Huge props to Carl Sagan, my parents, sisters, and my bro-in-law Dale for turning me on to science and critical thought back when I was a wee lad with an even worse haircut. A "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" cosmos is a wondrous and bewildering enough thing without going over the edge and looking for the invisible man in the sky.
I always found it interesting that they changed the ending of the movie Contact to diverge from the book. I wonder what Ann Druyan was thinking when she signed off on this or if Carl was aware of it too.
In the movie it seems that Ellie Arroway is made to accept that faith is the only thing that will vindicate her. She comes back from her journey to the aliens with absolutely no solid evidence. "Hope you believe me 'cuz I got nothing here. Bupkiss. Not even a t-shirt."
In the book she is given inside information about the creation of the universe and uses a supercomputer to prove the existence of a universal designer. Science and faith are united in a way that even an atheist like myself found very satisfying and imaginative.
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