A View of Cosmos A Space Time Odyssey.
    By Hontas Farmer | March 9th 2014 07:21 PM | 4 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    I will blog my real time reaction to Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Seth MacFarlane's Cosmos remake. From the perspective of a relatively young astrophysicist and science educator.

    7:20 PM CST: I love astronomy and astrophysics. When people would ask me what my dream job was since I was 16 I would say a theoretical astrophysicist. That was when I read "A Brief History of Time" by Prof. Stephen W. Hawking. Now I am at the entry level of the university or college educator career track. This reboot was made to appeal to a younger audience. So it will be interesting to see if I like this. If I don't, then it would not bode well.

    8:01 PM CST: President Obama's introduction was appropriate for the most part.  He did strike a bit of a ra ra USA tone that the international audience might not have liked.  But then I'm from the USA so I liked it.   Dr Tyson's intro made it clear this was  going to be a feast for the eyes.  

    8:17PM CST: I am really loving the way he's able to present the place of humanity in the universe. The scale of the universe itself...even within the Cosmos (multiverse) could be only one of 10^1000 possible universes.  Now here comes the infamous talk of Giordano Bruno.  As my colleague Hank, the brains behind science 2.0 points out the history here is likely to be inaccurate.  At best Bruno believed the right things for the wrong or at least for unscientific reasons.  

    One big difference here is the presence of commercials.  The original was on PBS and so had no commercials per se.  

    8:37 PM CST: Dr. Tyson does mention that Bruno was no scientist and he basically made a lucky guess.  What Mac Farlane did with the end of that sequence was a bit clever.  By the end the Cardinal looked more like caiaphas the pharisee questioning Jesus...then Bruno was posed as if Jesus on the cross sans the cross.  Though I can understand why the Church had to burn Bruno.  The only way to get a Neapolitan to button it would be to burn them.  

    8:54 PM CST: The presentation of the "cosmic calendar" was well done and true to the original while clearly much better graphically.  Now he is going to discuss human evolution.  So far this first episode has hit all the hot buttons.  The creation of our universe in the big bang, the birth of the sun and stars, and now human evolution.   As always the animation is great.  

    8:59 PM CST: He shared his story of meeting Carl Sagan back in 1975. It was really touching.  What we have now is a very well done version of Cosmos.  This was 100% as good as the original cosmos. 


    The only way to get a Neapolitan to button it would be to burn them. 
    It took me a while to figure out what that meant.  At first, I thought a “Neapolitan” was referring to some kind of confection, and then, this side of the Atlantic we would say “button up”.

    However, I do not get that sense of Ooh-Ah from considering the cosmos, and perhaps that’s because the implications of the direction it’s going have sunk in.  Rather, it brings to mind the bolded lines in this snippet from Psalm 102 (with a bit of context thrown in):

    23 In the course of my life he broke my strength;
        he cut short my days.
    24 So I said: “Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
        your years go on through all generations.
    25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
        and the heavens are the work of your hands.

    26 They will perish, but you remain;
        they will all wear out like a garment.
         Like clothing you will change them
        and they will be discarded.

    27 But you remain the same,
        and your years will never end.
    28 The children of your servants will live in your presence;
        their descendants will be established before you.”

    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Along with the tv show, some other questions in order to go into cosmic evolution with a different approach, for instance, which is the probability that within a galaxy like the milky way, from the dust of its exploded stars, the living being who uses a computer was formed - computer included? A favourable case among infinite unfavourable possibilities? Fifty-fifty? To be or not to be, is that the question? Are calculations simplified or made more complex when the subjective self of each one is the entity that is studied? Anyway , what is the relationship between life and immense numbers? Is life a folding process of infinity? Is it just something infinite that would have enough to allow a self, something isolated but of infinite claims? But, is infinity credible within something with a beginning, out of a Big Bang? And is it credible within something with an ending, with the inevitable death around the corner? Along these lines, there is a book, a preview in Just another suggestion in order to free-think for a while

    Those are all good questions.  To me life is just another one of the many ways that matter will organize itself.  We see self organization in the form of crystaline solids etc all around us.  We see it in the spiral of galaxies.  Life is just a very complicated form of this tendency.  Both common and therefore not special...and special because without it we would not exist. 
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.