Favorite "Cosmos" Quote of the Day

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Lonny Lightning 2 years, 5 months ago.

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    I’ve been re-watching (well…I had it on as ‘background noise’ anyway) the 1980 television series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” today while doing some mindless work on the computer. I made it all the way to episode four when I took note of this quote from Carl Sagan just as I was finishing up for the day:

    “There are many hypotheses in science which are wrong. That’s perfectly all right; that’s 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.”

    “The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there’s no place for it in the endeavor of science. We do not know beforehand where fundamental insights will arise from about our mysterious and lovely solar system. And the history of our study of the solar system shows clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources.”

    I’m no scientist, but this quote brought a lot of thoughts to mind. Have things changed in 35 years? Expressing an independent thought from outside the mainstream must feel a bit like shouting into a hurricane. Seems like coming together in the NPA has got to be an amplifier for the voices of the “unexpected sources”.


    Sam Falaki

    It’s worst than shouting into a hurricane. The hurricane doesn’t insult you and call you a crank and pseudo-scientist. The NPA is a mixed bag of nuts, lots of different and sometimes contradicting ideas, some more researched than others, but everyone brings their own unique insight. I’m confident that there will be scientific breakthroughs coming from the NPA. It’s nice to be able to gather with others who are not hostile fundamentalists, are open minded and willing to explore, question and discuss unusual and interesting ideas while exercising critical thinking.



    Well bravo to the NPA then for providing a forum for the independent voices of science to exchange ideas. So there is the the annual conference where members can get together (in just a couple of weeks…I made my hotel reservation at the Radisson this week), are there other opportunities throughout the year? I imagine it’s difficult with members all over the world. And of course the website is a great focal point for exchanging papers and discussions (I imagine the forum will grow increasingly busy as you continue to recover the website). Is there much use of video or Skype or webcasting or anything throughout the year?


    I wonder what Carl Sagan would have thought of the following, especially re. the Cosmos?
    After my classes had gotten to know me and decided that,although I was certainly crazy,I was not actually dangerous, some student would inevitably ask;”what is the most valuable thing you have”? Many years of this repeated question led me to respond;”my ignorance; I’m so glad I know next to nothing”. As you might imagine this caused some less than flattering comments … but think of the corollary …what if you woke up some morning without your ignorance … you knew everything … everything.

    I am interested in almost every topic on this forum but especially the influence of subjective feelings like trust, ‘knowledge’ and beauty on our way of cognitively shaping our scientific views and constructs.
    Please excuse this possibly inept first post.


    Sam Falaki

    The NPA has an account with Fuze, an online videoconferencing tool.
    It’s available to members, so they can make presentations, share and discuss live.
    I’ve had my hands full the conference and website, but it would be great to get those Saturday morning fuze events going again. Anyone who wants to make use of Fuze may contact me directly (sam @ worldnpa.org). Which brings up another point, I need to setup a messaging system so that members can contact each other more easily.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  Sam Falaki.

    Lonny Lightning

    Orthodox science does not correct its errors, it institutionalizes them. The suppression of uncomfortable ideas is what orthodox science is based on. And accepted and conventional ideas are usually wrong.

    Sagan in ’62 at an Am. Rocket Soc. conference said, “I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Earth had already been visted by intelligent beings from other points in the Universe and that they have a base on the far side of the moon” (Edwards, 1967, p. 176; Tarade, 1969, p. 121). He also said : “I believe UFOs exist” (Tarade, p. 306). In ’76 he stated, “That beings from the Galaxy have honoured us with their visit is in no way improbable.” He affirmed, as well, that 1000s of years ago Earth was visited by astronauts of ET origin (von Buttlar, 1978, p. 186). He also signed a letter requesting disclosure concerning UFOs (along with Wm. Hartmann and 10 others, addressed to the Air Force Secretary Robert Seamans at the AAAS symposium on UFOs in Boston in ’69 (Durrant, 1973, p. 290). He also stopped the announced destruction of the Blue Book files by circulating a petition in the scientific community (Astronomers Heading for the Stars website). So his pseudoscientific skepticism of later years was only for political reasons and for public consumption.

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