I’ve been revisiting, via Netflix’s streaming service, Dr. Carl Sagan and his wonderful program ‘Cosmos’. Some of you that are my age or older will likely remember the show. I have to say, this show more than anything else is what made me want to become an astronomer when I was a kid. Dr. Sagan’s calm, almost Mr. Rogers-esque soothing demeanor while expounding upon the wonderment that is the universe around us made me pay attention as much then as it does now. The shows have been updated now to include new CGI and science updates tacked on to the end that illustrate how the ideas and theories presented have been either reinforced or refuted by further data.
It’s been 13 years since Dr. Sagan passed away, all too young. He was a great man and humanitarian, philosopher and scientist. Presented here for your edification, a link to a video entitled ‘Pale Blue Dot’, which serves I think to illustrate what a wonderful man he was:
Now, I am going to have to disagree with Dr. Sagan here for a bit. I do not believe we are purely insignificant. We are intelligent beings (supposedly, anyway). That fact alone makes us incredibly rare and very significant. If, as many researchers are now theorizing, our very consciousness is a quantum level event (meaning it is generated and exists on physical levels far below that of the purely atomic) then that means that our intellect and possibly personalities are potentially universal in scope. Or, at least have that potential. Quantum mechanics was once called by Einstein, “Spooky action at a distance” because of the fact that two atoms can be ‘quantum entangled’ and what affects one of those atoms registers with the other, even at great distances, and instantaneously.
At the risk of sounding pedantic, DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS???
It means that you, the actual you not the crude body you are currently anchored to, is at least in some form immortal. That you could, in theory, cast your thoughts and intellect about the universe, travel the stars, travel through time, even be reborn (either here or some other far away place).
All this of course depends on the theorists being correct in stating that consciousness is quantum level stuff. Speaking as a ghost hunter, I can categorically state that I believe I have personally witnessed some form of disembodied consciousness interacting with me or the environment around me. Whether or not anyone else agrees with me is really irrelevant. Because I believe it for myself.
I am confident that, were Dr. Sagan here today and I was able to express my disagreement with him, he would probably smile and say, “Well, that’s okay too.”
And yet more sad news:
The host of Public Television’s “Star Gazer” show, Jack Horkheimer, died on August 20, 2010. Originally called the ‘Star Hustler,’ the program ran for 30 years and Horkheimer’s craggy voice combined with his flamboyant, show-biz style made him a unique and internationally recognized pioneer in popularizing naked-eye astronomy. Horkheimer was 72 and died of a respiratory ailment, according to a spokesman for the Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium, where Horkheimer was the executive director for over 35 years.
The other man who made me want to study astronomy. Some of you will be familiar with his short (5 minute) shows on PBS. The cool part about them, is that they would air at night so you could immediately go look at what he was talking about. The shows were all about naked eye astronomy, requiring no fancy equipment or expenditure other than just a few minutes of your time to go out and understand what you were looking up at. They are available online, now. Why don’t you take a few minutes tonight, watch an episode or two, and take a step out your door to view and appreciate the universe around us.
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