Profound Carl Sagan Excerpt From 1973 Will Inspire Young People To Take Back Their Planet. The Information Generation of humans.

The generation of thinkers building a future in Science, Reason and Equality are our children. 

They will change the way we think

And they will save this Planet from the generations of humans before them. 

What I want to add before this excerpt is brief.

This is not just about the battle against bad ideas,

It is not just about fighting for a rational, equal human existence. 

And it is not about you. 

It is about this species as a whole and it is about this planet. 

 

LET'S CHANGE THE WORLD.

 

“Our instincts and emotions are those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors of a million years ago. But our society is astonishingly different from that of a million years ago. In times of slow change, the insights and skills learned by one generation are useful, tried, and adaptive, and are gladly received when passed down to the next generation. But in times like today, when the society changes significantly in less than a human lifetime, the parental insights no longer have unquestioned validity for the young. The so-called generation gap is a consequence of the rate of social and technological change.                    

Even within a human lifetime, the change is so great that many people are alienated from their own society. Margaret Mead has described older people today as involuntary immigrants from the past to the present.

Old economic assumptions, old methods of determining political leaders, old methods of distributing resources, old methods of communicating information from the government to the people – and vice versa – all of these may once have been valid or useful or at least somewhat adaptive, but today may no longer have survival value at all. Old oppressive and chauvinistic attitudes among the races, between the sexes, and between economic groups are being justifiably challenged. The fabric of society throughout the world is ripping.

At the same time, there are vested interests opposed to change. These include individuals in power who have much to gain in the short run by maintaining the old ways, even if their children have much to lose in the long run. They are individuals who are unable in middle years to change the attitudes inculcated in their youth.

The situation is a very difficult one. The rate of change cannot continue indefinitely; as the example of the rate of communication indicates, limits must be reached. We cannot communicate faster than the velocity of light. We cannot have a population larger than Earth's resources and economic distribution facilities can maintain. Whatever the solutions to be achieved, hundreds of years from now the Earth is unlikely still to be experiencing great social stress and change. We will have reached some solution to our present problems. The question is, which solution?

In science a situation as complicated as this is difficult to treat theoretically. We do not understand all the factors that influence our society and, therefore, cannot make reliable predictions on what changes are desirable. There are too many complex interactions. Ecology has been called the subversive science because every time a serious effort to preserve a feature of the environment is made, it runs into enormous numbers of social or economic vested interests. The same is true every time we attempt to make a major change in anything that is wrong; the change runs through society as a whole. It is difficult to isolate small fragments of the society and change them without having profound influences on the rest of society.

When theory is not adequate in science, the only realistic approach is experimental. Experiment is the touchstone of science on which the theories are framed. It is the court of last resort. What is clearly needed are experimental societies!

There is good biological precedent for this idea. In the evolution of life there are innumerable cases when an organism was clearly dominant, highly specialized, perfectly acclimatized to its environment. But the environment changed and the organism died. It is for this reason that nature employs mutations. The vast majority of mutations are deleterious or lethal. The mutated species are less adaptive than the normal types. But one in a thousand or one in ten thousand mutants has a slight advantage over its parents. The mutations breed true, and the mutant organism is now slightly better adapted.

Social mutations, it seems to me, are what we need. Perhaps because of a hoary science-fiction tradition that mutants are ugly and hateful, it might be better to use another term. But social mutation – a variation on a social system which breeds true, which, if it works, is the path to the future – seems to be precisely the right phrase.”

- Carl Sagan 1973, The Cosmic Connection