Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life 1983 - George Carlin - Dara O'Briain's Science Club TV - Douglas Adams - David Wong - Leonard Susskind - Fred Hoyle - Martin Rees - Thomas Hobbes - Lawrence Krauss - Mike Disney - Neil deGrasse Tyson - Carl Sagan - Christian Huygens - Carlos Frenk - Horizon TV - Jim Al-Khalili TV - Neil Spooner - Unfolding Universe TV - Universe TV - The Universe TV - Birth of the Universe TV - Janet Sumner - Adam Hart-Davis TV - Journey to the Edge of the Universe TV - Brian Cox TV - Through the Wormhole TV - John D Barrow - Edmund Burke - Michael Mosley TV - H G Wells - Richard Dawkins - BBC News TV - Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God TV - Simon Schaffer TV - Enoch 3:72:1&2 - Enoch 3:73:1&2 - Lyman Spitzer - Allan Chapman: Gods in the Sky TV - In Search of … TV -
Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s revolving, and revolving at nine hundred miles an hour. It’s orbiting at ninety miles a second, so it’s reckoned, the sun that is the source of all our power. The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see are moving at a million miles a day. In an outer spiral arm at forty thousand miles an hour in a galaxy we call the Milky Way.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars. It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side. It bulges in the middle sixteen thousand light years thick. And out by us it’s just three thousand light years wide. We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point. We got round every two hundred million years. And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions in this amazing and expanding universe. The universe itself keeps expanding and expanding in all the directions it can whiz. As fast as it can go the speed of light you know twelve million miles a minutes and that’s the fastest speed there is. So remember when you’re feeling very small and insecure how amazing and unlikely is your birth. And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space. ’Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth. Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, song & dance routine, 1983
If it’s true that we’re all from the center of a star, every atom of us from the center star, then we’re all the same thing ... all been recycled thousands of times ... therefore it’s only me out there. So what is there to be afraid of? What is there that needs solace-seeking? Nothing. There’s nothing to be afraid of because it’s all us. The trouble is, we have been separated by being born and given a name, an identity, being individuated. We’ve been separated from the oneness and that’s what religion exploits – that people have this yearning to be part of the overall one again – so they exploit that, they call it God, they say he has rules, and I think that’s cruel. I think you do it absent religion. George Carlin
Our universe seems to be made up of stars and planets and gas that are clumped together with vast gaps in between them. On an atomic level it’s pretty much all space. Dara O’Briain’s Science Club II, BBC 2012
The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be. Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time
Scientists talk about dark matter, the invisible, mysterious substance that occupies the space between stars. Dark matter makes up 99.99 percent of the universe, and they don’t know what it is. Well I do. It’s apathy. That’s the truth of it; pile together everything we know and care about in the universe and it will still be nothing more than a tiny speck in the middle of a vast black ocean of Who Gives a Fuck. David Wong, John Dies at the End
There is a philosophy that says that if something is unobservable – unobservable in principle – it is not part of science. If there is no way to falsify or confirm a hypothesis, it belongs to the realm of metaphysical speculation, together with astrology and spiritualism. By that standard, most of the universe has no scientific reality – it’s just a figment of our imaginations. Leonard Susskind, The Black Hole War
Astronomical distances have the air of a conjuring trick. The vastness of cosmic dimensions fills us with astonishment. Yet like a conjuring trick it all looks very obvious when we see how it was done. Professor Fred Hoyle, Frontiers of Astronomy
The entire universe started off as a hot fireball and it cooled down, and after about half a billion years our universe entered a literal dark age. The universe stayed dark until the first stars formed and lit it up again. Professor Martin Rees
Telescopes are in some ways like time machines. They reveal galaxies so far away that their light has taken billions of years to reach us. We in astronomy have an advantage in studying the universe, in that we can actually see the past.
We owe our existence to stars, because they make the atoms of which we are formed. So if you are romantic you can say we are literally star-stuff. If you’re less romantic you can say we’re the nuclear waste from the fuel that makes stars shine.
We’ve made so many advances in our understanding. A few centuries ago, the pioneer navigators learnt the size and shape of our Earth, and the layout of the continents. We are now just learning the dimensions and ingredients of our entire cosmos, and can at last make some sense of our cosmic habitat. Martin Rees
The universe, the whole mass of things that are, is corporeal, that is to say body, and hath the dimensions of magnitude – length, breadth and depth. Every part of the universe is body, and that which is not body is no part of the universe. Thomas Hobbes
It was like Christmas tree lights turning on. The universe began to light up in all directions. Until you form the beautiful mosaic we now see today. Professor Lawrence Krauss
The whole thing is held together by entities which we don’t know exist at all and they have no real physical basis. Professor Mike Disney
The knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on earth – the atoms that make up the human body – are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars – the high mass ones among them – went unstable in their later years – they collapsed and then exploded – scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy – guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems – stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up – many people feel small, ’cause they’re small and the universe is big. But I feel big because my atoms came from those stars. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us. Neil deGrasse Tyson
10th July 1962: The real Telstar satellite was built by AT&T, the phone company. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Nova: Origins: Back to the Beginning, PBS 2004
Penzias & Wilson ... picked up a faint microwave signal apparently coming from empty space. ibid.
In this version of the WMap picture the peaks are hot-spots that show where the super-cluster of galaxies were formed. ibid.
While the Copernican principle comes with no guarantees that it will forever guide us to cosmic truths, it’s worked quite well so far: not only is Earth not in the center of the solar system, but the solar system is not in the center of the Milky Way galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy is not in the center of the universe, and it may come to pass that our universe is just one of many that comprise a multiverse. And in case you’re one of those people who thinks that the edge may be a special place, we are not at the edge of anything either. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Arabic astronomy was so influential that we still call most of the bright stars by their Arabic names ... Arabic was the language of science. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey V: Hiding in the Light, Fox 2014
The total number of stars in the universe is larger than all the grains of sands of all the beaches on planet Earth. Professor Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: Journeys in Space and Time, PBS 1979
The galaxies reveal a universal order, a beauty, but also violence on a scale never before imagined. The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent to the concerns of such creatures as we. Professor Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: The Edge of Forever
At the very moment that humans discovered the scale of the universe and found that their most unconstrained fancies were in fact dwarfed by the true dimensions of even the Milky Way Galaxy, they took steps that ensured that their descendants would be unable to see the stars at all. For a million years humans had grown up with a personal daily knowledge of the vault of heaven. In the last few thousand years they began building and emigrating to the cities. In the last few decades, a major fraction of the human population has abandoned a rustic way of life. As technology developed and the cities were polluted, the nights became starless. New generations grew to maturity wholly ignorant of the sky that had transfixed their ancestors and that had stimulated the modern age of science and technology. Without even noticing, just as astronomy entered a golden age most people cut themselves off from the sky, a cosmic isolationism that ended only with the dawn of space exploration. Carl Sagan, Contact