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We're a little crazy, about science!

Our pale blue dot in the wake of destruction

The pale blue dot we call home

This is our home, that pale blue dot, dwarfed by an arrow that takes up less space on your screen than this sentence. For all our “overwhelming” intelligence, if we flexed our mental might and developed a weapon to destroy this pale blue dot, it would almost certainly go unnoticed in the universe.

Maybe you believe so strongly that you will live forever in an eternal bliss in heaven — be it with Allah, YHWH, Jehovah, or something completely different — that you would die for your believes, that you would die for those few pixels on your screen.

This pale blue dot is our home; it is the only world we can definitively say is home to life. Given the way we act however, I am hesitant to use the term intelligent life.

Maybe it is in our nature. We are lazy creatures in a lazy universe and it is certainly easier to destroy than to build. We have gotten efficient at destroying, yet too few people are willing to use those same efforts for creating. While we all mourn the recent losses here in the US as well as those overseas and in fact, all over our pale blue dot, we should also mourn the world we live in.

We should grieve over the idea that, as we advance as a society, we make it easier to kill each other rather than lift each other up. A society where we count how blessed or happy we are, by who we can exclude — through wealth, religious ideals, skin color, race, sex, or otherwise — rather than include and support.

For the first time in our brief history on this planet, we can communicate, in real time, with people from all around the world like they were just in the next room. Yet, we have never been more alone. We draw invisible lines on that tiny little dot, as if it actually mattered.

We claim a fraction of a fraction of relatively nothing as our own. We fight to the death over our beliefs, our religions, and worse of all our exclusion from a community who actively points out how different we are.

It is as if being all the same, a perfect carbon copy of the person to the right or left of us is some sort of achievement or something to strive to do.

No matter what you believe in — heaven, hell, or even nothing at all — when we compare our brief existence to the cosmological clock it is confusing how we can convince ourselves that exclusion, destruction, or war, will have some effect in this universe.

Look again at that image, really look at it — at the vast emptiness and enormous unexplored space simply contained in that photo — and tell me what belief or misplaced idea of sovereignty can justify mass murder? Everyone and everything you have ever loved, ever will love, or will ever know calls that speck of pale blue dust in our universe, home.

Maybe we ignore this image because it is easier to think that we are the masters of our reality, instead of being properly humbled and in awe, of this pale blue dot, in some random corner of the universe, that we call our humble home.

We here at the Labs are saddened over the needless loss of life that is all too often happening in our society. Please be safe, and tell the people you love how you feel about them, if only just because you can.

Inspired by:
Carl Sagan (2007). The Voyager 1 spacecraft image shows the earth as a pale blue dot against the black of deep space Science Direct DOI: 10.1016/B978-008044045-3/50001-3

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8 responses

  1. noimnotok

    Carl Sagan was a visionary. The Pale Blue Dot is such a great reminder of our insignificance, much needed in these times of terrorism, fear-mongering and war.

    December 2, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    • Thank you, I agree whole heartedly.

      December 2, 2015 at 5:37 pm

  2. It is such a shame how narrow minded we can be. It is unfortunate that we spend energy on things with little significance, rather than greater issues.

    December 2, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    • I agree, just imagine what could be done if we didn’t feel like we needed to spend so much protecting ourselves from ourselves.

      December 2, 2015 at 6:59 pm

  3. juliann henneman

    truth well said…..thank you

    December 2, 2015 at 6:49 pm

  4. Meg -Christian

    Dr Dr. Jekyll, So very well said, and I agree wholeheartedly. But I do want you to know that there are many believers who, as part of our understanding of our duty to the Creator, must care for Creation. I believe many in this group are now struggling with what that means, and must learn to extend it from their view of caring for their piece of land in order to continue to grow crops (for example), to accepting and understanding the interrelationship of all living things and the world we live on. This is very difficult for non scientists to grasp. I believe there is insufficient science education in our (US) schools, producing generations of people who can no longer keep up with the issues, and seek or accept a too-brief explanation.

    I hope I have offended no one; that is not my intent. Just please know there are believers of every flavor who are not like the vocal ones you see and hear about. We don’t want to kill the planet for our beliefs, that would be contrary to the very reason we believe we exist.

    December 3, 2015 at 7:40 am

    • Thank you for taking time to comment. I don’t think you will offend anyone with what you have said and personally you could tell me you believed just about anything as long as you’re respectful and not forcing it on people then you have a right to believe whatever you want or need to believe to make sense of our existence.

      Here at the labs my team is very diverse in those beliefs, but it doesn’t cloud the facts, we still look at the science, and it helps them get more out of our short run of existence.

      Personally, I don’t believe in any type of intelligent design, but I don’t feel I need a god to give me comfort or even purpose. To each there own and if you are okay with that philosophy then you’re okay by me. Science and god(s) can exist and if we looked at the science to make sense of our beliefs instead of the other way around, there would be no controversy between the two.

      So now that I’ve written a book instead of a comment (ha-ha) I just want to reiterate, thank you for taking time to share your thoughts with us and our readers.

      December 3, 2015 at 10:19 am

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