In the course of 13 fascinating hours, Cosmos spans its own galaxy of topics to serve Sagan's theme, each segment deepening our understanding of how we got from there (simple microbes in the primordial mud) to here (space-faring civilization in the 21st century). In his "ship of the imagination," Sagan guides us to the farthest reaches of space and takes us back into the history of scientific inquiry, from the ancient library of Alexandria to the NASA probes of our neighboring planets. Upon this vast canvas Sagan presents the "cosmic calendar," placing the 15-billion-year history of the universe into an accessible one-year framework, then filling it with a stunning chronology of events, both interstellar and earthbound.
From the lives of the stars, to creation theories, functions of the human brain, and the ongoing search for extraterrestrial intelligence, Cosmos asks big questions. When appropriate, Sagan offers big answers, or asks still bigger--and yes, even spiritual--questions at the boundaries of science and religion. What's most remarkable about Cosmos is that it remains almost entirely fresh, with few updates needed to the science that Sagan so passionately celebrates. It is no exaggeration to say that Cosmos--for all the debate it may continue to provoke--is a vital document for humanity at a pivotal crossroads of our history. --Jeff Shannon
I: The Shores Of the Cosmos
II: One Voice In the Cosmic Fugue
III: The Harmony Of the Worlds
IV: Heaven and Hell
V: Blues For A Red Planet
VI: Travellers' Tales
VII: The Backbone of Night
VIII: Travels In Space and Time
IX: The Lives Of the Stars
X: The Edge Of Forever
XI: The Persistence Of Memory
XII: Encyclopedia Galactica
XIII: Who Speaks For Earth?
However, anyone with a university degree will probably be familiar with the science Dr. Sagan speaks of. The shining jewel of COSMOS is not its scientific content, but its deeply humanistic message of hope. We have all heard about the cruelty of the so called "real world" and "human nature." But Dr. Sagan shows us that human bravery and intelligence has transformed our world for the better and that our world is what we make of it. In one of the most poignant moments of the entire series, Dr. Sagan describes the human longing for an explanation of the universe as an eternal part of our species. We, citizens of the 21st century, are the first generation of human beings priviledged with some of the answers to the questions that have fascinated our ancestors.
Dr. Sagan also outlines the philosophy and history of science. This is especially essential to today's society in which science has become increasing gadgety.Read more ›