Was Carl Sagan an Atheist?

Was Carl Sagan an Atheist?

When I posted Inaccuracy, Eurocentrism, and Antitheism in Carl Sagan’s Cosmos last month, it caused a bit of a stir among Carl Sagan fans (especially on Reddit). Not the least constructive of the criticism was the point that Carl Sagan was not even an atheist. Of course, I already know that he did not identify as an atheist, and in that post I never said he did. I suppose that people who used that as a rebuttal were assuming that one can’t be antitheistic without even being an atheist.

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30 Profound Quotes from Sasha Sagan’s For Small Creatures Such as We

30 Profound Quotes from Sasha Sagan’s For Small Creatures Such as We

Two weeks ago, I posted my review of Sasha Sagan’s beautiful memoir/humanist manifesto/love letter to the Cosmos For Small Creatures Such as We. I ranked it as one of my new all-time favorite books, and I recommended it as highly as I could, but still I feel that I can’t really put into words just how beautifully moving this book is. Only the book itself can do that. Hopefully my favorite quotes will give you a taste of what this book is really like!

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On Being a Humanist

On Being a Humanist

For most of the time I’ve spent as an atheist, I’ve also identified as a secular humanist. However, the label of “humanist” has spent most of that time in the backseat. Even though I was a humanist, I preferred to use descriptors like “skeptic” or “curious atheist”. While I am still all of these, I’m beginning to really embrace my identity as a humanist for the first time.

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Book Review: For Small Creatures Such as We by Sasha Sagan

Book Review: For Small Creatures Such as We by Sasha Sagan

If you’ve read Cosmos by Sasha’s father, and you’re wondering what the universe’s immensity and grandeur mean for humanity, then you will love this book. The title comes from a quote (from Carl’s novel Contact) written by Ann Druyan, Sasha’s mother and Carl’s wife. The quote says in its entirety, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” Cosmos explores the vastness. Sasha’s book explores the rest: how we, the small creatures, can use love to make it bearable. The subtitle, Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World, gives us a hint on how to do that.

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Why I Am Not a Progressive Christian

Why I Am Not a Progressive Christian

I grew up steeped in conservative Christianity only to make a 180° turn to cold, hard atheism in college. I took no detours in progressive Christianity, but I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be both a Christian and an open-minded, accepting person. Luckily, I’ve lately been enjoying Brenda Marie Davies’ YouTube channel, which is a glimpse into the lifestyle, opinions, and beliefs of a progressive Christian. If you can achieve a messy but confident faith in God and a loving call for equality and recognition for all, then why not embrace both?

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I Read a 100-Year-Old Book on Evolution

I Read a 100-Year-Old Book on Evolution

I have been excited to write this post since last May. My husband and I were on a weekend trip in State College, PA celebrating our six-year dating anniversary by visiting all the local bookstores as we are wont to do. In a cute cafe and bookstore called Webster’s, I came across a uniquely rustic book called The A B C of Evolution by Joseph McCabe. It was $20 which is above the average price for a used book, but something told me I would never find a book like this again, so I bought it. Part of what sold me was the copyright date of 1920; at the time I thought to myself that that would soon be 100 years ago! Since then I’d been waiting for the perfect time in 2020 to look back at where the study of evolution was 100 years ago.

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5 Things Freethinkers Want Christians to Know

5 Things Freethinkers Want Christians to Know

Back in April, I had the pleasure of meeting Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Dan Barker. It was a fun evening consisting of a lecture on his newest book, Mere Morality, and a following book signing. At the event, there was a table where you could buy one of Barker’s books or pick up a copy of the FFRF’s periodical, Freethought Today. Also on the table were several “nontracts,” courtesy of the FFRF. Dan explained that if you’re familiar with the tracts that religious people tend to hand out, these are the same idea except… the opposite.

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Satanism vs. Atheism

Satanism vs. Atheism

Have you ever overheard a conversation on something that you’re passionate about, but for one reason or another, it would be out of place for you to interject? This happens to me all the time, and it’s immeasurably frustrating. In most groups I’m in, I’m considered “the atheist” of the group, but since I started my office job in March, this has not necessarily been the case.

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Praise Be Unto Darwin?

Praise Be Unto Darwin?

A couple days ago I was flipping through a creationist book from my shelf, and I couldn’t help but notice that the author rarely ever used the word “evolution” when describing the theory of evolution by natural selection. Instead, he almost always called it Darwinism. Of course, we know what someone means when they say Darwinism, and even evolutionists often call it Darwinian evolution or Darwin’s theory of evolution. But I think that creationists have a very specific reason in using the term “Darwinism” instead of the word “evolution”. That is: they want to equate believing that evolution is true with belonging to a religion that worships Charles Darwin.

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