Watch this footage. Several times, preferably. Full-screen this shit (and maybe listen to this album while you view).
Really contemplate what you’re seeing.
This is our fragile, blue marble of a planet. This marvelous sphere, soaring through space at the behest of invisible forces, has served as the stage for the entire drama of human history. Everyone you’ve ever known or heard of lived on this simultaneously mammoth and microscopic pebble.
Don’t our petty human squabbles and interspecies wars and cataclysmic bombings seem rather foolish, from this vantage point? Doesn’t it seem kind of absurd and dystopian that 1% of the humans on that surface own 50% of the wealth, while hundreds of millions of impoverished individuals struggle to survive?
If nothing else, perhaps you can agree with me that it is positively surreal that this is our home. Let’s just pause and appreciate that for the fat majority of human history, people had no idea we were living on a floating boulder, in one of 10 billion galaxies, with each galaxy containing roughly 100 billion stars, in a sprawling universe of such prodigious size that our minds cannot fathom one iota of its vastness. Like, damn.
For that knowledge and for this footage, I must send out a heartfelt thanks to the scientific method, which has proven pretty damn cool and instrumental in allowing us to understand and manipulate the components of the physical universe (though it’s also been pretty instrumental in allowing us to accomplish those bombings I mentioned earlier…). So, perhaps a tentative thanks to science, with an addendum of, “Dang, science, you may have given a morally underdeveloped species a touch too much killing power.”
We recommend The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan. In this book, Sagan helps the reader distinguish between dangerous pseudoscience and real, hard science by exploring the critical-thinking tools scientists use to make their discoveries. The author argues for science’s place in education and popular culture, and offers his advice on how we can incorporate more critical thought into our society. We’re confident that if every individual took Sagan’s humanistic attitudes to heart, we would have fewer problems with science’s misapplication as a means of creating and using killing machines.