Moon Landing Quotes (4 quotes)
For forty-nine months between 1968 and 1972, two dozen Americans had the great good fortune to briefly visit the Moon. Half of us became the first emissaries from Earth to tread its dusty surface. We who did so were privileged to represent the hopes and dreams of all humanity. For mankind it was a giant leap for a species that evolved from the Stone Age to create sophisticated rockets and spacecraft that made a Moon landing possible. For one crowning moment, we were creatures of the cosmic ocean, an epoch that a thousand years hence may be seen as the signature of our century.
If in some madhouse there is a lunatic who still believes the old churchly tenet that heaven is up above, even this [the first manned landing on the moon] probably will not disabuse him. Surely those of us still sane enough to be at large realize that this event will have no more to so with theology, God, or self-knowledge than any flower we pluck or any hand we pressin fact, much less.
One can argue that mathematics is a human activity deeply rooted in reality, and permanently returning to reality. From counting on ones fingers to moon-landing to Google, we are doing mathematics in order to understand, create, and handle things, Mathematicians are thus more or less responsible actors of human history, like Archimedes helping to defend Syracuse (and to save a local tyrant), Alan Turing cryptanalyzing Marshal Rommels intercepted military dispatches to Berlin, or John von Neumann suggesting high altitude detonation as an efficient tactic of bombing.
The realization that our small planet is only one of many worlds gives mankind the perspective it needs to realize sooner that our own world belongs to all of its creatures, that the Moon landing marks the end of our childhood as a race and the beginning of a newer and better civilization.