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Thoughts On Carl Sagans Quote

Thoughts On Carl Sagans Quote

Sample Answer 

Thoughts On Carl Sagans Quote

As I understand it from Carl’s view, science revolves around thinking outside the box. However, the box is within another box. When Carl was younger, he realized that the two forces that dominated life were inconsistent (Morris, 2009). The scientists who came up with new ideas and theories lacked public support, while the hippies that conjured theories about life lacked the funding and discipline to pursue the same. Carl acknowledges that these two groups were wrong and needed to combine their thoughts to gain a better view of scientific ideas. With that, the researcher created his own path that incorporated peer-to-peer reviews, views from history, and academic rigor while remaining open to the notion of extra-terrestrial life and big bang theories (Martinez, 2016).

Science is birthed from wonder and the need to validate one’s imagination. However, skepticism needs to be at the core as a way to balance imagination and reality. This balance is necessary if science is to advance because if a person is open to any and all ideas, such a person can become easily deluded and prey to bias and human errors. On the other hand, closing one’s mind to all possibilities and becoming overly skeptical predisposes such a person to ignorance and failure to think beyond their small worlds. Hence, a balance needs to be struck between delusion and ignorance.

When one is open to new ideas but lacks empirical evidence, it exposes the ideas as hypothetical theories and, at best, theories that are yet to demonstrate any inconsistencies but may prove to be inaccurate. An example is Einstein’s theory which concluded that gravity is not a force as Newton described it but rather a curve in space-time (Verlinde, 2011). Einstein scrutinized Newton’s theory, while the latter’s theory is still under scrutiny today. In this example, scientific assertions, though seemingly far-fetched at their onset, were proved to have an element of truth and continue to be explored, hopefully to find complete truth in them.


Martinez-Conde, S. (2016). Has contemporary academia outgrown the Carl Sagan effect?. Journal of Neuroscience36(7), 2077-2082.

Morrison, D. (2009). Carl Sagan’s Life and Legacy as Scientist, Teacher, and Skeptic. Skeptical Inquirer31.

Verlinde, E. (2011). On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton. Journal of High Energy Physics2011(4), 29.


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Thoughts On Carl Sagans Quote

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Thoughts On Carl Sagan's Quote

Thoughts On Carl Sagan’s Quote

“At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly contradictory attitudes—an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.” Carl Sagan (1987)

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