Carl Sagan: A Personal Voyage

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” -Carl Sagan

Happy Birthday to Carl Sagan! This famous scientist was born 11-9-1931, 81 years ago. He was the star of the famous TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (later remade by Neil deGrasse Tyson as Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey)as well as an astronomer. He authored 6 books and numerous scientific papers. For the first time since the moon landings, the public was genuinely interested in the concept of science.
Back when the Voyager probes were still being assembled, Carl Sagan headed a team that made the Golden Record- a copper gold-plated record with songs, greeting, and animal noises from earth. The record will last longer than Sagan’s team- up to a billion years.
Long story short, Carl Sagan made many impacts, as a scientist, but also as a teacher. Let’s hope the current enthusiasm for science only continues to grow! 🙂 golden_rec_sidebar

Some quotes by Sagan:

“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.”

“I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students.”

 

It’s an amazing world out there…let’s go exploring!

Please see our previous post and hear Carl Sagan speak!

Citations:http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/goldenrec_more.html
forbes.com
By NASA/JPL

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35 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t know about the record he made. How cool is that? One of the great minds of our generation.

  2. bbnewsab says:

    I like this Carl Sagan quote very much: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    What does this phrase really mean? Here’s an article trying to explain that important question: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Extraordinary_claims_require_extraordinary_evidence .

    Let me put it this way: If you can correctly predict 10 coin tosses in a row, then that doesn’t mean you are a psychic. This happens about once in 1,000 trials.

    Not so often, but it happens now and then.

    What Carl Sagan meant was that if the claim is extraordinary, then it should not happen so “often” as once in 1,000 trials.

    Now, if you can predict 20 coin tosses in a row correctly, then we can debate if this prediction should be regarded psychic/miraculous or not. Such a prediction happens only once in about 1,000,000 trials.

    But not even once in a million trials is extraordinary enough. How come?

    Consider this example: On August 13, 1918, during a game of roulette at the Monte Carlo Casino, the ball fell on black 26 times in a row.

    This can be said to be equal to correctly predict the coin tosses 26 times – not only 20 times – in a row.

    Not many claim that the ball in that roulette must have been psychic (unless you believe that metal balls have souls and consciousnesses).

    Nevertheless, in the wake of the ongoing streak at the Monte Carlo Casino gamblers lost millions of francs betting against black.

    That is, they assumed, quite fallaciously, that if this long ongoing streak favoring the black color was an act of randomness, and it should be because the wheel was NOT manipulated ((see below), then Nature soon would correct for the “mistake” and have the ball land on red again.

    But the gamblers were wrong all the time.

    And – maybe most important of all – the roulette wheel was examined afterwards, but NO manipulation of it could be revealed.

  3. Faraday's Candle says:

    Wow!
    If you don’t mind, this could become a post one of these days.
    Brilliant how you took a quote and thoroughly interpreted it as you understood it.
    Thank you so very much for taking the time to comment like this.
    Enjoy your day.

  4. Faraday's Candle says:

    He was definitely one of the greatest minds of our generation.
    Thank you for stopping by.

  5. Fim says:

    Great Birthday post for Carl! (Thought it was 1934?)… So you know what movie is on for tonight? CONTACT! That’s right. 🙂 We’re looking forward to it.

    Did I mention in the last post’s comments about the song, “All Hail Cosmic Carl.” ? Will be playing this song today, as well!

  6. Faraday's Candle says:

    Awesome!!
    Thank you so much for your information.
    We recently saw contact, over and over…lol I don’t think we are ready for real “contact”. Did you hear about the exercises over Los Angeles and people literally freaking out.
    Like always thank you so much for stopping by.

  7. Anonymous says:

    One of the finest of all time

  8. Faraday's Candle says:

    Yes he was!! Thank you for stopping by.

  9. Ann says:

    Very inspiring! A very talented man! Science is a great subject, unfortunately my teachers used to make it boring!

    Separately unrelated question: ur on self-hosted now, right? What widget did you use to do the likes that shows bloggers from WP and how did you do that? I tried for that a while back, but couldn’t figure it out! Any tips appreciated! 😊

  10. Teagan says:

    I loved this post. Sagan was such an icon when I was very young. I remembered about the record, but not that it was made of copper and gold! Kudos on a great post. Hugs!

  11. Faraday's Candle says:

    He is out there still with that record. Amazingly he is still an icon to the young.
    Thank you so much for your comment.

  12. Faraday's Candle says:

    He was inspiring, and a great teacher.
    Thank you so much for stopping by!
    I’ll get in touch with the info.

  13. Jenn says:

    I think about that golden record often. Voyager was launched the year of my birth. I’ve thought about the fact that it would have taken me the length of my entire lifetime just to leave our solar system. It stands to reason that one day that golden record may be the last evidence that intelligent life ever lived on our planet. Can you imagine? Everything that we are – humanity, our hopes our dreams, our accomplishments.. only contained in whatever is on that golden record? It boggles the mind. Anyway, Happy Birthday Dr. Sagan. You were a true visionary.

  14. kathy says:

    wow haven’t thought about him in years….thanks for the great post to a great man…..kat

  15. Faraday's Candle says:

    Oh! The girls will be glad to hear they reminded you of him.
    He is one of their greatest scientific inspiration and amazing teacher.

  16. Faraday's Candle says:

    To a true visionary!! Happy Birthday indeed.
    “It stands to reason that one day that golden record may be the last evidence that intelligent life ever lived on our planet.”
    That sounds so beautifully poetic!!
    Thank you so very much for your wonderful comment.

  17. A truly great man! I should reread Pale Blue Dot!

  18. Faraday's Candle says:

    He was an amazing teacher. He appeared approachable and relatable.
    Do you have a pale Blue Dot! That would be a great post.

  19. Paula says:

    I used to watch him all the time. Yet the only thing I can remember is his voice. He had a way of drawing you in. You were going to be awed by his journey. Thanks girls for your great tribute to another of our great minds!

  20. Faraday's Candle says:

    Thank you so much Paula! He did have an amazing voice which drew you in. He is still captivating through videos and deserved a tribute!
    Thank you so much for stopping by again. Always nice to hear from you.

  21. Kas says:

    I love Cosmos so much! And also, the movie “Contact” is based on the novel written by Carl Sagan, so we have him to thank for that awesome work of science fiction. 🙂

  22. Faraday's Candle says:

    Actually Contact was on last night. I guess in honor of his birthday!
    He had an amazing journey through his life!
    Thank you so much for stopping by!

  23. Arundhati Mukherjee says:

    So much more to know about this man ! Very informative post, and I now must watch the film too 🙂

  24. Faraday's Candle says:

    There is still so much to be known about this man! he was such a wonderful teacher who inspire so many!!

  25. Fim says:

    Every year, we watch Contact! It’s part of what we call our Wheel Movies.

    We had not heard about the Los Angeles ‘sighting.’ But I just checked Youtube, and saw some video capture, and the ‘solved’ video which revealed what it really was. Fascinating, and I’m sure many in the Southwest were quite bewildered that night.

    As you say, it’s an amazing world of science out there! 🙂

  26. Faraday's Candle says:

    They were very “bewildered” by what they were witnessing.
    “Wheel Movies”…we need a name for our continuously watched movies…lol.
    It is an amazing world of science.

  27. Linda Bethea says:

    He changed the way we think about world.

  28. Faraday's Candle says:

    Yes he did! Thank you for stopping by!

  29. Hargun Wahi says:

    I absolutely agree with the first qoute..the world is indeed an amazing place.
    I am glad now I know about Carl Sagan and his great works too 🙂

  30. Faraday's Candle says:

    He truly was amazing and his voice for just captivate you!

  31. stacilys says:

    Thank you for sharing a bit about Carl Sagan. I don’t know a lot about him, but I do know that he was a great scientist.
    🙂

  32. Faraday's Candle says:

    he was a great scientist, but what made him special was his ability to teach in a very engaging manner. His voice was magical.
    Thank you for stopping by!

  33. stacilys says:

    Oh, that’s great. Teaching is a gift. It’s not just anyone that can teach well and truly engage. My husband’s a great teacher. He has a real gift.
    🙂

  34. Faraday's Candle says:

    Teachers ROCK!
    The girls are lucky to have supportive one.
    I’m glad your husband is a great one.

  35. stacilys says:

    Awww, that’s great.
    Thanks.
    🙂

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