Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot

While, as a believer, I certainly don’t agree with everything Carl Sagan said, I have long appreciated his work.  As a ten year-old child, I remember getting up on Sunday mornings and watching the original run of his Cosmos series on PBS, and week by week I was simply captivated.

Sagan helped shape a fascination, hunger, and love for knowledge that remains with me today.  Though I have chosen to study history and theology, I have always (even as a child) wanted to be a scientist, someone who wrestles with and attempts to grasp the deeper complexities of reality.  Such a pursuit, for me, is a theological practice—a starting point far different from Sagan’s.  However, though I disagree with Sagan’s theological conclusions,  I have felt that Sagan was truly honest and knowledgeable in his perspective as a scientist (which isn’t something I can say for many of those who approach science with theologically apologetic motives).

Ultimately, it was Sagan’s obvious passion and joy for discovery that captured me.  I think we would both agree the universe is a beautiful, never-ending puzzle, full of mystery; and where many saw prideful certainty in the things he said, I still see a man humbled and awed by the vastness of it all.  I think what he really wanted to teach us was that we should be overwhelmed with a wonder that draws us more deeply into itself.  He also wanted us to take responsibility for the care of this “blue dot” we call home.

So I was glad to find Simon Holloway’s posting of the contemporary video narrated by  Sagan reading a well known excerpt from his A Pale Blue Dot:  A Vision of the Human Future in Space.   Whatever you think of Sagan or how much your agree/disagree with his views, watch this video and be awed (and humbled) by the wonderful vastness of the universe.

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About the author

I’m a husband, father, and one of those friends who has a terrible habit of not returning phone calls.  I’m really just trying to figure out what it means to follow Jesus, and I enjoy meeting great people along the way and maybe having a chance to spend time talking about things deep and trivial.

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