Bertrand RussellBertrand Russell, [Bertrand Arthur William Russell] (1872-1970) Philosopher, educator

Bertrand Russell Quote

“Man has existed for about a million years. He has possessed writing for about 6,000 years, agriculture somewhat longer, but perhaps not much longer. Science, as a dominant factor in determining the belief of educated men, has existed for about 300 years; as a source of economic technique, for about 150 years. In this brief period it has proved itself an incredibly powerful revolutionary force. When we consider how recently it has risen to power, we find ourselves forced to believe that we are at the very beginning of its work in transforming human life.”

Bertrand RussellBertrand Russell
~ Bertrand Russell

Ratings and Comments

J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT

Russell has to be one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th Century. He was controversial. How could he not be? We who take our importance so seriously, despite all evidence to the contrary, can not begin to appreciate his impact. He may well be our Socrates and we esteemed him not. We are the lesser for it. The writings of today's experts would take 1000 pages to express the obvious truth in this quote. What a man!

Mary, Bristol

I don't believe in an old earth so that limits my comments. Science is a discipline of discovery for the most part; a discovery of what is already here. How that happened and who did it seem to be its "sticking points". As for the transformative power of science? For me, skepticism reigns supreme. Methinks it thinks too much of itself.

Howard, Bangkok

There is nothing new under the sun. We are not forced to believe anything, but if we continue to send our children to government schools, they may only obtain one perverted view.

Howard, Bangkok

not sure where he got his timelines.

Mike, Norwalk

Current attitudes toward science by patrons of the sacred scholastics are no different than any religious soothsayers of history. As many religions had their narrow pattern of acceptable results, so the image of forced belief excludes any truths, experiences, understandings, and discoveries beyond their self imposed box.

Anonymous, Reston, VA, US

Great insight from seeing and integrating the obvious pieces of data into a single piece of information. It is facinating how those who did not like this quote about knowledge argue against it based upon their beliefs...

Mike, Norwalk

"A" from Reston, thanks for illustrating and proving my point.

Justin, Elkland

Science has existed as a tool to improve man's labor since before he began farming. Was the stone-tipped spear not a scientific breakthrough? Bertrand Russell speaks in glowing terms of science without use, "pure science". This type of science can only exist through the same confiscatory practices employed by religion and government today. Dr. Robert Stadler, I mean Bertrand Russell, advocates science not as a tool of logic for the betterment of man's labor, but as the next in a long line of scams. Learned men should know better.

Justin, Elkland

Anonymous from Reston, Blending half-truths and illogical arguements into a cohesive lie is not the work of a scientist.

  • Reply
RBESRQ    6/21/10

Bertrand Russell, one of the greatest minds of the 21 century - he needs no comments from such a delude class. Mike, I am proud of you giving such a renown Atheist five stars, well done! Mike, that has to be one of the mostly convoluted criticisms I have ever read - perfect for Fox Entertainment. Reston, spot on!

Justin, Elkland

RBESRQ, Bertrand Russell has origianted more evil on this planet than any other "great mind" of the 21st century. He advocated for a one-world socialist dictatorship brought about by threats of nuclear annhialation. He originated the idea of inferiority of the african races. He demonstrated his near-idiotic grasp of economics in the drivel-filled "In Praise of Idleness". He spoke out against Marxism and Communism while extolling the basis upon which they are founded. I am beginning to believe that atheism is the only factor that you use to judge another man's mind.

Mike, Norwalk

Robert, Russell was one of the demagogue icons idolized in the socialist high school I attended. Brilliant though he was, so many of his efforts were spent attempting to justify his chosen immoralities. Through word smithing, under the guise of logic, he was renowned for trying to prove lies and otherwise untruths as fact (-; did I use logic and fact in the same sentence? ;-) I do understand with your religious bigotry and associated cannons, how you would come to the conclusion you did. I don't think my comment would have been perfect for Fox because, they would have to admit that they are just the fascist neocon end of the theocratic socialist stick, the progressives being the other.

MIke, Norwalk

Justin, well said

Judith, New Mexico

Years ago, NPR noon time discussion "All things considered", I believe it was called had a group of scientists who were discussing whether science could prove there was a God. It was the consensus at the end of the program that most of the scientists believed that science would indeed prove God exists. Bertrand Russell seems would not have even considered the thought. Enjoying the discussion of all of you. Thanks. Anyone heard from Waffler? Haven't seen his comments in quite some time.

Judith, New Mexico

The source in Wikipedia is appreciated. Russel's parents leaned toward atheism, and his grandmother who became his guardian after his parents dies when he was a child wrote that he must be raised as an atheist, and at age 18 he finally decided that he would discard religion. It seems he was influence heavily by those around him and his premature decision to deny god was not really well thought out by him. Good article that gives considerable insight to Russell.

  • Reply
M.Brown    6/21/10

Thank you Howard!


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