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From Galileo to Sagan, Famous Scientists on the Art of Wonder, the Mystery of the Universe, and the Heart of Science | Brain Pickings

Stashed in: Attention, The Universe, Carl Sagan, @brainpicker, SETI

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“It would be a very dull universe for any intelligent being were everything of importance to be known.”

somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known carl sagan quote

somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known carl sagan quote

carl sagan quote pale blue dot Imgur

Bersanelli and Gargantini consider what psychologists and neuroscientists are only beginning to understand — that the whimsy of the world reveals itself based on the quality of our attention — and argue for wonder as a kind of active curiosity we engage rather than a passive phenomenon bestowed upon us from above:

Noting the presence of things is the first and fundamental action of the human being who knows. It is from this strange passivity that curiosity, questions, the desire for research grow. Perhaps for this reason, at the heart of all great scientists there is something that, as in a child, keeps their eyes wide open and focused on reality.


This wonder at existence is the condition for an authentic encounter with things and opens up the possibility of knowledge. . . . This is a wonder that does not stop at an aesthetic sentiment, is not reduced to a momentary curiosity, but is the beginning of a process, kindling the desire to enter into relationship with the world, to get to know it.

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