After reading Carl Sagan’s 1985 novel Contact and watching the 1995 movie of the same name, we discuss a major epistemological question: what are the acceptable grounds for belief? Are religious belief and scientific proof compatible? Sagan’s surprisingly nuanced views give us interesting ways forward.
Things we mentioned on the show, in the order we mentioned them:
- Carl Sagan
- Cosmos: TV show and book
- Non-overlapping Magisteria
- More commentary on Sagan’s complex and complicated relationship with religion
- One of many episodes of the Bible Project talking about God working through history
- Richard Dawkins
- “Verily I say unto you, they have received their reward in full” (Carradini version, a mashup of the KJV and NIV translations of Matthew 6:2)
- Sagan’s views on religion and nuclear war
- Jenkins and LaHaye dispensationalist eschatology, otherwise known as the Left Behind series
- Soviet genetics, also known as Lysenkoism (bonus: Lysenkoism is based partially on Lamarckism, which should be familiar to you if you just listened to our episodes on Mary Midgley’s work)
- November (8.20 and 8.21): Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest, Zeynep Tufecki. You can also download it from Tufecki’s website as a PDF.
- December (8.22 and 8.23): Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan.
- “Character” by Kylie Odetta. Used by permission, please don’t use without permission.
- “Winning Slowly Theme” by Chris Krycho. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, meaning you can do whatever you want with this music… as long as you share it for others to likewise do what they want.
Many thanks to the people who help us make this show possible by their financial support! This month’s sponsors:
- Daniel Ellcey
- Douglas Campos
- Jake Grant
- Marnix Klooster
- Spencer Smith
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