"Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring."
Carl Sagan asked a question Who are we? And answered it, 'we find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.' Carl Sagan had highlighted our minuscule place and role in the universe, it is quite a shock for the creationists that the life does not revolve around us; however it can be argued that until other intelligent aliens are discovered, we are the masters of the universe.
The way we humans, in a very short span of cosmic time, have unfolded the expanse of universe with the help of Copernicus, Galileo and Carl Sagan suggests that though we are in an insignificant corner of our own galaxy and there are billions and billions of galaxies; our limited minds through help of Hubble and next generation telescopes will soon be able to set the moment of our creation the Big Bang, we are not to far from deciphering the moment of our creation. Keeping company with the right crowd keeps one guessing all the time, Carl Sagan amongst many other great human beings is one of my heroes, I keep him alive in my mind and that keeps my mind inquisitive all the time the answers that I shall never discover.
Our Expanded horizons makes us so unique so outstanding, the very reason that we shall not be surprised if an alien walks through our living area is the success of our insignificant minds that can unlock mysteries which are celestial. Thank you Sagan for provoking our limits of intelligence...
I would like to ask Sagan this finicky question if he was alive...
Carl Sagan is quoted as saying that 'It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.'
A chimp may learn few acts of humans or Dolphins may speak fifty words. Perhaps it is law of nature that lower function entities have ability to expand their neural wiring through prodding and continuous training, conversely higher function aliens or humans may not be able to perform the act of chimps or dolphins although they can act such acts without a problem, dolphins cries are mimicked. On the other hand Dolphins or Chimps in foreseeable future will not be able to grasp their insignificance and still interpret dark matter and the 'The Big Bang.' What an insignificant mind we have that has no boundaries or horizons. So are we really that insignificant in the cosmos. If we can think of the 'unthinkable', obviously we are bound to be significant?"
Aristotle described our journey on this lonely planet of ours as 'We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.' We as a race have worked on betterment, we are net builders and not net destroyers, excellence is part of our norm.
Lois McMaster Bujold had put it very eloquently 'It's important that someone celebrate our existence... People are the only mirror we have to see ourselves in. The domain of all meaning. All virtue, all evil, are contained only in people. There is none in the universe at large. Solitary confinement is a punishment in every human culture.
Insignificant that we are our ability to think about our origins and our zest to find the 'Big Bang' the defining moment of our existence makes us the greatest on the planets, it is not about the size but about the ability to think the unthinkable. . One example is The Borg a fictional pseudo-race of cyborgs depicted in Star Trek.The Borg have become a symbol in popular culture for any juggernaut against whom "resistance is futile." If thousands of years from now, our future generation may encounter aliens who exhibit no desire for negotiation or reason, only to assimilate and an amalgam of cybernetically enhanced humanoid drones of multiple species, they shall not at all surprised, we are leaving behind a culture that is unique, asking a lot of question, creating new myths and debunking others.
Any 'race' that can challenge the frontiers of thinking is bestowed with the highest levels of functions; there can be no functions higher than thinking about aliens who travel at the speed of light or travel through time. Achievements are always secondary to what we can achieve in our minds, what we can think of is already half achieved, in minds of humans nothing has been left to imagination, nothing more can be discovered that is not thought about, or imagined about, however great, however distant, however vulgar.
Hallelujahs to our new world of inquisitive minds and that should not die. The spirit of discovery makes 'us the most insignificant' as the 'most heroic.' The inquiry shall not die, the questions and the quest shall never end, and that is what we are in the end. As we set into the twilight of our lives, these are the guiding issues that should keep us going, otherwise life to eat, drink and merry only is not worth the while to live. In this insignificant corner of ours we are unlocking cosmic mysteries, 'specks' defining colossal moments what a matter of pride for mankind, lets rejoice in this.
Carl Sagan, thank you for showing us the way to live perpetually, live with hope and imagination.