Carl Edward Sagan was a scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, and scientific communicator from the United States.

His most well-known scientific contribution is extraterrestrial life research, which includes an experimental demonstration of the synthesis of amino acids from basic molecules using radiation.

We have compiled a list of the best quotes from Carl Sagan for you.


Carl Sagan Quotes on Life, Universe, Stars, Space, Science & Future

1. “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

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2. “We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

3. “It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

4. “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

5. “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

6. “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

7. “I don’t want to believe. I want to know.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

8. “We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

9. “The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

10. “The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

11. “We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

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12. “We are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

13. “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

14. “For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

15. “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.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

Best Carl Sagan Quotes

16. “Across the sea of space, the stars are other suns.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

17. “The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

18. “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.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

19. “In all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

20. “You are made of a hundred trillion cells. We are, each of us, a multitude.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

21. “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

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22. “The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

23. “Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

24. “If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

25. “We are made of star-stuff. Our bodies are made of star-stuff. There are pieces of star within us all.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

26. “We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

27. “Your god is too small for my universe.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

28. “You have to know the past to understand the present.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

29. “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

30. “One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

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31. “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

32. “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

33. “Preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

Top Carl Sagan Quotes

34. “Don’t judge everyone else by your own limited experience.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

35. “All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

36. “After the earth dies, some 5 billion years from now, after it’s burned to a crisp, or even swallowed by the Sun, there will be other worlds and stars and galaxies coming into being – and they will know nothing of a place once called Earth.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

37. “Who are we, if not measured by our impact on others? That’s who we are! We’re not who we say we are, we’re not who we want to be – we are the sum of the influence and impact that we have, in our lives, on others.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

38. “Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

39. “Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

40. “Even through your hardest days, remember we are all made of stardust.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

41. “Science is more than a body of knowledge. It’s a way of thinking: a way of skeptically interrogating the universe.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

42. “Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of magic.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

43. “The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

44. “You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

45. “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

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46. “Every star may be a sun to someone.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

47. “The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

48. “The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

Famous Carl Sagan Quotes

49. “To live in the hearts of others is to never die in those we leave behind.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

50. “The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

51. “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

52. “When Kepler found his long-cherished belief did not agree with the most precise observation, he accepted the uncomfortable fact. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions, that is the heart of science.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

53. “There are in fact 100 billion galaxies, each of which contain something like a 100 billion stars. Think of how many stars, and planets, and kinds of life there may be in this vast and awesome universe.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

54. “In the vastness of space and the immensity of time, it is my joy to share a planet and an epoch with Annie.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

55. “Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

56. “Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

57. “You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

58. “Science is only a Latin word for knowledge.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

59. “I promise to question everything my leaders tell me. I promise to use my critical faculties. I promise to develop my independence of thought. I promise to educate myself so I can make my own judgments.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

60. “A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are one planet.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

61. “Valid criticism does you a favor.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

62. “Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe are challenged by this point of pale light.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

63. “Maxwell’s Equations have had a greater impact on human history than any ten presidents.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

64. “I don’t know the answer. Maybe no one knows. Maybe when you grow up, you’ll be the first to find out.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

Short Carl Sagan Quotes

65. “Not explaining science seems to me perverse. When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

66. “But our preferences do not determine what’s true.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

67. “The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

68. “We are one species. We are starstuff.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

69. “Extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

70. “For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled, even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten: The open road still softly calls like a nearly forgotten song of childhood.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

71. “We are an intelligent species and the use of our intelligence quite properly gives us pleasure. In this respect the brain is like a muscle. When we think well, we feel good. Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

72. “Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

73. “When you make the finding yourself – even if you’re the last person on Earth to see the light – you’ll never forget it.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

74. “When we look up at night and view the stars, everything we see is shinning because of distant nuclear fusion.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

75. “A multitude of aspects of the natural world that were considered miraculous only a few generations ago are now thoroughly understood in terms of physics and chemistry.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

Inspiring Carl Sagan Quotes

76. “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.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

77. “Once we overcome our fear of being tiny, we find ourselves on the threshold of a vast and awesome Universe that utterly dwarfs – in time, in space, and in potential – the tidy anthropocentric proscenium of our ancestors.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

78. “You’re capable of such beautiful dreams and such horrible nightmares…” ~ (Carl Sagan).

79. “Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

80. “Time spent with children is time well spent. Their little minds are not constrained by ‘reality’ or focused upon goals. Anything and everything is possible. Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

81. “Advances in medicine and agriculture have saved vastly more lives than have been lost in all the wars in history.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

82. “We are, in the most profound sense, children of the Cosmos.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

83. “My parents were not scientists. They knew almost nothing about science. But in introducing me simultaneously to skepticism and to wonder, they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes of thought that are central to the scientific method.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

84. “We live in a vast and awesome universe in which, daily, suns are made and worlds destroyed, where humanity clings to an obscure clod of rock.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

85. “Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

86. “The old appeals to racial, sexual and religious chauvinism to rabid nationalist fervor, are beginning not to work.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

87. “An organism at war with itself is doomed.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

88. “People are not stupid. They believe things for reasons. The last way for skeptics to get the attention of bright, curious, intelligent people is to belittle or condescend or to show arrogance toward their beliefs.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

89. “Arguments from authority carry little weight – authorities have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

90. “Other things being equal, it is better to be smart than to be stupid.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

91. “What an astonishing thing a book is.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

92. “Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

93. “My fundamental premise about the brain is that its workings – what we sometimes call “mind” – are a consequence of its anatomy and physiology, and nothing more.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

94. “We have heard the rationales offered by the nuclear superpowers. We know who speaks for the nations. But who speaks for the human species? Who speaks for Earth?” ~ (Carl Sagan).

95. “In the long run, the aggressive civilizations destroy themselves, almost always. It’s their nature. They can’t help it.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

96. “The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge; it has no in the endeavor of science. We do not know in advance who will discover fundamental insights.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

97. “Sailors on a becalmed sea, we sense the stirring of a breeze.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

98. “Cosmos is a Greek word for the order of the universe. It is, in a way, the opposite of Chaos. It implies the deep interconnectedness of all things. It conveys awe for the intricate and subtle way in which the universe is put together.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

99. “So those who wished for some central cosmic purpose for us, or at least our world, or at least our solar system, or at least our galaxy, have been disappointed, progressively disappointed. The universe is not responsive to our ambitious expectations.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

100. “Science is not perfect. It’s often misused; it’s only a tool, but it’s the best tool we have. Self-correcting, ever changing, applicable to everything: with this tool, we vanquish the impossible.” ~ (Carl Sagan).

101. “The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” ~ (Carl Sagan).


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