In case you had any uncertainty about the upcoming 13-part Cosmos series, a revival of the Carl Sagan franchise, executive producer Seth MacFarlane has Darwin skeptics and alternatives to Darwinian evolution very much in his crosshairs. This is a major and costly project, though Fox won’t say how costly — so it’s flattering in a way. In an interview in the Los Angeles Times, MacFarlane says:
We’ve had a resurgence of creationism and intelligent design quote-unquote theory. There’s been a real vacuum when it comes to science education. The nice thing about this show is that I think that it does what the original "Cosmos" did and presents it in such a flashy, entertaining way that, as Carl Sagan put it in 1980, even people who have no interest in science will watch just because it’s a spectacle. People who watched the original "Cosmos" will sit down and watch with their kids.
You see it in the rise of schools questioning evolution, all these things piling up that betray the fact that we’ve lost our way in terms of our scientific literacy and it’s incredibly damaging to the evolution of any society. I thought we solved this whole evolution thing years and years ago but I guess not, I guess it still needs to be explained. There are a number of areas where scientific illiteracy rears its head. I think in a lot of cases, it’s not a conscious rejection, it’s just that there’s nothing out there that’s feeding that hunger that maybe they don’t know that they have.
I would bet that MacFarlane has no idea about the details of the challenge from intelligent design, whether in the realm of cosmology or biology, as most people who denounce ID in the name of "scientific literacy" do not. Today, materialism of the Carl Sagan variety is overwhelmingly maintained by a careful averting of the eyes from counterevidence and counterarguments. Steve Meyer’s comment yesterday seems apt:
The problem with materialists is they think that in [the brief span of the history of modern science], science has got all the mysteries of existence figured out…. In fact, we are just beginning to uncover the scientific evidence that the material cosmos is not all there is.
We’ll have more to say about Cosmos after we’ve seen the first episode on Sunday.