...you have all missed Carl Sagan Day! I have just left the chat room which was linked to the live stream from Broward College in southern Florida. I was the last one still standing in the chat room...another first!
Carl Sagan is one of the very few people on my list of "people I would really like to meet/to have met" and the speakers made me even sadder at not being able to achieve this.
The most moving tribute was kept for the last... paradoxically coming from a very frail looking but still keen-witted, belligerently atheistic James Randi. He mentioned the many rumours about Sagan "converting" to religion on his death bed (so reminiscent of all the twaddle about Darwin's last words) and very emotionally told how Carl was together just with his wife Ann Druyan as he lay dying. She told Randi how they had said their goodbyes, knowing that it would be for the last time... and that was it.
It's easy to see how wishful thinking can fuel a wishful belief in the "afterlife" but you have to imagine there's no heaven...