FACT CHECK: Did Isaac Asimov Say, ‘Your Assumptions Are Your Windows On The World’?
A Facebook post credits author Isaac Asimov with saying, “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
There is no evidence that Asimov ever said or wrote this statement. It might actually come from a commencement address given by “M*A*S*H” actor Alan Alda.
A prolific science fiction and popular science writer, Asimov wrote nearly 500 books over his lifetime. He is best known for his science fiction novels, including the “Foundation” series and “I, Robot.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation found no record of the quote attributed to Asimov in the Facebook post in his written works. A search of Boston University’s comprehensive Asimov manuscript collection didn’t turn up anything resembling the expression either.
“Alan Alda should receive credit for the words he spoke in 1980,” states the website Quote Investigator. “Based on current evidence the attribution to Isaac Asimov is spurious.”
Alda, an actor best known for his role as Capt. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce in the popular television series “M*A*S*H,” said the statement during a commencement speech at Connecticut College in 1980, according to Quote Investigator. It has been attributed to Asimov since at least 2002, though it’s unclear how the statement first got linked to him.
The Oxford Essential Quotations also ascribes the saying to Alda, noting that it is often misattributed to Asimov.
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