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Author Topic:   Cosmos with Neil DeGrass Tyson
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 61 of 206 (722223)
03-18-2014 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Omnivorous
03-15-2014 8:59 AM


Creationist response fail
hooah writes:
Add some LSD and see if you get the same effect that Wizard of Oz supposedly has. I am sure some Feynman lectures work this way.
Everything works that way.
Certainly seems to be how a lot of creationism works.
Neil deGrasse Tyson Squashes Creationist Argument Against Science on National TV
A little bit hyperbolic, but ...
quote:
... Tyson made one of the best statements one could hope would sink into the minds of young and old viewers alike andmost importantlycreationists.
The astrophysicist proclaimed that there is no shame in admitting you do not know something and that the real shame is pretending to know everything.
Tyson made one of the best statements one could hope would sink into the minds of young and old viewers alike andmost importantlycreationists.
The astrophysicist proclaimed that there is no shame in admitting you do not know something and that the real shame is pretending to know everything.
Not that creationist will pay attention, but one tried (badly)
quote:
However, these facts mean nothing to creationists. Not long after "Cosmos" aired, Jay W. Richards, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute (DI), a non-science, religious based foundation that fights to discredit evolution and replace it with faith based creationism, tweeted:
On eye evolution, the #Cosmos editors again failed to do a Google Search
Richards' Twitter missive linked to a Discovery Institute PDF download that supposedly debunks the evolution of the eye claim. Yet the PDF is nothing more than praise for the Christian Right pundit Ann Coulter and a lambasting of Richard Dawkins, DI's public enemy number one.
Now that PDF does contain some rambling arguments about the formation of the eye, but they are all old debunked arguments from incredulity and cite ancient articles instead of modern ones. None of the arguments even come close to demonstrating that they eye could not form by progressive natural means and certainly does not challenge the evidence that it can.
quote:
The time is now for a scientifically literate America to return, for scientific innovations to flow out of our borders and spread around the world. We can no longer take a backseat to the world of science and must return once again to the driver's seat.
That may be a little bit of hubris, but it certainly is time to move out of the neo-dark ages.
Here's another article related to the show:
Neil deGrasse Tyson on "Cosmos," How Science Got Cool, and Why He Doesn't Debate Deniers
quote:
Last Sunday's debut of Cosmos, the rebooted series from Fox and National Geographic, made television history. According to National Geographic, it was the largest global rollout of a TV series ever, appearing on 220 channels in 181 countries and 45 languages. And, yes, this is a science show we're talking about. You will have to actively resist the force of gravity in order to lift up your dropped jaw and restore a sense of calm to your stunned face.
Hopefully this is a sign that there are a lot of people that are starved for some real scientific knowledge.
quote:
... Neil deGrasse Tyson, who appeared on this week's episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast to talk about what it's like to fill Sagan's shoes (stream below). On the podcast, Tyson discussed topics ranging from what we know now about the cosmos that Sagan didn't (top three answers: dark matter and dark energy, the profusion of discovered exoplanets, and the concept of parallel universes, or the "multiverse") to why science seems to have gotten so supercool again. ...
... Tyson made clear on Inquiring Minds that he does not plan to follow in Sagan's footsteps in this respect (or for that matter, those of Bill Nye the Science Guy, who went straight into the creationists' den to debate evolution last month, ... "Carl Sagan would debate people on all manner of issues," said Tyson. "And I don't have the time or the energy or the interest in doing so. As an educator, I'd rather just get people thinking straight in the first place, so I don't have to then debate them later on." ...
Tyson certainly has plenty of criticism for those who would deny science. "I claim that all those who think they can cherry-pick science simply don't understand how science works," he explained on the podcast. "That's what I claim. And if they did, they'd be less prone to just assert that somehow scientists are clueless."
The stance of Cosmos, Tyson emphasizes, is not anti-religion but anti-dogma: "Any time you have a doctrine where that is the truth that you assert, and that what you call the truth is unassailable, you've got doctrine, you've got dogma on your hands. And so Cosmos isan offering of science, and a reminder that dogma does not advance science; it actually regresses it."
So open the windows and let in some fresh air eh?

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 62 of 206 (722225)
03-18-2014 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by RAZD
03-18-2014 5:40 PM


Re: Creationist response fail
Richards' Twitter missive linked to a Discovery Institute
In the US 'Institute' seems to mean ' bunch of agenda drive idiots' lying through their teeth.
Just when are going to see that ID based research that was promised before the Dover trial.
quote:
On eye evolution, the #Cosmos editors again failed to do a Google Search
Right, because all serious science is done on web sites like DI's not in Journals. #%!@* dumbass.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 63 of 206 (722227)
03-18-2014 7:02 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by RAZD
03-17-2014 6:38 PM


Re: Episode 2
Titan seemed a bit of a non-sequitur.
I think the possibility of life on Titan is a personal favorite topic of Titans. I guess we've got to get the ship off earth every show.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8593
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.3


(1)
Message 64 of 206 (722235)
03-19-2014 12:48 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by 1.61803
03-18-2014 12:14 PM


Re: Great Job
Well I tried watching episode 1 with my 10 year old and 8 year old girls. Both immediately wanted to bail.
Hey, you tried and you didn't push too hard.
Maybe, just maybe, you try periodically over the next few years. If there is no interest then there is no interest. Que sera sera. Besides, it's expected that a dad be seen as just a bit weird by his daughters.
Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

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Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


(1)
Message 65 of 206 (722282)
03-19-2014 3:44 PM


2nd Episode
I would give the 2nd episode an 8/10. There are a few tiny details that are wrong, and choices of words that are regrettable. For example, Tyson conflates fact and theory. It would have been a perfect opportunity to describe how theories differ from facts, but instead he gave the impression that theories become facts. Unfortunate. Overall, I thought this was probably Tyson's best job as a presenter out of all his work I have seen. I have been critical of Tyson in the past, so I am glad to eat a bit of crow on this one.
I also dislike the constant need to mystify science, but this is my own personal foible. Many scientists, and even atheist scientists, have expressed a mythical awe of nature. However, if nature is that great, then you shouldn't have to dress it up and point it out all of the time. Let it sell itself. Just my humble opinion on the overall production so far.
Edited by Taq, : No reason given.

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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 881 days)
Posts: 3193
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 66 of 206 (722284)
03-19-2014 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Taq
03-19-2014 3:44 PM


Re: 2nd Episode
I agree on both points (which may lead you to change them lol). I am beginning to think this show is aimed at converting the anti-science crowd because of just how much pandering to religion he has done so far. Mystifying science, as you mentioned, also serves this purpose.
IMO, Sagan would be rolling in his grave. Or at least he ought to. Then again, maybe it's my utter disdain for anything religious and I don't want it anywhere near science shows. I may be a bit bigoted in that regard, but I don't care.

Organic life is nothing but a genetic mutation, an accident. Your lives are measured in years and decades. You wither and die. We are eternal, the pinnacle of evolution and existence. Before us, you are nothing. Your extinction is inevitable. We are the end of everything.

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Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 67 of 206 (722287)
03-19-2014 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by hooah212002
03-19-2014 4:54 PM


Re: 2nd Episode
I am beginning to think this show is aimed at converting the anti-science crowd because of just how much pandering to religion he has done so far. Mystifying science, as you mentioned, also serves this purpose.
Perhaps it is bad writing, or society has been dumbed down to the point that we have to be told which emotions we should be feeling at any point in time or space. It almost takes on a "Lord Privy Seal" feeling at times.
Show, don't tell. That is Storytelling 101, Salesmanship 101, etc. They should have the confidence that the science will stand on its own without needing to be constantly propped up by plucking on the heart strings.

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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 68 of 206 (722296)
03-19-2014 9:53 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Taq
03-19-2014 3:44 PM


Re: 2nd Episode
For example, Tyson conflates fact and theory. It would have been a perfect opportunity to describe how theories differ from facts, but instead he gave the impression that theories become facts. Unfortunate.
I spent some time thinking Tyson's words, and I'm going to have to disagree with you on this point. Tyson stuck to the party line on the relationship between guess work, theories and facts.
Tyson emphasized in particular, the distinction between guesswork, which is what people mean the criticize evolution as 'being just a theory' and real scientific theory. Whether or not you think he crossed the line when he talked about biological evolution as fact depends quite a bit on how you define theory and fact, and exactly what things about evolution you are talking about.
From the wikipedia article on the subject:
Evolution as fact and theory - Wikipedia
quote:
Biologists consider it to be a scientific fact that evolution has occurred in that modern organisms differ from past forms, and evolution is still occurring with discernible differences between organisms and their descendants. There is such strong quantitative support for the second that scientists regard common descent as being as factual as the understanding that in the Solar System the Earth orbits the Sun, but the examination of relationships is still in progress and there are possible alternatives to universal common descent.
And just so we don't depend totally on wikipedia:
http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/lenski.html
Richard Lenski:
quote:
Article highlights
Evolution is both fact and theory, explaining:
the major patterns of change in nature
how these changes occur
fossil and genetic evidence of change
Evolution is a Fact and a Theory
Quoting Stephen J. Gould
quote:
Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory--natural selection--to explain the mechanism of evolution.
I note that looking this stuff up requires wading through tons of Discovery Institute and creationist postings.
I thought the comparison of the theory of evolution to the theory of gravitation was very apt.
I also give the episode an 8 out of 10 which includes a 0.5 point reduction for not having enough physics. I gave episode one an 8.5.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

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Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 69 of 206 (722315)
03-20-2014 7:56 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by NoNukes
03-19-2014 9:53 PM


Evolution fact and theory
I spent some time thinking Tyson's words, and I'm going to have to disagree with you on this point. Tyson stuck to the party line on the relationship between guess work, theories and facts.
Tyson emphasized in particular, the distinction between guesswork, which is what people mean the criticize evolution as 'being just a theory' and real scientific theory. Whether or not you think he crossed the line when he talked about biological evolution as fact depends quite a bit on how you define theory and fact, and exactly what things about evolution you are talking about
Indeed. I like to make the following distinctions in these debates:
  1. the process of evolution1 has been observed to occur and is thus an observed fact.
  2. the process of phyletic speciation2 has been observed to occur and is thus an observed fact.
  3. the process of divergent speciation3 has been observed to occur and is thus an observed fact.
Both phyletic speciation and divergent speciation occur through the process of evolution over several generations.
The Theory of Evolution (ToE), stated in simple terms, is that the process of phyletic speciation, and the process of divergent speciation, are sufficient to explain the diversity of life as we know it, from the fossil record, from the genetic record, from the historic record, and from everyday record of the life we observe in the world all around us.
This is a testable theory, both via modern studies in the field and in the lab and via studies of the fossil record, and studies of the genetic record.


Notes:
  1. The process of evolution involves changes in the composition of hereditary traits, and changes to the frequency of their distributions within breeding populations from generation to generation, in response to ecological challenges and opportunities.
  2. The process of phyletic speciation involves the continued process of evolution over several generations, where the accumulation of changes from generation to generation becomes sufficient for the breeding population to develop combinations of traits that are observably different from the ancestral parent population (and because such phyletic change in breeding populations are a continuous process, determining when the changes are "sufficient" to be deemed a new species is a subjective observation, this is frequently called arbitrary speciation).
  3. The process of divergent speciation involves the division of a parent population into two or more reproductively isolated daughter populations due to loss of gene flow between the daughter populations, which are then are free to diverge from each other independently via the process of evolution.
Edited by RAZD, : clrty
Edited by RAZD, : to
Edited by RAZD, : .

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(2)
Message 70 of 206 (722318)
03-20-2014 9:04 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by RAZD
03-20-2014 7:56 AM


Colbert Report
Did you catch the Tyson interview on the Colbert Report?
imho he nails it.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 71 of 206 (722325)
03-20-2014 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by RAZD
03-20-2014 9:04 AM


Re: Colbert Report
I think there will be a price to pay for the no holds bared position on evolution and the origin of the universe. It was not all that long ago that fear of a public backlash prevented any US distributor from taking on the Charles Darwin movie.
quote:
Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as "a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder". His "half-baked theory" directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to "atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering", the site stated.
But I'm not worried about the Discovery Institute guys. They are clowns. But I imagine there will be increasing pressure on Fox to do something about this show if Tyson continues to tell the truth without hedging.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

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Diomedes
Member
Posts: 996
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013


Message 72 of 206 (722338)
03-20-2014 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by NoNukes
03-20-2014 11:37 AM


Re: Colbert Report
But I imagine there will be increasing pressure on Fox to do something about this show if Tyson continues to tell the truth without hedging.
Seth MacFarlane (who is one of the producers of Cosmos) was once asked about what it was like working for Fox, where Family Guy is aired.
He actually said there is a huge disconnect between the Fox News divisions and the entertainment division. They basically function as totally separate entities, never interacting with one another. So my guess is that the guys making Cosmos do not need to answer to the folks on the news side of the aisle.
In a funny way, the company is actually gaining on both sides. They produce a show that stirs controversy and then they report on the very controversy they created. Profit on both sides.
And that is ultimately what Rupert Murdoch is all about. Folks that worked for the guy indicated he had little political sway one way or the other, despite what most may think. He is a businessman. If he realized tomorrow that he could generate more revenue turning Fox News to the left of the aisle, he would do it without a moments hesitation.

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Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 73 of 206 (722371)
03-20-2014 4:03 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by NoNukes
03-19-2014 9:53 PM


Re: 2nd Episode
Whether or not you think he crossed the line when he talked about biological evolution as fact depends quite a bit on how you define theory and fact, and exactly what things about evolution you are talking about.
You quoted Gould, so here is another quote from Gould that I particularly like.
"Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered."--Stephen Jay Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory"
That is the relationship between fact and theory that Tyson should have stressed, IMHO. Tyson seemed to insist that evolution had stopped being a theory and had become a fact, when in reality evolution is both just as gravity is both fact and theory. I think it was an opportunity missed, a chance to help the public understand how scientists view theory and fact.

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Percy
Member
Posts: 22607
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 74 of 206 (722378)
03-20-2014 4:21 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by Taq
03-20-2014 4:03 PM


Re: 2nd Episode
When Gould said, "Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact," we know what he meant, but for wider dissemination I think it's better to say something like:
"The word 'evolution' can apply to either species change over time, something that is factually known to occur, or to the theory of evolution, which explains how species change over time occurs. This is why you will sometimes hear people say, 'Evolution is both a fact and a theory,' but they're actually referring to two different uses of the word evolution. They're definitely not claiming that the theory of evolution is a fact."
--Percy

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 75 of 206 (722388)
03-20-2014 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by NoNukes
03-20-2014 11:37 AM


Advocating for Science
I think there will be a price to pay for the no holds bared position on evolution and the origin of the universe. It was not all that long ago that fear of a public backlash prevented any US distributor from taking on the Charles Darwin movie.
If that price is a more public discussion of the validity of science versus the ad hoc arguments of religious wing-nuts, then bring it.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

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