hi friends,was just thinking of what were you thoughts on the new discovery channel series Curiosity?And will most of the American public get to see it on t.v over there or will you need cable(not sure on how it works over there)personally I thought it was awesome as a series to get youngsters and adults alike to really question what they've been previously taught in Americas really religious areas and for that matter anywhere in the world where it was shown.For the first episode I thought it was great and will be asking a friend of mine who teaches in the local comprehensive(high school)whether or not it would be possible to play the show in class as not all the kids will not have access to it at home,and if you haven't seen it yourself yet I really think you'll enjoy it.   thanks justin 

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This was an awesome show, I didnt even know about it till I read this post, Thank you so much.  For anyone who wants to see it, its on youtube or all the links are here:

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/curiosity-with-s...

Here's what I wrote on Jerry Coyne's post about the series (linked to by Nate):

 

 

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Okay… so here’s my take. I should note at the start that I’m a layman. At best, I can be called a science fan. I am studying to be an Anthropologist (I’m an undergrad), so that’s something, but it’s not Physics. I’m merely warning you so that you know who you’re dealing with.

 

I think Hawking may have been playing a little too much with knowledge we just don’t have *right now*, but I also tend to think that future revelations will only prove Hawking right… maybe not about there being no time before the Big Bang (I’m a fan of M-Theory, myself), but about how we simply don’t need God to explain how everything got here.

 

I have always thought that science and religion were in perpetual conflict (though not by design). They may have started out being indistinguishable, but they are not the same thing and, indeed, in my mind, they compete for the answers to *all* questions. And the reason why science wins is not because it immediately jumps upon an answer, as religion does, but because when it finds an answer, it immediately questions the answer, looking for more. As such, science is always improving, always finding the “best answer”, then making it better.

 

I think we can say today, with a certain degree of reasonable, that no God was needed to create the Earth and the life in it, including us. And it’s only perhaps an atom less reasonable to say that our solar system was “created” naturally, as well.

 

Indeed, based upon what we know of what’s been called “Stellar Evolution”, I think it’s reasonable to say that the “constructs” within the universe (the galaxies, nebula, black holes, stars, planets, etc) are naturally-born, with no creator needed.

 

Why is it wrong to extrapolate back and say that the same is most likely true for the origin of our universe itself? It’s common sense to me, when everything else has a natural origin, that the universe itself would also have a natural origin.

 

As to the after-discussion, it just pissed me off. The deck was stacked against Sean Carroll. They would have done well to bring on at least one other atheist… maybe even Stephen Hawking himself. What I had hoped for, honestly, was to see a panel, like they had, but with Michio Kaku and Stephen Hawking also present. It would have been interesting to see Michio make his assertions and have Stephen respond.

 

Michio Kaku himself appealed to NOMA, saying that whether or not God exists is entirely outside the purview of science. Please forgive the language, but I’m so sick and tired of this bullshit it’s actually begun to tick me off every time I hear it (in case you’re wondering why I let something like this stress me: willful ignorance seriously pisses me off immensely, and this idea seems to me to be willful ignorance).

 

To me, at least, science can best be described as the tool we use to answer questions about the nature of reality. If there is a God, then he/she/it is most certainly part of reality, and, as such, effects the nature of reality. Therefore, the question of God’s existence is no more outside the purview of science than the question of a star’s existence. If God exists, then science will find God eventually. We may see the year 4000 before we even know how to begin answering the question, but it is not a question science cannot answer.

 

In fact, I would go so far as to say that if there truly is a question science cannot answer, then the question is a meaningless one because it’s subject is not part of reality; or, otherwise, is not *real*… and, therefore, not worth bothering about, since, as it’s not real, it has no bearing upon reality.

 

So if science is the tool we use to answer questions about the nature of reality, but the question of God’s existence is outside the purview of science, then, by definition, God is not real.

 

Of course, you’re free to accept or reject my definition of science as you please… I make no claim to it being the actual definition. It is merely how I like to describe science, and that is all. But yes, to be fair, it does effect my view of all this.

pretty much my thoughts to Nathan,great post.

I pretty much agree... except for just one thing: I think you were to hasty in asserting that any question science can't answer is meaningless.

 

I think there are a lot of perfectly meaningful question which science might not be able to address. For example: questions about what is good art, which plate of gourmet food is the best, etc. These are questions which probably don't even have definitive answers, but are still questions worth asking and discussing.

 

Even more importantly, there are questions about the basis of morality which (in spite of valiant efforts by the likes of Sam Harris in "The Moral Landscape") have not convincingly been addressed by science.

 

 

I think there are a lot of perfectly meaningful question which science might not be able to address. For example: questions about what is good art, which plate of gourmet food is the best, etc. These are questions which probably don't even have definitive answers, but are still questions worth asking and discussing.

 

Those are meaningless questions. That doesn't mean one can't ask them or attempt to answer them, but they are not questions which will ever have a definitive answer.

 

I take part in answering such questions all the time. My all-time favorite guitarist is Jimmy Page, followed closely by David Gilmour. Of course, the question of the best guitarist in the world will be asked and debated likely for as long as the guitar exists in human culture. But it is a meaningless question because it ultimately has no effect on the nature of reality.

 

When I say a question that cannot be answered scientifically is meaningless, I simply mean that when you're trying to understand reality, the meaningless question will not help you... at all.

 

As far as morality, I think evolution can explain it well enough...

I loved ep1... hated ep2... ep3 will be the decider whether I keep watching or not. Anyone know what the next ep will be about?

The third episode is "Why is Sex Fun" hosted by... Maggie Gyllenhaal.

 

I thought this series was supposed to answer the "tough" questions. The 1st episode ruled. But the 2nd and 3rd?  I mean... seriously?

 

This is pathetic...

 

 

BTW:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curiosity_%28TV_series%29

My wife and I watched Episode 3 together.  It turned out to be a tasteful discussion of some of the research into female sexuality (why there even is a female orgasm - not strictly needed for reproduction - or so I once thought)

 

Anyhow, I learned things I hadn't known before.  And that, to me, is progress.

 

And as it turns out, Maggie G. is the second-finest woman I saw all week!

I completely agree with Morgan. The first show on "Did God Create the Universe" was right on the money , scientific, factual and seemed to give Hawking the creditibility he deserves. They should have left it there because  the second one on "can we survive an alien attack" was pure scifi and may have diluted his creditibility  with some viewers.    

Stephen Hawking has nothing to do with the alien attack episode. He merely hosted the first episode.

Yeah, Hawkings had nothing to do with the Alien episode!

I must admit that I thought the whole series was going to be related to the first episode,seems I was wrong.Episode one is still worth getting to show the kid's though.Will have to wait for Neil deGrasse Tyson's series,he's going to making a up-to  date version of Carl Sagan's Cosmos I read somewhere the other day.

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