Your first time here? Welcome, I'm glad you've dropped in.... David Soul (aka Bricoleur)
Carl Sagan with a model of the Viking lander
Image via Wikipedia

…. the enterprise of knowledge is consistent surely with science; it should be with religion, and it is essential for the welfare of the human species.”

– Carl Sagan

In “The Varieties  of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search For God” Sagan covers his thoughts on the relationship between religion and science and describes his personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos.

The book is drawn from Sagan’s Gifford Lectures in Scotland in 1985; following the wording of the Gifford Trust – for which Sagan was speaking on its centennial – Carl expressed his views “on what used to be called natural theology…. everything about the world not supplied by revelation.”

Near the end of the session, Sagan, a skeptic to be sure, reveals a most broad view:

“If we know only one kind of intelligence, we are extremely limited in knowing even that kind of intelligence.  But seeking out our counterparts elsewhere, broadening our perspective, even if we do not find what we are looking for, gives us a framework in which to understand ouselves far better.”  ….. “It goes with a courageous intent to greet the universe as it really is, not to foist our emotional predispostions on it but to courageously accept what our explorations tell us.”

I’ve only just ‘cracked the cover’ of this book, but I suspect it will be the third of Sagan’s books that have deeply touched me.  The first was the virtually unknown “Intelligent Life in the Universe” (in collaboration with the Soviet Astronomer I.Shklovski which I read some 40 years ago when I still thought I was going to be an Astronomer.  The second was is novel “Contact” and now, at least from a preliminary flipping through the pages, this looks to be but the third.

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Tags: CEP, intelligence, knowledge, model, religion, science

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