The Earth Is Not My Home

Have you ever seen this image or something similar to it?

classic-you-are-here-galaxy-space-science-poster-printFrom what I have been able to gather, the concept is based on a photograph named the Pale Blue Dot (below), supposedly taken “of planet Earth…on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40.5 AU), as part of the Family Portrait series of images of the Solar System.” (- Wikipedia)

Do you see the pale blue dot about half way down the middle of the brown band on the right of this image pictured left?

That’s supposed to be us, our home: the Earth.

This photo was credited as being taken at the request of Carl Sagan, a renowned astronomer. Here is what he had to say about that pale blue dot:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again 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.

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. — Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, 1997 reprint, pp. xv–xvi

Mr. Sagan believed that we live on that tiny speck called “Earth”, in a vast universe as depicted in the top “You Are Here” image. Apparently we are all expected to believe that as well.

(Mr. Sagan also referred to the notion of “privileged position in the universe” as being a delusion. Of course, I beg to differ with that point, but I’ll save that for another post. 😉 )

The Earth as Taught in School

Webster’s Dictionary (1828) defines Earth as:

3. The terraqueous globe which we inhabit. The earth is nearly spherical, but a little flatted at the poles, and hence its figure is called an oblate spheroid. It is one of the primary planets, revolving round the sun in an orbit which is between those of Venus and Mars. It is nearly eight thousand miles in diameter, and twenty five thousand miles in circumference. Its distance from the sun is about ninety five millions of miles, and its annual revolution constitutes the year of 365 days, 5 hours, and nearly 49 minutes.

This is what we’re taught from early childhood, that “the terraqueous globe” (aka the land and seas ball) is our home. We see models of it in every classroom.

globe-classroomhanging-solar-system-classroomour-solar-system-classroom

And this is the foundation for all of our science curricula…even within the Creationist community.

big-book-science-things-to-make-and-do-new

earth-science-book exploring-creation-science-book

 

 

 

And then there’s the social studies curricula…

Social_Studies_in_the_Storytelling_Classroom

theworldanditspeople2world-governments

 

 

 

 

And there’s even a day dedicated to the planet Earth, April 22nd!

While the emphasis is primarily on environmental concerns and not necessarily related to its planetary nature, the notion of the earth as a spinning globe orbiting the sun, is clearly reinforced year after year.

There’s even an “Earth Anthem” written by Abhay Kumar in honor of this “cosmic oasis”. The lyrics read:

earth-day-celebrateOur cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
all the continents and the oceans of the world
united we stand as flora and fauna
united we stand as species of one earth
black, brown, white, different colours
we are humans, the earth is our home.

Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
all the people and the nations of the world
all for one and one for all
united we unfurl the blue marble flag
black, brown, white, different colours
we are humans, the earth is our home. – Source

If what is depicted in all of these images, written about in the science and social studies textbooks, and laid out in the above anthem are what the Earth is supposed to be, then I can tell you with full assurance the Earth is not my home.

My Dwelling Place, My Home

Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve lived in various places along the eastern coast of the United States of America. Presently, I live in a house built on a level plot dug out of rolling hills in central Virginia.

rolling-images

I’ve hiked on mountains ascending to great heights, driven across plateaus and down into valleys, and walked through caverns descending to great depths. And I’ve swam in, sailed across, and flew over rivers, lakes and oceans.

tallgrass-prairie-photo-jk-4

Crystal-Coast-NC

 

shikoku-japan

My life experience has taught me that while there are mountains of great height and stature, and pits of great depth in the land, all of these are relative to the level of the seas. In no way have I ever gotten the impression from these observations that it is all rolled into a ball.

I’ve gazed up to the heavens, watched both the sun and moon come out from the east and go in to the west, as well as marveled at the clusters of stars traveling around a pivot point in the north. All the while the land I stand, sit or lay on is completely still.

While I don’t know exactly what the shape of the land I dwell on is, I feel certain that it is not all rolled up with the seas into a ball-shaped planet with a circumference of 25,000 miles. Therefore, the “Earth” must not be my home.

My Personal Protest

earth_is_not_my_home_tshirt-r741af684a9b249eda4395b1e209c426b_wio57_324I have recently decided to publicly protest the use of the word “Earth” in conjunction with my home from this day forward. First on my personal Facebook page and now here on this site.

While I understand many may consider this act as silly or ineffective, I don’t because I’ve come to learn that words matter, and I choose to use my words well.

The “Earth” as defined in our culture is a planet orbiting the sun in a Heliocentric Model theory, and I am content with accepting that definition. I just don’t believe that is where I reside.

As a result of this recent decision I will be editing my previous posts here at Messyanic.com to reflect this choice, and from this day forward will refer to the place where I live as simply “on land”.

For those who think my personal protest is a good idea, I encourage you to do the same. Why perpetuate a notion you don’t truly believe? If you believe we live on a planet, then by all means continue embracing the term for it. But if you don’t, consider standing with me in opposition. It feels good to stand strong for what we believe. 😉

 

About Carrie Wigal

Homesteading Wife, Homeschooling Mom and perpetual Bible student, continually taking the road less traveled. (@messyanic)
This entry was posted in 2-Heaven, 3-Land and Seas. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Earth Is Not My Home

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