A new generation gladly abandons its critical and skeptical faculties. Old slogans and hatreds are dusted off. What was only recently muttered guiltily is now offered as political axiom and agenda.

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan

Profession: Astronomer
Nationality: American

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Paid product endorsements, especially by real or purported experts, constitute a steady rainfall of deception. They betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers. They introduce an insidious corruption of popular attitudes about scientific objectivity.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.

When we look up at night and view the stars, everything we see is shinning because of distant nuclear fusion.

The impediment to scientific thinking is not, I think, the difficulty of the subject. Complex intellectual feats have been mainstays even of oppressed cultures. Shamans, magicians and theologians are highly skilled in their intricate and arcane arts. No, the impediment is political and hierarchical.

When I wake up I go through an abbreviated process of mourning all over again. Plainly, there's something within me that's ready to believe in life after death. And it's not the least bit interested in whether there's any sober evidence for it.

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.

Significant change might require those who are now high in the hierarchy to move downward many steps. This seems to them undesirable and is resisted.

Kepler's second law: A planet sweeps out equal areas in equal times. It takes as long to travel from B to A as from F to E as from D to C; and the shaded areas BSA, FSE and DSC are all equal.

Pseudoscience is embraced, it might be argued, in exact proportion as real science is misunderstood—except.

A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.

We hunger to understand, so we invent myths about how we imagine the world is constructed - and they're, of course, based upon what we know, which is ourselves and other animals. So we make up stories about how the world was hatched from a cosmic egg or created after the mating of cosmic deities or by some fiat of a powerful being.

I think the discomfort that some people feel in going to the monkey cages at the zoo is a warning sign.

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.

Even laws of Nature are not absolutely certain. There may be new circumstances never before examined – inside black holes, say, or within the electron, or close to the speed of light – where even our vaunted laws of Nature break down and, however valid they may be in ordinary circumstances, need correction.