by Andre on 4 April 2007
I’ve been meaning to write a review of Carl Sagan’s recently released Gifford Lectures, The Varieties of Scientific Experience, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Briefly: it’s not as polished as his other books, being a lecture transcript, but it still has some nice ideas and is worth reading. I spent a lot of the time while I was reading it wishing he was still alive to take part in the ongoing highly publicized discussions of religion. Sagan was uncompromising in his atheism and argued persuasively, but he was also a diplomat. He invites the audience to marvel at the grandeur of the universe that science has revealed to us, but wonders why it’s not more evident in our Holy books.
...a general problem with much of Western theology in my view is that the God portrayed is too small. It is a god of a tiny world and not of a galaxy, much less of a universe.
I think Sagan would have appreciated this simple illustration: