1.21.2007

We're A Speck of Dust in the Universe

I love astronomy and I loved Carl Sagan. His book The Dragons of Eden, Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence is superb, as was his series on the universe called Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.

Brilliant!

His book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space was a sequel to Cosmos and in it Sagan described what was known about the unverse at the time.

The title came from this photo of the Earth as seen by Voyager 1 on June 6, 1990 from a distance of 4 billion miles.

Of the "pale blue dot," Sagan said, "That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar,' every 'supreme leader,' every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

Talk about putting things in perspective. Maybe this will help us get over ourselves.