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Carl Sagan


Dr. Carl Sagan was, of course, best known as the man who hosted the Cosmos mini-series on PBS TV, and whose trademarked phrase "billions and billions of stars" was the target of many a parody and humorous quip. This worldwide fame certainly boosted Dr. Sagan's image, but it also gave him a tremendous amount of exposure and it exposed many people to the serious message behind his amusing, disarming smile: Dr. Sagan was one of the most outspoken proponents of true science in an era of increasing belief in pseudoscience, junk science, outright fallacy and dangerous, seductive beliefs. His vehement arguments against blind faith and in favor of skepticism and open-minded research were a shining example of the path that true scientists should follow, and his guidelines for honest and open testing of theories, as opposed to blind faith (he termed this method baloney detection) will not be forgotten. (The popularity of the 1997 movie Contact – based on Sagan's science fiction novel – increased Dr. Sagan's popularity even more, despite the fact that the movie altered his vision in favor of a Hollywood-style theme of "you gotta have faith." )

See Also: The Demon-Haunted World