FoL: coda

I quoted Thomas Kurton’s Sagan-esque statement about drawing inspiration from our species’ steady climb out of the cave, up from primitive wall drawings to the edge of designing our own nature and future.

Here’s an even more Sagan-esque statement, from Sagan himself. It comes at the end of Pale Blue Dot, with which we began stretching the frame of our Future of Life course.

Two billion years ago our ancestors were microbes; a half-billion years ago, fish; a hundred million years ago, something like mice; ten million years ago, arboreal apes; and a million years ago, proto-humans puzzling out the taming of fire. Our evolutionary lineage is marked by a mastery of change. In our time, the pace is quickening.

Two years ago we thought we’d reclaimed our legacy of change, by electing an eloquent and vital young President whose entire appeal was predicated on our hunger for it. Lately we’ve had our doubts. But he has already endorsed the spirit of enterprise and quest. We should remind him, and his critics.

The first voyage of men and women to Mars is the key step in transforming us into a multiplanet species.

It’s not about Mars, it’s about moving onward and upward. Ad astra per aspera. We must not make this planet either our refuse dump or our permanent burial ground. That Jamesian “feeling of being at home in the Universe” is an expansive one. It feels right. I believe we’ll get there.

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One Response to “FoL: coda”

  1. Jason Combs Says:

    The secrets of evolution are time and death, there’s an unbroken threat that stretches from those first cells to us. – Carl Sagan.

    All life from the beginning has been related yet at the same time the exploration of the Cosmos has provided us with amazing and yet elegant truths about what the next steps for our species should be, Sagan was very right that we are living in a very exciting time, because for the first time we as a species are visiting other worlds. This exploration of our own solar system is but a further wade out into the cosmic ocean for humans, it promises to not only enhance our understand of the Universe but of ourselves and how we relate to it, after all we are still trying to understand our place as tiny little specks, in this vast and beautiful universe we live in. I agree with both Sagan and Stephen Hawking that our continued survival not only depends largely on how we understand this vast Cosmos but that we are obligated to journey to the stars, its the next logical step for the advancement of mankind.

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