Did you know Nov. 9 is Carl Sagan Day?

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Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Did you know Nov. 9 is Carl Sagan Day?
« on: 09/11/2009 08:45:55 »
It's true! November 9, 2009 is the first official Carl Sagan Day. Dr. Sagan was born November 9, 1934 making today his 75th birthday. Sadly he was a spoil sport and left us in December 1996. But we are still going to celebrate his life.

I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Sagan but there was something that really bothered me about him. He did a lot of good to get people to think skeptically, which is a very good thing. He also did great things for SETI, also good. Dr. Sagan was convinced that intelligent life could be found elsewhere in the universe, something I happen to agree with. However, despite years of looking there is not one bit of evidence that it's true. I know, I know, lack of evidence is NOT lack of existence. There was no evidence that atoms existed before Albert Einstein performed his famous Brownian Motion experiment!

I was 10 when Cosmos first aired and I sucked it up. I loved hearing about planets, stars, black holes, and even the history of science. I now own Cosmos on DVD and can revisit my idol any time, to listen to his musical voice talk about what I would see if I rode my motor scooter around the back roads of Italy close to the speed of light. (would the Italian police give me a speeding ticket? 900,000,000 KPH in a 70 KPH zone???) It is from Cosmos that I get my love of science.

What bothered me was his militant view of the non-existence of God. Now keep in mind I consider myself an atheist but I found it disturbing to see Dr. Sagan insist that life began "quite by accident" over and over, or to point out that this or that "miracle" was just an accident. Can anyone else see the dichotomy here? Here you have a person who is adamant, despite the lack of even the slightest bit of evidence, that life could be found anywhere outside the Earth. Yet flatly reject any idea that there could be some kind of intelligence outside our plane of extensive or that exsitence could continue after death. While I consider myself to be atheist I cannot completely reject the idea that something outside our understanding could be true.
I was once a STAR!!! Well part of a star at least.


Offline RD

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Did you know Nov. 9 is Carl Sagan Day?
« Reply #1 on: 09/11/2009 13:12:40 »
The first extrasolar record-producer  [:)] ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record#Contents
« Last Edit: 09/11/2009 13:14:41 by RD »