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New Meetup: FANs Book Discussion: Carl Sagan's "The Varieties of the Scientific Experience"

From: Shane
Sent on: Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:54 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Sacramento Area Skeptics!

What: FANs Book Discussion: Carl Sagan's "The Varieties of the Scientific Experience"

When: April 5,[masked]:30 PM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Meetup Description:

From the FANs Meetup site:

After a brief intro by me , Janean Yingling will lead a discussion on the first four of Carl Sagan's 1985 Gifford Lectures, which comprise "The Varieties of the Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God."

This book comes highly recommended by many of our Meetup members, and I've made remainder copies available to many of you over the past few months.

Here are the titles of the chapters we'll be covering:

1. Nature and Wonder: A Reconnaissance of Heaven
2. The Retreat from Copernicus: A Modern Loss of Nerve
3. The Organic Universe
4. Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Book description from the publisher:

Carl Sagan is considered one of the greatest scientific minds of our time. His remarkable ability to explain science in terms easily understandable to the layman in bestselling books such as Cosmos, The Dragons of Eden, and The Demon-Haunted World won him a Pulitzer Prize and placed him firmly next to Isaac Asimov, Stephen Jay Gould, and Oliver Sachs as one of the most important and enduring communicators of science.

The chance to give the Gifford Lectures is an honor reserved for the most distinguished scientists and philosophers of our civilization. In 1985, on the grand occasion of the centennial of the lectureship, Carl Sagan was invited to give them. He took the opportunity to set down in detail his thoughts on the relationship between religion and science as well as to describe his own personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos.

The Varieties of Scientific Experience, edited, updated and with an introduction by Ann Druyan, is a bit like eavesdropping on a delightfully intimate conversation with the late great astronomer and astrophysicist. In his charmingly down-to-earth voice, Sagan easily discusses his views on topics ranging from manic depression and the possibly chemical nature of transcendence to creationism and so-called intelligent design to the likelihood of intelligent life on other planets to the likelihood of nuclear annihilation of our own to a new concept of science as "informed worship." Exhibiting a breadth of intellect nothing short of astounding, he illuminates his explanations with examples from cosmology, physics, philosophy, literature, psychology, cultural anthropology, mythology, theology, and more. Sagan's humorous, wise, and at times stunningly prophetic observations on some of the greatest mysteries of the cosmos have the invigorating effect of stimulating the intellect, exciting the imagination, and reawakening us to the grandeur of life in the cosmos.

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/sacskeptics/calendar/10058006/

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