Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Carl Sagan

Growing up as an atheist in a predominantly overwhelmingly christian town was not an easy task.  I was already at a disadvantage of being small, asthmatic, a science geek and a Dungeons & Dragons player.  Add to the fact that I didn't believe ANYTHING that was being told to me didn't help (it was also why I left the Boy Scouts, but is for another day).

What made it all better though was the fact that I had discovered "Cosmos" on PBS and Dr. Carl Sagan.

Carl Sagan was not an atheist he was agnostic.  For while there I was also agnostic, mostly due to his arguments for it, but also because he was the scientist I wanted to be.

He was eloquent, intelligent, and it seemed to me, a polymath on many many subjects.    He had his own personal issues (married a three times) but I never felt that this got in the way of what he was to me; an example of an intelligent, good person that had no need for a god in his life.

Since Cosmos first aired and I watched it on PBS, I have seen it a half a dozen more times and read the book twice.

Sagan was until Hawking one of our best scientists turned authors to get science into the popular press.
He has written a number of books but these are my favorites.
The Dragons of Eden, Broca's Brain, Cosmos, Pale Blue Dot, and The Demon Haunted World.  Outside of Cosmos my favorite one is Demon Haunted World.  A book that is just as true today as it was nearly 20 years ago.

I never became the scientist like Carl Sagan, I became a different sort.  But it was Carl Sagan that showed me that there is wonder in the natural world, there is beauty in the universe and even in the human spirit and none of these ever needed a god.

Monday I want to talk about Sagan's heir apparent.


  1. Hi!

    Just stopping by to say hell'o and to see what your were doing with the letter "S"

    I use to watch "Cosmos" on PBS and Dr. Carl Sagan" all the time!

    Haven't read any of his books; the titles sound interesting!

    Good one for "S"

    Enjoy the rest of the day and weekend!

  2. That is so weird. I just watched Cosmos for the first time last night on Netflix and loved it! Thanks for telling me more about the guy behind it!

    xoxo Lloralye @ Adorning Schemes A to Z

  3. I am a big fan of the Women Naturalists of days past. They were scientists as well who opened the world in a different way. Even in the 19th Century when women weren't encouraged academically, they were encouraged to learn about local flora, fauna and drawing of flora and fauna. Perhaps not as "flashy" as Sagan, etc (who I also enjoy a lot) yet I believe their work - the women naturalists - has a lot of value.

    I'm grateful I came to visit from A to Z today!

    Julie Jordan Scott
    Fellow A to Z Challenge Writer
    twitter: @juliejordanscot
    S is for Sara Teasdale
    On a Mission to Spread Word-Love Throughout the World

    1. Julie, thanks for the link back to your Blogfest. I am going to check out your posts!

  4. This post is very interesting. I am going to see if I can check out a few of the books you mentioned in this posts. Thanks for visiting my writing blog (Coffee driven and Adventure Bound Life).


  5. Just stopping by. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge blogs this month. My alphabet is at