Tag Archives | Narrative

How Carl Sagan Ruined Science

I am a Carl Sagan fan from way back. His 1980 TV miniseries “Cosmos” hit me at just the right age and inflamed a lifelong love of science. But we’ve had nearly forty years to assess the long-term impact and see how Sagan unwittingly contributed to a trend that has served to muddle public understanding […]

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The Varieties of Scientific Experience

Some years ago, a posthumous collection of Carl Sagan essays were published under the title The Varieties of Scientific Experience. The title was a play on William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience. Despite his popularity among today’s atheists, Sagan was more of a pantheist, equating God with the universe, and his essays were an […]

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Living La Vita Trovato

Last year, I selected Ben Trovato, the king of the narrative, as my Person of the Year. As I put it: “Any time there were people with a cause in need of a narrative—and not too particular about whether it was supported by the facts—he was there.” I had no idea that he was just […]

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The Trovato Report

The demonstrations and riots in Ferguson, Missouri, had burned themselves out, in part because it was hard to sustain the outrage against “racist cops” after the narrative about the shooting of Michael Brown fell apart. No, he wasn’t an innocent kid; he was a brutish strong-arm robber. No, police officer Darren Wilson did not attack […]

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Person of the Year: Ben Trovato

As the year winds to a close, it is traditional to pick a “man of the year,” or in our more enlightened age, a “person of the year.” I’ve never done that before, but this year there is one candidate who has left his mark so indelibly on 2014 that I would be remiss if […]

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