Skip to main content

A few days ago I sat down with my son and watched the premiere episode of Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, the sequel/followup/re-imagining of the pivotal 1980 miniseries created and hosted by the late Dr. Carl Sagan. I had loved the original miniseries as a child, mostly because it was overstuffed with scientific goodness that still spoke to the common viewer.


Copyright 1980 Carl Sagan Productions

This new version filled me with a bit of dread, however, since 1) it was being produced by Seth MacFarlane, the man behind Family Guy and American Dad, and 2) it was being presented on FOX. I'm not sure what I expected, but I suppose that it would have involved farting galaxies or a wise-cracking animated sidekick to its host Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

I am pleased to report that I was wrong (so far). The first episode was a marvel; I was transported back to the time I watched its predecessor on a 13 inch television in my parents' house in the mountains of North Carolina. My son was also pulled in by the show. Afterwards I gave him an informal quiz and was pleased to note that he had retained most of what Dr. Tyson had presented on the show, including the cosmic address of the Earth.


Copyright 2014 Cosmos Studios/Fuzzy Door Productions

To my surprise, the show was a learning experience for me as well. Though I knew many of the facts presented, I was hit with a segment that covered an important moment in history that I had not learned about previously. It was the story of Giordano Bruno, a 16th century monk who challenged the orthodoxy of the Catholic church with his views of cosmology.


Engraving from Camille Flammarion's L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire (1888)

Up into the late 1500's, the prevailing (Ptolemaic) view of the universe was terracentric, meaning that the Earth was at the base of the universe and the sun, moon and planets all revolved around it. There were complex models built that demonstrated the "celestial spheres" which each of these bodies inhabited. As far as they were concerned, the stars were fixed points at the outermost sphere of the universe.

In 1543, however, Nicholas Copernicus created the idea of heliocentrism; in his model, the sun was the center of the universe, and Earth was just one of the planets that revolved around it. It was slow to adoption, even within the scientific community. Its simple and more elegant view of the universe began to win over converts who expanded upon his ideas, however, including Tycho Brahe, Thomas Digges and (of course) Bruno.

The Italian monk expanded upon the Copernican model with a thought experiment: what lay beyond the edge of the universe? Bruno approached the problem as that of looking at a wall that would either be the be-all end-all of the cosmos, or merely a stopping point to the next "wall". Bruno, following in the work of Nicholas of Cusa, surmised that there was no end to the universe, just as there was no end to God. Likewise he proposed that the planets were bodies just like the Earth, and that the stars were mobile bodies like the Sun, with planets (and perhaps life) of their own.


Copyright 2014 Cosmos Studios/Fuzzy Door Productions

When he presented his ideas to the Church, he was censured, stripped of his position as a monk, and eventually imprisoned on charges of heresy. At his trial, Bruno was questioned about his theory and its conflicts with church doctrine. Bruno replied:

"Your God is too small."
implying that their manner of thinking was too limited by dogma to consider the possibility of an infinite universe, one that might even have multiple worlds with their own distinctive life forms. Bruno was sentenced to death at the stake, but as he was condemned, Bruno pointed at the inquisitor and declared
"Maiori forsan cum timore sententiam in me fertis quam ego accipiam (Perhaps you pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it)"
He was eventually burned for his "sins", and most of his books and papers were destroyed, but his legacy remained. Ten years after his death, on January 7 1610, Galileo Galilei trained a telescope on Jupiter and discovered that it had three (later four) small bodies in orbit around it. The discovery of these moons led to further telescopic explorations that served to prove Bruno's assertions correct.

So what does this have to do with politics? Plenty. It seems impossible to believe, but even with the technological advances that have been made in the 34 years since the original Cosmos aired, in some ways we have fallen backwards. The curiosity to explore the universe outside our world has been stunted by lack of funding and an apathetic and incurious public. A recent survey by the National Science Foundation reveals that one in four Americans believes the Earth is the center of the Solar System. Less than half believed that man evolved from prior species. Debates on creationism vs evolution are still gathering major headlines in this country. A leading candidate for the US Senate in Georgia (and current ranking member of the House Science Committee) has even declared evolution and the Big Bang theory "lies straight from the pit of Hell".

All of these facts have an impact on public policy, whether it's in the discussion over funding for scientific studies or even the debate over the Affordable Care Act. The outright dismissal of provable fact because it conflicts with one's personal beliefs or belief system is a dangerous approach to life. At a time when American students are falling behind other nations in education (particularly in science), it does not help matters when people proudly displace their ignorance and disdain of scientific discoveries.

As my son and I walked together and talked over the episode of Cosmos we had seen, I found myself looking at him and considering the state of science in the US. He has always been an exceptional child, both in my own personal opinion and in evaluations by our local school district. While the word can have positive connotations, it can also be used to denote someone who is alone (or nearly so) in matters of opinion or deduction. Sometimes I wonder, or even outright fear, that as he grows up my budding science nerd of a boy may end up being an exceptional man for all the wrong reasons.

Just so you know, our cosmic address is:
Earth
The Solar System
The Milky Way
The Local Group
The Virgo Supercluster
The (known) Universe

You're gonna need extra postage.

NOTE: This diary also appears on the Four Freedoms blog (link at right).

Originally posted to Clintster on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 06:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Progressive Atheists.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (249+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Navy Vet Terp, tytalus, P E Outlier, freerad, AZsparky, FisherOfRolando, rduran, miracle11, sngmama, CwV, Johnny the Conqueroo, joynow, 2thanks, MadGeorgiaDem, pixxer, marleycat, ricklewsive, johnnygunn, MKinTN, rasbobbo, dle2GA, anodnhajo, madame damnable, DSC on the Plateau, FiredUpInCA, Rogneid, ruscle, zerelda, kjoftherock, jbob, Medium Head Boy, gchaucer2, Sylv, wader, Lilith, Matt Z, Just Saying, NCJan, LynChi, roseeriter, carpunder, Powered Grace, DuzT, nuclear winter solstice, hayden, Onomastic, Deep Texan, Fabienne, OllieGarkey, Habitat Vic, sfbob, TomP, howabout, BenderRodriguez, duhban, rat racer, blackjackal, bwintx, here4tehbeer, p gorden lippy, chrississippi, jiminmaryland, Shockwave, No one gets out alive, Batya the Toon, richardvjohnson, Elizaveta, bibble, conniptionfit, jwinIL14, Fonsia, boran2, high uintas, tapestry, whl, Hayate Yagami, AoT, Tool, muddy boots, Youffraita, kevinpdx, mookins, SilverWillow, Byron from Denver, raptavio, Emerson, dmhlt 66, elkhunter, McMeier, prettygirlxoxoxo, Lily O Lady, i saw an old tree today, where4art, profundo, wishingwell, Ojibwa, SeaTurtle, FoundingFatherDAR, davehouck, dansk47, SneakySnu, sawgrass727, GreyHawk, greycat, midnight lurker, Front Toward Enemy, leeleedee, HeyMikey, GeorgeXVIII, Airmid, BlueMississippi, Cofcos, hubcap, rmx2630, northerntier, Captain Pants, bob152, ETinKC, sow hat, radarlady, gulfgal98, pvasileff, Farugia, balrog, Trendar, SoCalSal, gramofsam1, IL clb, DavidMS, trumpeter, texasmom, Ginny in CO, Geenius at Wrok, CPT Doom, ColoTim, Laurel in CA, political mutt, mslat27, kimoconnor, millwood, kerflooey, gizmo59, JeffW, Imhotepsings, Mary Mike, side pocket, wilywascal, dull knife, Dolphin99, kenwards, nirbama, thomask, brentut5, VTCC73, MarkInSanFran, Steveningen, collardgreens, smrichmond, Involuntary Exile, kdnla, slowbutsure, Santa Susanna Kid, defluxion10, Senor Unoball, whaddaya, Tony Situ, pierre9045, occams hatchet, oortdust, terranova108, Johnny Q, livingthedream, seefleur, FlamingoGrrl, GreenPA, a gilas girl, post rational, Catte Nappe, Aureas2, cpresley, davespicer, BMScott, highacidity, Sun Tzu, SherwoodB, thanatokephaloides, ask, tuesdayschilde, Its a New Day, fumie, Munchkn, Angie in WA State, sydneyluv, bakeneko, jacey, Laughing Vergil, pat bunny, dsb, johanus, Dumbo, Paragryne, steelman, myrmecia gulosa, belinda ridgewood, citisven, Cassandra Waites, dewtx, ChemBob, Randomfactor, KayCeSF, Blue Bell Bookworm, arlene, cybersaur, Claybow, Gurnt, Cronesense, AnnetteK, FloridaSNMOM, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, laurak, pcl07, night cat, Tom Anderson, The Fat Lady Sings, BeninSC, histOries Marko, rsmpdx, Blu Gal in DE, smartdemmg, davidincleveland, Alumbrados, Kombema, bsmechanic, mrkvica, kbman, serendipityisabitch, Alice Venturi, BlackSheep1, pimutant, WakeUpNeo, Simplify, blueoasis, GreenMother, rapala, Yoshimi, Shelley99, JayC, Sharon Wraight, jodylanec
  •  But the Post Office doesn't deliver mail (14+ / 0-)

    beyond the top line of your address.  At least not yet.

    "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

    by Navy Vet Terp on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 06:54:43 AM PDT

  •  Copernicus (73+ / 0-)

    didn't create the idea of heliocentrism; he recovered a theory the was well accepted 1800 years earlier.  Did you know Copernicus's supporters were called "Aristarchans" and his detractors "anti-Aristarchans"?  This is because, as Copernicus freely admits, heliocentrism it was postulated by Aristarchus of Samos in the 3rd century BC, and essentially proved a few decades later by Hipparchus.   Even Ptolemy, who does not accept heliocentrism, admits there are no astronomical proofs of the earth's immobility (Almagest, I, vii, 24); he defends the earth's immobility using  natural philosophy arguments drawn from Aristotle.  But science has move on well beyond Aristotle by the 2nd century BC, only to be more or less obliterated by the Roman conquest of the Mediterranean.  Not unlike what will happen if Republicans get he upper hand in this country, even if they don't manage to start World War III.

    •  As a mathematician once said, "The greatest impact (45+ / 0-)

      the Romans had on mathematics was the day they killed Archimedes."

      It has always amazed me that they could do such remarkable engineering with that silly number system they had.

      The new Cosmos certainly was dazzling. McFarlane is a liberal, by the way, despite his outrageous sense of humor. I suspect he feels he's doing a kind of guerrilla undermining of Fox. Whatever his motives, he's a huge talent, has lots of influence right now, and more power to him for trying to expand a next generation's minds.

      Diarist, thanks in particular for speading the best meme to come along in a while,

                                      Your god is too small.

      Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

      by p gorden lippy on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:45:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fox TV vs Fox News (15+ / 0-)

        Fox Entertainment and Fox News are pretty much completely separate entities.  Fox Entertainment is located in LA, while Fox News is in New York.  The two share almost nothing, including Fow News' conservative viewpoint.

        I.E.  Fox Entertainment/TV is NOT a right-wing outfit like Fox News is.

        •  Thanks for pointing that out (7+ / 0-)

          I had always marveled that Faux "News" was so hard-line right and, frankly, prudish while Fox TV had lots of not-family-friendy programming.

          Of course, both types are permissible when all youcare about is money.

          (aka NobleExperiments). ‎"Those who make a peaceful revolution impossible make a violent revolution inevitable" ~ John F. Kennedy

          by smrichmond on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 11:22:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            histOries Marko

            That isn't to say there isn't some mingling of finances.  I mean, they have the same parent corporation, but I think that is it.  I have no idea how the books are kept.  But in terms of facilities and personnel I don't believe there is very much overlap at all.

            I've never gotten the sense that Fox TV or movie programming is overly conservative.  Sure, you could claim that 24 was somewhat of a right-wing type show, but I actually liked it quite a bit and I believe it was even one of the first major network TV shows to depict a black POTUS as a starring character.  

            I've always wondered if that helped Obama in any way, because President Palmer was awesome and may have helped some people get over their ridiculous notions that having a black man as President would be somehow a terrible thing.

      •  Calculation wasn’t really a problem: (9+ / 0-)

        it wasn’t actually done with Roman numerals as we do pencil-and-paper calculations today with Hindu-Arabic numerals.  Rather, it was done on the abacus (and in the Middle Ages on the counting board, using essentially the same principles), and the results were then recorded in Roman numerals.  (The modern counterpart, of course, is doing the calculations on a pocket calculator or other device and then recording the results on paper.)  Once one learns the algorithms, calculation on an abacus or counting board is actually very efficient.

        •  calculatio (9+ / 0-)
          Calculation wasn’t really a problem: it wasn’t actually done with Roman numerals as we do pencil-and-paper calculations today with Hindu-Arabic numerals.  Rather, it was done on the abacus (and in the Middle Ages on the counting board, using essentially the same principles), and the results were then recorded in Roman numerals.  (The modern counterpart, of course, is doing the calculations on a pocket calculator or other device and then recording the results on paper.)  Once one learns the algorithms, calculation on an abacus or counting board is actually very efficient.
          The term "calculation" is derived from the Latin term "calculus", meaning "little stone". As in the little stones used in counting boards and abacuses (abaci?) to do the actual arithmetic.

          And even before one learns all the more complex algorithms for calculation on an abacus, it's still more efficient than attempting to do arithmetic using Roman numerals. Anything is.

          :-)

          "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

          by thanatokephaloides on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:14:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep. Abaci is the plural. Much less ungainly than (7+ / 0-)

            abacuses.

            And the thing is, the Romans weren't all that good at science and math. Their destruction of the other civilizations around them created a scientific dark age, and stalled human development. That's one of the main reasons that Asian and near eastern thinkers were so much more advanced than Europeans, because the Romans killed off all the advanced cultures. Celtic Astronomy was probably the most advanced, and their calendar systems (See Coligny Calendar) would only be surpassed by modern computers in accuracy. Their Metallurgy was also exceptionally advanced as evidenced by the pieces we've found. We're not sure of their techniques, but you'd need modern machine tools to replicate some of the fantastic works of art from the Celts. Greek mathematics and engineering were the best in the world at the time, as evidenced by the Antikythera mechanism. It's a real shame that the Celts didn't conquer the Romans and nip that genocidal problem in the bud. Then they'd have been able to advance scientifically by working and trading with the Greeks. And as far as the Germans and other barbarian tribes are concerned, they Celts were already expanding their trade networks to inclusively incorporate the Germanic tribes into the very loose celtic confederation.

            An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

            by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:32:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the Antikythera mechanism (3+ / 0-)
              Greek mathematics and engineering were the best in the world at the time, as evidenced by the Antikythera mechanism.
              Modern X-ray and CAT-scan techniques have enabled us to do something they could not do in 1901 when it was discovered: rebuild it. There are several scientific views on what and where the missing pieces were, most with working models built to support the scientists' theories. Some have not yet been built, but only exist inside of computers.

              I wish they'd hurry up and figure it out. And then start mass-producing the replica Mechanisms using numerically-controlled machining techniques.

              Why?

              Because I want one, dammit!!

              :-)

              P.S.: According to the Wikipedia article, a certain Lego enthusiast has built an Antikythera Mechanism replica entirely out of Lego.

              So I'm not the only one........

              "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

              by thanatokephaloides on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 10:37:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  and so I sense an opportunity, thanatokephaloides, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thanatokephaloides

            to ensnare you in the Safehold novels by David Weber, where "the Church" has turned back the clock to the use of those selfsame Roman numerals ... and any "heretical" mathematical notation is punishable by death.

            Can a person even DO long division in Roman numerals???

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 11:15:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •   long division in Roman numerals (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              p gorden lippy, BlackSheep1, codairem
              Can a person even DO long division in Roman numerals???
              NOT really.

              I had a math instructor show my class an example of long division using Roman numerals. You can't do it without an abacus.

              This is the reason why Roman numerals are often used for ordinal numbers (i.e., Popes and Monarchs, and when sons are named after their fathers). It's not because the Roman numerals are somehow "better"; on the contrary, it's because the only arithmetic normally done with ordinals is "increment/decrement by one", which is quite possible with Roman numerals.

              "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

              by thanatokephaloides on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:16:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Another new fact learned (6+ / 0-)

      And now I can add Aristarchus and Hipparchus to my knowledge base. Thanks for the heads up. It's gratifying to know that even as I approach my upper Middle Ages, I am still capable of learning new things.

  •  apart from that, a nice diary (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you for posting it.

  •  Bad history (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LookingUp, radmul, OllieGarkey, marleycat

    1. You'll find no proper attribution of "your God is too small" to Bruno.

    2. You will not find the purported letter supposedly penned by Gaspar Schopp attesting to the second quote you attribute to Bruno.

    Instead of worrying about whether people prefer a mythical or  scientific explanation of origins, you should probably worry about the state of formal mathematics education.  Without the math chops, you're less than a bystander.

  •  I know that sounds crazy... (7+ / 0-)

    I enjoyed the new show after growing up with the original (still have a soft spot for it). I think Tyson could have done something else with the big bang evidence, though. Prefacing it like that...what's the alternative? That an invisible superman built the universe because of the insistence that everything needs a creator -- except their god-concept invoked in the same breath? He certainly couldn't be comparing the 'crazy' evidence to the actual creationist POV, contradictory stories and a woman built from a man's rib and talking snakes.

    http://popwatch.ew.com/...

    The premiere of Cosmos 2.0 concludes as Cosmos 1.0 did, with a section introducing “the cosmic calendar.” More time is given to the scientific rejoinder to Creationism, the theory of the Big Bang. In a bit of business too cheeky for Sagan, Tyson puts on a pair of glasses and allows himself to bear witness to the explosive event, to be blown away by its spectacle and its meaning. “I know that sounds crazy” Tyson says of the whole idea of the Big Bang, “but there is strong observational evidence that supports the theory,” and he goes on to cite the glow of radiation waves and the amount of helium in the universe. Translation: You don’t have to believe in this, but you should, because look. Proof.
    I can give him credit for citing strong evidence, at least, since that part of the argument is so one-sided.

    The Stand Your Ground defense is like bleach. It works miracles for whites, but it will ruin your colors. -- Jessica Williams on The Daily Show

    by tytalus on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:08:20 AM PDT

  •  I love Tyson! (13+ / 0-)

    My wife and daughter do too.  I'm excited that he is updating "Cosmos".  I saw the original on TV as a teen and loved it.  About a dozen years ago I bought the series on DVD and re-watched it.  I found that the special effects were cheesy, and the print was fairly poor, even after being digitally enhanced.  It was even profoundly boring in many places.  This series was perfectly ripe for being updated by guy like Tyson, who has an infectious personality.  I see great things for this show.  Hopefully it will be as big a hit as the original.

    "In 20 years, the GOP will be small enough to drown in a bathtub." - me

    by estamm on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:28:59 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for your comments on the new Cosmos (17+ / 0-)

    series opener. The original kept me inspired when I went back to school, changing fields, taking basic courses, so as to be able to apply for my Ph.D. program (I'm a Prof now). This is about the first time in a decade that I have been sorry about no longer having a TV, but I hear that the series is online at HULU. I am certainly encouraged to watch it.

    Since I teach Biology, including (right now) an Evolution course for majors, I am constantly mindful of the pathetic level of public understanding of science as a process, and therefore the incredible lack of acceptance of the findings of science in our country in the 21st century. I did have a student in the "Why is it just a theory then?" mode before the class, who is now an enthusiastic learner of things she had no idea of. She just never had the exposure or opportunity before. Overall, my students seem excited about kin selection models and the discovery of predicted forms in predicted places in the fossil record, and have no problems with real science - but of course, they're majors.

    •  Thank you! (7+ / 0-)

      It must be enjoyable to teach the structure of evolutionary theory.

      My weak understanding still allows me to be amazed when I can make taxonomic inferences or see for myself the transition of clades in the fossil record (Devonian trilobites from Sylvania, Ohio).

      For an inquiring mind seeking to understanding the theory of natural selection and the fact of evolution, the world is a bright and expansive place.

      •  Two books for the general, interested public (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dewtx, P E Outlier

        that I read and loved in the last few years are "Why Evolution is True," by Jerry Coyne, and "The Ancestor's Tale" by Richard Dawkins. The latter is a "likeness" to the Canterbury Tales in which we set out at the twig of our branch of the evolutionary tree, and, unlike in most renditions, travel back down our branch towards the origin of life. As we travel, other branches join the tree and we meet the common ancestors we share with other apes, with monkeys, other mammals, reptiles, etc. Both are great books, highly recommended if this is a subject of interest.

        •  I'd add Your Inner Fish to the list. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          P E Outlier, pixxer, mrkvica, BlackSheep1

          It goes into some interesting detail about how some human anatomical features evolved from structures in fish, including just what all that gill structure turned into in species that no longer needed gills. Yes, there is a reason very young human embryos show signs of gills - they need to grow those structures so they can turn into other things later on in fetal development.

          It also talks about Tiktaalik, although it was published well before the recent discoveries about the unexpected advancement of its hip structure. That part includes discussion of Tiktaalik being a missing link they specifically searched for - the scientists who planned the dig figured what the in-between creature they were looking for would have probably been like and when it would have lived. And then they went looking for good fossilization sites that were from that date and would have been good habitat for what they thought they were looking for, and they found the critter they thought they were looking for. (Which is exactly one of the things Creationists like to claim evolutionary science can NEVER DO.)

          •  Yes, Tiktaalik is one of the aforementioned (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackSheep1

            searched-for fossils. I also love that marsupial fossils were predicted in Antarctica, b/c they were found early in South America, later in Australia, and what was between those two pieces of the supercontinent during the missing time has since become Antarctica. The marsupials were thought to have walked from pre-S.Amer to pre-Australia, the fossils were searched out in Antarctica, and there they were.

            I haven't heard about the hip structure discovery in Tiktaalik before your comment. I clearly need to look that up! I am nohow an animal biologist, so the details of these critters are not things I understand in depth, but I do find them fascinating. Thanks!

            You know, I'm not sure if I've read Inner Fish or not. Isn't that strange? I know about so many of the stories in it, and have seen Neil Shubin in so many film clips, that it's possible I just think I've read it when I really haven't. LOL!

            •  The hip thing - (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlackSheep1, pixxer

              From what I can remember in the article I read about it, they had to take the fossil out in two pieces. All of the initial coverage was about what they found in the front half - they hadn't had time to go through both yet, and they had presumed all the really good new science was going to be in the head structure and front feet.

              You make this presumption when your example of a transitional living fish is the mudskipper.

              Tiktaalik had developed hips. Much more developed than they thought they were going to find, but still between the two closest developmental points they had.

              They also discovered in finding those that five or six mystery fossils picked up in the same trip were additional Tiktaalik hips. They had only been mystery fossils at all because the paleontologists had no clue anything at that age of rock formation could have had the start of proper hips and didn't have a reference for what that point in the evolutionary development of hips would look like at all.

              So we went from no transitional hips to transitional hips in a fairly articulated fossil skeleton and a few loose spares from the same population of the same species at the same time. In a single dig season.

    •  it's online at fox, too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal, pixxer

      at least the first episode is.

      "Labor was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things" -- Adam Smith

      by HugoDog on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:47:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you haven't, follow Tyson on twitter (6+ / 0-)

      and catch his interviews on The Nerdist podcasts. They're long (always over an hour) but very, very good.

      He's an interesting guy and he really can make science interesting to non-science types. Not every scientist can.

      •  and if you know about The Nerdist, how'd you (0+ / 0-)

        not know about the podcast Tyson hosts, StarTalk??? You sometimes get him on Planetary Radio / The Planetary Society's televised events too.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 11:56:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Extra Postage? (4+ / 0-)

    The post office no longer accepts packages that big.

    Thanks for a delightful diary - - J

  •  The change that I have seen . . . (19+ / 0-)

    . . . in my lifetime among politicians is

    • From: Where the answers science provided are accepted and the political choice is made, and defended, whether or not to act upon the information.
    • To: The rejection that science informs us about the world and the political choice is only one from many equal opinions.

    The strain of proud ignorance that creates a population easily manipulated by corporations and the wealthy is still very strong.  Part of this is teaching people to devalue the scientific endeavor.  And in a world were everything is now assumed to be a consumer choice, and where the only thing that matters is profit, the long-term benefits of robust education and public research to our society are devalued to the point where a career in the sciences, that requires lifelong learning with only a moderate income, is discouraged.

    I wish I had the answers about how to correct this, but it is beyond me or any influence I have.  But I guess the best we can do is to work to ensure that people who deny science have no voice in our society.

    Voting for Democrats seemed to be one way.

    I don't think that works any longer, especially when the distortions of wealth make Democrats susceptible to being merely the socially liberal side of an Oligarchy.

    Criminalize accepting private money/favors by politicians for any purpose a felony, and we may have a chance.  But we won't.

  •  Schools aren't teaching critical thinking (20+ / 0-)

    It doesn't matter if its science, history, economics... if you can't think critically, All paths become open to you, no matter how insane they are.

    I have a Tea bagger friend who has more conspiracy theories then there are galaxies in the universe.  Yesterday, he was explaining to me how the paper falling from the trade centers weren't burning, while the cars were.  This was a "fact" to him, and was "proof" that the world trade centers burned from the bottom up and were hit by a CIA energy beam from a satellite.

    He simply can't tell what is a fact, or what is evidence, from what is opinion and irrational BS not supported by anything real.  I don't feel angry toward him (he'll bend over backward to help me if I need help) but I have an enormous amount of pity for him.  His life is a chaotic jumble of UFO's and perpetual motion machines, and calculations of the date of the rapture (despite being wrong several times including this past Sept).

    The incredible wonders of reality, from the extent of the universe, to quantum mechanics, to the construction of our brains, are all lost to a massive delusion that randomly changes from minute to minute.

    Our schools have failed us (forget all the core BS) if you haven't learned to think critically, you don't graduate.  Too many polls show too many people deny everything from Global Warming to evolution, because they simply don't know what a fact or evidence is.

    It's gotta start at home, be taught in the schools, and it has to happen now!

  •  I know people like to go after McFarlane (13+ / 0-)

    and I wouldn't be surprised at a farting galaxy on a Family Guy episode, but he's not an idiot.  It was hard to even find his name on the show credits.

    As for his shows, among the crude stuff can be some serious political commentary.  I constantly think of his line "the American race" from American Dad when I see some of the things that happen in this country.  And I liked the Family Guy episode where he spoofs the censors.

    "Harass us, because we really do pay attention. Look at who's on the ballot, and vote for the candidate you agree with the most. The next time, you get better choices." - Barney Frank

    by anonevent on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:05:10 AM PDT

    •  Never seen Family Guy. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geenius at Wrok, mrkvica, BlackSheep1

      Just had never tripped my trigger. But I've read more than once that he's a bit of a science nerd.

      Also, I never even considered that this Cosmos re-boot would be something silly and tacky. From every interview I've seen with Tyson, I knew that he would NEVER, ever associate himself with something less than first-class.

    •  What frustrates me about McFarlane is ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... he is obviously so intelligent, funny, decent and talented, in many, many ways.

      I don't know why he settles for the crude, purposely in-your-face offensive stuff.  He doesn't have to.  He's so much better than that, and has so much more to offer.  This new Cosmos is one of those things.

      •  Perhaps thats how he can reach the most (0+ / 0-)

        people. If he makes his stuff too cerebral, he loses 2/3rds of his audience right then and there. Family Guy pokes fun at blue collar culture, and American Dad at White Middle Class culture, and the culture of the Military Industrial Complex. Beyond the crudity of either, he gets some zingers in there, if one is paying attention.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:51:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  American Dad is fantastic, dammit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother

      It only gets a bad rap cuz Fox debuted it with its shoddy pilot ep after the f'n Super Bowl. Sigh.

      Stan Smith is one of the best conservative caricatures out there.

      Best Christmas Episodes ever.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:41:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  RE: McFarlane (0+ / 0-)

      Please don't misunderstand me. I think McFarlane is capable of introspection and reverence to established work; I think his Family Guy parodies of the Star Wars trilogy were an equitable mix of irreverence and appreciation.

      I don't necessarily believe that Dr. Tyson would attach himself to a project that would have shat all over the science for cheap laughs. I do admit, however, to being hesitant that Seth could have pulled it off. I hope after this miniseries that he can branch out even more and surprise us all.

      •  thing ya gotta remember about McFarlane (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother

        is he ain't stuck forever in "that guy" mode at the beavis-n-butthead level.

        Unlike, say, the average GOP political professional (see Rove, Karl; or Boehner, John) whose picture can be found in the dictionary as the illustration in the "one-trick pony" entry.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:01:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you so much (11+ / 0-)

    for this diary.  The new Cosmos is being aired on hulu -- my only source of what's on teevee.  I hesitated to watch it for the same reasons you expressed.  I'll give it a looksee tonight.

    I also just watched an incredible performance of G.B. Shaw's play, "Saint Joan," performed by the Bedlam Theatre Group.  4 actors playing a dozen parts.  While Joan believed in her voices from the saints she too posed a threat to the church and political institutions of the 15th century and was burned at the stake.  The religious and political cowardice was truly fresh, contemporary.

    Your son is a very lucky young man and hopefully one of millions of his generation who will guide us away from the boorish stupidity which pervades our country.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:10:21 AM PDT

  •  My God is Crom..."strong on his mountain." (8+ / 0-)

    Conan: What gods do you pray to?

    Subotai: I pray to the four winds... and you?

    Conan: To Crom... but I seldom pray to him, he doesn't listen.

    Subotai: [chuckles] What good is he then? Ah, it's just as I've always said.

    Conan: He is strong! If I die, I have to go before him, and he will ask me, "What is the riddle of steel?" If I don't know it, he will cast me out of Valhalla and laugh at me. That's Crom, strong on his mountain!

    Subotai: Ah, my god is greater.

    Conan: [chuckles] Crom laughs at your four winds. He laughs from his mountain.

    Subotai: My god is stronger. He is the everlasting sky! Your god lives underneath him.

    [Conan shoots Subotai a skeptical look. Subotai laughs]

    •  And that's how the word Cromulent was born (0+ / 0-)

      kids.

      :)

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:53:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  J. B. Phillips wrote a book ... (16+ / 0-)

    ... entitled Your God Is Too Small in 1961.

    Here is an early passage:

    It is obviously impossible for an adult to worship the conception of God that exists in the mind of a child of Sunday-school age, unless he is prepared to deny his own experience of life. If, by a great effort of will, he does do this he will always be secretly afraid lest some new truth may expose the juvenility of his faith. And it will always be by such an effort that he either worships or serves a God who is really too small to command his adult loyalty and cooperation.
    Phillips was also responsible for The New Testament in Modern English, a translation he developed during lulls in the London Blitz.
  •  Unfortunately the episode left a distorted (6+ / 0-)

    impression of exactly why Bruno was persecuted and eventually executed. It didn't really have anything to do with accepting heliocentrism or believing in an infinite universe. It was because he explicitly denied the divinity of Jesus. That was the ultimate heresy to the Catholic Church of the time, and that is why he was killed.

    Bruno wasn't remotely a scientist, and his views were not actually based on science but on a philosophy that included a lot of things we'd all find pretty outlandish even today. All in all, I didn't really see the relevance of Bruno's story to a science-based show like Cosmos. Certainly there are better examples of individuals who were persecuted for practicing real science (Galileo and Copernicus, for starters). I can only assume that they didn't feature them because they didn't end up being murdered as Bruno was.

    •  I perceived Bruno's inclusion in the show (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey, Paragryne

      as a way to address and put in perspective 'religious concerns' and 'anti-science' sentiments (my words) prior to moving on with the rest of the series.

      You better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin' at you from a neverending parade of stupid. - Motormouth Maybelle, Hairspray 2007 -

      by FlamingoGrrl on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:27:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The show didn't shed much light on the Galileo (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      myrmecia gulosa, mrkvica, bsmechanic

      affair either.

      When Tyson first mentions Galileo's imprisonment, the screen shows a man in rags locked up in a tiny, barred cell, the implications were that these were the conditions Galileo endured.  In fact Galileo spent his eleven years of confinement at several villas he owned, including this one.

      While Tyson's show frames the affair as a struggle between rationalist Galileo and an ignorant church, it would be more accurately characterized as a dispute within the church which had both theological and political undercurrents.

      Galileo was a devout Catholic himself. His gentle treatment after his conviction was due to the fact he had many highly placed friends in the church, including the pope.  Urban VIII was a genially corrupt intellectual and a spendthrift patron of the arts and sciences. He spent his papacy trying to extend papal territory in Italy while fending off a coup by reactionary Spanish cardinals. The Spanish contingent considered Urban soft on heresy and were plotting to kidnap and kill him. Galileo was just what they needed to hang Urban. Urban himself wasn't the type to persecute an old scientist for controversial views, but nor was he the type to risk his neck for someone like Galileo.

      So there were two camps. On one hand the ultraconservatives who were offended by heliocentrism and eager to make political hay out of it.  On the the hand the intellectuals weren't afraid of heliocentrism as a scientific hypothesis, but were very concerned with the political problems it could make for them.  And then you have brilliant, stubborn, politically naive Galileo who was a problem for his friends and an opportunity for his enemies.

      Of course we would say that a scientific truth should not be subjected to political concerns, but that's an attitude that arises from classical liberalism.  John Locke was only 10 yeas old when Galileo died.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:39:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that was meant to be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bsmechanic, BlackSheep1

        Galileo in the cell, but rather Bruno. It shows him in prison before giving the back story on him.

        Galileo's treatment, while not nearly as bad as Bruno's, was certainly not pleasant. He was dragged down to a dungeon (at age 70, mind you) and shown the instruments of torture to coerce his recantation. Presumably had he not recanted, torture would have ensued. And no doubt he was reminded of Bruno's fate.

        His confinement was not in squalor, but he was still under house arrest and forbidden from having visitors. Quite an unhappy existence for a poor old man in my book.

      •  grumpynerd: I dare you to read Eric Flint's (0+ / 0-)

        "The Papal Stakes" and "The Cannon Law" -- I bet they'll ring true for you in many ways.

        Urban VIII's "genial corruption" extended into making several relatives of his cardinals, no?

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:05:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The science back then wasn't the science you would (0+ / 0-)

      recognize now. Well you and I wouldn't. Pat Robertson would recognize it. A peculiar mix of superstition, biblical literalism, alchemy, pure made up shit and some empirical evidence thrown in the mix.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:54:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ^^^^ agree ^^^^^ (0+ / 0-)

      Too late to rec -



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:00:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i liked it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenderRodriguez, BlackSheep1

    they did a good job.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:31:27 AM PDT

  •  Giordano Bruno was not put to death for his (11+ / 0-)

    scientific beliefs.

    He was put to death for saying that the universe was God, and God was the universe. For preaching pantheism. That's what he meant when he said "Your god is too small."

    The scientific hypotheses had nothing to do with it.

    The Catholic Church left room for debate on scientific issues, but it was religious doctrine where debate was impossible. As a monk and theologian, they believed that he was preaching heresy with his pantheistic beliefs.

    Same thing with Gallileo who was not jailed for his scientific points of view but for defaming the pope in a pamphlet.

    I'm no friend of the Catholic Hierarchy, in fact I've accused the catholic hierarchy of colluding with neofascists, but facts are facts.

    And the facts are that  nobody did history well in the early 1900s, when certain writers wanted to specifically imply that there was a conflict between science and the Catholic Church specifically. That was part of protestant supremacy, and much of it came from the British Empire.

    If you want a martyred scientist that hits closer to home, look no further than Alan Turing.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:36:29 AM PDT

    •  There are no records of the charges, period (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey, marleycat

      And Turing was no martyr for science.  He was one in a long line of victims of a highly intolerant public and a hypocritical elite more than willing to employ chemistry and medicine in a grisly fashion.

      •  I didn't say he was a a martyr for science. (4+ / 0-)

        I said he was a Martyred scientist. Certainly a martyr for gay rights, who also happened to be possibly the greatest mathematical mind of the 20th century. The computers we're using today are built on the work that Turing did.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:32:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And Al Capone was thrown in jail for tax evasion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, mrkvica, BlackSheep1

      And John Kiriakou is in jail for disclosing one name to one person.

      I remember when I was taking catechism towards Confirmation and I got into an argument about evolution with the priest and after the class several boys tried to beat me up. The Vatican still denied Darwin in those days.  This started my breakup with the church. It has other interesting chapters.

      Giordano may have not been a scientist but his inspiration for everything said came from his epiphany about the cosmos.

      And I question the historical assessment of the reason for his condemnation, history is written by victors.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:01:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't think modern historians know how to (0+ / 0-)

        dig through primary sources?

        There aren't any historians who follow this worldview of the Catholic Church V. Science. Because it comes from faulty, 1900s historical works which where politically motivated. No one else doing history really agrees with this interpretation.

        Sorry. And again, I don't like the Catholic Heirarchy for my own political reasons. I would like nothing better but to have another albatross to throw around their collective necks, but facts are pretty important.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:36:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  His beliefs weren't pantheistic (7+ / 0-)

      He sounds like he had what mystics call "an awakening", where everything is revealed to be all various expressions of the creative force of the universe. That's what is meant by all is God. This severely contradicts Judao/Christianity/Islam which posits that God is separate from all his creations and humans are born into sin. In JCI, humans are icky, unworthy beings, and considering themselves a part of God is ultimate heresy.

      •  Um.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        What?

        God is separate from all his creations and humans are born into sin. In JCI, humans are icky, unworthy beings, and considering themselves a part of God is ultimate heresy.
        No. That's not it at all. In fact, I've never heard anyone who claimed to be a christian say anything like that.

        Humans are "Wonderfully and Fearfully made" [Psalm 139:14] we are heirs of Christ [Romans 8:17], we are "made in the image of god" [Genesis 1:27]. We are part of the "body of christ" [1 Cor 12], and god himself dwells within us as the holy spirit, [1 Cor 3:16, 6:19, 2 Cor 6:16, Ezekiel 36:27, Isaiah 63:11, 2 Timothy 1:14, Acts 6:5, Ephesians 5:18, Romans 8:11, John 16:13, Galatians 4:6, 5:18, 5:22, Romans 8:9, 8:15 1 John 2:27... etc]

        Where are you getting this idea that humans are some kind of icky beings and that it's heresy to think of god as a part of us or us as a part of god? The Presbyterian Church, the Church of Scotland, and all of Reformed Theology believes that god suffuses the universe and is in all things to the point that every event that ever has happened or ever will happen is the direct product of the will of God. I don't believe that, but one of the largest groups of protestants around does.

        Because whoever told you that obviously has never read the Bible or studied any kind of theology at all.

        I can't speak for Islam, but I don't think that's a concept in Judaism. But I'll let anyone Jewish who wants to correct you do so themselves, they don't need me to speak for them.

        Because that's wrong. That's not anything I've ever heard.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:30:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I grew up (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder, niemann

          in a small Southern Baptist kind of town. Grew up in a Jewish family. Which may have saved me from some outlandish thinking. Romans 8, for example. You, a thoughtful person, may interpret this passage in a more spiritual manner and see no reason to do otherwise. But in a small Southern Baptist town, this passage can get hyper-literal.

          Romans 8
          New International Version (NIV)

          8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

          5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

          9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

          12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

          14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

        •  As for God being separate from his creations (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder, niemann, mrkvica, GreenMother

          When God molds Adam out of clay, it is like a sculptor molding a sculpture. The sculptor isn't the clay, and the clay isn't the sculptor. The clay becomes the separate creation of the sculptor. Many Christians I knew and know think that Eastern religions are of Satan, because they teach one can become God. They definitely see people and all other creation as separate from God as the ocean is from clouds, as opposed to the idea that God is the ocean and we are all droplets in that ocean.

          I like Frederick Nietzsche's scenario. When Judaism starts being a little more historical and less mythological is about the time of Exodus. Egypt had a diverse population of slaves. People from 12 different ethnicities make their escape. Emerging from generations of slavery, and they imagine this religion (which draws from several of the religions of the day and before). But they have slave mentality. They create a god as master and themselves in more of a serf position. In fact they imagine the reason their plot is so bad is because two people way back in time, the very first people, didn't follow the rules and brought this upon all the children that came after them. Humans are  unworthy from the get-go. They are born into sin. This curse is Adam's and Eve's estate tax.

          I don't know of other religions that imagine humans are born into sin. Like being born into slavery. It's a master-slave concept.

          And I'm not championing Eastern religions over JCI. Just talking about the difference in concept.

          •  You're talking about a southern baptist (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MillieNeon, mightymouse

            interpretation of things.

            All I'll say about that interpretation is:

            1. The literal worldview is itself idolatry. Christ and his teachings on loving others and fighting poverty, and his call to live extraordinary lives should be at the core of one's faith. Not the to bible. To make the bible the core of your faith, rather than Christ, is Idolatry. So the folks with literal interpretations aren't even Christians, they're Biblicists. They worship a book, and there's no room in their worldview for Christ, for Love, or for Justice. And that's why they are so full of hate, because their faith belongs to a rigid book full of errors rather than to the ideas of love, compassion, and social justice preached by that book. I have a similar problem with the Catholic Hierarchy, which places the Church at the center of one's faith.

            2. Southern baptists do not study theology. They do not go to seminary. Most of their clergy is completely uneducated, and some of their preachers whom I have encountered are barely literate. To consider them an authority on any subject, much less a subject which involves two millenia of scriptural study and criticism, is laughable.

            3. Of the 2.2 Billion Christians alive today, of which about half are Catholic, the 15 Million Southern Baptists only make up about .73% of the global christian population.

            Their views are so incredibly fringe, so incredibly small, that they shouldn't be taken seriously.

            The views I have put forth here are shared by Lutherans, Methodists, Espiscopals, many Calvinists, and by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches as well.

            The vast majority of Christianity completely disagrees with fringe American fundamentalists on the points you've raised here. Nothing southern baptists believe should be seen as indicative of a wider trend within Christianity.

            An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

            by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 10:58:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And yet (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OllieGarkey, BlackSheep1

              the fundamentalists "Biblicists", as you call them, seem to have a much louder voice in the political sphere than the other Christians.

              I agree with you that there are less virulent versions of Christianity. Or, at times they've been less virulent than at other times in their history.

              Still, I think Nietzsche is onto something. What kind of religion imagines we are born into sin? For me, the basic foundational concepts of JCI are not rational or humane. Or that we can be doomed to hell if we do not obey the master. And, except for Calvinists, in order to make our journey tougher, we get free will. But if we get free will, we will definitely be needing a savior to forgive us of what we do with our free will.

              While I admire many of Christ's words as stated in the Bible, I think humans have to realize only we can be our saviors, and our best shot is collaborative effort.

              Of course, original Christianity was more gnostic and the gnostics were crushed once the church in Rome declared itself the right hand of God. Christianity tends to form sects (some larger than others) that interpret the religion in various ways according to some group founders ideas of what is the true Christianity.

              Still, the basic concept is the same. We are separate beings from God. If I am wrong on this, please tell me which Christians see humans and God as the same. And while many Christian sects may not push the hell, fire, and brimstone, most of them subscribe to born into sin and the punishment of hell still exists in some form.

              •  Blame the Kochs. (4+ / 0-)
                And yet the fundamentalists "Biblicists", as you call them, seem to have a much louder voice in the political sphere than the other Christians.
                That's because billionaires have been giving them money to shore up their political votes. The whole point of the Moral Majority was to create bullshit social issues so that nobody watched the Billionaires steal everything that wasn't nailed down.

                The rise of the Christian Right coincides with the stagnation of American wages, and this is not an accident.

                Conservative groups funded by the oligarchs spend billions of dollars funding attacks on Moderate churches. It's called Steeple Jacking.

                The Baptist Church used to be the defenders of the Separation of Church and State. And after millions were spent attacking that church, they are now the voting bulwark of the Republican Party which allows the Republicans to do the will of the Wealthy.

                Still, I think Nietzsche is onto something. What kind of religion imagines we are born into sin? For me, the basic foundational concepts of JCI are not rational or humane. Or that we can be doomed to hell if we do not obey the master. And, except for Calvinists, in order to make our journey tougher, we get free will. But if we get free will, we will definitely be needing a savior to forgive us of what we do with our free will.
                I agree, and I reject the concept of original sin, and instead see it as a question of letting our reason triumph over our animal nature.

                I reject the concept of the devil and instead have a more promethian interpretation of the character of Satan, and the metaphor of the garden.

                When we evolved to the point that we comprehended the consequences of our actions, we were instilled with the duty to do right.

                My interpretation of Christ is different as well. He fulfilled the law. As such, ancient religious rules no longer apply. The law is fulfilled. We are set free to do right, regardless of the will of the ecclesiastic folks that Christ himself fought against.

                But that's my personal belief.

                While I admire many of Christ's words as stated in the Bible, I think humans have to realize only we can be our saviors, and our best shot is collaborative effort.
                Pretty sure that was Christ's point, too.
                Of course, original Christianity was more gnostic and the gnostics were crushed once the church in Rome declared itself the right hand of God. Christianity tends to form sects (some larger than others) that interpret the religion in various ways according to some group founders ideas of what is the true Christianity.
                Yes and no. The Gnostics were a sect yes, and while I admire some of their beliefs, they were not the original Christians, but themselves a breakaway sect. And they're still around, just very, very tiny. I will say that the worst thing that ever happened to Christianity was it becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire, under Constantine, a Man who it is said converted to Christianity because his sins were so great that only the Christian god would forgive him.
                Still, the basic concept is the same. We are separate beings from God. If I am wrong on this, please tell me which Christians see humans and God as the same. And while many Christian sects may not push the hell, fire, and brimstone, most of them subscribe to born into sin and the punishment of hell still exists in some form.
                On hell, no. In fact most Methodist ministers I know reject the idea of a permanent hell. It's not even scripturally supported. It's based on a misinterpretation of just a few lines of scripture.

                For those that do believe in hell, I've heard

                A) That it's a place you go until you yourself are ready to be forgiven,
                B) That hell is Hitler sitting in heaven, having been perfected by god, knowing what he did was wrong, and seeing day by day the echos of his evil actions, both in the people who do not exist, and the people still harmed by his work.
                C) That it's reincarnation. You get to try again until you live your life well. That's a fairly Buddhist interpretation.
                D) Being in a state that is not torturous, but is total and permanent separation from god.

                On that last point, being seperate from god, no, separation from god, a lack of communion with god, is seen as negative. Being cut off from the holy spirit. Christians do not believe that we are separate from god, in general.

                I am the vine, and you are the branches. It's believed that we are one with god, and should grow into further unity with god.

                That's a pretty standard theological viewpoint across, hell, most of Christianity. God lives within us, and we within god, is the concept. We are individuals, we're not the borg, but almost every christian sect believes that god and man are not separated, exist in a state of spiritual symbiosis.

                An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:11:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If we are not separate (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  OllieGarkey, mrkvica, GreenMother

                  then why the need to worship?

                  We are either one or we need to grow into further unity with God. Can't be both. And "we are god" is quite a different concept than we are one with God, which still implies a separation. And if you are God (all things are God), then you can't be cut off from God. Would be like God cutting off a part of itself.

                  There were many gnostic sects, with various beliefs related to God and Jesus. Though they had some things in common, like Protestant sects have.

                  But I have never seen anything that suggests Christianity is a non-dualistic doctrine. It is based on dualism is it not?

                  And thank you for an informative, non-combative discussion. I really appreciate your intelligent manner of discussing a topic.

                  •  Worship is a complicated subject, but it's clearly (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MillieNeon

                    not about god, it's about us.

                    For the sabbath was created for man, not man for the sabbath.

                    Could you elaborate on your definition of dualism, because I think we have a definitional problem there.

                    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                    by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:56:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I don't understand (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GreenMother

                  what you mean when say Christ fulfilled the law. Do you mean he was the savior predicted in Isaiah? Or do you mean he somehow fulfilled all of Jewish laws, so they didn't need to be followed anymore (which I'm sure you'll agree doesn't make sense).

                  There is a movement called Replacement Theology which says that God deleted the Covenant with the Jews and made a new one with Christians when Christ came around. Of course that would make God rather unreliable. But you aren't talking about that, are you?

                  •  It's a complicated subject. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MillieNeon, Cassandra Waites

                    The law being fulfilled means that the consequences no longer exist for breaking it, and we have the liberty to choose our own future and our own legal traditions (for what you bind on earth I will bind in Heaven and what you loose on earth I will loose in heaven.)

                    I don't agree with the deletion concept, but I do believe that Christianity created a new covenant between God and Christians, which does not invalidate the covenant with the Jews. And I think that most of the writing from that era needs to reflect that Christianity and Judaism of that time had a Rocky relationship, one which needs a lot more healing. We're both basically sects of the same religion.

                    And thank you too, this is an enjoyable discussion, and I'm glad both of us are just talking, rather than having a fight about internecine and esoteric stuff.

                    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                    by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:00:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Dualism (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      OllieGarkey

                      Dualism is "two parts" basically. And JCI is traditionally founded upon God being one part and his creations being a separate part. Now there are mystic traditions in JCI that transcend dualism, but I'm talking about the basic foundations.

                      And I'm not saying that different approaches to Christianity haven't borrowed from other lines of spiritual thought and de-emphasized the dualism. I don't the exact approach of all the different sects. I don't even know all the different approaches of the various Jewish sects.

                      But if one prays to God, then one is praying to something separate. If one IS God, it doesn't make sense to pray to one's self. One "merely" has to realize (wake up to) one's self. Which is not to say one becomes God and can create a universe. It's to say that seeing dual is no longer possible.

                      Dualism is also "good/evil", "mind-spirit/body", "you/me", "God/creations", "profane/sacred", "natural/supernatural", "rational/revelations".

                      And I apologize if my language ("icky", etc.) offended you in my original post.

                      Islam too is a sect of the same religion. They consider Jesus a messenger of God, like the prophets in the OT. Allah is Yahweh and God the Father.

                      I do know that some Christians have given less time to "Christ the Savior" in favor of "Christ Consciousness". And the new Pope seems to be championing the latter. He's a fresh breeze so far.

                      And it seems to be the case that some Jewish and Christian sects are moving toward more "we've got a bigger picture of the universe now" frames of thought. But it's problematic because their roots and much of their history are in Platonic dualism.

                      •  Yeah, okay. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MillieNeon

                        No, it's not dualism, but it's not what you're talking about as non-dualism either.

                        We aren't talking about binary states here. We're talking about varying degrees of communion.

                        That's a lot of what holiness and holy spaces are about. Creating spaces that allow you to be more in tune with the holy spirit that dwells within you. Creating those spaces and times and places that allow you to be more in tune with yourself and with god.

                        Some people do better with community worship, some people do better with private prayer and meditation, and some people do better with substantive action for change.

                        John Wesley wrote that it was possible for humans to be perfected, to reach a state of perfection, though he claimed he never reached it and he also didn't know anyone who had. I guess that could be described as a state of perfect union with god, where you and god are so in harmony in act and desire that you're spiritually indistinguishable from one another.

                        As I'm describing this it sounds a lot like Buddhism, and I don't mean it to, but I don't think that's a negative thing, though it might muddy the waters a bit.

                        I for one am certainly nowhere near achieving any kind of perfection.

                        I guess the difference between this and buddhism is that buddhist enlightenment seems more speculative whereas what I'm talking about is more active (that's not to say buddhists don't act, they do) but it's about achieving a state where your every action is designed to achieve maximum good.

                        Whether that's as a musician or a teacher or a farmer whatever it is that you do, it's about arriving at a place where you're not only at the top of your craft, but you're at your best when it comes to relationships around you, helping lift everyone and everything around you up.

                        It's about trying to build a utopia here on earth, even though that's probably not achievable.

                        The point is making things better, working for the betterment  not just of yourself, but of everyone and everything you touch.

                        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                        by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 05:02:39 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Also, I'm very difficult to insult. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MillieNeon

                        I just hear a lot of people telling me what I believe. And most of the time the things they're talking about are completely irrelevant to my beliefs.

                        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                        by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 05:03:49 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Its difficult to have a discussion about such a (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MillieNeon, OllieGarkey

                          broad swath of faiths that all claim the same titles and scriptures, but who act so differently, simultaneously.

                          No one can tell YOU what YOU think, but I can tell you what I see in the world, actions committed by people who claim to be Christian. Whether you identify with them or their exegesis--does that make you or them more or less Christian? More or Less Authentic?

                          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                          by GreenMother on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:03:58 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Your description of your faith (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          OllieGarkey

                          is lovely. And personally, I am a pretty spiritual person and have explored a lot and had some lovely experiences. Can't tell you who or what God is, as I don't relate to a God per se. I don't think about perfection, but I can claim progress.

                          I think spirituality is a very personal journey, even if one associates with a church or group. There are a million paths to an open heart that isn't overridden by the ego. Everyone has to recognize their own path. For me, it's not about dogma, it's about experience and openness. No gurus. Yes, read, learn, listen.

                          And it's good to see people of different faiths moving more towards the open heart and moving away from dogma. The mystical traditions of JCI have always been close to the mystical traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shamanism.

                          There was an anthropologist who specialized in comparative religion named Adolf Bastian. He found what he called "elemental" elements that all spiritualities had in common, and "folk" elements that were the individual ways religions dogmatized the elemental elements in a particular culture.

                          I suppose it's difficult for you to identify as a Christian when people generally associate that with their experience with Christians in their lives. Obviously, my experience with Christians in my hometown was not benevolent, especially being a Jewish kid in that world. And it's true, that generally when I use the word Christian, I'm talking about Southern Baptist types and Tea Party types. I hope to be more generous in the future.

    •  It does say in Acts 17 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey

      that "...in Him we live and move and have our being..."

      IJS...

      Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

      by awesumtenor on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:04:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, and that's one of the things Calvin pointed (0+ / 0-)

        out when he created the Reform movement. It heavily conflicted with the catholic doctrines of the day.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:15:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A point that would be lost on many people because (0+ / 0-)

      they are not taught what Pantheism or Panentheism is in public school, not even in college, if they are not religious studies folks.

      So how to explain this to the masses that have no basis of reference?

      Should we leave this out entirely or make it comprehensible?

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:56:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was around 13... (11+ / 0-)

    when the original "Cosmos" aired. I loved it.

    My son now is about the same age, so I couldn't wait for us to watch it together.

    I loved it, and I could tell he did, too. It's too bad it's only going to be another 12 weeks.

    I also loved the story Dr. Tyson told at the end about his meeting Carl Sagan when Tyson was a teenager. I've long admired Sagan for his contributions to science and for his ability to make science understable and palatable for all of us. But wow! What a decent man he was, too.

    When Sagan died, it was one of the rare times I was saddened by the death of someone I never met.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:37:23 AM PDT

  •  It's not their lack of knowledge.... (8+ / 0-)

    it's their lack of curiosity.

  •  A stunning show (7+ / 0-)

    It almost made me cry.

    I watched the original with Sagan and I loved it too.  But I think this new one with Tyson is even better.

    I'm recording the series to watch it again and show it to friends.

    The framework that the first episode established is 100% perfect.

    The religious right must be going through a nervous breakdown. The Bruno Giordano story is still relevant given their aggressive denial of science.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:48:41 AM PDT

  •  Not just too small (7+ / 0-)

    Their God has human traits such as fatherhood, jealousy and on and on.  Their God sits on a throne and is called Lord, just like the kings of history.  God can be a much greater concept, but the fundies limit their thinking in so many ways.

  •  My God is our cat, or at least she thinks she is. (8+ / 0-)

    Punxsutawney Phil has been unfriended.

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:51:14 AM PDT

  •  So far (11+ / 0-)

    Cosmos appears to be a worthy heir to its progenitor. Not surprising, given the original producer (and Carl Sagan's widow) Ann Druyan is at the helm.

    And though it was to some extent wankery, the few minutes Neil DeGrasse Tyson devoted at the end to Carl, and the impact Carl had on Neil's life, was genuinely touching and moving on a personal level. Unlike Neil, I never met Carl, but like him, I have a deep and abiding admiration of Carl and his work.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:02:47 AM PDT

  •  I tend to tell people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7, Catte Nappe, Angie in WA State

    when they ask of my beliefs that if god had a language - it would be math as it is evident in every aspect of nature. The concept that science and religion have to be divorced from one another is odd to me. Although I'm an atheist and look at the bible as a set of stories in which to guide people away from eating undercooked shrimp and pork. The New testament in terms of being a guide of how not to be shitty towards one another and the dangers of being greedy. People will believe what they want to believe if it helps them understand their place in the world. I choose reason and fact and am in the distinct minority in this country. Christians can't hold a candle against the persecution atheists have endured over the last couple thousand years.  

    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

    by Tool on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:05:51 AM PDT

  •  The US never would've made it to the moon (4+ / 0-)

    if the anti-science GOP of today had ruled Congress in the 50s & 60s.  Cold war or not, they wouldn't have funded NASA et al to work on such "useless" projects.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:38:16 AM PDT

    •  Maybe, maybe not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey

      The only person of national importance talking about space development last election cycle was a Tea Party darling: Newt Gingrich.  On the other hand, our love affair with Apollo obscure the fact that the program got us nowhere in terms of expanding human presence into space and left us with a bureaucracy better at scaling back ambitions than achieving anything other than secondary objectives.

    •  Now that's silly (3+ / 0-)

      Of course we would have made to The Moon. But only after the GOP sold the rights for green cheese.

      I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

      by jhecht on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 10:54:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I guess I'm in the minority (0+ / 0-)

    I watched the first episode and found the commercial interruptions so distracting that I'm going to wait until I can get the series on Blu-Ray from Netflix before watching it.  The material will certainly still be relevant.

  •  Even though the Catholic Church was forced ... (0+ / 0-)

    by scientific truth to acknowledge our heliocentric universe, Christianity still clings to its terracentric Biblical views, and goes through great machinations to 'square' those two concepts with each other.


    I travel back in time to get a running start on the future.

    by glb3 on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:53:55 AM PDT

  •  Someone said similar to this about Pres. Reagan (5+ / 0-)

    It's not what they don't know that bothers me. It is those things they are absolutely certain they know which happen to be absolutely wrong.

    We're all just working for Pharoah.

    by whl on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:57:31 AM PDT

  •  "universe upon universe. worlds without end" (7+ / 0-)

    that line bought me to tears.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 10:38:14 AM PDT

  •  Making God too small (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, Clintster, BlackSheep1

    was also something our old local parish priest used to say in some of his homilies (back when we used to go to church).

    Of course he was specifically referring to episodes like when Oral Roberts told people he had to raise $8 million dollars for his hospital by a certain time or God would call him home.

    The priest took him to task for that, basically saying God is not worried about petty issues like fund raising for a specific hospital tied to a TV preacher.

    But the general theme holds true. God, the Universe, whatever it is, is so far beyond our imaginations and our ability to grasp, that we as humans dumb it down to a level we can wrap our minds around.

    Sad to see however how many of today's "leaders" are at the same level of the Church of the middle ages as far as their approach and respect for science and knowledge.

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 11:16:50 AM PDT

  •  Dick "Darth" Cheney had an approval rating of 19% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rduran

    seriously, a quarter of the population will believe d*mned near anything -- flat earth, whatever.

    I think it was a mistake to dwell on Bruno instead of Galileo.  Galileo used the scientific method and produced EVIDENCE.  Repeatability and measurement are what science is about.  Not philosophy.

    Tyson went pretty fast for my eldest polecat and I kept trying to back things up and not having a chance to get a word in edgewise.  And the multiverse thingie was purely gratuitous.  More philosophy.

    I went to Cornell to visit colleges shortly Tyson did and really remember the snow and how amazing the campus was, as well as how much I enjoyed college classes (vs. high school).  That experience of his really translated well.  Hook the young student(s) on science.  Expose the wonder of the universe.

    rated 9/10

     

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 11:31:23 AM PDT

    •  Repeatability and measurement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      are the Sunday School mantras of science; but let's face it, cosmologists and particle physicists break those rules all the time in favor of models that show high internal consistency, still fit with the evidence, and most importantly are useful even if they remain unverified in their core predictions.  We can draw a similar distinction between the applied math from which multiverse models emerge and mere philosophy on the same grounds.

  •  I liked the diary, and the quote is spot on. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, Clintster

    I need to mention, though, that the images that you've used in it are probably not freely available for reuse under copyright law. The first two are from Fox, and likely under license, and the third is the album cover from Soulja Boy. http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/...

    At a minimum, they need better attribution, just as you would provide a link for text, and it's possible that none of the images are legally available for republication without a specific license.

    But damn, they worked so well with the diary.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:59:22 PM PDT

  •  Rec'd, Tip'd, Tweeted (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, Clintster, BlackSheep1

    It was that good.

    Oh, and #followed.

    If you're on Twitter, follow me and I'll follow back.

    Write on!


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:31:33 PM PDT

  •  Bruno was a pantheist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, Clintster, rduran

    What doomed him were his religious beliefs: basically arguing that "God is in all things" and by implication "we are all God".

    For purely physical claims - heliocentrism, an infinite universe, the possibility of other inhabited worlds, etc. - the Renaissance/Baroque church was actually coming around to them, precisely because there was little or nothing in the Bible about the structure and operation of the physical universe ... and "God made the sun stand still for Joshua's army" was a weak argument against centuries of math, logic, and natural science from Greece, Rome, and the Middle East.

    It was the Enlightenment and its explicit anti-clericalism that moved the Catholic Church rightward, convincing it that the intelligentsia and the emerging liberalism were its enemy.  It'd be another hundred years plus before they'd start to reverse course.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:45:11 PM PDT

    •  We should probably not draw too many firm (0+ / 0-)

      conclusions about how Reformation era clergy and natural philosopher--whose classes frequently intermingled--perceived one another.  Consider how wildly different the Roman Inquisition treated Galileo from Bruno despite a mere two decades separating their proceedings.  Or the amount of Copernican thought contemporaneous and subsequent on European campuses that went unchecked.  

      And most of this work was done in the late 16th, early 17th century, before the rise of the strident anti-clericalism of the late-17th.

      •  Galileo wasn't as dangerous as Bruno (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rduran

        Galileo was insisting on heliocentrism at a time when it was by no means proven and frankly it was his combative attitude and his polemical writings that got him in trouble more so than his scientific positions.  The Church didn't like him fighting them, but the issue they were fighting over was ultimately not a religious one.

        Bruno started as a scientist, but unlike Galileo he didn't stay as one.  Even the Catholic Church doesn't think they burned him for professing heliocentrism, an infinite universe, or alien worlds perhaps with alien beings living on them.

        From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

        "Bruno was not condemned for his defence of the Copernican system of astronomy, nor for his doctrine of the plurality of inhabited worlds, but for his theological errors, among which were the following: that Christ was not God but merely an unusually skillful magician, that the Holy Ghost is the soul of the world, that the Devil will be saved, etc."

        Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

        by Visceral on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:25:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know why he bothered (0+ / 0-)

    with the thought experiment about an infinite universe.  That's a matter of debate, based on how you define the universe.  The universe as we used to think of it -- all the space created after the expansion of the Big Bang -- is considered finite.  

    •  The predominant method of modeling the universe (0+ / 0-)

      was, unfortunately, reasoning about it.  Understandable, since the tools of measurement available were little better than the five senses plus math little more complicated than trig.  If you forget the axiomatic limit and assume everything in the universe is ordered, rationalism has enormous appeal.

  •  YES! I haven't watched it yet, on DVR. (0+ / 0-)

    Good to know, because I loved the Segan Cosmos, too.  

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:36:02 PM PDT

  •  further evidence (0+ / 0-)

    further evidence of the scumbag, authoritarian nature of the roman catholic church

    free the information

    by freelixir on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 04:10:31 PM PDT

  •  This is why cons can't have a "christian nation" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1

    Because we already had one and it killed people for daring to express a differing point of view. Even if those people turn out to be right. This is what they want to return us to. "Heresy" laws. America's downfall won't come from competition with China or a war with Russia, it'll come from religious kooks who refuse to accept that they're wrong.  

    •  And it also produced and educated (0+ / 0-)

      Copernicus, Galileo, Brahe, Halley, Digges, Kepler, Newton and Leibniz.

      •  who were looking for greater glories for God (0+ / 0-)

        manifest in creation ... I haven't figured out yet how the Inquisition decided who to let go and who not. Did it really depend on whether the person actually had something an Inquisitor coveted?

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:14:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which inquisitor do you have in mind? (0+ / 0-)
          •  well, more the Spanish Inquisition generally (0+ / 0-)

            Witch-burnings seemed to create a lot of redistribution of wealth.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:34:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  For the temporal lord carrying them out (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlackSheep1

              The Inquisition's take would have to come in the form of kick backs.  The long con didn't appear to involve burnings, but better resembled a protection racket; the victims being wealthy conversos and their descendants accused of crypto-Jewry.

              However, that hardly tells us anything about the motivations of the Roman Inquisition in dealing with a pauper like Bruno.

              •  Except maybe Bruno's idea that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rduran

                God's bigger than most folks' imagination allows for really ticked 'em off. I kinda get the "immanent" God -- as present in a baby's smile or a blade of grass as in Armageddon, and to be offered sincere adoration as much through, say, Olympic skating as Crusader bloodshed (if not more, considering the Beatitudes).

                LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                by BlackSheep1 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:36:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It certainly would have (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BlackSheep1

                  The transcendence of God is a fundamental tenant of the traditional Christian faith, and immanence is one of the older heresies (a denial that God is distinct from creation).  Doesn't help that there's so much damned overlap with omnipresence.

                  •  so, I guess they'd burn me too, 'cause (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rduran

                    if God made the universe and everything in it, that makes God just about infinitely powerful -- which to me means that God can be in (or in favor of) anything God takes a notion to at a given moment (which kinda defeats the utility of praying for something really petty like winning a ball game, the logic of which also fails since people who want both sides to win are most likely praying for the same thing, just different sides); but this assumes God really isn't subject to the limits imposed by humans. Something to be said for not getting above one's raising -- we are not God, nor equal to God; how dare we decide what God should do?

                    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:04:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The local authorities would, anyway (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BlackSheep1

                      Let's not let the lords temporal and the public at large off the hook, since by and large it was up to them to arrest, hold, determine punishments and execute sentences.

                      A devout Catholic logician would still agree with you.  An infinitely powerful God can do and be anything he wants.  He would simply add that, according to revelation, God has decided to go another direction. Personally, I respect this view of God considerably more so than the "large God" advocated frequently here if at all.  The "large God" strikes me as awfully convenient for the believer.

                      •  didn't Bruno have something very like a vision, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        rduran

                        similar to the one chronicled by the author of Revelation?

                        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                        by BlackSheep1 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:44:33 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Unknown (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          BlackSheep1

                          There is no account of the dream sequence depicted in Cosmos.  On the other hand, there is a lot of evidence that Bruno encountered many portions of his cosmology in the work of his contemporaries.  We simply don't know whether his cosmology has its genesis in revelation, synthesis, or possibly plagiarism.  

      •  Are you defending the idea... (0+ / 0-)

        Of a church run state? For every Copernicus and Galileo there were thousands of innocents whose lives were ruined for being different or expressing a different point of view. We can have modern day Copernicus's and Galileo's without arresting people for heresy.

        •  Nice leap, Carl Lewis (0+ / 0-)

          You can point out the outsized contribution of Soviet patronage in mathematics and science without defending the atrocity of its governance, though at least 17th century Catholic Christendom has the excuse of being no worse than any other society of the time.

          Are you defending the proliferation of silly myths that serve no purpose other than to denigrate people of faith today?

  •  Our cosmic address - (0+ / 0-)

    It has always kinda reminded me of a quote from Thornton Wilder's seminal play "Our Town":

    "I never told you about that letter Jane Crofut got from her minister when she was sick. He wrote Jane a letter and on the envelope the address was like this: It said: Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Grover’s Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America…Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the mind of God – that’s what it said on the envelope. "
    I always liked to think of humanity in just that way.....occupying the mind of God.  There's no definition or limitations in that.  It is open to individual interpretation.
  •  I heard something, and you all can tell me if this (0+ / 0-)

    is BS. My kids and I watched, however I have been under the weather and perhaps wasn't paying attention to things as I normally do. A friend said that the host mentioned evolution at the end of the show, but that Fox played music or a commercial over that part of the show.

    When I heard this, I just couldn't recall. Anyone remember a part like that? Is that true?

    As for Seth McFarland making the show, that didn't bother me as much as it being on Fox. To be a comedian, especially a writer, one has to know some things to be genuinely funny.

    But Fox? Nothing funny about those guys. I really wonder how long this series will last. Since they have it on their channel, they own the rights, if they cancel it, that will be it.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:44:09 AM PDT

  •  I amazed myself by using that quote (0+ / 0-)

    a week before that show aired. I was having a debate with a young Earth creationist and I said that his god was limited by what was written in Genesis compared to what we know now of our infinite universe.

    The guy didn't understand what I was saying. Small minds.

    •  More likely he was floored by the non-sequitur. (0+ / 0-)
      •  It is only a non sequitur (0+ / 0-)

        if you believe in the limited power of god as shown in Genesis.

        My point. :)

        •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

          it's a non-sequitur regardless, but it's probably more jarring if you don't believe Genesis imposes a limit on the power of God.  Which you'll found precious few creationists who do.  After all, they believe in a supernatural God.

          •  Lets speculate that there is an all powerful god (0+ / 0-)

            in an infinite universe - 7 days equals what?

            If Genesis is the word of god, why would he or she pick such a calendar based on what was then thought of as the sun revolving around the Earth (or Earth's revotation)? It seems kind of arbitrary now that we have a better idea of a day based on the Earth's rotation.

            Either the god was small minded or the person who really wrote Genesis had no knowledge of the true meaning of "day" in the universal sense.

            This is a Small God of a Small Universe (the Earth). I agree that a young Earther would think this is a non Sequitur but only because they haven't taken the step back and looked at the BIG picture.

            •  The short answer? (0+ / 0-)

              Because he felt like it.

              Long answer?  Genesis doesn't attribute a calendar to God.  It attributes creation to him.  But let's say he did then dictate a calendar (and apparently decided to make it non-binding).  How does that have any bearing whatsoever on the extent of his thought or expanse of his power?  Why can't an all powerful, transcendent, immanent, or omni-whatever being do or think something small?

              I imagine a young Earth wouldn't consider it because it's a shoddy objection from the start.

              •  You're thinking small. (0+ / 0-)
                •  Do you have an answer to the question or not? (0+ / 0-)

                  I'll ask again.  "Why can't an all powerful, transcendent, immanent, or omni-whatever being do or think something small?"

                  After all, in our conversation (and presumably the one with the creationist), you are the only one placing limits on what God can and can't do; on what God can and can't think.

a gilas girl, Thumb, Alumbrados, MichaelPH, Angie in WA State, Sylv, Trendar, Geenius at Wrok, mndan, Powered Grace, Emerson, karlpk, MouseThatRoared, Shockwave, Fabienne, LynChi, ETinKC, Wintermute, Hesiod, genethefiend, mslat27, dsb, polecat, MarkInSanFran, hubcap, niemann, Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal, Bruce The Moose, rasbobbo, BlackSheep1, dionys1, estamm, ask, highacidity, MillieNeon, mikidee, vmibran, pedrito, wishingwell, sngmama, wader, SneakySnu, kharma, minorityusa, Farugia, pat bunny, roseeriter, johanus, texasmom, HeyMikey, DSC on the Plateau, Steven Payne, defluxion10, Catte Nappe, Lilith, bwintx, zerelda, KayCeSF, hayden, vacantlook, rmx2630, bibble, Armand451, Frank Vyan Walton, oortdust, sawgrass727, CPT Doom, kbman, radarlady, greycat, qofdisks, SherwoodB, Alice Venturi, elkhunter, Simplify, terrypinder, dewtx, ChemBob, Navy Vet Terp, dansk47, Sun Tzu, McMeier, GreyHawk, CompaniaHill, Rex Freedom, TriSec, Tool, brentut5, Blu Gal in DE, Ginny in CO, bunsk, Rogneid, The Fat Lady Sings, mightymouse, bently, MadGeorgiaDem, occams hatchet, cybersaur, Mr Bojangles, profundo, Kimball Cross, Yellow Canary, raptavio, seefleur, mooshter, AoT, arlene, blueoasis, NCJan, SingerInTheChoir, BlueMississippi, IL clb, CA Nana, Persiflage, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, WarrenS, Tom Anderson, bstotts, cpresley, FoundingFatherDAR, marykk, out of left field, BeninSC, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, ColoTim, Mary Mike, Cofcos, sfbob, davehouck, SeaTurtle, gchaucer2, carpunder, conniptionfit, kdnla, TomP, gizmo59, jwinIL14, JayC, VelvetElvis, JeffW, kimoconnor, Youffraita, Senor Unoball, Aureas2, Involuntary Exile, smrichmond, Laughing Vergil, Sharon Wraight, rssrai, Cassandra Waites, madame damnable, smartdemmg, dmhlt 66, GustavMahler, JBL55, prettygirlxoxoxo, rsmpdx, Don Enrique, Methinks They Lie, WakeUpNeo, kevinpdx, Shelley99, Keith Pickering, histOries Marko, Munchkn, Lava20, astral66, davespicer, collardgreens, ruscle, p gorden lippy, serendipityisabitch, gramofsam1, catwho, kjoftherock, mookins, BenderRodriguez, gulfgal98, pixxer, anonevent, Johnny Q, nirbama, DrTerwilliker, kenwards, Onomastic, kerflooey, Front Toward Enemy, Captain Pants, slowbutsure, swale44, marleycat, thomask, Santa Susanna Kid, dle2GA, Ojibwa, muddy boots, midnight lurker, myrmecia gulosa, whaddaya, sound of progress, Imhotepsings, VTCC73, freerad, FisherOfRolando, bakeneko, SoCalSal, blackjackal, Auriandra, No one gets out alive, Laurel in CA, Rejoinder, AnnetteK, jacey, anodnhajo, sow hat, ahumbleopinion, SilverWillow, Deep Texan, 2thanks, FloridaSNMOM, This old man, LittleSilver, belinda ridgewood, Syoho, Johnny the Conqueroo, OllieGarkey, ricklewsive, tytalus, rat racer, Raven Song, nuclear winter solstice, Lily O Lady, Blue Bell Bookworm, jbob, Alhambra, howabout, northerntier, bob152, GreenMother, ET3117, duhban, OceanDiver, Kombema, night cat, richardvjohnson, pierre9045, Tony Situ, Gurnt, thanatokephaloides, kathy in ga, rduran, wilywascal, P E Outlier, BMScott, numble

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site