A friend posted this Sagan quote on facebook and sent it to me with a challenge to write out my thoughts. I’ve always been an admirer of Dr. Sagan so it wasn’t to hard to come up with some ideas. While I’m pretty sure he was never an proponent of either religion or anything called God, he definitely felt the power of creation throughout the cosmos. I haven’t posted here in a while but this is the direction my writing has taken. Many thanks in advance for any who venture here.
“There are many hypotheses in science which are wrong. That’s perfectly all right; they’re the aperture to finding out what’s right. Science is a self-correcting process. To be accepted, new ideas must survive the most rigorous standards of evidence and scrutiny.”
Dr. Carl Sagan
I love Dr. Sagan. He was very much alive to possibility, yet had the perseverance to hold steady to his ethics and demand the proofs to substantiate scientific claims. From what I’ve read about him, where he differed with people of faith was that often we cannot offer even the most basic physical proof, either in form or thought, to back up the claim of existence of divinity. What I love about the above quote is how rigorous he is in the evidence but yet sees how the process begins – with entertaining the ‘possibility’ of something new beyond current understanding. Reading his words I immediately thought of a quote by Dr. Cornel West on the difference between hope and optimism – “I use the language of decline decay and despair rather than doom gloom and no possibility, because I think any talk about despair is not where you end but where you start. And then the courage and sacrifice come in. But at the level of hope, not optimism… Optimism tends to be based on the notion that there is enough evidence out there that allows us to think that things are going to be better. Much more rational, deeply secular. Whereas hope looks at the evidence and says, it doesn’t look good at all, says, it doesn’t look good at all. Says, we’re to make a leap of faith, says we’re going beyond the evidence that kept, to create new possibilities based on visions that become contagious, to allow us to engage in heroic actions always against the odds, no guarantees whatsoever. That’s hope. That’s hope.” So the beauty of any discovery – scientific advancement, personal growth, spiritual intuitiveness – begins when we allow the sharp glint of genius to catch our sense of adventure and move hands and feet toward the ‘something’ which, at first, we may only be able to describe as a feeling, but know whole-heartedly, is the soul-experience we must seek and live.