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What Does Neil deGrasse Tyson's 'Cosmos' Say About Religion? - The Wire

Stashed in: Religion, The Universe, Awesome, @neiltyson, Moon!, The Internet is my religion., Carl Sagan, NASA, I must go. My people need me., Space!, History, Cosmos

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This is pretty spectacular:

"We are all made of star stuff," astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tells us in episode one of Cosmos.It's a line that hits on two ways that the Cosmos series effectively spans the scale of time. There's the obvious, that every atom in your body came from out there, a long time ago. And the second way: the line itself comes from the original Cosmos series. If the first episode is any indication, Tyson's version of Cosmos keeps a lot of the aggressive humanity and wonder that made Sagan's so great. And as much as we're fans of the 1980's space graphics of Sagan's, the visuals are lightyears away from what the original could do.

Episode one walks viewers through the "cosmic address" of Earth, or where our home planet is located within the known universe. And — a trickier task — it does a lot of work to orient itself on a political landscape where not everyone seems to want to hear what science can tell us about our origins and surroundings.  

I didn't realize that it's harder for Neil Tyson to get his message through than it was for Carl Sagan!

It's inconceivable!

I liked the animated Bruno segment and thought it served as a nice reminder that scientific curiousity is not inconsistent with faith ..... but definitely threatens dogma.

Speaking of which, great Carl Sagan gif:

Carl Sagan Cosmos gif Imgur psychedelic

"I must go. My planet needs me!"

Neil Tyson is trying to show everyone how full of wonder the universe is:

Danielle: Last week, Neil deGrasse Tyson promised Brian Stelter that he would be casting a wide net, audience-wise, with Cosmos. He would aim to attract viewers “who don’t know that they like science,” but who “have a little flame inside of them of curiosity,” but also those “who know they don’t like science. They’ve got no flame at all. So we’re going to go in in there and light it.” This is an admirable (if unrealistic) goal, and one that Tyson seems to have embraced in episode one by inviting religious viewers to identify with scientists.

Abby: It’s interesting, because at least one early review of the show suggested that the reboot lost one of the things that made the original Cosmos so special: its ambitious view that every single person on the planet possessing an ounce of wonder could appreciate the cosmos, religious or not. But now that I’ve actually watched the new one, its clear Tyson obviously takes that scientific missionary work seriously, too.

Overall the Internet likes the Cosmos reboot. It's more consumable than the original:

Abby: This would be a good place to mention that Sagan’s Cosmos, particularly theintroduction to the first episode, does tend to make the room a little dry for me every time I watch it. In the reboot, I actually gasped when Tyson pulled out Sagan’s calendar to show their appointment, marked down. For me, that Tyson tribute really helped to anchor what the reboot’s makers believed they were doing. Far from casting the Sagan version aside, there’s an acknowledgement that a science show over 30 years old produces an argument, or a thesis about how to appreciate our universe, that is still relevant today. But enough of that. Can we talk about NASA?

Danielle: Absolutely, NASA was clearly the winner of the night. First of all, they got to tweet out a couple of what must be a gargantuan stockpile of outer space images. They were like, remember the moon? We've got the moon! And people really liked it!

Supermoon | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I went back and watched the first episode of Carl Sagan's Cosmos and I see what they're talking about:

Pretty strange that it's primary outlet is FOX, not the first network I think of for enlightening television. And it airs right after the Sunday night cartoons. I like the Simpsons, but what kind of lead-in is it for a show like Cosmos?

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