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 Carl Sagan's 1995 prediction of America's future is worryingly accurate

Carl Sagan's 1995 prediction of America's future is worryingly accurate

Legendary scientist Dr. Carl Sagan made rare pessimistic predictions for the future of the United States, many of which have come true

While being able to see the future is, unfortunately, a skill that has not yet been discovered, some of our best and brightest have been able to predict the way society will evolve surprisingly well in recent decades.

While some people living in the mid-20th century were a bit optimistic with their predictions - we’re still a ways away from flying cars, for example - others were on the money regarding economic and social phenomena that have become major talking points over the past 10 years.

One such predictor was legendary astrophysicist Dr. Carl Sagan, who passed away in 1996 from pneumonia at the age of 62.

Dr. Carl Sagan. (Getty Images)
Dr. Carl Sagan. (Getty Images)

One year before his passing, in a book entitled The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Sagan made one prediction regarding the future of America that feels as though it continues to be proven correct as more time passes since the book’s release.

Sagan, someone who was known to speak relatively positively in his works and speeches, was very pessimistic about the future of the United States in 1995.

The award-winning scientist notably feared that the United States would fall victim to pseudo-sciences, superstition, a deteriorated attention span, and more.

The astrophysicist made one prediction about the future of the United States. (Getty Images)
The astrophysicist made one prediction about the future of the United States. (Getty Images)

He wrote: “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”

Sagan continued: “The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”

Excerpts such as this one from Sagan’s final book continue to circulate online, with first-time readers disheartened to read how much holds true today.

In the opinion of many posthumous followers of Sagan, a lot of his fears have come true - and in roughly the amount of time that he predicted, as well.

Both Sagan’s children and grandchildren are currently alive to see his unfortunate predictions come to fruition.

Featured Image Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images

Topics: US News, Science