Like Cosmos, I feel I’ve been away too long… Let’s try to stick around a bit more.
I just watched the first episode of Cosmos. I’m going to try to give my thoughts on this series each week.
In today’s climate where religion is feeling the heat from Science more than ever as the Internet educates more people each day. It was hard to look at today’s show as anything but a slap at religion and the anti-science crowd.
At the start, I found the beginning of the show too quick. The show really assumes that we know about the first show from many years ago. That we know about this spaceship that Neil zips around in. The details of what the show was are touched but ever so briefly. Maybe I give the age of the Internet too little credit, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more.
However, once you dive in and get used to the water, Cosmos takes off.
Neil (our host), gives you the cosmic perspective, as he likes to do, and shows our place in the universe and beyond. Once we get there, he hits religion in the face with the story of Giordano Bruno. Bruno was a monk who was burnt at the stake for a number of religious reason which partly included some ideas the universe and our part in it that happened to be true. Cosmos falls here a bit, because it focuses on Bruno being killed for Science and that was only part of the equation.
However, I think in this day and age the point is a fair one. We live in an age where Science and new ideas are openly challenged by religion. The debate with Bill Nye and Ken Ham shows that:
We know the stories of the Bible can not be taken at face value and yet religion can not change. It dare not or the house of cards will fall. People like Ken Ham are the thought police.
Cosmos then turns around and looks at our place again in cosmic time. The effects are great and again makes you understand how small you are.
Overall I liked the first show even with the few stumbles. I would liked to have seen more details about the science, but I’m sure that is saved for other shows. It’s a solid start.
I thought this was funny, so I’ll post it. 🙂
Yes, I owe some posts to this blog. Summer is getting in the way…
So is Neil deGrasse Tyson an Atheist? It’s a question I’ve wondered about from time to time, so here is his stand. He is an Agnostic.
So a few thoughts of my own.
To me the only difference between Atheist and Agnostic is where do you draw the line.
Can I show God doesn’t exist? Well, yes, in about the same way I can show that T-Rexs don’t exist either. A T-Rex could be stomping around somewhere in some remote place on the globe, but I know that the odds are so low, they are basically zero. For that reason, I’m an Atheist.
Now for some folks, that’s not good enough. I don’t know why. I doubt they (Neil included) would be Agnostic about T-Rexs.
I think it just comes with being a public figure. Carl Sagan also walked a fine line between Atheist and Agnostic. Carl is widely credited to be a Atheist, but never said so publically. Here is a clip of James Randi saying why that was:
Going back to Neil for a second, at the end of the video he says he doesn’t understand why Atheist exists. If so, then you haven’t really thought about it well enough Neil….
Atheist exists as a group, because we see the many wrongs happening in the name of religion. That’s why we stand up to it.
If there was an scientific theory, that had no basis, Neil would talk about it right? Yep.
It seems odd to me that in this video Neil sees the harm that religion has done, but on the other hand he doesn’t understand why Atheist exist. When that harm goes away Neil, so will the title Atheist.
What would Carl think about the world today? It’s hard to say. The gap between educated folks and those who still believe various dogmas has gotten wider. I wonder if that would have still happened if Carl was still around. I would think that it would likely to be so, still he seemed to have a gift with talking to the public and no one has fully filled his shoes….
Neil deGrasse Tyson comes close and he is doing a sequel to Carl’s ‘Cosmos’ series. Hopefully that will work out well.
The 12th BTW is Carl Sagan Day: