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Майкл Шермер

Дата рождения: 8. Сентябрь 1954

Майкл Брэнт Ше́рмер — американский историк и популяризатор науки, основатель Общества скептиков, а также главный редактор журнала «Скептик», в значительной мере посвящённого расследованию псевдонаучных и сверхъестественных утверждений.

С апреля 2001 года также ведёт ежемесячную колонку в журнале «Scientific American». Шермер утверждает, что одно время был христианским фундаменталистом, однако ушёл от веры во время учёбы в университете.


„Совместимы ли наука и религия? Это всё равно что спросить: совместимы ли наука и сантехника? Это просто две разные вещи.“

„Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.“


„There are many sources of spirituality; religion may be the most common, but it is by no means the only. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades.“

„Finally, from what we now know about the cosmos, to think that all this was created for just one species among the tens of millions of species who live on one planet circling one of a couple of hundred billion stars that are located in one galaxy among hundreds of billions of galaxies, all of which are in one universe among perhaps an infinite number of universes all nestled within a grand cosmic multiverse, is provincially insular and anthropocentrically blinkered. Which is more likely? That the universe was designed just for us, or that wethe universe as having been designed just for us?“ Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design

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

„Myths, whether in written or visual form, serve a vital role of asking unanswerable questions and providing unquestionable answers. Most of us, most of the time, have a low tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. We want to reduce the cognitive dissonance of not knowing by filling the gaps with answers. Traditionally, religious myths have served that role, but today — the age of science — science fiction is our mythology.“

„Accepting evolution does not force us to jettison our morals and ethics, and rejecting evolution does not ensure their constancy.“ Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design

„I’m a skeptic not because I do not want to believe, but because I want to know.“ The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths


„We want to be open-minded enough to accept radial new ideas when they occasionally come along, but we don't want to be so open-minded that our brains fall out.“

„How can we find spiritual meaning in a scientific worldview? Spirituality is a way of being in the world, a sense of one’s place in the cosmos, a relationship to that which extends beyond oneself.... Does scientific explanation of the world diminish its spiritual beauty? I think not. Science and spirituality are complementary, not conflicting; additive, not detractive. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades. (158-159)“ Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design

„... evolution is not a religious tenet, to which one swears allegiance or belief as a matter of faith.. It is a factual reality of the empirical world. Just as one would not say 'I believe in gravity," one should not proclaim 'I believe in evolution.“

„People have a hard time accepting free-market economics for the same reason they have a hard time accepting evolution: it is counterintuitive. Life looks intelligently designed, so our natural inclination is to infer that there must be an intelligent designer--a God. Similarly, the economy looks designed, so our natural inclination is to infer that we need a designer--a government. In fact, emergence and complexity theory explains how the principles of self-organization and emergence cause complex systems to arise from simple systems without a top-down designer.“


„Checking a box on a form for race—"Caucasian," "Hispanic," "African-American," "Native American," or "Asian-American"—is untenable and ridiculous. For one thing, "American" is not a race, so labels such as "Asian-American" and "African-American" are still exhibits of our confusion of culture and race. For another thing, how far back does one go in history? Native Americans are really Asians, if you go back more than twenty or thirty thousand years to before they crossed the Bering land bridge between Asia and America. And Asians, several hundred thousand years ago probably came out of Africa, so we should really replace "Native American" with "African-Asian-Native American." Finally, if the Out of Africa (single racial origin) theory holds true, then all modern humans are from Africa. (Cavalli-Sforza now thinks this may have been as recently as seventy thousand years ago.) Even if that theory gives way to the Candelabra (multiple racial origins) theory, ultimately all hominids came from Africa, and therefore everyone in America should simply check the box next to "African-American.“ Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time

„Perceiving the world as well designed and thus the product of a designer, and even seeing divine providence in the daily affairs of life, may be the product of a brain adapted to finding patterns in nature. (38)“ Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design

„An uncertain and doubting mind leads to fresh world visions and the possibility of new and ever-changing realities.“ The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths

„It is no longer acceptable to simply assert your moral beliefs; you have to provide reasons for them, and those reasons had better be grounded in rational arguments and empirical evidence or else they will likely be ignored or rejected.“ The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom

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