Author Topic: How much of Carl Sagan's stature within skepticism is due to his passing?  (Read 413 times)

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Offline SkeptiQueer

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I don't know how he would have handled feminism. Certainly Ann Dryan is a strong figure for feminism and the sciences. But feminism has changed over the years, and of course her views wouldn't be his.

I doubt Martin Luther King would have been as progressive as Coretta Scott King as well.

Well, I personally am a *huge* SJG fan and I would like to think at least that he would not have terminal foot in mouth disease the way Dawkins does. He'd also be a pretty old guy by now if he was still alive so it's very possible that I'd just be disappointed in him too. :( I will say that generally I prefer the Gould approach to interacting with non-atheists and non-skeptics to Dawkins/Sam Harris/insert New Atheist here. Sure, you have to amend it a *little* bit so that instead of just calling science and religion in general non-overlapping magisteria, you refer to the specific bits that are non-overlapping, but I also think collaboration > confrontation on this stuff.

Bill Nye has been able to not get into the problems that Dawkins has even though he is pretty old as well.
I feel like Nye and NDT exemplify the necessity of being good communicators and not just good scientists or science fans. Still, even Nye did it bad when he agreed to debate Ham at the Creation Museum.
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Online arthwollipot

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41.73%
Though I appreciate your attempt to actually answer the question instead of getting pulled off into the Dawkins tangent (which I am admittedly guilty of continuing), I do have a pet peeve about excessive significant figures that give a false sense of precision to a number.

Like, are you really that confident that the number is between 41.725% and 41.735%? Or might it be less misleading to say 42% or even just 40%?
83.5% of statistics are made up on the spot.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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  Sagan, like a lot of public figures, had a public and private persona.
I have read up what is available, and he could be a jerk and be dismissive and occasionally rant. Especially later on in his life.
 In a time of ready and active social media, I think he would not have been as polished as we like to picture him.
 I don't know how he would have handled feminism. Certainly Ann Dryan is a strong figure for feminism and the sciences. But feminism has changed over the years, and of course her views wouldn't be his.

From what I understand, it was Druyan who made Sagan reconcile with some of his children and former wife. But yes, reading up on Sagan's personal life definitely shows that he had some dirty laundry. Like we all do. According to what I have read (though I have not studied this deeply), Druyan made Sagan more humane and less arrogant than what was the case before.

Sagan was an outspoken feminist and I doubt he would have changed that.
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

Offline ShadowSot

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Yeah. Nick has mentioned he was a distant man as a father. And Druyan would have been a tempering
 Honestly, I do think that Sagan was pretty careful about his public image and could have weathered the storm of social media fairly well.
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Offline werecow

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Curious, how do people think that Stephen Jay Gould would have done with respect to modern communication methods?
Well, I personally am a *huge* SJG fan and I would like to think at least that he would not have terminal foot in mouth disease the way Dawkins does. He'd also be a pretty old guy by now if he was still alive so it's very possible that I'd just be disappointed in him too. :( I will say that generally I prefer the Gould approach to interacting with non-atheists and non-skeptics to Dawkins/Sam Harris/insert New Atheist here. Sure, you have to amend it a *little* bit so that instead of just calling science and religion in general non-overlapping magisteria, you refer to the specific bits that are non-overlapping, but I also think collaboration > confrontation on this stuff.

I love Gould's writing, even if he does present his own idiosyncratic view of evolution theory as if it was the mainstream. However, non-overlapping magisteria is just complete BS. The idea that these can ever be two wholly separate areas of inquiry is just obviously wrong, and that is demonstrated even by a lot of Gould's own writing. It's nothing more than wishful thinking.
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Online arthwollipot

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Curious, how do people think that Stephen Jay Gould would have done with respect to modern communication methods?
Well, I personally am a *huge* SJG fan and I would like to think at least that he would not have terminal foot in mouth disease the way Dawkins does. He'd also be a pretty old guy by now if he was still alive so it's very possible that I'd just be disappointed in him too. :( I will say that generally I prefer the Gould approach to interacting with non-atheists and non-skeptics to Dawkins/Sam Harris/insert New Atheist here. Sure, you have to amend it a *little* bit so that instead of just calling science and religion in general non-overlapping magisteria, you refer to the specific bits that are non-overlapping, but I also think collaboration > confrontation on this stuff.

I love Gould's writing, even if he does present his own idiosyncratic view of evolution theory as if it was the mainstream. However, non-overlapping magisteria is just complete BS. The idea that these can ever be two wholly separate areas of inquiry is just obviously wrong, and that is demonstrated even by a lot of Gould's own writing. It's nothing more than wishful thinking.

NOMA is useful only inasmuch as religion doesn't make actual claims about the real world. Unfortunately, it does - all the time. Those magisteria definitely overlap.

The spiritual and theological aspects of religion don't overlap much with science though, so there's that.

 

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