Carl Sagan 1934–1996
American scientist, nonfiction writer, novelist, and critic.
The following entry presents an overview of Sagan's career through 1997. See also Carl Sagan Criticism (Volume 30).
An internationally renowned astronomer, Sagan is among the most influential popular interpreters of science in recent times. Best known for his role as the host of the award-winning television documentary Cosmos, Sagan is also recognized for his efforts to win credibility for the scientific search for extraterrestrial life and as a leading advocate for nuclear arms reduction. The best-selling author of The Cosmic Connection (1973), The Dragons of Eden (1977), Cosmos (1980), and the novel Contact (1985), Sagan celebrated the joy of scientific discovery and captured the imagination of a mass audience with his compelling speculations on the mechanizations of the universe and evolution of human life.
Born Carl Edward Sagan in New York, Sagan was raised by his Russian-immigrant father, a garment cutter, and American-born mother in the Bensonhurst section of the city. Fascinated with the night sky as a youth, Sagan became engrossed in science fiction, particularly the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and at age twelve announced to his grandfather his desire to become an astronomer. Four years later he left for the University of Chicago on a scholarship, where he earned an undergraduate degree in 1954 and a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics in 1960. While at Chicago, Sagan earned a reputation as a nonconformist and even organized his own series of campus lectures. In 1957, Sagan married his first wife, scientist Lynn Alexander; a second marriage to Linda Salzman in 1968 also ended in divorce, and was followed by a third marriage to writer Ann Druyan. In 1960, Sagan began his scientific career as a research fellow in astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley. There he developed important hypotheses about the surface temperature of Venus and Martian wind storms. He then took up a teaching position at Harvard University while working at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Denied tenure at Harvard, Sagan left for Cornell University in 1968, where he worked as a teacher and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies until his death in 1996. Sagan also contributed to the de-velopment of NASA space-probe projects over several decades, including the unmanned Mariner 9 and Viking missions to Mars and subsequent Pioneer and Voyager missions to distant planets. His first major publication, Intelligent Life in the Universe (1963), was followed by the success of The Cosmic Connection, The Dragons of Eden, winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 1978, and Broca's Brain (1979). A popular guest on the talk show circuit, Sagan's fame as the unofficial spokesperson for the scientific community grew in 1980 with the PBS television program Cosmos, a thirteen-part series in which Sagan traversed a computer-simulated galaxy in search of the origins of the universe and life—both human and extraterrestrial. His book Cosmos, based on the television series, won a Hugo Award in 1982. Sagan's only novel, Contact, winner of a Locus Award, was adapted as a film in 1996. In his late works, Shadows of a Forgotten Ancestor (1992), Pale Blue Dot (1994), The Demon-Haunted World (1995), and Billions and Billions (1997), Sagan continued to take on the central mysteries of human nature and existence. He was also a prolific contributor to both scientific journals and popular magazines. He died in Seattle, Washington, of pneumonia, a complication resulting from myelodysplasia, a bone marrow disease from which he was recovering.
Sagan's popular writings on the promise of modern science won wide appeal largely for their unusual ability to translate complex subjects into awe-inspiring commentaries on the possibility of space travel, human evolution, and life on other planets. With the publication of Intelligent Life in the Universe, a translation and abridgement of the work by Russian astrophysicist I. S. Shklovskii, Sagan emerged as a leading spokesperson for exobiology, the study of extraterrestrial environments and potential life forms. The book was one of the first of its kind to take the subject seriously. The Cosmic Connection provides a comprehensive outline of recent advances in planetary science, including the probable origins of the universe, stars and planets, and life on Earth. Sagan further expanded his ambitious investigations into the design and evolution of the universe in his television program and book Cosmos, both of which feature a semi-omniscient Sagan as cosmic guide and instructor aided by stunning intergalactic illustrations and photographs. Pale Blue Dot similarly explores the birth of the universe and solar system, space travel, and the future colonization of other planets through "terraforming." The title alludes to an astonishing photograph of Earth taken by the Voyager space-probe as it left the solar system, drawing attention to the humbling revelation that our planet is merely one among countless others. In A Path Where No Man Thought (1989), a collaboration with atmospheric scientist Richard Turco, Sagan reexamines the threat of nuclear war and the implications of "nuclear winter," a theory developed by Sagan and several other experts in 1983. According to their research, a massive nuclear strike could produce enough smoke to obscure the sun, resulting in a darkened, frigid, and uninhabitable world. Published as the Cold War drew to an end, in the book Sagan and Turco warn against the continuing danger of nuclear holocaust and recommend drastic reductions in U.S. and Soviet nuclear arsenals to a level of "minimum sufficient deterrence." In The Dragons of Eden, Sagan discusses contemporary neurophysiology and the genetic origin of human intelligence. His speculation, largely concerned with the history of human behavior, focuses on the interplay among three hypothetical stages of human brain development: the first and lowest is the reptilian R-complex, a vestige of our pre-mammalian progenitors that is responsible for aggression and ritual; the second is the limbic system, similar to that of birds and lower-order mammals, from which emotions and religion derive; the third and highest is the more developed neocortex or primate brain. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, co-written with his wife Ann Druyan, is a highly readable survey of human evolution, covering the birth of the solar system, formation of DNA, and study of physiological and behavioral similarities among humans and primates. Broca's Brain, named after nineteenth-century anatomist Paul Broca, who identified the source of articulate speech in the frontal lobe, contains a diverse collection of essays on the solar system, planetary exploration, robots, extraterrestrial intelligence, famous scientists, pseudoscience and religion, and a call for greater public support for science and technology. In The Demon-Haunted World, Sagan holds the verifiable achievements of science and scientific method against dubious, unsubstantiated examples of phenomena and superstition. Seeking to demystify stories of UFO sightings, alien abductions, miracles, astrology, and New Age versions of spirituality, Sagan exalts the superiority of empirical testing and the ability of certain branches of science to predict the future. Revealing his abiding interest in the search for extraterrestrial life, Contact, his only work of fiction, explores the possibility of communication with a distant planet. In this science fiction thriller, scientists receive radio transmissions from the star system Vega. From these signals, in the form of rebounded television images of Hitler's 1936 Olympic games, they are able to decrypt mathematical instructions for the construction of a spacecraft. After two failed launches, an international crew is transported to an Earth-like environment where they encounter doppelgangers and apparitions. Discredited upon their return—Earth witnesses note that the vehicle never left the ground and their entire excursion lasted only twenty minutes—an American member of the crew, Eleanor Arroway, seeks to verify their voyage and discovers God's signature in a mathematical extrapolation of pi.
Sagan is consistently praised for his great ability to communicate the esoteric dilemmas and discoveries of modern science to a general audience. In addition, he is highly regarded for his significant contributions to the study of Mars and Venus, NASA space exploration, and the nuclear disarmament movement. However, criticized and even resented by some members of the scientific community, he has been derided for his controversial interest in extraterrestrial life and accused of oversimplifying complex subjects to the point of inaccuracy for his nonspecialist viewers and readers. Others object to Sagan's materialist view of evolution, tendency toward reductionism, vehement denial of a godlike creator, and glorification of technological progress and the primacy of human reason. Despite his detractors, Sagan's infectious enthusiasm for science and dauntless speculation on the great mysteries of our cosmic origins inspired renewed public interest in the scientific enterprise. Along with Jacob Bronowski and Stephen Jay Gould, Sagan is credited for the popularization of science in the twentieth century.
The Atmospheres of Mars and Venus [with W. W. Kellogg] (nonfiction) 1961
Intelligent Life in the Universe [with I. S. Shklovskii] (nonfiction) 1963
Planets [with Jonathan Leonard] (nonfiction) 1966
The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective (nonfiction) 1973
The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence (nonfiction) 1977
Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science (essays) 1979
∗Cosmos (nonfiction) 1980
Comet [with Ann Druyan] (nonfiction) 1985
Contact (novel) 1985, [with Ann Druyan and others] (screenplay) 1997
A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the Arms Race [with Richard Turco] (nonfiction) 1989
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are [with Ann Druyan] 1992
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (nonfiction) 1994
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (nonfiction) 1995
Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium (nonfiction) 1997
∗Cosmos was originally produced as a thirteen part television series for PBS in 1980.
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SOURCE: "Carl Sagan's Guided Tour of the Universe," in American Film, Vol. 5, June, 1980, pp. 22-7.
[In the following essay, Cook examines Sagan's popular presentation of science and astronomy on the television program Cosmos.]
This fall, when PBS launches Cosmos, its most ambitious series to date, the total effect may be a little like a thirteen-week funding appeal. But there will be no ringing telephones or heartfelt solicitations. The new show is far slicker than that. In fact, it may just be the slickest production of its kind ever undertaken on either side of the Atlantic. And why not? The driving force behind Cosmos, the man who will smile at you week after week during this guided tour of the universe, is none other than Carl Sagan, television's top pitchman for science.
Sagan, no less than Carroll O'Connor or Mary Tyler Moore, is a television phenomenon. Still boyish, though now in his forties, this professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences at Cornell University (where he heads its Laboratory for Planetary Studies) has made frequent appearances on the "Today" show, "The Dick Cavett Show," and has practically graduated to guest host status on "The Tonight Show." Because of his fluency, articulateness, and ready wit, he has become the unofficial spokesman for the entire scientific community. If the American public elected the top scientist the way it does the...
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SOURCE: "The Cosmic Explainer," in Time, October 20, 1980, pp. 62-3, 65-6, 68-9.
[In the following essay, Golden provides an overview of Sagan's career and his production of the television program Cosmos.]
Scene: A living room in Brooklyn, circa 1946
Grandfather: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Boy: An astronomer.
Grandfather: Yes, but how will you make a living?
Flashing through the heavens like an extraterrestrial Tinker Bell, the spacecraft looks like something by H. G. Wells out of Walt Disney. At the helm is none other than the boy from Brooklyn, now fully grown and, among several other things, a real astronomer. With a nonchalant gesture over his magical controls, he guides the ship on a voyage made possible only by the imagination, with the help of a Hollywood special-effects crew. Into the arms of giant galaxies he goes, through halos of stars, past a blinking pulsar, skirting the edge of a black hole, even reconnoitering a distant planet that seems to be inhabited.
It is an extraordinary journey, surmounting all barriers of space and time. The pilot-guide does not pause to question such miracles. Nor does he stint on bold speculation. Passing one planet, he muses, "Intelligent beings may have evolved and reworked...
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SOURCE: "Carl Sagan: Cosmic Evolution vs. the Creationist Myth," in The Humanist, Vol. 41, July-August, 1981, pp. 5-6.
[In the following essay, Harnack discusses the success of the television program Cosmos and Sagan's appearance before the American Humanist Association to receive its Humanist of the Year award in 1981.]
On April 18, 1981, the American Humanist Association, at their Fortieth Annual Conference held in San Diego, named Carl Sagan 1981 Humanist of the Year.
In his address, Sagan simply yet eloquently noted that plants, animals, and humans are all part of a whole. The Greeks, in glimpsing the distribution of the elements of the cosmos, had a vision of surpassing importance. We now know that we can make all the essential building blocks of life. We believe the single-cell organism, the first form of life, was like a free-floating molecular complex—like DNA—or "naked gene." Yet there is more to discover.
Although most people throughout history have chosen to believe that "God did it" when trying to understand the complexities of the universe, Sagan proceeded to take a scientific approach. He began with the elemental composition of the universe and expanded his analysis to make comprehensible the two conflicting views of the direction of the universe—the theory of an expanding and infinite universe as opposed to an oscillating one. He paused,...
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SOURCE: "Brain Theory and Literary Criticism: Sagan on Art," in Essays in Arts and Sciences, Vol. XI, September, 1982, pp. 87-95.
[In the following essay, Thomiszer considers Sagan's application of scientific discovery to explain the origin and significance of art in The Dragons of Eden. According to Thomiszer, "to confuse aesthetics with empiricism, as Sagan does, is to further confuse an already clouded issue."]
Science and art, so long perceived as mighty opposites, are enjoying a new recognition of kinship. The "two cultures," a model based on the disparate results of science and art, has been discarded. In its place has arisen a unified approach to both activities that focuses on their shared point of departure: both art and science represent man's attempt to know himself and his world. That the pursuit and expression of knowledge is the basis of science and art is hardly a new idea. However, what has changed in the last few years is our understanding of the processes which science and art employ to establish and express their particular truths. According to the traditional argument, science taught through repeatable experiment, art through reconstructed experience. These processes were seen as complementary, but not identical, and their results were said to be equally valuable, though in a technological society, science always seemed to be a little "more equal."
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SOURCE: "Science and the Sacred Cosmos: The Ideological Rhetoric of Carl Sagan," in Quarterly Journal of Speech, Vol. 71, No. 2, May, 1985, pp. 175-87.
[In the following essay, Lessl examines elements of religious discourse and rhetoric in Sagan's television program Cosmos. According to Lessl, Sagan's Cosmos provides "a mythic understanding of science which serves for television audiences the same needs that religious discourse has traditionally satisfied for churchgoers."]
A bomb outrage to have any influence on public opinion now must go beyond the intention of vengeance or terrorism. It must be purely destructive…. You anarchists should make it clear that you are perfectly determined to make a clean sweep of the whole social creation. But how to get that appallingly absurd notion into the heads of the middle classes so that there should be no mistake? That's the question…. A bomb in the National Gallery would make some noise. But it would not be serious enough. Art has never been their fetish…. But there is learning—science. Any imbecile that has got an income believes in that. He does not know why, but he believes it matters somehow. It is the sacrosanct fetish.
—Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent
The sanctity of science in modern society is perhaps greater...
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SOURCE: "Chilly Scenes of Nuclear Winter," in The New York Times Book Review, January 6, 1991, p. 7.
[In the following review, Ackland offers praise for A Path Where No Man Thought.]
At their summit meeting in February, Presidents George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev are scheduled to sign the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). That will be a good step toward disarmament and many people are bound to reckon that the threat of a global nuclear catastrophe has died with the cold war. But, in fact, the risk is far from gone.
In A Path Where No Man Thought Carl Sagan and Richard Turco, who were on the scientific team that devised the concept of nuclear winter, remind us that the risks of nuclear war, even of a relatively "small" one, are unacceptably high. Given the possibility of nuclear winter—the "darkening, cooling, enhanced radioactivity, toxic pollution, and ozone depletion" that would follow a nuclear holocaust—the authors note that the reliable prevention of nuclear war still "deserves by far the highest priority of all the entries on the policymaker's agenda" despite the lessened tension between the superpowers.
This book, regardless of its awkward title, is a valuable updating of the scientific and policy controversies that have surrounded the concept of nuclear winter since Mr. Sagan, Mr. Turco and three of their colleagues, Brian Toon, Tom Ackerman...
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SOURCE: "The Imparsible Dream?," in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 47, No. 2, March, 1991, pp. 43-4.
[In the following review, Robock offers praise for A Path Where No Man Thought.]
Soon after the theory of nuclear winter was published, Carl Sagan gave a briefing on the subject on Capitol Hill. Sagan described how, after a nuclear war, the thick smoke from burning cities and industrial plants would block out so much sunlight that the earth's surface would become cold and dark. Agriculture would be impossible for years and most of the world's population would starve to death. After his presentation, one member of the audience called him aside. "Carl," he said, "if you think the mere threat of the end of the world is enough to change the way people in Washington and Moscow think, you clearly haven't spent enough time in either place."
Yet Sagan and coauthor Richard Turco are still determined to change the way people think. The first two-thirds of A Path Where No Man Thought is a description of the theory of nuclear winter for the nonscientist. The authors describe the climate system and the nuclear arsenal, and compare the effects of cities burning from non-nuclear causes, such as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the fire bombings of World War II, to the nuclear-ignited fires at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They review climate model calculations and describe the effects of...
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SOURCE: "Light-Years from Home," in New York Times Book Review, January 15, 1995, pp. 12-13.
[In the following excerpt, Abramson gives a favorable assessment of Pale Blue Dot.]
Carl Sagan became a consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration when it was still in its formative stage. During the more than three decades since, he has briefed astronauts for journeys to the moon, helped resolve some of the most intriguing mysteries about Mars and Venus and reigned as one of the principal gurus of planetary exploration.
Though honored for both public service and scientific achievement, Mr. Sagan is more renowned as a popularizer of space exploration. In 1978 he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Dragons of Eden. In Pale Blue Dot he returns to familiar topics: the origin of the universe, the birth of the solar system, the development of life on Earth, the evolution and demise of stars and the prospect of life elsewhere among the galaxies. But this time he struggles to define a future for the human species after Earth, our "pale blue dot," and the rest of the solar system have met destruction in the dying throes of the sun.
Mr. Sagan's book offers lavish illustrations—telescopic images, pictures from robot space vehicles and paintings executed so perfectly as to be mistakable for the stunning photographs. With them, he marshals...
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SOURCE: "Candid Camera," in Scientific American, Vol. 272, No. 5, May, 1995, pp. 106-7.
[In the following review, Morrison offers praise for Pale Blue Dot, concluding that "no recent book has done better at making plain the subtle nature and fascination of scientific investigation."]
This book opens with a generous gift to us all. It was made early in 1990, when the space probe Voyager completed its scripted dozen-year tour of duty. Well beyond Neptune and far north of the plane of the solar system, the craft received a final set of new commands, no part of the original mission. Look back, Voyager, to the now distant inner planets! Carl Sagan and a few others had argued and waited years for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA to schedule a shoestring effort to snap just one candid portrait of the earth among the planets. They succeeded brilliantly.
The spacecraft recorded a mosaic of 60 frames, planets against the sky. It sent the bits to far-off earth; that slow video transmission from past its design range took three months. The four planets in clear view would at best be mere dots of light. (The glare of the sun only six light-hours away from the camera masked nearby Mercury. Pluto and Mars happened to be poorly placed. Uranus and Neptune were so faint that they required long exposure; they could not help themselves from moving, so their images are streaked.)...
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SOURCE: A review of Pale Blue Dot, in Sky & Telescope, Vol. 89, No. 6, June. 1995. pp. 54-5.
[In the following review, Clarke offers praise for Pale Blue Dot, but objects to Sagan's reference to Wernher von Braun as a "Nazi-American."]
An honest reviewer must disclose any special interest, and in the case of this book I have several, starting with David Hardy's magnificent Marsscape on the dust jacket. A slightly different version appears on page 328, which was used for the jacket of my own book The Snows of Olympus: A Garden on Mars. Frankly, I'm not sure which I prefer: they're both beautiful, but there's a subtle distinction between the two paintings. Not only has the planet on the front of Pale Blue Dot been terra-formed, it's been mirror-imaged, presumably by rotation through the fourth dimension!
My friendship with Carl, who in Japan would be regarded as a national treasure, began more than 30 years ago. My account of our adventures at the 1964 New York World's Fair appears in Roddy McDowall's Double Exposure: Take Three. The book and TV series Cosmos still remain paragons of that difficult art, popular science presentation, and Pale Blue Dot is a worthy successor.
How I wish that the opening chapters—especially "The Great Demotions" and "A Universe Not Made for Us"—were required reading in all high...
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SOURCE: A review of The Demon-Haunted World, in Science, Vol. 273, No. 5274, July 26, 1996, pp. 442-43.
[Below, Ayala presents a favorable review of The Demon-Haunted World, but disagrees with Sagan's reductionist view of scientific truth.]
In 1961 while driving at night in the White Mountains, Betty and Barney Hill sighted a bright object in the sky that seemed to follow them. Fearing for their safety, they left the main highway and took narrow roads, arriving home two hours later than they had expected. The experience prompted Betty to read a book that described UFOs as spaceships navigated by little men from other worlds, who sometimes abducted humans. Soon thereafter, she began experiencing a repetitive nightmare in which she and Barney were abducted and taken aboard a UFO. In a few days they were describing a pancake-like UFO with uniformed figures visible through the craft's windows. This and other motifs of the Hills' account are similar to those found in the 1953 motion picture Invaders from Mars. Later, Barney described the enormous eyes of the aliens, just 12 days after aliens were so portrayed in an episode of the television series The Outer Limits. The Hills' story was made into a 1975 movie purporting that short, grey alien abductors are among us in the psyches of millions of people.
Carl Sagan tells that he met with the Hills for several hours,...
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SOURCE: "Billions and Billions of Demons," in New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997, pp. 28-32.
[In the following review, Lewontin challenges Sagan's defense of science and scientific method in The Demon-Haunted World.]
"But the Solar System!" I protested.
"What the deuce is it to me?" he interrupted impatiently: "you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or my work."
—Colloquy between Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet
I First met Carl Sagan in 1964, when he and I found ourselves in Arkansas on the platform of the Little Rock Auditorium, where we had been dispatched by command of the leading geneticist of the day, Herman Mullen Our task was to take the affirmative side in a debate: "Resolved, That the Theory of Evolution is proved as is the fact that the Earth goes around the Sun." One of our opponents in the debate was a professor of biology from a fundamentalist college in Texas (his father was the president of the college) who had quite deliberately chosen the notoriously evolutionist Department of Zoology of the University of Texas as the source of his Ph.D. He could then assure his students that he had unassailable expert knowledge with which to refute...
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SOURCE: "Bright Star among Billions," in Science, Vol. 275, No. 5300, January 31, 1997, p. 599.
[In the following essay, Gould praises Sagan's contribution to the popular presentation of science.]
Saul despised David for receiving ten thousand cheers to his own mere thousand. We scientists often stigmatize, for the same reason of simple jealousy, the good work done by colleagues for our common benefit. Because we live in a Philistine nation filled with Goliaths, and because science feeds at a public trough, we all give lip service to the need for clear and supportive popular presentation of our work. Why then do we downgrade the professional reputation of colleagues who can convey the power and beauty of science to the hearts and minds of a fascinated, if generally uninformed, public?
This narrow-minded error—our own Philistinism—arises in part from our general ignorance of the long and honorable tradition of popular presentation of science, and our consequent mistake in equating popularization with trivialization, cheapening, or inaccuracy. Great scientists have always produced the greatest popularizations, without compromising the integrity of subject or author. In the 10th century, Galileo wrote both his major books as dialogues in Italian for generally literate readers, not as formal Latin treatises designed only for scholars. In the 18th century, the Swiss savant J. J....
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SOURCE: "Unbeliever's Quest," in Newsweek, March 31, 1997, pp. 64-7.
[In the following essay, Adler discusses Sagan's unshakable faith in science over religion even in the face of fatal illness.]
A man of science, Carl Sagan didn't want prayers; he wanted proof. He died still waiting for evidence.
Carl Sagan, the famous scientist and author, never asked for anyone to pray for him, although in his final illness many people did anyway. For two years prayers for his health filled the great Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. They rose (if prayers do rise) to the heaven Sagan had never seen in all his years of searching the sky, and were heard (if prayers are heard) by the God Sagan never called on. And God (if he exists) let Sagan die anyway, late last year, at the untimely age of 62, leaving behind a wife, five children and much unfinished work on the earth he loved so well. But he died in what amounted, for him, to a state of grace: resisting the one temptation to which almost everyone submits in the end, the temptation to believe.
Not that the Kingdom of Heaven held no interest for Sagan, an astronomer who found the solar system too confining for his speculations on cosmic origins, human consciousness and evolution. For most of the last decade of his life he engaged in a wide-ranging dialogue with religious leaders on the question whose answer held the...
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Chapman, Clark R. "Carl Sagan: An Appreciation." Sky & Telescope 93, No. 3 (March 1997): 6-7.
A brief overview of Sagan's career and scientific contributions.
Eicher, Dave. "Carl Sagan: 1934–1996." Astronomy 25, No. 3 (March 1997): 28.
A brief summary of Sagan's professional accomplishments and public role.
Randi, James. Review of The Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan. Skeptical Inquirer 20, No. 4 (July-August 1996): 46-7.
A favorable review of The Demon-Haunted World.
"Carl Sagan: A Slayer of Demons." Psychology Today 29, No. 1 (January-February 1996): 30, 32-3, 62, 65, 67.
Sagan comments on The Demon-Haunted World and the importance of scientific knowledge.
Sanoff, Alvin P. "Science and Religion: 'Similar Objective, Different Methods': A Conversation With Carl Sagan." U.S. News and World Report (1 December 1980): 62-3.
Sagan discusses the possibility of extraterrestrial life, space travel, and differences between scientific and religious explanation.
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