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Author Topic:   Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Fox TV 2014)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-05-2011 07:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The New York Times reports that Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan's widow, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist, "Nova ScienceNow" host and director of the Hayden Planetarium, and Seth MacFarlane, the creator, producer, co-star and animating spirit of "Family Guy," are part of the creative team behind the Fox Network's 13-episode series, "Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey," expected to be broadcast in 2013.
For several years Ms. Druyan said, she, Dr. Tyson and Steven Soter, another collaborator on the original series, pitched a new version of "Cosmos" to "the usual television network suspects" that did not quite see mass appeal in the series.

"We weren't interested in going to the audience that already knew that it loved science," Ms. Druyan said. "We wanted to go to the largest possible audience and attract people who'd never even thought about it."

But with the support of Mr. MacFarlane the "Cosmos" team obtained meetings with Peter Rice, the chairman of Fox Broadcasting, and Kevin Reilly, the network's entertainment president, who gave the series a green light last year. The new series will be produced with the National Geographic Channel, which will show episodes after they run on Fox.

Philip
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posted 08-31-2011 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Deadline Hollywood reports Fox has greenlighted Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, a 13-part docu-series envisioned as a successor to the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original 13-part program, which was hosted by Carl Sagan.
"Never more than at this moment in the modern era have we needed a profound reminder of the colossally important and exciting role that science, space exploration and the human quest for knowledge must continue to play in our development as a species," MacFarlane said. "We should be vigorously exploring the solar system by now, and who better to inspire us to get there than Ann Druyan, Steven Soter, Neil deGrasse Tyson and, of course, Carl Sagan."
Editor's note: Threads merged.

mode1charlie
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posted 08-31-2011 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to be Mr. Glass-Half-Empty, but my only concern about its being shown on a commercial network rather than PBS (as was the original Cosmos) is that the profundity and mystery of the kinds of things that such a show discusses is undermined by the fact that they're interrupted every 12 minutes by beer and laundry detergent ads. On the other hand, it may reach more viewers and thus have a broader impact. Or so one can hope.

But for me, I suspect the DVD set will be the best route. That's how I approached the BBC's Planet Earth series that was shown in the U.S. on the Discovery Channel (and substituting Attenborough's narration with that of Sigourney Weaver).

fredtrav
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posted 05-15-2013 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Los Angeles Times:
Fox is looking to the stars – literally.

At their upfront presentation Monday at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, the network announced plans to reboot "Cosmos," Carl Sagan's massively popular documentary series. The new, 13-episode version will air sometime in 2014.

In one of the more unlikely pairings in recent memory, it is produced by Seth MacFarlane and will be hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium and a popular recurring guest on "The Daily Show."

cspg
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posted 05-21-2013 04:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's a book about it: Cosmos

herranzc
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posted 08-21-2013 03:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for herranzc   Click Here to Email herranzc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to the publishers, this is the same Cosmos book by Sagan in a new trade paperback edition with a Foreword by Neil deGrasse Tyson and an Introduction by Ann Druyan.

Terry Miller
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posted 11-14-2013 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Terry Miller   Click Here to Email Terry Miller     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't wait for the new Cosmos to air...

GoesTo11
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posted 11-15-2013 07:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm really looking forward to it as well; Neil Tyson is awesome.

I will say, though, my only real concern about the new show is pacing. Part of what made the original "Cosmos" so compelling was that its narrative flow allowed viewers to "breathe" and contemplate the vastness of its subject as it went...but it never dragged. I really hope the new version isn't too "amped up" to suit the short-attention-span/Michael Bay/iPhone generation.

Now if you'll excuse me, the dang kids next door are on my lawn again...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-31-2014 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New trailer released for "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey":

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-22-2014 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the chance to screen the first episode of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey."

My first impressions are that the show does a good job of blending the science lessons we are familiar with seeing at planetariums and museum shows with the graphics and editing of a modern television show.

There are nods to the original "Cosmos," and the first episode includes a tribute to Carl Sagan, which for personal reasons resonated strongly (Tyson shares how he came to meet Sagan, which mimics my own story — complete with having a copy of one of Sagan's books inscribed).

The first episode focuses on the size of the universe and the span of time. It blends live shots with Tyson, CGI scenes and more classic animation.

Throughout watching it, I kept wondering what my impression of the show would be if I didn't have a background in science, or for that matter an interest in it. Would it keep me tuned in for the full hour? What about for the next 12 episodes?

It will be interesting to see the reaction — both through ratings and online feedback — if this new "Cosmos" engages a mostly science-literate audience who are nostalgic for the original, or if it does as Sagan's "Cosmos" did, and re-introduce science to a viewership at large.

The first episode premieres Sunday, March 9 on 123-branded FOX channels in 125 countries, with an encore presentation the following night on 90 National Geographic Channels in 170 countries, making it the largest-ever global launch for a TV series.

SpaceAholic
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posted 02-23-2014 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
There are nods to the original "Cosmos," and the first episode includes a tribute to Carl Sagan, which for personal reasons resonated strongly...
And related in the March Issue of Smithsonian Magazine: Why Carl Sagan is Truly Irreplaceable
The astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, serves as narrator this time, giving him a chance to make the case that he's the Sagan of our generation. "'Cosmos' is more than Carl Sagan," Tyson told me. "Our capacity to decode and interpret the cosmos is a gift of the method and tools of science. And that's what's being handed down from generation to generation. If I tried to fill his shoes I would just fail. But I can fill my own shoes really well."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-09-2014 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" premieres tonight (March 9). A few reviews:
There is a new Seth MacFarlane show on Fox this Sunday. But if there was any doubt that "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" is no "Family Guy," it is dispelled when the host references the planet Uranus and pronounces it "YOOR-inus." This new version of Cosmos, which MacFarlane produced, is as earnest as "Family Guy," "American Dad," et al. are raunchy, but that doesn’t mean it's not entertaining. It's gorgeous, it's absorbing, it's impassioned, it's awestruck and awe-inspiring.
— James Poniewozik, TIME Magazine

For a town dependent on Stars, there are far too few people here who look up at the sky. But come this Sunday, March 9, everyone will have a chance to marvel at our sky's brilliance and fly through the depths of the Universe... all via their living room's flat screen. The epic series of science, space and humanity has returned.

— Taryn O'Neill, The Planetary Society

Nit-picking aside, if the new “Cosmos” doesn’t deliver quite the punch of the original, it’s because this isn’t 1980. Since then, of course, personal computers have put a vast array of knowledge in almost everyone’s hands, and anyone with even a little curiosity about things scientific has been able to satisfy it easily. Television has been part of this, with good science programming like PBS’s “Nova” readily available. It’s a lot harder to be awed than it used to be.

By the episode’s end, though, Dr. Tyson has at least sketched a head-spinning cosmic landscape and instilled suitable admiration for how much we humans have managed to learn in our relative sliver of time. He has also thrown down a gauntlet; this program is a challenge to those who think we already know enough and who turn their backs on science.

— Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-09-2014 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" has an official telescope, microscope and binoculars.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-09-2014 09:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA video release
Station Astronauts Do Experiment for 'Cosmos'

Expedition 39 commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and flight engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA help 'Cosmos' host Neil deGrasse Tyson prove Newton's third law of motion through a science experiment in zero gravity.

randy
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posted 03-09-2014 11:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Saw the first episode tonight. Looks pretty good.

Gilbert
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posted 03-11-2014 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first episode was very good. Watching it reminded me of the sense of awe the original series sparked. Looking forward to future episodes. (I really enjoyed the cosmic calendar segment.)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-08-2014 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 13th and final episode of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" airs on Fox tonight.

I only tuned in for the first episode as it aired, but recently binge watched to catch up on the series. Some of the later episodes were really quite well done, both visually and narratively.

I particularly enjoyed the few scenes where Tyson "visited" past exploration sites, such as the Venera landing site on Venus and Viking on Mars.

The final episode "Unafraid of the Dark," centers on the mystery of dark energy and the Voyager missions.

The series will be released on June 10 as a four-disc set on Blu-ray and DVD. The release includes a five-part documentary chronicling the series' making, with the Blu-ray also getting an interactive history of the universe modeled after the show's "Cosmic Calendar."

Have others been watching? What have you thought of the series?

dogcrew5369
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posted 06-08-2014 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've enjoyed most of the series, yet I find some of the commentary and "enlightenment" a bit condescending compared to the original series. I would personally enjoy the series more if it actually focused more on the cosmos rather than things like evolution, global warming, and the sense that people who are religious are stupid. I know I will get a quick rebuttal on this, that's just my opinion.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-08-2014 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not a rebuttal but a clarification: the original "Cosmos" addressed evolution and global warming as well (as "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" has cited), so in that regard the new series is not veering far from the original.

(As for religion, "The Demon-Haunted World" offers a good source for Carl Sagan's opinion on the subject.)

GoesTo11
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posted 06-08-2014 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, I've enjoyed a good portion of the new "Cosmos," but my enjoyment has been tempered by a constant feeling that the polemical shoe was about to drop.

I've read most of Sagan's works and am familiar with his views on religion. I'm not religious myself, and in any matter not easily offended, so the series' predictable condescension on that subject was no more than yawn-inducing to me.

I was less sanguine about the equally inevitable implication that anyone not sold on the doctrinaire narrative of "climate change" as an existential crisis must obviously be a blinkered, ignorant troglodyte who hates SCIENCE(tm).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-08-2014 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If we, as a society, ignore science (whether it be climate change or the threat posed by asteroids or the importance of vaccinations) than we will eventually go the way of, not the troglodytes, but the trilobites, i.e. extinct.

That's the point that "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" is making. Ignoring science is only to our own detriment.

mode1charlie
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posted 06-08-2014 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Robert and don't share the other concerns expressed above, but I'll leave it at that. My only complaint is that because it's on commercial TV, most of the subjects seem rushed. I'm hoping that the DVD set might have extended "full" versions of each episode, but somehow I doubt it.

And while I think NdGT (and Brian Cox, although he has a very different style) is an outstanding communicator of science, Carl Sagan is still the mark that has yet to be topped.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-08-2014 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know what it entailed, but the publicity materials suggested that the National Geographic Channel broadcast included expanded content to what aired on Fox.

mode1charlie
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posted 06-08-2014 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now they tell us! Thanks - I'd love to have been wrong.

mikej
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posted 06-08-2014 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
the original "Cosmos" addressed evolution and global warming as well
I saw that some channel or another had a marathon of the Carl Sagan version of Cosmos (which I had never watched) prior to the current version's premier, so I DVRed an episode to get a flavor of the original series.

On that episode, Sagan was decrying deforestation, saying that if the slash-and-burn were to continue at the (then) present rate, the particulate matter released by all the fires would reflect the sunlight and would almost certainly lead to ...well, I don't recall exactly what he said, but it was basically "global cooling" (I don't think he went as far to say an ice age).

If only the climate scientists in the early 1980s had trotted out "the science is settled" in a heavy-handed effort to silence dissenters, we wouldn't have all this global warming to worry about now.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-08-2014 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might want to reference Sagan's own comments during the 1990 broadcast of "Cosmos."

The National Academy of Sciences was created specifically to advise U.S. politicians (who readily admit they are not scientists) on matters related to science. So they weren't being heavy-handed when they came together with the Royal Society in the United Kingdom to explain "what is known about climate change, at least the physical side of it, to concerned citizens, educators, decision makers and leaders, and to advance public dialogue about how to respond to the threats of climate change."

mode1charlie
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posted 06-08-2014 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, it is a fact that particulate air pollution - from burning Indonesian peat forests, Chinese coal plants, etc. - does have a known and measurable cooling effect on global temperatures. This is called "global dimming" and is well accounted for by global climate models (and is thus in the IPCC reports). Without opening a whole discussion on climate change that isn't appropriate here, suffice to say that Sagan was right then and it is still entirely consistent with the current scientific consensus on CC.

GoesTo11
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posted 06-08-2014 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Ignoring science is only to our own detriment.
Who's advocating "ignoring science?"

Apparently I am, because I simply resent the implication that refusing to subscribe to apocalyptic climate change orthodoxy is tantamount to such.

I remember how we were all going to starve to death due to overpopulation... if the New Ice Age didn't kill us first. And I remember Carl Sagan and various cohorts inventing "nuclear winter" as a sort-of-science-y rhetorical device in the service of advocacy for unilateral disarmament.

Sagan was, on balance, a force for good in the popularization of science education. It's a shame that his successors in this production couldn't resist promoting yet another fashionable doomsday.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-08-2014 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Laymen debating the validity of science is a pointless activity. It accomplishes nothing and is baseless in its foundation.

Whether we, as laymen, believe or not believe in global warming, its causes and effects, means little. Science is not a belief system and it shouldn't waiver based on the opinions of the majority (or minority).

The National Academy of Sciences was founded on this very premise. Politicians and the public are not in the position to make science-based decisions.

Cozmosis22
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posted 06-08-2014 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
I remember how we were all going to starve to death due to overpopulation... if the New Ice Age didn't kill us first. And I remember Carl Sagan and various cohorts inventing "nuclear winter" as a sort-of-science-y rhetorical device in the service of advocacy for unilateral disarmament.

Remember that as well. They were wrong back then of course; and the climate-change alarmists are misleading the public once again today.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-08-2014 10:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you don't have a degree in climate science, how do you know they are wrong?

Here's an idea: accept that you don't know the science to say one way or the other, and if you still feel you must debate, then debate the actions taken in response to that science. At least objecting to solar power or reduced carbon emissions doesn't require an advanced degree to discuss the details.

It's the difference between arguing that we never went to the moon and whether we should ever return.

mode1charlie
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posted 06-08-2014 10:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Robert said it best.

GoesTo11
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posted 06-08-2014 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
If you don't have a degree in climate science, how do you know they are wrong?
Who's "they," and wrong about what? Upon reflection, I concede that climate does in fact change.

I am indeed neither a scientist nor an engineer, but my understanding of those disciplines has heretofore led me to believe that the most fundamentally honest tenet of either is being willing to go where the data leads you. That is not "climate science" in the 21st century.

Modern "climate science" — in a macro sense — is an ideological project which occasionally and selectively deploys actual science as serves its agenda, and deals ruthlessly with anyone in the field who shows signs of wandering off the apocalyptic plantation. Can't jeopardize those grants or taxpayer funding.

Robert wisely edited his initial response to my first post on this topic; he's an intelligent man who quickly realized that "consensus" does not equal fact. If only the producers of "Cosmos" also grasped that.

quote:
It's the difference between arguing that we never went to the moon and whether we should ever return.
And that just makes no sense whatsoever, unless you think history versus hypothesis is a reasonable basis for argument.

mode1charlie
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posted 06-08-2014 11:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are so many problems with some of the non-Robert comments here that it would be hard to know where to start - so I won't, other than to just note that Cosmos, the tv show, evidently failed to impart a minimally scientific mode of reasoning for some viewers.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-08-2014 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
...unless you think history versus hypothesis is a reasonable basis for argument.
What you posit is neither a defense or debate of a hypothesis, which is why it is like the moon landing hoax. The hoax is based on arguments founded on a lack of understanding of science and is bolstered by an unreasonable and unsupportable distrust of the scientists who can explain why the hoax is wrong.

Contrary to what some pundits insist, there are not two equal sides to every story. And as you've correctly pointed out, it is not because there is a consensus that makes the science correct, but it is that the science is correct that has resulted in a consensus.

But I return to what I wrote before, this debate is pointless. Neither side is in a position to debate anything more than whether they believe the science is correct, and science is not about beliefs. Science either is or is not, and to understand the distinction takes an understanding of the science that the layman does not possess.

GoesTo11
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posted 06-09-2014 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mode1charlie:
...Cosmos, the tv show, evidently failed to impart a minimally scientific mode of reasoning for some viewers.

I bailed on this exchange last night when it became obviously directionless. In any case, we're all grown-ups here and I know better than to take any of this personally.

That said, I have to cite the above assertion as a point-perfect example of the sort of dismissive condescension that rankles so many people skeptical of "climate change" orthodoxy. The science of climate change has become inseparable from the politics, and its evangelists long ago abandoned rational argument in favor of brow-beating and groupthink enforcement ("The science is settled!"). Rejecting both does not, to my mind, mean I lack a "minimally scientific mode of reasoning." Reason took the exit off this particular freeway at least a decade ago.

mode1charlie
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posted 06-09-2014 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
Reason took the exit off this particular freeway at least a decade ago.

On that specific point we agree - and should probably leave it at that.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-09-2014 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Returning to the subject of the series, Neil DeGrasse Tyson has announced a six-city speaking tour:
Join Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, award winning- astrophysicist, author, and host of FOX's Cosmos for an evening of engaging conversation on science, exploration and the world as we know it.
Tour stops include Madison, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles and San Francisco in California; and Washington, D.C.

All times are CT (US)

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