Donald, Bethania, Who Are You?

My current listen-to-it-while-driving book is John Adams. Given my interest in the role and status of facts in 21st century education, my ears perked up when I heard the venerable Mr. Adams say:

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

Pushing pause, I grabbed my cell phone and dictated, “Note to self: Facts are stubborn things something something from John Adams; look it up.”  When I got home, I did.  I found it easily, but I also found some other quotations that appealed to me:

Perfect as the wing of a bird may be, it will never enable the bird to fly if unsupported by the air. Facts are the air of science. Without them a man of science can never rise.  — Ivan Pavlov (1849 – 1936)

Where facts are few, experts are many. — Donald R. Gannon

I’m not sure I want popular opinion on my side — I’ve noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts. — Bethania McKenstry

Now I know who Pavlov was, but I’m ignorant as to Donald R. Gannon and Bethania McKenstry.  No amount of Googling or Binging got me anything but a vague reference to Bethania as an “American activist.”  I’m glad they purportedly uttered these pithy, trenchant bon mots, but I’d feel better if I knew who the heck they are.  Have a clue?

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3 thoughts on “Donald, Bethania, Who Are You?”

  1. Thank you, Michael, for the welcome diversion from work late this Monday evening. Given the confounding absence of any information whatsoever regarding the Bethania McKenstry to whom is attributed the quote you use in support of your defense of facts, I offer the following links, which suggest, but do not confirm, an explanation:

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/99999999/FAMOUSIOWANS/801130336

    http://www.comicstripfan.com/newspaper/c/countryparson.htm

    http://www.worldofquotes.com/author/Frank-A.-Clark/1/index.html

    Fondly, as ever.

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