Monday, February 27, 2012

The final frontier

Neil Tyson was fully caffeinated on Morning Edition today, talking about his new book and the case it makes for a significant human future in space. 

Like Tyson, I don't entirely understand why contemplating the vastness of the cosmos makes people feel small and insignificant. The pale blue dot [ext] is cosmically small, sure; but we evolved primates who ride it have grown big enough finally to know just where we stand. Thinking of that makes me feel "alive and spirited and connected" too. And it makes me curious about what's out there. As the SETI chief said at TED
We, all of us, are what happens when a primordial mixture of hydrogen and helium evolves for so long that it begins to ask where it came from.
Tyson's right: it takes a big person to do that. 
I also feel large, knowing that the goings-on within the three-pound human brain are what enabled us to figure out our place.

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