El punto azul pálido de Carl Sagan


Carl Sagan es, con todas sus humanas imperfecciones, uno de mis pocos héroes personales, si es que eso significa algo. Así que no he podido resistirme a colgar aquí un vídeo que encontré hace tiempo en Youtube.

La voz que se escucha en el vídeo es la del propio Sagan, con el fondo de la música original de Vangelis para la serie de televisión Cosmos. Está subtitulado en castellano y, aunque la traducción sea discutible y contenga algunas faltas de ortografía, ayuda a seguir el hilo a los que tenemos la mala pata de no dominar la lengua de Shakespeare.

Les pongo en situación: en 1990, el Voyager I, después de cumplir su misión recogiendo datos e imágenes nunca vistas de Júpiter, Urano y Neptuno, se dirigía al Sistema Solar exterior para perderse para siempre en el espacio interestelar. Entonces, el equipo a cargo de la misión decidió girar la cámara fotográfica de la nave para intentar obtener una imagen de la Tierra desde esa formidable distancia: la imagen más lejana jamás vista de nuestro planeta.

Lo consiguieron. En la imagen, la Tierra es sólo un puntito azul pálido en un océano de oscuridad. Pero, por favor, regálense tres minutos y medio para que sea Carl Sagan quien se lo cuente:



Ése era Carl Sagan.
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.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

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