A Pretty Blue Planet: musings from 1974

It was very early in the morning.  My father awakened me and, rubbing sleep from my eyes, I followed him to the chesterfield ( as we called it in those days) and we sat together  in our small living room in front of our first television set.  He adjusted the antennae and we waited. It was a fuzzy picture but this was history in the making he told me. … 5-4-3-2-1- blast off – and John Glenn, America’s first astronaut, was bound for space. That was 1962. I was 8 years old. Then in 1969 we watched again as the first pictures of earth from the moon appeared as no one had seen it before. I was awestruck. It was beautiful.  There it was, a pretty blue planet floating free against the darkness of space.  Today it is commonplace to see such pictures as they arise from the numerous space shuttle and space station missions, but I wonder if it causes the same reaction as it did for me all those years ago.  So, here is one of the first musings I had as a youth on the topic of the wonder of our planet.  I wrote the attached thoughts in 1974 during my studies at university while I tried to reconcile the science of life and the cosmos and how such a magnificent place could appear.  I tidied it up a bit in later years, added the photo, but it remains virtually the same. I hope you experience the same wonder of it all as I did – and still do. 

Why are we here?  Please let your imagination consider this:

A_Pretty_Blue_Planet_Floating_Free (1)


3 thoughts on “A Pretty Blue Planet: musings from 1974

  1. Beautiful Dad. I have always enjoyed listening to you thinking about the universe and what it all means, and where we all come from. It has sparked something in each of us to think bigger and deeper into our seemly small lives. Contemplation and discovery, a vital part of my growth; Thank you.

    I think that we have come to take it all for granted, the abundance of imagery is no longer mind blowing; likewise, the overwhelming amount of information we have at our fingertips each and every day no longer excites us. Need something? Have a question? Forget thinking about it for days, researching, and discovering new questions and answers, just point and click. No thought process necessary. Thank you Technology, you’ve tied our hands, we need you and hate you all at the same time.


    • I agree. The instant access to information, automatically taking it at face value without further research and then instantly forgetting about it has led to short reading spans and little thought that ultimately eliminates critical thinking. There are recent studies that show this is happening.

  2. Hi, Ken. I had a read of your post, and to me it seems you might be suggesting an extension of the Gaia theory. Again I’m feeling my geek nerves twitching, because this idea was covered splendidly by one of my favourite authors of all time – the late, great Isaac Asimov – in his chronologically final two novels of the Foundation series (“Foundation’s Edge” and “Foundation and Earth”) in which he explores the idea that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings are connected. Together, the books are a riveting read of quiet yet deep contemplation and inquiry. I highly recommend them to you, to add to your ruminations.

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