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The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God

by and

The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God Cover

ISBN13: 9781594201073
ISBN10: 1594201072
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


On the 10th anniversary of his death, brilliant astrophysisist and Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sagan's prescient exploration of the relationship between religion and science and his personal search for God.

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. In December 2006 it will be the tenth anniversary of Sagan's death, and Ann Druyan, his widow and longtime collaborator, will mark the occasion by releasing Sagan's famous "Gifford Lectures in Natural Theology," The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God.

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 transcendance 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.

Review:

"In 1877, the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli was looking at Mars through his new telescope, and he noticed intricate etchings in the equatorial region of the planet's surface. Schiaparelli called these lines canali, by which he probably meant something like 'gullies' or 'grooves,' but his coinage got wrongly translated into English as 'canals.' It was a regrettable linguistic slip.

... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Find here a major fraction of this stunningly valuable legacy left to all of us by a great human being. I miss him so." Kurt Vonnegut

Synopsis:

Carl Sagan's prophetic vision of the tragic resurgence of fundamentalism and the hope-filled potential of the next great development in human spirituality

The late great astronomer and astrophysicist describes his personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos. Exhibiting a breadth of intellect nothing short of astounding, Sagan presents his views on a wide range of topics, including the likelihood of intelligent life on other planets, creationism and so-called intelligent design, and a new concept of science as "informed worship." Originally presented at the centennial celebration of the famous Gifford Lectures in Scotland in 1985 but never published, this book offers a unique encounter with one of the most remarkable minds of the twentieth century.

Synopsis:

In his charmingly down-to-earth voice, the late astronomer Carl Sagan discusses the relationship between religion and science and describes his own personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos.

About the Author

Carl Sagan was Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, and Voyager spacecraft expeditions to the planets, for which he received the NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize and the highest awards of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation, and many other awards, for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment. His book Cosmos (accompanying his Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning television series of the same name) was the bestselling science book ever published in the English language, and his bestselling novel, Contact, was turned into a major motion picture.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

mudcatmls, September 5, 2013 (view all comments by mudcatmls)
A book that all fans of Carl Sagan should read to understand the man's thinking on God and the Cosmos.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Asher, January 20, 2008 (view all comments by Asher)
Of all the recent disquisitions upon and analyses of the supposed irreconcilable natures of faith and science, this posthumously published set of natural theology (!) lectures is by far the most compassionate, passionate, optimistic (despite the rather somber Cold War context), and well-reasoned. You may not agree with Sagan's stance, or even feel that he comes down hard enough with a hard-and-fast argument (which was not, after all, the goal of these dated but still highly relevant talks), but you will be prompted to think and feel more deeply and more constructively--while being entertained as well.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781594201073
Subtitle:
A Personal View of the Search for God
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Editor:
Druyan, Ann
Author:
Sagan, Carl
Author:
Druyan, Ann
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Natural theology
Subject:
Cosmology
Subject:
Religion and science
Subject:
Religion & Science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
November 2006
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4-color and b/w illustrations throughout
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.68x5.62x1.09 in. 1.18 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

Reference » Science Reference » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » Cosmology

The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 304 pages Penguin Press - English 9781594201073 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Find here a major fraction of this stunningly valuable legacy left to all of us by a great human being. I miss him so."
"Synopsis" by ,
Carl Sagan's prophetic vision of the tragic resurgence of fundamentalism and the hope-filled potential of the next great development in human spirituality

The late great astronomer and astrophysicist describes his personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos. Exhibiting a breadth of intellect nothing short of astounding, Sagan presents his views on a wide range of topics, including the likelihood of intelligent life on other planets, creationism and so-called intelligent design, and a new concept of science as "informed worship." Originally presented at the centennial celebration of the famous Gifford Lectures in Scotland in 1985 but never published, this book offers a unique encounter with one of the most remarkable minds of the twentieth century.

"Synopsis" by , In his charmingly down-to-earth voice, the late astronomer Carl Sagan discusses the relationship between religion and science and describes his own personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos.

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