(It was Carl Sagan's birthday last week!)

What is your favorite Sagan quote?

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"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Certainly, whenever I am writing a manuscript dreaming that it could make it to Science or Nature, I remember this particular quote!

Pale Blue Dot is my all-time favorite! For me, it’s a true expression of the spirituality of science. Here, I want to cite a book excerpt in which Carl talked about his inquisitiveness about stars and universe when he was an elementary school kid. I just love the way he expressed it.

     “I went to the library. I asked the librarian for a book on the stars. She came back and gave me a book. I opened it. It was filled with pictures of people like Jean Harlow and Clark Gable.

     I was humiliated. I gave it back to her and said, "This wasn't the kind of stars I had in mind." She thought this was hilarious, which humiliated me further. She then went and got the right kind of book. I took it—a simple kid's book. I sat down on a little chair—a pint-sized chair—and turned the pages until I came to the answer.

     And the answer was stunning. It was that the Sun was a star but really close. The stars were suns, but so far away they were just little points of light.... And while I didn't know the [inverse] square law of light propagation or anything like that, still, it was clear to me that you would have to move that Sun enormously far away, further away than Brooklyn [for the stars to appears as dots of light]....

      The scale of the universe suddenly opened up to me. [It was] kind of a religious experience. [There] was magnificence to it, grandeur, and a scale which has never left me. Never ever left me.. ”

                                                          - from “Carl Sagan A Life” by Keay Davidson

Wow Anushree.. How wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Thanks Betul. That wonderment has never left me too :)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe"

My day neither begins nor ends without this...it's just beautiful..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=wupToq...

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What do biosignatures tell us

Started by Ken Jones in SAGANet Community Jul 11. 0 Replies

Lately there has been a lot of talk about biosignatures. I've even come across articles where they talk about using biosignatures to look for life beyond earth in the rocks here on earth by searching for biosignatures of past life in rocks. I'm just…Continue

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