Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Ancient Mariner, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. AgentCoop

    AgentCoop Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Last night's episode was probably the least engaging for me so far, but it was arguably the most important. I'm already part of the choir that they're preaching to, but I can easily put myself in the position of a young science nerd who is just discovering that science is not above being sullied by corporate interests. So, bravo.

    As far as creationists are concerned? The more shots they can take at them the better. I've no time for ignorance.
     
  2. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    They could just as easily have portrayed the lead debate as one of a maverick overthrowing the scientific consensus that the levels of environmental lead posed no significant threat, which is why all the scientists at the time happily drove around in cars powered by leaded gasoline. In WW-II we put so much lead in the gas that the sides of combat aircraft near the exhaust stacks were coated with metallic lead, and none of the government scientists batted an eye. Indeed, leaded gasoline is still widely used for aviation because the world is filled with aircraft engines that can't run on unleaded fuel.

    Did the show happen to mention that because we removed lead from gasoline, we went back to adding toxic and carcinogenic benzene to it? (Benzene causes leukemia, spina bifida, etc.) Back in 1948 the American Petroleum Institute said the safe level of benzene in gasoline was zero. Now gasoline is chock full of the stuff (about 2%), and my house mate who is working an 8,200 gallon tanker truck spill into a delicate cave ecosystem is tracking the benzene levels in the groundwater as a tracer for where the gasoline went. One gallon of gasoline has enough added benzene to make four million gallons of water unsafe for drinking according to the EPA's 5 ppb exposure limit.
     
  3. Pingfah

    Pingfah Admiral Admiral

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    I thought there was a malevolent grin on his face when he declared that the day the earth began was a Saturday. :lol:
     
  4. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    I had this discussion with my girlfriend last night right after he said that. The concept of a 6000 year old Earth is even more ridiculous when you look at it in this context: As someone who believes in God, isn't it much more AMAZING that God, who is limitless and omnipresent, spent billions of years making his vision of Earth as perfect as it could possibly be? That he wanted every single detail to be perfect, so he spent his time completely micromanaging evolution until it was exactly what he wanted. That God is the ultimate artist, and Earth was his masterpiece.

    I don't even have a problem with a Creationist saying that it wasn't until that specific Saturday in 4000BC when God was finally able to look at the Earth he had just spent 4 billion years creating, and finally saying "It is good." But to think that the Earth simply didn't exist before that point is ludicrous.
     
  5. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Why would God create the Earth on a day named after Saturn, the Roman god of time?
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Probably because the name Saturday wouldn't arise for another few centuries.
     
  7. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    There might have been, I just think he's adorable, so I takes what I can gets. :lol:

    It is ludicrous, just like Creationism, and like that horrid theology wrapped in pseudo-science, requires no thought or consideration, just a willing mouthpiece with nothing better to do than bleat on and on.
     
  8. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    But God, being all knowing, would've known that he was creating the Earth on a Saturday, especially since days of the week are eternal and divine (Mankind wasn't granted the ability to create a day of the week, they just are).
     
  9. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Days just are, but the concept of a week did not exist until men created the concept of a calendar, named the days and parceled a specific number of them together, for the express purpose of keeping track of the days that "just are." The argument is not that God knew which day he created the Earth, because an eternal, omniscient, omnipresent spirit likely doesn't give a shit what name lowly creatures that need calendars assign to the day he saw that "It was good."

    Six days four millenia ago or 4 billion years ago, It's just still good.
     
  10. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    So you really think that man invented Mondays? Balderdash. If man invented the days then every day would be Saturday.
     
  11. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    As was already pointed out in an earlier episode of Cosmos, were the universe only six thousand years old, we would only be able to see 6000 light years distance -- just a small portion of our corner of the galaxy.
    But names for things are thought up by people. Are you being facetious (in which case i'll admit to taking the bait), or do you really think the name "Saturday" exists in the air entirely independent of human thought?
    As Joseph Campbell has rightly pointed out, there's no conflict at all between science and religion; the conflict is between the science of today and the science of several millennia ago which certain people want to cling to.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's the Creationists who've stirred up the fiction that science is inimical to religion. Cosmos has been showing all along that many great scientists were deeply religious, that they were inspired to seek scientific truth by their desire to understand God's design. It's showing that the embrace of science can be a deeply spiritual thing. So you've got it completely backward, gturner.

    See, one of the big lies of the Creationists is that opposing Creationism is the same thing as opposing religion. In fact, Creationism is terrible religion. It's totally inimical to true religious faith and spirituality, because it's about pretending that the Bible is nothing more than a textbook, that the only meaning it possesses is the superficial, literal meaning of the words, that it couldn't possibly be a collection of metaphors and allegories for something more abstract. And because it's about telling people that they're not allowed to ask questions about the universe, that they have to blindly follow authority and are forbidden to seek to understand God in any way except the narrow way that Creationists tell them to. Creationism misunderstands religion as profoundly as it misunderstands science.
     
  13. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    It's kind of ironic that the God of the scientists is vastly more powerful and amazing than the God of the Creationists. Creationist-God is actually not that powerful of a guy.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah -- a universe that runs smoothly on its own inbuilt rules for 14 billion years is vastly more impressive than a universe that's only been around 6000 years, is incapable of change and growth, and needs to be micromanaged at every stage.
     
  15. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No matter where you go, there you are.
    I don't know to what extent that really is.
     
  16. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Exactly. A literal historical interpretation of the Bible (or any religious text) reduces religion to mere ideology. It's the death of religion.
     
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    That's one of the best characterizations of it I've ever read. That needs to be a Facebook meme. :)
     
  18. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Just because God couldn't help against enemies with chariots doesn't mean he's not powerful. It just means he weighs the risks that the chariot dudes will totally kick ass, and decides not to tempt fate.

    I think that refers to the iron rims on the chariots wheels. One look at those pimped-out death machines would give any being pause.
     
  19. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Except that it would mainly apply to religion prior to the Enlightenment, many religious wars, and the Great Awakening, though it's some of heirs of the Awakening that cause the problems. They cause these because they don't accept authority, so someone high up can't tell them what's what. They believe what they believe, even if it's in stark contradiction to the Bible, which is kind of key. Europeans have made the Bible mean what they think it should mean, and needed it to mean, based on what made sense to them. Parts of Middle Eastern culture, customs, and laws that didn't fit our way of life were tossed out or reinterpreted. Some of these interpretations are at extreme variance with the lessons of Jesus.

    For example, in my culture, if you were having an ongoing dispute with some neighbor, and saw him from a great distance sitting alone in the woods by his fire, you didn't approach to make amends and forgive each other, you took a long range rifle shot at his head, because God had delivered him up into your hands, and successfully killing him with a bullet through the back meant the Lord was smiling down upon you and your family, and you were right with Him. Obviously, if God hadn't wanted you to kill your neighbor, he wouldn't have given you such a perfect shot with no witnesses. And thus, justice is done and His purpose is served.

    That religious interpretation is thought to have come primarily from the Scottish highlands, and was in Europe considered backwards even in the 1600's, and probably represents a pre-Christian European relic of how the universe is ordered. At some point it was probably about making Odin happy, and by changing up a few minor details like the name of the God, it survived into the 20th century.

    So when you hear of regular old Baptists speaking up for Jesus, be thankful they at least upgraded to the newer message.
     
  20. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's one fucked up culture. And I fail to see why describing it has any relevance in a thread about scientific rigor. A rogue idea (like the notion that climate change is invalid) only remains rogue if it cannot be scientifically substantiated. Given enough scientific data, any idea will be scientifically accepted. With that in mind, any comment about killing a neighbor with a long-range rifle shot, in a thread about science, is particularly preposterous and intellectually vapid.
     

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