Our place in the universe, well, it is here. And that’s the place we have and nothing else. Everything else is unfriendly. We cannot flee from our planet, I mean go to any other planet in the solar system. It’s just not inviting. And the next planet from there, the next star out there, is only four and a half light-years away, but with the fastest speed, we can never reach so far. It would take 110,000 years just to go there, hundreds and hundreds of generations. They wouldnt even know where they were going. There would be incest and madness and murder and whatever en route. So it’s not pleasant to move… We cannot dissolve into particles of light, like in “Star Trek” and beam ourselves somewhere. This is our place, this is our place, and we’d better take care of it.
—Werner Herzog, in an NPR conversation Connecting Science and Art
Connecting Science and Art, Pt. 2
- PROFESSOR LAWRENCE KRAUSS (Arizona State University): When you try and confront the real world, as a scientist, it's terrifying because it forces you to throw away a lot of things you believe. And sometimes, you have to go away from it. And I think - that's what I mean. I think the convergence of science and art in the sense that if -that what that science was saying is confronted with the reality of those caves (unintelligible). It was difficult for him to deal with. And I - and even as a theoretical physicist, sometimes just alone at night, confronted with the possibility that the real universe might actually correspond to something you're thinking about is terrifying. And I think there's...
- WERNER HERZOG: And, of course, it is, because it's not friendly just be - imagined to be being sucked into a black hole or even landing on the sun, which looks so benign and beautiful, and there's hundreds of thousands of atomic explosions boiling every second.
- PROFESSOR LAWRENCE KRAUSS (Arizona State University): And in some ways, we have to realize that, yet, once again, we have to confront our own, in some sense, an unfriendly universe potentially, but also our own insignificance in a cosmic sense, and what significance we make of ourselves. To me, part of it is our ability to - this amazing gift we have to appreciate the universe and imagine it not just as it is but as it might be in order to understand ourselves better. That's why I find this connection.
- (NPR, April 8, 2011)