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"Sorry, but theology is the homeopathy of philosophy: the part that doesn’t work unless it’s diluted so much that it turns into philosophy."

Jerry Coyne. 2014.

(TitleLet’s stop teaching philosophy of religion in secular colleges; in the comments section.)

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"Meritocracy = rule by merit, and talent.
(…)
Etymology: merit, from Latin mereō (“earn”) + -cracy, from Ancient Greek κράτος (krátos, “strength, power”)."

Wikitionary. Retrieved 2014-07-24.

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"If, during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life, organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization, and I think this cannot be disputed; if there be, owing to the high geometric powers of increase of each species, at some age, season or year, a severe struggle for life, and this certainly cannot be disputed; then, considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence, causing an infinite variety in structure, constitution, and habits, to be advantageous to them, I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each being’s own welfare, in the same way as so many variations have occurred useful to man. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection."

Charles Darwin. 1859.

(Title: The Origin of Species)

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"Of all the things I hold in high regards, rules are not one of them."

— Francis Underwood. 2013.

(TitleHouse of Cards, S1E13)

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"Nobody’s a boy scout. Not even boy scouts."

— Francis Underwood. 2013.

(TitleHouse of Cards, S1E01)

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"There are two kinds of pain. The sort of pain that makes you strong. Or useless pain. The sort of pain that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things. Moments like this require someone who will act. To do the unpleasant thing. The necessary thing."

— Francis Underwood. 2013.

(TitleHouse of Cards, S1E01)

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"'Forward!' That is the battle cry. Leave ideology to the armchair generals - it does me no good."

— Francis Underwood. 2013.

(Title: House of Cards, S1E01)

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"Can we reconcile the idea that copying errors are an essential prerequisite for evolution to occur, with the statement that natural selection favours high copying-fidelity? The answer is that although evolution may seem, in some vague sense, a ‘good thing’, especially since we are the product of it, nothing actually ‘wants’ to evolve. Evolution is something that happens, willy-nilly, in spite of all the efforts of the replicators (and nowadays of the genes) to prevent it happening. Jacques Monod made this point very well in his Herbert Spencer lecture, after wryly remarking: ‘Another curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it!’"

— Richard Dawkins. 2006. (1976).

(Title: The Selfish Gene; 30th Anniversary Edition)

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"The most important point to notice is, that periodic functions, used for the purpose of expressing changes which are dependent on variations of time and space, have been long known. They are familiar to the mind when we have to deal with motion in closed cycles, or with any kind of deviation from a stable position,such as occurs in pendulum-oscillations. A like periodic function became evident in the case of the elements, depending on the mass of the atom. The primary conception of the masses of bodies,or of the masses of atoms, belongs to a category which the present state of science forbids us to discuss, because as yet we have no means of dissecting or analysing the conception. All that was known of functions dependent on masses derived its origin from Galileo and Newton, and indicated that such functions either decrease or increase with the increase of mass, like the attraction of celestial bodies. The numerical expression of the phenomena was always found to be proportional to ‘the mass, and in no case was an increase of mass followed by a recurrence of properties such as is disclosed by the periodic law of the elements. This constituted such a novelty in the study of the phenomena of nature that, although it did not lift the veil which conceals the true conception of mass, it nevertheless indicated that the explanation of that conception must be searched for in the masses of the atoms; the more so, as all masses are nothing but aggregations, or additions, of chemical atoms which would be best described as chemical individuals. Let me remark, by the way, that though the Latin word individual is merely a translation of the Greekword ‘atom,’ nevertheless history and custom have drawn a sharp distinction between the two words, and the present chemical conception of atoms is nearer to that defined by the Latin word than by the Greek, although this latter also has acquired a special meaning which was unknown to the classics. The periodic law has shown that our chemical individuals display a harmonic periodicity of properties dependent on their masses. Now natural science has long been accustomed to deal with periodicities observed in nature, to seize them with the vice of mathematical analysis, to submit them to the rasp of experiment. And these instruments of scientific thought would, surely, long since, have mastered the problem connected with the chemical elements, were it not for a new feature which was brought to light by the periodic law, and which gave a peculiar and original character to the periodic function."

Dmitrii Mendeleev. 1869. (1901).   

(TitleThe principles of chemistry (1901)

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"This investigation has yielded an unanticipated result that reaction of cyanic acid with ammonia gives urea, a noteworthy result in as much as it provides an example of the artificial production of an organic, indeed a so-called animal, substance from inorganic substances."

— Friedrich Wöhler. 1828. 

(TitleAnnalen der Physik und Chemie (1828), 88, 253.