19 October 2006
Pale Blue Dot from Beyond Saturn
This link is to a photograph taken recently by the Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn. It's amazingly lit, as the Sun is hidden by the giant planet but it's rings catch the light.
Just above the main rings to the left there is a single light dot, just a pixel or two on your screen. Everything that has ever happened to the human race happened on that dot. It's Earth.
This perspective is the kind of thing that makes it impossible for me both to do anything but marvel at the wonder of the Universe, and also to be incredulous that anyone can think that anything that happens on that dot matters. From this view of our planet the idea that what we wear (as some religions think) or what we eat (as some others do) or how we copulate (as some others do) is of any importance to anyone except the persons involved is patently ridiculous. That we have ostracised, imprisoned, tortured and even killed people (in great numbers) on behalf of such beliefs (and look like continuing to do so for decades to come) is obscene.