Those who make uncritical observations or fraudulent claims lead us into error and deflect us from the major human goal of understanding how the world works. It is for this reason that playing fast and loose with the truth is a very serious matter.

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan

Profession: Astronomer
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

There are wonders enough out there without our inventing any.

For 99 percent of the tenure of humans on earth, nobody could read or write. The great invention had not yet been made. Except for firsthand experience, almost everything we knew was passed on by word of mouth. As in the children's game Telephone, over tens and hundreds of generations, information would slowly be distorted and lost.

Our Sun is a second- or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff.

The gears of poverty, ignorance, hopelessness, and low self-esteem mesh to create a kind of perpetual failure machine that grinds down dreams from generation to generation. We all bear the cost of keeping it running. Illiteracy is its linchpin.

You can get into a habit of thought in which you enjoy making fun of all those other people who don't see things as clearly as you do. We have to guard carefully against it.

We sometimes hear of things that can travel faster than light. Something called 'the speed of thought' is occasionally proffered. This is an exceptionally silly notion especially since the speed of impulses through the neutrons in our brain is about the same as the speed of a donkey cart.

Would you say, Billy, be home by the time the Earth has rotated enough so as to occult the Sun below the local horizon? Billy would be long gone before you're finished.

Is it really true that we can't afford one attack helicopter's worth of seed corn to listen to the stars?

We are privileged to live in, and if we are lucky to influence, one of the most critical epochs in the history of the human species.

All science asks is to employ the same levels of skepticism we use in buying a used car or in judging the quality of analgesics or beer from their television commercials.

The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.

Intuitive: The word conveys, I think, a diffuse annoyance at our inability to understand how we come by such knowledge.

We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey by which, here at least, consciousness arose.

This is one of the reasons that the organized religions do not inspire me with confidence. Which leaders of the major faiths acknowledge that their beliefs might be incomplete or erroneous and establish institutes to uncover possible doctrinal deficiencies?