Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Carl Sagan Memorial Blog-a-Thon Post

In honor of the tenth anniversary of astronomer and skeptical luminary Carl Sagan's death, Joel Schlosberg is hosting a Carl Sagan Memorial Blog-a-Thon. (Follow that link for dozens of other posts, including some by Sagan's wife and son.) Searching back through my posts, I found that I've already mentioned Sagan in nine posts. I think the best way to honor him is simply to point out how often I've already referred to him:

The Danger of Religious Thinking: American "Treatment" of Addiction
Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy... Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science?

Beautiful Science
Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.
[T]he Bible describes a God who watches over one tiny world a few thousand years old. I look out there and see a universe of hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars... I mean burn me for a heretic, but your God seems awfully small. --Ellie Arroway, in Sagan's Contact

Baloney Detection Kit

Quote of the Day - Orthodoxy and the Suppression of Ideas
The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.

Quote of the Day: Science Vs. Religion
In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

What Kind of Atheist am I?
  • In which I mention Sagan's role in my becoming an atheist.

Somehow I've never mentioned my favorite Sagan quote, which actually comes from his wife. When asked, "Didn't he want to believe?" she answered, "He didn't want to believe. He wanted to know."


JS said...

Hey genius, how can you be Jewish and an atheist? Isn't that a contradiction, like "Intelligent Democrat"?

beepbeepitsme said...

RE: " "Didn't he want to believe?" she answered, "He didn't want to believe. He wanted to know."


asher said...

Sagan once debated Dennis Prager..I wonder if you can get it on line someplace.

I have a dream said...

I went to this wonderful lecture at the American Museum of Natural History last month. The podcast is available here:

"Carl Sagan's Search for God."
Ann Druyan, Steve Soter, and Neil deGrasse Tyson

"In this panel discussion with Hayden Planetarium director Tyson, Carl Sagan's widow and former colleague discuss the astrobiologist's perspective on science, the spiritual experience, and the search for God."

Anonymous said...

Yes, you can be Jewish and an atheist. There are many famous Jewish atheists. The Jew is a member of a family. A family that was started by Abraham, moved to Egypt, left Egypt after 400 years as a people numbering 600,000; and received the Torah at Mt Sinai. The religion of the Jews is Judaism. Judaism only requires that you love your neighbour! There are 613 laws that tell you how to do this. There are 7 pre-requisites for civilisation which are the Noahide laws. Most people, let alone Jews, abide by the Noahide Laws and keep hundreds of the Commandments with out even realising it! You dont have to be Jewish but it helps! said...

Is there an online memorial or obituary in memoriam of this amazing person, since cant see in