Blog yOur Mind

Carl Sagan on “God” and “Gods”

Posted on: February 4, 2009


carl-sagan-by-trackrecord-on-flickrCarl Edward Sagan, Ph.D. (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, astrochemist, author, and highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics and other natural sciences. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

He is world-famous for writing popular science books and for co-writing and presenting the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which has been seen by more than 600 million people in over 60 countries, making it the most widely watched PBS program in history.[2] A book to accompany the program was also published. He also wrote the novel Contact, the basis for the 1997 Robert Zemeckis film of the same name starring Jodie Foster. During his lifetime, Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he frequently advocated skeptical inquiry, secular humanism, and the scientific method.

Education and scientific career
Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, New York[3] to a Russian Jewish family. His father, Sam Sagan, was a Russian immigrant garment worker; his mother, Rachel Molly Gruber, was a housewife. Carl was named in honor of Rachel’s biological mother, Chaiya Clara, “the mother she never knew”, in Sagan’s words. Sagan graduated from Rahway High School in Rahway, New Jersey in 1951.[4] He attended the University of Chicago, where he participated in the Ryerson Astronomical Society[5], received an A.B. with general and special honors (1954), a S.B. (1955) and a S.M. (1956) in physics, before earning a Ph.D. degree (1960) in astronomy and astrophysics.[6] During his time as an undergraduate, Sagan spent some time working in the laboratory of the geneticist H. J. Muller. From 1960 to 1962 he was a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1962 to 1968, he worked at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sagan lectured annually at Harvard University until 1968, when he moved to Cornell University. He became a full Professor at Cornell in 1971 and directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies there. From 1972 to 1981 he was Associate Director of the Center for Radio Physics and Space Research at Cornell.

Sagan was a leader in the U.S. space program since its inception. From the 1950s onward, he worked as an adviser to NASA. One of his many duties during his tenure at the space agency included briefing the Apollo astronauts before their flights to the Moon. Sagan contributed to many of the robotic spacecraft missions that explored the solar system during his lifetime, arranging experiments on many of the expeditions. He conceived the idea of adding an unalterable and universal message on spacecraft destined to leave the solar system that could be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find it. Sagan assembled the first physical message that was sent into space: a gold-anodized plaque, attached to the space probe Pioneer 10, launched in 1972. Pioneer 11, also carrying another copy of the plaque, was launched the following year. He continued to refine his designs throughout his lifetime; the most elaborate message he helped to develop and assemble was the Voyager Golden Record that was sent out with the Voyager space probes in 1977. Sagan often challenged the decisions to fund the Space Shuttle and Space Station at the expense of other robotic missions.[7]

At Cornell, Sagan taught a course on critical thinking until his death in 1996 from a rare bone marrow disease. The course had only a limited number of seats. Although hundreds of students applied each year, only about 20 were chosen to attend each semester. The course was discontinued immediately after Sagan’s death, but was later resumed by Professor Yervant Terzian in 2000.

More info : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_sagan

Advertisements

1 Response to "Carl Sagan on “God” and “Gods”"

Excellent write up that reflects an amazing human being. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

WHEN NOTHING GOES RIGHT, go left

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 55 other followers

DISH MENU

PREVIOUS MENU

CASHIER COUNTER

  • 269,948 UFOs
%d bloggers like this: