Religious people think that we atheists are lacking wonder and imagination in our lives. Yet, when you learn about the universe, you can barely get your mind around the most basic concepts, it is THAT extraordinary.
Don't know how I missed the first version of Cosmos with Carl Sagan. My parents always had educational shows on. It may be that my fundie in-laws have pushed me toward the works of the "New Atheists," and thus, others on the periphery, such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium.
Made a point of watching the first episode of the new version last night, and it was indeed fantastic. Written in a way to appeal to all ages, it reminded people about the importance of reason and the scientific method. It started out with an introduction from President Obama, then summary of our solar system, and each "layer" beyond.
Then, the animated story of Giordano Bruno, a philosopher from the 1500s who left the priesthood when he couldn't stop reading banned books about science. He was convinced that the earth was not the center of the universe; rather, stars were other suns with their own orbiting planets, and that the universe was created by God to be infinite. Despite his belief in God, he was imprisoned for years, tortured, and refused to recant. The Spanish Inquisition eventually burned him at the stake, but his reputation inspired others to re-think all the old notions.
Tyson also explained the history of time as if the Big Bang were at midnight Jan. 1st, and all time as we know it condensed into one year. If this were the case, humans have only been around for the last minute of Dec. 31st.
It's funny that Fox TV, of all channels, would run this show again. There's plenty for right-wing Republican fundie types to hate.....including Obama's endorsement!! It's the perfect antedote to the release of yet another Jesus movie. I'm hoping that it inspires a whole new generation of kids to shun ancient thinking.
I watched it as it aired too, and will watch all of it. When i saw the animated bruno character, i just had a feeling that xians would hit the roof. We finally get a representation of the free thinker being the good guy, and the church as the evil ones preventing new ideas. So very awesome. I expecially liked the scene when he was in prison then imagined himself floating up and observing the wonders of nature.