Christian Right Going Ballistic over Cosmos

If you think the first episode of the new Fox Cosmos series was controversial (with its relatively minor mentions of climate change, evolution and the Big Bang), Sunday night’s show threw down the gauntlet. Pretty much the entire episode was devoted to the topic of evolution, and the vast profusion of evidence (especially genetic evidence) showing that it is indeed the explanation behind all life on Earth. At one point, host Neil deGrasse Tyson stated it as plainly as you possibly can: “The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, is a scientific fact.” (You can watch the full episode here.)

Not surprisingly, those who deny the theory of evolution were not happy with this. Indeed, the science denial crowd hasn’t been happy with Cosmos in general. Here are some principal lines of attack:

Denying the Big Bang: In the first episode of Cosmos, titled “Standing Up in the Milky Way,” Tyson dons shades just before witnessing the Big Bang. You know, the start of everything. Some creationists, though, don’t like the Big Bang; at Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis, a critique of Cosmos asserts that “the big bang model is unable to explain many scientific observations, but this is of course not mentioned.”

Denying evolution: Sunday’s episode of Cosmos was all about evolution. It closely followed the rhetorical strategy of Charles Darwin’s world-changing 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, beginning with an example of “artificial selection” by breeders (Darwin used pigeons, Cosmos used domestic dogs) to get us ready to appreciate the far vaster power of natural selection. It employed Darwin’s favorite metaphor: the “tree of life,” an analogy that helps us see how all organisms are living on different branches of the same hereditary tree. In the episode, Tyson also refuted one of the creationist’s favorite canards: the idea that complex organs, like the eye, could not have been produced through evolution.


3 thoughts on “Christian Right Going Ballistic over Cosmos

  1. I recall an especially annoying and oh-so righteous Christian fundamentalist who pivoted her ‘argument’ against evolution on the ‘complexity of the human eye.’ Other creationists similarly praise the human eye as so wonderful, so complex that only a Creator could have formed in its complete state. [insert here the multitude diseases of the eye, blindness and poorly developed eye abnormalities]

    Tyson and his staff clearly had heard these same eye arguments and sliced them to pieces like a chef’s knife. No doubt creationists were stunned as the quick and lethal attack on the Deity-created eye. Zap!

    Denial is all that is left. And whining.

  2. In Oklahoma, any mention of evolution was editied out with phony news alerts. I want to watch these episodes. I like Tyson very much! I of course loved the original Cosmos series….It would be interesting to know if there were ever actually any astronauts of the creationist persuasion.

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