Carl Sagan Quotes

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Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan in 1980
Born Carl Edward Sagan
(1934-11-09)November 9, 1934
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died December 20, 1996(1996-12-20) (aged 62)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Resting place Ithaca, New York
Nationality American
Fields

Astronomy
astrophysics
cosmology
astrobiology
space science
planetary science

Institutions

Cornell University
Harvard University
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
University of California, Berkeley

Alma mater University of Chicago
Doctoral advisor Gerard Kuiper
Doctoral students Clark Chapman, James B. Pollack, Owen Toon
Known for

Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
Cosmos
Voyager Golden Record
Pioneer plaque
The Dragons of Eden
Contact
Pale Blue Dot

Notable awards NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal (1977)
Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction (1978)
Oersted Medal (1990)
Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science (1993)
National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal (1994)
Spouse Lynn Margulis (m. 1957; div. 1965)
Linda Salzman (m. 1968; div. 1981)
Ann Druyan (m. 1981)
Children 5, including Dorion and Nick

When you make the finding yourself – even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light – you'll never forget it.
Carl Sagan
A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
Carl Sagan
All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
Carl Sagan
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
Carl Sagan
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
Carl Sagan
The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.
Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.
Carl Sagan
We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
Carl Sagan
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.
Carl Sagan
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Carl Sagan
I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students.
Carl Sagan
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
Carl Sagan
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.
Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.
The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.
Carl Sagan
I can find in my undergraduate classes, bright students who do not know that the stars rise and set at night, or even that the Sun is a star.
Carl Sagan
If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?
Carl Sagan
We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.
Carl Sagan
Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out.
Carl Sagan
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
Carl Sagan
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.
Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
Carl Sagan
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Carl Sagan