Best of Sagan's Cosmos
Carl Sagan A Biography
This Blog Site was established as an Internet Monument to one of the greatest Astronomers and popularizers of science of the twentieth century - Dr. Carl Sagan. Cosmos was the landmark documentary for which he will be long remembered. This Internet Project is dedicated to his life, work and memory. Herein we will discuss many of the issues that occupied Sagan throughout his life (Astronomy, SETI, the future of humanity, space exploration, science and education).
Author’s Note: My own personal blog site “Cosmic Visions” has lain fallow as of late and I felt it was appropriate to make good use of it by posting some of the articles I wrote in the past for the Discovery Enterprise Blog site. I wrote this article back in July 2007 to commemorate the thirty eighth anniversary of the first manned Moon Landing by the crew of Apollo 11. The picture of the British Interplanetary Moonship on the lunar surface was provided through the kind generosity of space artist David A. Hardy. Be sure to visit the new video page featuring stunning videos of David A. Hardy in action as he paints his cosmic masterpieces.
Today on Cosmic Visions we proudly present the documentary series "Double Helix the DNA Years” which is a fascinating and exciting chronicle of the search for the secret of heredity.
Double Helix the DNA Years
It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
--Charles Darwin, On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.
: John Murray. [1st edition] published November 24, 1859 London
And, with the aid of DNA samples recovered from the original fossils we are beginning to build a genetic library that will shed light on how closely related the Neanderthal species was to our own. This genetic research poses another outstanding possibility. Could we one day resurrect this individual and his contemporaries by cloning them?
These and other recent discoveries paint a totally different and more humane portrait concerning this man and his contemporaries. A portrait that highlights some remarkable facts concerning Neanderthal man’s tool manufacturing technology, his social organization and his spiritual beliefs.
Exploring Space - The Quest for Life
This film takes a great comprehensive look at space travel, life on other planets, and the origins of life on Earth. It does a great job of exploring such topics as Pasteur's experiments with wine barrels, the origins of life on earth, recent discoveries of life in expected places on earth, dust from comets, Jupiter's moon Europa, human's endurance in space, terraforming prospects on Mars, the requirements of a mission to Mars. It's strength is the effective way it illustrates very complicated concepts using great interviews, interesting comparisons, and good visual effects. Unlike other documentaries of this type, this one goes into greater depth with various concepts and ideas.