Wednesday, October 30, 2013

From the Great Beyond Blog Hop!

As we approach Halloween, we also approach a fun blogging event.  Welcome to the From the Great Beyond Blog Hop!  Our hosts for this one are Tara Tyler, Roland Yeomans, Gwen Gardner, and Angela Brown.

How do you participate?  Well, here are the details!  As Roland explains:

on October 30 write a post about a famous deceased author or celebrity you'd like to contact in our seance!
Why did you choose? And what would you like to say?
We will haunt your blogs, reading about your choices, then the spirits will select winners to be announced on October 31.
The prizes will be frightfully good, including copies of our books and more! We hope you will join us for a ghostly good time!

There are so many great minds to choose from.  How does one decide?

In the end, I chose Carl Sagan.  He was a scientist, and author, and celebrity.  He dedicated his life to promoting a love of science to the general public.  He wanted people, no matter their situation in life, to foster a curiosity about the universe.

He had a way of putting things in perspective, of inspiring a sense of awe and wonder.  Here's an example of what I mean.

This image, taken by Voyager 1, shows Earth
from a distance of 6.4 billion km (4 billion miles).
The above image, which shows how tiny our planet truly is in the grand scheme of things, inspired Carl Sagan to say this:

“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."

Wow.  Just . . . wow.  I've read this so many times, and it's never lost it's potency. No matter our differences, no matter our squabbles, they pale in comparison to the fact that we're human beings who share the same planet.  In the end, that which we share in common is more significant than that which separates us.  We are small, and fragile, and yet we're reaching beyond our world to learn more, to explore.

There are a number of questions I would love to ask Carl.  What do you think about the advances science is currently making?  How do you feel about the state of science literacy in America?  What changes would you like to see the humanity make in the long term when it comes to the way we treat our planet and one another?  What do you think we're doing right?  And I'd like to know more in general about his views on our place in the universe, particularly in regards to recent scientific discoveries.

And finally, I'd like to thank Carl for all the work he did, and the impact he had on the world around him.

Who would you like to speak to?


  1. Wow, that is an amazing photo and a mind boggling thing to think about. We couldn't possibly be alone, right?

  2. We do indeed have more in common than we don't.

  3. The first time I'm reading Sagan's words.
    Wow! Powerful stuff.

  4. I love that image from Voyager. Sagan would be a blast to talk to.

  5. Wow, mind blown! Thanks for sharing this . . . a truly wonderful pic!

  6. excellent choice and thoughtful questions! we are so small!

  7. This is an awesome choice. It's statements like his that always remind me of how important it is to enjoy the here and now because our time is but a blink of an eye, or shorter, to the universe.

  8. An amazing man for sure. Science has come so far and yet we just barely scratched the surface. Every day we take another step, yet the journey never seems to end.

  9. Carl was a deep and fascinating man. That's what I get from your post, great choice.