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Carl Sagan’s Foreboding

I’m fascinated by this quote by Carl Sagan from his book The Demon-Haunted World.

Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

I couldn’t agree more. When critical thinking and scientific know-how give way to complacent acceptance of unverified (or unverifiable) declaratory statements, whether they be dogmatic or not, human existence starts to lose its luster.

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