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The Second Episode of Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson: Quick Reaction

David Klinghoffer

I just saw the second episode of Cosmos, focusing on evolution and extrapolating shamelessly, promiscuously from artificial selection (dogs from wolves) to minor stuff like the color of a polar bear’s fur to the development of the human eye. Quick reaction? I watched it with my kids and a friend who’s a lawyer and prosecutor. His dry summary was that Tyson’s presentation of Darwinism is "conclusory." Good word.

Nevertheless, it tells a beautiful, entertaining and highly accessible story about Darwinian evolution. I’ve long said that anything, even something as potentially abstruse as evolutionary theory, can be explained to anyone. That is, if it’s done not just with intelligence but with art and sympathy for your audience. Tyson proved that. Imagine if intelligent design had the money and other resources to tell our "story" at this length and in such high style.

Meanwhile, another friend who watched emails: "For biologists, this Cosmos episode tonight was a big fat, lumbering Christmas turkey." More to come.

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