"Those afraid of the universe as it really is, those who pretend to nonexistent knowledge and envision a Cosmos centered on human beings will prefer the fleeting comforts of superstition. They avoid rather than confront the world. But those with the courage to explore the weave and structure of the Cosmos, even where it differs profoundly from their wishes and prejudices, will penetrate its deepest mysteries." ~Carl Sagan

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"The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true. We have a method, and that method helps us to reach not absolute truth, only asymptotic approaches to the truth... never there, just closer and closer, always finding vast new oceans of undiscovered possibilities." ~Carl Sagan

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"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken', and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." ~Carl Sagan

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"Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?" ~Carl Sagan

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"The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. In a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends on how well we know this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky." ~Carl Sagan

Views: 6

Comment by Mario Rodgers on February 23, 2010 at 5:33pm
I see too many people happily cling to their bronze age book of lies because they believe it is infallible and has remained unchanged for thousands of years(and that last part is probably not even true) while attacking science because what they see whenever new evidence comes around is scientists willfully changing their minds.
Comment by doubtingSteve on February 23, 2010 at 5:57pm
any day is a good day to site the late great Carl Sagan. Thanks for the post :)
Comment by Graham E. Lau on February 23, 2010 at 8:22pm
I wish I could have taken a course from or worked with Dr. Sagan. I've read his books, watched his show, and he inspired me as a kid to become a scientist and pursue the career path that I have chosen. He was a great thinker, one of our best of the modern age.
Comment by James on February 23, 2010 at 9:01pm
Thanks for posting this. Every time I read anything from Carl Sagan, I'm reminded just how much he is missed and how brilliant he was.

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