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)

Science is an exploration of the intricate, subtle and awesome universe we inhabit. Those who practice it know, at least on occasion, a rare kind of exhilaration that Socrates said was the greatest of human pleasures. It is a communicable pleasure.

-Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science  (pg 38)

Science is based on experiment, on a willingness to challenge old dogma, on an openness to see the universe as it really is. Accordingly, science sometimes requires courage—at the very least the courage to question the conventional wisdom.

-Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science  (pg 13)

Many of the problems facing us may be soluble, but only if are willing to embrace brilliant, daring and complex solutions. Such solutions require brilliant, daring, and complex people. I believe that there are many more of them around- in every nation, ethnic group, and degree of affluence- than we realize.

-Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science  (pg. 39)