Home » Cosmology, Fine tuning, Intelligent Design, News » Why the ID community maybe SHOULD celebrate Carl Sagan day …

Why the ID community maybe SHOULD celebrate Carl Sagan day …

File:Carl Sagan Planetary Society.JPG

In “Happy Carl Sagan Day” (The Best Schools, November 12, 2011) James Barham offers to help us celebrate the late, great Carl Sagan (1934-1996), along with thousands of atheists and “skeptics”:

Wait a minute. The great who?

If you are under the age of 40, it is unlikely you’ve ever heard of Carl Sagan (1934–1996). He was an astronomer at Cornell University, who enjoyed a brief hour of celebrity in the early 1980s with some pretty good popular science books and an interesting TV series called Cosmos. Maybe you can still catch the reruns on the Discovery Channel or someplace.

Today, though, he is mostly remembered for being lampooned as the guy who repeated the phrase ”billions and billions of stars” at every opportunity with a special smarmy emphasis. I think it was supposed to be about putting all those late-20th-century folks who still thought the earth was at the center of the universe in their place.

They still cite the “billions and billions”TM schtick today, for the same purpose, usually without acknowledgement. Some persist in seeing the fact that Sagan was never elected to the National Academy of Sciences as due to envy. In his case, it’s more likely that they realized that there just wasn’t much science, as such, in what he was saying.

Sagan’s greatest legacy is this: He cemented in popular media and culture the following assumptions about the relationship between “science” and “religion”:

“Science” is about the presumed accidental nature of our universe. “Religion” is about the evidence for fine-tuning.

“Science” argues that if Earth is fine-tuned for life, there “must be” billions and billions of Earths out there, plus aliens galore. “Religion” points out that we have no single bit of evidence for any of them.

“Science” says most DNA is junk. “Religion” says, wait and see. We did, and guess what?

“Science” claims that apes will one day write autobiographies. “Religion” claims that there is no evidence of any such thing, and points to the low quality of the evidence that apes are just like people.

Sagan was hardly the pioneer in this area, but he played a key role in establishing that the “science” of popular media is mostly bunk directed at supporting atheism and that any evidence-based assessment of life in our cosmos is the province of “religion” – where people tend to classify us.

Nice goin’, dude. The UD News desk salutes ya!

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6 Responses to Why the ID community maybe SHOULD celebrate Carl Sagan day …

  1. Hello News,

    Hopefully, this sour and twisted view of Carl Sagan by James Barham (and you) will spur others to actually read Sagan’s books. Carl Sagan had the ability to convey science in beautiful and lucid prose in a manner that was (dare I say it?) inspiring. Too bad that doesn’t fit the ID view of atheists as killjoys with no sense of awe or wonder.

  2. I heard that Hollywood was setting up a Sagan Day celebration. I wonder how many stars will be there. ;)

  3. Carl Sagan was jewish and isn’t a judge on Christianity and Science.
    One must understand the faith before criticizing its role in evidence for origins.
    I never saw his shows but only knew him from Johnny Carson jokes about billions.
    Its disappointing he died so young for himself and loved ones and everyone who enjoyed his stuff.
    I do note evolutionists quote him a lot.
    Yet like Stephen Hawkings i don’t see what these people ever achieved in discovery/invention/figuring out something, that gives them credibility above others to be quoted.
    The true achievers in “science’ are people who achieve something and not those who sell or teach about science.
    One should go with the winners.
    They probably are a little sharper.
    Those who can’t teach .

  4. 4

    Sagan believed that time was the magic of materialism. Too bad his views have since been debunked by modern theories.

    “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”

    “The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding.”

    In the age of enlightment of ID, this quote seems the most ironic…

    “The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion and politics, but it is not the path to knowledge; it has no place in the endeavor of science.”

  5. leenibus:

    “Carl Sagan had the ability to convey science in beautiful and lucid prose in a manner that was (dare I say it?) inspiring.”
    ====

    I actually agree with your observation here. Carl Sagan(his wonderful voice) had an amazing ability to make interesting an otherwise boring subject to most people unfamiliar with the complexity of the cosmos. I certainly may not agree with his evolutionary views, but he wasn’t always preachy about them in everything he did either.

    One of my favourite documentaries he did was about the comparison differences between “Astrology” and “Astronomy”. There was a line from the opening of that film which stands out as extremely illustrative of how everyone can have a measure of faith about things. It went like this:

    Carl Sagan:

    “There are two ways to view the stars, as they really are.. Or as we might wish them to be”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iunr4B4wfDA

    Interestingly, this opening line could be used with reference to any and all discussions/debates here on Evo vrs Creo debatings. It clearly cuts both ways for both the Evolutionist and Creationist positions.
    —-

    leenibus:

    “Too bad that doesn’t fit the ID view of atheists as killjoys with no sense of awe or wonder.”
    ====

    Sometimes when the religious hatred of an opponant becomes so intense, it prevents even the IDer/Creationists from remembering their core beliefs of forgiveness as given by their Lord and Master Jesus Christ and the reasons or purpose on Earth for their continued existance as Lamps of light and illuminators to the darkened world around them.

  6. Umm Sagan did NOT say “billions and billions of stars”- Johnny Carson said that when he was imitating Sagan.

    Sagan said:

    “A galaxy is composed of gas and dust and stars – billions upon billions of stars.”

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