Re: Evening updates to the Post-Darwinist on the Smithsonian Id uproar

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Sat Jun 04 2005 - 00:14:46 EDT

Perhaps Denyse can inform us as to the nature of Cosmos Revisited, which
was a lecture series to honor Carl Sagan. I have been unable to find
much of any evidence one way or another that the SI was establishing a
religion here.
Carl Sagan's Cosmos and his perceived views on religion and science
deserve more than being used as an excuse for showing Privileged Planet.
Especially when ID proponents present it as SI warming up to intelligent

Some of Carl's quotes
[quote]Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a
profound source of spirituality. -Carl Sagan. [/quote]

A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or
even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to
guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment.
Arguments from authority are unacceptable.

[quote]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

[quote]But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply
that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they
laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also
laughed at Bozo the Clown.[/quote]

[quote]Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by
which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.[/quote]
[quote]Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.[/quote]

[quote]The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human

[quote]We are prodding, challenging, seeking contradictions or small,
persistent residual errors, proposing alternative explanations,
encouraging heresy. We give our highest rewards to those who
convincingly disprove established beliefs.[/quote]

[quote] "I believe that the extraordinary should be pursued. But
extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."[/quote]

[quote]The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard
who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous.
But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the
universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally
unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of

[quote]The question [Do you believe in God?] has a peculiar structure.
If I say no, do I mean I'm convinced God doesn't exist, or do I mean I'm
not convinced he does exist? Those are two very different questions.
[Dr. Arroway in Carl Sagan's Contact (New York: Pocket Books, 1985), p.

Denyse O'Leary wrote:

>I had never realized that the US government had established a religion, but
>hey, the last time I (a Canadian) studied US history was in 1964, and that
>country has clearly changed a lot since then. But why this? Why now?
>Jonathan Witt, a screenwriter for The Privileged Planet, points out,
>Of course, finding one example of the Smithsonian boosting Carl Sagan's
>Cosmos, with its opening and patently atheistic creedal statement, is a
>little like finding an Italian restaurant in Rome to verify that the city is
>run by Italians.
Received on Sat Jun 4 00:15:38 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Jun 04 2005 - 00:15:38 EDT