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Happy Birthday Carl Sagan!

  1. Nov 9, 2007 #1

    Doc Al

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    Born this date in 1934, Sagan was one of the greatest popularizers and defenders of science in the 20th century. He produced the award-winning "Cosmos" series on PBS and won the Pulitzer prize. Of his books, my favorite is his classic: The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

    Some Carl quotes:

    And of course:
    Carl died in 1996.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2007 #2


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  4. Nov 9, 2007 #3
    Born 1934, died 1996, age Billions and billions.
  5. Nov 9, 2007 #4


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    I bought his Cosmos series after it appeared on PBS, billions and billions of years ago.
  6. Nov 9, 2007 #5
    I love Carl Sagan. My favorite book is The Demon-Haunted World. I've seen the first episode of Cosmos and I am considering getting the series. One of my favorite part was The Dragon in My Garage, but it is hard to choose among so many great quotes.

    "If you want to save your child from polio, you can pray or you can inoculate.[...] Try Science"

    "The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous."

    "In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they 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."

    "Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy. Think of how many people rely on these prophecies, however vague, however unfulfilled, to support or prop up their beliefs. Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science?"

    "I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudoscience and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us-then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls.

    The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir."
  7. Nov 9, 2007 #6
    {nods and tips hat} To the man who brought science to our front doors.
  8. Nov 9, 2007 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." - Carl Sagan
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