"The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave,
and is a traitor to himself and his fellow men."
Robert G. Ingersoll
(1833-1899) American lawyer, Civil War veteran, political leader, orator of United States during the Golden Age of Free Thought, nicknamed "The Great Agnostic"
The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child, by Robert Green Ingersoll, 1877
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Reader comments about this quote:
Excellent! You can include 95% of the human race in this category. This is exactly why education is paramount and under NO circumstances should its funding be dimished.
 -- Robert, Sarasota     
    The heck with funding, bimished or otherise. Building new edifices to ignorance and illiteracy is no answer. Cut out the perversity of evolution, which only seems to get deeper into the muck it claims we come from with each new revelation of anthropology. It is a false 'science' - even a religion - which has no base on hard evidence. It is based on academic make-believe and intolerance and is totally unworthy of being taught is our schools as a mandatory subject to the excusion of creativity.
     -- John-Douglas, Phippen     
    Please understand that I'm not trying to attack you for your religious beliefs, John-Douglas; you have every right to believe whatever you will about the origin of man. But there are some things I think you simply mistaken about -the theory of evolution is, in fact, based on hard evidence (the fossil record, for instance). Also, to question old anthropological theories as new facts arise and to teach the most up-to-date scientific information in schools hardly qualifies as building edifices to ignorance and illiteracy; if anything, the teaching of evolution is trying to discourage ignorance and encourage in young people a better understanding of the world around them.
     -- Anonymous     
    Anonymous, your "the fossil record, for instance" scientifically proves nothing of evolution as is so much a staple in government seminaries. If the most up-to-date scientific information was taught in schools, you would have an argument against the established edifices to ignorance and illiteracy. By way of example, law schools do not teach the science of natural law but rather, such edifices to ignorance and illiteracy propagate the art of tyranny. Also, the religion of evolution supersedes all other and more viable theories on the subject, etc. The current government seminaries (from pre-k through university degrees) do not teach how to think but rather, narrow dogmas of slavery- such agreeable patrons of the despotic theocracy are traitors to their birth right and that which would be a land of liberty.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Well said, Anonymous.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
    Anonymous, I'm not trying to attack your religious beliefs; you have every right to believe whatever you will about the origin of man but, there are some things you are simply mistaken about; the theory of evolution is, in fact, NOT based on hard evidence. I've ask many zealot religionists of an atheist flavor what are the facts and hard evidence supporting the artful and theocratic beliefs of evolution. The closest anyone ever gets is: it kind of resembles; and then a fable is created to enhance the belief. In fact, the more that is found, the more the fable of evolution is disproved. I happen to be a creationist and there is more feasibility in creationism than evolution (still, neither are at science, coming close to being proved) An intelligent design is far more logical as a hypothesizing science in the corporeal world than either creationism or evolution. As to the science of other topics, I had a close friend that had doctorates in chemical and mechanical engineering. In his field in the late 40s, they were in full production with that day's science, which today is lost knowledge (can't be replicated - those books can't be found any longer).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike -- books of the late 40's -- ALL gone ? Book-burners !
     -- Bobble, Charlotte, VT     
    Don't confuse 'education' with doing one's own thinking. Being 'taught' is not the same as 'learning.' I was taught many things I did not believe and did my own research, often revealing details long ignored. Like Freedom, Truth must be discovered anew each generation -- often what is being 'passed down' to us as Freedom and Truth is in fact the opposite.

    As for Evolution vs Creationism -- both are theories!! And both are worth considering -- that is science, not politics. Why can't evolution be built into creationism and intelligent design? Why can't organisms evolve according to intelligent design rather than the random or survival of the fittest?

    I do think the question has been settled though about the Universe being only 6000 years old or so ... but it, too, is but a theory. The problem I have with both evolutionists and creationists who are neither scientists themselves is that they merely prefer one story to the other because of purely religious views. AND nearly every scientific discovery over the last 2000 years that has challenged the Church/State was met with harsh punishment. Today we have the 'climate change' folks who will ignore any scientific finding that contradicts them.

    In questions of science, let theories be theories instead of trying to codify them into dogma or statutes to obey or else...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    My teenaged son ( years ago ) saw a bumper sticker that read, "CHALLENGE AUTHORITY!" His response; "Sez who ?"

    I think Mr. Ingersoll would have been proud. I still laugh when we think of it.
     -- Bobble, Charlotte, VT     
    Bobbie, you were spot on with the book burners. From 1935 there have been some major purges of law books. I remember back in the early 1980s I happened to be researching in a State's Supreme Court Law Library that was open to the public. I knew the librarian there fairly well and I saw him removing a lot of books from the shelf. I ask him what he was doing and he said he had been told he had to throw out all references to natural law, common law and anything that was considered out of date. I ask if I could have them and he said no, he was ordered to throw them away - (-; but, after he threw them away neatly in the bend, anybody could go dumpster diving, so I did ;-)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    A man once told me to consider the heavens. They do rule ! As with evolution, so are we self sufficient to ( learn productive behavior ) which perpetuates life. In what ever harmony you derive ! You may entangle what ever life you will perceive. but affection must be placed upon the Creator which gives you your life, of vanity and self awareness. We are placed under the objective fact of hope ! We trust in that which is not seen ? Get the picture, absolute fact, Which puts theory in cumbersome stances of dispute between spiritual and secular reasoning. Liberty and Freedom are ordained of our Creator, right ?? Endowed ?? Archer codification is a fact of learning and life. ! Natural law is like how many notes are in the scale. It is simplicity in Christ !! Please for the sake of love and humanity see the reason of love from our Creator. !!
     -- Ron w13, Or     
    Can the knowledge of God be eradicated from the human mind ? By means of uniformitarian astronomy and uniformitarian geology Unbelieving scientist have endeavored to usher the Creator out of the universe. The possibility of creation either expressly denied or placed so far back in time that it is ignored .
     -- Ron w13, Or     
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