Who said the quote about being so open minded your brains fall out?

I've seen it attributed to Richard Dawkins and some guy named 'Russell' with no first name (Bertrand?) but I haven't found any original context to confirm. What was the original phrase, and who said it?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    "Keep an open mind –

    but not so open that your brain falls out"

    This excellent piece of advice is most often attributed to physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988), but also a slew of other more or less famous people, most of them from the field of science: Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, James Oberg, Bertrand Russell, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Virginia Gildersleeve, Harold T. Stone ... To name but a few.

    Here is the earliest example I have found (yet) of the quote. As it's written, it was apparently coined even earlier.

    [Practical gentlemen] have a number of bitterly sarcastical comments on persons whose minds are so open that their brains fall out.

    Max Radin (1937)

    Here are some even older variants, but without the brain (so to speak): "Their minds are so open that nothing stays in" (1932), "a mind so 'open' that almost anything can blow through it without leaving a trace" (1928) or "a mind so open that it had nothing in it at all" (1908).

    I suspect that the quote (like so many others) was not coined by someone famous, but by an anonymous talent who modified an existing phrase.


    Max Radin, "On Legal Scholarship", The Yale Law Journal May 1937

    New York Times November 13, 1932

    New York Times February 4, 1928

    Edward Clark, Selected speeches (1908), page 69

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  • 4 years ago

    1. The willingness to admit there could be a God or something out there or science could be right. 2. No, it is not always good. Like you said you can be a sucker and believe any and everything. 3. Seems being close minded would not allow you to believe anything, for you could not see anything like it should be viewed. For you would not be willing to accept anything. Not even what you see. True open mindedness: Before anyone argues either side, they should know both sides. And if all would seek out the truth of both, then all would be stronger in their belief. If someone was to seek God with all they are and then seek science with all they are or vice versa. This would be open minded and know both sides and be able to choose correctly. take care and everyone should seek both to see for themselves.

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  • GRG
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brains fall out. ~Stephen A. Kallis, Jr

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  • 1 decade ago

    Stephen A. Kallis, Jr

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  • 5 years ago


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