John Boswell, the madly brilliant sound-chemist who Auto-Tuned his way into our hearts with “A Glorious Dawn” featuring Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, has launched the laud-worthy project “Symphony of Science” which is “designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form.” You couldn’t ask for a better goal than that. – Chris Hardwick, Nerdist
“Feeling unhappy because it isn’t immediately understandable.”
“Nothing will put astrologers out of business.”
Here is a video of Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, and Arthur C. Clarke talking about everything and everything’s beginning. It consists of questions and answers. The first point that Carl Sagan makes in this video is about questions and answers. He goes on to talk about answers in his own answers. Many people in this world are obsessed with finding and having answers to the questions that they encounter in their lives. Carl Sagan was not one of these people.
The canon of human knowledge will always be finite. The remainder of available knowledge in the universe will always be infinite. Carl Sagan encouraged us to celebrate that which we do not know, and attack it with questions and investigation. With full understanding that the task of science is undoubtedly insurmountable, we attempt it anyway. Not only is the task of science insurmountable, it is constantly working against itself. As soon as we figure something out, that new knowledge has a pesky habit of creating even more questions. Those people who recognize this fact, and purse the pursuit anyway are those who wind up finding the greatest answers.
Sadly, so long as there are things which we do not understand, and indeed there always will be, there will be people who will seek a shortcut to answers without even knowing the right questions to ask. It’s easier to follow the words of a charismatic leader, to believe in psychics, blame personal shortcomings on fate, or settle a dispute with violence than to seek and confront an uncomfortable truth.
On behalf of all those he helped make the jump into rejecting dogma and seeking truth through rational inquiry knowing we will never fully find it, let me say thank you to Carl Sagan.
– submitted to Celebrating Sagan by Dave Lodewyck.
This five-minute video in “defense of atheists” has been a hit on YouTube since its debut in mid-2006 (with more than 800,000 views and 80,000 comments, and praise from the likes of James Randi, Michael Shermer, and Penn & Teller), but has gotten extra attention from a mention in the article “God and Man on YouTube” in last week’s New York Times Magazine.
Much of the video (a “video response” to icecorescientist’s Pale Blue Dot video) features slides of famous people who many might not realize are atheists (similar to lists on websites like this one); and sure enough, Carl Sagan is featured: