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11/30/2015“Are Natural Disasters Acts of God?” Norfolk, England
12/2/2015Holiday Lecture: “The Art of Science and Spirit,” Washington, DC
1/4/2016Call for Papers: “Practical Applications of Faith and Science,” Pasadena, CA
1/12/2016“Is Faith Delusional,” Manchester, England
2/16/2016“Study of Extraterrestrial Samples to Understand the Heavens and the Earth,” Socorro, NM
Just guessing, but other than the typical false claim (or implication) that Bruno was burned for his insightful scientific views -- views held by at least one unsinged Cardinal before him -- I don't think we'll see many atheistic arguments presented.
It should be a great general public event, and I really enjoy Tyson. His effervescent style and great sense of humor, if turned loose, is terrific. This, however from what I have heard, will be somewhat more scripted than his normal presentations, so the later shows will likely just get better as he gets comfortable. Ann (Carl's wife), I think, wrote the script. Is this correct?
Here is the show's schedule (Sky & Telescope, April): [9 pm Eastern, 8 pm Central]Episode 1 (March 9/10) “Standing Up in the Milky Way”Cosmic calendar compressing 13.8 Gyrs -- 13.7 billion got tweaked about a year ago -- into a 12 month analogy, similar to Sagan’s presentation.Episode 2 (March 16/17) “The Rivers of Life”Evolution and biodiversity with extinction events.Episode 3 (March 23/24) “When Knowledge Conquered Fear”The early steps of science with math from Newton and Halley. Comets become orbital objects moving from malevolent omens.Episode 4 (March 30/31) “Hiding in the Light”The emergence of the scientific method. Light and enlightenment.Episode 5 (April 6/7) “A Sky Full of Ghosts”Relativity and space distortionsEpisode 6 (April 13/14) “Deeper, Deeper, Deeper Still”Subatomic trip.Episode 7 (April 20/21) “The Clean Room”Determining the age of the Earth.Episode 8 (April 27/28) “Sisters of the Sun”Sister stars and great contributions from female astronomers. Episode 9 (May 4/5) “The Electric Boy”Michael Faraday to today.Episode 10 (May 11/12) “The Lost Worlds of Planet Earth”Earth’s features and thoughts of exoplanetary features.Episode 11 (May 18/19) “the Immortals”Death of people and civilizations. Life beyond.Episode 12 (May 25/26) “The World Set Free”Earth’s resource limits and climate change.Episode 13 (June 1/2) “Unafraid of the Dark”Retracing our first steps into the cosmic ocean.
Sy, I do hope you are right and the knew Cosmos isn't a platform for metaphysical leaps to atheism from the data we all agree on. It appears the new Cosmos will focus on fascination and, hopefully, will jump-start many conversations.
My, how things change! I remember an awkward conversation I had with my agnostic/atheist older (much) brother who was a big fan of the original Cosmos series. I'm sure whatever I said at the time was a roadblock impacting the credibility of my witness for the gospel. I paid little attention to the Cosmos series – it was too painful to watch as a scientific creationist for over 34 years until 2010 when I adopted and evolutionary creation view. Now I'm psyched!
Today, its a different conversation!
Most of my Christian friends then would have rejected the notion of the Big Bang, as did I. Now, most see it in a positive light. Apologists Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler make the Big Bang a cornerstone of their argument for the existence of God in, “Who Made God?: And Answers to Over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith”. When did that happen?I wouldn't call it proof, but it does beg the question makes the conversation interesting.
Some science views have changed too:
Time and space had to have a beginning http://bit.ly/1eQkxi2. Contrast that with the 1980 quote J. Hwang provided above. The Cosmos as “all there ever was” was the default position for the prior 1,500 years or so. Now, apparently, any way you do the math, it HAD to have a beginning!High intelligence and an advanced civilization were INEVITABLE. What?!? No, that still isn’t scientific consensus but it IS a modern science position. It is held, ironically, by no less than notorious atheist, Richard Dawkins, as well as by evolutionary biologists Simon Conway Morris and Kenneth Miller. It was also held by astronomer Carl Sagan (I expect later in his career). See http://www.thegospelandevolution.com/what-if-evolution-meant-high-intelligence-and-an-advance-civilization-were-inevitable/
Here is what Carl Sagan so eloquently said (quoted by Kenneth Miller in a source referenced in that link):
“When we’re talking about extra-terrestrial intelligence, we’re not talking about humans or humanoids. We are talking about the functional equivalent of humans — say any creatures able to build and operate radio telescopes…These creatures may live on the land, or sea, or air. They may have unimaginable chemistries, shapes, colors, sizes, appendages and opinions. We are not requiring that they follow the particular route that led to the evolution of humans. There may be many different evolutionary pathways, each unlikely, but the sum of the number of pathways to intelligence may, nonetheless, be quite substantial.“
I’m not sure about Carl Sagan, but the basis for at least Richards Dawkins and Simon Conway Morris holding that intelligence and an advanced civilization are INEVITABLE is not the possibility of all thing happening in an infinite universe but the ubiquitous evidence of convergence in biological evolution combined with the observation that, natural selection tends to fill every available niche, including the high intelligence niche. They would hold that to be inevitable essentially wherever life forms on a planet with sufficient conditions for complex life and there is enough time.The early universe was warm enough for liquid water even without stars! Could this partly explain how life started so quickly after the earth was formed? See. “What we're still discovering about Big Bang Theory” http://bit.ly/1eg2IGe.
I’m not sure about Carl Sagan, but the basis for at least Richards Dawkins and Simon Conway Morris holding that intelligence and an advanced civilization are INEVITABLE is not the possibility of all thing happening in an infinite universe but the ubiquitous evidence of convergence in biological evolution combined with the observation that, natural selection tends to fill every available niche, including the high intelligence niche. They would hold that to be inevitable essentially wherever life forms on a planet with sufficient conditions for complex life and there is enough time.
May God provide many an open door to great conversations!
Let the games/conversations begin!