Carl Sagan was a hypocrite of a very high order, perhaps not quite as high as Al Gore or Barack Obama, but up there nonetheless.
Sagan proselytized against overpopulation while having five children of his own.
Sagan proselytized on behalf of global warming while flying and driving everywhere, such was his own great importance.
Sagan claimed that commercial television was ignorant and a waste of time, so naturally he appeared often on.... commercial television.
Carl Sagan was a devout agnostic, in his own way of thinking. This allowed him the intellectual argument of saying there might be a God, he just couldn't make up his own mind, one way or the other. In fact, Sagan continued to propound arguments no different from atheists. Ironically, Sagan's memorial service was held in St. John the Divine Roman Catholic Church in New York City.
Now, some of Sagan's more outrageous and anti-scientific comments from his books.
“Human beings, born ultimately of the stars and now for a while inhabiting a world called Earth, have begun their long voyage home.” - Cosmos, page 12
Sorry, but humans aren't going anywhere. It took Voyager 11 years to get to Jupiter. That's a lot of oxygen and cheeseburgers.
So we speed up by a factor of 10. Still a lot of oxygen and cheeseburgers and nowhere to refuel in space.
“Cosmos” is a Greek word for the order of the universe. It implies the deep interconnectedness of all things.” - page 18
In Pale Blue Dot, Sagan claimed that the universe shows "much poor planning." This is the exact opposite of "deep interconnectedness of all things." Sagan never had any problem contradicting himself, with a smile.
“Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.” - page 20
Tell that to any liberal professor, or to the massively intellectual Oceander - as he describes himself.
“What a marvelous cooperative arrangement - plants and animals each inhaling each other’s exhalations....” - page 33
There is "much poor planning" in the universe. Pale Blue Dot, page 57
“Astronomical spectroscopy is an almost magical technique. It amazes me still.” - page 93
More of that "poor planning" perhaps.
(Voyager 2 showed that) “Mars was a place.” - page 121
Deep science - "Mars was a place." College students might even understand this, the placeness of Mars. Certainly Oceander would.
“There are limits to what we can do.” - page 124
"We can be fooled." - page 125
Noooo! Really? Carl Sagan, fooled? You mean the guy who predicted that fires in the Gulf War would cause massive global cooling, and might never be put out? The teacher who lamented widespread ignorance, for which teachers must bear a large measure of responsibility?
"We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.” - page 193
Oh yeah. "Ready." Sagan spoke about nuclear blasts powering our space ships. How's that going? Only four light years to the second closest star, after our own sun. Let's see, 669,600,00 mph, the speed of light, divided by ~30,000 mph works out to about 23,000. That number times four years to get there. Bring a fishing pole. There may be some nice bass in the lakes. I mean, if there are any lakes, that is.... on the earth-sized planet circling Alpha Centauri B.
“If we wished we could build Orion now.” - page 206
Orion is the space ship powered by external nuclear explosions. We could build that right now, dontcha know. Challenger might have blown up, but hey.....
“A star twenty times the mass of the Sun will shrink . . . slip through a self-generated crack in the space-time continuum and vanish from our universe.” - page 241
"Self-generated crack... in the space-time continuum..... " vanishing to where, exactly?
“If we must worship a power greater than ourselves, does it not make sense to revere the Sun and stars?” - page 243
Don't revere God. Revere the Sun and the stars. Like the cavemen must have done. Brilliant, Carl. Brilliant.
His follies continue, in book after book, and made him exceedingly wealthy. That's why he smiled at you.