PODCAST TRANSCRIPTS: Neil deGrasse Tyson Interviews Carl Sagan's Widow Ann Druyan

"Science was [Carl's] religion. He viewed science as informed worship. As a way to search for the sacred, for the spiritual truths of life. But to do it with this phenomenally successful error-correcting methodology, which is always whittling out those things that we want to believe but that may not be true. We are great liars as a species. We lie to each other, we lie to ourselves... So we need the scientific method constantly to test reality, to test our perceptions of reality because we're so often wrong. And of course science is a permanent revolution, it never ends. Because science reserves the highest rewards for the scientist who will prove the most cherished beliefs of the scientific community wrong."

"I don't think that the sacred necessarily has to do with the supernatural. In fact, I think the fact that we call the supernatural 'the supernatural', rather than 'the sub-natural', reveals our contempt for nature, reveals our lack of a sense of how sacred life is. What is science telling us? Science tells us that we live as part of a thirteen and a half billion year continuity. That, as Carl said so magnificently, that we are star stuff--that every gene, bone, molecule of our physical reality of ourselves was formed in the hearts of distant stars... Science is revealing the oneness of all things of life. It tells us in countless different ways. So, for me, the natural is really the thing that we should hold highest, and that's something I learned from Carl. That nature is far more magnificent than anything we could imagine. And if we had a spiritual approach to nature which was grounded in nature, as opposed to the conventional religions which are, in so many ways, not only not grounded in nature, but contemptuous of what's natural... That might account for the fact that we seem to be unable to awaken ourselves from the kind of stupor that we're in in terms of the way we treat each other and how we treat our planet."

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I strongly urge you to listen to the entire episode of Science and the City.

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