For Carl…

I’m proud to share my birthday with the late, great Carl Sagan and I figured I’d honor the 75th birthday of this great skeptical mind with a little tribute:

“Pseudoscience differs from erroneous science. Science thrives on errors, cutting them away one by one. False conclusions are drawn all the time, but they are drawn tentatively. Hypotheses are framed so they are capable of being disproved. A succession of alternative hypotheses is confronted by experiment and observation. Science gropes and staggers toward improved understanding. Proprietary feelings are of course offended when a scientific hypothesis is disproved, but such disproofs are recognized as central to the scientific enterprise. Pseudoscience is just the opposite. Hypotheses are often framed precisely so they are invulnerable to any experiment that offers a prospect of disproof, so even in principle they cannot be invalidated.”
-Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World, p 25)

“Perhaps the sharpest distinction between science and pseudoscience is that science has a far keener appreciation of human imperfection and fallibility than does pseudoscience (or inerrant revelation).”
-Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World)

Carl Sagan YouTube Playlist 1

We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”
-Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World)

Carl Sagan YouTube Playlist 2

“The method of science is tried and true. It is not perfect, it’s just the best we have. And to abandon it with its skeptical protocols is the pathway to a dark age.”
-Carl Sagan

Steven Novella’s awesome article on celebrating Sagan’s birthday.

Watch full episodes of Cosmos on Hulu here.

10 Neat Facts About Carl Sagan.


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