November 9 would have been Carl Sagan's 77th birthday if he were alive today. While it has been nearly 15 years since he died (December, 1996), Carl Sagan's influence is still as strong as ever for the people who were first introduced to astronomy/space science by him, in all probability through his Cosmos TV series, which first hit the airwaves in August, 1980. From that point on until his death, for many, Sagan was the face of astronomy.
Now, with November 9 being the unofficial holiday of Carl Sagan Day, space/astronomy websites/organizations were paying tribute in various ways. On Universe Today, staff took up a list of favorite Sagan quotes sent in by readers and published them in in an article as a tribute to the astronomer who could very well have been a poet as well.
By following this link, you can read through the ever-growing list of favorite Sagan quotes and, through the comment function, even add your own below the main article itself.
Ok, here are a few of mine . . .
Other things being equal, it is better to be smart than to be stupid.
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.
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.
What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you . . . books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.
For all I know we may be visited by a different extraterrestrial civilization every second Tuesday, but there's no support for this appealing idea. The extraordinary claims are not supported by extraordinary evidence.
Our loyalties are to the species and the planet, we speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive and flourish is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos ancient and vast from which we spring.
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