And the virus rages on, having hit blue states first and now tearing through red states.

-- Margaret Ellen "Peggy" Noonan (1950 -), columnist for The Wall Street Journal, former speechwriter for U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, "The Week It Went South for Trump", The Wall Street Journal (25 June 2020)

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

The Enemy Of Free Speech

What happens when the Second Amendment meets the First Amendment?  

The First Amendment loses. 

Here we have the full flowering of the First Amendment -- free speech about matters of public urgency -- marching headlong the unbridled expansion of the Second Amendment -- citizens openly brandishing loaded rifles, often semiautomatic ones, in public places. 

These two cherished American principles do not meet on equal footing, because a gun is the opposite of speech.  A loaded weapon discourages speech, intimidates, and demands compliance.  Even someone who intends no harm with a gun -- and I believe that these counterprotesters intend no harm -- is quashing the free speech of those around them, because it is impossible to speak openly when someone who hates your opinion is holding a loaded gun near you and telling you to shut up and leave. 

It's right-wing cancel culture. 

-- David Plotz (1970 -), American journalist, Guns are the enemy of free speech, Insider Today, 28 August 2020

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Spirit Of Liberty

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.  While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.  And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women?  It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes.  That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow.  A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few -- as we have learned to our sorrow.

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interest alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded.

-- Learned Hand (1872 - 1961), American judge and judicial philosopher, in an address to a crowd of 1.5 million at a ceremony where 150,000 people were becoming American citizens, in Central Park in New York City, "I Am An American Day" 21 May 1944

[Your humble editor recommends you read the whole thing here.  I have quoted just under half.]

Monday, September 07, 2020

Labor Day

On this day -- this American holiday -- we are celebrating the rights of free laboring men and women.  The preservation of these rights is vitally important now, not only to us who enjoy them -- but to the whole future of Christian civilization.

-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882 - 1945), American statesman and political leader who served as the President of the United States from 1933 to 1945, speech on Labor Day, 1 September 1941

Friday, September 04, 2020

He Serves Best

The President of the United States of necessity owes his election to office to the suffrage and zealous labors of a political party, the members of which cherish with ardor and regard as of essential importance the principles of their party organization; but he should strive to be always mindful of the fact that he serves his party best who serves the country best.

-- Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822 - 1893), 19th President of the United States (1877-1881).  As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction, began the efforts that led to civil service reform, and attempted to reconcile the divisions left over from the Civil War and Reconstruction.  Inaugural Address (5 March 1877)

Thursday, September 03, 2020


There are conditions of blindness so voluntary that they become complicity.

-- Paul Charles Joseph Bourget (1852 - 1935), French novelist and critic, Cosmopolis, Ch. 5 "Countess Steno" (1892)

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Poor Choices

Over these past few days, the irresponsible actions of a small number of students have created the very real possibility of ending an in-person semester for all of us.  Their poor choices have led to a concerning and rapid increase in the number of new undergraduate COVID-19 positive cases. ...

We have created the most extensive testing process of any university in the country.  We have extensively modeled to make the best science-driven decisions.  We have invented a new COVID-19 test.  We've created a new app to ensure building access and academic standing are linked to testing compliance.  Seven teams have worked since the spring to do everything we could possibly think of to make your Illinois experience as normal as possible.

We've given ourselves a real chance to come together and to stay together.  But the decision to do so is in your hands.  We stay together.  Or we go home.

-- Excerpts from a message to undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2 September 2020

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Just Desserts

Between "just desserts" and "tragic irony" we are given quite a large scope for our particular talent.  Generally speaking, things have gone about as far as they can possibly go when things have gotten about as bad as they can reasonably get.

-- Sir Tom Stoppard OM CBE FRSL (1937 -), Czech-born British playwright and screenwriter, knighted in 1997, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)

Monday, August 31, 2020

Public Safety

The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who's best on public safety and law and order.

-- White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, describing a campaign strategy that believes Trump benefits from social violence, in an interview on "Fox and Friends", 27 August 2020

Friday, August 28, 2020

No One Knows

Weapons are like money; no one knows the meaning of enough.

-- Martin Amis (born 25 August 1949) is a British novelist, essayist, and short story writer, Einstein's Monsters, "Introduction: Thinkability" (1987)

Thursday, August 27, 2020

A Moment Of Crisis

Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation.  The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life.  Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.

Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities.  Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.

I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end.  Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.

-- Donald Trump, accepting the Republican presidential nomination, 21 July 2016

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Storm Surge

STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...

[Sea Rim State Park TX to Intracoastal City LA...10-15 ft] ...

Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes.  This surge could penetrate up to 40 miles inland from the immediate coastline, and flood waters will not fully recede for several days after the storm.

-- US National Weather Service, Hurricane Laura Intermediate Advisory Number 28A, 26 August 2020

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Senate Confirmed

The Department has a long-standing policy of limiting participation in partisan campaigns by its political appointees in recognition of the need for the U.S. Government to speak with one voice on foreign policy matters.  The combination of Department policy and Hatch Act requirements effectively bars you from engaging in partisan political activities while on duty, and, in many circumstances, even when you are off duty. ...

Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees may not even attend a political party convention or convention-related event.

-- December 2019 memo to all State Department employees, written by a department legal adviser and approved by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, detailing guidelines on if and when State Department employees may engage in partisan activities.  Tonight (25 August 2020) Secretary Pompeo speaks to the Republican National Convention in remarks recorded in Jerusalem while on official travel.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Think They're Thinking

If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.

-- Donald Robert Perry Marquis (1878 - 1937), American humorist, from archy and mehitabel (1927)

Friday, August 21, 2020

On The Ballot

All elections are important.  But we know in our bones this one is more consequential.  America is at an inflection point.  A time of real peril, but of extraordinary possibilities.

We can choose the path of becoming angrier, less hopeful and more divided.  A path of shadow and suspicion.  Or we can choose a different path, and together, take this chance to heal, to be reborn, to unite.  A path of hope and light.

This is a life-changing election that will determine America's future for a very long time.  Character is on the ballot.  Compassion is on the ballot.  Decency, science, democracy.  They are all on the ballot.  Who we are as a nation.  What we stand for.  And, most importantly, who we want to be.  That's all on the ballot.

-- Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden, in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, 20 August 2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Profoundly Concerned

We are former national security officials who served during the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and/or Donald Trump, or as Republican Members of Congress.  We are profoundly concerned about the course of our nation under the leadership of Donald Trump.  Through his actions and his rhetoric, Trump has demonstrated that he lacks the character and competence to lead this nation and has engaged in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as President.

For the following reasons, we have concluded that Donald Trump has failed our country ...

[10 enumerated reasons, omitted]

While we -- like all Americans -- had hoped that Donald Trump would govern wisely, he has disappointed millions of voters who put their faith in him and has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term.

-- Statement by former Republican national security officials, 20 August 2020

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

It's A Given

To the young people who led us this summer, telling us we need to be better -- in so many ways, you are this country's dreams fulfilled.  Earlier generations had to be persuaded that everyone has equal worth.  For you, it's a given -- a conviction.  And what I want you to know is that for all its messiness and frustrations, your system of self-government can be harnessed to help you realize those convictions.

-- Former President Barack Obama, in his speech to the Democratic National Convention, 19 August 2020

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Nineteenth Centenary

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

-- Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, proposed by Congress 4 June 1919, ratified 18 August 1920

Monday, August 17, 2020

Tribalism Abhors Reality

Tribalism is now not just one force in American politics, it's the overwhelming one, and tribalism abhors reality if it impugns the tribe.  But you can't have both tribalism and public health.  When you turn wearing a simple face mask into a political and cultural symbol of leftism, when you view social distancing as a concession to your enemies, you deeply undermine the power of millions of small impediments to viral outbreak.  What we are seeing is whether this tribalism can be sustained even when it costs tens of thousands of lives, even when it means exposing yourself to a deadly virus, even when it is literally more important than your own life.

-- Andrew Sullivan (1963 -), libertarian conservative author and political commentator, "With Trump, the Pathology Is the Point", New York magazine (22 May 2020)

Friday, August 14, 2020

Chips Are Down

If, when the chips are down, the world's most powerful nation, the United States of America, acts like a pitiful, helpless giant, the forces of totalitarianism and anarchy will threaten free nations and free institutions throughout the world.

-- Richard Milhous Nixon (1913 - 1994), 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974.  Address to the nation on the situation in Southeast Asia (30 April 1970); in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1970, p. 409

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Opposite Of Loneliness

The opposite of loneliness, it's not togetherness.  It is intimacy.

-- Richard Bach (1936 -), American writer, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1970), The Bridge Across Forever: A Lovestory (1989), p. 184

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Villain

People in power are trying to convince us that the villain in our American story is each other.  But that is not our story.  That is not who we are.  That's not our America.  Our United States of America is not about us versus them.  It's about We the people!  And in this moment, we must all speak truth about what's happening.

-- Kamala Devi Harris (20 October 1964 -), American attorney and politician serving as junior United States Senator for California since 2017, and now Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States, Official announcement as candidate in 2020 Presidential election, Oakland, California (27 January 2019)

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Big 10

We know how significant the student-athlete experience can be in shaping the future of the talented young women and men who compete in the Big Ten Conference.  Although that knowledge made this a painstaking decision, it did not make it difficult.  While I know our decision today will be disappointing in many ways for our thousands of student-athletes and their families, I am heartened and inspired by their resilience, their insightful and discerning thoughts, and their participation through our conversations to this point.  Everyone associated with the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions is committed to getting everyone back to competition as soon as it is safe to do so.

-- Big Ten Collegiate Sports Conference Statement, postponing the 2020-21 Fall Season, 11 August 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020

Especially When It's Inconvenient

The truth is that, promoting science isn't just about providing resources, it's about protecting free and open inquiry.  It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.  It's about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it's inconvenient, especially when it's inconvenient.  Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us.

-- President-elect Obama's Weekly Address (20 December 2008)

Friday, August 07, 2020

More Good Trouble

I'd like to say this is some good and necessary trouble.  

-- Hannah Watters, 15, who was suspended from North Paulding High School in the Atlanta suburbs after she shared images of a crowded campus hallway jammed with mostly maskless classmates.  The suspension was revoked today.  CNN and The Washington Post, 7 August 2020

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

If I had foreseen Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I would have torn up my formula in 1905.

-- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955), theoretical physicist, in a conversation of 1948, as quoted in Einstein and the Poet : In Search of the Cosmic Man (1983) by William Hermanns, p. 112

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

The Same Tale

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -- if all records told the same tale -- then the lie passed into history and became truth.  "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."  And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered.  Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. 

-- George Orwell (1903 - 1950), pen name of British novelist, essayist, and journalist Eric Arthur Blair, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), Chapter 3

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Ordinary People Matter

In the long run, a society's strength depends on the way that ordinary people voluntarily behave.  Ordinary people matter because there are so many of them.  Voluntary behavior matters because it is hard to supervise everyone all the time. ...  Successful societies -- those which progress economically and politically and can control the terms on which they deal with the outside world -- succeed because they have found ways to match individual self-interest to the collective good.  The behavior that helps each person will, as a cumulative ethos, help the society as a whole.

-- James Fallows (2 August 1949 -), American print and radio journalist.  He was also one of Nader's Raiders at Public Citizen and Jimmy Carter's chief speechwriter for the first two years of his presidency, More Like Us : Making America Great Again (1989), p. 13

Monday, August 03, 2020

Thanks For Flying SpaceX

Splashdown.  Dragon Endeavor has returned home.  Welcome back to planet earth, and thanks for flying SpaceX.

-- SpaceX Mission Control as Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley returned to Earth in the first water landing by an American space crew since 1975, completing the first astronaut trip to orbit by a private company, 2 August 2020

Friday, July 31, 2020


I have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, including voting for Donald Trump in 2016.  I wrote op-eds and a law review article protesting what I believe was an unconstitutional investigation by Robert Mueller.  I also wrote an op-ed opposing President Trump's impeachment.

But I am frankly appalled by the president's recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election.  Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats' assertion that President Trump is a fascist.  But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president's immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.

-- Steven G. Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society and professor at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law in a New York Times op-ed, 30 July 2020

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Change Agent

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble.  Voting and participating in the democratic process are key.  The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society.  You must use it because it is not guaranteed.  You can lose it.

-- John Robert Lewis (21 February 1940 - 17 July 2020), American politician and civil rights leader, in an op-ed written to be published the day of his funeral, New York Times, 30 July 2020

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Unlovely Things

You accept certain unlovely things about yourself and manage to live with them.  The atonement for such an acceptance is that you make allowances for others -- that you cleanse yourself of the sin of self-righteousness.

-- Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983), American writer on social and political philosophy.  Despite rising to fame with the success and popularity of his writings, he continued to work as a longshoreman until retiring at age 65.  Working and Thinking on the Waterfront (1969) Journal entry (30 October 1958, 6:30 am)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Developing And Applying

The real "haves" are they who can acquire freedom, self-confidence, and even riches without depriving others of them.  They acquire all of these by developing and applying their potentialities.  On the other hand, the real "have nots" are they who cannot have aught except by depriving others of it.  They can feel free only by diminishing the freedom of others, self-confident by spreading fear and dependence among others, and rich by making others poor.

-- Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983), American writer on social and political philosophy.  Despite rising to fame with the success and popularity of his writings, he continued to work as a longshoreman until retiring at age 65.  The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955), Section 115

Monday, July 27, 2020

Good Trouble

Do not get lost in a sea of despair.  Be hopeful, be optimistic.  Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime.  Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.  #goodtrouble

-- Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), posting as @repjohnlewis on Twitter, 27 June 2018

Friday, July 24, 2020


Normal is the average of deviance.

-- Rita Mae Brown (1944 -), prolific American writer who became famous with her first novel Rubyfruit Jungle, Venus Envy (1993)

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Pretend Always

Pretend to be good always and even God will be fooled.

-- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922 - 2007), American novelist known for works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

We'll Make It

When things get bad enough, then something happens to correct the course.  And it's for that reason that I speak about evolution as an error-making and an error-correcting process.  And if we can be ever so much better -- ever so much slightly better -- at error correcting than at error making, then we'll make it.

-- Jonas Salk (1914 - 1995), medical researcher and author, inventor of the Salk vaccine against Polio, and the founder of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, "Man Evolving" interview with Richard D. Heffner on The Open Mind (11 May 1985)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Given Reins To Passion

Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that proper deliberation and suspense, which can alone secure them from the grossest absurdities.

-- David Hume (1711 - 1776), Scottish philosopher, in An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), § 9.13 : Conclusion, Pt. 1

Monday, July 20, 2020

Solve It Aright

We have a given problem to solve.  If we undertake the solution, there is, of course, always danger that we may not solve it aright; but to refuse to undertake the solution simply renders it certain that we cannot possibly solve it aright.

-- Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1858 - 1919), American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909, The Strenuous Life: Essays and Addresses (1910)

Friday, July 17, 2020

RIP John Lewis

But as a group, and I know as one person, we were determined to see the end of segregation and racial discrimination in places of public accommodation.  So I lost my sense of fear.  You know, no one would like to be beaten.  No one would like to go to jail.  Jail is not a pleasant place.  No one liked to suffer pain, but for the common good we were committed.

-- John Robert Lewis (21 February 1940 - 17 July 2020), American politician and civil rights leader, interview upon receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Chicago, Illinois, 10 June 2004

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Visualizing Alternatives

What we really mean by free will ... is the visualizing of alternatives and making a choice between them....  The central problem of human consciousness depends on this ability to imagine.

-- Jacob Bronowski (1908 - 1974), British mathematician, biologist, and science historian of Polish origin, The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination (1978)

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Things And Actions

Things and actions are what they are, and the consequences of them will be what they will be: why, then, should we desire to be deceived?

-- Joseph Butler (1692 - 1752), English bishop, theologian, apologist, and philosopher, Human Nature and Other Sermons: "Sermon VII"; as quoted in Matthew Arnold's St. Paul and Protestantism

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Not The Facts

It is not the facts which guide the conduct of men, but their opinions about facts; which may be entirely wrong.  We can only make them right by discussion.

-- Sir Norman Angell, born Ralph Norman Angell Lane, (1872 - 1967), British economist, lecturer, writer, Member of Parliament for the Labour Party, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1933, as quoted in American Railway Engineering Association : Proceedings of the Annual Convention, Volume 51 (1950), p. 815

Monday, July 13, 2020

Application Of Science

In this complex world, science, the scientific method, and the consequences of the scientific method are central to everything the human race is doing and to wherever we are going.  If we blow ourselves up we will do it by misapplication of science; if we manage to keep from blowing ourselves up, it will be through intelligent application of science.

-- Robert Anson Heinlein (1907 - 1988), American science-fiction author, aeronautical engineer, and retired Naval officer, The Pragmatics of Patriotism, address at the U.S. Naval Academy (5 April 1973)