Tamara's Reviews > The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God

The Varieties of Scientific Experience by Carl Sagan
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's review
May 30, 2010

really liked it

I had to read this for an english class, and wasn't expecting "hard science" but the second half was about folklore and the future; easier to follow! and in the end I felt grateful for having slogged through the first half, because I ended up with a better grasp of astronomy and physics. Sagan had a really calm, clear perspective and I honor his memory! The lectures were written for the 1984 Gifford Lectures in Scotland, and the immediate threat is nuclear war; in that sense it is a bit dated but still very current in other ways; after all, even with the Cold War over, the sense of urgency remains and he answers it with lucidity and soul. This book takes a while to sink in but is fantastic fodder for dinner table conversations with companions of all ages over 5. By the way, if you ever read this, don't forget to read the Q&A transcripts in the back! They are so part of the book, as they happenned at the Lectures and were an immediate authentic response which he meets with dignity.

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