Carl Sagan was dichotomous and enigmatic or perhaps qualified to perform his duties as a scientist but unqualified when he stepped away from that in which he was trained.
For example, he may have performed just fine within his field but was a very, very poor logician as he tended to non sequiturs. Think for example of assertion that since we live temporarily lives upon an pale blue dot we should all just get along when one could just as easily argue that since we live temporarily lives upon an pale blue dot we should rape and pillage.
Now, of course, one can be an Atheist and hold to intelligent design as, for example, was stated by Richard Dawkins:
Well, it [life] could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet.
Now, um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer.
Carl Sagan actually interacted, directly, with the ancient alien concept, then known as ancient astronauts. As we noted in the article Erich Von Daniken: Carl Sagan and fist contact; Sagan stated the following of Erich Von Daniken:
Every time he sees something he can’t understand, he attributes it to extraterrestrial intelligence and since he understands almost nothing, he sees evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence all over the planet.
Of course, Carl Sagan was involved in sending messages out into space and the creation of the “gold-anodized aluminum plaques that were affixed to the Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft.”
So now, to Contact; succinctly stated, Carl Sagan wrote of extra-terrestrial aliens sending a message to Earth.
Encrypted within the message are plans for the building of a star gate.
The gate is built and one human travels via a wormhole.
She sees a planet whereon there is an alien civilization.
She ends up somewhere and has a discussion with an alien who, taking information from her mind, appeared as her father—for the sake of not freaking her out with its true form, true nature…whatever that is.
She asks about the technology of the star gate/wormhole and the alien states that while there are many alien races who use the superhighway; it was built long, long before they got to it by well, they know not who (or what?).
There is a lot within this point that ties in, directly, into concepts ranging from demonology and alienology.
Technically, this story was not about the origins of the universe nor of life.
Ancient aliens/ancient astronauts implies two views: 1) aliens created life on Earth, seeded it, intelligently designed it, panspermia (who knows how the aliens came into being) and 2) life developed by unguided, blind, goal-less Darwinian evolution on Earth and the aliens generically manipulated early mammals and thus, created humans.
In short, it is interesting that an Atheist identified higher intelligence in the form of aliens who, in turn, are employing technology that is more advanced than their own and which came from some unknown whos or whats.
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