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Importance of Science about Carl Sagan “Science and Hope”

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Carl Sagan discusses the importance of science and how it helps citizens make smart decisions in “Science and Hope”. Science can be described as the study of nature or recognition of how and why things work, using logic and experimentation. Sagan describes four important reasons for a determined effort to express science. (Sagan 392) The first reason Sagan discusses is the understanding of science and how it cam be the road out of poverty and backwardness for rising nations. (393) The second reason he points out is that science warns us of potential dangers in the world. Sagan believed that science teaches us about our planet and the Universe.

The last point he argues is that science and democracy encourage unconventional opinions and debate. (394) [Thesis] In Carl Sagan’s, “Science and Hope, his argument that science can be used to make intelligent decisions about the global environment is strong and effective. [Div Thesis 1] One of the ways I can evaluate this argumentative essay is through an emotional appeal. [Div Thesis 2] The second mode that I will apply is a logical appeal, which relies on formulating claims and using supporting evidence. [Div Thesis 3] I will be evaluating Sagan’s essay in terms of its ethical appeal by determining if the author is credible or not.

[TS] Carl Sagan explains his feelings effectively through an emotional appeal. [PS] Sagan does an excellent job in stirring people’s emotions by conveying the message that science causes people to make wise decisions about the global environment. [SS] Sagan explains in the second sentence that all uses of science are insufficient, even dangerous if it only produces a small, highly competent, well-rewarded priesthood of professionals. (Sagan 392) [SS] This statement by Sagan obviously is appealing to the reader’s emotions by using words like insufficient and dangerous to describe the uses of science.

[PS] Sagan believes that science can be the golden road out of poverty and backwardness for emerging nations. (Sagan 393) [SS] This assertion that science is the way out of poverty definitely appeals to the heart and it shows sympathy for suffering countries. [SS] Sagan says abandoning science altogether can only lead us back into poverty.

[ TS] The other way Carl Sagan tries to convey his message about the values of science is through a logical approach. [PS] The logical appeal in this essay is not as strong as the emotional appeal. [SS] I think that somewhere in this short essay Sagan tries to use an approach that is rational. [PS] Sagan’s fourth reason indicates that the values of science and values of democracy are on the same wavelength and basically identical. [SS] He points out that democracy and science began in the same time and place, Greece in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. (Sagan 394) [SS] Sagan argues rationally science and democracy support each other, but he also thinks that science can be used to undermine democracy. [PS] Also he wrote about how science provides a warning system. [SS] This basically means that scientist or environmentalists are the ones that can inform us about the world’s problems. [SS] Science can also alert us about natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes that are possibly on the way.

[TS] The last approach Carl Sagan utilizes in “Science and Hope” is the ethical appeal. [PS] The ethical appeal deals with credibility, credentials, and experiences of the author. [SS] The credentials that Sagan possesses are impeccable and his experiences in the field of science are more than enough. [SS] Sagan received his doctorates in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Chicago. [SS] He began his illustrious career teaching astronomy at Harvard University and received many awards and accolades including the Pulitzer Prize. [PS] He worked for many years as an experimenter and adviser to NASA in the 1950’s. [SS] The fact that Sagan worked for NASA certainly gives him the credibility to write this argumentative essay about the understanding of science. [SS] Sagan reached many people as a writer and commentator of the very popular PBS television series Cosmos. [CS] Throughout his wonderful career Carl Sagan has written or co-written over twenty books and has published over six hundred papers.

I was able to take the essay “Science and Hope” by Carl Sagan and evaluate it in terms of its emotional appeal, logical appeal, and ethical appeal. Sagan began his essay by using the emotional appeal, he wanted to captivate the audience by being passionate about his subject. As for the logical appeal he was straightforward in what he thought science did for citizens. He thought that science helps citizens make wise decisions and that science provides an early warning system. The accomplishments by this man are unbelievable and quite stunning. I am impressed with the fact he earned his doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics, taught at Harvard University, worked on NASA missions to outer space, and wrote many award winning books. I firmly believe that Carl Sagan’s explanation that science aids us when it comes to making difficult decisions regarding our global environment is a strong and effective position. I also think that Carl Sagan made pivotal advances in many fields of science and inspired people from around the world.

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