Carl Sagan: Billions and Billions


It is far better to understand the Universe as it really is than to pretend to a Universe as we might wish it to be.

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I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.

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Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

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A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable.

Chapter 14


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