Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sagan on Science, Religion, and the Universe

This is absolutely fantastic! This excerpt is from Sagan's book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (the chapter is titled, A Universe not made for us). The segment is about 9 minutes long - and Sagan can say a lot (with the prefect choice of words) in 9 minutes.



(Tip from richarddawkins.net)

9 comments:

Akbar said...

Salman, are you morbidly obsessed with Sagan?

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Ali said...

I wish I can express as eloquently as Sagan so that I can put my counter argument. :)

In short, Sagan knows only half the truth. Sad that he died with it. I admire him for his intelligence and humble attitude. I don't agree with his views, though.

After seeing this blog, I must say that it looks like people like Sagan and Richard Dawkins have influenced your thinking. Trust me, Dawkins too knows only half the truth. :)

Salman Hameed said...

Akbar,

No, just pleasantly obsessed :)
He was an amazing writer - and his words drew me to astronomy.

Ali:
"In short, Sagan knows only half the truth. Sad that he died with it. I admire him for his intelligence and humble attitude. I don't agree with his views, though. "

Don't feel sad for him. He lived a fulfilling life and died a happy man (see earlier posts here and here).

As far as "half-truth", Sagan was keen on evidence - and perhaps it is better to underestimate what we know than to overestimate.

But it is also totally okay to disagree with his views...

Atif Khan said...

Thanks a million bunches for posting about legendary Carl Sagan. If I have a choice to get one person from past to relive, I would without a blink of eye choose Carl Sagan.

Shahid said...

You made my day. I had never listened to this one.

juan said...

this is awesome.thank you so much

Ali said...

Salman,

"As far as "half-truth", Sagan was keen on evidence - and perhaps it is better to underestimate what we know than to overestimate."

Yes it is better to underestimate than to overestimate.

But my question is why estimate something that I am 100 percent sure of? You only estimate when you do not know. But I know. So I am not relying on any estimation at all when I say Sagan or Dawkins knows half the truth.

I feel sad because such a brilliant mind like Sagan could not see the evidence even when he was so keen to see it. Perhaps the methodological naturalism of science took him on a ride!

And in my humble opinion, it is not that Dawkins does not see this evidence. I have a feeling that he knows more than 'half the truth.' (Ha ha) But for whatever reason he projects himself as if he only knows half the truth. (Ha ha again) If that is so, he must be enjoying looking at his ability to take others on a ride. :)

Akbar said...

Salman:
At least I agree with you here. The Solar System (book) composed by Carl Sagan was my first book on astronomy (1986) which my father got from a library. That was when I stepped into the world of astronomy, my obsession "morbidly" strengthened further by the TV series Cosmos, again by Sagan (1987). (PTV used to telecast at least one science program daily in the dictator's era...now more than a dozen channel in Pakistan spewing nothing but BS, no science programs anymore)