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Quotes by Carl Sagan (Page 3 of 3)


Longer Version:

Science is much more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking. This is central to its success. Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don't conform to our preconceptions. It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which ones best match the facts. It urges on us a fine balance between no-holds-barred openness to new ideas, however heretical, and the most rigorous skeptical scrutiny of everything - new ideas and established wisdom.



Longer Version:

The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.













Longer Version:

All inquires carry with them some element of risk. There is no guarantee that the universe will conform to our predispositions.





















Longer Version:

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. One of the great revelations of the age of space exploration is the image of the earth finite and lonely, somehow vulnerable, bearing the entire human species through the oceans of space and time.







Longer Version:

The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we've learned most of what we know. Recently, we've waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.



































Longer Version:

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.




Longer Version:

Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.


















Longer Version:

The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together. Information distilled over 4 billion years of biological evolution. Incidentally, all the organisms on the Earth are made essentially of that stuff. An eyedropper full of that liquid could be used to make a caterpillar or a petunia if only we knew how to put the components together.




Longer Version:

The visions we offer our children shape the future. It _matters_ what those visions are. Often they become self-fulfilling prophecies. Dreams are maps.
















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