A Warning From Carl Sagan on Scientific Ignorance

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Added by January 1, 2014

ClimateCrocks.com: Just before his death, Carl Sagan warned us about the perils of a technological society where fewer and fewer people know, or care, what science says.

Isaac Asimov on the Greenhouse Effect

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  1. Chuffererd
    Chuffererd 16 March, 2014, 23:29

    Here’s my home boy.

      Reply this comment
  2. Gord Wait
    Gord Wait 23 February, 2014, 16:39


    There seems to be a renewed war on science from many fronts.
    Politicians don’t want people to develop a good skeptical BS detector..

      Reply this comment
  3. munstrumridcully
    munstrumridcully 6 February, 2014, 01:59

    Carl Sagan, my hero! =)

      Reply this comment
  4. Michael G. Smith
    Michael G. Smith 1 February, 2014, 18:34

    His last interview. Sage advice as true now as then

      Reply this comment
  5. Roy Gardnerra
    Roy Gardnerra 1 February, 2014, 04:18

    Carl Sagan inspired a generation of scientists with his work in and out of
    the classroom. But he didn’t always present science with cheer. In this
    clip, he passionately defends science with a grave warning. It’s something
    we all need to hear.


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  6. Robert Johns
    Robert Johns 1 February, 2014, 00:33

    And right there is the strongest argument for good education that there is.

      Reply this comment
  7. Michael Molash
    Michael Molash 31 January, 2014, 22:27

    Without education, the government runs us.

    Carl Sagan and Government_ Charlie Rose.wmv

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  8. Fair Trade Community
    Fair Trade Community 29 January, 2014, 19:27

    A Science Icon Died 17 Years Ago. In His Last Interview, He Made A Warning
    That Gives Me Goosebumps. Carl Sagan and Government_ Charlie Rose.wmv

      Reply this comment
  9. Sentience
    Sentience 18 January, 2014, 03:02

    well…. I guess we’re fucked now

      Reply this comment
  10. Justus McNeal
    Justus McNeal 14 January, 2014, 01:11

    Carl Sagan isn’t as bright of a person as his desire for fame implies.

    What he is using is what we in philosophy call part of the “end of history”
    fallacy. His idea is that we live in an age of the most modern technology,
    implying that we live in it in a way we did not before. This debate of
    religion versus science and technology has been going on for 200 years.
    There is nothing special about the modern day.

    He points to the fact that congressmen don’t have a background in science,
    and there is a good reason for this. Scientists collect and analyze data.
    Scientists do not apply their knowledge, they just try to stream the
    knowledge to those who can apply it. Policymaking and science are
    different disciplines and should be separated. The scientists are welcome
    to present their arguments, and should be given a more intent ear than most
    people, but there are very good reasons for scientists not getting involved
    in decision making because there is a lot of non-science that has to be
    taken into consideration.

    Scientists are specialists. A biologist will never be prepared to comment
    on sociology, etc… Policymakers need to listen to and make sense of
    arguments where they may not necessarily have all the information, but
    where they can get just enough to know the correct course of action.

    It’s not a perfect system, but…

    Keep in mind that the USSR had one of the world’s most extensive scientific
    programs. They spent far more on R&D than any other country on the planet,
    far more than the United States during the Cold War. The USSR is not with
    us today because of their overreliance on science.

      Reply this comment
  11. Ramin Honary
    Ramin Honary 11 January, 2014, 07:46

    *Carl Sagan in 1996 said our society depends on science in every way, yet
    very few of us understand it at all.*
    Money in politics is one major issue, but it is not the only thing
    destroying our society. Technology, and the fact that people who understand
    technology are so few and so specialized, have guaranteed that only the
    wealthy and powerful can take full advantage of it. A corrupt and powerful
    government/corporate ruling class pays knowledgeable people very well to
    harness the power of science, producing technology that is used to control
    people of lower class.
    In this interview, Sagan was more concerned about nuclear
    proliferation — the a military class has the power to destroy the whole
    planet elite, is ostensibly accountable to the people who know nearly
    nothing about it.
    But there is no shortage of examples in our generation. The recent *NSA
    scandal* and the continued persecution of whistleblowers. Out-of-control *costs
    of health care* is another issue resulting from science being controlled
    only by the wealthy elite. *Global warming* is monster that is even more of
    a problem because of socially engineered ignorance.
    I believe even problems like unemployment somehow tie into the
    disgraceful scientific ignorance of our society. The ruling class only
    looks out for themselves, the only work available is the work that exists
    to protect the interests ruling class. If you are not working to that end,
    you will not find employment.
    We may be able to solve the problem of money in politics, we may
    even see a constitutional amendment. But that won’t solve the whole
    problem. Scientific literacy needs to improve, worldwide, but especially in
    the United States, or the problems we face now will persist for
    generations, or destroy us entirely.

      Reply this comment
  12. Mez Kitsu
    Mez Kitsu 3 January, 2014, 22:34

    I’m glad I don’t live in a democracy. My government makes decisions based
    upon merit and nobility; not majority rule. ^^;

      Reply this comment
  13. Chip Fox
    Chip Fox 3 January, 2014, 19:34

    We’ve arranged a society based on science & technology in which nobody
    understands anything about science and technology. Power+Ignorance

    Carl Sagan and Government_ Charlie Rose.wmv

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  14. theunpossiblefile
    theunpossiblefile 2 January, 2014, 05:04

    I was never a fan of Carl Sagan but look at the crap that seeks too replace
    the “Nasa End of Mankind”, Nibiru, Call From Another Galaxy, Ha!

      Reply this comment
  15. Emberlea101
    Emberlea101 1 January, 2014, 01:23

    Schools are a joke. I was told by a teacher that “Evolution is not
    important” and we didn’t read the chapter. Then when I got to college. The
    Biology professor said “Look, I know how your schools are around here.
    Forget everything” It was a nice change.

      Reply this comment
  16. Robert Hersh-geer
    Robert Hersh-geer 31 December, 2013, 22:40
      Reply this comment
  17. theunpossiblefile
    theunpossiblefile 28 December, 2013, 02:25

    Ayn Rand is exactly the kind of charlatan he was talking about.
    Even she would have swallowed a bottle of speed if she had ever
    seen the movies Atlas Shrugged 1 & 2 based on her book.
    Objectivist & Libertarian porn. Sat through 20 minutes of 2.
    Thank goshness I didn’t have to pay for it.

      Reply this comment
  18. 1955RodHot
    1955RodHot 21 December, 2013, 10:39

    90% of the people who believe in the Bible have never read the Bible. Go
    ahead and try to prove me wrong on that.

      Reply this comment
  19. Tony James
    Tony James 21 December, 2013, 03:31

    What would you tell your 14-year-old self?
    My advice would be really -boring: keep on with science subjects, because
    understanding of science will be so important in your future life. I’ve
    held seminars in No. 10 about graphene and quantum theory, which I love
    doing. But I have to read up a lot before I get started. So: a little more
    on the physics and chemistry, please, David.
    David Cameron ~ Prime Minister

      Reply this comment
  20. Thomas Maincent
    Thomas Maincent 19 December, 2013, 19:08

    So true. Remember to be skeptical!!!

      Reply this comment
  21. mweibleii
    mweibleii 18 December, 2013, 15:21

    The government does now run our lives.

      Reply this comment
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