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You will hear things like, “Science doesn’t know everything.” Well, of course science doesn’t know everything. But because science doesn’t know everything, that doesn’t mean science knows nothing. Science knows enough for us to be watched by a few million people now on television, for these lights to be working, for quite extraordinary miracles to have taken place in terms of the harnessing of the physical world and our dim approaches towards understanding it.

Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry (b. 1957) British actor, writer, comedian
Room 101, 6×10, BBC Two (2001-03-12)
Added on 12-Jul-23 | Last updated 12-Jul-23
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And yet a majority vote is worthless as a proof of truths that are at all difficult to discover; for a single man is much more likely to hit upon them than a group of people. I was, then, unable to choose anyone whose opinions struck me as preferable to those of all others, and I found myself as it were forced to become my own guide.

[Et que néanmoins la pluralité des voix n’est pas une preuve qui vaille rien, pour les vérités un peu malaisées à découvrir, à cause qu’il est bien plus vraisemblable qu’un homme seul les ait rencontrées que tout un peuple; je ne pouvois choisir personne dont les opinions me semblassent devoir être préférées à celles des autres, et je me trouvai comme contraint d’entreprendre moi-même de me conduire.]

René Descartes (1596-1650) French philosopher, mathematician
Discourse on Method [Discours de la méthode], Part 2 (1637) [tr. Cottingham, Stoothoff (1985)]

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Notwithstanding that plurality of voices is a proof of no validity, in those truths which are hard to be discovered; for that it’s much more likely for one man alone to have met with them, then a whole Nation; I could choose no Man whose opinion was to be preferr’d before anothers: And I found my self even constrain’d to undertake the conduct of my self.
[tr. Newcombe ed. (1649)]

Although such be the ground of our opinions, I remarked that a plurality of suffrages is no guarantee of truth where it is at all of difficult discovery, as in such cases it is much more likely that it will be found by one than by many. I could, however, select from the crowd no one whose opinions seemed worthy of preference, and thus I found myself constrained, as it were, to use my own reason in the conduct of my life.
[tr. Veitch (1901)]

Yet in spite of this the voice of the majority does not afford a proof of any value in truths a little difficult to discover, because such truths are much more likely to have been discovered by one man than by a nation. I could not, however, put my finger on a single person whose opinions seemed preferable to those of others, and I found that I was, so to speak, constrained myself to undertake the direction of my procedure.
[tr. Haldane & Ross (1911)]

Added on 1-Feb-22 | Last updated 4-Jun-22
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Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) Russian-American author, polymath, biochemist

Sometimes quoted without the initial "Those".

The citationless attribution of this quip to Asimov cannot be traced back further than 2001, several years after his death. The earliest version found is a filler item in The Saturday Evening Post (6 May 1961), attributed to humor columnist Harold Coffin: "The fellow who thinks he knows it all is especially annoying to those of us who do."

More discussion here: The Fellow Who Thinks He Knows It All Is Especially Annoying To Those of Us Who Do – Quote Investigator.
Added on 16-Sep-21 | Last updated 16-Sep-21
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The Maker of the universe with stars a hundred thousand light-years apart was interested, furious, and very personal about it if a small boy played baseball on Sunday afternoon.

Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) American novelist, playwright
Elmer Gantry (1927)
Added on 17-Nov-15 | Last updated 17-Nov-15
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There is no such source of error as the pursuit of absolute truth.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1912)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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“From what I remember,” replied Crowley, thoughtfully, “– and we were never actually on what you might call speaking terms — He wasn’t exactly one for a straight answer. In fact, in fact, He’d never answer at all. He’d just smile, as if He knew something that you didn’t.”

“And of course that’s true,” said the angel. “Otherwise, what’d be the point?”

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Good Omens, “Saturday” (1990) [with Neil Gaiman]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Jan-23
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