The Internet is enthralled by an Insterstellar-like short film about space exploration, but one biologist is concerned that the philosophy behind it is extremely dangerous.
Erik Wernquist’s short film Wanderers — narrated by the late Carl Sagan — explores “humanity’s expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens.”
“The locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available,” Wernquist wrote.
“Without any apparent story, other than what you may fill in by yourself, the idea of the film is primarily to show a glimpse of the fantastic and beautiful nature that surrounds us on our neighboring worlds,” he added, “and above all, how it might appear to us if we were there.”
University of Minnesota, Morris biologist PZ Myers admitted to being dazzled by the short film, but found its — and Sagan’s — message to be problematic.
“The northern tundra is more alive than an icy plain on a distant moon,” he wrote, and having Saturn’s rings as a backdrop is not as glorious as an earthly sunset.”
Moreover, the philosophy Sagan espoused in the video — that “wanderlust that encourages us to seek out new territories, for when the ‘long summers, mild winters, and rich harvests’ end” — is “the philosophy of locusts.”
“When the resources here are used up, move on, find another place, consume it, then move on again. Only the here that Sagan is talking about is our entire planet,” Myers continued.
“Rather than learning to sustain and maintain natural cycles, we’ll instead plan on exploiting what we’ve got and leaving it behind for someplace else — without considering that every other place in the solar system is a hellhole compared to our home.”
Watch Wanderers in its entirety below.
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