i've been watching the original series all weekend on PBS.  tonight the epic return featuring Neil DeGrasse Tyson, on Fox and NatGeo!  yes, SCIENCE bitches!!  set your DVR's!!

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First Episode

Good stuff ... acknowledgement of Carl and his pioneering work.  Basic layout of the playing field, both in space and time, to give the viewer an idea of the scope of what this program is dealing with.  A bit of history with Giordano Bruno, too, which I liked.

Now ... where does Neil take it from here?  [grin!]

I liked the story of Bruno as well.  Was he mentioned in the original series?  I don't recall ever hearing his name before until tonight.  I've heard all about Copernicus and Galileo, but Bruno seems to have been left out of any past discussions that I've heard.

I'm excited about the upcoming episodes.  The Cosmos narrative is such a great story, and Neil has proven that he can take that material and make it a riveting and profound experience once again. 

Cosmos is ultimately about science, but there is no denying that religion, for many people, plays a big role in how we accept the reality of our existence.  With that in mind, I was thinking that now is the perfect time for this program to air, considering :

1)  we just had a major public debate about evolution,

2) Ken Ham wants to build an ark.

3) civil rights and equality are being hotly contested daily against religious dogma, with religion increasingly on the judicial losing side.

4) the Millennials, who are the most nonreligious group, are coming of age in tandem with an updated and current Cosmos.  For them, I'm guessing that it's probably like the difference between mp3 music and a cassette tape.  Hopefully the 2014 Cosmos will have as much impact on them as the 1980 Cosmos had 34 years ago.     

If Bruno was mentioned in the original series, I don't remember it.  I see Bruno's inclusion as very important, though.  His vision of the angel with the arrow was both simple and compelling ... and I can imagine how it drove the RC clerics positively NUTZ - a good thing, I think!

I also very much liked how Tyson outlined some of the principles of science, particularly, "Question EVERYTHING."  Makes Ken Ham look even more like the fool that he is.

I think we're in for a fun ride.

Right on cue, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League fulminates against Cosmos's "smear" of Catholicism:

The ignorance is appalling. “The Catholic Church as an institution had almost nothing to do with [the Inquisition],” [...]

As for Bruno, he was a renegade monk who dabbled in astronomy; he was not a scientist. There is much dispute about what really happened to him. [...] he got into trouble not for his “scientific” views, but because of his “heretical theology involving the existence of an infinite number of worlds—a work based entirely on imagination and speculation.”

Hmmmm.... There is "much dispute" about what really happened to a certain guy from Nazareth some 2000 years ago. And "a work based entirely on imagination and speculation" could aptly describe quite a few religions (perhaps... all of them).

Donohue is nothing more than the designated cry-baby for the catholic church.  I would have loved to hear any attempt at rebuttal he might have made when Christopher Hitchens tore it a new one at the Intelligence Squared debate!

You'd think by now he'd come to grips with the fact that he represents one badly flawed organization.

He is just repeating what is in The Catholic Encyclopedia.

@fa, I hope you're right about its timing. I find the thought of being made starstuff much more credible than a god. And comforting.
Maybe this show will spill over to the ones who don't believe in evolution.
I'm hoping it will awaken some of the younger generations of my family

Neil DeGrasse Tyson is an agnostic, or non religious person. States that he is not an atheist. It would make him unemployable on fox to be an atheist.

One thing that caught my personal attention while watching the segment on Bruno was when he lifted the 'veil' on the accepted view of the universe and crossed to the other side. The animation was taken from a 16th century woodcut, which is the background illustration on my computer.

Wow, very slick, Pat!  I'd seen that woodcut before, but didn't make the association.

This makes a point, too: that an understanding of the arts can inform and indeed enhance one's appreciation of the sciences!

Even if they watched it they would criticize it for not including their god.

Seems to me that Napoleon had the same problem with Laplace's work on the motions of the planets.  My response is to emulate Laplace, to wit: we have no need of that hypothesis.  For that matter, the universe has no need of it, either.  The laws of physics do a wonderful job of defining and describing its behavior, and as for what do as yet do not know, that is a challenge for those best suited to tackle it, and with that, our understanding of reality grows by the day.

In contrast, deities of whatever stripe lose wiggle room at the same rate, and should they disappear altogether, I for one will shed no tears.




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