COSMOS to return in 2019


COSMOS will be back with an all-new season! FOX and National Geographic TV’s Emmy-award winning event series returns with host Neil deGrasse Tyson in Spring 2019. Meanwhile, you can view what appears to be the teaser trailer for COSMOS: Possible Worlds. I hope it won’t be treated like a disease or a threat.

Meanwhile, we have this article: Neil deGrasse Tyson concurs: Catholicism is the science-friendly religion. I would add that Anglicanism is just as science-friendly.

(Wookin Panub) #2

Hopefully the show does not attack the church with erroneous, inaccurate claims this time i.e. Giordano Bruno. Furthermore. Neil loves to play the bait and switch. What he means is evolutionary-friendly religion; not science-friendly religion.


Perhaps you should join the live blogging panel to rip it.

(Wookin Panub) #4

I have nothing to rip into. I actually like the show. Neil, I have a problem with. I am a graphics hound, and the special effects are absolutely cool to watch on HD. I hope it is in 4K this time around. :slight_smile:

(James McKay) #5

I don’t know about Neil deGrasse Tyson in particular, but I think you’ve got a point about a bait and switch, Wookin.

Strictly speaking, the word “evolution” should simply mean gradual, continuous change — nothing more, nothing less. That’s how most scientists and technologists use the word.

In practice, however, when you get onto discussions about science and faith, it’s got a lot of cultural baggage attached to it by both sides of the debate. You get certain New Atheists using it almost as an icon of atheism, and then on the other side of the debate, you get young-earth creationists using it as an umbrella term for anything and everything about science that they don’t like, whether it has anything to do with biological evolution or not.

That’s why discussions such as these generate more heat than light — the word “evolution” means completely different things to different people, and personally I think we all need to acknowledge that fact, and bear it in mind whenever we’re discussing the subject. Similarly with the words “Darwinism” or “neo-Darwinism” — these are concepts that are simply too vague and nebulous to be meaningful.


Evolution is actually a change in allele frequencies in a population. Right, @sfmatheson?


Here is the interview mentioned in the article I posted earlier: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with guest Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Colbert is a Roman Catholic.

(Stephen Matheson) #8

Well, sure, but there are plenty of definitions of “evolution” that matter in conversations about faith and science. “Gradual change over time” is one reasonable definition.

My position is that evolutionary theory, as it regards mechanisms (allele frequencies, speciation, change over time) is not clearly in any opposition to any important teaching of Christianity. It is natural history (ancient earth and its succession of histories) that contradicts simplistic readings of Genesis, and it is the Fall (as it is most commonly understood) that is most clearly called into question by natural history. Even if we knew nothing of genetics or population dynamics, we would be able to see that the history of the earth does not show evidence of a world-wrecking Fall caused by brainy apes.


OK, but I was talking about the scientific definition.

(Stephen Matheson) #10

I know, and you are right. The quote about how “most scientists and technologists use the word” is wrong; the word is more flexible than that. Ultimately, the most basic definition is the one you cite, because everything else flows from genetic change.

(James McKay) #11

Yes, but I’m not.

I know what the scientific definition of evolution is, and I agree that’s how the word should be used. But the fact of the matter is that many people do not use it to mean that. They use it as an umbrella term for a whole lot of other related (and not so related) concepts, and different people have completely different ideas about exactly which related concepts it covers. It also has a lot of cultural baggage attached to it that makes it a complete political football. It frequently gets used as an icon of atheism, even though the theory itself is silent on such matters. YECs also often use it as a derogatory umbrella term for anything and everything about science that they don’t like.

It’s like the word “hacker.” That originally meant (and should still mean) people who make things. In the real world, it gets used to mean people who break things.

(George Brooks) #12


Just because we’ve had several discussions about the nature of the Bruno case should not make you so eager to dismiss the Bruno case.

I don’t think you are going to win many points by saying:

“The Catholic Church did not burn Bruno alive because of his scientific views - - but because he was a religious heretic that had to be burned alive.” If you are big on arguing for vanity’s sake, you can go ahead and keep complaining about how people categorize the Bruno execution. But, I would suggest to you in all sincerity, the less you bring up Bruno the better off you will be… unless you just want to be argumentative.

I think we can (or should) take note that the Catholic Church has come a long way since 1600. Indeed, the Catholic Church should be a model for how all sincere denominations should handle the issue of Evolution; it may not be perfect, but it is far better than what we see from a number of Evangelical denominations.

As to Neil, you say he “loves to play the bait and switch”. I think anybody presenting dry theoretical information to an unsophisticated audience also loves the excitement that “bait and switch” can evoke. The question becomes, is the bait & switch a deceit or falsehood?

I myself have mentioned that it might have served the TV series well if it pointed out to the audience that since the time of Darwin, the pendulum within the Catholic Church has changed direction, while many denominations of Protestant evangelicals have got up on the big horse of science denialism.

Is there something you think Neil will present that you anticipate will be false?

(RiderOnTheClouds) #13

Ah, so has Neil learned his lesson from last time?

Has he realised he was wrong?

It’s good to see him doing something meaningful, rather than wasting time rap battling Flat Earthers. I liked Cosmos, and actually started watching it when I first changed my mind and discovered Biologos.

(George Brooks) #14


I didn’t realize you thought Neil DeG. was wrong about something.

What did he say that was wrong? Are you saying that he was wrong about why Bruno was burned alive?

That would be an interesting question to put to Neil… about the “why” regarding Bruno’s execution. But I don’t think he was wrong to highlight Bruno’s death as a terrible tragedy. Don’t you get just a little queasy to argue that Bruno was not executed because of his scientific views… but because of his religious views? I don’t think that makes for much of an excuse.


So you don’t think he’s been doing anything meaningful before this? He’s an accomplished Astrophysicist, for pete’s sake.