Cosmos – By Carl Sagan
Cosmos is the award winning thirteen-part television series written by Carl Sagan and broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service initially in 1980. When I first saw this program, I was literally awestruck. Carl Sagan’s passion for exploring the wonders of our real world and our progress toward understanding it is infectious. Much has been said about how well Dr. Sagan could explain fundamental scientific issues in terms any intelligent layman could understand. He certainly could and in this series, he certainly does. But the two things that struck me most about Cosmos, and have stayed with me, are Dr. Sagan’s conviction that the universe is fundamentally knowable, and in the picture of humankind he presents as a curious and intelligent species, which has the capability and desire to understand it; a species that has already made great strides in furthering its understanding and is on the cusp of learning even more. This is not inevitable, he cautions. There are obstacles both physical and ideological that can prevent us from knowing the world around us. These are not insurmountable, but we must recognize that they exist and work to overcome them. Sagan believed we could and I would like to believe he was right.
My favorite episode is #7, The Backbone of Night. – If you watch none of the other episodes, watch this one. It is inspiring. Look at the expressions on the faces of the kids in the classroom. How can this not give you hope for the future of humankind? http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi762315545/