Yesterday was, or would have been, Carl Sagan's birthday. I think church never really had a chance with me because "Cosmos" plus some illustrated science books had sparked a sense of wonder that the stark walls and bad music at the local Mormon ward could never hope to match. (Who knows what the interplay would have been had our family gone to a more aesthetically evocative church?)

What always stuck in my head as the "Cosmos music" isn't actually the main theme of the show, and first turns up in episode 2 (youtube excerpt that starts partway in with that music, embedding's not quite the style here). This episode has what is still one of the best popular science explanations of evolution available. (If you prefer your explanations from books, I'd suggest Richard Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale or Greg Graffin's Anarchy Evolution which pulls double time as a punk rock biography.)

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