It was hard for me, subjecting one of my heroes to the same scrutiny I would subject someone I don’t like.
When I found out that Sagan didn’t originate it, I was like, “NOOOOOOOOoooo”…. I mean, it _wasn’t_ an idea “from ancient” times, at least not with any historical continuity. Traces of it can be found in the far off past, but nothing with continuuity.
So, in our modern era, so far, I can’t get further back than Watson.
as far as Hoyle goes… he doesn’t get the respect he deserves, even today, at least in Science education. His name doesn’t come up much for his contributions in… what was it, nucleogenesis? I forgot – whatever it is that makes Helium Helium and stuff.
Instead, he gets mocked for Steady State. Still pisses me off. I believe he got denied his Nobel prize because of it.
Oh exactly: And newer astronomers / motivational speakers are carrying his torch. Sagan stuck it in our heads in a big, legitimate way and it became his calling card. Love the guy to this day. His wife was pretty cool too – real bohemian scientist.
Oh very true. What Sagan did is combine Science and hippie metaphysical “We are all one” stuff into a whole cloth, inspiring people in the wonders of the Cosmos while gently pushing aside some of the wonkier bits.