For atheists and materialists, the popular 1980 documentary series Cosmos: A Personal Journey with Carl Sagan has canonical status. Fox TV will retool the concept starting this Sunday night with the first episode of the 13-part Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.
Sagan announced the theme of the earlier series with his famous statement that "The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be." Producers and reviewers are promoting Cosmos as a fitting update, attacking skeptics on evolution and climate change as "anti-science." The series pilot centers on the animated story of Giordano Bruno, a 16th-century friar burned as a heretic, adopted as a martyr by modern critics of religion.
Discovery Institute senior fellow Dr. Jay W. Richards commented that:
Using Giordano Bruno, who wasn’t a scientist, as evidence of an attack on science is absurd. It’s right up there with the flat earth myth. While the new Cosmos will no doubt be visually stunning it promises to be at least as screechy as the original.
Richards is co-author (with astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez) of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery.
The new Cosmos emphasizes host Neil deGrasse Tyson’s disciple-like relationship to Carl Sagan. Dr. Tyson, an astrophysicist, also observes that if the history of the universe were compressed into a single Earth year, then the history of modern science would last just a second.
Dr. Stephen Meyer, who directs Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, noted that science is not about a transmission of orthodoxy from teacher to student:
The problem with materialists is they think that in that second, science has got all the mysteries of existence figured out, so there’s nothing to do but pass the baton. In fact, we are just beginning to uncover the scientific evidence that the material cosmos is not all there is.
Meyer is the New York Times bestselling author of Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design.