Fear of the Dark

There is no such thing as too much Carl Sagan. The beauty of the internet is that it gives us access to things long since past. Sagan is gone, but his words still hold weight and power. Here is a beautiful video of his words and amazing visuals of earth and space. He talks of looking for others in the universe, of life looking for life. Give it a listen.

Transcript

As children we fear the dark
The unknown troubles us
Anything might be out there
Ironically, it’s our fate to live in the dark
Head out from the Earth in any direction you choose
And, after an initial flash of blue, you’re surrounded by blackness
Punctuated only here and there by the faint and distant stars

Even after we’re grown, the darkness retains its power to frighten us
And so there are those who say we should not inquire too closely
Into who else might be living in that darkness
Better not to know, they say

There are 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy
Of this immense multitude, could it be that our hum drum sun is the only one with an inhabited planet?
Maybe. Maybe the origin of life or intelligence, is exceedingly improbable
Or, maybe civilizations arise all the time, but wipe themselves out as soon as they are able
Or, here and there peppered across space maybe There are worlds something like our own
On which other beings gaze up and wonder as we do about who else lives in the dark

Life is a comparative rarity
You can survey dozens of worlds
And find that in only one of them does life arise, and evolve, and persist
If we humans ever go to those worlds
Then it will be because a nation, or a consortium of them
Believes it to be to its advantage, or to the advantage of the human species
In our time, we’ve crossed the solar system and sent four ships to the stars
But we continue to search for inhabitants
Life looks for life.

-That is all.

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