"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Sagan can teach us...

I watched the first episode of Cosmos on Hulu today.

Carl Sagan made the program during the Cold War, when nuclear obliteration was a real threat. It's dated. Some of the information is incomplete...or incorrect. That's the beauty of science. Everything is understood...until someone else questions your hypothesis and comes up with a better explanation. It's got 70s clothing...70s camera work...70s hair styles...70s (or is it Sagan's) drama and music. But, while the Cold War is ended, the threat of nuclear damage still exists...from terrorists or mismanaged power plants.

Sagan's voice was prophetic. We may have eased the tensions between the two superpowers of the world, but we have brought another threat upon ourselves -- Climate Change. The effects of the human impact on the Earth's environment is just as destructive to our civilization as would be a nuclear war. The Earth will survive to live out it's planetary life. Sagan's comments are directed at the so-called intelligent life on Earth.

"We on earth have just awakened to the great oceans of space and time from which we have emerged. We are the legacy of 15 billion years of cosmic evolution. We have a choice. We can enhance life and come to know the universe that made us or we can squander our 15 billion year heritage in meaningless self-destruction. What happens in the first second of the next cosmic year depends on what we do here and now with our intelligence and our knowledge of the cosmos." -- Carl Sagan

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