wetenschap • tech • gezondheid • geld



Lichtblauw stipje. ‘Pale blue dot.’ Dat werd de naam van de foto die de Voyager maakte van de Aarde in 1990 van een afstand van zes miljard kilometer, toen hij op het punt stond ons zonnestelsel te verlaten. Oud nieuws, dus waarom hier? Omdat Carl Sagan, de Amerikaan die als geen ander wetenschap populariseerde, er een ode aan wijdde. Poëzie. Let op de cadans. Dus ik ga het niet vertalen.

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor, and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

Abonneer De Bicker

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