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9/3/2014 » 9/7/2014
Wonders of Science, Marshalltown, IA

9/5/2014 » 9/6/2014
“Truth for a New Generation,” Spartanburg, SC

9/19/2014
Human Sexuality Conference, Bartlesville, OK

9/19/2014
“Darwin, Dawkins and the Divine: Why is biology at the heart of the New Atheism?,” Cambridge, UK

9/21/2014
“Science & Faith: Are They Really in Conflict?,” simulcast multiple locations

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Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey
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3/6/2014 at 7:18:06 PM GMT
Posts: 130
Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey
For comments on the series as a whole rather than on a specific episode, please use this topic.


3/7/2014 at 4:47:24 PM GMT
Posts: 1
My blog/website, adozenseconds.com, which is "A Christian looks at...(different things)" as of today, Mar. 7, 2014, is recommending that our subscribers/visitors regularly watch and react to this series, in particular, as to what "science knows, expects, and hopes for," as well as how it relates to Christian faith.

Adozenseconds.com (with its distinctive, time-saving "DOOR" to "more") has for more than a year created 3 new posts (MWF) each week. I invite fellow ASAers to visit & subscribe. Comments, which we welcome, will be monitored. (You won't be hassled.)

--John Knapp II (Wheaton '63; Western Michigan, PhD, sci. ed. '72)


3/8/2014 at 12:02:21 AM GMT
Posts: 19
I am hopeful that this series will present a view of science that does not specifically push an atheist agenda. That would be refreshing in this day and age, even if there isnt much discussion of connections between science and faith.


3/8/2014 at 8:56:07 PM GMT
Posts: 50

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 distortions

Episode 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.



Last edited Saturday, March 08, 2014
3/8/2014 at 11:53:13 PM GMT
Posts: 3
“The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.” — “Cosmos: A Personal Journey,” 1980.

“Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.” — “Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space,” 1994.

Will he change his mind now?


3/9/2014 at 1:03:26 PM GMT
Posts: 41
Let the Conversations Begin!

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!

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.
If God Created the natural order and its laws and constants in order to make high intelligence and an advanced civilization inevitable (given sufficient time and conditions) once life had started, then I expect He could have made the formation of life itself similarly inevitable and perhaps front-loaded in those initial conditions – or, if there is a multiverse, the conditions that enabled that.  What an invention!

Theology

Photo of Denis O. Lamoureux presenting the "no Adam" view at ETSThe theological landscape has changed as well.  No matter where you stand on the issue, the debut of the "no Adam" view by our own Denis Lamoureux to a packed room at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Baltimore, MD, 
last November, broadened the landscape to include that view as theologically valid for those who see it or believe they have to see it that way.  Five or six pastors from my highly evangelical non-denominational mega church of 30+ years were there with me.  Despite a mumbled, "That's disturbing", remark heard nearby, there was applause and no adverse fallout as far as I know.  

The historical nature of the debut was written-up semi-accurately in The Economist http://econ.st/18rQnzv .

I just heard a couple weeks ago from a couple of my pastors that they see "no show-stoppers" with that "no Adam" view or its fruit (Denis' class has helped scores of students) -- even though these pastors wouldn't hold that view personally.  Making the "highway to the gospel and broad as possible" is their wise mindset and response to our church's diversity of science and religion views.

A different game now

Those are the potential game-changers at the top of my short-list.  What are yours?

May God provide many an open door to great conversations!

Let the games/conversations begin! 

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 held by astronomer Carl Sagan.  See http://www.thegospelandevolution.com/what-if-evolution-meant-high-intelligence-and-an-advance-civilization-were-inevitable/
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 held by astronomer Carl Sagan.  See http://www.thegospelandevolution.com/what-if-evolution-meant-high-intelligence-and-an-advance-civilization-were-inevitable/
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.
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.


Last edited Sunday, March 09, 2014
3/9/2014 at 7:40:45 PM GMT
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally posted by R. Isaac:
For comments on the series as a whole rather than on a specific episode, please use this topic.

It is likely there will be comments about each episode.  What forum should these threads be?


3/10/2014 at 2:32:11 AM GMT
Posts: 130
George, there will be one topic devoted to each episode. Click on the link on our homepage to get the list of topics.


3/10/2014 at 3:46:20 AM GMT
Posts: 50
Yep, I should have seen that coming. :)


3/11/2014 at 6:17:45 AM GMT
Posts: 3
"Except for certain particular passages that excite our interest today, much of his work had little to do with astronomy. Indeed, Bruno was not an astronomer and demonstrated a very poor grasp of the subject in what he did write. The theme of his On the Infinite Universe and Worlds is not Copernicanism but pantheism, a theme also developed in his On Shadows of Ideas. It appears, at least to this modern reader, that his personal cosmology informed his espousal of Copernicus, not the other way around. Much of his work was theological in nature, and constituted a passionate frontal assault on the philosophical basis of the Church's spiritual teachings, especially on the nature of human salvation and on the primacy of the soul (or in modern terms, he opposed the Church's emphasis on spirituality with an unapologetic and all-encompassing materialism). Copernicanism, where it enters his arguments at all, is more supporting material than the central thesis. This suggests that the Church's complaint with Bruno was theological not astronomical."
- Bruno was not a martyr of Science, but his pantheistic theology.
http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Essays/Bruno.html