"In mammals, the minimal parental investments of a male and a female differ dramatically. A male can get away with a few minutes of copulation and a tablespoon of semen, but a female carries an offspring for months inside her body and nourishes it before and after it is born. As they say of the respective contributions of the chicken and the pig to eggs and bacon, the first is involved, but the second is committed."
The Blank Slate / Steven Pinker
"Natural selection never promised us a rose garden. It doesn't 'want' us to be happy. It 'wants' us to be genetically prolific."
The Moral Animal / Robert Wright
"Four thousand million years on, what was to be the fate of the ancient replicators? They did not die out, for they are the past masters of the survival arts. But do not look for them floating loose in the sea; they gave up that cavalier freedom long ago. Now they swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots, sealed off from the outside world, communicating with it by tortuous indirect routes, manipulating it by remote control. They are in you and me; they created us, body and mind; and their preservation is the ultimate rational for our existence. They have come a long way, those replicators. Now they go by the name of genes, and we are their survival machines."
The Selfish Gene / Richard Dawkins
"You could die at any moment. You might not even live to see the end of this paragraph."
The End of Faith / Sam Harris
"The law of gravity will never let us down (it will always pull us down, so long as we stay on Earth)."
Freedom Evolves / Daniel C. Dennett
"Suppose you are on the side of the mice in cat-mouse conflicts. The mice say they hate the smell of a cat. It makes them jittery and unable to concentrate on important matters, such as food and courtship and babies. You know of a drug that will dull the sense of smell so that the mice will no longer be bothered by the odor of cats. Do you prescribe the drug?"
Why We Get Sick / Randolph Nesse, George Williams
"In the movie Animal Crackers, Groucho Marx says, 'I once shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.' Here are some similar ambiguities that accidentally appeared in newspapers:
Yoko Ono will talk about her husband John Lennon who was killed in an
interview with Barbara Walters.
Two cars were reported stolen by the Groveton police yesterday.
The license fee for altered dogs with a certificate will be $3 and for pets owned by senior citizens who have not been altered the fee will be $1.50.
Tonight's program discusses stress, exercise, nutrition, and sex with Celtic forward Scott Wedman, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and Dick Cavett.
We will sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container.
For sale: Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating."
The Language Instinct / Steven Pinker
"When I was young I was often sent to inter-faith summer camps,
"Can we actually 'know' the universe? My God, it is hard enough finding your way around in Chinatown"
"I've learned from my mistakes, and I'm sure I can repeat them exactly."
DNA: A complex organic molecule characterized as the building block of life and appropriately shaped like a spiral staircase to nowhere.