— Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
Context: What was the Sherlock Holmes principle? 'Once you have discounted the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.' I reject that entirely. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks. How often have you been presented with an apparently rational explanation of something that works in all respects other than one, which is just that it is hopelessly improbable? Your instinct is to say 'Yes, but he or she simply wouldn't do that. Ch. 14
— Louis Sachar, The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker
„So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.“
— Christopher Reeve actor, director, producer, screenwriter 1952 - 2004
Speech at the Democratic National Convention (26 August 1996) http://www.chrisreevehomepage.com/sp-dnc1996.html
— Neil Postman American writer and academic 1931 - 2003
Context: As one learns the language of a subject, one is also learning what the subject is.... what we call a subject consists mostly, if not entirely, of its language. If you eliminate all the words of a subject, you have eliminated the subject.
„The idea of knowledge as an improbable structure is still a good place to start. Knowledge, however, has a dimension which goes beyond that of mere information or improbability. This is a dimension of significance which is very hard to reduce to quantitative form. Two knowledge structures might be equally improbable but one might be much more significant than the other.“
— Kenneth E. Boulding British-American economist 1910 - 1993
„Their remains but the third class, the superstitious. These worthies were not content merely to rest in ignorance; they must know all about things which had no existence whatever.“
— Jules Verne French novelist, poet and playwright 1828 - 1905
Ch. VI: The Permissive Limits of Ignorance and Belief in the United States (Charles Scribner's Sons "Uniform Edition", 1890, p. 31) Variant: There was the class of superstitious people; they are not content simply to ignore what is true, they also believe what is not true. Tr. Walter James Miller (1978)
— Rod Serling American screenwriter 1924 - 1975
Context: It is said that science fiction and fantasy are two different things. Science fiction is the improbable made possible, and fantasy is the impossible made probable. The Twilight Zone, "The Fugitive" (1962).
„"However statistically improbable the entity you seek to explain by invoking a designer, the designer himself has got to be at least as improbable. God is the Ultimate Boeing 747" (p. 138)“
— Richard Dawkins English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author 1941
„it's impossible to remain angry or blame other people for problems in your life when you are saying, "I am responsible“
— Brian Tracy, Reinvention: How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life
„When the element of conversion with reference to a standard is eliminated from life, what remains is the irresponsible quest for thrills.“
— Irving Babbitt American academic and literary criticism 1865 - 1933
„Truth is self-sufficient, and there is nothing to which it can be subordinated without loss. When truth is made subservient to anything else, however great“
— George Sarton American historian of science 1884 - 1956
Context: My main interest... is the love of truth, whether pleasant or not. Truth is self-sufficient, and there is nothing to which it can be subordinated without loss. When truth is made subservient to anything else, however great (say religion), it becomes impure and sordid. Preface.