What is Your Favourite Sagan Quote?

By Michael Edmonds 10/09/2011

As I’ve previously mentioned, Carl Sagan is my all time favourite science communicator. One of the reasons I like him so much, is that he was so eloquent in describing science. As a consequence there are many wonderful Sagan quotes.

Two of my favourite quotes are

“We are made of star staff”

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

What are yours?

0 Responses to “What is Your Favourite Sagan Quote?”

  • Carl Sagan is my all time favourite Human.

    In no particular order of preference..

    “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.”

    “Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever it 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?”

    “We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it’s forever.”

  • “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” would be high in the list. But there’s so many to choose from.

  • Cutting off fundamental, curiosity-driven science is like eating the seed corn. We may have a little more to eat next winter but what will we plant so we and our children will have enough to get through the winters to come?

  • I knew this topic was a good idea. I am seeing quotes I wasn’t even aware of, and all of them are just brilliant.

  • My favorite is from Pale Blue Dot. Sagan petitioned to have Voyager 1 turn its cameras around to look back on earth, one last time, from 6 billion km. Earth appears as a tiny point of light about 0.1 pixel wide:
    “Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. ”
    Fabulous. Just fabulous.

  • Carl Sagan is my own personal Jes… er… I like Carl Sagan a whole lot!

    Some of my favourite quotes:

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


    “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?”


    “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

    So very many… how to pick a favourite…