Vail Daily column: COSMOS creating creationist confusion
March 17, 2014
I remember first watching Carl Sagan's "COSMOS: A Personal Voyage" as a junior in college in 1980.
To say it turned my world upside down is a bit of a stretch (I already knew which way was up and that the earth was not flat), but the TV series greatly helped to reaffirm my still-forming worldview of reality over mythology.
Obviously science was the way to go.
A week ago Sunday the series was re-booted, this time with Neil deGrasse Tyson at the helm, replacing the sadly departed Sagan from a blood disease in 1996.
With 21st century graphics and 40 additional years of updated science based upon better capabilities of investigating data using the scientific method, the new show is off the charts visually and mind blowing in its revelations.
Predictably however, an ever-smaller segment of our population takes extreme issue with most of the information, as it contradicts words written on parchment by goat herders who never looked through a microscope or a telescope and rarely ventured more than a few dozen miles from the hut in which they were born.
TAKING ISSUE WITH FACTS
Yes, there are those suffering from a massive case of cognitive dissonance, and sadly, this publicly sanctioned psychotic behavior is still rampant amongst those given positions of trust and responsibility, especially over children.
I use the word "sad" because, well, because it simply is.
Louisiana and Tennessee have passed laws allowing kids to skip science classes and go to creationist classrooms instead, all under the guise of "academic freedom."
Evidently ignorance is not only bliss but free as well.
RIGHT TO BE IGNORANT
Segments of this great country have wrapped themselves tightly in the patriotic right to be ignorant and stupid, staring blankly up at the cosmos with an idiot gaze and a moronic self-satisfied grin.
Convinced that their latest version of a deity has gained political clout through spreading ancient myths via media control, they stick to the simple principle that science needs to be presented as a lie if we are to view all things under the new asinine golden rule of "fair and balanced."
Try as they might, these people cannot legislate reality, but they are still promoting deceptive, blatantly manipulative ideas in a misguided effort to suppress critical thought and scientific impartiality, with nobody being harmed more than our children.
It's outright child abuse.
Once again let me say that deities were invented by men in an attempt to explain things that man did not yet understand.
BENEFITS OF SCIENCE
Science doesn't ask anyone to believe in it. No one will be burned at the stake or beheaded for refusing to pledge fealty to physics, chemistry, biology or astronomy.
It makes no promises but produces educated guesses based upon the evidence. Science more than happy to admit when it is proven wrong, at which point it reviews the new data and tries again.
But where was I?
Oh, yeah, the new "COSMOS: A Space Odyssey." It airs every Sunday night until June 2 on FOX (seriously not to be confused with FOX News). Record it, watch it, have your kids watch it, ask questions and dare them to ask even more.
The future of our species just might depend on it.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes a weekly column for the Vail Daily. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.