Varieties of Scientific Experience

Varieties of Scientific Experience

A Personal View of the Search for God

Book - 2006
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On the 10th anniversary of his death, brilliant astrophysisist and Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sagan's prescient exploration of the relationship between religion and science and his personal search for God. Carl Sagan is considered one of the greatest scientific minds of our time. His remarkable ability to explain science in terms easily understandable to the layman in bestselling books such as Cosmos, The Dragons of Eden, and The Demon-Haunted Worldwon him a Pulitzer Prize and placed him firmly next to Isaac Asimov, Stephen Jay Gould, and Oliver Sachs as one of the most important and enduring communicators of science. In December 2006 it will be the tenth anniversary of Sagan's death, and Ann Druyan, his widow and longtime collaborator, will mark the occasion by releasing Sagan's famous "Gifford Lectures in Natural Theology," The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God. The chance to give the Gifford Lectures is an honor reserved for the most distinguished scientists and philosophers of our civilization. In 1985, on the grand occasion of the centennial of the lectureship, Carl Sagan was invited to give them. He took the opportunity to set down in detail his thoughts on the relationship between religion and science as well as to describe his own personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos. The Varieties of Scientific Experience, edited, updated and with an introduction by Ann Druyan, is a bit like eavesdropping on a delightfully intimate conversation with the late great astronomer and astrophysicist. In his charmingly down-to-earth voice, Sagan easily discusses his views on topics ranging from manic depression and the possibly chemical nature of transcendance to creationism and so-called intelligent design to the likelihood of intelligent life on other planets to the likelihood of nuclear annihilation of our own to a new concept of science as "informed worship." Exhibiting a breadth of intellect nothing short of astounding, he illuminates his explanations with examples from cosmology, physics, philosophy, literature, psychology, cultural anthropology, mythology, theology, and more. Sagan's humorous, wise, and at times stunningly prophetic observations on some of the greatest mysteries of the cosmos have the invigorating effect of stimulating the intellect, exciting the imagination, and reawakening us to the grandeur of life in the cosmos.
Publisher: New York, NY : Penguin : 2006
ISBN: 9781594201073
Branch Call Number: 215 Sa18v
Characteristics: 284p illus
Additional Contributors: Druyan, Ann, ed


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Mar 11, 2018

Maybe it has to do with the current socio-political climate, but it seems like any calm, rational, critical thinker is in terribly short supply lately. To read Carl Sagan's lectures about the history of the universe, from the big bang to the most (in 1985) up-to-date thinking about the future of the cosmos is to feel enlightened, informed, and even reassured that there at least was a tradition of humane, principled, and sincere dedication to reason and common sense, and that Carl Sagan was one of its greatest proponents.

Jan 27, 2018

Excellent read. Gives the reader a sense of the vastness of the universe and how a scientific mind operates.

Dec 31, 2015

Super book. Sagan was brilliant, and an equally gifted communicator.

Mar 29, 2011

Carl Sagan is a timeless genius. These lectures are very thought provoking.

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