Carl Sagan

Awesome Carl Sagan Quotes

I bought a small eBook recently chock-a-block full of Sagan’s best quotes. I wanted to highlight some of my favourites. I haven’t read all of Sagan’s books (some 30-odd) but I haven’t yet met a Sagan book that I didn’t like… a lot! If anyone was ever going to be my hero, Carl Sagan would be one of them:

On argumentation:

(1) – “The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.” 

On history:

(2) “You have to know the past to understand the present.”

On evolution:

(3) “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.”

On drugs:

(4) – “The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”

Misc:

(5) You are worth about 3 dollars in chemicals.

(6) We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

(7) 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.

(8) The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support libraries.

I man-love Carl Sagan…

Favourites? Mine are (1) and (6). Has anyone read more than one Sagan book? If so, which one of those are your favourites? I can’t decide between Broca’s Brain and Pale Blue Dot. Both marvelous insights in science, skepticism, and astronomy with the added delight of them being beautifully written english.

16 thoughts on “Awesome Carl Sagan Quotes”

  1. #1 hits home for me.

    I read last week someone wants to extract DNA from John Lennon’s tooth (which he purchased at an auction) and clone him. I don’t think its a good idea, but wouldn’t Sagan or Newton be better choices, even for the dream?

  2. Amazing this thing called the collective consciousnesses. Last night I sat and watched over an hour worth of Sagan videos on Youtube; something had never done before.
    I have not read one of his books, but now I might just do so.

  3. “… if by ‘God,’ one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God.” I hate this quote. There is no God, so don’t try to transition your worship addiction into something that feels similar. God is wrong, pure and simple. Just let it go, people.

      1. That quote doesn’t bother me too much. I can’t help but think that that’s what most people think lacking the knowledge of cosmogony and cosmology, they postulated God. A misinterpretation, so to speak. He’s just trying to relate it to their concerns.

  4. #’s 1 and 5 were my favorites. As for the book: A Demon Haunted World is one of my favorite books (regardless of genre/author). He had a way with communicating that too few can reproduce.

    1. It is, isn’t it! Broca’s Brain is also a classic of his. Welcome back to the blogging world! Can we expect more writing from you my friend? Loved your opening 2 posts.

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