Uncommon Sense

March 17, 2014

Cosmos Crushes Creationists, Round 2

Filed under: Religion,Science — Steve Ruis @ 9:36 am
Tags: , , , , ,

If you expected a long, drawn out battle pitting Science against Creationism, guess again. Science wins by a knockout in the second round of the new science series Cosmos. In this episode the program focused upon evolution and mass extinctions. The tree of life was the main metaphor and the challenges were direct. The host stating that he could understand why people might want to separate themselves from our nearest relative on the tree of life, the chimpanzees. But, he continued, what about the DNA we share with oak trees, and bacteria, and many other creatures. In fact, as far as life on this planet goes, “we are one” in that we are all related . . . through evolution.

They even tackled a number of the hoary old creationist objections to evolution and natural selection. One was the evolution of the human eye. Even Darwin himself couldn’t see how eyes evolved, but that was 150 years ago and all of the intermediary steps in the evolution of eyes have been found, even to the mutation that has given us color vision rather than duo chrome vision like most other animals.

The coup de grâce was delivered toward the end of the show with host Neil deGrasse Tyson saying (I am paraphrasing here as my memory isn’t perfect) “Science exists on the border of knowledge and ignorance. There is no shame in not knowing all the answers. The only shame would be pretending to know all of the answers.” For you creationists who might no know, one definition of “faith” is “pretending to know things you do not know.”

Now, how many “e’s” are in erudite?

Note: Also posted on “Equiries on Atheism


  1. So when is Cosmos airing on FOX? I will have to force myself to switch the channel to watch this but you have me intrigued.

    BTW, Naomi Oreskes in her book Merchants of Doubt states that science “is about evidence. It is about claims that can be, and have been, tested through scientific research – experiments, experience and observation – research that is then subject to critical review by a jury of scientific peers. Claims that have not gone through that process – or have gone through it and failed – are not scientific and do not deserve equal time in a scientific debate.”


    Comment by lbwoodgate — March 17, 2014 @ 10:13 am | Reply

  2. I have been watching the series on Fox as the irony is just too great not to. I think you and I are in the same time zone, so it is 8PM on Sundays (9PM Eastern).

    And even that aspect of scientific research is not adequate, so people are constantly trolling the publish research looking for errors. The idiots who think that evolution or climate change are scientific conspiracies don’t understand the egos of scientists. There is nothing we enjoy more than proving everybody else wrong. So, any scientist worth his/her salt would pounce all over such a effort and that would be a career making event.

    The essense of science is that we work to prove that things as described are wrong. If the evidence says otherwise, we look for other ways to prove things are wrong. If we fail, we accept what we are left with as the provisional truth of the matter (not absolute truth, as nothing in science is absolute). Some things are overwhelmingly “proven” evolution being one of those things. So many people trying to make a reputation by proving those others are wrong, wrong, wrong … and failing. Maybe somebody might but that would be the equivalent of throwing oneself off of a cliff in the belief that the theory of gravity might be wrong.


    Comment by stephenpruis — March 17, 2014 @ 10:49 am | Reply

    • ” 8PM on Sundays

      Damn, I have just gotten into Resurrection at 8pm on CBS. But even that will have to take a back seat starting March 30th when the new season for Call the Midwife begins on PBS. And no, I don’t have a dvr. 😦

      “And even that aspect of scientific research is not adequate, so people are constantly trolling the published research looking for errors.”

      Actually science has no problems with errors if they are discovered as a result of genuine peer-review findings. That is part of the scientific method. It is this foible that the Merchants of Doubt exploit. It is that part of science that the deniers just don’t get. The work of the past is less interesting than the on-going research that could change how we look at things today. It’s not meant to be viewed in absolute or totally settled terms yet deniers will claim their right to imperfection when it suits their purposes.


      Comment by lbwoodgate — March 17, 2014 @ 11:18 am | Reply

      • These people haven’t been reading Atlas Shrugged (turgid and bloated prose) but Brave New World, thinking this Leader guy had something going.

        On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 11:18 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



        Comment by stephenpruis — March 17, 2014 @ 11:29 am | Reply

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