But in introducing me simultaneously to skepticism and to wonder, they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes of thought that are central to the scientific method.

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan

Profession: Astronomer
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

It's been said that astronomy is a humbling and, I might add, a character-building experience.

One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.

Many religions have attempted to make statues of their gods very large, and the idea, I suppose, is to make us feel small. But if that's their purpose, they can keep their paltry icons. We need only look up if we wish to feel small.

There are huge advertising budgets only when there's no difference between the products. If the products really were different, people would buy the one that's better. Advertising teaches people not to trust their judgment. Advertising teaches people to be stupid.

The whole idea of a democratic application of skepticism is that everyone should have the essential tools to effectively and constructively evaluate claims to knowledge.

There is some evidence that dreaming is necessary. When people or other mammals are deprived of REM sleep (by awakening them as soon as the characteristic REM and EEG dream patterns emerge), the number of initiations of the dream state per night goes up, and, in severe cases, daytime hallucinations-that is, waking dreams-occur.

What is there in the precepts of science that keeps a scientist from doing evil?

There will be no humans elsewhere. Only here. Only on this small planet. We are a rare as well as an endangered species. Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.

Evolution is adventitious and not foresighted. Only through the deaths of an immense number of slightly maladapted organisms are we, brains and all, here today.

For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

If it takes a little myth and ritual to get us through a night that seems endless, who among us cannot sympathize and understand?

A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.

In addition, human beings have, in the most recent few tenths of a percent of our existence, invented not only extra-genetic but also extrasomatic knowledge: information stored outside our bodies, of which writing is the most notable example.