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Old March 10 2014, 05:24 AM   #76
Dr. Tom Horrible, PHD
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I cried when he talked about meeting Carl, about how he invited him to his laboratory and gave him his phone number if he couldn't make it home.
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Old March 10 2014, 05:29 AM   #77
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I almost wish the episode had pointed out Sagan's role in some of the scientific things mentioned in the episode -- he was the person who first figured out what the atmosphere and surface of Venus were really like, and he was a key figure in the Voyager probes and the creation of the message records. But at least those things were referenced in the episode, and I guess constantly going "Hey, Carl was responsible for this and this and that" would've been a distraction from the science and a bit too fanboyish.
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Old March 10 2014, 06:52 AM   #78
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I loved the first episode, but I did more research on the Bruno history and, as a Catholic, was a bit bothered that this show tried to martyr this philosopher without actually bringing context to his trial/imprisonment. It was almost like this show is going out of it's way to say Religion = Bad, which seems to be the attitude of many on the Internet these days, yet I wish there was a way to point out the good that religion does. I value faith, as it kind of guides my life to do good things, yet I'm afraid to admit I'm a catholic for fear of being labeled a fundamentalist or closed minded fool. This part of the show kind of added to that stereotype and I wonder what the reaction will be.

With that said, I really did love the science aspect of it. Visually, this show was stunning, and the Cosmic Calender, talking about the Cosmic address, and Tyson's anecdote about how he met Carl Segan were my favorite parts. I can't wait till the rest of this series, and hopefully it sticks with the science, and not wanting to bash religion too much.
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Old March 10 2014, 11:43 AM   #79
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

To be fair, the original "Cosmos" took a couple of "digs" at religion as well. Alas, I can't recall which episode, but Sagan suggested if it had not been for the suppression of analytical thought during the Middle Ages, technological progress might be a thousand years more advanced and the first interstellar craft would be returning from their voyages, craft named after various Grecian scientists.

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old March 10 2014, 12:48 PM   #80
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Except this episode didn't go after religion. In fact, it went out of its way to mention religion several times, including during the Cosmic Calendar sequence. Instead, it went after a time and environment in which freedom of thought was not only suppressed, but harshly punished (in an obvious parallel to the rising anti-scientific sentiment in some segments of current society). The message wasn't "belief in God is bad" it was, explicitly, to those who are unwilling to accept new ideas, "your God is too small" - that thinking bigger, and understanding true nature of the universe, isn't incompatible to religious belief. The hero of the story, after all, was devoutly religious.

I will admit, though that, for my tastes, I thought the sequence ran a bit too long as was a bit too "on the nose" both in terms of its message and graphic content (burning at the stake, for example).

Christopher wrote: View Post
I almost wish the episode had pointed out Sagan's role in some of the scientific things mentioned in the episode
The episode did, in fact, mention several of Sagan's discoveries. It was right near the end, just before Tyson's anecdote. Tyson recalls Sagan as a great communicator and scientist, including some of Sagan's contributions to science, as a voice over to some vintage footage of Sagan at the JPL, on Johnny Carson, at Harvard, etc.
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Old March 10 2014, 12:51 PM   #81
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Agreed with Ancient Mariner, in that the episode didn't bash religion, it bashed the small minded thinking that oppressed science in the name of dogma. As mentioned, Bruno was a devoutly religious man, who merely stated that an infinite creator could surely create an infinite creation. For that, he was murdered, as were many others during the Inquisition.

My mom is very devoutly Christian, and she didn't feel that the show bashed religion at all. To her, the show seemed to say that people can be faithful, and still accept the tenets of scientific thought.
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Old March 10 2014, 01:12 PM   #82
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

You're right, "religion" was not the best choice of word on my part.

Might "suppressive dogma" be a bit better? That would refer to any philosophy that tries to stifle analytical thought.

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Old March 10 2014, 01:20 PM   #83
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Christopher wrote: View Post
I almost wish the episode had pointed out Sagan's role in some of the scientific things mentioned in the episode -- he was the person who first figured out what the atmosphere and surface of Venus were really like, and he was a key figure in the Voyager probes and the creation of the message records. But at least those things were referenced in the episode, and I guess constantly going "Hey, Carl was responsible for this and this and that" would've been a distraction from the science and a bit too fanboyish.
Am I misremembering, or didn't they do that? It seems to me there was a little segment on Sagan's contributions toward the end of the episode...
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Old March 10 2014, 02:13 PM   #84
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Christopher wrote: View Post
Did anyone catch if the end credits listed the voices in the animated segment? I thought I heard Phil LaMarr at one point.
You did indeed!
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Old March 10 2014, 02:30 PM   #85
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post
Except this episode didn't go after religion. In fact, it went out of its way to mention religion several times, including during the Cosmic Calendar sequence. Instead, it went after a time and environment in which freedom of thought was not only suppressed, but harshly punished (in an obvious parallel to the rising anti-scientific sentiment in some segments of current society). The message wasn't "belief in God is bad" it was, explicitly, to those who are unwilling to accept new ideas, "your God is too small" - that thinking bigger, and understanding true nature of the universe, isn't incompatible to religious belief. The hero of the story, after all, was devoutly religious.
Exactly. It wasn't criticizing religion or God, it was criticizing those people who use God as an excuse for their own pettiness and intolerance. And it was refuting the myth propagated by the modern crop of such small-minded people, notably Creationists, that science is hostile to religion. It was showing that scientific inquiry can be directly inspired by love of God, that there is room for belief in God and an understanding of the universe to go together, and that there is no reason for a conflict between science and religion except in the minds of people who are only using religion as an excuse to perpetuate their own narrow dogmas and whose power would be threatened by the freedom to think and question.


Christopher wrote: View Post
I almost wish the episode had pointed out Sagan's role in some of the scientific things mentioned in the episode
The episode did, in fact, mention several of Sagan's discoveries. It was right near the end, just before Tyson's anecdote. Tyson recalls Sagan as a great communicator and scientist, including some of Sagan's contributions to science, as a voice over to some vintage footage of Sagan at the JPL, on Johnny Carson, at Harvard, etc.
Yes, but I meant that when they were talking about the atmosphere of Venus and the Voyager record earlier in the episode, I felt that it would've been nice to hear Sagan's connection to those mentioned at the time -- although I recognized that it would be a distraction/interruption, and it was probably best to save that for a separate bit at the end.



Forbin wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Did anyone catch if the end credits listed the voices in the animated segment? I thought I heard Phil LaMarr at one point.
You did indeed!
Okay, then can you direct me to a complete voice cast listing?
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Old March 10 2014, 03:58 PM   #86
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I didn't think it was anti-religion at all; after all, it did mention that Copernicus was a priest, and that Bruno was hardly an atheist. It seemed more anti-authority than anything, which is a dangerous thing at a time when science speaks with authority. On one hand, you get real breakthroughs in understanding when scientists aren't afraid to defy accepted wisdom; on the other you get pseudoscience claiming that it is bravely countering "the establishment." Sagan did a good segment on Velikovsky on the original; I'm hoping that Tyson is able to frame the boundaries of scientific inquiry in an engaging way here.
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Old March 10 2014, 05:05 PM   #87
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Very good first episode... although after rewatching some of the original show the night before (which is far better than I remembered), I couldn't help but wish it retained more of that version's more elegant and poetic style.

But I'm a huge fan of Tyson, and thought he did a great job as the new host. And it was cool seeing them reuse certain settings and devices like the Cosmic Calendar as well.

I was a bit worried about the animation, but that ended up being pretty effective too.
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Old March 10 2014, 05:44 PM   #88
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Agreed with Ancient Mariner, in that the episode didn't bash religion, it bashed the small minded thinking that oppressed science in the name of dogma. As mentioned, Bruno was a devoutly religious man, who merely stated that an infinite creator could surely create an infinite creation. For that, he was murdered, as were many others during the Inquisition.

My mom is very devoutly Christian, and she didn't feel that the show bashed religion at all. To her, the show seemed to say that people can be faithful, and still accept the tenets of scientific thought.
Agreed. I thought they handled the subject in a pretty respectful way. Obviously there are certain topics, like evolution, that they won't be shy about addressing head-on (and which I'm sure will rub quite a few people the wrong way), but that's as it should be.

And I'm sure Neil will probably do the same as Sagan and suggest strongly that just because one can still find room in there for faith if they want, doesn't mean it's remotely necessary or required. One of the major themes of the show after all (and Sagan's life work) is that science provides all the meaning and wonder in life that one could possibly ever want.
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Old March 10 2014, 05:44 PM   #89
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Yeah, it doesn't quite match the style of the original. I mean, Sagan's "ship of the imagination" was based on a dandelion seed, a nice metaphor in its own right. But Tyson's ship is just a... thing... whose design seems more about letting the visual-effects department show off. (Plus Sagan actually had a set for his ship while Tyson just seems to be greenscreening the whole thing.)
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Old March 10 2014, 06:45 PM   #90
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I got a little misty-eyed when Neil related his anectdote about meeting Carl Sagan.

I loved the Giordano Bruno sequence, as that is a historical figure I sadly knew nothing about. I hope Huygens gets an equally detailed treatment.
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