Page 3.14

Sagan the Skeptic

Hot off the presses: Skeptical Inquirer magazine has a new rememberance of Carl Sagan by David Morrison, which highlights Sagan’s sometimes-forgotten role as a skeptic.

From the article:

Throughout his career, Sagan devoted himself to the quest to improve public understanding of the nature of science. He wanted every citizen to have a “baloney detector” as defense against sham in commerce and politics as well as science. He felt that it was the duty of scientists to face these issues squarely and publicly. The Cosmic Connection (1973), which includes extensive discussions of extraterrestrial life as well as more conventional astronomy and planetary science, even explores the UFO phenomenon and the writings of pseudo-cosmologist Immanuel Velikovsky. However, Sagan opposed tactics that demeaned pseudoscientific beliefs or attacked religion, refusing (for example) to sign a statement against astrology because of its authoritative tone.

Get the full story here.