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Old April 16 2014, 12:11 AM   #511
Dennis
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Well, one can construct an apologia for the show around whatever one chooses. I'm just watching the television series as a television series, and it's lacking quite a bit.
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Old April 16 2014, 12:31 AM   #512
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

J. Allen wrote: View Post
I think they're doing a terrific job, considering the environment, which Christopher highlighted earlier, in which they're making this effort.
Um, that's purely the demons in his imagination. Twice as many Republicans on the House Science and Technology committee have STEM degrees than the Democrats (Four), even counting Joe Kennedy and a BA in psychology for the Democrats.

One Republican with a handful of degrees (and a chest full of medals) even ran a planetarium (along with an aeronautics and space museum). Our member from Kentucky has multiple engineering degrees from MIT.

As for their religions, there is no statistical difference between the two parties on the committee regarding Methodists, Lutherans, or Catholics, and the percentage of the sum of Baptists and Episcopalians is also the same. One Democrat on the committee even attacked his primary opponent, an incumbent Democrat, for being an atheist who doesn't represent California values.

I think the gross misperception is part of the "science versus evil religion" thing that Cosmos stirred up.
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Old April 16 2014, 02:00 AM   #513
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Well, if the Creationists feel targeted by the show they're not just being paranoid; the creators clearly consider it their brief to push back against misrepresentations and misunderstanding of science being used to further political/social agendas. That said, there's not much in "A Spacetime Odyssey" that's likely to accomplish that - just many proud assertions of scientific integrity. That's the kind of thing to bring cheers from people who already agree with them rather than enlightenment to the uninformed, misguided or uncertain.

"Herschel was the first person ever to see into the deeper waters of the cosmic ocean. There, he glimpsed the magic trick that light does with time...

'...The light from the stars travels very fast, faster than anything, but not infinitely fast.'"
That's metaphor (just what exactly does being "the first person ever to see into the deeper waters..." etc mean? What did he do?) and bald assertion. There's nothing in that animation to acquaint a viewer with how Herschel learned this, why he was convinced of it, or why the viewer should accept it as our most reliable understanding of reality right now...as distinct from, say, some Bronze Age religious writings.
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Old April 16 2014, 02:15 AM   #514
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Dennis wrote: View Post
Do you actually think that whoever put this together is doing as good a job as Sagan did?
The person who put the new series together is exactly the same person who put the old series together.
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Old April 16 2014, 02:17 AM   #515
Dennis
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Then the answer is that she's not doing as good a job as she did last time.
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Old April 16 2014, 02:19 AM   #516
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

There's no need for apologies. The show is good, the concepts are good, the execution is good. You don't like it, and that's fine, it's not going to appeal to everyone. I like it, I'm learning from it and, more importantly, my family is learning from it.
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Old April 16 2014, 04:51 AM   #517
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

"Apologia" doesn't mean apology so much as an explanation or a defense (it literally means "speaking in defense"). Which is really kind of the opposite of what "apology" has come to mean, since it means arguing that you were justified rather than admitting you were wrong. Words evolve in complicated ways.
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Old April 16 2014, 05:01 AM   #518
J. Allen
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Christopher wrote: View Post
"Apologia" doesn't mean apology so much as an explanation or a defense (it literally means "speaking in defense"). Which is really kind of the opposite of what "apology" has come to mean, since it means arguing that you were justified rather than admitting you were wrong. Words evolve in complicated ways.
I know. I liken it to Apologetics. All I'm saying is that there is no need for any of it, at least from my point of view.
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Old April 16 2014, 12:36 PM   #519
Dennis
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Christopher wrote: View Post
"Apologia" doesn't mean apology so much as an explanation or a defense (it literally means "speaking in defense"). Which is really kind of the opposite of what "apology" has come to mean, since it means arguing that you were justified rather than admitting you were wrong. Words evolve in complicated ways.
Yes, Christopher, and I used it in exactly the correct way - go head, insert "defense" or "explanation" for the word in my sentence.

If you inferred something else, the mistake is entirely yours.
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Last edited by Dennis; April 16 2014 at 12:55 PM.
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Old April 16 2014, 02:12 PM   #520
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

He was correcting J. Allen, I'm pretty sure.
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Old April 16 2014, 06:20 PM   #521
davejames
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Dennis wrote: View Post
Well, if the Creationists feel targeted by the show they're not just being paranoid; the creators clearly consider it their brief to push back against misrepresentations and misunderstanding of science being used to further political/social agendas. That said, there's not much in "A Spacetime Odyssey" that's likely to accomplish that - just many proud assertions of scientific integrity. That's the kind of thing to bring cheers from people who already agree with them rather than enlightenment to the uninformed, misguided or uncertain.
Well it's doubtful anything would have convinced the vast majority of creationists out there-- and that's assuming they even made the effort to watch the show in the first place.

But for all the criticism on here (and I do agree the storytelling isn't quite as focused as it could be), the one thing I think the show IS doing really well, like the original, is just exposing people to a vast array of ideas and scientific concepts they may not have heard before (like being made of "star stuff"), and providing a better perspective on just how inconceivably old and huge our universe is (with things like the Cosmic Calendar), and showing the many amazing and incredible things scientists HAVE discovered about our world and universe so far (such as with the "hidden cosmos" around us from the last episode).

It's easy for us to take all this stuff for granted, but there's a great many people who have likely never heard some of this before or given it much thought. And given the state of science education in this country (and the people who insist on believing ridiculous things), I think it's probably enough just to expose people to the basic ideas and concepts.
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Old April 16 2014, 06:31 PM   #522
Timewalker
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
Anyways, how does everyone who saw the original think of Tyson as a host? Is he better/worse than Sagan?
Worse. I know he's enthusiastic, and modern audiences love him. I have seen some of his shows from before, but while they were interesting, they didn't inspire me.

Carl Sagan inspired me. As for the question "does Cosmos ever change anyone's mind/outlook"... yes. I used to be one of those twits who never missed checking the daily horoscope, or prattling about astrology (I was also into real science, but for some reason hadn't fully let go of the pseudoscience).

Original Cosmos and some very plain, easy-to-understand explanations cured me of that pseudoscientific nonsense. I'm also much more skeptical about "extraordinary claims." Show me the extraordinary evidence.
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Old April 16 2014, 06:41 PM   #523
Dennis
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tyson's mannerisms are less annoying than Sagan's - the latter seemed to think that he was conveying awe and wonder with each syllable that fell from his lips, but I don't think he'd rate better than a gentleman's "C" at Columbia School of Broadcasting. Tyson even gets to poke a little fun at "billi-yuns and billi-yuns."
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Old April 16 2014, 06:51 PM   #524
Timewalker
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

If you're going to compare voices and speech patterns, Sagan's voice never squeaked, and he didn't uptalk in the middle of his sentences. Tyson does both of those, and it's annoying.
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Old April 16 2014, 07:36 PM   #525
davejames
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Lol. I haven't noticed any of this "squeaking" myself. Some of Tyson's hand movements may be a bit awkward at times, but I think his voice sounds fine.

And I also get a kick out of the little disbelieving or "oh brother" looks he gives to the camera at times as well, and the other little hints of personality that we didn't really get with Sagan.
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