Awe & Wonder as nonbelievers can know them

The late Christopher Hitchens waxing poetic on the awe-inspiring wonders of the universe, and how nonbelievers in religion are most certainly and acutely aware of the fantastic, in the form of the very, very real discoveries in the sciences.

It’s something that puts the lie to the silly notion that the numinous sentiment is exclusive to the religious, somehow forbidden to those of us skeptical of religious claims.

For my part, I don’t believe that there is or needs to be a supernatural dimension to reality — consistently, as soon as we have understood any phenomenon we’ve ever looked into, it’s been shown quite nicely to belong to nature, not supernature.

Science itself may not apply to everything, but I think that similar methods of inquiry can and should be applied to all areas of human knowledge, not just our understanding of the universe and human behavior…

…and if it can’t?

We won’t know if it can’t unless we look, so until then I ask, “Why not?”

Let’s look and see before we give up trying.

Carl Sagan – Wonder & Skepticism

This is a little short on visuals and the audio’s a little raspy, but it’s a good talk given by Cosmic Carl…