Science is an enterprise of human beings, so there are all sorts of jealousies and rivalries and unwillingness to admit mistakes. But the great advantage is that the culture of science is opposed to these frailties, and the collective enterprise of science undoes them. We give our highest rewards to those who disprove the contentions […]
Carl Sagan Quotes
When UFOs became a popular subject and I was in early high school or something, it seemed to me great. We were just reaching out into space, and why not a much more advanced civilization reaching out to us? It seemed so heady and promising, such an interesting future. But as I learned a little […]
The Darwinian insight can be turned upside down and grotesquely misused: Voracious robber barons may explain their cut throat practices by an appeal to Social Darwinism; Nazis and other racists may call on “survival of the fittest” to justify genocide. But Darwin did not make John D. Rockefeller or Adolf Hitler. Greed, the Industrial Revolution, […]
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
God, for you, is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it.
When asked how he would explain a “genuine mystical experience,” Sagan responded: “Your question presupposes the existence of a genuine mystical experience and I’m not sure what that is. People have vivid hallucinations. How do you distinguish between altered states of consciousness? “If someone who has had an experience that tells us something about the […]
To make an apple pie from scratch, we must first invent the universe.
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere.
The well-meaning contention that all ideas have equal merit seems to me little different from the disastrous contention that no ideas have any merit.
When you make the finding yourself – even if you’re the last person on Earth to see the light – you’ll never forget it.