Quote for Today: Carl Sagan


We can explain the wan blueness of this little world because we know it well. Whether an alien scientist newly arrived at the outskirts of our solar system could reliably deduce oceans and clouds and a thickish atmosphere is less certain. Neptune, for instance, is blue, but chiefly for different reasons. From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest.

But for us, it’s different. 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.

Carl SaganPale Blue Dot

Public Domain Image taken by the Cassini Space Craft, 2013

9 thoughts on “Quote for Today: Carl Sagan

    • katmcdaniel Reply

      You are welcome! This is such a powerful quote and I was excited to find the recent Cassini photo. The book was inspired by the Voyager photo of Earth, which isn’t as impressive now that we have better technology. Thanks for reading!

  1. Indrajit Rathore Reply

    we, i believe are lucky to be at the centre of the universe – the coincidental perfections that make life possible here and produce intelligent beings may not be possible elsewhere

    • katmcdaniel Reply

      Earth is certainly the center of the universe for us as a species, even if it isn’t located directly there. We should value our planet as if it is the only place with life. It is too expensive to waste. And yet, we know from our Earth that the variety of all that is here surpasses our imagination. I hope that that is the case with life in the universe as well. Thanks for reading and responding!

    • katmcdaniel Reply

      Great point. All of us Terrans are connected, whether we like it or not. With all love to Douglas Adams, the dolphins can’t leave the planet any more than we can. As far as intelligence, its value depends a great deal on what is required, doesn’t it? All of our plans and schemes don’t count for much if we lose our ability to adapt and live in our environment.

    • katmcdaniel Reply

      The blueness of Earth, especially from so great a distance, somehow suggests serenity and reassurance, as if all the hatred and struggle, like the color red, had been absorbed and negated. If only that could be true for us.

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