Carl Sagan Day.
In every such society there is a cherished world of myth and metaphor which co-exists with the workaday world. Efforts to reconcile the two are made, and any rough edges at the joints are tend to be off-limits and ignored. We compartmentalize. Some scientists do this too, effortlessly stepping between the skeptical world of science and the credulous world of belief without skipping a beat. Of course, the greater the mismatch between these two worlds, the more difficult it is to be comfortable, with untroubled conscience, with both.
In a life short and uncertain, it seems heartless to do anything that might deprive people of the consolation of faith when science cannot remedy their anguish. Those who cannot bear the burden of science are free to ignore its precepts. But we cannot have science in bits and pieces, applying it where we feel safe and ignoring it where we feel threatened—again, because we are not wise enough to do so. Except by sealing the brain off into separate compartments, how is it possible to fly in airplanes, listen to the radio or take antibiotics while holding that the Earth is around 10,000 years old or that all Sagittarians are gregarious and affable?
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World (1995) P. 297.
Visit Bad Astronomy: On the birthday of Carl Sagan to hear Carl Sagan read his famous essay "The Pale Blue Dot."