The 50 Best Carl Sagan Quotes

Michael Brandon

Carl Sagan knew how to inspire wonder and curiosity. His love of the natural world and beyond helped spark the imagination of many.

Here is a collection of some of my favorite Carl Sagan quotes, touching on subjects as diverse as atheism, reading, and of course, our place in the universe.

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.-Carl Sagan

Across the sea of space, the stars are other suns.-Carl Sagan


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

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.-Carl Sagan

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

We can’t help it. Life looks for life.-Carl Sagan

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.-Carl Sagan

Each of us is a tiny being, permitted to ride on the outermost skin of one of the smaller planets for a few dozen trips around the local star.-Carl Sagan

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.-Carl Sagan

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.-Carl Sagan

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.-Carl Sagan

It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.-Carl Sagan

I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue.-Carl Sagan

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

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.-Carl Sagan

The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.-Carl Sagan

The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.-Carl Sagan


We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.-Carl Sagan

We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.-Carl Sagan

Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.-Carl Sagan

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.-Carl Sagan

The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.-Carl Sagan

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

The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.-Carl Sagan

Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.-Carl Sagan

The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.-Carl Sagan

My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it. An agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.-Carl Sagan

You have to know the past to understand the present.-Carl Sagan

The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.-Carl Sagan

But nature is always more subtle, more intricate, more elegant than what we are able to imagine.-Carl Sagan

In all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.-Carl Sagan

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

Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.-Carl Sagan

An organism at war with itself is doomed.-Carl Sagan

If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth.-Carl Sagan

Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.-Carl Sagan

There are no forbidden questions in science, no matters too sensitive or delicate to be probed, no sacred truths.-Carl Sagan

Avoidable human misery is more often caused not so much by stupidity as by ignorance, particularly our ignorance about ourselves.-Carl Sagan

The visions we offer our children shape the future.-Carl Sagan

Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.-Carl Sagan

You are worth about 3 dollars worth in chemicals.-Carl Sagan

The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.-Carl Sagan

There are wonders enough out there without our inventing any.-Carl Sagan

Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.-Carl Sagan

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.-Carl Sagan

Sailors on a becalmed sea, we sense the stirring of a breeze.-Carl Sagan

It’s hard to kill a creature once it lets you see its consciousness.-Carl Sagan

It is said that men may not be the dreams of the god, but rather that the gods are the dreams of men.-Carl Sagan

Bonus Video – Carl Sagan Sings A Song

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