Neil deGrasse Tyson’s reboot of Cosmos is fantastic. I’m a little late to the party, but I just caught up with the first 2 episodes last night. It’s exciting that at a time when science-denial is in such vogue in America, the willpower exists to produce this for primetime network TV – and on FOX, no less! Of course as crazy as that sounds, it just makes it that much more remarkable that Carl Sagan did the same almost 35 years ago.
Actually when I think about it, I’m not sure that science-denial is really all that “in vogue” anyway. Certainly the deniers are as vocal as ever, but I don’t think their demographic is as large as their volume would suggest. Even most members of the religious majority maintain moderate views on most scientific debates. The radicals scream because they’re being backed further and further in to the corner by new discoveries being made every day. Breakthroughs like yesterday’s announcement about cosmic inflation aren’t doing them any favors.
So it comes as absolutely no surprise to read Chris Mooney’s article in Mother Jones about all the complaints against Cosmos. Even only 2 episodes in, I honestly expected their outcry even as I watched.
I continue to hold out hope that such cries of ignorance are merely the death-rattle of the old ways of thinking. Sure, there will always be those few holdouts, but as they continue to marginalize themselves, their influence will continue to diminish, and scientific knowledge will continue to grow.
And that may be what I love most about Cosmos: the prevailing sense of hope that every day we will know more about the universe than we did the day before.