David and the Pale Blue Dot
A few months back I received an email from a friend of a friend. It contained a link to a YouTube video that had generated more than two million views. When I clicked play the content was immediately familiar to me. Astronomer Carl Sagan was reciting his famous ode to the “Pale Blue Dot.”
During a lecture at Cornell University in 1994, Sagan reflected on the philosophical implications of a picture of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft four years earlier. From 3.7 billion miles away, our planet appeared as a faint blue pinpoint engulfed by a ray of sunlight. It looked small, lost and alone in the vastness of space. Carl Sagan’s description became iconic:
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. 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.
When the clip ended, my thoughts lingered on Sagan’s ominous conclusion:
“…there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.” This view of human destiny is a pillar of the materialist worldview and the belief that matter and energy are all that exist in the universe. As a result, we are each the product of a billion cosmic accidents. There’s no God, no creator and no future for humanity beyond our brief years as inhabitants of Earth. From a cosmic perspective we’re on our own.
In contrast, the Scriptures present a vivid description of a God who not only created the universe and human life, but who loves us and desires a deeply personal relationship with everyone He has made. In the Psalms, David said that our Creator knit us together in the womb. That He knows our words before we speak them. That He is familiar with every thought we have. And that He promises eternal life to anyone who accepts His forgiveness and grace. That’s a far cry from the existential isolation of Carl Sagan’s pale blue dot.
After watching the video a second time, I emailed this response to the person who had forwarded it to me: “Sounds like Carl Sagan never read Psalm 8 or 139.” Then, I added an entry to my “Future Productions” file: Produce a short film that will present the biblical view of humanity along side Sagan’s materialistic convictions. That’s what we’ve done this month.
We’re pleased to present DAVID AND THE PALE BLUE DOT – the fourth in a collection of new films that explores the universe, God and human life. Each is part of The John 10:10 Project video library.
In a world where biblical perspective is often dismissed as mythology or pipe dreams, we trust these films will offer you encouragement, hope and truth. If you find them helpful, please share them with your social media connections.
Thanks for helping make The John 10:10 Project a reality. Your donations and prayers are deeply appreciated. This ministry isn’t possible without friends like you.
Now go outside tonight. Take a good long look into the sky. Then thank God for the magnificent pale blue dot we’ve been blessed to call home.