Carl Sagan was a renowned astronomer, writer, and an influential figure in the United States. He was caught up in the middle of many controversies due to his outspoken views on extraterrestrial life and religion.
He secured a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Physics, and a doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Chicago. He also worked as a professor at Harvard and later at Cornell, written or co-written more than 20 books, and co-wrote one of the most famous scientific television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. He also set up the first physical message that was sent to space.
His curiosity about space arises from reading fictional stories from writers such as H. G. Wells. This inquisitiveness also made him a consultant and advisor in NASA and also received the NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and Distinguished Public Service twice and NASA Apollo Achievement Award.
As being trained in both astronomy and biology, he observed the greenhouse effects in Venus. He studied the atmosphere of Jupiter and the seasonal changes on Mars. Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers, which are now archived at the Library of Congress. He also won a Nobel Prize for "the discovery that x-rays can induce mutations." Below are some of the best Carl Sagan Quotes.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
In the vastness of the Universe, we are like a speck of dirt. We are so self-involved that we forget that a lot is happening around us. We tend to forget that our problems are minuscule in front of the Universe, so not overthinking about them, it is best we move on.
For small creatures such as us the vastness is bearable only through love.
In the entirety of the Universe, the only thing refraining us from feeling non-existent or negligible is love. Even though we are nothing compared to the Universe, there also exists a universe within us, a universe of bubbling emotions and feelings, which does matter, at least for us, and love is the only way to acknowledge these feelings.
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.
Science is often confused with knowledge. If someone is smart, they are often mistaken to be good at science. Though knowledge and science could be interrelated, they are far from each other. Science is the application of the knowledge you already possess. Science is thinking logically when no other knowledge helps to solve the problem.
If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe.
Every ingredient of the apple pie is made up of atoms that resemble the Universe very closely, and also, every atom has a universe of its own. Hence Carl Sagan's indicates that everything is made up of something, and making the smallest particle is not yet possible to replicate.
We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.
The same things that we are made of are found in stars implying that all of us are unique in our way. Every one of us has our Universe inside us. Each one of us is complex, just like the Universe. Carl is insinuating the fact that maybe it is a way of the cosmos to know itself.
Continue reading some more Carl Sagan Quotes...
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere.
Our imagination transports us to fantasy worlds where we can be whomever we want, but these fantasy worlds don't exist. But these "worlds" are very important for the sanity of a person. Often these fantasy worlds help escape the harsh realities of our cruel worlds and are essential for our wellbeing.
Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.
A lot of times, spiritual beliefs can be backed by scientific theories. Often, spiritual men say that science and spirituality can coexist, but they fail to understand that a lot of these beliefs are proven scientific facts. Of course, a lot of these facts are changed over the years and are termed superstition because following them in this day and time makes no sense.
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
All the faiths around the world have different stories of the Universe and its creation. However satisfying and amusing these stories might appear it is always better to follow facts proven by science.
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.
Every person in the Universe is different. No two persons will have the same DNA or fingerprint. This proves that everyone is precious in their unique way. Even in a hundred billion galaxies, you cannot find two similar human beings. Even if we consider a person's feelings and emotions, no two people can have the same personality. Hence, everyone is unique.
Few more Carl Sagan Quotes...
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Often a lot of things cannot be proven, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. A lot of scenarios were predicted early and proved in the years after. Even the existence of the Universe doesn't have any proof, but we do have a universe.
The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star-stuff.
Our body comprises nitrogen, calcium, iron, carbon, and many more things, which are also found in stars since stars are just rocks floating in space. Carl just wants us to realize that all of us are special by comparing us to stars.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
In every kind of science, every fact needs evidence to support it. Facts without proof are baseless theories that don't need time to be discarded. So if you are trying to make any major speculation, you need solid evidence to back it.
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?
Whatever is written in our books is written by real-life humans who are bound to make mistakes, so blindly following them will only fool us. A human writes even our holy scriptures, hence they needn't be factual always. Discarding shreds of evidence and proofs by scientists just because they contradict words written in books long back in the absence of necessary technology is a fool's game. The possibility of these scriptures being wrong should also be considered.
It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.
Whatever career path we choose, they pay us to utilize our brains efficiently and to keep thinking. But overexerting yourself at your workplace will only adversely affect your health.
We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.
When we start doubting or questioning our knowledge, then that means we have truly understood the knowledge given to us. Doubting our observations then answering them ourselves shows that we are flexible enough to embrace the actual truth rather than what is feed through us since the beginning.
Some more Carl Sagan Quotes...
The Universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space.
We are the size of the speck of dust in front of the Universe. When there is so much of the Universe yet to be discovered, it would be self-centred and egocentric of us think we are the only one who exists. Hence Carl is hinting at the fact that we are not the only one who exists and that extraterrestrial life does exist.
The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.
Here Carl is hinting at the fact that a lot of countries have installed nuclear weapons as means of safety, but they fail to get that ultimately if a nuclear war starts, everyone would be in danger, and it would be the end of all. It doesn't matter if the country has fewer or more weapons than you. If you start something, you are also going to face the backlash.
Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.
Carl is insinuating at Darwin's famous theory' survival of the fittest. Everything is going to be extinct at some point. The only way to avoid that is to evolve yourself and survive this extinction. Extinction is bound to happen, to evolve or not, it's upon us.
The Universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.
The Universe is so much more than what we perceive it as. To think the Universe works as per our convenience is just absurd. A lot of people even disregard astrology, for that matter. Thinking big rocks in space will decide our future is kind of silly.
The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.
The brain, like a muscle, should always be put to use. Even a sword needs to be polished before using, or the iron starts to rust. Similarly, an idle brain also becomes home to a devil.