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Today would have been Carl Sagan’s 77th birthday, and the past few years November 9th has been designated as “Carl Sagan Day” by people who appreciate Sagan’s influence — not only on science, but also the public’s understanding of it. We asked our readers to share their favorite Saganese: their most cherished quotes from the man who has inspired many. Here are our readers’ favorite quotes, images and videos:
F Alejandro Espinosa, @Tadeo_Meneo, @Otto J. Mäkelä, Brad Goodspeed – “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Thilina Heenatigala said of this quote, “As a kid I loved this quote, it gives the feeling of wanting to know more, to discover our Universe.”
Anthony Collini – “I’m not very good at singing songs, but here’s a try…whoop, bow…”
Christine Reece – This quote seems to apply to us more and more: “Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.” I’m frustrated by all the attempts to remove science from classrooms in the U.S. Our children deserve and need better from us.
Dan Dalessio – “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.”
Robert Goodwin – “All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct.”
Silex Anthropos – “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.”
Beth Perry Steger - It is not a quote but a calendar he displayed in the Cosmos series. It shows the Big Bang on Jan 1. Throughout the year he demonstrates when planets formed, when Earth became habitable, and in December it shows people came to be. It gives a sense of the vast history of our solar system and how “new” homo sapiens came into the picture.
Esther Porter, Damian Lima - “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.”
Adnan Yousuf – “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.”
Don Davis – “I don’t want to believe, I want to know”
Amy Fredericks, Yuri Aviani – “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe.”
Linda Lee – “The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day, venture to the stars.” These quotes are important to me because he was able to speak passionate words into my little world, help me think bigger than just my immediate surroundings, look up, and embrace the Universe.
Nathan Shickle, Nathan Mickelson, - “It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” Heather Archuletta said this quote was special to her: Because he cared more for truth and wisdom than anyone I had ever seen on TV, and I am so grateful he lived in an age where he couldn’t be burned at the stake for embracing reality.
@Osiriscombe Sam – “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”
Tracey Robinson – “…we will one day venture to the stars.
@TabletopExplainer – “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
Raúl Alva – “Science is much more a way of thinking than it is a body of knowledge.”
Joe Rhea - “It’s perilous and foolhardy for the average citizen to remain ignorant about global warming, say, or ozone depletion, air pollution, toxic and radioactive wastes, acid rain, topsoil erosion, tropical deforestation, exponential population growth. Jobs and wages depend on science and technology.”
@NextStepinSpace suggested a video that we posted last week about “The Gift of Apollo”
And you can read a post from Fraser on the influence Carl Sagan had on his life, including the inspiration to start Universe Today.
I count myself among those who say they might not be where they are today were it not for Carl Sagan. Reading his books such as “Cosmos” and “Demon Haunted World” broadened my horizons when I needed it most. One of my favorite books of all time is “Pale Blue Dot” which really puts everything in perspective.