Episode 13 "Unafraid of the Dark"
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6/9/2014 at 12:05:13 AM GMT
Posts: 142
Episode 13 "Unafraid of the Dark"
This topic is devoted to episode 13 of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

6/9/2014 at 2:17:54 AM GMT
Posts: 19
Tyson gives an inspiring sermon to close the series. I use the word sermon on purpose. Tyson speaks eloquently of the wonder of such an insignificant race of beings on such a tiny insignificant speck of a world being able to send Voyager spacecraft into space, talks about the "sacred" aspect of man's quest for knowledge and progress in tones of awe and fervor. Science is the cornerstone of our greatest achievement, but Tyson doesn't ask whence all this wonder, all this incredible ability to understand and appreciate the beauty of the Cosmos has come. Of course I love science as much as Tyson does. I also love the Lord, and praise and thank Him for all He has given us, and for His unfailing and never ending love. And that love of God puts everything in perspective for me, it explains why and how we can do the math to discover black holes and supernovas, it tells me why we can look back in time and piece together the amazing story of life's evolution, and it, along with all the scientific discoveries related by this series (and SO many more) is what convinces me that as puny as we may be, as tiny as our world undeniably is, we are all, each one of us, a child of God, and worth more than we even dare dream. Glory to God, and let the Heavens declare it.

Last edited Sunday, June 8, 2014
6/9/2014 at 2:33:19 AM GMT
Posts: 12
Amen to that, Sy. Very well said.
Now at last, the series' true agenda presents itself - Romans 1:18ff to a tee

Last edited Sunday, June 8, 2014
6/9/2014 at 11:32:51 AM GMT
Posts: 142
I'll echo that! Well said, Sy. The word "sermon" came to my mind also as I listened to him. Yes, we certainly share the awe of this vast universe but at least we don't end there.

I did think he managed to get in a few subtle jibes at religion. His quips about scientists being ok with not knowing everything while "others" feel compelled to claim to know everything seemed to be a lame finger pointing at religious perspectives.

He did circle back to Carl Sagan and the original Cosmos series, especially on the code engraved on Voyager. I found it quite amusing that an analog sound track was included. As if an extraterrestrial being would actually decode that when now, a mere 40 years later, few young people would be able to play it. And the rest of us would have to dig out our antique players.

All in all, it was a very interesting and educational series with fewer metaphysical taunts than I had feared. A few of the episodes were explicitly antagonistic and some others simply ignored some obvious influences, but there were a lot of excellent lessons.

6/9/2014 at 4:37:24 PM GMT
Posts: 23
I learned a lot from this series, this episode being no exception. Tyson's very accessible summary of how cosmologists invoke both dark matter and dark energy to help explain mysteries helped me piece together that big picture. I had also never heard of the manganese nodules, much less the historical and deadly shift in the heliopause they apparently reveal.

Singling out religious people (at least by implication I think it would be fair to say) for the charge of "claiming to have all the answers" was unfair. Not that any should deny arrogance within religious quarters --some arrogance is there to be sure. But I can't remember ever hearing any church leader claiming such a thing. When it comes to the more difficult questions such as "Is the physical cosmos all there is?" or "Are empirical truths the most (or only) valuable truths we should accept?", then arrogant dogmatisms are also revealed coming from would-be defectors from religion. The call to humility is cherished and familiar to all the true friends of science alike, be they atheist, agnostic, or theist.

This series made anti-religious jabs to be sure, but it could have made many more; and at many points I thought it objective, even generous when religion came up. And they did well to have Tyson narrate and host the whole thing in his personable and authoritative manner. (Were we warned about authority somewhere?) On the whole: very well-done!

From Philippians 4:8 ... whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Thank you, God, for your awesome universe, the big, small, and amazing things in it and for programs that help us understand and appreciate your glory in your creation!

6/9/2014 at 10:09:58 PM GMT
Posts: 4
The rapid advances in our understanding of the beautiful cosmos reminds me of I Cor. 13:9: "For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears."

I usually mute the advertisements, but I did notice a man encouraging his viewers to join "world without religion."

6/10/2014 at 11:01:23 PM GMT
Posts: 23
I forgot one of the lines that actually was a more direct poke at Christianity specifically: nobody will ever save us from ourselves. That was an unfortunate and barbed line for this last episode, even if on the physical level it can be taken as historically true ---that we can/have done really horrible and apocalyptic things and we don't get physically rescued en mass from messes we make. But above all that, Christianity is definitely about the business of responding to Christ graciously having done just exactly that: saving us from ourselves.

6/11/2014 at 12:55:56 AM GMT
Posts: 142
Originally posted by P. Carr:
I usually mute the advertisements, but I did notice a man encouraging his viewers to join "world without religion."

Yes, Paul, that was Ron Reagan (yes, Ronald's son) pitching the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Very much in keeping with the subtle, sometimes not so subtle, undertone of the series. Wish we'd had the funds and foresight to try an ASA ad during the series. Wonder if they would have taken it.