Saturday, 18 August 2007

The Varieties of Scientific Experience : a Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan


I read Demon Haunted World not long ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is even better. It is based upon a series of lectures given by the author and so feels more like he is talking to you.

Each of the chapters seems somehow more complete and structured, whilst at the same time more off the cuff, than chapters from his books. This must be attributable to the fact that each of these chapters is a transcript of one of a series of lectures which Sagan probably gave by using outline scripts which he then talked around as his audience reacted and he reacted to them. This combined with the fact that few of the audience would see all the lectures, led him to make each talk a complete piece of itself.

Anyone interested in science and the future of humanity should give this a go.

Sagan is eloquent and chatty, awe inspiring and cheekily funny all at the same time. Its almost like he wakes you up to see familiar old subjects in a fresh new light.

Wonderful stuff. 4.5 out of 5 stars

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