This Speech Will Change Your Life | Carl Sagan
Published on Dec 16, 2017
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again at that dot. 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.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
:Speaker: Carl Sagan
Caption authors (Italian) Ilaria Fusco il Sid
Caption authors (Arabic) Ziad Homaidan Haytham Gamal
Caption authors (Spanish) Luis Torres Vásquez Nicole Pamela Garcia Acosta
Caption authors (Portuguese (Brazil)) Ricardo Camacho Arthur C. Matheus Guerra
Caption author (Portuguese) Jivs
Caption author (Russian) Maximus Shishkin
And read once again, from that nice Mr. Tyson…
Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot,” as read by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Published on Oct 26, 2017
Watch as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson reads Carl Sagan’s words about the “Pale Blue Dot” at the end of a StarTalk Live! show.
This is rather sweet, too…
Carl Sagan’s most important lesson about science | NASA’s Michelle Thaller
Published on Aug 29, 2018
So when I was growing up as a young girl—in Wisconsin actually—I was ten years old when Carl Sagan’s show Cosmos came on public broadcasting. And as a ten year old kind of living in rural Wisconsin I had never really met an astronomer. That’s not someone you routinely meet.
Whenever people tell me, you know, you don’t really seem like an astronomer. The wonderful next thing to ask is, “How many astronomers do you know?”
So my vision of what an astronomer was was this man on this television show, on public television, Carl Sagan.
And the thing that Carl did better than anybody else I’d ever seen was this emotional connection to the science. He loved to tell stories. He would tell stories about the history but also it was from him that I learned where all of the atoms in my body come from. The fact that they were all formed in stars. And when Carl talks about that on the show I mean we sort of made a joke that there are these things called “Carl moments” where Carl sort of gazes dramatically off into space and the camera sort of close up, you know, close up on his face. And you can see him sort of emoting at how wonderful this is.
And these days, you know, decades later those scenes seem a little bit silly and a little bit contrived. But as a child I was taken along for this incredible emotional journey. Carl was a real rock star. He had this charisma and people would just listen to what he was saying and they would love to follow along with his stories. And that became to me the image of what a scientist was, what an astronomer was, was somebody that could tell the stories of the universe.
So I never ended up meeting Carl. I always wanted to. He unfortunately died very young, he died in his early 60s and I was a graduate student at the time. I always figured I would see him at some astronomy conference, I’d somehow, you know, wander past him at one of these scientific meetings and tell him how much that his show had meant to me. But I never got that chance.
I never left though that idea, that what a scientist really does is tell stories. It’s about the narrative and it’s about the emotions. And Carl did that better than anyone I’ve ever seen.
Gosh, I do love Carl so. I was always into science and nature, but he had that special something so few have. He could reach right into you and take hold of your heart. I had only been 26 for a few months when Cosmos came out and I was transfixed. It was so well done and Carl’s wisdom and charisma and, oh, those words he spoke drilled themselves into my very soul. The world is blessed for his having been in it.