Carl Sagan Quotes (64 Quotes)


    Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.

    The lifetime of a human being is measured by decades, the lifetime of the Sun is a hundred million times longer. Compared to a star, we are like mayflies, fleeting ephemeral creatures who live out their lives in the course of a single day.

    When we look up at night and view the stars, everything we see is shinning because of distant nuclear fusion.

    By looking far out into space we are also looking far back into time, back toward the horizon of the universe, back toward the epoch of the Big Bang.

    The near side of a galaxy is tens of thousands of light-years closer to us than the far side; thus we see the front as it was tens of thousands of years before the back. But typical events in galactic dynamics occupy tens of millions of years, so the error in thinking of an image of a galaxy as frozen in one moment of time is small.



    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.

    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 starstuff.

    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 ready at last to set sail for the stars.

    The reappearance of the crescent moon after the new moon; the return of the Sun after a total eclipse, the rising of the Sun in the morning after its troublesome absence at night were noted by people around the world; these phenomena spoke to our ancestors of the possibility of surviving death. Up there in the skies was also a metaphor of immortality.

    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.

    The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we've learned most of what we know. Recently, we've waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.

    It is said that men may not be the dreams of the god, but rather that the gods are the dreams of men.

    There are many hypotheses in science that are wrong. That's perfectly alright; it's the aperture to finding out what's right. Science is a self-correcting process. To be accepted, new ideas must survive the most rigorous standards of evidence and scrutiny.


    There are many hypotheses in science which are wrong. That's perfectly all right: it's the aperture to finding out what's right. Science is a self-correcting process.


    We are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands.

    And you are made of a hundred trillion cells. We are, each of us, a multitude.

    The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.

    We are the local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness. We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey by which, here at least, consciousness arose. Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.

    Atoms are mainly empty space. Matter is composed chiefly of nothing.


    We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey by which, here at least, consciousness arose.

    Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.

    The Cosmos is all that is or 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 the greatest of mysteries.

    What a marvelous cooperative arrangement - plants and animals each inhaling each other's exhalations, a kind of planet-wide mutual mouth-to-stoma resuscitation, the entire elegant cycle powered by a star 150 million kilometers away.

    There is a lurking fear that some things are 'not meant' to be known, that some inquiries are too dangerous for human being to make.

    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.

    The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.


    More Carl Sagan Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Science - Astronomy & Cosmology - Books - World - Wisdom & Knowledge - Time - Computers & Technology - Mind - Death & Dying - Nature - Space - Night - Reasoning - Thought & Thinking - Ignorance - Society & Civilization - Religions & Spirituality - Evolution - Ambition - View All Carl Sagan Quotations

    More Carl Sagan Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Cosmos

    Related Authors


    Louis Pasteur - Steven Pinker - Pierre Curie - Michael Behe - Melvin Calvin - Joseph Priestley - Jonas Salk - Isaac Asimov - Euclid - Arno Penzias


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