Carl Sagan was the skeptic's skeptic. He was adamant about demanding evidence, and being clear that claims of the paranormal and supernatural must provide evidence, strong evidence, or else they are without merit.
So it's a little weird to know that he has a book coming out, 10 years after he died:
This year, however â€” a decade after his death from a rare bone-marrow disease â€” some of Sagan's deepest thoughts on the ultimate questions are being brought to light in a newly rediscovered collection of lectures titled "The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God."
The book, due for publication in November by The Penguin Press, is based on a series of talks Sagan gave at the University of Glasgow in 1985 as part of the Gifford Lectures on natural theology. After lying hidden for decades in Sagan's archives, the transcripts of the nine taped lectures were rediscovered just a few months ago, said Ann Druyan, the scientist's widow and longtime collaborator.
This sounds like a fantastic opportunity to once again be inside Sagan's head, a place that I find fascinating, and endlessly wonderful.
I'm not the only one, either. Washington Post columnist, blogger, and science guy Joel Achenbach recently wrote about Sagan as well: The Sagan File. I like Joel's writing: he's funny, even silly, but it's backed up by a keen intellect and an honest desire to talk about different aspects of science. I think you'll like him too.
Nods to Larry Klaes for the info on Sagan's new book.