n. A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that
which is invisible to her patron - namely, that he is a blockhead.
- Homoeopathist n. The humorist of the medical profession. Ambrose Gwinett Bierce (1842-1914?) The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
- [I]t is far more probable that our senses should deceive us, than that an old woman should be carried up a chimney on a broom stick; and that it is far less astonishing that witnesses should lie, than that witches should perform the acts that were alleged. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592) quoted by Lecky, Rationalism in Europe.
- Make then your forecasts, my lords Astrologers, with your slavish physicians, by means of those astrolabes with which you seek to discern the fantastic nine moving spheres; in these you finally imprison your own minds, so that you appear to me but as parrots in a cage, while I watch you dancing up and down, turning and hopping within those circles. Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) De l'infinito, universo e mondi.
- Consider, I pray, whether you are not renouncing all shame and sincerity to advance such principles. Because a comet appears in a group of stars which the ancients thought fit to call the Virgin, therefore, shall our women be barren, or have frequent miscarriages, or die old maids. I know of nothing which hangs so ill together! To offer such things in seriousness, shows the greatest contempt of mankind, and the most scandalous lying impunity. Pierre Bayle (1647-1706) Thoughts on the Comet of 1680, quoted from Jim Herrick, Against the Faith (1985), p. 35.
- A certain portion of the human race / Has certainly a taste for being diddled. Thomas Hood (1799-1845) A Black Job quoted from Columbia Dictionary of Quotations.
- Better live a crossing-sweeper than die and be made to talk twaddle by a "medium" hired at a guinea a seance. Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), quoted in Michael Shermer, How We Believe (1999) p. 55.
- To rebel against a powerful political, economic, religious, or social establishment is very dangerous and very few people do it, except, perhaps, as part of a mob. To rebel against the "scientific" establishment, however, is the easiest thing in the world, and anyone can do it and feel enormously brave, without risking as much as a hangnail. Thus, the vast majority, who believe in astrology and think that the planets have nothing better to do than form a code that will tell them whether tomorrow is a good day to close a business deal or not, become all the more excited and enthusiastic about the bilge when a group of astronomers denounces it. Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) (attributed: source unknown)
- Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) quoted from Victor J. Stenger, Has Science Found God? (2001)
- Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, "Yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it. Dan Barker Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist.
- That which has been believed by everyone, always and everywhere, has every chance of being false. Paul Valery (1871-1945) Tel quel I (1943), quoted from James A. Haught, 2000 Years of Disbelief.
- (at the clayrvoyant's door) "knock, knock ..." "who is it?" "What a good start!" Anonimous
- Horoscopes: The book says people born in January are gentle. February people are honest. March people are sincere. April people are trustworthy and so on and so on. Now, what I don't understand is: Where the hell do all the rotten people come from? Lou Alexander
- If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; If you talk to the dead, you are a schizophrenic. Thomas Szasz (1920-2012) The Second Sin (1973)