Friday, August 13, 2010

Carl Sagan And The Cosmos.

The Interestion posted this video with Sagan's accompanying first words for his TV series The Cosmos.  I would like to add the similar first three paragraphs of the his book, Cosmos, as I feel they do convey a healthy sense of wonder for the universe in which we live with a reminder that to understand such a majestic structure we need both imagination and skepticism.  
The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us - there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.
The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. In a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends on how well we know this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.
Those explorations required skepticism and imagination both. Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere. Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. The Cosmos is rich beyond measure - in elegant facts, in exquisite interrelationships, in the subtle machinery of awe.
Very few people can say it like Sagan could.


  1. My favorite is “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.”

  2. . . . love Cosmos. I've been watching it with my kids.

  3. Lincoln,

    Yes, that series is great for sure. Carl Sagan did a really good job.


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