“The evolution of large brains confers no exalted status on the human race.

But unlike cheetahs or bacteria, our particularly notable evolutionary achievement enables us to reason and communicate, and we therefore have a monopoly on making any claims about our status in the world. This monopoly has led to the self-serving and comforting conclusion that humans are somehow separate from, and superior to, the rest of the animal kingdom. The long-term survival of our species may require that we change this perspective.”

“Just because I do not accept as true my colleague’s claim there is an invisible pink elephant in the room does not make me as equally dogmatic as the person making the claim. That idea creates a false equivalency. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof (from Carl Sagan); the burden of proof is not on me to disprove the existence of the pink elephant. Rejecting the claim in the absence of any corroborative evidence does not make me a zealot.”

“The author calls for a nimbleness of mind and open-mindedness to solve contemporary crises. I agree, but these can only be attained when our brains are free of religious clutter. Faith in the absence of evidence is the ultimate form of closed-mindedness, and remains an obstacle to finding good solutions to the problems we face today.”

Jeff Schweitzer