Pale Blue Dot

By Phil Plait | February 27, 2007 9:46 pm

Carl Sagan wrote some of the most beautiful and important words ever set in English. His short essay, "Reflections on a Mote of Dust" from Pale Blue Dot should be required reading of every human on this planet. His reasoning, his timing, his cadence, his choice of words, his phrasing… they’re all perfect. Not one word should be changed. It inspired my own essay "Science Fare", in fact.

Now icecorescientist has created a fantastic video for it.

I hope this brings Sagan to a new audience. They need him. We all do.

Comments (88)

  1. Yoeman

    Beautiful…………

  2. It’s noteworthy that many have argued exactly the reverse- that we should be kind because we have a privileged place in the universe, whereas Sagan says we should be kind because we don’t.

    I’d say that there’s nothing special about our particular place in the universe- but we are extremely special in terms of complexity.

    Geography isn’t everything! It’s sometimes what you do with your home which counts.

    But we should all agree to be nice to each-other. And I agree that the ‘God Delusion’ doesn’t help much.

    Gee- I wonder where Israel- home of God’s chosen people! is on that dot.

  3. Noman

    I wonder how much Carl Sagan would have liked Cassini’s picture of Saturn…

  4. I’m not the only Christian whose sense of wonder and awe at the cosmos has been enhanced and deepened by Carl Sagan.

    Thanks for posting this video. I agree that the essay should be required reading, and this should be required viewing.

  5. wright

    I saw the video elsewhere; it is a very good job. And a fitting tribute to Sagan.

  6. PK

    I liked the video, but I thought the lyrics of the song were distracting.

  7. PK Says: “I liked the video, but I thought the lyrics of the song were distracting.”

    I’ll second that. The whole time I thought, “I wish they’d shut up and let me read!”

    I think something more lyrically evocative of vastness, like Holst’s “Neptune”, would have been a better choice.

    – Jack

  8. Gary Mcleod

    That was a beautiful and inspiring video. It called to mind that quote by Oscar Wilde; “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars.” I liked the music, but as Jack has evoked Holst, I would have set it to ‘Jupiter.’ Marvellous!

  9. DrFlimmer

    All hunan beings are equal and shall live in peace.

    That’s sadly just a dream because there are too many who believe that they are better, bigger and more important than anyone else! But for what?

  10. James J. Murphy

    Phil:

    Like many, Carl Sagan was deceived by the evolution nonsense. He thought life evolved here on Earth, and therefore it could do so elsewhere. (In the beginning was the hydrogen atom! Where did it come from?)

    I’m a Christian and certainly do not believe we evolved from lower life forms.
    Further, I’m not a “Creationist”, passing off religious beliefs as “science”.

    I believe the Bible. It does provide for the Earth being perhaps 5 Billion years old, yet God placed Adam & Eve here only about 6,000 years ago. God obviously is a higher life form, and we are descendent from Him. God has a purpose and a plan for placing us here. Else, why did He place us here? He has a plan for our future. Contrast, evolution has no plan, we are just the product of random chance, no future. Give me a break, please.

  11. Aubri

    Nice. There’s just something about presenting a phrase at a time that gives it a little extra oomph — I think it’s that you have time to think about each phrase before going on to the next.

    The quote always reminds me of another quote from Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis:

    “If we would guide by the light of reason, we must let our minds be bold.”

    I feel that this is sort of my ultimate answer to fundamentalist thinking; if you’re going to claim to be a rational person (and who doesn’t?), then it behooves you to calmly and rationally discuss a topic without getting defensive because Your Beliefs Are Under Attack. If your faith is so shaky that it’s threatened by merely hearing an opposing viewpoint, then maybe you’re not as strong in your faith as you thought you were. The smallest dog barks loudest, as they say.

  12. Alan

    Fantastic video & music, maybe Moby’s “We Are All Made Of Stars” might of been better.
    Please, leave all the god & bible bollox for another site – & have a proper read up on the beginning of the hydrogen atom & a bit on baryogenesis.

  13. James A. Brown

    A beautiful poster of Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot essay is available at the Planetary Society online store:

    http://planetarysociety.stores.yahoo.net/planetary-store-326.html

  14. James J. Murphy

    Aubri:

    Your reading something into my comments that isn’t there. My beliefs are not “shaky” at all. I firmly believe them. The shakyness is only in your mind. Obviously Carl Sagan is “worshiped” as a pseudo “god”. Anything he says is “gospel truth”. How dare I not believe them?

  15. Peter Backus

    Mr. Murphy, evolution is based on evidence. The history of homo sapiens and our ancestor species is written in the fossil record. Your belief that “Adam and Eve” were placed on Earth 6000 years ago is based on a story that was intended to show the relationship between god and humans. It was never intended as a science textbook. While not a believer myself, I can appreciate the beauty of the story. I hope you will do some reading about the equally beautiful story (complete with evidence) of human evolution.

    We admire, but do not worship, people like Sagan because of the contribution they have made to our understanding of the universe and our place in it.

  16. TheBlackCat

    James, evolution is one of the best-supported scientific theories of all time, both in terms of the evidence in favor of it and in terms of its support within the scientific community. There is such a mountain of evidence for it from so many different branches of biology and other sciences that it is as close to being proven as any scientific principle can ever be. Everything we have learned about all aspects of biology point directly at evolution. Carl Sagan was an astronomer, not a biologist. His opinion on evolution one way or another holds no special significance. He may have said it eloquently, but that is not really important to science itself. What matters it the absolutely overwhelming evidence in favor of evolution. The story of Adam and Eve, even if you cut out God creating the universe in 6 days and the flood, completely contradicts all evidence we have, and we have a lot, about biology, ancient history, and prehistory. 6000 years ago (4000 B.C.), the time you say human first appeared, there had been significant civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and what is now Pakistan for well over 1000 years, as well as probably elsewhere (those are merely the areas I know the most about). We have archaeological records of human settlements going back thousands of years before that in a great many places.

  17. dave

    Yes, they are pretty words. I wonder how true they’ll still be in a thousand, or ten thousand years.

  18. JJM wrote

    “God obviously is a higher life form, and we are descendent from Him. God has a purpose and a plan for placing us here. Else, why did He place us here?”

    Spoken like a true Cylon!

  19. eewolf

    JJM wrote:
    “Obviously Carl Sagan is ‘worshiped’ as a pseudo ‘god’. Anything he says is ‘gospel truth’.”

    This is ridiculous. Mr. Sagan himself was completely against this kind of thinking. He insisted that nobody take his word for anything and that the evidence would lead you. There is no worship happening here. Respect is what you are seeing.

    And “gospel truth” is a bit of an oxymoron, eh?

    CB: “Spoken like a true Cylon!”
    Now that is spot on.

  20. James J. Murphy

    Evolution is garbage in spite of so-called evidence. To quote the Apostle Paul, Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”. “Carnal mind” translates to “meat heads”.

  21. i loved this little video. over the past year, i have been working on a series of art pieces inspired by Sagan’s writings in “Pale Blue Dot”. reading through it again, i am moved and impressed anew by Sagan’s ability to make science enjoyable and accessible. he made everyone feel there was a little scientist in them.

  22. Amstrad

    Please, everyone, stop feeding the troll…

  23. Grand Lunar

    “I think something more lyrically evocative of vastness, like Holst’s “Neptune”, would have been a better choice.”

    I think ‘Saturn’ would do even better. And it would be appropiate, given where the most recent “pale blue dot” image came from. :)

  24. Mark Martin

    “Contrast, evolution has no plan, we are just the product of random chance, no future.”

    Darwinian evolution is definitely NOT a random process. It may be complex, non-linear, but that’s not the same as being random. Evolution is the complexification of a system rich in energy & raw materials. You seem to be confusing “random” with “not about us, us, US!!!”, or, perhaps even more accurately, you fret that it’s not about you, you YOU!!!!!! You’re quite the selfish one.

    “Give me a break, please.”

    Sorry, no can do. Things are as they are. No one can grant you a “Get Out Of Evolution Free” card just because it doesn’t fit into your comfort zone. If you want one of those, you have to print it yourself- on a vanity press.

    “Obviously Carl Sagan is “worshiped” as a pseudo “god”.”

    Well, I suppose we all have our cute little pseudo-gods. All of us. Or do you have one of those “Get Out Of Pseudo-God Free” cards, printed on a vanity press?

  25. Chip

    Carl Sagan’s great words live on and that’s a wonderful thing. Let’s also acknowledge his partner Ann Druyan – co-author of Cosmos and like Carl Sagan, a compelling voice of reason.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Druyan

    http://www.planetary.org/about/ann_druyan.html

    http://www.csicop.org/si/2003-11/ann-druyan.html

    http://www.discover.com/issues/nov-03/departments/featdialogue/

    http://anndruyan.typepad.com/the_observatory/2006/12/ten_times_aroun.html

  26. Melusine

    Mark Martin said:

    No one can grant you a “Get Out Of Evolution Free” card just because it doesn’t fit into your comfort zone.

    I like that! :-)

  27. A selection of other “Earth from Space” views are also available here:

    http://www.spaceimages.com/earth.html

  28. Tom epps

    Terrific video, though I agree that more appropriate music might have been used. Perhaps “Russian Easter Festival Overture”, which was used in ‘Cosmos’.

    As for Mr. Murphy, I respect his opinions (and respectfully disagree) but wonder what kind of reaction he expected when he posted it to this string. There must be many Fundamentalist Blogs out there…

    Tom Epps
    USNS Arctic
    Persian Gulf

  29. Is brains not a kind of meat?

  30. Tom epps

    “And “gospel truth” is a bit of an oxymoron, eh?”

    Beautiful! I think I just found a new motto!

    Tom

  31. James J. Murphy

    Mark Martin

    The bottom line is that evolution has no plan for our future. We could quibble about the minutia of evolution forever, proving nothing. God has a plan for our future benefit, and His too. He didn’t place us here for nothing. If you want to believe the evolution nonsense, be my guest.

  32. DCB

    Thank you to many and especially to Peter Backus!!! I am always astonished at those who post to this blog with statements which will be attacked immediately with facts not accepted by the poster. Why do they do it? Maybe they think this kind of attention is good to receive? It’s a mystery to me.

  33. Mark Martin

    At best God only has a plan for us if there happens to be such a god. The truth of that proposition isn’t evident to me. I have to deal with things as I find them to be, not as you find them. You might want to consider praying to your god to make itself abundantly evident to those too thick-skulled to see it. If God doesn’t do that simple little thing, then my state of belief is God’s fault. If God made me, then it’s God’s responsibility for how I am and what I’m able to fathom.

    In the mean time, I for one don’t need to be spoon-fed a purpose in life by a god. I am an adult. It’s possible for me to be happy in the World without a grand plan, laid out on a cosmic strategist’s table. Even if God has a plan for each of us, so what? My ex wife had a plan laid out for our daughter’s future. Silly kid: it turns out she has her own, independent plans for her own future. No true god would be so naive as to give people free will, then expect them to conform to some arbitrary template.

    And in the long run, what matters is how the World really turns out to be. All you’re saying is that you find evolution “distasteful” because it doesn’t make you feel very important. So what? If it turns out that you’re unimportant, then that’s how it is. Your juvenile appetite for attention for is hardly what I’d call relevant. There is a reason for everything. That reason may not be you.

  34. TheBlackCat

    James said:
    “Evolution is garbage in spite of so-called evidence.”

    Ah yes, the old “I know what I know, don’t bother me with the facts” attitude. Classic closed-mindedness. Someone who is so wrapped up in himself that he outright rejects the usefulness of direct evidence then there is no point discussing the matter.

  35. Quiet_Desperation

    >>> Carl Sagan wrote some of the most beautiful and important
    >>> words ever set in English.

    Carl Sagan wrote The Constitution????

    Man, my history is *all* messed up. :(

  36. Quiet_Desperation

    >>> Is brains not a kind of meat?

    Um, no, not really.

    It’s mostly glial cells, about 10 to 1 over neurons. I think there’s a lot of cholesterol in them, or they synthesize it, or something like that.

    Hey, I’m an engineer, not a biologist.

  37. Grand Lunar

    “The bottom line is that evolution has no plan for our future. ”

    Rubbish.

    Of course, evolution is not a product of a sentiant being (despite what people like you think). But that’s beside the point.
    Evolution tends to allow an organism to adapt to its enviroment, or to changes in its enviroment.
    For humanity, we changed our living enviroment with the developement of tools; the brains became larger as they were used for more complex thought processes, the body weaker as we relied more on our tools and weapons, and the hands more dexterous.

    Like it or not, evidence for evolution is prevelent. It is no way “garbage”.
    And like it or not, you (and other humans) share more than 90% of DNA with apes.
    Either accept this and move on, or stop badgering those that do accept it.

  38. Mark Martin

    My ex-mother-in law lived on a farm when she was a kid, and her family used to occasionally have fried cow brain at meals. She claimed it was a somewhat of a delicacy. I never opted to replicate her experimental results. :)

  39. Cindy

    Phil,

    Thanks for sharing that with us. When sometimes I’m overwhelmed with everything, I just look at the stars and remember exactly how insignificant we are. It puts my problems into perspective.

    Mr. Murphy, I remember that on a previous post that you are an electrical engineer. Well, God obviously gave you intelligence. I suggest that you use the brains that God gave you and think critically about the world around you. You obviously accept the laws of physics that relate to electricity. Why not evolution which has been supported by evidence just as strong as the evidence for the electrical “laws”?

    So, sit back, enjoy the video and the universe around us and marvel at the complexity of it all.

  40. Just… wow. And thanks.

  41. KellyT

    Can somebody help me figure out the best way to set up
    an altar so I can make the proper sacrifices to my god, the
    Sagan?

    And what kind of animals should I sacrifice? A heike crab?

  42. I used to eat a lot of cervelat sausage as a child, until I discovered what it was made from… :-C

  43. TheBlackCat

    Meat:
    edible animal flesh: the flesh of an animal that is considered edible, especially a mammal or bird
    Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2004.

    So yes, brains would be meat. The brain is mostly glia, but glia are edible so that really isn’t a problem.

  44. James J. Murphy

    Cindy:

    Accept the laws of physics and not evolution? Simple. The laws of physics were ordained by God. Evolution is the creation of men. God has nothing to do with it.

  45. TheBlackCat

    James, the principles used to discover the laws of physics were identical to those used to discover evolution. If you reject evolution as the “creation of men” then you must also reject physics, since they were found in the exact same way. Except that there is far more evidence supporting evolution then there is supporting much of physics.

    And you still have not explained how the first humans could have appeared over a thousand years after the first human civilizations appeared and many thousands of years after the first human cultures.

  46. Amanda

    Ignoring the tempting, yet fruitless argument against that in which I don’t believe.

    And, instead, amazed at the awe and wonder of Carl Sagan’s words. It’s been a long time since I’d read that…

    …thank you.

    Sometimes, we need to be reminded that we are special. Most of the time, i think we need to be reminded that we are not.

  47. eewolf

    Amanda:
    “Sometimes, we need to be reminded that we are special. Most of the time, i think we need to be reminded that we are not.”

    Volumes written in one paragraph. Thank you, Amanda.

  48. Grand Lunar

    “Accept the laws of physics and not evolution? Simple. The laws of physics were ordained by God. Evolution is the creation of men.”

    Both were discoved by the scientific method.

    How do you explain away the evidence for evolution?

  49. James J. Murphy

    I don’t reject physics at all. God ordained the laws of physics, men have discovered them. I reject evolution as not ordained by God. The so-called evidence supporting it is subjective, subject to interpretation, not absolute.

    Mark Morrris: You misunderstand. I’m referring to God’s plans after death, not this current life. If you don’t believe in the resurrection, that’s your problem.

    Do you actually believe that when you die, thats it? Why were you put here? There is a grand purpose. Winston Churchill once said: “He must be a blind soul indeed that cannot see that a great purpose is being worked out here below”. I cannot add to his words.

  50. Mark Martin

    “Do you actually believe that when you die, thats it?”

    If that’s how it evidently is, then sure, why not?

  51. Grand Lunar

    “I don’t reject physics at all. God ordained the laws of physics, men have discovered them. I reject evolution as not ordained by God. The so-called evidence supporting it is subjective, subject to interpretation, not absolute.”

    Okay, this makes little sense at all.

    Humans discovered evolution in the same manner as the laws of physics.
    You’re rejecting it based upon your assumptions of your deity.

    If you would be so kind, what are the alternatives to explaining the evidence seen with DNA (such as how much humans share with apes), the fossil record, and current life forms adapting to new conditions.

    You do not have a strong position, other than your religion. Given that this is a science blog, you’re going to have to do better than what you’re doing.

  52. Amanda

    That’s gonna be one fat troll… ;)

  53. Monkey

    Hey, anybody have data on “how far away” the pale blue dot image was taken from? I showed this image earlier in the year to my class (grade 8) and after their momentary state of profound amazement they asked “how far away…” and I had no effective answer. So, I put it out there because I KNOW some/most/all/a significant and representative proportion of you will be aware of it.

    What distance from EArth was this taken from?

    Monkey

  54. Monkey

    That happy face in the previous comment was supposed to be an eight; grade eight.

    And, of course, EArth should be Earth.

  55. Monkey

    GrandLunar,
    Thanks for writing the words many of us were/are thinking. Some people I ‘speak’ with on this issue (one which I am very open and vocal about) try to press these same ideas forward with no substance to back their claims. No substance. No evidence. No *anything*.

    …and could we not consider Churchill’s comment to be read as: we are creating a reason here on earth, because there really is none.

    This would position the comment as saying that we are continually forging a new identity on our existence from unserviced WANT of reason, while recognizing that there IS no reason.

    Hmm…just thinking…. anyway, Grand Lunar, well spoken (written).

  56. TheBlackCat

    “Hey, anybody have data on “how far away” the pale blue dot image was taken from?”

    According to the poster of it I have hanging on my wall, it was 6.4 billion kilometers (nearly 4 billion miles). The poster also says that wasn’t actually a sunbeam, it was scattering on the telescope’s optics from looking too close to the sun.

    And James, what makes you think God couldn’t ordain evolution the same way you believe he did to physics? Who are you to tell God what he can and cannot ordain? An omnipotent deity could use evolution to dictate the course of life just as easily as he or she could use physics to dictate the paths of the planets and stars. What makes you think God gave you and you alone to right to decide what He did and did not do?

  57. John Phillips

    Actually Mr Murphy, evolution does have a plan, so to speak. Though not an externally directed one as if by some god or gods, at least not one with any evidence for that external director. That plan, so to speak, being the survival of the host’s DNA. If that is not enough for your personal sense of worth, what can I say, life’s a bitch sometimes. So you’ll either have to either get over it or continue to delude yourself.

  58. BVStaples

    I personally don’t believe in God or in gods, but I can see how so many people do, as Man has done such a fantastic job of creating God in his image, and using God as his tool to bend the destiny of other men, to put their own “plan for the future” in place. People like James must be quite proud of themselves.

    I remember seeing this video a while back and thinking, it’s amazing how important we think we are, when in reality, we’re merely unwitting passengers on a speck of dust. It is much more eye-opening than any religious philosphy will ever be.

  59. Grand Lunar

    Thank you, Monkey for your compliments.

    To add to what TheBlackCat answered about your question of how far the Pale Blue Dot was taken, I know it was one of the Voyager spacecraft that took the image. I do not remember if it was Voyager 1 or 2. Might have been 1.

  60. TheBlackCat

    It was Voyager 1.

  61. James J. Murphy

    I don’t presume to tell God anything. 1): I couldn’t. 2): I wouldn’t have the audacity!

    I find it amazing how my comments will get misconstrued. Probably this comment too will be a victim.

  62. Cindy

    Mr. Murphy,

    As I said before, you have some intelligence because you are an electrical engineer. Therefore, you are capable of logical thought in order to solve engineering problems. The reason why you are being attacked/misconstrued is that you are failing to apply the same logic and reason to evolution that you do for say electrical laws.

  63. Phobos

    JJM – As mentioned earlier, how do you account for the presence of human civilization prior to the date you believe for Adam & Eve? Perhaps you reject all radiodating (and archaeology…) and yet radiodating is based on the laws of physics which you said you accept.

    Another thought…in order for Adam and Eve to have led to all the current human diversity, that seems to require faster evolution than proposed by the scientific theory of evolution itself. (and yes, adaptation is part of evolution)

  64. Mark Martin

    Cindy, take care: Murphy may perhaps be very intelligent. On the other hand, I’ve known truckloads of electrical engineers. They’re cheap, abundant and not universally exceptionally smart. Most engineering consists of solving numerous little problems that crop up. A typical engineer rarely gets to do mental whole-system integration. The last place I ever worked was a shop producing electrical regulating systems. There were people without engineering degrees on the floor who were better educated & clearer thinkers than many of the engineers.

  65. James J. Murphy

    I’m discovering the least said, the better. Less to be misconstrued, misunderstood, tortured beyond the original meaning. Being an engineer I don’t claim to over intelligent, my comment about engineering got misconstrued too! I find a lot is read into my comments that ISN’T there. Figments of the imaginations of the readers.

  66. Mark Martin

    Uh-huh. It’s always everyone else’s fault. You of course are pristine.

    James, you said what you said. If meant to say something else, then you ought to have said something else.

  67. TheBlackCat

    I am not misconstruing what you said. You were very specific and very explicit. To refresh your memory, you said:

    “The laws of physics were ordained by God. Evolution is the creation of men. God has nothing to do with it.”

    This statement is completely unambiguous. Who are you to tell God that he did not ordain evolution, that he did not use that mechanism?

    And you don’t have to answer my question about how human civilization predates Adam and Eve if you don’t want to. But unless you provide an answer we will have no choice but to assume that you do not have one. Not being able to answer such a basic question would indicate that you have not really thought your position through, and people here will not take you seriously if you refuse to deal with even the most fundamental issues.

    I must say, your position is odd. I have never encountered someone who rejects all of genesis except the part about the creation of man. Every creationist I have encountered is either young-earth creationists or an old-earth (and old life) creationist. You are an old-earth but young-life, a combination I have never encountered before.

  68. Irishman

    James J. Murphy said:
    > I’m a Christian and certainly do not believe we evolved from lower life forms.

    Hmm, so are you saying that Christians cannot accept Evolution. Because the wording of your statement links the two in an explicit manner. I know a bunch of Christians (several posting in this thread) who would disagree.

    > Further, I’m not a “Creationist”, passing off religious beliefs as “science”.

    Interesting that you say that. Yet what you say below belies that statement.

    > I believe the Bible. It does provide for the Earth being perhaps 5 Billion years old, yet God placed Adam & Eve here only about 6,000 years ago.

    This statement is explicitly “passing off” religious beliefs as science. You just stated that humans (i.e. Adam and Eve) originated about 6,000 years ago. Further, you imply that they arose from empty air, created out of the dust by God directly rather than changing from earlier life forms. These are explicit statements that contradict scientific evidence.

    Furthermore, the term “Creationist” has a couple of meanings depending upon the user. I’m not sure what you intend it to mean. From a science perspective, one would definitely describe your views as “Creationist” – humans created out of dust directly by God. Independent origination from the chain of life on Earth. That sounds like Creationism to me.

    > God obviously is a higher life form, and we are descendent from Him. God has a purpose and a plan for placing us here. Else, why did He place us here? He has a plan for our future.

    Amusing argument from ignorance. You assume there has to be a purpose, by virtue of our existence itself. Therefore, you ascribe the purpose to God, because he’s the only candidate. Philosophically, that’s one position, but it’s not the only one. Why does our existence require a purpose? Does dust require a purpose? Does Dutch Elm Disease require a purpose?

    > Contrast, evolution has no plan, we are just the product of random chance, no future. Give me a break, please.

    So you reject evolution as a correct explanation because you do not like the philosophical ramifications you deduce from evolution? There are other ways to think of it. One can easily view Evolution as God’s mechanism for bringing life about, of shaping us to exist. If so, then there’s no need to reject evolution for being pointless, because it’s still God that has the point for our lives.

    > To quote the Apostle Paul, Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”. “Carnal mind” translates to “meat heads”.

    So Paul is saying that human mental processes are enmity against God? Thinking is Evil? That puts us all in a decidedly poor position, given that the existence of our “self” is thought (consciousness). I mean, how are we to come to know and understand Jesus if our thought processes exclude him? Be that as it may, you are rejecting Evolution as the product of human thought. But the same argument applies to electromagnetism. The theory of electromagnetism, with its included principles and laws, is every bit a creation of the human mind as the theory of Evolution, with its inherent principles and laws. There’s no essence distinction between the two, except that one deals with biological systems and the other does not. Oh, and the Bible never bothers to state anything about magnets or electricity, so there’s no Faith issue in conflict.

    > The bottom line is that evolution has no plan for our future. We could quibble about the minutia of evolution forever, proving nothing. God has a plan for our future benefit, and His too. He didn’t place us here for nothing. If you want to believe the evolution nonsense, be my guest.

    You are welcome to your own religious beliefs about God, his role in creation, his purpose for our existence and our individual lives, whatever. You are welcome to accept or reject Evolution. You have the right to your beliefs, and the right to express them as you see fit. But I have to wonder why you came here and posted this. You had to know your beliefs are contentious here, and that you would stir up a lot of response and criticism. You had to know your statements would not be accepted, but would be scrutinized. I don’t see what you hoped to accomplish. Is this some need to foster a persecution complex, “Those mean evolutionists are supressing me again!” ? Do you genuinely think someone here is going to say, “Hey, now that you put it that way, it just makes perfect sense that evolution is false. I mean, how can it be true coming from a ‘meat head’?” Or are you just having fun prodding us with a stick to see how much we flinch?

  69. Irishman

    Quiet_Desperation said:
    >>> Carl Sagan wrote some of the most beautiful and important
    >>> words ever set in English.

    >Carl Sagan wrote The Constitution????

    Uh, while the U.S. Constitution is an important set of words, I don’t know if they particularly are beautiful. I don’t know many people sitting around reading the Constitution aloud to each other just to enjoy the majic of the words. And even if I’m not fully informed about the peculiarities of some people, I don’t think the original quote excludes the Constitution as being important or beautiful. It does say “some” of the most…

  70. Alan

    JJM wrote; “If you don’t believe in the resurrection, that’s your problem.”

    There’s more proof that Jack planted some beans, watched them grow & then climbed up his beanstalk to meet god – I mean a giant, than that resurrection nonsense.

    As it been said before; go & preach your fundamentalist mumbo jumbo bollox somewhere else & leave the rest of us to just enjoy amazing things like the above video.

    Well said Irishman btw!

  71. Nic

    Wow, that was good. Most thought provoking.
    And I liked the music (a bonus for me, usually I find the music on YouTube intrusive and irritating.
    I wonder what it is..

  72. James J. Murphy

    I’m wondering myself why I got onto this blog! I guess I didn’t expect the hostitlity. I thought I had something to share, but I see it’s not well received! Any further comments from me would be futile.

    I suppose this comment will also be misconstrued, misunderstood and tortured beyond belief. A devastating experience!

  73. TheBlackCat

    If you have something to share, share it. So far we don’t even know what you believe or why you believe it because you have refused to say. You have refused to answer any of our questions. It is hard to receive your ideas well if you won’t tell us what they are. You continue to evade by hiding behind your statements being “misconstrued” but you have not said exactly what was misconstrued or how you really intended it.

  74. Mark Martin

    Hostile? There’s a big difference between “hostile” and “critical”. You were being critical in your first post; others counter-criticized your criticism. That’s the way it goes in a free society.

    Is that all you want, to say what you think is right and not have anyone find flaws in your arguments? How will you ever grow and become stronger if you’re never subjected to controversy?

  75. James J. Murphy

    TheBlackCat: I believe in God and that the Bible is His word in print. How plain can I make it for you! I belong to a Christian church and if I would quote the scriptures of my church’s beliefs, I’d be accused of promulgating! No win, no matter what I do. I don’t think you’d understand, anyway.

    I can’t believe such nonsense comments No further comments from me. Make of it what you will. Its hopeless. No understanding. An unfriendly audience.

  76. Mark Martin

    Eric Cartman: “Screw you guys; I’m going home.”

  77. Grand Lunar

    The problem that you had Murphy is that this is a science board.

    Now, evolution is science. So, when you call something of science “garbage”, with only your faith as your evidence, then of course people are going to be critical.

  78. JustAl

    Pursuing James J. Murphy any further is probably pointless – he is quite clearly only here to foster a persecution complex and parade it around as how science is hostile to religion. He has brought his cross, and he wants to believe that us asking him why he brought it is the same as nailing him to it.

    In some way, this is how many religious people justify their belief system. Attempting to approach such from a matter of intelligent thought is meaningless, since no intelligent thought is involved. It is simply a matter of, “I like this idea [some deity and its plans, or whatever], so it must be true.” Introducing any possible fallacy about the idea automatically breeds resentment.

    But then again, there’s a certain amount of fun in asking very simple questions and watching the person so questioned start to wail and fling holy water. Just don’t expect much else.

    Anyone who has a nice little scam for taking money from fatuous religious folk is likely salivating like Pavlov’s dogs by now, though…

  79. Evolutionist. You learn a few science words and quote Sagan enough, you’ll actually start sounding smart. Learn about the transitional evidence and you swear by it. Course you trust the ”scientist” to interprete them for you, then you do your ”knowing.” Then again, the evidence is quite disconcerting when it’s applied to theoretical standards which are supposed to be upheld. Disregard the evidence which completely contradicts the facts. Quite often, science is misused as a parameter of knowledge when mere speculation is surely the fact that has creeped up into the arena of AAS. The AAS for those who doesn’t know what I’m speaking of is a contrived socialist educational steering commitee of self righteous humanist/atheist who have taken control of our public school systems thru intimidation and a disregard of freedom from competition with their IDEOLOGY of humanism and atheism. Don’t dare deny that statement. It will make even the most pompous rascal in this room more ignorant and blind to the reality of indoctrination, not education. You would have to be opened minded to to see the wonderful obvious Creation by God, and closed minded to allow yourself to be lead to the grave by a dead man who offers you nothing but whimsical folly and false predictions that have been made and should make you think for yourselves! I’m talking about Carl Sagan the dreamer who made up what he didn’t know and he couldn’t predict two weeks in advance a simple oil fire. Laugh if you desire. But the fact is, believing in a man who was simply an ordinary man and disregarding God’s obviousness is denying evidence that is clearly seen and heard, but to call attention to one’s self for glorification, is another sad testament to the pompous evolutionists final chapter of I don’t need God, I am the master of my own destiny! Oh, no you’re not! The final judgment is waiting for all of us…….. believe it or not. Good day………….Jesus is my Savior…a ransom for all who believe.

  80. I made a new version of the Pale Blue Dot if anyone would like to see it. Just visit http://www.youtube.com/user/XXXSDESDEXXX

  81. kiva

    excellent post, irishman…

    Mr. Murphy: please read M. Scott Peck’s book “Further Along the Road Less Traveled” where he discusses Stages of Spiritual Growth. He was a christian, btw.

    this is an abridged summary (not well-written, but has the general ideas): http://www.factnet.org/Stages_Of_Spiritual_Growth.html

    good day

  82. Marpet

    James….WOW! Did you sacrifice a lamb any time during this post?

    The people involved with this post are merely saying that they prefer to “SEE” the evidence rather then “BELEIVE” in the absence of evidence. Your arguement is simply “I believe and that is my proof.” Creationist’s place their belief in God based on a book written by God and given to man . A book that says there is a God. Isn’t that convenient. Well, I guess your entitled to that opinion as we are entitled to ours.

    Also, If God is the creator, does that mean you believe in aliens?

    Wouldn’t that make a great bumpersticker!

    Marpet

  83. Pale-Blue-Dot astronomers:

    Although Ptolemy thought the Sun revolved around the Earth, he also concluded that the Earth should be treated as a mathematical point in the Universe. Now, since a mathematical point is infinitely smaller than a “pale blue dot,” do we conclude that Ptolemy must have been humbler and wiser than modern astronomers? Well, maybe I’m being nasty and objective, when I should be misty-eyed and subjective. I might be a candidate for sensitivity training.

    Unlike Pale-Blue-Dot astronomers, I don’t try to feel-the-pain of the robbed (nor do I try to feel-the-pleasure of the robbers). To pretend to know the pain of others is to belittle the pain of others.

    From a comfortable armchair or a speaker’s podium, all human trials (pains, pleasures, joys, loves, etc.) can only be reduced to a “pale blue dot” by exceptional pride – not insightful thinking. Trying to synthesize people with their planet is called Pantheism – not Astronomy.

    Best Regards,

    Frank Hatch

  84. ERTW

    “A man said to the universe: “Sir, I exist!”
    “However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation”

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »