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Fortune: 861 - 870 of 1140 from Linux Cookie

Linux Cookie:  861 of 1140

Astrology is the sheerest hokum.  This pseudoscience has been around since
the day of the Chaldeans and Babylonians.  It is as phony as numerology,
phrenology, palmistry, alchemy, the reading of tea leaves, and the practice
of divination by the entrails of a goat.  No serious person will buy the
notion that our lives are influenced individually by the movement of
distant planets.  This is the sawdust blarney of the carnival midway.
-- James J. Kilpatrick, Universal Press Syndicate
 
Linux Cookie:  862 of 1140

A serious public debate about the validity of astrology?  A serious believer
in the White House?  Two of them?  Give me a break.  What stifled my laughter
is that the image fits.  Reagan has always exhibited a fey indifference toward
science.  Facts, like numbers, roll off his back.  And we've all come to
accept it.  This time it was stargazing that became a serious issue....Not
that long ago, it was Reagan's support of Creationism....Creationists actually
got equal time with evolutionists.  The public was supposed to be open-minded
to the claims of paleontologists and fundamentalists, as if the two were
scientific colleagues....It has been clear for a long time that the president
is averse to science...In general, these attitudes fall onto friendly American
turf....But at the outer edges, this skepticism about science easily turns
into a kind of naive acceptance of nonscience, or even nonsense.  The same
people who doubt experts can also believe any quackery, from the benefits of
laetrile to eye of newt to the movment of planets.  We lose the capacity to
make rational -- scientific -- judgments.  It's all the same.
-- Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe Newspaper Company-Washington Post Writers
    Group
 
Linux Cookie:  863 of 1140

The spectacle of astrology in the White House -- the governing center of
the world's greatest scientific and military power -- is so appalling that
it defies understanding and provides grounds for great fright.  The easiest
response is to laugh it off, and to indulge in wisecracks about Civil
Service ratings for horoscope makers and palm readers and whether Reagan
asked Mikhail Gorbachev for his sign.  A contagious good cheer is the
hallmark of this presidency, even when the most dismal matters are concerned.
But this time, it isn't funny.  It's plain scary.
-- Daniel S. Greenberg, Editor, _Science and Government Report_, writing in
   "Newsday", May 5, 1988
 
Linux Cookie:  864 of 1140

[Astrology is] 100 percent hokum, Ted.  As a matter of fact, the first edition
of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, written in 1771 -- 1771! -- said that this
belief system is a subject long ago ridiculed and reviled.  We're dealing with
beliefs that go back to the ancient Babylonians.  There's nothing there....
It sounds a lot like science, it sounds like astronomy.  It's got technical
terms.  It's got jargon.  It confuses the public....The astrologer is quite
glib, confuses the public, uses terms which come from science, come from
metaphysics, come from a host of fields, but they really mean nothing.  The
fact is that astrological beliefs go back at least 2,500 years.  Now that
should be a sufficiently long time for astrologers to prove their case.  They
have not proved their case....It's just simply gibberish.  The fact is, there's
no theory for it, there are no observational data for it.  It's been tested
and tested over the centuries.  Nobody's ever found any validity to it at
all.  It is not even close to a science.  A science has to be repeatable, it
has to have a logical foundation, and it has to be potentially vulnerable --
you test it.  And in that astrology is reqlly quite something else.
-- Astronomer Richard Berendzen, President, American University, on ABC
    News "Nightline," May 3, 1988
 
Linux Cookie:  865 of 1140

Even if we put all these nagging thoughts [four embarrassing questions about
astrology] aside for a moment, one overriding question remains to be asked.
Why would the positions of celestial objects at the moment of birth have an
effect on our characters, lives, or destinies?  What force or influence,
what sort of energy would travel from the planets and stars to all human
beings and affect our development or fate?  No amount of scientific-sounding
jargon or computerized calculations by astrologers can disguise this central
problem with astrology -- we can find no evidence of a mechanism by which
celestial objects can influence us in so specific and personal a way. . . .
Some astrologers argue that there may be a still unknown force that represents
the astrological influence. . . .If so, astrological predictions -- like those
of any scientific field -- should be easily tested. . . . Astrologers always
claim to be just a little too busy to carry out such careful tests of their
efficacy, so in the last two decades scientists and statisticians have
generously done such testing for them.  There have been dozens of well-designed
tests all around the world, and astrology has failed every one of them. . . .
I propose that we let those beckoning lights in the sky awaken our interest
in the real (and fascinating) universe beyond our planet, and not let them
keep us tied to an ancient fantasy left over from a time when we huddled by
the firelight, afraid of the night.
-- Andrew Fraknoi, Executive Officer, Astronomical Society of the Pacific,
    "Why Astrology Believers Should Feel Embarrassed," San Jose Mercury
    News, May 8, 1988
 
Linux Cookie:  866 of 1140

With the news that Nancy Reagan has referred to an astrologer when planning
her husband's schedule, and reports of Californians evacuating Los Angeles
on the strength of a prediction from a sixteenth-century physician and
astrologer Michel de Notredame, the image of the U.S. as a scientific and
technological nation has taking a bit of a battering lately.  Sadly, such
happenings cannot be dismissed as passing fancies.  They are manifestations
of a well-established "anti-science" tendency in the U.S. which, ultimately,
could threaten the country's position as a technological power. . . .  The
manifest widespread desire to reject rationality and substitute a series
of quasirandom beliefs in order to understand the universe does not augur
well for a nation deeply concerned about its ability to compete with its
industrial equals.  To the degree that it reflects the thinking of a
significant section of the public, this point of view encourages ignorance
of and, indeed, contempt for science and for rational methods of approaching
truth. . . . It is becoming clear that if the U.S. does not pick itself up
soon and devote some effort to educating the young effectively, its hope of
maintaining a semblance of leadership in the world may rest, paradoxically,
with a new wave of technically interested and trained immigrants who do not
suffer from the anti-science disease rampant in an apparently decaying society.
-- Physicist Tony Feinberg, in "New Scientist," May 19, 1988
 
Linux Cookie:  867 of 1140

miracle:  an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment.
-- Webster's Dictionary
 
Linux Cookie:  868 of 1140

"The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone
 is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be
 created in the form of computer programs."
-- Joseph Weizenbaum, _Computer Power and Human Reason_
 
Linux Cookie:  869 of 1140

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong."
-- Norm Schryer
 
Linux Cookie:  870 of 1140

"May your future be limited only by your dreams."
-- Christa McAuliffe
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