Carl Sagan Day

As many of you know, today is the day Carl Sagan was born, and I’m sure a lot of you are recognizing it. While I have no plans to keep you from doing so, I would suggest you do so with caution.

Carl Sagan was pretty much a science popularizer. He made it cool to be a science geek. His “Cosmos” series did more for science in the public consiousness than most other events. Only Albert Einstein and his world tour can compare. Many skeptics would like science to be promoted in the public consciousness. I am one of them. However, I firmly believe that celebrating Carl Sagan Day and Darwin Day are bad ways of doing so.

In schools all across the country, there is a battle going on between science and religion. Science says that religion has no place in public schools, and religion says that science is a religion, and since science is allowed, then my religion of choice should be allowed also.

We need to make sure we are in no way wearing the trappings of religion. Religion celebrates the birth of people who have done great things in their religion. I’m sure you’ve heard of the holiday Christmas. To avoid looking like a religion, we need to separate the man from the event. In religion, the person who has done great things was chosen, by your preferred deity, to bring a revalation, or lead the people, etc. This person, and only this person, could  have done it. When we celebrate Darwin and Sagan days, we are making it look like they were chosen to do these things. I’m sure you and I both agree, they were not chosen, they chose. I’d much rather replace “Darwin Day” with “Species Day”-the day Darwin published his “On the Origins of Species”. We should not celebrate November 9th as Sagan day, but September 28th as “Cosmos Day”, the day Cosmos premiered.

To celebrate the birth of a man in science, no matter how great, elavates that man to the status of a prohet. If we are not promoting a religion, why do we need prophets?

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