Dec. 20th, 2006

ciroccoj: (wonder)
Bloggers around the world celebrate Carl Sagan's life on the 10th anniversary of his death
By Lauren Gold
Fans and bloggers are planning a worldwide blog-a-thon to commemorate the life and legacy of Carl Sagan )


OK, see, I wasn't going to be online at all except to pick up my e-mail and scan lj briefly, but I saw [ profile] batita's entry pointing to this and couldn't pass it up.

Carl Sagan. Man, there's just so much to say about him.

He made me want to be an astronomer from the age of about ten till I hit high school physics. I must have watched Cosmos about a million times as a kid. Fell irrevocably in love with astronomy and the stars and with the idea of science as something accessible and meaningful. I've got so many attitudes and thought patterns that were basically sparked by lines from Cosmos, which is... kinda weird, I guess, but it works for me. Sagan also gave me a role model of an atheist who was moral, intelligent, good, and who saw a purpose and meaning to life, even if it was confined to this world and this finite lifetime. I really don't know what my life would have been like without him - not that it would have necessarily been worse than it is, just... it sure would've been different.

Anyway, damn, I wish I had more time to do this, but oh well. Here's a short list of quotable quotes (some kinda paraphrased):

  • "The terrible thing about Velokovsky is not that his ideas were wrong, or foolish, but that the scientific community tried to suppress them."

  • "...and Plato, whose idea of a flat earth dominated Western science for a thousand years, proving once again that absolute brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong."

  • " will be done by humans whose home and planetary affiliation is with Mars. The Martians will be us."

  • "When Kepler found his long-cherished belief did not agree with the most precise observation, he accepted the uncomfortable fact. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions; that is the heart of science."

  • "History is full of people who out of fear, or ignorance, or lust for power have destroyed knowledge of immeasurable value which truly belongs to us all. We must not let it happen again."

  • "The reasoning, if we can call it that, went like this: I can't see a thing on Venus. Why is that? It must be because Venus is covered by clouds. Well, what are clouds made of? Water. So Venus must be very wet and humid. What else is wet and humid? Swamps. And what kinds of creatures live in swamps? Well, reptiles, like dinosaurs. So Venus must be a swampy world full of dinosaurs.

    Observation: I can't see anything on Venus. Conclusion? Dinosaurs."

    (My kids and I say that last one in my home all the time, by the way.)

  • "Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring."

Rest in peace, Carl. And thanks :)

November 2012

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