Today for “Five by Friday” we’re featuring five quotes by Carl Sagan. While we enjoyed the recent “Cosmos” series with Neil deGrasse Tyson, both Tim and I have strong memories of Carl Sagan. His entire look brings back our childhood in the 70’s and the way he made space seem accessible. Here is a selection of five of his quotes:
- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
I believe this is part of what makes life so thrilling.
2. If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
So it’s okay to pick up a frozen one? Or maybe just to use a pre-made crust?
3. 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.
4. 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 from all of our history. They allow people long dead to talk inside our heads. Books can accompany us everywhere. Books are patient where we are slow to understand, allow us to go over the hard parts as many times as we wish, and are never critical of our lapses. Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.
If this wasn’t such a long quote, it would totally be my next tattoo. He also has a great quote about reading as a “voyage through time” that I snuck into the title of this post.
5. 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.
Was Mr. Sagan very very fond of apple pie? But I love this quote. Very “Good morning Starshine” and “I Sing the Body Electric.”
I can already see the hardest thing about 5xFriday will be sticking to just five items. If you like this taste, check out the books Cosmos, Contact, The Pale Blue Dot, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, or others among Dr. Sagan’s many titles.