"Those afraid of the universe as it really is, those who pretend to nonexistent knowledge and envision a Cosmos centered on human beings will prefer the fleeting comforts of superstition. They avoid rather than confront the world. But those with the courage to explore the weave and structure of the Cosmos, even where it differs profoundly from their wishes and prejudices, will penetrate its deepest mysteries."
Today is the first annual Carl Sagan Day. We all know that he sounds good auto-tuned (if not a little bit like Kermit the Frog). But his voice and words are beautiful enough without manipulation. Take this brief ode to our planet:
Sagan's gift, more than anyone else I'm aware of, was in highlighting the beauty of science and nature. His ability to see the whole of mankind's history and future in a single blurry snapshot of a pinpoint in space is startling.
The fantastic radio series/podcast, Radiolab, featured the following story on their episode entitled "Space". It perfectly illustrates Carl Sagan, the scientist and the romantic.