archive: SETI FW: Sagan: Skeptics, God, and "Weird Things"

SETI FW: Sagan: Skeptics, God, and "Weird Things"

Larry Klaes ( )
Wed, 9 Sep 1998 12:04:31 -0400

Sent: Sunday, September 06, 1998 9:50 PM
Subject: Sagan: Skeptics, God, and "Weird Things"

Just thought I would share a portion of an email I got from Michael Shermer, a
Carl Sagan convert from 1992, and founder of the Skeptics Society...

"My radio show, SCIENCE TALK WITH MICHAEL SHERMER, Wednesdays from 6-7pm PST, has been doing well. This week's guest is Jared Diamond, discussing the Pulitzer Prize he won for Guns, Germs, and Steel. Last week I had on Freeman Dyson. When I asked him about the famed "Dyson Sphere" as featured on an episode of Star Trek, the Next Generation, he said it was (in reference to my book WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS), that it is the single weirdest idea he has ever conceived! He also said his idea of propelling spacecraft by nuclear explosions was now hopeless out of date and no one is working on that any longer.

One of his most famous statements, made in INFINITE IN ALL DIRECTIONS
(an autobiographical work), is that the universe, in some sense, knew we were
coming. He has taken some heat for this, but he explained that he does not
believe that science in any way proves God, he agrees with Gould that science
and religion are two different enterprises, and that all he meant was that
evolution shows certain trends that seem inevitable, like going from simple to
complex, increases in size, and increases in encephalization (thus
consciousness, self-awareness, etc.)."

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