Prejudice means literally pre-judgment, the rejection of a contention out of hand, before examining the evidence. Prejudice is the result of powerful emotions, not of sound reasoning. If we wish to find out the truth of a matter we must approach the question with as nearly open a mind as we can, and with a deep awareness of our own limitations and predispositions. On the other hand, if after carefully and openly examining the evidence, we reject the proposition, that is not prejudice. It might be called “post-judice.” It is certainly a prerequisite for knowledge.

-Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science  (pg. 63)

Prejudice means literally pre-judgment, the rejection of a contention out of hand, before examining the evidence. Prejudice is the result of powerful emotions, not of sound reasoning. If we wish to find out the truth of a matter we must approach the question with as nearly open a mind as we can, and with a deep awareness of our own limitations and predispositions. On the other hand, if after carefully and openly examining the evidence, we reject the proposition, that is not prejudice. It might be called “post-judice.” It is certainly a prerequisite for knowledge.

-Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science  (pg. 63)

When buying a new or used car, we think it prudent to insist on written warranties, test drives, and checks of particular parts. We are very careful about car dealers who are evasive on these points. Yet the practitioners of many borderline beliefs are offended when subjected to similarly close scrutiny.

-Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science  (pg. 63)

Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned like a liberation. The road to this paradise was not so comfortable and alluring as the road to religious paradise; but it has proved itself as trustworthy, and I have never regretted having chosen it.”

-Albert Einstein as quoted by Carl Sagan in Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science  (pg31)

Those who make uncritical observations or fraudulent claims lead us into error and deflect us from the major human goal of understanding how the world works. It is for this reason that playing fast and loose with the truth is a very serious matter.

-Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science  (pg. 46-7)