Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Emperor's Prize, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    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.
     
  2. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    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.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  3. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    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...
     
  4. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    You did indeed!
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.


    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.



    Okay, then can you direct me to a complete voice cast listing?
     
  6. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.)
     
  10. AgentCoop

    AgentCoop Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    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.
     
  11. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't understand this anti religion thing dealing with the show, I saw the part everyone is complaining about. It's a fact that the Catholic Church throughout history has done horrible things to scientist because if you prove science less people give your cult... I mean religion money. I hang out with a friend's friends / co-workers, all of them are physicists and 80-90% of them believe in God and are religious. Science still can not explain how everything started so you can be both. But you can't throw out science just because of religion.
     
  12. AgentCoop

    AgentCoop Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    ^I agree. I'm no fan of religion, but I thought the show was pretty clear that it was condemning the specific actions of the religious establishment of the time as opposed to attacking religion in general.
     
  13. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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  14. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. Throughout history different groups or governments have always done terrible things, it doesn't mean the whole religion is bad. Hell I'd be a Christian if they ever followed their own beliefs of God is love and loves everyone, but that's a completely other topic.

    But look at the USA, the country is founded on freedoms, yet for most of it's history had slavery being legal. Yet we aren't going to ignore that part of our history because it's embarrassing. I feel that's what the people complaint about that part of the show want, just ignore what they don't like. But they do that with The Bible, so why not life? But I digress.
     
  15. Emperor's Prize

    Emperor's Prize Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think I'm alone in saying that while my enjoyment of the show isn't dictated by the numbers it pulls in ... I'm also cheering for it to also be a big success. So to put those numbers in another context:

     
  16. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I know science doesn't yet have all the answers, but it will always be baffling to me how any scientist can practice the scientific method or look at the geological record (where even in the reduced timescale of the Earth we humans only show up in the last two minutes of the day), and still hold onto such a simplistic and primitive explanation. Or think we have some "special connection" to the Creator of the Universe.

    The possibilities of what could have "started" the Universe are so many that it seems bizarre to just narrow it down to one thing. Or to think that it must be a living entity of some sort that needs... worshiping.
     
  17. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The section on Bruno was the second worst part of the show (the mind numbing eye candy made the show almost unwatchable but what do you expect from Brannon Braga). It's based on 19th century scholarship tainted by anti-Catholicism. Bruno and Galileo were both victims of the Protestant Reformation (a POLITICAL conflict between European monarchies and the Catholic Church). If they were born 50 years before, they would have been treated as cranks. Europeans only accepted the idea of an infinite universe after the widespread use of the telescope, not because of Bruno's crazy fantasies.
     
  18. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's a childish simplification of a complex situation. With the "religious monies" the Catholic Church was one of the biggest sponsors of science, medicine, education and the arts for the last 200 years. After a mere 20 years after Galileo's trial, the Jesuits were teaching his theories (minus his book of course) in their universities. They also quick adopted Newton even though he was Protestant and a known heretic. Did you also know the Big Bang theory came from a Belgian priest.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_LemaƮtre


    Sure and some people want to reciprocate by throwing out religion because of science.
     
  19. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Axe, meet grindstone.

    The rest of us have yet to meet "giving a shit".
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which explanation are you talking about? It sounds to me like you're confusing belief in God with belief in young-Earth Creationism, and nothing could be further from the truth. And there are many different ways of defining God beyond what's written down in a book somewhere. Even within a single religion, there are numerous interpretations of God, and of course there are many religions on this planet that do not count the Bible among their sacred texts.

    And no, you don't have to believe we're somehow special in the eye of God in order to believe that there is some kind of generative force behind the universe -- even if that force bears no resemblance to the way it's described in any specific religious text. Remember what Tyson said at the start of the episode: Science is about questioning preconceptions and seeking answers through testing hypotheses. Thus, scientists who believe in God are generally willing to admit that they don't entirely know what God is, and they do science in hopes of finding out. Dogmatic religion is about insisting you have all the answers, but that's just a power trip. There are many spiritual people in the world who understand that you can't truly begin to find wisdom until you admit that you don't have the answers at all.



    It continues to amaze me how consistently the people who want to insult Brannon Braga end up insulting his collaborators instead by ignoring their contributions completely and talking as though Braga were the sole auteur. Braga is merely one of four executive producers here, along with Ann Druyan, Seth MacFarlane, and Mitchell Cannold. The creative team for the show includes Druyan and Steven Soter, Sagan's collaborators on the original Cosmos, as well as Tyson, MacFarlane, and Braga. This is not Braga's show, he's just one of the people working on it.

    I mean, me, I can't stand Seth MacFarlane's shows, and I was worried deeply when I heard he'd be involved with this; but I understand that this isn't his work alone, that he's just using his clout to get Tyson and Druyan and Soter's project on the air. They're the minds behind Cosmos, but they need established TV talent to help them, and that's what MacFarlane and Braga are doing.


    Yes, and that is exactly what the story showed: That Bruno's visions of an infinite universe were not accepted until Galileo's telescopic discoveries came along after his death.