Cosmos

As I watch Cosmos I notice…
if you replace, in the script, the words…
“nature, science, cosmos, or universe”…

with the word…

“God”…

you have something quite religious sounding.

I possess faith, through doubt, and without definitive scientific proof. I love science and was hoping Cosmos would be all about that. I’m still hoping. But I know faith and religion when I hear it, and I hear it regularly in Cosmos. It’s faith, and religion of sorts in nature, science, and the universe.

The opening sequence of Cosmos is artistic observation…
the realities of the universe are revealed in earthly examples…

a spiral galaxy…

An honest, open, Christian response to Cosmos

and a seashell…

An honest, open, Christian response to Cosmos

a dandelion seed…

Brilliant, earthy examples by Cosmos of BIG science...

and a spacecraft…

Brilliant, earthy examples by Cosmos of BIG science...

a star…

a Christian response to Cosmos...

going supernova…

black hole2producing a black hole…

A Christian responds to Cosmos in an honest, critical, but  non judgy way

…and a human iris.

black hole4

It’s awe inspiring really.

If you look closely in the middle of the picture you can see the imaginary spaceship of Cosmos, unburdened by the rules of physics. So it can trek through time, to anywhere, approaching infinity or shrinking to infinitesimal size. Brilliant.

The show spells out our universal address.
The first line of the address is Earth.
I like this a lot. It’s science.

Then the space ship circles the moon…

An honest, open, Christian response to Cosmos

“no sky, no ocean, no life”. It’s Science.

Then it veers off toward the fiery Sun…

sun

which “powers the winds and the waves…
and all the life on the surface of our world.”

Science.

Then a quick flight past crispy little Mercury…

mercury

it’s the black circle on the left side of the sun.
There’s no agenda so far, no religion, no faith – just spectacular science.

To quote Cosmos, it’s stuff “discovered by observation and experimentation”.

 

So I sit back and enjoy, thinking and hoping that the “faith and religion in science” stuff might be left behind. Maybe it was just a cursory nod to Carl Sagan, and now we will see science, unfettered by opinion or agenda.

But then the spaceship hovers over cloud covered Venus and…

Venus

ruh roh.

Cosmos pt 1
Cosmos pt 2
Cosmos pt 3

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Cosmos

Cosmos invites us on a fantastic journey into the mysteries of the Universe with these words:

But to make this journey we’ll need imagination.
But imagination alone is not isn’t enough,
because the reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can imagine.

Words mean things.

Writers get this. We ransack the language for the letter perfect words to say exactly what we mean. The host of Cosmos isn’t freestyling his words. They’ve been written for maximum impact.

There’s no blame in that. It’s what good writers do. I edited these words more times than I’d like to admit, and I did it for maximum impact. I did the same with the pictures I chose. A picture is worth a thousand words, and words mean things.

I want Cosmos to open my eyes and my intellect…
to inspire with the wonder of science and the Universe.
But opinion, like a palace lizard,  is sneaking onto the throne where facts should rest.

This statement from Cosmos, needs a closer look…

But to make this journey we’ll need imagination.
But imagination alone is not isn’t enough,
because the reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can imagine.

Words mean things, and in context they mean much more.

The context includes the opening line of the series,

The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.

If the cosmos is all there is, was and ever will be, then the cosmos is, in effect, God.
And if nature is more wondrous than anything we can imagine, then nature is, in effect, God.

stained glass formulasource

If I’m looking for a definition of God, a combination of these  two lines from Cosmos would would be an awesome place to start. It would read, “God is all there is, all there was, all there ever will be, and he is far more wondrous than anything we can imagine.” That’s so good it could be a hymn.

But is it fact? No, it’s faith.
Is it science? No, not by definition.
Is it accurate? I believe it, but I can’t prove it.

Now, returning to the the weighty words of Cosmos about nature and the universe.

Are they fact? No, facts are proven beyond shadow of doubt.
Are they science? No, neither statement holds up under the scientific method.

Are they accurate? No.

The statement that the Cosmos is the only thing there ever was is wrong. There was a Big Bang, and science would be the first to inform us that nothing comes from nothing. Which implies strongly that there was a Creator for this Creation.

The words about nature are inaccurate if only because one thing we could imagine that is greater than the universe is someone with the power to create that universe with a word. I believe it happened that way. It might not have, but it is a greater thing to imagine, which makes the statement inaccurate.

These words of Cosmos are fine if you’re a Pantheist who believes the universe is God.
And these words are ok, if you’re a Naturalist who may believe that nature is God.

I don’t want anyone to handcuff anyone’s beliefs. That’s wrong.
But both statements counter what Cosmos itself tells us is science.

These words do, however, reveal what Carl Sagan, the inspiration behind Cosmos, thought.

Words of Carl Sagan reveal the thesis of Cosmos...

Words mean things.

These lines from Cosmos…

are not science…
are not accurate.

Neither are they statements of fact…

instead, they are…

statements…

of…

faith.

 

Part 1 of a Loving Christian Response to Cosmos is here
Here is part 2 of the response to Cosmos.

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