"A scientific truth is more complex than a colloquial truth, it's requirements being that it is free of contradiction with logic and reality and supported by reason and evidence."
"We know that millions of good people cherish their delusions. We don't care; that a lie makes people feel good doesn't make it a truth."
"What has occurred over the course of the last few centuries is a growing (but by no means universal or certain) recognition that science gets the job done, while religion makes excuses. Sometimes they are very pretty excuses that capture the imagination of the public, but ultimately, when you want to win a war or heal a dying child or get rich from a discovery or explore Antarctica, you turn to science and reason, or you fail."
"Religion lacks any method to actually determine the truth of any statement about the world."
"I do not need a little god sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, 'Oh, PZ, you aren't supposed to enjoy that person's suffering'."
"We want to be special in a universe that is uncaring and cold, and in which the nature of our existence is a transient flicker, so we invent these strange stories of grand beginnings, like every orphan dreaming that they are the children of kings who will one day ride up on a white horse and take them away to a beautiful palace and a rich and healthy family that will love them forever. We are not princes of the earth, we are the descendants of worms, and any nobility must be earned."
"Do science and religion offer different ways of understanding the world? Sure. One is verifiable, testable, and has a demonstrated track record of success; the other is a concoction of myths that actually leads to invalid conclusions. Perhaps it ought to be rephrased: science provides one way to understand the world, while religion provides millions of ways to misunderstand it."
"If a scientist saw a cataclysm coming, say a meteor on collision course for earth in 2050, we wouldn’t be saying, “Hallelujah, physics is true, bring it on! Our faith in mathematics is strengthened!” We’d be trying to stop it. Which makes the Christian reaction puzzling. If I actually believed Jesus was coming to end the world, I’d be preparing by stocking up on timber and nails. They were pretty effective last time."
"When people are arguing for the utility and reasonableness of fucking torture, I will gladly accept a reputation for rabid vitriol."