Wednesday, December 20, 2006

To one of the greatest public (and one of my personal) heroes: Carl Sagan

Note: This post is for the Carl Sagan Blog-o-thon.

Carl Sagan's influence on my life was probably one of the oldest things I can remember. In fact, all I CAN remember are brief snippets of Contact wayyyy when I was young. Although the only thing I could remember is when Ellie was in a wormhole (and all those cool special effects), and when Hadden was in Mir, I'm pretty sure that had a profound effect on my life. I never knew that I was watched Contact, until probably, last year; but nonetheless, it had an impact on me. What The Magic School Bus had done for me to turn me to science, Contact probably did to me to turn me to astronomy. That's the only explanation I could come up with. And I think it's pretty solid.

Now, I'm not really a big science fiction reader (unlike most people who like astronomy). One sci-fi book that I really enjoyed was [drumroll please] Contact. Now, in my opinion, it was wonderfully written. And if you think you don't have to read the book because you saw the movie, you are WRONG! The book and the movie turn out to be much more different then you think. Something I recommend to everyone is to read Carl Sagan's books.

Now, his other books are also very interesting. The ones I've read are Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, The Dragons of Eden, The Demon-Haunted World, and Pale Blue Dot. And I recommend every single one of them. Now, one that I recommend to creationists is Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. It challenges the very assumption that there is something physically about humans that makes us special. The Demon-Haunted World is an all-purpose skeptical guide, so, you gotta read that. And for those cynics who think the world is going to end due to human stupidity, Pale Blue Dot is the book for them. It may go over some bad qualities about humans, but it also conveys a sense of hope, that humans will exist far beyond Earth and spread throughout the universe (or galaxy, I forget which).

I just want you to know Dr. Sagan, you've changed my life, and probably the lives of many other people. Thank you!

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