Carl Sagan on Science, Religion and Meaning
Carl Sagan on our place in the universe, and the relationship between science and religion.
“One of science’s alleged crimes is revealing that our favorite most reassuring stories about our place in the universe and how we came to be are delusional. Instead what science reveals is a universe much older and much vaster than the tidy anthropocentric proscenium of our ancestors.
We have found from modern astronomy that we live on a tiny hunk of rock and metal, third from the sun, that circles a humdrum star in the obscure outskirts of an ordinary galaxy which contains some 400 billion other stars, which is one of about a 100 billion other galaxies that make up the universe and according to some current views, a universe that is one among an immense number, perhaps an infinite number of other universes.
Also, see here for a review of the recently published collection of Sagan’s essays “Billions and Billions”
In this perspective the idea that our planet is at the center of the universe much less that human purpose is central to the existence of the universe is pathetic. Does life thereby lose all meaning, I think not. I think we make our lives meaningful by the courage of our questions, by the depth of our answers, by how widespread our understanding is of the essential tools for managing our future, for how skeptical we are of those in authority and of our obligation to care for one another.”
See here for the full text.