1. 10

    Human history is highly nonlinear and unpredictable.

    19
  2. 9

    In comparison, Google is brilliant because it uses an algorithm that ranks Web pages by the number of links to them, with those links themselves valued by the number of links to their page of origin.

    21
  3. 8

    I’m a skeptic not because I do not want to believe, but because I want to know.

    22
  4. 7

    But the power of science lies in open publication, which, with the rise of the Internet, is no longer constrained by the price of paper.

    26
  5. 6

    Humans are, by nature, pattern-seeking, storytelling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns whether they exist or not.

    29
  6. 5

    Religious faith depends on a host of social, psychological and emotional factors that have little or nothing to do with probabilities, evidence and logic.

    32
  7. 4

    Myths are stories that express meaning, morality or motivation. Whether they are true or not is irrelevant.

    32
  8. 3

    Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.

    41
  9. 2

    In the past 10,000 years, humans have devised roughly 100,000 religions based on roughly 2,500 gods. So the only difference between myself and the believers is that I am skeptical of 2,500 gods whereas they are skeptical of 2,499 gods. We're only one God away from total agreement.

    45
  10. 1

    The recent medical controversy over whether vaccinations cause autism reveals a habit of human cognition — thinking anecdotally comes naturally, whereas thinking scientifically does not.

    50
  11. Last Update: 28 January 2023

View the rest 100 Michael Shermer sayings