“A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.” — Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1984)
“In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, ‘This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed’? Instead they say, ‘No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'” — Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1984)
November 9 is Carl Sagan Day.
Stifyn Emrys has written about Sagan:
Few people showed greater reverence for nature than the late Carl Sagan, an agnostic who made a career of exploring – and marveling at – the wonders of the universe. In fact, he was so astounded by the beauty and complexity of the universe itself, that he saw no need to go seeking gods or goddesses to explain it. His philosophy was that no concept of a creator or overseer could possibly match the awe-inspiring grandeur of nature itself.
Rua Lupa has written about Sagan:
Carl Sagan lived a life that could make him a poster child for combining myth and science. As a public figure who worked on building a bridge of understanding between the public and science, he often used myth to provide an understanding and the feeling of deep connection with the cosmos.
You can celebrate the late popularizer of science at the Chicago event, or plan your own in your local area. In either case, you must not fail to enjoy some apple pie. Why apple pie? It comes from Sagan’s famous quote: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
Here at HumanisticPaganism, we honor Carl Sagan by tracking his Cosmic Calendar every month.
You can read a review of Sagan’s 13-hour television series, Cosmos, by HP contributor Lupa here.
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