The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos Fact and Fiction in Neil deGrasse Tyson's Landmark Science Series


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A Warming Earth: When Ideology Trumps Science: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Cosmos on Global Warming

Cosmos Franchise Loses Viewers, While Pumping for Materialism

On a new episode of ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards talks with science historian Michael Keas about the new Cosmos series on Fox and the National Geographic Channel. They note that the importance of this season and its predecessors (2014 and, the original with Carl Sagan, in 1980) lay not only in the viewers who saw it at home but in the school kids who watched because their teachers brought the program into the classroom. As Jay recalls, he and others at Discovery Institute can trace their interest in astronomy and related sciences to the spell cast by Sagan in their youth. A Victim of Coronavirus Dr. Richards and Dr. Keas note that teachers justify the program’s classroom use by pointing out what an “event” it was on TV. The 2014 iteration was seen, each night it

Cosmos 3.0 with Neil deGrasse Tyson Arrives Tonight at 8 PM, Somewhat Dented

The third season of the Cosmos franchise arrives tonight on Fox and National Geographic, somewhat dented in my opinion by the second season’s loose approach to the scientific and historical facts. At one point, due to personal controversies around host Neil deGrasse Tyson, it seemed uncertain that Cosmos 3.0, “Possible Worlds,” would be released at all. But here it is at last. The second season (2014) spun a misleading narrative celebrating the triumph of rational, secular scientific culture over benighted, supposedly irrational and anti-science religion. That the new season debuts amid a culture-wide panic attack over a little-known virus, complete with a stock market crash and toilet-paper hoarding, is not what you would call the best timing. Oddly, in the trailer, Dr.

Origins of a Dictum

“Follow the evidence wherever it leads.” The dictum is almost the official rallying cry of intelligent design proponents. I was curious about its origins, since if you look it up on Google it’s attributed to Plato, by way of the late, formerly atheist philosopher Antony Flew, who used it to describe his embrace of intelligent design…and to atheist Neil deGrasse Tyson! This is interesting and ironic. In the textbook Discovering Intelligent Design, the authors tracked it down to Flew and his co-author Roy Abraham Varghese. It appears in their 2007 book, There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. There it’s quoted as, “We must follow the argument wherever it leads,” from Plato, who gives it as a line to Socrates in The Republic.  A

Fun! Cosmos and 2015 Censor of the Year Neil deGrasse Tyson Get a Second Season

When I say this is the best news I’ve heard all morning, I’m being sincere. The Cosmos series with Neil deGrasse Tyson did such a formidable job of airbrushing science that runs counter to materialist assumptions that Dr. Tyson, for his work, won our 2015 Censor of the Year award. Yet I also remember the fun we had covering the 2014 series and raking it over the coals. So yes, I’m delighted to hear that Tyson has been given a green light from Fox and National Geographic for a second season, coming in 2019: Following a wildly successful run in 2014 as the most-watched series ever on National Geographic Channels internationally, and seen by more than 135 million people worldwide on National Geographic and FOX, the new season will once again premiere in the U.S. on both FOX

The Many Faces of Science Censorship

Each year, evolution enthusiasts, evangelizing atheists, and Religious Left activists celebrate Charles Darwin's birthday, February 12, as "Darwin Day." They've got a spiffy new website with a full calendar of upcoming events. At Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture, we also mark the occasion, but our focus is different. We call it Academic Freedom Day. That's in honor of Darwin's own wise counsel that in scientific inquiry, "A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question." Unfortunately many of his modern disciples have abandoned this principle and prefer to suppress the other side in the evolution debate. That is why we established our Censor of the Year (COTY) award, so at least the

Once Again, Neil deGrasse Tyson on Isaac Newton's Religious Views

Over the holidays, Neil deGrasse Tyson got tripped up trying to explain how he's not actually unfriendly to the religious beliefs of Sir Isaac Newton. The micro-controversy started when Tyson tweeted on Christmas Day: On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642 — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 25, 2014 Nothing too controversial there, although as great as Newton was, most people were celebrating Christmas to honor the birth of another person who changed the world. But then he followed up with this: Merry Christmas to all. A Pagan holiday (BC) becomes a Religious holiday (AD). Which then becomes a Shopping holiday (USA). — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 25, 2014 I might

#3 of Our Top Ten Evolution Stories of 2014: Cosmos Finale Takes One Last Shot at the Privileged Planet Thesis

Editor's note: The staff of Evolution News & Views wish you a happy New Year! We're on a light reporting schedule as we enjoy some vacation time with family and friends. In the meantime we offer to our wonderful readers a countdown of the past year's Top 10 stories reflecting the most exciting and important developments in the evolution debate, concluding on New Year's Day. Enjoy! Oh, and by the way, if you haven't finalized your year-end contribution to support the work of the Center for Science & Culture, including ENV, please do so now. Any amount helps! We need you and greatly appreciate your generosity!   Published originally on June 10, 2014. As David Klinghoffer noted yesterday, the final episode of Cosmos aired Sunday night. It was a fitting end, in

Well, Well, It's Day Four of Our Twelve Days of Discounts! Time to Save 50 Percent on The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos!

It's time to take advantage of today's discount. It's Day Four, so go here, and enter the code EZ29FV2Z for your savings of 50 percent off! CreateSpace is an Amazon company but you'll need to create a new CreateSpace account. Today's offering: The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos: Fact and Fiction in Neil deGrasse Tyson's Landmark Science Series, available at half off the list price of $15.95 for just 24 hours! Neil deGrasse Tyson's reboot of the classic TV series Cosmos struck a chord with viewers, garnered 12 Emmy Award nominations, and is headed straight into schools as a science teacher's instructional aid. It's also an agenda-driven vehicle for scientific materialism, casting religion as arch foe of the search for truth about nature and pressing its message that human beings occupy no

Let Us Bow Our Heads and Pray: Sunday Is Carl Sagan Day

Well, maybe not pray, but certainly adopt a suitably worshipful attitude while venerating an icon of materialism. Back when the new Cosmos series with Neil Tyson was getting ready to air, Kimberly Winston of Religion News Service noted the existence of a special day of which I was not previously aware. November 9, this upcoming Sunday, is celebrated by "atheists, agnostics, humanists and other "nones'" as Carl Sagan Day, eagerly anticipated as an occasion to renew their commitment: Humanists are especially eager. They claim Sagan as their own, and see in the "Cosmos" series -- a multipart journey to the outer reaches of our universe -- and in his dozen books a vibrant strain of their own philosophy. That philosophy favors reason over religion and holds human

A Trope in the Evolution Debate: The Oh, So Sad Plight of the Poor Creationist Child

Bill Nye's new book is out this week, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, and while we haven't seen a copy yet, it's interesting to read an interview with Nye by New York Times writer Jeffery DelViscio. Mr. Nye and Mr. DelViscio invoke what has become a familiar trope in the evolution debate: the plight of the poor, sad creationist child. Nye says that after his debate with genuine creationist Ken Ham back in February, he dropped everything and turned his attention (and that of the book's co-author/editor Corey S. Powell) to rebutting "creationism," in which term (if the Amazon reviews so far are to be believed) he includes intelligent design. DelViscio: o you imagine a child in a creationist-friendly household managing to get his hands on the book and

The Varieties of "Atheism"; plus on Kindle Now, Here's Our New Book The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos

Responding to queries from readers, I'm happy to announce that our book The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos: Fact and Fiction in Neil deGrasse Tyson's Landmark Science Series is out now in a Kindle edition. To celebrate the occasion, let's consider this tweet from a critic: @d_klinghoffer No acknowledgement whatsoever that Tyson doesn't call himself an atheist, I see. Unsurprising from the Disco Tute.— MikeTheInfidel (@BoredInfidel) November 2, 2014 Nice try. It's true that Tyson rejects the self-description "atheist," with its connotation of braying, in-your-face activists like Jerry Coyne. Tyson is a more sophisticated type, smarter and more effective in his cause. If I held his picture of reality, one that clearly admits no place for God, and if I wanted to influence

The Dog Delusion

In his latest book, geneticist Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig of the Max Planck Institutes in Germany takes on the widespread view that dog breeds prove macroevolution. His book is Unser Haushund: Eine Spitzmaus im Wolfspelz?, or in English translation, Our Domestic Dog: A Shrew in Wolf's Clothing? (Monsenstein & Vannerdat, 2014). He shows in great detail that the incredible variety of dog breeds, going back in origin several thousand years ago but especially to the last few centuries, represents no increase in information but rather a decrease or loss of function on the genetic and anatomical levels. After some introductory information about dogs, Lönnig goes to the heart of the matter: Dawkins's dogma about dogs, which many other neo-Darwinians embrace as well. Richard Dawkins has

Want More Misinformation from the Creators of Cosmos? Use the Official Cosmos Study Guides!

As David Klinghoffer wrote here recently, our new book The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos provides a detailed, episode-by-episode exposé of false facts enlisted by the celebrity atheists who created the new Cosmos series that aired earlier this year. Well, guess what? If your appetite for atheist apologetics wasn't satisfied by the program itself, we've got good news for you. The creators of Cosmos are also circulating study guides that teachers are apparently supposed to use in schools. And given the source, they're as biased and one-sided as you would expect. The study guides were written by Carl Sagan's wife Ann Druyan, who was also a writer for both the 1980 original Cosmos and new series. Like Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos itself, the guides sometimes have a scattered

Sure, Atheism Is a Religion, to which Neil deGrasse Tyson and Cosmos Seek Converts

Some Twitter correspondents objected to my comment, in connection with our new book The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos, that "Cosmos is not appropriate for public schools, where you're not supposed to advocate any religion, including atheism." But of course Tyson-style atheism counts as a religion. As I'm hardly the first to say, it has almost all the trimmings that religions commonly do: An account of origins (panspermia and Darwinian evolution), a philosophical commitment to a certain way of understanding of what the fundamental substrate of reality is (materialism), a conversionary agenda (the whole point of Cosmos, now launched into the public schools), warnings of an apocalyptic future for the unrepentant (see our chapters on Episodes 11 and 12 of Cosmos). Atheist

Separating Fact from Fiction: New Book, The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos, Released Today

The other day one of our kids, age seven, came home from school with a garbled account of what he had learned about the moon by watching an episode of "Bill Science Guy." He meant Bill Nye the Science Guy. He went on to talk about how he also learned that "Back a long time ago, everyone thought the world was square. And this guy, he said it was round? So they burned him." I'm not sure what that was in reference to -- some kind of a mash-up between Giordano Bruno and Christopher Columbus, perhaps? Further querying elicited no additional information. I bring this up, in any event, to remind you of three things. First, teachers love kid-friendly video science supplements like Bill Nye's five seasons of programs from the 1990s, for a younger audience, as they will love