Between you and me, Internet, I suspect there's some sort of reverberation from B.M. Goldwater advertising in Sagan's choice. Whether that's true or a total and utter mistaken misinterpretation, I'm not to know, but I don't thing that the same SotM is as appropriate for this world.
Yet, that only begs the question:
In the "updated" version of Cosmos what should the model for the SotM be?
And, to be clear, you're no means limited by what is biologically possible, though I'd rather you were limited by what was functionally possible. Err on the side of realism, or at least feasibility with a PBS budget at a decent Mac.