This video is Part 1 of “The Sagan Series”, a project by 25-year-old Reid Gower to pay tribute to the inspirational words of the late Carl Sagan, American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in space and natural sciences.
You don’t have to be deeply into science to appreciate this video, which is a montage combining music, news clips, film footage, and Carl Sagan doing what he does best — talking about science in a way that’s engaging, accessible, and often poetic. It will make you feel good and hopeful and filled with wonder, and these days we can all use some of that.
You can view the whole series at http://saganseries.com, a site lovingly maintained by Dan Harper.
And if you’re on dial-up or otherwise video impaired, here is the transcript:
We were hunters and foragers. The frontier was everywhere. We were bounded only by the earth, and the ocean, and the sky. The open road still softly calls. Our little terraqueous globe as the madhouse of those hundred thousand millions of worlds. We, who cannot even put our own planetary home in order, riven with rivalries and hatreds; are we to venture out into space?
By the time we are ready to settle even the nearest other planetary systems, we will have changed. The simple passage of so many generations will have changed us; necessity will have changed us. We are… an adaptable species. It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri and the other nearby stars. It will be a species very like us, but with more of our strengths, and fewer of our weaknesses; more confident, farseeing, capable and prudent.
For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness. What new wonders undreamt of in our time, will we have wrought in another generation, and another? How far will our nomadic species have wandered, by the end of the next century, and the next millennium?
Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds through the solar system, and beyond, will be unified, by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by the knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the universe, come from Earth. They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was, how perilous our infancy, how humble our beginnings, how many rivers we had to cross, before we found our way.
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