Cosmos Is Great So Far, but It’s Missing Something

The new Cosmos series seems to be just fine, so far. It celebrates science and our knowledge of the vastness of the known universe, and takes a legitimate stand against the religious resistance that would deny or trivialize this knowledge.

Is Neil dT just a tad patronizing, as if spelling things out very simply for his audience? Probably not, since I’ve understood this worldview all my life and realize that many in his audience have never had any exposure to these topics. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

There have been twitter feeds and Facebook threads by the devout who cling to religious fantasies — or who presume that the revelations of Cosmos *confirm* their faiths (e.g. What Are (Some) Christians Saying About ‘Cosmos’ on Twitter? You’ve Been Warned…)

For example,

Wow, and they believing in God is insane? Takes more “faith” to believe what I just watched.

And this takes me to what, at least so far, is missing from Cosmos: any consideration of the vast history of *why* scientists have concluded all these wondrous things. Ironically perhaps, the example of Bruno in this first episode was unfortunate, because his idea about a vast universe of other suns was an inspired guess, but not based on evidence. Galileo had evidence. The history of these past four or five centuries of our expanding understanding of the universe has been based on evidence, vast amounts of evidence that keeps mounting and is all consistent (though as always, with ragged edges of what we don’t quite yet understand). The tweeter quoted above has no idea of this; he apparently thinks science is just something that some guys made up. Cosmos owes it to its audience to disabuse this view.

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