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CAROLYN C. PORCO, PH.D., IS THE LEADER of the Cassini Imaging Science team and the director of the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS) at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. The Cassini mission has taken breathtaking images of Saturn and its rings and moons, and has shed new light on the possibilities of extraterrestrial habitable environments in the outer solar system. Dr. Porco has written and spoken passionately about science and spirituality. In her essay, "The Greatest Story Ever Told," on the website Edge.org, she states: "The confrontation between science and formal religion will come to an end when the role played by science in the lives of all people is the same played by religion today." In that same essay, she writes: "At the heart of every scientific inquiry is a deep spiritual quest to grasp, to know, to feel connected through an understanding of the secrets of the natural world, to have a sense of one's part in the greater whole. It is this inchoate desire for connection to something greater and immortal, the need for elucidation of the meaning of the 'self,' that motivates the religious to belief in a higher 'intelligence.' ... But the same spiritual fulfillment and connection can be found in the revelations of science. From energy to matter, from fundamental particles to DNA, from microbes to Homo sapiens, from the singularity of the Big Bang to the immensity of the universe--ours is the greatest story ever told. We scientists have the drama, the plot, the icons, the spectacles, the 'miracles,' the magnificence, and even the special effects. We inspire awe. We evoke wonder." THE FOLLOWING INTERVIEW aired on November 4, 2007, on the WBAI-NY radio program Equal Time for Freethought and was specially adapted for the Humanist.

January 1
American Humanist Association
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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