Sunday, February 12, 2012

Notable Humanists: Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov, in addition to sporting the some of the friendliest mutton chops imaginable, was a professor of biochemistry at Boston University, a popular public speaker, and an author with an insatiable appetite for writing.  He was born in 1920 in the town of Petrovichi, Russia, but his family moved to the U.S. when he was 3 years old.  He is most well known as a science fiction author, but he is the only writer to have been published in each of the major categories of the Dewey Decimal System.

Asimov was also a noted humanist.  He was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association in 1984 and served as the organization's president from 1985 until his death in 1992.

Here are a few choice quotes:

  • "Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right."
  • "Science can be introduced to children well or poorly. If poorly, children can be turned away from science; they can develop a lifelong antipathy; they will be in a far worse condition than if they had never been introduced to science at all."
  • "Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition."
  • "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent"
  • "When I read about the way library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself."

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