Sagan Day

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.

To celebrate his legacy and to increase public involvement in the excitement of astronomy and space exploration, tomorrow is the second annual Carl Sagan Day . . . What? . . . You don’t know who Carl Sagan is? Get off my lawn and go get yourself some education.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring

Sagan was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, author, cosmologist, and highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics and other natural sciences. During his lifetime, he published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books.  He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).  Sagan became world-famous for his popular science books and for the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote. Sagan also wrote the novel Contact, the basis for the 1997 film of the same name.

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.

More than anything, Sagan advocated skeptical inquiry and the scientific method. So don’t take my world for how great he was. Go watch Cosmos. You can get it all instantly from Netflix streaming. Go check out his books from your local library. Try (and fail) to truly make an apple pie from scratch. Most importantly, go outside and observe the natural world around you. Take a look up at the stars and behold the beauty

When you make the finding yourself – even if you’re the last person on Earth to see the light – you’ll never forget it.

Carl Sagan would be 76 tomorrow. Happy birthday.

-That is all.


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