The Buzz on Aldrin: Space, the Future, and Extremes

Buzz, Neil, and Michael home from the moon
WIRED Blogs: Table of Malcontents

Me: Are you optimistic as to what the future holds?

Aldrin: We’re kind of a greedy society and very impatient. We are not thinking about twenty or thirty years into the future. We have to look ahead and see what we are gambling with. There’s no guarantee that our way of life is going to continue. I’m very concerned about the things that threaten us today.

Me: Like what?

Aldrin: Like extremism. The suicide bomber is a weapon of mass destruction. How do you stop it? How do you re-educate people who are predisposed to hate and killing? I don’t think we can stand back and expect them to understand the concerns for our future.

Me: Members of Apollo 11 read from the Old Testament on the mission. Have your views on religion changed since being in space?

Aldrin: After we landed on the moon, without making a big announcement about it, I served myself communion because I was an elder in the Protestant church. But all of us go through changes and growth and we progress and evolve. Hopefully, this moves us toward some degree of enlightenment as we mature and take advantage of what our thoughts have been in the past. I think Einstein had some very profound observations about the evolution that humans have gone through in their groping for some definition of a higher power. We don’t have to understand the universe, it’s going to play out. That’s not fatalism because we have instincts, we have knowledge, and we have a degree of rational thinking.

This fills me with awe. Not only does Aldrin embody and encourage human aspirations to travel in space (and colonize Mars) his insights into the American psyche, religious extremists as WMDs, and religion really hit the mark.

via BoingBoing, and boy would I love to go into space someday.

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