It is the responsibility of scientists never to suppress knowledge, no matter how awkward that knowledge is, no matter how it may bother those in power; we are not smart enough to decide which pieces of knowledge are permissible, and which are not. ...
Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.
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.
Religious sects, established and marginal, and some newly invented for the purpose, were dissecting the theological implications of the Message. Some thought it was from God, and some from the Devil. Astonishingly, some were even unsure.
The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God,' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.