Last night, the Fox conglomerate of networks aired a revamping of Cosmos—a science special that first aired in the 1970s hosted by Carl Sagan.
This time around, it is hosted by the astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, a popular reoccurring scientific fixture on late night comedy shows, as well as a renowned science educator in his own right.
The Wire examines how the rebooted Cosmos deals with science and faith, in a much more polarized atmosphere than existed in the 1970s. Two staff writers discuss how Tyson and the writers of the new Cosmos special aim to win a more resistant audience over to science this time around:
I expected some subtlety in the program’s attempt to bring a religious audience around to Tyson’s point of view (namely, evolution,) but there was no ambiguity about the fact that Tyson wants its viewers to see the scientifically oppressed as akin to the religiously martyred. The story of Giordano Bruno is used to illustrate this parallel — he’s a monk who saw a scientifically accurate “vision” of the cosmos, a revelation that he held dear despite persecution and, ultimately, execution. Bruno was a martyr, Tyson tells us, as he walks us through the (beautifully animated) stages of his oppressed life.
Read the whole article here.
The Catholic League, as should probably be expected, was not on board. They take issue with the negative depiction of the Spanish Inquision, among many other things.
Did you watch the first installment last night? What did you think?