"Does it mean, if you don’t understand something, and the community of physicists don’t understand it, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, here’s a list of things in the past that the physicists at the time didn't understand and now we do understand. If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on."
"People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah's ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it's about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers."
"Atheists I know who proudly wear the badge are active atheists. They're like in-your-face atheist. They want to change policies and they're having debates. I don't have the time, the interest, or the energy to do any of that. I'm a scientist. I'm an educator. My goal is to get people thinking straight in the first place. To get you to be curious about the natural world. That's what I'm about."
"I'm tired of sayin this but I'll have to say it again. The NASA budget is four tenths of one penny on a tax dollar. If I held up the tax dollar and I cut horizontally into it, four tenths of one percent of it's width, it doesn't even get you into the ink. So I will not except a statement that says 'We can't afford it'!"
"Do you realize that the 850 billion dollar bank bailout, that sum of money is greater than the entire 50 year running budget of NASA. And so when someone says, 'We don't have enough money for this space probe.' No, it's not that you don't have enough money. It's that the distribution of money that you're spending is warped in some way that you are removing the only thing that gives people something to dream about tomorrow."
"The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.
For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And along the way, lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you."
"Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kind of cool! That makes me smile...and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us."
"Science is a cooperative enterprise spanning the generations. It's the passing of a torch from teacher to student to teacher. A community of minds, reaching back to antiquity and forward to the stars."
"We went to the Moon, and we discovered Earth. I claim we discovered Earth for the first time. How does that affect culture? I got a list! The instant that photo comes out, THAT is the identifying cover picture of The Whole Earth Catalog, thinking about Earth as a whole. Not as a place where nations war, as a whole. 1970: The Comprehensive Clean Air Act is passed. Earth Day was birthed March, 1970. The Environmental Protection Agency was founded in 1970. The organization Doctors Without Borders in 1971. Where do you even get that phrase from?! No one thought of that phrase before that photo was published. Because every globe in your classroom has countries painted on it. DDT got banned in 1972. We're still going to the Moon; we're still looking back to Earth. Clean Water Act, 1971. 1972: Endangered Species Act, the catalytic converted gets put in in 1973, unleaded gas, 1973. We're still at war in Vietnam, there's still campus unrest, yet we found the time to start thinking about Earth."
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