Every thinking person fears nuclear war, and every technological state plans for it. Everyone knows it is madness, and every nation has an excuse
Advances in medicine and agriculture have saved vastly more lives than have been lost in all the wars in history.
An organism at war with itself is doomed.
A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are one planet.
She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message: For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
We live in a vast and awesome universe in which, daily, suns are made and worlds destroyed, where humanity clings to an obscure clod of rock.
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students.
We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology.
We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.
It’s perilous and foolhardy for the average citizen to remain ignorant about global warming, say, or ozone depletion, air pollution, toxic and radioactive wastes, acid rain, topsoil erosion, tropical deforestation, exponential population growth. Jobs and wages depend on science and technology.
I set before you two ways: You can use your technology to destroy yourselves or to carry you to the planets and the stars. It’s up to you.
What does it mean for a civilisation to be a million years old? We have had radio telescopes and spaceships for a few decades; our technical civilisation is a few hundred years old … an advanced civilisation millions of years old is as much beyond us as we are beyond a bushbaby or a macaque
All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world. (There is, of course, much data to support you.) But every now and then, a new idea turns out to be on the mark, valid and wonderful. If you are too much in the habit of being skeptical about everything, you are going to miss or resent it, and either way you will be standing in the way of understanding and progress.
If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you.
If we can’t think for ourselves, if we’re unwilling to question authority, then we’re just putty in the hands of those in power. But if the citizens are educated and form their
own opinions, then those in power work for us. In every country, we should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit. In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, this may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.
Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?