i've been watching the original series all weekend on PBS. tonight the epic return featuring Neil DeGrasse Tyson, on Fox and NatGeo! yes, SCIENCE bitches!! set your DVR's!!
You may be correct about the matter of the right wing and Tyson needing a separate discussion, Matthew. Hard, disciplined science hasn't been much in evidence on traditional network television for a while. We get it on the Discovery networks and maybe BBC America, but not much on the old broadcast base. Now all of a sudden, Neil is out there, talking serious fact about cosmology and evolution and it's no wonder there are people up in arms. Their precious fantasies are being unceremoniously stepped on, and they can't deal with it, other than to predictably whine and attempt to counter using the same old BS points we've all heard too many times to count.
It never occurred to me that Cosmos all by itself could wind up being a serious point of contention, but then, I have no problem with science. The ID proponents, the climate-change deniers all seem to think they can steer the facts as they see fit, but Tyson won't let them, and he has a full grasp of the facts to do it with. Worse, he's going public with those facts and making them not just accessible but ENTERTAINING! And the ultimate fallout of all of this is that the woo-peddlers and cherry-pickers are going to take it on the chin yet again and maybe, just maybe, more people are going to recognize the value of disciplined, methodological research, not just out in the cosmos, but in their everyday lives.
Science ... it WORKS, bitches!
Loren, Hip! Hip! Horray! to all that you wrote. I have to remind myself that Tyson and a whole string of others have been speaking truth to nonsense for a very long time and they have been successfully silenced by being attacked verbally and sometimes physically. You know my story, a man called me at home and stated he didn't like what I was writing on Facebook and was going to rape me with a blowtorch. OUCH! That was a very vivid threat, and one that could be a real threat. I took it as a fool shouting out of his ignorance, trying desperately to hold on to his antiquated belief system.
I want to call attention to:
k.h. ky You do have a way with words. Here is a wonderful place to put your words into a form where others can read them and we all benefit. I love it when someone catches me in a fallacious statement. I feel kind of like I have a cloud of witnesses joining with me in developing strong arguments, well reasoned conclusions, and criticisms that make my writing stronger.
We need to recognize our science students at all levels of education. Take some of the energy put into sports, and refocus some of it on the hard sciences. Science fairs, awards for excellence, encourage young people to do research even at the elementary level, on topics of importance today, such as solar energy experiments, alternatives to the combustion engine ... well that would be as they are older. Even experiments in botany, biology, any of the living sciences. Emphasis the basic science.
When I was in highschool one of my classmates was a genius in chemistry. He would give demonstrations at many of our convocations, ie. put a rose in with dry ice, bring it out and drop the rose on the floor. I will never forget the sound of that rose shattering. ALL THESE YEARS LATER!