Causation Quotes

Quotes tagged as "causation" (showing 1-20 of 20)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Winston S. Churchill
“I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Cause and Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact.”
Winston S. Churchill, The Story of the Malakand Field Force

Baruch Spinoza
“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics

Douglas Adams
“The complexities of cause and effect defy analysis.”
Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Thomas Sowell
“One of the first things taught in introductory statistics textbooks is that correlation is not causation. It is also one of the first things forgotten.”
Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy

“Most of you will have heard the maxim "correlation does not imply causation." Just because two variables have a statistical relationship with each other does not mean that one is responsible for the other. For instance, ice cream sales and forest fires are correlated because both occur more often in the summer heat. But there is no causation; you don't light a patch of the Montana brush on fire when you buy a pint of Haagan-Dazs.”
Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't

Robert A. Heinlein
“You are telling me that I did something because I was going to do something.”
“Well, didn’t you? You were there.”
“No, I didn’t—no… well, maybe I did, but it didn’t feel like it.”
“Why should you expect it to? It was something totally new to your experience.”
“But… but—” Wilson took a deep breath and got control of himself. Then he reached back into his academic philosophical concepts and produced the notion he had been struggling to express. “It denies all reasonable theories of causation. You would have me believe that causation can be completely circular. I went through because I came back from going through to persuade myself to go through. That’s silly.”
“Well, didn’t you?”
Robert A. Heinlein, By His Bootstraps

S.T. Joshi
“God's existence needs to be established independently before he can be brought into account for causation; it cannot be assumed at the start.”
S.T. Joshi, God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong

Steven Pinker
“It looks as if the offspring have eyes so that they can see well (bad, teleological, backward causation), but that's an illusion. The offspring have eyes because their parents' eyes did see well (good, ordinary, forward causation).”
Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works

John Darnielle
“Some lessons you learn gradually and some you learn in a sudden moment, like a flash going off in a dark room. I sift and rake and dig around in my vivid recollections of young Sean on the floor in summer, and I try to see what makes him tick, but I know a secret about young Sean, I guess, that he kind of ends up telling the world: nothing makes him tick. It just happens all by itself, tick tick tick tick tick, without any proximal cause, with nothing underneath it. He is like a jellyfish adrift in the sea, throbbing quietly in the warm waves of the surf just off the highway where the dusty white vans with smoked windows and indistinct decals near their wheel hubs roll innocently past.”
John Darnielle, Wolf in White Van

Thomas Henry Huxley
“The careful observations and the acute reasonings of the Italian geologists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the speculations of Leibnitz in the 'Protogaea' and of Buffon in his 'Théorie de la Terre;' the sober and profound reasonings of Hutton, in the latter part of the eighteenth century; all these tended to show that the fabric of the earth itself implied the continuance of processes of natural causation for a period of time as great, in relation to human history, as the distances of the heavenly bodies from us are, in relation to terrestrial standards of measurement. The abyss of time began to loom as large as the abyss of space. And this revelation to sight and touch, of a link here and a link there of a practically infinite chain of natural causes and effects, prepared the way, as perhaps nothing else has done, for the modern form of the ancient theory of evolution.”
Thomas Henry Huxley, The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century

“... the divine knowing - what the Father knows, and what the Word says in response to that knowing, and what the Spirit broods upon under the speaking of the Word - all that eternal intellectual activity isn't just daydreaming. It's the cause of everything that is. God doesn't find out about creation; he knows it into being. His knowing has hair on it. It is an effective act. What he knows, is. What he thinks, by the very fact of his thinking, jumps from no-thing into thing. He never thought of anything that wasn't.”
Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace

“Quantum fluctuations are, at their root, completely a-causal, in the sense that cause and effect and ordering of events in time is not a part of how these fluctuations work. Because of this, there seem not to be any correlations built into these kinds of fluctuations because 'law' as we understand the term requires some kind of cause-and-effect structure to pre-exist. Quantum fluctuations can precede physical law, but it seems that the converse is not true. So in the big bang, the establishment of 'law' came after the event itself, but of course even the concept of time and causality may not have been quite the same back then as they are now.”
Sten F. Odenwald

Thomas Henry Huxley
Lyell and Poulett Scrope, in this country, resumed the work of the Italians and of Hutton; and the former, aided by a marvellous power of clear exposition, placed upon an irrefragable basis the truth that natural causes are competent to account for all events, which can be proved to have occurred, in the course of the secular changes which have taken place during the deposition of the stratified rocks. The publication of 'The Principles of Geology,' in 1830, constituted an epoch in geological science. But it also constituted an epoch in the modern history of the doctrines of evolution, by raising in the mind of every intelligent reader this question: If natural causation is competent to account for the not-living part of our globe, why should it not account for the living part?”
Thomas Henry Huxley, The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century

Raheel Farooq
“Present, rather than past, is the mother of future. So, your future must take after your present. But if it resembles more your past, the granny must be a slut!”
Raheel Farooq

Peter   Atkins
“My aim is to argue that the universe can come into existence without intervention, and that there is no need to invoke the idea of a Supreme Being in one of its numerous manifestations.”
Peter Atkins

David Harvey
“it is always dangerous to treat simultaneity as causation”
David Harvey, The New Imperialism

“He who wishes to explain Generation must take for his theme the organic body and its constituent parts, and philosophize about them; he must show how these parts originated, and how they came to be in that relation in which they stand to each other. But he who learns to know a thing not only from its phenomena, but also its reasons and causes; and who, therefore, not by the phenomena merely, but by these also, is compelled to say: 'The thing must be so, and it cannot be otherwise; it is necessarily of such a character; it must have such qualities; it is impossible for it to possess others'—understands the thing not only historically but truly philosophically, and he has a philosophic knowledge of it. Our own Theory of Generation is to be such a philosphic comprehension of an organic body, a very different one from one merely historical. (1764)”
Caspar Friedrich Wolff

Johnny Rich
“Can we say, in this case, that the cause of a cause is the relevant cause?”
Johnny Rich, The Human Script

Daniel Tammet
“[Tolstoy] denounced [many historians'] lamentable tendency to simplify. The experts stumble onto a battlefield, into a parliament or public square, and demand, "Where is he? Where is he?" "Where is who?" "The hero, of course! The leader, the creator, the great man!" And having found him, they promptly ignore all his peers and troops and advisors. They close their eyes and abstract their Napoleon from the mud and the smoke and the masses on either side, and marvel at how such a figure could possibly have prevailed in so many battles and commanded the destiny of an entire continent. "There was an eye to see in this man," wrote Thomas Carlyle about Napoleon in 1840, "a soul to dare and do. He rose naturally to be the King. All men saw that he was such."
But Tolstoy saw differently. "Kings are the slaves of history," he declared. "The unconscious swarmlike life of mankind uses every moment of a king's life as an instrument for its purposes." Kings and commanders and presidents did not interest Tolstoy. History, his history, looks elsewhere: it is the study of infinitely incremental, imperceptible change from one state of being (peace) to another (war).
The experts claimed that the decisions of exceptional men could explain all of history's great events. For the novelist, this belief was evidence of their failure to grasp the reality of an incremental change brought about by the multitude's infinitely small actions.”
Daniel Tammet, Thinking In Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Math