Carl Sagan (Astronomer)

#30438 Carl Sagan

The fact that somewereat does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at , they laughed at , they laughed at the . But they also laughed atthe . .

Carl Sagan Quotes about genius
#30440 Carl Sagan

Imagine, a room, awash in gasoline. And there are two implacable enemies in that room. One of them has 9,000 matches. The other has 7,000 matches. Each of them is concerned about who’s ahead, who’s stronger. Well, that's the kind of situation we are actually in. The amount of weapons that are available to the United States and the Soviet Union are so bloated, so grossly in excess of what's needed to dissuade the other that if it weren't so tragic, it would be laughable. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about need
#30441 Carl Sagan

It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new… If you are only , then no new ideas make it through to you … On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skepticalin you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about time
#30442 Carl Sagan

Init often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a reallyargument; my position is mistaken," and then they would 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 areandis sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened inor . .

Carl Sagan Quotes about time
#30443 Carl Sagan

We live in aabsolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That's a clear prescription for disaster. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about science
#30444 Carl Sagan

We live in aexquisitely dependent onand , in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about science
#30445 Carl Sagan

We’ve arranged a society based on science and technology, in which nobody understands anything about science and technology. And this combustible mixture of ignorance and power, sooner or later, is going to blow up in our faces. Who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don’t know anything about it? .

Carl Sagan Quotes about science
#30447 Carl Sagan

is much more than a body of . It is a way of . This is central to its success. Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions. It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which ones best match the facts. It urges on us a fine balance between no-holds-barred openness to new ideas, however heretical, and the most rigorous skeptical scrutiny of everything — new ideas and established wisdom. We need wide appreciation of this kind of thinking. It works. It’s an essential tool for a democracy in an age of change. Our task is not just to train more scientists but also to deepen public understanding of science. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about wisdom
#30448 Carl Sagan

is [...] a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan, political or religious, who comes ambling along.” .

Carl Sagan Quotes about understanding
#30449 Carl Sagan

The idea thatis 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 physicalthat 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. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about lies
#30450 Carl Sagan

— who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other— have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel . A sharp distinction between humans and 'animals' is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them — without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about war
#30451 Carl Sagan

Themay be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held . It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about work
#30452 Carl Sagan

Themay 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. Cleverly designed experiments are the key. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about truth
#30454 Carl Sagan

Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about science
#30455 Carl Sagan

I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about love
#30456 Carl Sagan

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the . .

Carl Sagan Quotes about you
#30457 Carl Sagan

That kind of skeptical, questioning, "don't accept whattells you" attitude of science — is also nearly identical to the attitude ofnecessary for a functioning democracy. Science and democracy have very consonant values and approaches, and I don't think you can have one without the other. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about science
#30458 Carl Sagan

Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever it 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 Quotes about truth
#30459 Carl Sagan

Anhas toa lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about god
#30460 Carl Sagan

(and ), written in 1969 for Marihuana Reconsidered (1971) by .

Carl Sagan
#30461 Carl Sagan

There is aabout such highs: the user has an illusion of great insight, but it does not survive scrutiny in the morning. I am convinced that this is an error, and that the devastating insights achieved when high are real insights; the main problem is putting these insights in a form acceptable to the quite differentthat we are when we're down the next day. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about illusion
#30462 Carl Sagan

I had become friendly with a group of people who occasionally smoked cannabis, irregularly, but with evident pleasure. Initially I was unwilling to partake, but the apparent euphoria that cannabis produced and the fact that there was no physiological addiction to the plant eventually persuaded me to try. My initial experiences were entirely disappointing; there was no effect at all, and I began to entertain a variety of hypotheses about cannabis being a placebo which worked by expectation and hyperventilation rather than by chemistry. After about five or six unsuccessful attempts, however, it happened. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about success
#30463 Carl Sagan

There's a part of me making, creating the perceptions which in everydaywould be bizarre; there's another part of me which is a kind of observer. About half of the pleasure comes from the observer-part appreciating the work of the creator-part. I , or sometimes evenout loud at the pictures on the insides of my eyelids. In this sense, I suppose cannabis is psychotomimetic, but I find none of the panic or terror that accompanies some psychoses. Possibly this is because I know it's my own trip, and that I can come down rapidly any time I want to. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about time
#30464 Carl Sagan

The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for , a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I'm down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse. There also have been some art-related insights — I don't know whether they are true or false, but they were fun to formulate. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about time
#30465 Carl Sagan

Cannabis also enhances the enjoyment of— on the one hand it gives an exquisite sensitivity, but on the other hand it postpones orgasm: in part by distracting me with the profusion of image passing before my eyes. The actual duration of orgasm seems to lengthen greatly, but this may be the usual experience of time expansion which comes with cannabis smoking. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about time
#30467 Carl Sagan

When I'm high I can penetrate into the past, recall childhood memories, friends, relatives, playthings, streets, smells, sounds, and tastes from a vanished era. I can reconstruct the actual occurrences in childhood events only half understood at the time. Many but not all my cannabis trips have somewhere in them asignificant to me which I won't attempt to describe here, a kind of mandala embossed on the high. Free-associating to this mandala, both visually and as plays on words, has produced a very rich array of insights.There is aabout such highs: the user has an illusion of great insight, but it does not survive scrutiny in the morning. I am convinced that this is an error, and that the devastating insights achieved when high are real insights; the main problem is putting these insights in a form acceptable to the quite differentthat we are when we're down the next day. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about time
#30468 Carl Sagan

Incidentally, I find that reasonably good insights can be remembered the next day, but only if some effort has been made to set them down another way. If I write the insight down or tell it to someone, then I can remember it with no assistance the following morning; but if I merely say to myself that I must make an effort to remember, I never do.I find that most of the insights I achieve when high are into social issues, an area of creative scholarship very different from the one I am generally known for. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about self
#30470 Carl Sagan

My high is always reflective, peaceable, intellectually exciting, and sociable, unlike most alcohol highs, and there is never a hangover. Through the years I find that slightly smaller amounts of cannabis suffice to produce the same degree of high, and in one movie theater recently I found I could get high just by inhaling the cannabis smoke which permeated the theater. There is a very nice self-titering aspect to cannabis. Each puff is a very small dose; the time lag between inhaling a puff and sensing its effect is small; and there is no desire for more after the high is there. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about time
#30471 Carl Sagan

I think the ratio, R, of the time to sense the dose taken to the time required to take an excessive dose is an important quantity. R is very large for(which I've never taken) and reasonably short for cannabis. Small values of R should be one measure of the safety of psychedelic drugs. When cannabis is legalized, I hope to see this ratio as one of the parameters printed on the pack. I hope that time isn't too distant; 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. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about hope
#30472 Carl Sagan

Cosmos. New York: Random House. 1980.. . .

Carl Sagan Quotes about random
#30473 Carl Sagan

Our feeblest contemplations of thestir us … We know we are approaching theof . .

Carl Sagan
#30474 Carl Sagan

I believe ourdepends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning . .

Carl Sagan Quotes about power
#30475 Carl Sagan

It is all a matter ofscale. An event that would be unthinkable in a hundred years may be inevitable in a hundred million. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about think
#30476 Carl Sagan

Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If adisagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about perspective
#30477 Carl Sagan

In the vastness ofand the immensity of , it is myto share a planet and an epoch with . .

Carl Sagan Quotes about men
#30478 Carl Sagan

Theisthat is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching theof . .

Carl Sagan Quotes about memory
#30479 Carl Sagan

The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human . Lost somewhere between immensity andis our tiny planetary . 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 , thatis a , thatis prerequisite to survival. I believe ourdepends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning . .

Carl Sagan Quotes about power
#30480 Carl Sagan

will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about world
#30481 Carl Sagan

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it's forever. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about lies
#30482 Carl Sagan

The fossil record implies trial and error, an inability to anticipate the future, features inconsistent with an efficient Great Designer. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about future
#30483 Carl Sagan

If a marker were to be erected today, it might read, in homage to his scientific courage: “He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions.” .

Carl Sagan Quotes about truth
#30485 Carl Sagan

The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion and politics, but it is not the path to knowledge; it has no place in the endeavor of science. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about religion
#30486 Carl Sagan

With insufficient data it is easy to go wrong. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about wrong
#30487 Carl Sagan

Ourand ourhave given us theto affect the climate. How will we use this power? Are we willing to tolerateand complacency in matters that affect the entire human family? Do we value short-term advantages above the welfare of the ? Or will we think on longer time scales, with concern for our children and our grandchildren, to understand and protect the complex life-support systems of our planet? The Earth is a tiny and fragile world. It needs to be cherished. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about life
#30488 Carl Sagan

Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when theirare stirred. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about self
#30489 Carl Sagan

For a long time the human instinct to understand was thwarted by facile religious explanations. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about war
#30490 Carl Sagan

They (i. e., the ) did not advocate the free confrontation of conflicting points of view. Instead, like all orthodox religions, they practised a rigidity that prevented them from correcting their errors. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about religion
#30491 Carl Sagan

The Platonists and their Christian successors held the peculiar notion that thewas tainted and somehow nasty, while thewere perfect and divine. The fundamental idea that the Earth is a planet, that we are citizens of the , was rejected and forgotten. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about success
#30492 Carl Sagan

For as long as there been humans we have searched for our place in the cosmos. Where are we? Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a hum-drum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. This perspective is a courageous continuation of our penchant for constructing and testing mental models of the skies; the Sun as a red-hot stone, the stars as a celestial flame, the Galaxy as the backbone of night. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about people
#30493 Carl Sagan

If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers. .

Carl Sagan Quotes about courage

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