Saturday, April 19, 2014

Carl Sagan: OLS Hero

I very vividly remember watching each and every episode of the original Cosmos and how enchanted I was by Sagan's enthusiasm for science, exploration, and life.  He is absolutely one of my all-time idols, so I was delighted to read this wonderful little article in Popular Science a couple of days ago.  Here's a slice of an essay from his daughter Sasha that appeared in New York magazine in which he addresses the issue of death:
He considered his answer carefully. Finally, he said that there was nothing he would like more in the world than to see his mother and father again, but that he had no reason—and no evidence—to support the idea of an afterlife, so he couldn't give in to the temptation.
'Why?'
Then he told me, very tenderly, that it can be dangerous to believe things just because you want them to be true. You can get tricked if you don't question yourself and others, especially people in a position of authority. He told me that anything that's truly real can stand up to scrutiny.
There are more interesting tidbits at the link as well as access to the full essay by Sasha Sagan.