For this year's Sagan Day, I offer some quotes on our current condition...
THE PALE BLUE DOT
There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
THE CHARLATANS ARE HERE
Reversing the anti-science direction of the country will take time and won't be easy. We can do it if we focus on the today's students...tomorrow's leaders.
In his last interview, Carl Sagan warned (1996),
Science is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking; a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.The charlatans are here...it's time to step up.
If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then, we are up for grabs for the next charlatan (political or religious) who comes ambling along.
FROM THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD, 1996
I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time – when the United states is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.
FROM CONTACT, A NOVEL, 1985
We could not guess how different from us they (extraterrestrials) might be. It was hard enough to guess the intentions of our elected representatives in Washington.