Carl Sagan Quotes
402 Sourced Quotes
If I were to propose to you that my arm could be in this position or in that position but it would be forbidden by the laws of nature to be in some intermediate position, that would likely strike you as absurd, as contrary to experience. And yet on the subatomic level, there is a quantization of energy and position and momentum. The reason that it seems counterintuitive is that is that we are not ordinarily down at the level of the very small, where quantum effects dominate.
For myself, I like a universe that, includes much that is unknown and, at the same time, much that is knowable. A universe in which everything is known would be static and dull, as boring as the heaven of some weak-minded theologians. A universe that is unknowable is no fit place for a thinking being. The ideal universe for us is one very much like the universe we inhabit. And I would guess that this is not really much of a coincidence.
Imagine we could accelerate continuously at 1 g — what we're comfortable with on good old terra firma — to the midpoint of our voyage, and decelerate continuously at 1 g until we arrive at our destination. It would take a day to get to Mars, a week and a half to Pluto, a year to the Oort Cloud, and a few years to the nearest stars.
The impediment to scientific thinking is not, I think, the difficulty of the subject. Complex intellectual feats have been mainstays even of oppressed cultures. Shamans, magicians and theologians are highly skilled in their intricate and arcane arts. No, the impediment is political and hierarchical.