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Artist, The
Engrave this Quote In the fabric of space and in the nature of matter, as in a great work of art, there is, written small, the artist's signature.
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-Carl Sagan, Contact
Books
Engrave this Quote Books tap the wisdom of our species -- the greatest minds, the best teachers -- from all over the world and from all our history. And they're patient.
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-Carl Sagan, In Parade, with Ann Druyan, March 6, 1994
Creation
Engrave this Quote If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.
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-Carl Sagan
Discovery
Engrave this Quote When you make the finding yourself - even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light - you'll never forget it.
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-Carl Sagan
Emotions
Engrave this Quote Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves.
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-Carl Sagan, Blues for a Red Planet
Humility
Engrave this Quote Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home.
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-Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot
Ideas
Engrave this Quote It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas . . . If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you . . . On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones.
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-Carl Sagan
Ignorance & Stupidity
Engrave this Quote We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
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-Carl Sagan
Light
Engrave this Quote If the world is to be understood, if we are to avoid such logical paradoxes when traveling at high speeds, there are some rules, commandments of Nature, that must be obeyed. Einstein codified these rules in the special theory of relativity. Light (reflected or emitted) from an object travels at the same velocity whether the object is moving or stationary: Thou shalt not add thy speed to the speed of light. Also, no material object may move faster than light: Thou shalt not travel at or beyond the speed of light. Nothing in physics prevents you from traveling as close to the speed of light as you like; 99.9 percent of the speed of light would be just fine. But no matter how hard you try, you can never gain that last decimal point. For the world to be logically consistent there must be a cosmic speed limit. Otherwise, you could get to any speed you wanted by adding velocities on a moving platform.
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-Carl Sagan
Mankind, Man
Engrave this Quote We are the local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness. We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey by which, here at least, consciousness arose. Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.
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-Carl Sagan, Cosmos, 1980
Mystery
Engrave this Quote Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
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-Carl Sagan
Philosophy
Engrave this Quote There is today-in a time when old beliefs are withering-a kind of philosophical hunger, a need to know who we are and how we got here. It is an on-going search, often unconscious, for a cosmic perspective for humanity.
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-Carl Sagan
Engrave this Quote The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
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-Carl Sagan
Questions
Engrave this Quote We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.
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-Carl Sagan, Cosmos (page: 193), 1980
Reading
Engrave this Quote A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called
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-Carl Sagan
Religion
Engrave this Quote A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by conventional faiths. Sooner or later such a religion will emerge.
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-Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
Science
Engrave this Quote It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.
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-Carl Sagan
Space
Engrave this Quote Our ancestors worshipped the Sun, and they were not that foolish.
It makes sense to revere the Sun and the stars, for we are their children.
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-Carl Sagan
Superstition
Engrave this Quote I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudo-science and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive.
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-Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1995
Terrorism
Engrave this Quote If we like them, they're freedom fighters . . . If we don't like them, they're terrorists. In the unlikely case we can't make up our minds, they're temporarily only guerrillas.
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-Carl Sagan, Contact, Part I : The Message, Ch. 2, Coherent Light, 1985
Time
Engrave this Quote Imagine that I am riding a bicycle toward you. As I approach an intersection I nearly collide, so it seems to me, with a horsedrawn cart. I swerve and barely avoid being run over. Now think of the event again, and imagine that the cart and the bicycle are both traveling close to the speed of light. If you are standing down the road, the cart is traveling at right angles to your light of sight. You see me, by reflected sunlight, traveling toward you. Would not my speed be added to the speed of light so that my image would get to you considerably before the image of the cart? Should you not see me swerve before you see the cart arrive? Can the cart and I approach the intersection simultaneously from my point of view, but not from yours? Could I experience a near collision with the cart while you perhaps see me swerve around nothing and pedal cheerfully on toward the town of Vinci? These are curious and subtle questions. They challenge the obvious. There is a reason that no one thought of them before Einstein. From such elementary questions, Einstein produced a fundamental rethinking of the world, a revolution in physics.
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-Carl Sagan, Cosmos. (New York: Ballantine, 1980), 166-167.
Truth
Engrave this Quote Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage. But if we don't practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us - and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.
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-Carl Sagan
Universe, The
Engrave this Quote 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.
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-Carl Sagan
Engrave this Quote Those afraid of the universe as it really is, those who pretend to nonexistent knowledge and envision a Cosmos centered on human beings will prefer the fleeting comforts of superstition. They avoid rather than confront the world. But those with the courage to explore the weave and structure of the Cosmos, even where it differs profoundly from their wishes and prejudices, will penetrate its deepest mysteries.
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-Carl Sagan, Cosmos, p.333

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