Cosmos |OT| Host Neil deGrasse Tyson - Sundays at 9/8c on Fox

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Sep 12, 2005
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It was mostly to show that the scientific method is the key to the cosmos, and that oppressive force from those in power is a grave crime against progress and more broadly, humanity.
Yeah, and also to remind people that secularism is something to be cherished by reminding them of what it looked like when the Church and the State were essentially the same thing.

If that offends a few Catholics, shit happens. The fact that people still have an instinctual cringe reflex to any perceived attack on religion shows how much work remains to be done in de-elevating it from its undeserved pedestal.

"Let me tell you something: for hundreds and thousands of years, this kind of discussion would have been impossible to have, or those like us would have been having it at the risk of our lives. Religion now comes to us in this smiley-face, ingratiating way — because it’s had to give so much more ground and because we know so much more. But you’ve got no right to forget the way it behaved when it was strong, and when it really did believe that it had god on its side."

- Christopher Hitchens
 
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Yeah, and also to remind people that secularism is something to be cherished by reminding them of what it looked like when the Church and the State were essentially the same thing.

If that offends a few Catholics, shit happens. The fact that people still have an instinctual cringe reflex to any perceived attack on religion shows how much work remains to be done in de-elevating it from its undeserved pedestal.

"Let me tell you something: for hundreds of thousands of years, this kind of discussion would have been impossible to have, or those like us would have been having it at the risk of our lives. Religion now comes to us in this smiley-face, ingratiating way — because it’s had to give so much more ground and because we know so much more. But you’ve got no right to forget the way it behaved when it was strong, and when it really did believe that it had god on its side."

- Christopher Hitchens
It would actually offend the other crazies, catholicism has the advantage of being a really old religion, probably the oldest in the sense they are organized with a Pope as a central figure, so they know how to adapt. I went to catholic school in the 90s, the thought of creationism as presented by fundies in the US would have made laugh the priests I knew.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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I liked it ok. It kept the same tone of the originals for sure, but the things they talked about seemed like they would go into more in later episodes
Yeah, I don't get the complaints about lack of depth. It roughly followed the same theme as the first episode of the original Cosmos. Overview of the history of the universe, a little (human) historical blurb.

I think the place where the original really shines in comparison is the historical part. Sagan's excitement about the Library of Alexandria and lamenting over how much understanding and scientific knowledge was lost for hundreds of years really drove home the point about how important scientific pursuits are. Imagine if all that knowledge had been preserved, where would we be today?

In contrast the story about Bruno struck an odd chord and seemed like it had a bit of an agenda. I would have preferred they had done that section on either Copernicus or Galileo.
 
Except it's not relevant because you along with the cartoon are painting a picture that 1) infinite suns and worlds as well as 2) heliocentrism were so heretical they warranted execution.

"As far as we know?"

Are you serious? There's no as far as we know, we KNOW what the charges were:

holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith and speaking against it and its ministers;

holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith about the Trinity, divinity of Christ, and Incarnation;

holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith pertaining to Jesus as Christ;

holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith regarding the virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus;

holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith about both Transubstantiation and Mass;

claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity;

believing in metempsychosis and in the transmigration of the human soul into brutes;

dealing in magics and divination.

So among those charges, in context to the 16th century, you're telling me that a guy who had a dream about an infinite universe and the earth whizzing around the sun was MORE diabolical and heretical and could undermine the ENTIRE structure of the church than say I dunno, Mass and Transubstantiation?

I really, really urge you to read Heliocentrism and the Copernican Revolution. Nobody was ever put to death because they thought the Universe Was SO BIG its Bigger than Big could ever be Big because its so big its not even big because it just keeps going forever and ever. Nobody was ever burned at the stake because they thought hey maybe the Earth moves around the Sun.

Lucretius's "On the Nature of Things" was not some hush hush heretical book that was hidden under the floorboards of monastaries.

Bruno wasn't some Oh Gosh Golly I'm just some dude with a wacky idea and the big bad Church is gonna get me. The guy was belligerant. He told the church to fuck off if they didn't listen to him, so he moved on to the Lutherans, and then he told the Lutherans how to think, then they kicked him out, then he went to the Calvinists, and they kicked him out after he was pushing his agenda on them, then eventually he went to Cambrige and they did the same thing. I mean the guy got kicked out of France because he got into an argument on how a compass worked. The guy believed that demons were the cause of illness.

As I said before, there's so many people that they could have done a spotlight on. If they wanted to have an enlightened and informed discussion on the process of change and beliefs then they would have done better with Kepler, and Tycho Brahe and Copernicus. Wait they already did, that was episode three of Sagan's original. Kepler was the posterchild of different ideas because the guy TRIED, really tried to put the whole Mysterium Cosmographicum together and finally admitted defeat and had to go with real evidence.

The short cartoon segment left a bad taste in my mouth because not only was it misleading it was cynical. It was cynical because you know they threw it in there because it makes for a more engaging tale when someone gets to die in the end. Real scientists who worked their asses off instead of just dreaming about the answer like Kepler got thrown out in favor of sensationalism.

Like I said before and now looking on the interwebs, I see its causing an unneeded backlash and I really hope the series as a whole doesn't suffer for it because I still think that this series can be almost as good as the original.
So are you defending any of those charges as being just?

Are you saying the death penalty was warranted?

The point is they punished free inquiry and disagreement with death and that is wrong and anti science.
 

davepoobond

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Yeah, I don't get the complaints about lack of depth. It roughly followed the same theme as the first episode of the original Cosmos. Overview of the history of the universe, a little (human) historical blurb.

I think the place where the original really shines in comparison is the historical part. Sagan's excitement about the Library of Alexandria and lamenting over how much understanding and scientific knowledge was lost for hundreds of years really drove home the point about how important scientific pursuits are. Imagine if all that knowledge had been preserved, where would we be today?

In contrast the story about Bruno struck an odd chord and seemed like it had a bit of an agenda. I would have preferred they had done that section on either Copernicus or Galileo.

yeah, Bruno's story didn't really make me feel like I knew "more" about anything. Copernicus would have been a better one, and iirc, that's what they did in the first one. I don't remember Bruno being a huge part of the first series at all -- he was among a bunch of early scientists who were persecuted for their belief. this was a bit too dramatic, especially with Bruno "shunning" Jesus on the cross or whatever before he was burned alive, and how he did the weird face-to-face standoff thing in the religious court place.


i like the animation style... it should be pretty good.

One thing I liked about Sagan a bit more, is that even though there was no CG at all, you kind of felt like Sagan was actually "there" in the Library of Alexandria or walking around on the calendar. With Tyson it feels like he's not really "acting" as much like he's there, and more like he's on a blue/green screen
 
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Religion was a horrible oppresive murderous force for centuries. This isn't exactly news to anyone.

If you stepped out of line you were crushed.
It was the enemy of researchers, free thinkers and those whose lifestyle was how shall we say, different.
 
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yeah, Bruno's story didn't really make me feel like I knew "more" about anything. Copernicus would have been a better one, and iirc, that's what they did in the first one. I don't remember Bruno being a huge part of the first series at all -- he was among a bunch of early scientists who were persecuted for their belief. this was a bit too dramatic, especially with Bruno "shunning" Jesus on the cross or whatever before he was burned alive, and how he did the weird face-to-face standoff thing in the religious court place.
It's been a while, but I think it was Kepler who got the big live action segment in the original. And yeah, it was much better.

I didn't really like the Bruno part. It felt like it took up too much of the episode and all that dialogue in the animation was kinda bad and unnecessary. It should have been just Tyson narrating the main beats of the story with the animation.

The rest of the episode felt rushed, but I still liked it. I hope they're able to slow down and explain concepts better in the following episodes.
 
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So are you defending any of those charges as being just?

Are you saying the death penalty was warranted?

The point is they punished free inquiry and disagreement with death and that is wrong and anti science.
Of course those charges are not just. The man shouldn't have deserved to die. When did I ever say that should have been the case.

You still don't get it either. He was not punished for free inquiry. He didn't go to Church and say "Oh gee guys, hey I got this little old idea and maybe you could take a look at it.". And then the big bad scary Catholic church goes Noooooo! Your mere dream destroys our flimsy institution that's stood for over a thousand years! We gotta kill this jerk who mad fun of our God! He said God was too small waaaaaaaah! I'm telling!

Read the case. Of course it wasn't justified to kill him. But how is this guy a martyr for science? The fact you put it into a phrase that he was killed over a disagreement and it'd anti-science is like saying any time someone is killed for differing beliefs is antiscience and should be honored as a martyr for science.
 

Hitokage

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By the way, the part about the multiverse is pure speculation at this point(aka a "guess"), but while it's far less testable than the existence of an expansive universe it has a reasonable philosophical argument behind it. Will we ever know for sure? Maybe not.
 
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By the way, the part about the multiverse is pure speculation at this point(aka a "guess"), but while it's far less testable than the existence of an expansive universe it has a reasonable philosophical argument behind it. Will we ever know for sure? Maybe not.
It was interesting that they included that. That is one of the things they can go deeper into later in the series that the original series could not.
 
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By the way, the part about the multiverse is pure speculation at this point(aka a "guess"), but while it's far less testable than the existence of an expansive universe it has a reasonable philosophical argument behind it. Will we ever know for sure? Maybe not.
Would be pretty cool. On Minute Physics the guy mentioned we are in the process of testing for proof in his multiple universes. Its really an exciting time.
 
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Fantastic stuff. I'm no layman with the subject, but the way it was presented was so passionate. Carl Sagan will never be topped IMO, but this was great. I can't wait for the rest of the series.

I smell a BluRay marathon watch in my future.
 
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There's no real evidence for it, though.
Yeah that is why I found it interesting that they included it. I was thinking that it could serve a dual purpose as motivation for sticking with the show, and to later on discuss the scientific process in relation to a currently unproven theory that is fairly controversial among scientists.
 
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Except it's not relevant because you along with the cartoon are painting a picture that 1) infinite suns and worlds as well as 2) heliocentrism were so heretical they warranted execution.

"As far as we know?"

Are you serious? There's no as far as we know, we KNOW what the charges were:

holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith and speaking against it and its ministers;

holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith about the Trinity, divinity of Christ, and Incarnation;

holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith pertaining to Jesus as Christ;

holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith regarding the virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus;

holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith about both Transubstantiation and Mass;

claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity;

believing in metempsychosis and in the transmigration of the human soul into brutes;

dealing in magics and divination.
The 8 charges you listed are generic statements devoid of most specifics. But even in their vagueness, it's pretty clear the two hypotheses run afoul. what else do you think "plurality of worlds" refers to? And heliocentrism was certainly an "opinion contrary to the Catholic faith".

It's fairly easy to make the case that the other comments were, in a sense, trumped up charges -- the church of the time was a fundamentally political organization, why would they feel threatened if some weirdo said christ was a rabbit? It's nonsense. The most destructive (dangerous) of his beliefs were clearly the science-grounded ones.

Which brings us back to where we began
 
Of course those charges are not just. The man shouldn't have deserved to die. When did I ever say that should have been the case.

You still don't get it either. He was not punished for free inquiry. He didn't go to Church and say "Oh gee guys, hey I got this little old idea and maybe you could take a look at it.". And then the big bad scary Catholic church goes Noooooo! Your mere dream destroys our flimsy institution that's stood for over a thousand years! We gotta kill this jerk who mad fun of our God! He said God was too small waaaaaaaah! I'm telling!

Read the case. Of course it wasn't justified to kill him. But how is this guy a martyr for science? The fact you put it into a phrase that he was killed over a disagreement and it'd anti-science is like saying any time someone is killed for differing beliefs is antiscience and should be honored as a martyr for science.
Pretty much every single one of those charges is about free inquiry. Was mary a virgin or not? Does transubstantiation happen or not? Are there a plurality of worlds or not?

Was Bruno a serious scientist? No. NDT even said that! But you can't be a scientist without first having free inquiry. And not allowing free inquiry is anti-science.

And yes . . . killing someone for "differing beliefs is antiscience"! That is the whole point!
 

Hitokage

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Yeah that is why I found it interesting that they included it. I was thinking that it could serve a dual purpose as motivation for sticking with the show, and to later on discuss the scientific process in relation to a currently unproven theory that is fairly controversial among scientists.
Actually, although the connection wasn't made clear in the show, the multiverse mention ties in nicely with the Bruno story. Both are philosophical arguments.
 
Jul 11, 2008
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Pretty much every single one of those charges is about free inquiry. Was mary a virgin or not? Does transubstantiation happen or not? Are there a plurality of worlds or not?

Was Bruno a serious scientist? No. NDT even said that! But you can't be a scientist without first having free inquiry. And not allowing free inquiry is anti-science.

And yes . . . killing someone for "differing beliefs is antiscience"! That is the whole point!
So what you're saying is that anyone that is ever killed because they believe is different from what others believe should be a martyr for science?
 

RoH

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By the way, the part about the multiverse is pure speculation at this point(aka a "guess"), but while it's far less testable than the existence of an expansive universe it has a reasonable philosophical argument behind it. Will we ever know for sure? Maybe not.
You cannot have expansion without the outcome being the multiverse at a minimum a level one multiverse.

Expansion is an emergent prediction of general relativity, the multiverse is an emergent prediction based on expansion.

Check out the book Our Mathmaltical Universe, it really makes these concepts understandable.
 
Dec 25, 2010
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CG was nice and DeGrasse Tyson is always likeable but I found it very simplistic and childish.

Maybe I have missed the point and it is supposed to be an introduction to Astronomy / Science.



For more detailed and serious science programs, especially in the field of Astronomy nothing beats the BBC2 show Horizon.
 

Hitokage

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Did Bruno derive his heliocentric theory from mathematics?
Many developments have been made through qualitative analysis and argument. These developments are then quantified through mathematics and tested on those grounds. Copernicus had already published his argument for heliocentrism before Bruno was born, so what Bruno did was make a philosophical argument generalizing the idea. Now, much of this was actually theological because it rested on the idea of an infinite God, but its application becomes quite close to uniformitarianism as according to Bruno there was no room for Earth as a privileged local case made up of local elements different from that of the stars as the infinite nature of space demanded generality. This was also applied through time, removing Christian creation and apocalypse in place of a static universe.

Again, Bruno runs into trouble with the theological root of his reasoning so the comparison I'm drawing here is rather loose, but the expansion of qualitative postulates into a quantitative theory shouldn't be foreign to any student of science. As always, testability is vital regardless of derivation.

Edit: I realize I'm at risk of confusing two issues here. In some repsects uniformitarianism isn't a testable claim but an assumption, and as such is in the philosophical realm. That stars in the sky are equal in nature to our own sun and that those stars may have worlds orbiting them as well are definitely testable claims, though.
 
Jun 13, 2009
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CG was nice and DeGrasse Tyson is always likeable but I found it very simplistic and childish.

Maybe I have missed the point and it is supposed to be an introduction to Astronomy / Science.


For more detailed and serious science programs, especially in the field of Astronomy nothing beats the BBC2 show Horizon.
I think you may have.

With a show of this kind, it's meant to give an overview of a wide range of scientific topics while relating back to the human history of many of those discoveries. The original Cosmos was only a 14 episode series as well, so there's too much material cover to go incredibly in depth with every topic they talk about.

It's also trying to reach as wide a range of audience as possible, from young kids to older people who have little or no understanding of these topics until this point.

Horizon is definitely great too, but they've also been doing it since 1990.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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CG was nice and DeGrasse Tyson is always likeable but I found it very simplistic and childish.

Maybe I have missed the point and it is supposed to be an introduction to Astronomy / Science.

For more detailed and serious science programs, especially in the field of Astronomy nothing beats the BBC2 show Horizon.
There are 12 more episodes. Watch those before you judge the complexity and depth of the program.
 
May 9, 2009
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Many developments have been made through qualitative analysis and argument. These developments are then quantified through mathematics and tested on those grounds. Copernicus had already published his argument for heliocentrism before Bruno was born, so what Bruno did was make a philosophical argument generalizing the idea. Now, much of this was actually theological because it rested on the idea of an infinite God, but its application becomes quite close to uniformitarianism as according to Bruno there was no room for Earth as a privileged local case made up of local elements different from that of the stars as the infinite nature of space demanded generality. This was also applied through time, removing Christian creation and apocalypse in place of a static universe.

Again, Bruno runs into trouble with the theological root of his reasoning so the comparison I'm drawing here is rather loose, but the expansion of qualitative postulates into a quantitative theory shouldn't be foreign to any student of science. As always, testability is vital regardless of derivation.

I only asked because last I checked, multiverse theory was a product of string theory which has its quantitative foundation, but also hasn't suffered observation. It seemed like you were using "philosophical" in a purely dismissive sense, is all. But I guess when you get down to it, multiverse theory isn't any less philosophical than Bruno's generalization from Copernicus.
 
May 10, 2005
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Watched this last night, it got a 7/10 for me personally, 8/10 what I think for the masses.
  • I felt the science was well explained and done just right thus far. It wasn't at an indepth level or teach me anything I personally didn't already know (asides from apparently the "multiverse" isn't just high-concept sci fi that's more philosophical in nature than anything anymore?), but covered a large swath of topics in a totally layman understandable manner that was engaging and visually appealing. Great introduction overall!
  • I personally didn't like the fictional aspects. Disclaimer: I did not watch the original Cosmos so I don't know if they did similar there, but I was practically raised on shows like NOVA, nature documentaries on PBS, and shows that did science in a real lab setting. I personally prefer the more reality based "here's what it is/looks like" type explanations that still use CG for things that need it but are more explaining the facts rather than the "We're looking at it now live in our magic spaceship" and inserting Tyson as an actor in what was being talked about (him holding his ears for the meteor impact felt more like comic relief rather than adding a sense of being there). I suppose though it probably resonates more with and helps hold the attention of modern younger generations (that's my "personal" point deduction).
  • I feel the Bruno thing was a potential huge misstep, especially since this was the first episode that should be trying to ease people in and get them hooked (so they will feel more conflicted when controversy comes in to play due to established attachment). It felt very McFarlane heavy-handed, especially with the made up dialog of "I'm just being totally reasonable" "RABBLE RABBLE YOU MAKE US UNCOMFORTABLE DEATH TO YOU!" overselling of things (as well as the Disney-esque hero/villain caricaturing in the drawings/mannerisms) and glossing over the other details in order to sell the "Religion hate science, religion bad!" message. I personally rolled my eyes at the "Your god is too small" line, it really felt like it was just the dialog writer trying to taunt the religious at that point. If they were trying to get science into households that are lacking in it such as religious ones, over half of them turned it off there and won't be coming back. Some religious parents might even take their kids to research the full circumstances around the story and turn turn the "question authority trying to sell you something" message back around at it. I'm not saying it shouldn't have been told at all (although as has been pointed out there are plenty of other far more appropriate similar stories to tell), but rather that it was handled very poorly except to get already pro-scientific anti-religious atheists to fist-pump at home.

Overall it was good but yeah, if it wasn't for specifically how the Bruno bit was handled, it would have been near perfect. Hopefully it's not a case of "the damage is already done," as I'm sure the series will go on and do great, but the whole point should be to bring outsiders in to understanding by being open and inviting, not preaching to choir with a break to talk about how horrible people not in it are/were.
 

Hitokage

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I only asked because last I checked, multiverse theory was a product of string theory which has its quantitative foundation, but also hasn't suffered observation. It seemed like you were using "philosophical" in a purely dismissive sense, is all. But I guess when you get down to it, multiverse theory isn't any less philosophical than Bruno's generalization from Copernicus.
Eh, there are actually different versions of the multiverse, each suited to addressing a specific philosophical failing. One for the idea that our universe is a one-shot event just happened to satisfy the anthropic principle, another for the nature of quantum waveform collapse, and another for string theorists because they can't actually get their math to mean much of anything.

You cannot have expansion without the outcome being the multiverse at a minimum a level one multiverse.

Expansion is an emergent prediction of general relativity, the multiverse is an emergent prediction based on expansion.

Check out the book Our Mathmaltical Universe, it really makes these concepts understandable.
Speaking of which.

Looked up that title and found this: http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=6551 Not promising.
 
Jul 11, 2008
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Who said Bruno was a martyr for science?
No one, you are correct.

I've reread the exchange over the past day again and realize I'm letting my emotions cloud what the point of the conversation was.

I'll freely admit that it rubbed me the wrong way on how the story was portrayed. I do understand that the point of the segment was to show that its wrong to kill a man for his beliefs. This should be common knowledge.

Hell, the Catholic Church has a full list of people who were murdered because they believed in something that was not popular opinion at the time. I agree, they're not Martyrs for Science, they were people killed and the reason for killing them was anti-science.

With that said it still tells me that based on the way the episode was portrayed through the cartoon. The way it was handled felt like it had an agenda. The cartoon potrayed the Church as this oppressive force that wouldn't listen to reason and went from a guy reading a book to a guy being tortured, imprisoned and burned at the stake.

The problem is that it doesn't really explain what really happened. It ignore's key things about the incident. It paints a picture that the guy was killed SPECIFICALLY because he had a dream. I've previously explained that I understand to a point what the aim of the Cartoon was: That people who have a contrary opinion can be persecuted and that by its nature is anti-science. However, I've also stated that there were so many examples much better than Bruno's case that could have had a 12 minute cartoon dedicated to. I've mentioned Sagan's example with Hypatia and the Library of Alexandria.

Why use that story? I can see one trying to illustrate the point, but the manner it was portrayed smacks of an agenda. And what would that agenda be? Why the big bad evil Catholic Church is anti-science and look at our proof! A man was burned at the stake because he had a dream! It's disingenous and like I stated earlier downright cynical to portray it in such a manner.

I'm being told that its irrelevant to why the man got into trouble, its only important that he got into trouble and that it was wrong for him to do so. I'm supposed to just take it at face value that the guy was persecuted because he read a book and had a dream. I have a problem with that, so I looked closer at what happened. I found he was much more akin to snake oil salesmen or homeapathy. There was no method to his ideas. I'm glad he had ideas! Thats fine and dandy, I just fail to see how this guy deserved
using a portion of the show dedicated him as a poster child of free thought.

Again, it keeps nagging at me that there was something more to it based on the animation and the obfuscation of facts presented. And then it hits me. Why Bruno was only the namesake for the Giordano Bruno

Yes, I agree that he shouldn't have been executed. I don't think it was wrong for him to have those thoughts! But the problem is I also don't think his own method of spreading his ideas were simply just speaking something that people didn't agree with. The fact that they dedicate that much effort and time with him would be the same as dedicating a a portion of a SCIENCE show to mystics and faith healers and the like.

I've provided many links to the real story of who Giordano Bruno was. They go unread, unclicked. I try to explain the reason why he was killed. I don't AGREE with the reason why he was killed. But yet I even get questioned on that.

So yes, accusing people of making him a martyr for science was overboard and I apologize for implying that was the case. I overreacted to comments on church and science. As if they were ever 100 percent incompatible. The way the cartoon potrayed those sentiments worked on me and I got caught up in that. Its a topic that grabs my goat because its something I see constnatly argued that the Church somehow tries to "cover up science" when thats never been the case. There's been controversies of course, aruging and discourse, but its never been the official position to outright "ban" science.

But can't you agree that there was more to the story? That it wasn't just a guy who had a dream and read a book and suddenly he's being locked up, tortured and then burned at the stake? That this wasn't because the Powers that Be couldn't handle the Dope Science being dropped on them?

Again I'm going to post this link. Please read it, and decide for yourself if this guy really warranted a cartoon depicting a witchhunt on the guy or if the time could have been better allotted to other people.
 

Hitokage

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May 30, 2004
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The Catholic Church was an authoritarian body with a prescribed worldview. Science is inherently anti-authoritarian. Whenever they spoke to the same issues they were fundamentally at odds. Copernicus had to delay publication until after death, and Galileo was forced into doing a weak and non-committal "teach the controversy" treatment which ended up getting him in trouble when he clearly wanted to just argue his own case affirmatively.
 
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The Catholic Church was an authoritarian body with a prescribed worldview. Science is inherently anti-authoritarian. Whenever they spoke to the same issues they were fundamentally at odds. Copernicus had to delay publication until after death, and Galileo was forced into doing a weak and non-committal "teach the controversy" treatment which ended up getting him in trouble when he clearly wanted to just argue his own case affirmatively.
I agree. But I'm not sure what your point is. It's obvious that if they have conflicting views they're gonna uh... conflict with each other.

char0n said:
I felt the science was well explained and done just right thus far. It wasn't at an indepth level or teach me anything I personally didn't already know (asides from apparently the "multiverse" isn't just high-concept sci fi that's more philosophical in nature than anything anymore?), but covered a large swath of topics in a totally layman understandable manner that was engaging and visually appealing. Great introduction overall!
Its been the aim of the original series. Sagan developed Cosmos when he was appalled that the Voyager 1 mission was largely ignored by the masses, when it was such a wonderful and unprecidented mission. He wanted to get people curious about science, about a wide variety of topics, to instill a sense of wonder to the masses. The aim of the reboot is largely the same.


char0n said:
I personally didn't like the fictional aspects. Disclaimer: I did not watch the original Cosmos so I don't know if they did similar there, but I was practically raised on shows like NOVA, nature documentaries on PBS, and shows that did science in a real lab setting. I personally prefer the more reality based "here's what it is/looks like" type explanations that still use CG for things that need it but are more explaining the facts rather than the "We're looking at it now live in our magic spaceship" and inserting Tyson as an actor in what was being talked about (him holding his ears for the meteor impact felt more like comic relief rather than adding a sense of being there). I suppose though it probably resonates more with and helps hold the attention of modern younger generations (that's my "personal" point deduction).

I wholeheartedly encourge you to watch the original series if possible. Part of the series used Sagan's "Spaceship of the Imagination" to help put a visual to concepts such as other planets, stars and other celestial objects. NDT is a bit of a showman and it can be fine, I mean he does run a Planetarium after all :p


char0n said:
I feel the Bruno thing was a potential huge misstep, especially since this was the first episode that should be trying to ease people in and get them hooked (so they will feel more conflicted when controversy comes in to play due to established attachment). It felt very McFarlane heavy-handed, especially with the made up dialog of "I'm just being totally reasonable" "RABBLE RABBLE YOU MAKE US UNCOMFORTABLE DEATH TO YOU!" overselling of things (as well as the Disney-esque hero/villain caricaturing in the drawings/mannerisms) and glossing over the other details in order to sell the "Religion hate science, religion bad!" message. I personally rolled my eyes at the "Your god is too small" line, it really felt like it was just the dialog writer trying to taunt the religious at that point. If they were trying to get science into households that are lacking in it such as religious ones, over half of them turned it off there and won't be coming back. Some religious parents might even take their kids to research the full circumstances around the story and turn turn the "question authority trying to sell you something" message back around at it. I'm not saying it shouldn't have been told at all (although as has been pointed out there are plenty of other far more appropriate similar stories to tell), but rather that it was handled very poorly except to get already pro-scientific anti-religious atheists to fist-pump at home.
I've discussed to death my feelings on that bit. But I'll say you've expressed my feelings a LOT better than I did or can :) I appreciate it. It's what I wanted to convey but somehow I got lost and meandering about the guy rather than what I thought the intended message was beyond "Don't persecute others with wild ideas"


char0n said:
Overall it was good but yeah, if it wasn't for specifically how the Bruno bit was handled, it would have been near perfect. Hopefully it's not a case of "the damage is already done," as I'm sure the series will go on and do great, but the whole point should be to bring outsiders in to understanding by being open and inviting, not preaching to choir with a break to talk about how horrible people not in it are/were.

I hope you stay for the long run! As other's have said and how this type of documentary format goes, the first episode is just an introduction as a whole to the concepts of the show. Each proceeding epsiode will focus on a particular subject and then likely will tie it up all at the end.

If you got the time I really recommend you finding James Burke's "Connections" or "The Day the Universe Changed". Both follow the same structure, sans special effects. They're informative, enlightening, entertaining and puts a bigger picture together of how technology and society work.
 

Hitokage

Setec Astronomer
May 30, 2004
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I agree. But I'm not sure what your point is. It's obvious that if they have conflicting views they're gonna uh... conflict with each other.
It's like saying somebody is free but they still have to do what you tell them to. Of course the Church was against science whenever it wasn't safe and docile.
 
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