Neil de Grasse Tyson Smacks Down Creationists Who Are Demanding Equal Time on Cosmos

De Grasse Tyson

In a criminal trial when a defense lawyer is faced with overwhelming witness testimony and evidentiary documentation their client is guilty, they resort to sowing doubt in the jury’s mind in hopes one juror will vote for acquittal because they are not certain facts of the case are completely true. The concept of sowing doubt is a favorite method of religious right creationists to disprove scientific facts supporting evolutionary theory by convincing observers that science is questionable and their religious mythos explaining natural phenomenon based on supernatural phenomenon is true and unquestionable.

The success of Fox’s science documentary series “Cosmos” has so rattled creationists unable to cast doubt on de Grasse Tyson’s methodical presentation of fact-based information about the Universe that creationists are demanding equal time on the program. Their goal is simple; cast doubt on empirical scientific data about how the Universe and life on Earth came into existence using archaic mythology they claim refutes science and proves the creation myth is fact. Fortunately, de Grasse Tyson, a forward thinking and intelligent man disabused creationists of the idea they will ever get equal time on Cosmos when he said, “You don’t talk about the spherical Earth with NASA, and then say let’s give equal time to the flat Earthers. There is no way a noted scientist is going to give equal time to ancient mythology to waste time when he could be presenting science.

Creationists claim their supernatural mythology will give the scientific documentary “balance” about how the Universe began and operates by giving equal weight to the bible story and convince viewers to question science and consider facts “might” be false. It is impossible to balance science, a systematic enterprise building and organizing knowledge in the form of testable explanations about the universe, with religious faith based on trust in the supernatural. Faith is often used as a conceptual synonym for hope, but it is also a handy excuse for “the bible is fact and there is no proof, but I believe it anyway” crowd to support their inability to accept reality. This dizzying belief was best exhibited by creationist Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis notoriety who claimed he believes the creation story so strongly that nothing can change his mind exposing him as a superstitious moron with no interest in truth.

Some of the criticism of de Grasse Tyson by creationists’ at “Answers in Genesis” were that “Creationists aren’t even on the radar screen for them, they wouldn’t even consider us plausible at all;  I don’t recall seeing any interviews with people.” Ken Ham asserted that science presented on Cosmos is wrong and that “the big bang model is unable to explain many scientific observations, but this is of course not mentioned.” The beauty of science is that it does not explain anything that is unobserved. As an aside, last week a major new scientific discovery just providedsmoking gun” evidence for “inflation” that is a crucial component of scientists’ understanding of the incredibly stunning events that happened just after the Big Bang.

During an appearance on the  Janet Mefferd Show, Answers In Genesis and Creation Museum spokesman Danny Faulkner criticized de Grasse Tyson and Cosmos for not providing equal airtime for creationists to balance scientific facts with bible mythos. Mefferd agreed that de Grasse Tyson had no interest in being fair and balanced saying, Boy, but when you have so many scientists who simply do not accept Darwinian evolution it seems to me that that might be something to throw in there, you know, the old, ‘some scientists say this, others disagree and think this,’ but that’s not even allowed.” Faulkner completely agreed with Mefferd and said, “Consideration of special Creation is definitely not open for discussion it would seem.” For the record, Mefferd’s “so many scientists” remark does not comport with the fact that evolutionary theory is nearly universally accepted with 97% of all scientists acknowledging the Universe, Earth, and all life on Earth did not begin 6,000 years ago as creationists claim.

Any semi-intelligent human being understands there are not always two sides to every story just because someone mired in faith and ancient mythology does not agree with something science has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. De Grasse Tyson stated, as plainly as possible, that “The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, is a scientific fact.” Creationists still cannot understand what “scientific theory” means, but Tyson’s simile makes the point that even creationists believe gravity is real and not as they claim evolution is, just a theory and unproven. If the think gravity is just a theory, they should step off the top of Empire State Building to prove the “theory” of gravity is just an unproven idea postulated by some crazed liberal scientist.

This bizarre idea of using religious myth to sow doubt in the public’s mind is used to great effect by Republicans to deny global climate change they claim is a devious “liberal hoax” perpetrated by scientists of questionable repute. In fact, conservatives are already bashing Tyson as a global warming proponent and hope to garner support by claiming he is attacking the religious people. Jeffrey Meyer, writing for Media Research Center, criticized de Grasse Tyson’s appearance on Late Night With Seth Myers by asserting “Meyers and de Grasse Tyson chose to take cheap shots at religious people and claim they don’t believe in science i.e. liberal causes like global warming.” Tyson has been very careful, sadly, to not take shots, cheap or otherwise, at religious people in spite of their rejection of science for belief in archaic mythology.

Republicans in states have joined with creationists to sow doubt about evolutionary theory, the very foundation of modern biology, by inserting the bible creation story of human creation as one of two sides that warrant competing time in science classes. It is precisely the same tactic creationists are attempting by demanding that Cosmos give them equal time to use religious myth to balance scientific fact that is an equally absurd assertion Republicans use to undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools, or to shift taxpayer money to private religious schools to sell “parental choice for a fair and balanced education” for their children.

Creationists are never going to get equal time to peddle the bible as a counterbalance to science because Cosmos is a science program and creationism is a religious myth.  Cosmos or de Grasse Tyson do not have to show balance, particularly the when creationists’ “balance” is presented by those who assert a few verses in the bible are science. Creationism does not meet any criteria to be considered “scientifically viable” regardless how often creationists say “the bible says” god created the Universe and life 6,000 years ago. De Grasse Tyson attempted to give creationists and science deniers an easy out by telling them “there is no shame in admitting you do not know something,” and implicitly condemned their faith-based stupidity by asserting “that the real shame is pretending to know everything.”

Some pundits claim de Grasse Tyson is dismantling the creationist movement with each episode, and although the program may enlighten a new generation to how scientific discovery explains how the Universe and life on Earth came into existence, it will not change one creationist’s mind.  Despite reams of scientific data over several decades proving evolutionary theory is scientific fact, and several court rulings that creationism is nothing but religious myth, creationists are determined as ever to deny scientific reality. They will continue demanding equal time to sow doubt about scientific data with bible stories, use Republicans to insert creation instruction in schools to cast doubt on evolutionary theory, and claim Earth is 6,000 years old to deny the climate is changing to the detriment of human existence, and it is all portrayed as presenting balance.


133 Replies to “Neil de Grasse Tyson Smacks Down Creationists Who Are Demanding Equal Time on Cosmos”

  1. Why would the republicans want an ignorant voting pool? Oh, yeah. So republicans can get some votes.

  2. If this lunatic fringe wants to espouse their biblical nonsense, let them fund and produce a television show and present their case. Those of us with IQ > 85 will have a good laugh.

  3. Republicans and creationists aren’t to big on facts. Whenever I have had debates with bible toters I always let them enlighten me for awhile and then I always ask, “What about the dinosaurs?”. That’s usually they look around and start stammering some nonsense. I always point out there is no denying they were here, millions of years ago, and they aren’t mentioned in the bible.

    Any mockumentary they could put together would have to be aired on Comedy Central.

  4. I live in creation science central and had that drivel pumped into me at a young age; however, when I was 11 I told my sunday school “teacher” (indoctrinator) that, “the story of Adam and Eve was just that – a story to satisfy the people’s question of where we came from!”

    That did not go down well and he told me, a 6th grader at the time, that I was, “going to hell!”

    Little did I know, but I created a firestorm for my father where I had gotten that concept – not knowing what a myth was. That eventually contributed to the growing kernel of doubt that led to us leaving, as a family, from this church.

    The echoes of that still are heard today in my extended family. Absurd.

  5. That theses creationists they believe they are entitled to appear on a documentary show they disagree with is plain silly. If they want to present their views (because they aren’t facts, but opinions), they need to create their own documentary series and then sell it to a network.

    They’ll quickly learn that their idea that Fox is their friend- the probable reason for their demand of airtime on Tyson’s show- is wrong. Fox is a business. Creationism sells on Fox News, but outside that niche audience, Creationism a financial loser.

  6. Also, making this demand keeps them in the news after the debate with Bill Nye. Attendance at the Creationist Museum is way down and losing money. They need exposure in order to lure back business.

  7. Much of the “confusion” is sown by misuse of the word “theory.” Many people use the word “theory” when the appropriate word is “hypothesis.” Thus, the prevalence of “In theory,” “I have a theory about that,” and so forth. People with the wrong understanding of “theory” see “theory of evolution” as “hypothesis of evolution.”

    The first step in any argument over the “theory of evolution” should be establishing the meaning of the word “theory.” You don’t disbelieve the “theory of relativity,” the “theory of numbers,” “group theory,” “computability theory,” “set theory,” ad infinitum, because they include the word “theory” in their names. 90% of the time, dispensing the “it’s just a theory” argument dispenses with the entire argument.

  8. I believe they already have their show. Every Sunday, you can find several Bible and religious programs on the television.

  9. They can make claims like this only because they know sites like this will publish them. Do the right thing: forego a few clicks and page views and just cut off their oxygen supply. Stop talking about them.

  10. Perhaps Ham and his fellow creationists can beg Fox to produce their own show based on mythical “science”. I am sure the open-minded among us would love to tune in to a season-long series about the Creator and his perfect universe. I am also sure that Ham and his fellow experts would have all of the answers that we are seeking and would ultimately turn us away from this evil science stuff.

  11. They already have one. It’s called the Trinity Broadcast Network. Think TBN would ever give up air time for a dissenting opinion?

  12. Nice analysis by Rmuse — and I’m awarding an extra upvote for knowing the difference between a simile and an analogy.

    To me, the simplest argument against the mythers demand for equal time on Cosmos is this: Would they allow a scientist equal time on TBN to present the facts of evolution to their mouth-breathing audience?

  13. Funny how Ham says there is no big bang, other cheap religious people like him say the gravitational waves discovered are proof of god. it just goes on and on

  14. i see the problem.

    day 1, he creates light and separates the darkness from the light, day from night.
    day 2, some mumbo jumbo.
    day 3, he let’s the earth bring forth plants (too tired to do it himself i guess).
    day 4, he creates the sun and stars.

    so, he creates light and then creates stars. creates plants and then creates the sun.

    only 4 days in and the dude is already in need of some serious design help.

  15. Or, better yet, produce and publish research in the scientific literature that convinces the scientific community of their points. Since mostly they use arguments that have a decades to centuries long record of failure, though, this is likely to be a difficult path, but the only one that should alter policies on education.

  16. Creation is bunk. If they want to do something different they have all those religious channels they can put their show on.

  17. Perhaps Creationists should set an example and give scientists equal time in Church before asking for equal time on Cosmos (or in any other venue).

  18. The Creationists use Medicine created by Science.
    The Creationists use Energy created by Science.
    The Creationists eat Food created by Science.
    The Creationists drink water purified by Science.

    Use Science to Figure out HOW the Universe Started?

    All of a Sudden, the Creationists Deny EVERYTHING
    that Science has to say.

    Go Figure.

  19. If creationists want equal time to refute the science, then they are free to find backers and have their own series produced and broadcast. Creationism and Intelligent Design are not science and do not belong on a science program. ‘Cosmos’ has absolutely no responsibility to present these hypotheses as science.

  20. Yeah, Cosmos will give equal time to the creationists…right after the Sunday morning religious programs give equal time to atheists.

  21. These creationists and their ilk have never truly read the bible. They have never sat done with pencil and paper and gone through that book from word one. If they were to do that by day five of genesis they’d be writing WTF on that paper with several exclamation points.

  22. Energy, like matter, cannot be created nor destroyed…but it takes a lot of energy for stupid people to create controversy over matters of fact. Teehee Newtonian humor…. ;)

  23. The biblical story of creation is one of thousands of myths and legends which helped earlier generations explain what they saw as inexplicable. They were not evil people, just exhibiting the lack of information that we have today. It is unfortunate that many noisy people are clinging fanatically to these beliefs. What is missing in our education that does not do better to keep us truthfully informed so that ignorance cannot prevail?
    Many of these legends deal with the fight of good against evil, just like Harry Potter’s. The moral of the story is often very good, and the magic should be enjoyed and understood as myth, not scientific fact.

  24. There are plenty of flat earth, Xian hucksters on TV, 24/7.

    Put a science section on all these shows first, they outnumber real science programs 100:1.

    There’s also a reason to identify fiction or non-fiction.

  25. the bible contains references about many scientific laws and facts that were discovered only relatively recently by modern science. these references were made thousands of years ago. the bible and true science is compatible. Einstein, who lost more brain cells standing around in the sun than Tyson was born with once said “science without religion is lame ,religion without science is blind. if either religion or science comes up with a supposition that denies the other then that supposition is wrong. if you only believe one or the other, then you’re not getting all the facts.

  26. The connection is Seth MacFarlane. Seth has a number of successful shows (Family Guy, American Dad, Cleveland, maybe more) making big money for FOX. None of his shows is Republican family values fare, but FOX will take it the bank.

  27. Cosmos is not a political debate show. It is a presentation of science with a healthy dose of awe. If only creationists and their ilk could understand how much bigger and more wondrous the universe is than their anthropomorphic vision, they might see how silly the idea of God as a grey bearded old man sitting on cloud really is. I think there is room for a different kind of God in science, a God that encompasses all that there is including us. A God that isn’t in the universe but is the universe.

  28. The core problem with creationists is choice: They choose to believe one deity exists and they choose to believe one deity created mankind. Human beings created the one deity concept in the image of mankind and the rest is history.

  29. 33,000 plus denominations of Christianity that don’t quite agree and you question scientific facts? I think Christianity could benefit from some scientific methods of proofs. If you fall into a lake you can decide to pray(sink) or swim to safety. Either choice can be credited to God.

  30. To some, science is a matter of public relations and public opinion. Not surprising when the “theory” presented is a collection of anecdotes, misperceptions, misrepresentations, and fallacious reasoning, and the only “hard fact” presented is the erroneous inference that doubt is the only possible conclusion. Then the only framework must be a christian genesis or the farce of hiding god behind the screen of intelligent design, when everyone knows what that really means.

  31. Heh, bible thumpers to listen to reason? There’s more chance for me to win Powerball jackpot 3 times in a row.

  32. That was total bullshit. Christians used to burn scientist on stake, create witch hunts etc. do you consider story of Noah to be scientificaly valid and real?

    Bible is a fairy tale book. Nothing more.

  33. I respect science GREATLY and I have a spiritual faith base, theres a huge difference in faith and scientific fact, but both faith and science have elements of being wrong, before Edwin Hubbel we thought the universe was as big as our solar system that was in 1922 so science was wrong for centuries before that. BTW it was a George Lamaitre a Belgian Priest who was a astronomer that theory on the big bang that helped us understand the universe . so religion and science need to continue the march towards truth

  34. I just don’t understand. There are 29 Religious Channels listed on the US Over-the-Air-Television-Channel-List at Wikipedia

    Daystar, Enlace, TBN, Smile of a Child, Juce, The Church Channel, Sonlife Broadcasting Network, 3 ABN, 3 ABN Latino, Almavision, Dare to Dream Network, Peace TV, 3 ABN Proclaim!, Cornerstone Television, TCT, The Walk TV, CTN, God TV, WHT, Tela Avida, Abundante, Family Net, EWTN, Hope Channel, The Word Network, La Familia Cosmovision, TLN, Tvida Vision, The Worship Network, GLC.

    It seems yo me they have enough outlets to promote their snake oil. BTW the American Taliban are same nutjobs that don’t want the fairness doctrine, Effing hypocrites

  35. As a christian myself I suggest that if the creationist that want to be on Cosmos then stop playing politics! These people aren’t christians! their political stooges!! if they REALLY feel threatened by Cosmos why not get your own show and say whatever?? this is why many liberals FOOLISHLY try to lump all people of faith to the GOP! Whats rather interesting is many liberals (WHICH I AM ONE) wouldn’t dare call Martin Luther King (Baptist minister) or Mohandas Gandhi (Hinduism) CRAZY- INSANE- FOOLS- IDIOTS!! these were men of faith, don’t confuse todays RELIGIOUS RIGHT with spirituality,.

  36. Tell us three (just three so make them good) scientific laws contained in the bible. I’ve read the bible from front to back twice. I’ve taken a semester long class at a baptist university on the bible where we had to read the entire New Testament. Yet never once have I found a scientific law. So educate me.

  37. Scientific journals require this thing called peer review. Where on earth could they find peer review.

  38. MacFarlane is inadvertently the ultimate FOX poster boy. FOX will ignore any and all straying from their “values” as long as the bottom line is large enough.

  39. I’ve more than once heard it asserted that Noah had dinosaurs on the Ark. This usually goes along with a claim (never sourced) that “the average dinosaur was the size of a sheep”, implying that if Noah could fit sheep aboard the Ark he could certainly fit dinosaurs! (No, these people don’t know how basic arithmetic works either.)

  40. Equal time? Sure. Put scientists and historians on every religious broadcast and behind every pulpit. Make the gospel grinders give THEM equal time


    “Shut up god-botherers or we’ll come and teach science and critical thought in your churches”

  41. Several??? Try a shit-ton of nonsense spilling from tvs across the country like diarrhea from a cow.

  42. The last paragraph is entirely wrong. While some creationist families might watch to mock, or because they don’t pay much attention to the cognitive dissidence involved with enjoying the show and believing things that are in opposition to the facts, they will have children who watch and will be fascinated by what they see. Some of those children will develop an interest in science that will overwhelm the indoctrination. Also, some creationists have just never been exposed to the actual science, in easy to understand terms. Breaking through the wrong information with real facts will lead some to question what they thought before was science.

  43. Creationist, possess the political puppet monsters, GOP, teabaggers and a network, FOX, they have sufficient outlets to spread their stupidity & ignorance.

  44. Agreed. The moment some cretinist hauls out the ‘evolution’s just a theory’ card, I tell him/her that the discussion is over because they don’t know what they’re talking about.

  45. There are already 6 channels devoted to that god nonsense. We should be screaming to have that shit removed from all cable programming.

  46. It’s pretty bad when someone like Pat Robertson says your entire sect of Christianity “needs to shut up” lol. (This is ttue by the way.)

  47. Phil, if you have spoken to many Creationists who can not give you an answer to the question of where the dinosaurs originated from then you have not asked someone who has actually cared to put thought into the dinosaur origin. I could give you a number of examples where dinosaurs are mentions in the Bible, but that’s not really what you want is it? You want to stump someone who is not grounded in their faith enough to defend it so as to attempt to prove that Christians do not know anything and are simply ignorant in all things of importance. That is like asking a young child why he does everything his mother and father tell him to do. But if you are truly honest with yourself, you can’t prove the exact age of the universe, or that dinosaurs lived a specific number of years before the beginning of mankind. Evolution is a theory that can not be proven, but enough people have believe it to be true long enough that the truth people have known for hundreds of years has become obscured.

  48. I’ve got a theory
    It could be bunnies
    I’ve got a theory
    Bunnies aren’t just cute like everyone supposes
    They’ve got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses
    And what’s with all the carrots?
    What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?
    Bunnies, bunnies it must be bunnies!
    …or maybe midgets.

  49. You are so ignorant of the facts that you are barely worth the effort I’m making here but in any case, PLEASE read some SCIENTIFIC literature on evolution before you utter any more infantile nonsense…

  50. Creationists demanding equal air time on a private enterprise-sponsored science show is akin to the Amish demanding “fair and balanced” air time on GM commercials for their horse-drawn carts – and equally amusing.

  51. And yet you choose not to provide even one example of where Dinosaurs appear in the bible do you? If you had them, you’d give the references & it wouldn’t matter to you even if you really thought that we wouldn’t want to see then. You are the type of person, by your own words, that doesn’t want to hear anything that doesn’t fit your personal beliefs. The fact that we do use critical thinking & research to form educated opinions drives you crazy doesn’t it?

    Just because you have no clue about scientific facts doesn’t mean you have a legitimate argument to PROVE that the earth is 6000 years old, dinosaurs & man existed at the same time, Noah took them on the Ark or that any of the other Bible myths are true.

    Help yourself – get out of your bubble & actually do some research in places other than your RW creationist websites.

  52. Ignoring them and their ridiculous claims is not the answer. They would interpret silence as victory, claiming that since no one disagrees, we all must believe as they do. Putting their claims out in the sunlight is the only way for people to see just how delusional & extremist they are.

    Ignore them at your peril, that’s how they’ve wormed their way into our political system as much as they have. We ignored them. Shout about them, vote them out & never be afraid to use the facts to show them up as the frauds they are.

  53. Dinosaurs in the bible? Obviously you are referring to the slow witted people, who were used as beast of burdern, for meaningless work… they are commonly known as REPUBLICANS. Other than that, that is the only dinosaurs I know about in that bible. lool

  54. Name one time, that the honorable scientific mind of Mr. Tyson, got on his knee’s and begged for your money??? Just so he can keep the solar system and all of it’s moons in one orbit and that the star would line up correctly.

    Now….how many time have those bible thumpers wanted your money, so your soul will be cleansed and saved….until the following televised bible show, where you will be asked for more money???

  55. the 7th day
    Day of rest were told
    Its judgement day
    time to save your soul
    Armageddons on its way
    ensure against that coming day

    Your life is due its time to pay
    so please pass the tray
    Your senses laid bare
    preacher hits you strong
    but dont despair
    he will save your wrongs

    Contributions guaranteed
    Eternal freedom ecstasy

    Just pay the price and then you’ll be
    No stranger in paradise

    the altars gold
    the congregations poor
    salvation’s sold
    Costs a little more
    Contributions guaranteed
    Eternal freedom ecstasy

    Just pay the price and then you’ll be
    No stranger in paradise

    Charlie – No stranger in Paradise

  56. have you ever heard of a thing called carbon dating ? this is how we prove how long ago something lived people of faith dosnt matter which one as i was raised roman catholic but i believe in facts and science now not mythology . religion is there to make lonely people feel better about life and for every one else to make death easier sure I’m afraid to die but when you die thats it game over back into the earth you go not to some cloud or faraway place to live with such creator or to live in fire and brimstone people who believe in religion and easily manipulated and or gullible live take hinduism they have over 100 gods or greek MYTHOLOGY they also have multiple gods same with china and japan then we are sopoosed to believe there is one all mighty god then why do christians pray to jesus and catholics to mary and why is there chocolate on easter? or presents on xmas there glorified hallmark holidays just like valentines day s don’t hate the facts if you cant prove your o…

  57. I am certainly no true believer, but neither is the author of this blog a scientist. I’m sure many scientists appreciate the cheering section, but this type of drivel is not scientific. For example, the sentence, “The beauty of science is that it does not explain anything that is unobserved.”, has no scientific meaning. What the author may mean, is something like, “There is no evidence in science for a creationist cosmology.”, or something similar. Theoretical models postulate unobserved phenomena all the time. The Higgs boson was theorized in models years before it was observed at the Large Hadron Collider.

    Another vacuous observation is, “…the fact that evolutionary theory is nearly universally accepted with 97% of all scientists acknowledging the Universe, Earth, and all life on Earth did not begin 6,000 years ago as creationists claim.” The percentage of scientists who acknowledge it is unimportant. What’s important is how well the Cosmos model describes the observable unive…

  58. I like your points, but grammar counts. Do try to proofread your copy before you publish. It’s not that I’m necessarily a grammar Nazi. It’s just that when someone reads your thoughts and sees the misuse of ‘their’ and a comma followed immediately by a period, THAT’S the thing they focus on. Your argument becomes irrelevant to them. Keep saying what you’re saying, just make sure the points you make are the things a reader remembers, not the mechanics of your dissertation.

  59. Be strong Brother, we have the same kind of willful ignorance being propagated up here in Wyoming.

    Ours goes one step further, however, our Science Teachers can’t teach about Climate Change because the legislators want to keep the Coal Companies happy.

  60. Rmuse, I liked the article entirely – after I got past the initial sentence. How can we continue to poke fun at [as I do] the willfully – and woefully – uneducated science-deniers when we succumb to poor grammar so as not to offend political correctness. Witness your first sentence:
    “In a criminal trial when a defense lawyer is faced with overwhelming witness testimony and evidentiary documentation their client is guilty, they resort to sowing doubt in the jury’s mind in hopes one juror will vote for acquittal because they are not certain facts of the case are completely true.”
    Clearly the subject of your lead sentence is SINGULAR [“a defense lawyer”] but subsequent references are PLURAL [“their client” and “they resort” and “they are not”]. I know you don’t want to piss off anybody by referring categorically to the lawyer as “his” or “her.” So next time, try “when defense lawyers are faced …”

    If there exists a nit,…

  61. They is completely acceptable as it denotes a class or genre in this case. A lawyer being a class or genre.

  62. In the third episode, we are led to “believe” in the existence of the ort cloud. Low-info faux-science types will marvel at this cosmic cartoon wonder even though there is zero evidence the ort cloud is real. Again, spell-binding imagery replaces the white bearded man in the sky. Neil D has no problem extending his faux science faith to support the existence of the ort cloud yet has a peculiar phobia regarding “religious” types who have faith there is a creator out there, anthropomorphic in image or otherwise. Neil D tells us the ort cloud can’t be seen, well here’s news for ya Neil D, neither can the creator. Causality is quite an inconvenient enigma for the faux-science faithful. Hey maybe it’s the anthropomorphic God throwing snowballs our way, the humor would have been welcome in lieu of the incredulous and insufferable cosmos2.

    So to you Neil D I say “flat earth much?”

  63. The flat earth comes back to you. There is vastly more evidence for the Oort Cloud then there is some mysterious(one of thousands) sky god

    Check the orbits of the comets.

    To you I say, moms basement much?

  64. First off, as Neil deGrasse Tyson stated in the first show, evolution is a scientific fact. Evolution is the mechanism by which bacteria acquire immunity to antibiotics, insects gain resistance to pesticides, and by which over successive generations an organism may develop new physical characteristics that ultimately result in speciation. These are observable and testable phenomena just as provable as dropping a ball proves gravity’s existence.

    However, if you believe evolution to be false, then please explain how every species of animal could have fit upon Noah’s ark, including freshwater species that would have perished in saltwater. The size required would be larger than most counties. Better still, explain the mathematical impossibility of the current global human population and genetic diversity (including skin color) from a single Mediterranean family.

    If creationism had anything credible to disprove evolution we would need to revise evolution. I have yet to see anything …

  65. Sounds like the God of Spinoza and Einstein — a form of Deism. But “God is the universe” is sliced by Occam’s Razor — it multiplies entities needlessly. Doesn’t it make more sense to deal with the Cosmos as a natural entity rather than anthropomorphize it, give it a separate name, and presume that it has its own intentions?

  66. You really need to go back and read some of those Bible stories. This is a god who gave people free will and then punishes them harshly for using it. It’s a religion founded on genocide, rape and the murder of children. The morals of its stories are soaked in blood.

  67. I can explain precisely how one Mediterranean family could give rise to all skin colors and racial diversity among humans. Over the course of a hundred million years or so, approximately 5 million generations (or iterations), the offspring of the originals could become separated and diversify over a wide variety of environments and minor features and mutations among their populations could be expressed on a larger scale as specializations based on their environment. That’s the beauty of evolution – slow, iterative change over time can do just about anything.

  68. I feel your pain (assuming it is painful, I could be wrong); you reminded me of an incident about 16 years ago.

    My daughter was just a few months old; her mother & I were still churchgoing people, just nondenominational (instead of the Lutheranism I was raised in). We’d had our child ‘blessed’ at church, which study of the bible told us was what infants received, not ‘baptism’. My (militantly devout) Lutheran mother called me one day to just have conversation. During the talk, she asked if I’d had my daughter baptized yet. I said No.

    “What’s the matter — do you WANT your child to go to hell?”

    “I don’t think that’s scripturally true.” OOPS — truth is a BAAAAAD thing to say to a Lutheran.

    In a cold fury, she told me, “Don’t you EVER say that to ME AGAIN! You KNOW better!” The conversation ended very shortly thereafter.

    A week later, I get a letter from my mother, ‘wintering’ in Alabama; she’s provided PAMPHLETS from her church to support her position….

  69. (2 of 2) The funny thing was, EVERY bible verse quoted therein to SUPPORT infant baptism in fact REFUTED it!

    Just one example of what independent thinking will get you, when you belong to such dysfunction, by family or otherwise.

  70. There is no proof of creationism. And no proof of evolution. It is impossible for everything to have come about by chance rhough. There is no way the eye can evolve because its useless without the optic nerve and the brain evolving at the same time. Protein creates dna and dna creates protein. So which came first? Where is the genetic code for all the leaf shapes in a tree? The shape of the nose has a bit of the father and a bit of the mother. How?

  71. “If you learnt evolutionary biology and genetics a decade or more ago you need to be aware that those debates have moved on very considerably, as has the experimental and field work on which they are based.” (p 1014)

    If you think anyone associated with Cosmos has learned anything new about physics and chemistry (or biology) in the past decade or more, you need to be aware that they probably have not. See, for example: Genes without prominence: a reappraisal of the foundations of biology.

    Alternatively, keep learning everything you think you need to know by watching TV. Eventually, you will appear to be as brilliant to others as the next comet might appear — if they were going to be alive to see it.

  72. This is a very important point.

    In science, a theory must be able to be backed up with evidence. However, the word, “theory,” is taken outside of science, it basically means “hypothesis.” Also, theories are not etched in stone. There’s always a possibility that new evidence could be uncovered to challenge existing theories. And it’s amazing how creationists are confused by this. If they are going to criticize scientific method, they should know what it is they are criticizing.

    However, to me, I don’t find a belief in evolution at all incompatible with spiritual beliefs. I see the creation story in the Bible (or just about any other sacred book of any faith) as a placeholder for evolution. The people who wrote these sacred books did not have the tools necessary to examine our origins in more depth.

    However, unlike most militant atheists, I do believe science has its limits, but it’s a lot better than the BS spewed by creationists!

  73. Unfortunately, this is not a luxury we can afford. Not when these clowns are changing school curriculums across the country.

    It would be nice if we could just ignore them, but that’s not an option anymore.

  74. Yes, it’s clear that Rupert Murdoch has always cared about the bottom line more than anything else.

    Yes, it’s also clear that Seth McFarlane has always produced shows for Fox that were never designed for right-wing nuts.

    However, it’s still pretty amazing that Cosmos is on Fox. For a long time, the two “houses” of Murdoch’s empire were kept separate.

    But, what happens when the creationists who hate Cosmos realize that the same corporation that supplies their daily diet of Fox News is the same one that produced Cosmos? Liberals have known about this Fox media contradiction for eons.
    However, I think the “jig is up” for the right wing.

  75. This is your interpretation of Christianity.

    There are others as well. I agree with Rita on this. To me, the creation story was an attempt to explain something that couldn’t be explained at the time. Then, along came the scientific method.

    There’s no need to bash Christianity for this shortcoming. I’ve read the Bible as well and although I see examples of violence, I also see examples of love and compassion. By the way, I’m not a Christian, but I firmly believe in freedom of religion.

  76. This may be true, but the Bible is still lacking when it comes to the creation story.

    And how were these discoveries you speak of made, James? They were made by scientific method! The exact same method creationists deny when they reject evolution! Oh, the irony!

  77. There are some historical facts in the Bible mixed in with the mythology.

    However, you should be asking James how were these historical facts uncovered? They were uncovered using scientific method. The same method creationists reject when it comes to evolution.

    Besides, not all Christians buried scientists at the stake you know. And it may surprise you to know that the Catholic Church is a supporter of evolution.

    It always bothers me when atheists fall into the same dogmatic mind traps religious fanatics do.

  78. There are historical facts in the Bible (which were uncovered using…ta-da…scientific method).

    However, as for scientific laws, I really do think James is stretching it a little bit here. And even if he was right, how would these laws be discovered. By the exact same scientific method that proves evolution. Duh!

  79. But, you know what?

    That natural entity has dimensions that are beyond our limited human comprehension.

    Eventually, there will need to be an Cosmos episode on quantum physics. So, just when human beings thought that we could neatly explain the world through science, scientists discover – though scientific method – that we can’t.

    That’s the irony of all of this.

  80. If you don’t believe me, read “The Dancing Wu Li Masters” by Gary Zukav and find out about this irony for yourself.

  81. Sagan’s widow has been looking for someone to do a remake of Cosmos for 10 years and been turned down by everyone including Fox until NDT contacted Seth McFarland and he put his weight behind it to Fox. Yes, Fox is a business that has the bottom line of money but they looked at Cosmos as a loser because they has no history of making a science documentary make any money. Not enough people watch them or are interested in science sadly. As many are interested in things like watching a silly movie about Noah’s Ark as a science doc. We need to change this.

  82. If I don’t believe, then I don’t get everlasting life. Hmmmm, that exactly means that God could save me but chooses not to just because I don’t “believe”. That is my definition of a murderer. He could save me but chooses not to. I’d rather not have everlasting life if it involves worshipping a murderer.

  83. I rather enjoy tv shows about mythology and fantasy. But like I always say, I play fantasy games, I don’t believe in them.

    Or maybe just worship the FSM, may his noodly appendage be upon you. ;)

    -your average pastafarian

  84. David you really should try educating yourself before you make foolish statements which just “sound” plausible to you. Jerry Coiyne; Why Evolution is True, Richard Dawkins; Greatest Show on Earth, are two great books to start with. If those are a bit over your head try Richard Dawkins Magic of Reality for starters. This book really gives a good start to understanding that evolution is not a top down process like you are doing deconstructing the eye. No sarcasm here, really give it a shot and read up on it.

  85. And your governor has to talk out of both sides of his mouth to justify having the Nat Center for Atmospheric Reserach’s Supercomputing Center in Cheyenne.

    Love it.

  86. Here we see yet more evidence of the fact that there are only two kinds of people: Those who accept evolution and those who don’t understand evolution.

  87. After viewing the ruins of a Templar fort in Syria that everyone shot up AGAIN I’ve come to the conclusion that the Romans had the right idea. However, when they drove the christians (I use lower case deliberately) into the catacombs below Rome, they should have sealed as many entrances as they could find, then removed the Oxygen.

  88. What I find interesting about the court of law analogy is this. People swear on a bible before giving testimony and more often then not will lie in some sort of purgatory on this so-called “good book” and is suppose to keep the witness or accused on the straight and narrow. Yet, it is almost always all the scientific and material evidence in the end that reveals the truth… Funny that. I think swearing on a biology book makes more sense. =D

  89. Yes, keep them ignorant, afraid, and paranoid, and they will continue to watch Fox “News”, and vote Republican.

  90. I find is sad that in an enlightened world such as we have, the above discussions even take place. Start by asking who wrote the bible? It was put together in a time when man knew nothing about the earth being round, the tectonic movement of earths pates or even “what made us tick”. The bibles text is written by (not being rude) ignorant people. Much science and discovery of the ancient Greeks, Romans, etc is not mentioned in the bible. In fact the Catholic (common) church did its best over hundreds of years to suppress or destroy much great work. The distortions and subsequent teaching of the bible have been repeated so much that those followers can’t see past it. You cannot change faith based belief for the followers. The evidence for evolution is all around us. I am not a copy of my parents but a bit of both. Different. But that change seems to go over the heads of the faith based disbelievers. The change is subtle but real. Look back over say 300 generations and we are different.

  91. Logical

    You are using the same logic many of your brethren use — ignore facts and solid evidence in the light of mystic stupidity —- you need to get some biology info before you make such untruthful statements — but you did hit it on the head about no evidence for creationism — except science hasnt found the proof of the opposite yet — and yes the earth is round

  92. This guy is a messed up piece of work. I do not understand how a grown man can come up with the earth is only 6500 years old. And as for as the time of Man on earth if every one would read and study the BIBLE you would find that the book of JOB is the oldest book of the BIBLE after Genesis. And in Chapter 40 Verse 15 you will find That JOB lived with Dinosaures. And how old are they ? The people that do not Belive in GOD Better Wake up.The Athest and non Belivers will find that they can say anything they want. But that does not make it so. The Bible has been attacked all along but has not been wrong.There is to much evidence of right. Another thought is B.i.b.l.e Basic Information Before Leaving Earth. Think about it.

  93. He also said in the letter:

    “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

  94. Still laughing at something my aunt told me 40 years ago when I posed the same question about dinosaurs. Her answer was “God put those bones there so we would know he was all-powerful. It’s a test of faith and, if you pray hard enough, he’ll give you your vision back.” Never mind that I was BORN with limited vision, she insisted that to a fairy tale would bring it back. And people wonder why I became an atheist?

  95. The Bible has never been proven wrong? Really? You realise that the theory of the Earth being around 6000 years old comes from adding up the generations and timeframes provided in the Bible, right? That the Bible is the REASON people think this?

  96. “There is no way the eye can evolve because its useless without the optic nerve and the brain evolving at the same time.”

    Yeah, the fully functional eye randomly occurring. Impossible. That was exactly my argument when I was a believer. And then I actually took the time to read Darwin’s On The Origin of Species and realised that Darwin himself had asked – and answered – that question in the original theory. And then I realised that the evidence for how the eye developed is all around us. There are still creatures that can barely perceive light, that can perceive light but not colour, etc. All the stages are there. And in fact there are also creatures whose vision evolved way past the abilities of humans – eagles, who can not only see further and more sharply than us, but who have 2 focal points to our 1, or the rainbow mantis shrimp, which has the most complex eyes of all animals and that has 12 photoreceptors for colour to our 3, meaing it sees thousands more colours than us.

  97. This is an excellent 400 word article, unfortunately stretched out by repetition and rambling to 1300 words. A little editing next time maybe?

  98. Re. ND Tyson’s comparison of creationists to flat-earthers only reveal his ignorance. Creationists don’t believe the earth is flat. But NDT obviously believes a monkey clacking away at a typewriter for a billion years would, by chance, sooner or later, produce a complete version of the US Constitution.

  99. But you do believe the earth is only 6000 years old. BTW how do you explain those cave paintings in France that is 40.000 years old?

  100. LT makes some good points. If I may comment on LT’s statement re the Bible, that “It was put together in a time when man knew nothing about the earth being round:”
    Actually thousands of years before “scientists” proved the earth was round, Isaiah of the Bible, in chapter 40, verse 22, of his book written around 700 BC wrote that God sits enthroned above the CIRCLE of the earth, a statement that allows for the concept that the earth is a sphere. And the Bible states in Leviticus 17:11, written around 1400 BC, “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Yet, even as recently as the 1800s in Europe and America, blood-letting was a “treatment” to cure infections and save lives. That much for the infallibility of modern science!

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