Carl Sagan

sagan
Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy. Think of how many people rely on these prophecies, however vague, however unfulfilled, to support or prop up their beliefs. Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science? … No other human institution comes close.
Whoop whoop
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Carl Sagan

sagan

There are many hypotheses in science which are wrong. That’s perfectly all right; they’re 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.
Quoted in Donald R. Prothero and Carl Dennis Buell, Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters(2007), 3.

Carl Sagan

sagan
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
Carl Sagan
In Larry Chang, Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006), 561, but without source reference.
What a tease!
I do hear many astronomers say that everyone has waited for s paradigm shift for so long it feels unerving. Maybe they’re finally right; they’re finished?

Carl Sagan

sagan
The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true. We have a method, and that method helps us to reach not absolute truth, only asymptotic approaches to the truth—never there, just closer and closer, always finding vast new oceans of undiscovered possibilities. Cleverly designed experiments are the key.
In ‘Wonder and Skepticism’, Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.

Carl Sagan

sagan
It is the responsibility of scientists never to suppress knowledge, no matter how awkward that knowledge is, no matter how it may bother those in power; we are not smart enough to decide which pieces of knowledge are permissible, and which are not. …
Quoted in Lily Splane, Quantum Consciousness (2004), 80.
laquila
They were sentenced to 6 years in jail. I’m uploading this in January 2013, when the Judge in the trial has just declared “the failure to consider these studies is equivalent to the death of knowledge.”
He’s utterly wrong. They concluded using their evidence and knowledge, that tremors don’t necessarily lead to Earthquakes. They considered this to be an inconvenient bit of knowledge, but it’s nonetheless true. It was simply a PR disaster that lead to a blanket “you’re fine” klaxon.
They’re meant to be going up for appeal, so let’s hope that they’re successful.

Carl Sagan

sagan
There is a reward structure in science that is very interesting: Our highest honors go to those who disprove the findings of the most revered among us. So Einstein is revered not just because he made so many fundamental contributions to science, but because he found an imperfection in the fundamental contribution of Isaac Newton.
In ‘Wonder and Skepticism’, Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.
Sagan again. What a genius.

Carl Sagan

sagan
It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.
I’ve always thought that science is just creativity as a tool to understand truth. Art, in a similar way, is creativity but as a tool to create meaning.