Ryan'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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Jan 18, 2009

really liked it

It is so refreshing to finally finish a book. Since my life as an adult has begun (post-college), finishing a book is an increasingly rare event. I currently am on a science kick to such a degree that I have found myself wondering if I ought to go back to school and get an undergraduate degree in biology. Why? Just for fun. Anyway, this book is a book of recorded lectures that Sagan gave in Britain--something called the Gifford Lectures, which are probably prestigious. Anyway, they concern science and religion, and, really, for Carl, how religion just doesn't stand up to any sort of scrutiny. One major theme of the book is that no one should ever believe a proposition unless there be evidence to support that proposition. I think this is a basic, fair piece of advice to follow.
When he's not discussing the debate between science and religion, he is discussing what we have learned in the realm of astrophysics, and he does an excellent job.
Since Sagan has died, I don't think anyone has picked up the mantle for champion of science. Dawkins has tried, but he is rather insolent and argumentative. Although I personally like Dawkins a lot, I don't think his personality suits him to be the champion of science that is needed.
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Started Reading
January 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
January 18, 2009 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Zach (new)

Zach Have you read any Daniel Dennett? He's less caustic than Dawkins and very likable. But he's probably not the champion of science in terms of distributing and popularizing scientific norms to a general audience - he's been around a long time and yet not that well known outside of philosophical and scientific circles. In any case, he's well worth checking out.

He also has a kickass beard.


Ryan It's funny you mention him because I just heard about him last weekend, and I watched a speech he gave on YouTube where he told Rick Warren ( A Purpose Driven Life) basically that he was a moron. It was pretty cool.

A damn fine beard.


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