Welcome to Carl Sagan Day

We’re here to celebrate the man, the legend, the scientist Carl Sagan and his many wacky escapades.

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Carl Sagan Day is officially November 9, 1934

He studied with a lot of people and some even say he was smarter than the great shoulders of Alberta Einstein and Isaac Newton that he stood on.

Featured Articles

  • Legal Advice From The Great Carl Sagan (7/17/2020)

    You might not think of the renowned scientist as a purveyor of legal advice, much less advice that any lawyers these days would take seriously. However, Carl Sagan had some sage words to offer lawyers in one of his books Demon-Haunted World.

    The book deals directly with pseudoscience, like astrology, tarot card reading, and other forms of mysticism that are still bafflingly popular and followed today. Carl Sagan listed a number of rules for dealing with supernatural phenomena and pseudoscience in a very scientific way. One of the more interesting ideas he proponed was a fallacy known as absence of evidence.

    The notion is this, that just because something cannot be proved to exist does not mean that it does not exist and vice versa. If you cannot prove without a doubt that it does not exist, that doesn’t mean it is definitely something that exists. There are a great many things that one can prove exists but that many people still believe in. Because no one has the total sum knowledge of everything in the universe there is always a .0001% chance that what they believe in exists, even if there is no proof that it does.

    How does this relate to legal matters?

    The notion of a burden of proof is common in personal injury law. Don from Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer says that “lawyers have to be able to prove that an injury to their defendant occurred, for instance. If someone spilled hot coffee on another person, the lawyer must demonstrate that damage was caused. However there is always the possibility of claiming something nebulous that cannot be proved without any contradiction and beyond a shadow of a doubt. If the injuries are mental and psychological, for example, the lawyer could say that damage was caused but may have trouble proving it. The defense can state that he feels emotional and mental injury but may not be able to prove it. “

    The fact remains that the prosecution cannot prove that no psychological or mental damage occurred. They can demonstrate that there is lack of evidence, but the defendant’s lawyer can always retort with the idea that this is the kind of damage that cannot always be easily proven.

    This creates a conundrum for the courts. Some judges may throw out the case based on a lack of evidence. Others may more carefully consider the words of the defendant even if there is no substantial proof. According to Sagan’s fallacy, simply being unable to prove something does not mean that it didn’t happen or does not exist. Of course, that also means that there may be lack of solid evidence, and the decision for the case may ultimately go to the judge. A judge could set a verdict even without ample evidence because of the reasonable doubt that exists and the possibility that the defendant could be right.

    Carl Sagan is oft quoted in many circles, but this could be one of the more interesting places where his ideas have reached and left a lasting impression.

  • Cosmos The Documentary that Changed How People Viewed Astronomy (4/24/2020)

    There was a time when astronomy was viewed as a whole lot of stargazing and mathematics and not much else. There are a lot of events that shifted the global culture on how interesting space was to observe and explore, and a big part of that had to do with the prevalence of space-themed television shows like Star War, Star Trek and Lost in Space. The various NASA space missions also changed the public perception of space and made it cool to be a space explorer.


    But being an astronomer was still seen as a nerd’s job or something that was inherently boring. That is, until Cosmos came along. This documentary series hosted by Carl Sagan had a message that would alter the way people viewed the stars and astronomy as a field of study or career choice.


    The visuals, the compelling narration and the sheer wonder of it all are what worked together to make this documentary series truly groundbreaking and revolutionary. Carl Sagan’s idealized view of the cosmos helped as well, as he has become endlessly quotable and beloved in the years since this series aired. His eternal optimism about where we are going as a people and what we have accomplished is what made this series so entertaining for people.


    In the eyes of most people, the cosmos seemed like unreachable, unattainable frontier, but Carl Sagan always saw it as our future and where we were meant to be. He had a knack for bringing his visions into his work and helping others to see things the way he saw them. This is why the series has had such lasting appeal and why it has seen a few follow up series over the years.


    Neil DeGrasse Tyson revitalized the series in 2014, and now there is a new series helmed by Seth MacFarlane that is coming out soon. These shows have built on what Sagan did and are bringing astronomy and science to the masses in a way that is approachable and accessible. That’s something only a few scientists in history have managed to do.
    Cosmos was the science show for everyone, and it was about as successful as a science show could be. It launched Sagan to stardom and helped to popularize the idea of mainstream science shows, creating a whole new generation of people who would grow up interested in astronomy, technology and related fields. The 13-part series has been collected, rereleased, referenced and pointed to as inspiration endlessly over the years, so it’s no surprise to see that it is still going strong with new series being released under the same name.


    Because science is always growing and changing and new discoveries are being unveiled, itis necessary for the show to be updated and for new versions to address those changes and new findings. This is why Cosmos will always be relevant as science moves forward and introduces new concepts to new generations.

  • Carl Sagan Was the First Celebrity Scientist of Modern Times (3/18/2020)

    The name Carl Sagan is familiar to people who may not even know much about him, in the same way that people may know an actor’s or actress’ name without being able to identify any movies that they appeared in. The reason for this is because Carl Sagan was a bona fide scientific celebrity.


    He was never content to simply write books and edit scientific journals. He always found a way to get himself in front of the camera regularly, and he was a constant part of Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show”. He also had a show of his own- the popular “Cosmos”. With these regular TV appearances, his name was never out of the public consciousness for too long, and that helped take his celebrity on a meteoric ascent that is still high today. Even years after his death, people know the name Carl Sagan, even those who are not involved in the scientific community.
    There were other scientific celebrities of their own day, such as Leonardo DaVinci and Albert Einstein, but Carl Sagan was a celebrity for a different reason. He was known not so much for what he did but for who he was and how he presented science. He made science fun and approachable and made people feel like they could become scientists. In other words, he made it okay to think of the scientific field as something exciting and valid in a time when many people were criticized for their scientific leanings.


    He just happened to come around at the time when Star Trek and Star Wars were taking off and science fiction was getting a foothold in pop culture. It was Carl Sagan who was telling millions of young children that being a science “nerd” could still land you comfortably in front of the television camera and bring worldwide recognition. His voice and his message were something that many people hadn’t heard before, which is why so many people latched onto him and his way of presenting scientific knowledge.


    Carl Sagan’s celebrity is the very reason we have so many accomplished astronauts, researchers and others in the scientific community today. He’s the reason we have science celebrities like Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Carl Sagan set the framework by which they operate and how they grow their fanbase. To think of a scientist having a fanbase had been practically unheard of before Sagan, so it’s no wonder his popular science show “Cosmos” is getting a reboot years later.


    Sagan has been called irreplaceable to the scientific community, and that’s due to the way he set a foundation for others to stand on. Those who stand in front of television cameras today and enjoy the fame that comes from having a public platform from which to speak about science can thank the work that Sagan did in his lifetime and how it is making things possible for the modern scientific celebrity.

  • Have Carl Sagans Fears Been Realized? (2/21/2020)

    One of Carl Sagan’s most famous quotes talks about how our world will soon be governed by science and technology that few people living in it will understand. If we look around now at this world, then it seems he was very right.
    Technology and the science behind it play an integral part in our life, and that’s truer each day than it was the day before. As we go to work or to school, as we travel the world, as we enjoy our hobbies, more and more of these aspects of our life are being taken over by technology. Even relationships are happening through technology. How many people have you heard of that met their partner or spouse though a dating app or some kind of social media platform? How much time do we spend on our phones and glued in front of screens? Technology is pervasive and some would say worryingly so.


    Yet, how much of it do we understand? We may understand that there is a difference between one model of the iPhone and another. We may know that the internet allows us to do so much more today than we were able to years ago, but how much of it do we really understand? For most people, acceptance is as deep as they go in their relationship with technology- well, acceptance and reliance.


    Most people could not be divorced from their technology, and yet so many of them know very little about how the devices operate that they use every day. There was a time when people would want to find out how things ticked and what made them operate. They would take them apart and want to learn more about how their telephone, remote control car or telescope operated. Now, it seems they simply accept that they need and use these things and never question the inner workings at all.


    This was Carl Sagan’s fear from when he lived. He saw a world that was filled to the brim with technology, but very few people interested in what made that world operate. It’s understandable that not everyone would be interested in how every device they use works, but it is worrying there are so many people using these devices and making use of technology with no real understanding of any of it. They exist without valuing, and they use without understanding, and that means they are less likely to contribute to furthering technology.


    It also means that they will not approach technology with any sort of wonder. Advances will be made that are never ooh-ed and aah-ed over. People simply want to move to the next technological advancement without stopping to think how they got there. That can be dangerous for a culture and a society that is so dependent on technology. The potential to stagnate or to lose the ability to make what we already have is high, and that rightfully worries forward thinkers, as it did the late Carl Sagan.

  • Was Carl Sagan An Atheist? No Way! (1/21/2020)

    While he was alive, Carl Sagan was seen as an opponent of religion. After his death, he was hailed as a defender of atheism. Just look at almost any atheism website on the internet and you will see not only arguments on forums and blogs that introduce Carl Sagan’s words as talking points , but you’ll also see his books and other materials being sold or linked to from the sites as a primer for atheists to use. Anyone who didn’t know him very well or didn’t pay close attention to his feelings on the debate of atheism versus religion would think that he was a staunch atheist.


    However, that simply wasn’t the case. In fact, Sagan did speak on his beliefs and his stance on the matter of whether there was a God or not and whether one could know with any certainty those sorts of things. His own words demonstrated that he never saw himself as smart enough and knowledgeable enough to make the assertion that there is not God and could be no God.


    Sagan said that an atheist is someone who is absolutely certain that there isn’t a God and to his mind he could not conceive of such a a person who had that belief based on concrete evidence. A lack of evidence is never a sign that there is no evidence. It could just mean that the evidence has not been found. That’s why this question of God versus accidental life has been raging for decades.


    In order for someone to know for certain that there is no God, then they would have to have all knowledge of everything in the entire universe. If a person had knowledge of only 99.9% of everything, then they could still not be an atheist based on scientific fact alone, because God could be in that .1% that they don’t know about.


    Sagan recognized that to be an atheist at this point in human history would mean a measure of belief, and that was why he was open to the idea that there might be a God, though he never accepted any evidence to that conclusion. This is part of what has made Sagan such a renowned figure in these debates over evolution versus intelligent design and so forth. His viewpoint was never one of absolutism in these matters, which meant that while people could refer to his writings on the matter when debating, they could never say that Sagan gave conclusive proof one way or another. Ironically enough, Sagan’s writings are constantly used by both side to debate their points, and Sagan might have found that kind of discourse not only pointless but humorous.


    In the end, Sagan only saw God as a set of laws and nothing more and never saw any need to pray to such a being, but then again, he didn’t have proof that this was or was not all that God could be either.

The Event.

We get together every year to celebrate this man’s greatness and what he brought to this world.

Picture 1

The fans got down to the location and started the celebrations!

Events

We had a bunch of fun events and music as well.

All-Day Play

Everyone got a QA and asked some interesting questions about the universe.

You're All Invited To The Next Event!

You're All Invited To The Next Event!

We Still Wish He Was With Us!

Let us all pray for him that his legacy forever lives on!

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