Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.
– Carl Sagan
A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.
We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.
Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out.
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.
I can find in my undergraduate classes, bright students who do not know that the stars rise and set at night, or even that the Sun is a star.
We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.
I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students.
All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.
When you make the finding yourself – even if you’re the last person on Earth to see the light – you’ll never forget it.
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.
If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.