Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cosmos Finale


The Cosmos finale just aired entitled "Unafraid of the Dark," and I have some issues with it. The program was well made in regards to the science, graphics and the call to learn more at the epilogue.

However, during the show, Dr. Tyson made some comments which were obviously directed towards religion.  He said that there are some who believe the universe was made for us (human beings) and called for humility in this regard.  Moreover, he also placed science on the pedestal as the source of "truth" while others claim to know it all or have all the answers.  These comments were clearly indirect remarks towards religion.

Religion has provided answers to why we are here using religious ideas, Scriptures, revelation and creation stories.  However, these answers are not meant to explain in detail the natural processes that brought about our existence and the existence of the entire universe.  They were meant to show that all originates from the Creator - God.  While we understand the the stories of creation have religious symbolism and prose from writers of the past, this does not disqualify them.  The reason why I say this is because science only gives us the how things work, not why and the when is not precise.

Towards the end of the show, Dr. Tyson gave a "sermon" in support of science telling viewers to:

-Question authority 
-Think for yourself 
-Admit your ignorance 
-Don't confuse belief with reality 
-Test & Observe
-Be humble   

Again, these were said as an indirect attack against religion fueling the atheist erroneous propaganda that religious people do not engage in the things listed above.  I do not get tired of reminding people that the Catholic Church gave us science as we know it today.  From the scientific method, to the "big bang theory," it was the Catholic Church that funded science.  Many of her own clergy members were pioneers in science and proposed many theories which are still in the works today hundreds of years later. Islam as well has produced scientific minds that have provided knowledge to the world.  In tonight's episode, Monsignor George Lemaitre was not even mentioned in regards to the "big bang theory."  

The show closed with the sound bit of the late Carl Sagan who was the original host of "Cosmos" in the early 1980's.  His "poem" of the "Pale Blue Dot" was heard using modern graphics.  Here is the poem:






The remake of "Cosmos" was good in that it provided scientific facts and did present science as an
"ongoing process."  "We don't know it all, and that's okay" as Tyson stated.  I agree 100% with this and this should inspire us to learn more and seek more knowledge.  However, this does not mean that religion is not part of this quest.  Religion is not meant to explain the natural processes of the world, but to bring us to the one who made them and make us moral people.

The whole notion that religion freezes the thoughts of its followers is ridiculous and offensive. Why would God give us a mind that can reason if He did not intend us to question and learn?  If we are just a speck of "star stuff" created by chance, then why do we even have the ability to reason; the ability to be self aware?

The suggestion by Dr. Tyson and the show's producers that the universe was not made for us is a logical fallacy called special pleading.  The observance of natural processes does not automatically suggest that the universe was not made for us or that it has no Creator.

The original host of "Cosmos" put it well:


No atheist, no agnostic can truly claim on fact that there is no God or that the universe was not made for life.  Making these claims would be falling into the same arrogance atheists believe religions have in regards to their answers to life's questions.  This eventually presents itself as "Scientism." Scientism is the view that only science provides knowledge, answers and truth.  Those who subscribe to this idea often disregard religion, and even philosophy as pseudo sources of knowledge.  Dr. Tyson subscribes to this idea and has ran into conflict with my former professor, Massimo Pigluicci who called him out on his attack against philosophy.  See his post:  http://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/neil-degrasse-tyson-and-the-value-of-philosophy/ 

As a graduate of the sciences myself, I am extremely fond of science.  However, I do not believe science is perfect or the well of wisdom.  We need other fields of study in order to paint the entire picture of life and the universe.  Science can go only as far as the equations, microscope, telescope or collider can take it.  Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for Dr. Tyson and did enjoy the remake of "Cosmos."  However, I do not appreciate the misinformation regarding religion, history and the special pleading the writers presented in insinuating that God is not an explanation for the origin of everything or that the universe was not made for life.

I won't even go into the commercial with Ronald Reagan's son asking for money for "Freedom From religion...

Nevertheless, the closing of the episode was indeed moving and should make us think that we live on a "Pale Blue Dot" in darkness.  We must stop fighting with one another, stop killing each other; stop destroying our home and unite to learn more about this glorious creation of God we call the universe.    

Listen to my radio broadcast tomorrow at 11:00 PM as I give my review of "Cosmos."








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