Carl Edward Sagan was a scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, and science communicator from the United States. His most notable scientific contribution is extraterrestrial life research, which includes an experimental demonstration of the creation of amino acids from essential molecules using radiation. Here are Carl Sagan’s quotes that will continuously inspire humanity and science.
- 1 Books, Buyable at Low Prices
- 2 Carl Sagan on Hinduism
- 3 A Book is Made from a Tree
- 4 Earth is a place where life is
- 5 Exploration is in our Nature.
- 6 Each one of us, from a cosmic perspective, is precious
- 7 Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart
- 8 Before we get artificial light
- 9 We provide future shape to our children.
- 10 Until we destroy ourselves completely
- 11 America is a precursor to the times of my children or grandchildren.
- 12 This is the saddest text in history.
- 13 That prophecy, I believe, is the highest.
- 14 The world is so perfect.
- 15 Carl Sagan said it during the Voyager’s mission.
- 16 Sources
1Books, Buyable at Low Prices
“Books, purchasable at low cost, permit us to interrogate the past with high accuracy; to tap the wisdom of our species; to understand the point of view of others, and not just those in power; to contemplate—with the best teachers—the insights, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, drawn from the entire planet and all of our history. They allow people long dead to talk inside our heads. Books can accompany us everywhere. Books are patient when we are slow to understand, allow us to go over the hard parts as often as we wish, and are never critical of our lapses. Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.” – Demon-haunted world: science in the dark as a candle – Carl Sagan.
2Carl Sagan on Hinduism
“The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, infinite number of deaths and rebirths.
It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang.” – Carl Sagan
3A Book is Made from a Tree
“A book is made from a tree. It assemblages of flat, flexible parts imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it, and you hear another person’s voice—perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people and citizens of distant epochs who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.” – cosmos, Carl Sagan.
4Earth is a place where life is
“The Earth is a place. However, it is by no means the only place. It is not even a typical place. No planet, star, or galaxy can be typical because the Cosmos is mostly empty. The only typical place is within the vast, cold, universal vacuum, the everlasting night of intergalactic space, a place so strange and desolate that, by comparison, planets, stars, and galaxies seem achingly rare and lovely.” – Cosmos, Carl Sagan.
5Exploration is in our Nature.
“Exploration is in our Nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are finally ready to set sail for the stars.”—Cosmos, Carl Sagan.
6Each one of us, from a cosmic perspective, is precious
“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.” —Cosmos, Carl Sagan
7Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart
“Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone, but also judgment, how information is coordinated and used.”—Cosmos, Carl Sagan
8Before we get artificial light
“Before we devised artificial lights, atmospheric pollution, and modern nocturnal entertainment, we watched the stars. There were practical calendrical reasons, of course, but there was more to it than that. Even today, the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars.” – Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, Carl Sagan.
9We provide future shape to our children.
“The visions we offer our children shape the future. It matters what those visions are. Often they become self-fulfilling prophecies. Dreams are maps.” – Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, Carl Sagan.
10Until we destroy ourselves completely
“Unless we destroy ourselves utterly, the future belongs to those societies that, while not ignoring the reptilian and mammalian parts of our being, enable the characteristically human components of our nature to flourish; to those societies that encourage diversity rather than conformity; to those societies willing to invest resources in a variety of social, political, economic and cultural experiments, and prepared to sacrifice short-term advantage for long-term benefit; to those societies that treat new ideas as delicate, fragile and immensely valuable pathways to the future.” — Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence.
11America is a precursor to the times of my children or grandchildren.
“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time—when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.” – Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Carl Sagan.
12This is the saddest text in history.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you rarely get it back.”- Carl Sagan.
13That prophecy, I believe, is the highest.
“The prediction I can make with the highest confidence is that the most amazing discoveries will be ones we are not today wise enough to foresee.” – Arabs and Arabs: Thoughts and Life and Death on the Verge of Millennium. – Carl Sagan
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” – The Demon-haunted World: Science in the Candle in the Dark – Carl Sagan.
“Science is based on experiment, willingness to challenge old dogma, and openness to see the universe as it is. Accordingly, science sometimes requires courage – at the very least the courage to question the conventional wisdom.” -Broca’s brain: Thoughts on the romance of science – Carl Sagan.
“I think if we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from, we will have failed.” – Variations of scientific experience – Carl Sagan.
14The world is so perfect.
“The world is so perfect, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with beautiful stories for which there is some good evidence. Better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eyes and be grateful every day for that brief but magnificent opportunity that life offers.”- Arabs and Arabs: Thoughts and on the verge of life and death. Millennium – Carl Sagan
“In general, human societies are not innovative. They are hierarchical and ritualistic. Suggestions of change are greeted with skepticism: they indicate an unpleasant future variation in ritual and hierarchy: the exchange of one set of practices for another, or perhaps for a less structured society with fewer rituals. And yet there are times when organizations have to change. “—Dadron of Eden: Specifications on the Development of Human Wisdom – Carl Sagan.
15Carl Sagan said it during the Voyager’s mission.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. Everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor, and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” – Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space – Carl Sagan.
- Shermer, M. (1999). The measure of a life: Carl Sagan and the science of biography. Skeptic, 17(4), 32-39.
- Vernon, D. (2009). Human potential: Exploring techniques used to enhance human performance. Routledge.
- Sagan, C. (2000). Carl Sagan’s cosmic connection: An extraterrestrial perspective. Cambridge University Press.
- Carl Sagan Quotes (43 quotes). (n.d.). Good Reads. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
- Carl Sagan Quotes (Author of Cosmos). (n.d.). Good Reads. Retrieved February 21, 2022.