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(video) Sagan, Hawking, & Clarke(1988)

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posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 02:03 AM
so... I just got finished watching both the 2011 and 2012 Asimov Memorial Debates when I stumbled upon this next video...

Its from 1988 and it features the legendary minds of Carl Sagan, Arthur C Clarke and Stephen Hawking.

now I did a search for this video and found 2 threads from a couple years back that included the names, but were only 10 minute video(which has been removed from YT). neither of those threads got past the first or second pages.

to bring some talking points to this conversation, I compiled notes while watching and I have quite a few things I would like to discuss, most notabley about comments made by Sagan... I have had the pleasure of reading Clarke from a young age, and I had managed to read some of Hawking's early work, however I am quite the newb when it comes to Carl Sagan. I know of his accomplishments, but little of his philosophy.

talking points:

Carl Sagan - From the start he brings up something that I have been in touch with the past couple of years and this is cosmic evolution from the human perspective, and the intuitive nature that many of us are not in touch with. He questions the massive amounts of energy before the Big Bang, and asks where that energy came from and who is the creator? (these two things I have pondered much)

When talking about the human condition, we experience life in a small range of variables... we understand inches and miles, seconds and years, but we have a hard time grasping the micro- and macroscopic, but with the progress of science, we are understanding more and more about the universe.

on a side note, he brings up the various cultures of humans and they are mutually consistent with their creation myths. while there is of course variation in these stories, they all tend to share common attributes. this makes me wonder about end time myths and the possible correlation to our future... in regards to our future, Sagan endorses creativity, and the need pay attention to the unconscious mind. He also tells of our need to be vigilant in our scrutiny of ideas, both old and new, and our desperate need for change.


Clarke - First of all... look at that computer!! I haven't seen one like that in a looong time...
Which brings us to our first topic that Clarke introduces. The Mandelbrot Set.

For those uninformed about this phenomenon, its is a simple equation that has the ability to visualize infinity... I have seen these images and animations before, but the ones he shows are quite interesting. the ribbons of energy streaming and interacting with an appearent black hole type point was beautiful.

as did all three panelists, Clarke discusses alien life. He mentions thousands of years would be between any alien visitations, that any significant civilization would most likely be benign, as a hostile civilization would most likely self destruct long before it was exploring the galaxies, a path humans are walking with the amount of nuclear weapons we have globally. He also points out that we would most likely be under some sort of quarantine due to our aggressive nature.

Lastly he talks of a future where politics and religion are obsolete, a time when science and spirituality lead mankind into a brighter future. A future when our evolutionary progress leads us to our destiny. When our grandchildren are living on Mars and we are reaching out to new galaxies.


Hawking - My first thought during this interview was that Hawking was trying to hard to be humorous, like despite the fact of his condition, he could still tell a joke(although the Back to the Future reference mad me chuckle)

Even back in 1988, Hawking was pushing a hostile alien encounter, and compares it to the the plight of the Native Americans after the discovery of North America by Europe.

He questions time travel, and why have we not yet encountered anyone from the future. He discusses the ramifications of trying to use a black hole to achieve time travel or wormhole travel to another point in the universe.


in any case, I thought it was something worthy of sharing with everyone, and I would love to discuss the topics presented in the video(I left out a few things from my synopsis)

ps - I had no clue what forum to include this thread in, so I just went with the grey area. move if need be
edit on 23-6-2012 by kalisdad because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 02:10 AM
I watched that a few years ago. Pretty cool hey.

I remember when I watched it thibking how odd it was that they were all careful when they were discussing the theory of the 'big bang'. Sagan sounded worried that some crazy christian was going to jump from the audience and stab him.

posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 02:17 AM
reply to post by Germanicus

I was suprised most that Sagan could foresee cooperation between the US and the Soviet Union in exploration of space, but I wonder if he saw the collapse of the Soviet Union just a few short years later...

posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 02:40 AM

Originally posted by kalisdad
reply to post by Germanicus

I was suprised most that Sagan could foresee cooperation between the US and the Soviet Union in exploration of space, but I wonder if he saw the collapse of the Soviet Union just a few short years later...

Wouldnt be surprised. He seemed to know more than he was letting on.

I also liked how Clark talks about science fictions role in future technologies. How fiction often predicts the future very well. Its very true.

posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 03:28 PM
For me, one of the most telling things about the interview was the spiritual side of these guys...

its hard to get a sense of spirituality from Hawking, but both Sagan and Clarke talk of this.

Clarke's comments regarding the failing of politics and religion and how science and spirituality are the things that should guide our lives resonates well with me. As does Sagan's thoughts on intuition and the origin of our universe. I have thought a lot about the energy required to create all the matter in our universe, and what possible explaination for why that energy decided to form itself into our reality.

I wonder if any of these guys believed in reincarnation...

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