Looking Back: Carl Sagan Talks with Charlie Rose about Government, Religion, Biblical Literalists, and Science and Technology

Carl_Sagan_Planetary_Society - CopySubmitted by Elaine Magliaro, Weekend Contributor

I thought this Carl Sagan interview would be a good follow-up to “Cosmos” Host Neil deGrasse Tyson Speaks Out about the News Media, Flat Earthers, Science Deniers, Climate Change Skeptics, Religion, and Dogma–which I posted earlier today.

Charlie Rose talked with Carl Sagan on the Charlie Rose Show back in May of 1996. At that time, Sagan warned about the dangers of people being ignorant about science while living in a society that is based on science and technology. Sagan talked about the “combustible mix” of ignorance and power in our society that would—at some point—blow up in our faces. He questioned who’d run science and technology in a democracy if the people didn’t know anything about it. Sagan also noted that science is more than a body of knowledge. He said it was a way of thinking.

52 thoughts on “Looking Back: Carl Sagan Talks with Charlie Rose about Government, Religion, Biblical Literalists, and Science and Technology

  1. avidm2575

    RTC wrote: “where gradualism isn’t supported… science must look to other sources of data…”

    Typical Darwinist response. A comprehensive theory of origins should not ignore any data, and that is exactly the problem with selling Darwinism.

    *****

    Many intelligent people have accepted the theory of evolution. No one has to sell us on it. It’s creationists/Biblical literalists who don’t/won’t accept it because it conflicts with their beliefs–which are based on faith…not on data and evidence.

    • Elaine M wrote: “Many intelligent people have accepted the theory of evolution. No one has to sell us on it. It’s creationists/Biblical literalists who don’t/won’t accept it because it conflicts with their beliefs–which are based on faith…not on data and evidence.”

      Elaine, excuse me, but your Freudian slip is showing. On the one hand we are being sold the idea that there is a clear consensus among scientists that no creator was involved with our origins. But why then did you say “MANY” intelligent people have accepted the theory rather than “MOST” or “ALL”? There also are “MANY” intelligent scientists who interpret the data differently.

      But there is another problem in how you framed your statement. Which “theory” of evolution is the accepted one? You see, almost everybody who says they “BELIEVE” in evolution can’t even discuss the various theories of evolution, much less point to what empirical data convinces them that a creator was not involved. The truth is that there is no data that convinces them that their positivist presupposition is correct. They accept that presupposition based upon no data. It is simply their working paradigm in the same way that a “Biblical literalist” (whatever exactly that is) has his presupposition that the Bible is correct.

      When you claim that it is Biblical literalists who won’t accept it, that is just more misdirection. Granted, Biblical literalists will not accept it because the Bible clearly indicates that a Creator was responsible for the diversity of life we observe today. However, there are many scientists who are not Biblical literalists who are open to exploring how the empirical evidence supports a model of origins that includes the idea of an Intelligent Designer. There also are many scientists who are willing to test the theories of evolution; meaning, they are open to try to falsify various specific theories of evolution in order to determine which theory has better explanatory powers of the evidence. In like manner, there are scientists who are open to testing theories of origins involving a Creator; meaning, they are open to try to falsify such theories. As long as ID theories make empirical predictions that could be proven false, such theories are open to classical Popperian falsifiability.

      Where we get into problems is that many scientists use rhetoric and politics to fight against scientific theories that should be fought based upon empirical evidence. These scientists deceive the public by falsely claiming there is no data or evidence for theories of origins involving a Creator. Such is simply false.

      As an educator, you may want to read a book available free online called “Creation’s Tiny Mystery.” It was written by a Biblical literalist named Robert Gentry, but his experience as a scientist may enlighten your understanding about how some scientists who also are creationists (just like Galileo who you have mentioned) do look at empirical data to understand our world around us. His published studies in scientific journals may be a little difficult for the novice to understand, but the book attempts to give enough science background to the novice so they can better understand the science aspect of his peer reviewed published studies. Another redeeming quality of the book is showing examples of how a single sentence or two in a science paper that is suggestive of alternative models of origins is enough to cause papers to be rejected from publication. He gives clear examples of the kind of censorship that happens in science.

      http://www.halos.com/books.htm

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