I thought the latest Cosmos Series with Neal  DeGrasse Tyson was entertaining and successful. It was professionally done and I believe Tyson presented the material in a well thought out manner. Getting the viewer to understand the vastness of time and space in our universe helped reinforce the fact that our little orb called Earth is truly a fairly insignificant rock in the overall scope of things. His references to historical figures and their impact on our understanding of the cosmos and earth itself was enlightening. The show also mentioned mythology and cited examples where stories used by present day religions were actually plagiarized from ancient tales (ie Noah and the Ark). But it was all done matter-of-factly and without a condescending tone. Evolution and the tree of life was clearly presented and explained.

I hope the series remains in active circulation and serves as a continuing teaching aid to help everyone understand the world around us. The close of the series emphasized our civilization's need to overcome the shortsighted views of capitalism and take greater responsibility for protecting the health and viability of our planet. We truly should be thinking beyond ourselves and about what impact our actions will cause for humanity thousands of years from now. 

The series was definitely a breath of reasoned logical air.

Views: 172

Comment by Noel on June 14, 2014 at 4:58pm

Enjoyed it. Big fan of the original with Sagan. Read "Cosmos" when i was in junior high school. Loved that they closed the series with Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" quotes:

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.” 
― Carl SaganPale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Comment by Unseen on June 15, 2014 at 12:55pm

To me, the show is a mixed bag. I'm kind of a science show junkie, so seldom do I learn anything from Cosmos (old or new). Mostly, it's the biographical part of the show that teaches me things I didn't know.

My main criticism of Cosmos has been how slow-moving and soporific the original was. Carl Sagan (bless his non-soul) gave Mr. Rogers a run for his money when it came to slow and deliberate delivery. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is at least faster.

I really like The Universe and Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe, for example. 

Comment by Ed on June 15, 2014 at 4:00pm

Check out the latest shows from PBS's NOVA regarding the use of satellites to track everything from diatom migration around the globe to plankton swarming phenomena.


It is fascinating stuff and it all ties together to reveal the previous unknown inner workings of our mothership. Your recommended shows will be on my list.


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