To celebrate Carl Sagan’s birthday I thought I would post a few of his quotes:

I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true.

In every country, we should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit. In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, this may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.

It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.

One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.

A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.

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.

In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; 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 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.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.


This was a great man. If you have never read Carl Sagan’s book, “The Demon Haunted World,” you are truly missing out.

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Tags: Carl, Sagan

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Comment by Nate on November 11, 2009 at 8:05am
Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.

This one could get you shot in these parts.

Just kidding.

Thanks for the quotes, Nick.

http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/pantheismnaturalisticspirituality
Comment by Loren Miller on November 11, 2009 at 7:50am
Great quotes there ... but the greatest may still be:

I don't want to believe; I want to know [emphasis mine]
Comment by carl on November 11, 2009 at 7:10am
great. i dint know that.
Comment by Gordon Freeman on November 11, 2009 at 1:48am
I'm not well acquainted with his work. I remember from my early age that I had his book "Cosmos" but not understanding the value of having it. Because of that book (even though I thing I never read it) I know of Carl Sagan. But it is only recent that I realized the real value of knowing his work. When I started "studying" atheism, science and religion. I am looking for "The demon hunted world" but I can't find it in Croatian language, and I can't really afford to buy the English version on Ebay (or wherever). Croatia sucks for atheists and skeptics and people who want to know more of such!
Comment by sacha on November 9, 2009 at 9:39pm
Carl Sagan Day by Steven Novella:
http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=1204
Comment by sacha on November 9, 2009 at 9:33pm
The Demon Haunted World is the best introduction to skepticism. Fabulous book, fabulous man...

"The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent." -Carl Sagan

"The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous." -Carl Sagan

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

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known" -Carl Sagan

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