Best 790 of Carl Sagan quotes - MyQuotes

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Carl Sagan
By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there's no place for it in the endeavor of science. We do not know beforehand where fundamental insights will arise from about our mysterious and lovely solar system. The history of our study of our solar system shows us clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Carl Sagan

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

We are prodding, challenging, seeking contradictions or small, persistent residual errors, proposing alternative explanations, encouraging heresy. We give our highest rewards to those who convincingly disprove established beliefs.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

A still more glorious dawn awaits / not a sunrise, but a galaxy-rise / a morning filled with 400 billion suns / the rising of the milky way

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

We are...capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth, to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet. To enhance enormously our understanding of the Universe, and to carry us to the stars.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Carl Sagan

We are set irrevocably, I believe, on a path what will take us to the stars - unless in some monstrous capitulation to stupidity and greed, we destroy ourselves first.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Carl Sagan

It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri, and the other nearby stars. It will be a species very like us - but with more of our strengths and fewer of our weaknesses.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

Eratosthenes was the director of the great library of Alexandria, the Centre of science and learning in the ancient world. Aristotle had argued that humanity was divided into Greeks and everybody else, whom he called barbarians and that the Greeks should keep themselves racially pure. He thought it was fitting for the Greeks to enslave other peoples. But Erathosthenes criticized Aristotle for his blind chauvinism, he believed there was good and bad in every nation.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Carl Sagan

- Ten thousand years ago, when we were divided into many small groups, the propensities may have served our species well. We can understand why they should be easy to evoke, why they are stock in trade of every demagogue and hack politician. But we cannot wait for natural selection to further mitigate these ancient primate algorithms. That would take too long. We must work with what tools we have – to understand who we are, how we got to be that way, and how to transcend our deficiencies. Then we can begin to create a society less apt to bring out the worst in us.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

We are, each of us, a multitude. Within us is a little universe.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Carl Sagan

Each star system is an island in space, quarantined from its neighbors by the light-years. I can imagine creatures evolving into glimmerings of knowledge on innumerable worlds, every one of them assuming at first their puny planet and paltry few suns to be all that is. We grow up in isolation. Only slowly do we teach ourselves the Cosmos.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Carl Sagan

What functions do dreams serve today? One view, published in a reputable scientific paper, holds that the function of dreams is to wake us up a little, every now and then, to see if anyone is about to eat us. But dreams occupy such a relatively small part of normal sleep that this explanation does not seem very compelling. Moreover, as we have seen, the evidence points just the other way: today it is the mammalian predators, not the mammalian prey, who characteristically have dream-filled sleep.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Carl Sagan

Widespread intellectual and moral docility may be convenient for leaders in the short term, but it is suicidal for nations in the long term.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

We are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Carl Sagan

It almost never feels like prejudice. Instead, it feels fitting and just - the idea that, because of an accident of birth, ‘our’ group (whichever one it is) should have a central position in the social universe.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

We should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy. Think of how many people rely on these prophecies, however vague, however unfulfilled, to support or prop up their beliefs. Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science? ... No other human institution comes close.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

We have heard the rationales offered by the nuclear superpowers. We know who speaks for the nations. But who speaks for the human species? Who speaks for Earth?

By Anonym 16 Sep

Carl Sagan

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy. And in the final tolling it often turns out that the facts are more comforting than the fantasy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are one planet.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Carl Sagan

The astonishing fact is that similar mathematics applies so well to planets and to clocks. It needn’t have been this way. We didn’t impose it on the Universe. That’s the way the Universe is. If this is reductionism, so be it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

The Platonists and their Christian successors held the peculiar notion that the Earth was tainted and somehow nasty, while the heavens were perfect and divine. The fundamental idea that the Earth is a planet, that we are citizens of the Universe, was rejected and forgotten.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Carl Sagan

Por regla general, las sociedades humanas no son innovadoras, sino más bien jerárquicas y ritualistas. Cualquier sugerencia de cambio se acoge con recelo, ya que implica la incómoda transformación futura del ritual y la jerarquía imperantes, es decir, la sustitución de una serie de rituales por otra o, tal vez, por una sociedad menos estructurada y regida por un número inferior de rituales. Sin embargo, llega un momento en que es preciso que las sociedades cambien. «Los dogmas de un pasado tranquilo son insuficientes para un presente tumultuoso», aseveró Abraham Lincoln.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Carl Sagan

This looks very much as if the integration of the day's experience into our memory, the forging of new neural links, is either an easier or a more urgent task. As the night wears on and this function is completed, the more affecting dreams, the more bizarre material, the fears and lusts and other powerful emotions of the dream material emerge.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Carl Sagan

Ethnocentrism, xenophobia and nationalism are these days rife in many parts of the world. Government repression of unpopular views is still widespread. False or misleading memories are inculcated. For the defenders of such attitudes, science is disturb­ing. It claims access to truths that are largely independent of ethnic or cultural biases. By its very nature, science transcends national boundaries. Put scientists working in the same field of study together in a room and even if they share no common spoken language, they will find a way to communicate. Science itself is a transnational language. Scientists are naturally cosmo­politan in attitude and are more likely to see through efforts to divide the human family into many small and warring factions. 'There is no national science,' said the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, 'just as there is no national multiplication table.' (Likewise, for many, there is no such thing as a national religion, although the religion of nationalism has millions of adherents.)

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

I'm only a four-dimensional creature. Haven't got a clue how to visualise infinity. Even Einstein hadn't. I know because I asked him

By Anonym 18 Sep

Carl Sagan

Our probable ancestors, Homo erectus and Homo habilis -now extinct- are classified as of the same genus (Homo) but of different species, although no one (at least lately) has attempted the appropriate experiments to see if crosses of them with us would produce fertile offspring.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

I can find in my undergraduate classes, bright students who do not know that the stars rise and set at night, or even that the Sun is a star.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

What began in deadly competition has helped us to see that global cooperation is the essential precondition for our survival. Travel is broadening. It's time to hit the road again.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Carl Sagan

[N]o scientist likes to be criticized. ... But you don't reply to critics: "Wait a minute, wait a minute; this is a really good idea. I'm very fond of it. It's done you no harm. Please don't attack it." That's not the way it goes. The hard but just rule is that if the ideas don't work, you must throw them away. Don't waste any neurons on what doesn't work. Devote those neurons to new ideas that better explain the data. Valid criticism is doing you a favor.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Carl Sagan

Looking at fires when high, by the way, especially through one of those prism kaleidoscopes which image their surroundings, is an extraordinarily moving and beautiful experience.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Carl Sagan

We need more than anniversary sentimentalism and holiday piety and patriotism. Where necessary, we must confront and challenge the conventional wisdom. It is time to learn from those who fell here. Our challenge is to reconcile, not after the carnage and the mass murder, but instead of the carnage and mass murder. It is time to fly into one another's arms. It is time to act.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Carl Sagan

The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Carl Sagan

The sleeping style of each organism is exquisitely adapted to the ecology of the animal. It is conceivable that animals who are too stupid to be quiet on their own initiative are, during periods of high risk, immobilized by the implacable arm of sleep.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

Even through your hardest days, remember we are all made of stardust.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Carl Sagan

One trend that bothers me is the glorification of stupidity, that the media is reassuring people it's alright not to know anything. That to me is far more dangerous than a little pornography on the Internet.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Carl Sagan

Sailors on a becalmed sea, we sense the stirring of a breeze.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe

By Anonym 16 Sep

Carl Sagan

I do not think it irresponsible to portray even the direst futures if we are to avoid them we must understand that they are possible. But where are the alternatives Where are the dreams that motivate and inspire We long for realistic maps of a world we can be proud to give to our children. Where are the cartographers of human purpose Where are the visions of hopeful futures of technology as a tool for human betterment and not a gun on hair trigger pointed at our heads

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

In the deepest sense the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is a search for ourselves.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

I also wish that the Pledge of Allegiance were directed at the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as it is when the President takes his oath of office, rather than to the flag and the nation

By Anonym 14 Sep

Carl Sagan

That we can now think of no mechanism for astrology is relevant but unconvincing. No mechanism was known, for example, for continental drift when it was proposed by Wegener. Nevertheless, we see that Wegener was right, and those who objected on the grounds of unavailable mechanism were wrong.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

All that we have seen is something of a vast and intricate and lovely universe. There is no particular theological conclusion that comes out of an exercise such as the one we have just gone through. What is more, when we understand something of the astronomical dynamics, the evolution of worlds, we recognize that worlds are born and worlds die, they have lifetimes just as humans do, and therefore that there is a great deal of suffering and death in the cosmos if there is a great deal of life.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

Human beings grew up in forests; we have a natural affinity for them. How lovely a tree is, straining toward the sky.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Carl Sagan

Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Carl Sagan

I went to the librarian and asked for a book about stars.... And the answer was stunning. It was that the Sun was a star but really close. The stars were suns, but so far away they were just little points of light.... The scale of the universe suddenly opened up to me. It was a kind of religious experience. There was a magnificence to it, a grandeur, a scale which has never left me. Never ever left me.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Carl Sagan

There are as many atoms in one molecule of DNA as there are stars in a typical galaxy.