‘Cosmos’ calls out Bible believers

The much-hyped remake of Carl Sagan’s  TV documentary series Cosmos premiered on Sunday, replete with much-improved special effects, up-to-date scientific marvels, and an introduction by President Barack Obama.  But a major theme of the series is apparently to beat back creationists of every stripe.

From Bradford Thomas, at TruthRevolt:

The host of Seth MacFarlane’s new series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, argues that while religion and science can be compatible, religious scriptures like the Bible should not be confused with scientific textbooks, something he says “enlightened religious people” understand.

Cosmos—which features an introduction by President Obama—has already stirred controversy with a lengthy segment in the first episode which deliberately pits religion against science, providing an animated story about the Catholic Church’s persecution of the 16th-century monk and astronomer Giordano Bruno, which TIME argues provides a clear message to viewers: “there is a right side and a wrong side of intellectual history, and Cosmos is not afraid to say that science is on the right one.”

The thing is, though, the series completely confused the history of Giordano Bruno.  He wasn’t burned as a heretic for asserting the existence of “multiple worlds”–as if he anticipated today’s multiple universe hypotheses, though without any kind of scientific evidence for his assertions–but for his numerous theological heresies.  Details after the jump. [Read more...]

A baby’s sense of morality

Research is showing that babies as young as six months have a moral sense.  Some ingenious experiments with toys show babies favoring “good guys” over “bad guys.”  And they really like to see “bad guys” punished.   This suggests that morality is not just learned from the culture but that it has elements that are innate–that is, “written on the heart.”   Details after the jump. [Read more...]

“A strangeness at the heart of all things”

Michael Gerson says that we are in the “golden age of physics,” which explodes the old common sense materialism and discloses “a strangeness at the heart of all things.”

He gives examples of the weird science that quantum physics reveals, then speculates about the philosophical questions.  Read the excerpts after the break and consider:  What are the worldview implications of the new physics? [Read more...]

The myth of ‘settled science’

Charles Krauthhammer says there is no such thing as “settled science”:

“The debate is settled,” asserted propagandist in chief Barack Obama in his latest State of the Union address. “Climate change is a fact.” Really? There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge. [Read more...]

Abortion and 19th century science

Great comment on the Justice halts birth control mandate post from Kerner:

The majority opinion of Roe vs. Wade balances the “right to privacy” of the mother against the “potential human life” of the unborn child. Basically, a small group of men who were born in the 19th century, applied 19th century knowledge about biology, genetics and obstetrics to determine that a human fetus was not really human and therefore not entitled to Constitutional protection. By considering this as purely a women’s rights issue, we ended up with Roe vs. Wade. . . . [Read more...]

The NSA’s encryption-busting quantum computer

The NSA is working on the development of a quantum computer that could foil all public encryption systems.  The description of this technology, after the jump, combines weird physics, weird mathematics, and weird surveillance. [Read more...]


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