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Cosmos, with Neil DeGrasse Tyson - In which we learn that FOX is not the same as Fox News

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  • KingofMadCowsKingofMadCows Registered User regular
    I didn't like this episode as much as the premiere. I think it was a bit scatter brained. They should have just focused on explaining evolution. I don't think the trip to Titan was necessary. The extinction bit went on a bit too long too.

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  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    I thought it ended a bit abruptly after the 40 seconds of evolution cartoon bit.

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  • SorceSorce Registered User regular
    The commercial breaks are shittily edited in as well. I realize that they're required (unfortunately), but the show isn't coming to a natural stop when a commercial hits; it is very irritating.

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  • GonmunGonmun He keeps kickin' me in the dickRegistered User regular
    Saw it for the first time last night and while I might have missed the first episode I think this is still going to be a show I watch regularly. It looks amazing in HD and was really surprised to see Seth McFarlane's name as Executive Producer.

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  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited March 2014
    Gonmun wrote: »
    Saw it for the first time last night and while I might have missed the first episode I think this is still going to be a show I watch regularly. It looks amazing in HD and was really surprised to see Seth McFarlane's name as Executive Producer.

    first episode is online, and airing all the time on NatGeo.

    Do yourself a favor and watch it, it's even better than the (good) episode that aired last night.


    edit: tackling "the complexity of the human eye" fallacy so directly was great.

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  • GonmunGonmun He keeps kickin' me in the dickRegistered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    Gonmun wrote: »
    Saw it for the first time last night and while I might have missed the first episode I think this is still going to be a show I watch regularly. It looks amazing in HD and was really surprised to see Seth McFarlane's name as Executive Producer.

    first episode is online, and airing all the time on NatGeo.

    Do yourself a favor and watch it, it's even better than the (good) episode that aired last night.


    edit: tackling "the complexity of the human eye" fallacy so directly was great.

    I'll try and track it down then. Maybe if I'm lucky they'll have it on demand with Rogers.

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  • SamphisSamphis Registered User regular
    The wife and I were pleasantly surprised with the evolution discussion, and how it wasn't sugar coated. Also, we both had an "Oh snap." moment when he said "The only shame is in thinking you have all the answers already."

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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    PLA wrote: »
    It's not like the church was hyped about heliocentrism, though.

    No, but the point is that they never executed anyone for saying the Earth goes around the Sun.

    They did burn a guy at the stake for postulating that the stars were probably just like the sun, if they were like the sun then they could have planets, and if they had planets then they probably could have beings on them who would also have beliefs about god.

    It probably had more to do with the whole denying the Divinity of Christ and a couple other Catholic beliefs. This was a time where it wasn't that exceptional to get burned to death for a whole bunch of silly things.

    That's a story with a different point though.

    Well it could be argued that the being anti-catholic was more of an excuse for the Inquisition than the actual reason but it is doubtful. It is most likely that Bruno was burned for his religious views on the role of Christ and various other dogma than his views on how exactly the universe was structured.

    It makes sense in a way. The Church would be far more concerned about people denying the divinity of Jesus than people waxing philosophical about the shape of the universe.

    I took the show's message for exactly this... anti-establishment views are often persecuted by dogma, but never be afraid to think outside the norm.

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  • MillMill Registered User regular
    I thought the episode was pretty good, not as good as the first one, but still enjoyable. I'll admit I'm a bit of science junkie, even if I prefer certain science subjects more than others.

    Granted the commercials are pretty fucking grating. I know they have to do advertisement, but I really wish this country had a different approach instead of the bullshit of let's play about 5 minutes of the program and then air 4 fucking minutes of commercial. Really need less commercials over all for TV programs; especially, when we're talking cable/satellite with a subscription. Also there should be less breaks. Seriously, why can't we do 15 or 30 minutes of the program, with short commercial breaks in between?

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  • cncaudatacncaudata Registered User regular
    Complexity of the human eye was awesome. I wish I had seen that 15 years ago when I was struggling with how evolution could happen.

    And wow, horrible commercial breaks and credits cuts...

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  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    Yay for watching it online on demand. Commercials aren't nearly as bad as it is during the live broadcast I guess.

    Still this episode was excellent. The human eye part was fascinating. The end was perfect with the original 40 seconds and Sagan's small little line. No holding back about evolution being a fact. A good overview of the Cambrian extinction. Loved the use of dogs for artificial selection and using that as a lead in to natural selection.

    So far they have done a good job with the series and I am excited for next week.

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  • President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    I'm going to have to submit a partially dissenting opinion here. But as a forward: I think the actual initiative behind the show is good. There's not nearly enough stuff that promotes scientific thinking on TV. (I have also only seen the 1st episode online.)

    That out of the way, I thought the presentation of content was a bit flat. The flying spaceship looked nice enough, but everything was trying too hard to look like awesome CG of random things without giving information. It looked like a crutch for the show and ended up distracting instead of informative. Sagan's Cosmos impressed with the eloquence of language juxtaposed (often, but not always) with authentic pictures and down-to-earth (hah) presentation of information while still maintaining an air of grandeur. Tyson's Cosmos so far has been flashy graphics and attempts (albeit successful in cases) to look pensive.

    I thought his calendar presentation did a terrible job effectively conveying the immensity of the times involved (both due to the design of the graphic, the lack of focus on explaining how long the time span actually is...and him squatting in a corner to explain recent human history as a fraction of the whole (instead of zooming in on the square for the day and dividing it in to fractions or something more visually effective).

    A lot of the content seems to imply audience knowledge while also being incredibly simplistic. His "flight of imagination" through the solar system glossed over Neptune and Uranus completely and skipped a flyby of Earth in the rundown. It also incorrectly portrayed the makeup of the asteroid belt by presenting it like a Star Wars-ian field of rocks. At the same time, they're focusing on the Voyager golden plate without telling anyone what it means other than acting as reference for the size of the solar system.

    The zoom out to the Local Group and Virgo Supercluster were pretty good. The Bruno cartoon was a nice change of pace and an interesting way to dramatize history (...I have no idea why Tyson was distractingly walking around Rome when Bruno's revelation starts in Naples and follows his travels all over Germany, France and England before finally ending in Rome).

    I'd like more shows like it on TV solely for the fact that educational programming and media properly promoting scientific thought is sorely lacking, but as an actual informational show I think the pilot was suboptimal.

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  • SeidkonaSeidkona Goddess with a blade Registered User regular
    The "Spaceship of the Imagination" was used by Sagan in the original as well.

    It was taken directly from the original Cosmos playbook.

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  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    A lot of the first episode is a direct lift with updated graphics from the first episode of Sagan's Cosmos. Both first episodes are kind of short overviews of the rest of the series and a bit more light on info than the others.

    Episode 2 was a big improvement since it look pretty much at one very specific subject and explored it in a few different ways.

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  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    I think the problem with the flashy graphics argument is that without them you wouldn't keep the attention span of most modern TV viewers.

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  • frogurtfrogurt Registered User regular
    As a big biology nerd, I liked pointing out the flaws in the DNA sections (helicase and DNA polymerase are different molecules, Cosmos! And where the fuck are your Okazaki fragments?), but I like that they're doing a full CGI treatment of science. The target audience is everyone, so I don't really care if they sex up the images of Titan or whatever.

    I understand that in my head, thinking about how minor DNA changes of even a single base change can lead to huge macro defects in a person is one of the most profound things one can consider, but for the average person, looking at an (incorrectly done) alpha helix lit up in points of light can be incredibly profound and beautiful on its own. I think that knowing the details of how DNA replication works is less important than really (sorry for the term) grokking the idea of life storing information at the molecular level.

    For me, I'm trying to zoom out from details and focus on the overall message of the series: the universe and life on Earth is fucking astounding in its scale and complexity, and its worthy of evoking an emotional response from us.

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  • MillMill Registered User regular
    Yeah, given that this isn't PBS and that the show's goal is aimed at making people less ignorant, by going for a spot to rope in some of the people that wouldn't normally seek out educational programming. They kind of need the graphics to get those viewers to pay attention. Also I would kind a prefer a little flash with my science TV programs because if I'm going to go for dry, I'd rather do that by reading, I can actually stay awake for the most part. Dry TV programs just make me bored and likely to pass out, even if it's interesting material.

  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    Looks like Cosmos is already out of date.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26605974

    Direct evidence of inflationary theory is now effectively overwhelming.

    Video of reaction from the inventor of inflationary theory:



    Paper can be found here: http://bicepkeck.org/b2_respap_arxiv_v1.pdf
    Supplementary: http://bicepkeck.org/
    Press conference: http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/news_conferences.html

    I found this comment to help put it in perspective:
    I want to tag on to your reply to clear something up that I think is confusing a lot of casual followers of astrophysics: When people are told about the Cosmic Microwave Background , they are told that it is "echos of the Big Bang", or a signature of how the universe was just after the Big Bang. But the CMB is a signature of the universe as it was when it was about 380,000 years old: very young, but still very old on human time scales. These "B-mode" signatures of gravitational waves are thought to be from the inflationary epoch ; a time when the universe was about 10^-32 seconds old. It should be apparent just how exciting this is!

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  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    This version of Cosmos should be seen as a gateway drug to real science. Its entire purpose is to show that science is awesome, and operates under a set of principles everyone can understand, and isn't evil. That it's okay to be smart and know things and, maybe even more importantly, realize that "I don't know" is a valid position to hold.

    It's really a grade school level introduction because, let's face it, that's what we need to start with culturally.

    I hope it succeeds, and will do what I can to help it along, because we need it. Plus I could listen to NDT talk all day.

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  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    I still have to watch the second episode. I noticed on the Cosmos website it refers to these episodes as a part of Season 1. I wasn't under the impression that this was going to be a multi-season thing. Is that an error?

    In the meantime, here's Neil deGrasse-Tyson sounding like a stoner.

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  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    SteevL wrote: »
    I still have to watch the second episode. I noticed on the Cosmos website it refers to these episodes as a part of Season 1. I wasn't under the impression that this was going to be a multi-season thing. Is that an error?

    In the meantime, here's Neil deGrasse-Tyson sounding like a stoner.

    The idea iirc is to remake/update the original then move on to cover other areas if they get renewed.

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  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. |She/Her| Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
    edited March 2014

    Neil talking to a nine year old about deflecting near-earth asteroids.

    "You have a clipboard?!" :)

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  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    He is great with kids. He is constantly confounded and intrigued by their questions on stage.
    "What would happen if two black holes collided?"
    "Wait, how old are you?"
    "nine"
    "I........ ok....... lets think about this"

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  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    Kids like that give me hope. Onward to the edge. Keep pushing our thoughts beyond the boundaries of knowledge.

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    This is a fun show! I'm a fan.

    It's obviously dumbing things down to a spectacular degree, but it's really nice to get a broad overview of cool science shit in the sciences I don't have much knowledge about.

    I mean, I did not think fish had good vision, for some reason. I am now jealous of their apparently sweet eyeballs.

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  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    It isn't "dumbing things down" - it is giving a top level view of amazing things, and leaving lots of room for you to dig deeper if you were interested.

    I look at Cosmos as kind of a grand buffet of the glory of science / life / universe, and you only get a small bite out of each trough.

    Now, if you really liked the General Tso's Chicken (artificial selection), you can order that and get the full meal from a variety of other restaurants that will give you heaping mountains of it.

    But there just isn't enough room on the plate to give you a full portion without taking away from other equally interesting tastes of other dishes.

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  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    cncaudata wrote: »
    Complexity of the human eye was awesome. I wish I had seen that 15 years ago when I was struggling with how evolution could happen.

    And wow, horrible commercial breaks and credits cuts...

    Well the interesting thing is over the last couple decades we have gotten more and better fossil evidence of the evolution of eyes because in some primitive life forms the eyes were actually pretty solid things so you can find pretty good fossils of eyes as they change and become more complex over time. So now when you ask how eyes form there is a pretty clear series of changes over time as eyes evolved in various species to get what you see today.

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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited March 2014
    Every time he got up to chase that wolf away, all I could think of was

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  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    This is a fun show! I'm a fan.

    It's obviously dumbing things down to a spectacular degree, but it's really nice to get a broad overview of cool science shit in the sciences I don't have much knowledge about.

    I mean, I did not think fish had good vision, for some reason. I am now jealous of their apparently sweet eyeballs.

    Fish get a raw deal but to survive the ocean they have to be way tougher than us

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  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    Seeing the Wonders of Life series made me jealous of the Mantis Shrimp's eyes.

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    I can't help but think of this show as a blending of Dr Tyson's time on Nova Science Now and the original Cosmos, rather than simply a remake.

  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    Finally saw episode 2. I liked the segment about mass extinctions. In fact, as Tyson started in about the five major ones, I was thinking two things:

    1) First, aren't there 6? Are we not counting the Holocene here?
    2) I hope they cover the Great Dying or the early oxygenation event instead of the K-T boundary everyone knows about.

    I actually found myself thinking midway through that sequence that there should be another hallway for the current mass extinction that Tyson visits in a later episode, and based on how that bit ended I'm going to take a wild guess that that's what we're going to see near the end of the series.

  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    Finally saw episode 2. I liked the segment about mass extinctions. In fact, as Tyson started in about the five major ones, I was thinking two things:

    1) First, aren't there 6? Are we not counting the Holocene here?
    2) I hope they cover the Great Dying or the early oxygenation event instead of the K-T boundary everyone knows about.

    I actually found myself thinking midway through that sequence that there should be another hallway for the current mass extinction that Tyson visits in a later episode, and based on how that bit ended I'm going to take a wild guess that that's what we're going to see near the end of the series.

    I assumed that hallway was implying a future inevitable mass extinction like a supervolano going off or whatnot.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    that kid is really clever

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Finally saw episode 2. I liked the segment about mass extinctions. In fact, as Tyson started in about the five major ones, I was thinking two things:

    1) First, aren't there 6? Are we not counting the Holocene here?
    2) I hope they cover the Great Dying or the early oxygenation event instead of the K-T boundary everyone knows about.

    I actually found myself thinking midway through that sequence that there should be another hallway for the current mass extinction that Tyson visits in a later episode, and based on how that bit ended I'm going to take a wild guess that that's what we're going to see near the end of the series.

    I assumed that hallway was implying a future inevitable mass extinction like a supervolano going off or whatnot.

    That hallway was pretty obviously the anthropogenic one.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    humans are going to kick evolution's ass with trans-humanism

    we're going to be eight armed cyborgs with no fear and multiple sets of genitals

  • BrainleechBrainleech 機知に富んだコメントはここにあります Registered User regular
    The stuff about Titan was rather interesting since all we know of it is really just general things
    the finer stuff is just on the horizon

  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    The Creationist group Answers In Genesis, which was already incensed about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s revival of Cosmos, is meow complaining that the show lacks scientific balance because it fails to provide airtime for evolution deniers.

    Danny Faulkner of Answers In Genesis and the Creation Museum appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday to criticize Cosmos for not providing airtime for Creationism adherents. When Mefferd asked if Cosmos will “ever give a Creationist any time,” Faulkner responded by lamenting that “Creationists aren’t even on the radar screen for them, they wouldn’t even consider us plausible at all.”

    Mefferd agreed that the show isn’t being very fair and balanced: “Boy, but when you have so many scientists who simply do not accept Darwinian evolution it seems to me that that might be something to throw in there, you know, the old, ‘some scientists say this, others disagree and think this,’ but that’s not even allowed.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/creationists-demand-airtime-cosmos-sake-balance

  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    Jragghen wrote: »
    The Creationist group Answers In Genesis, which was already incensed about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s revival of Cosmos, is meow complaining that the show lacks scientific balance because it fails to provide airtime for evolution deniers.

    Danny Faulkner of Answers In Genesis and the Creation Museum appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday to criticize Cosmos for not providing airtime for Creationism adherents. When Mefferd asked if Cosmos will “ever give a Creationist any time,” Faulkner responded by lamenting that “Creationists aren’t even on the radar screen for them, they wouldn’t even consider us plausible at all.”

    Mefferd agreed that the show isn’t being very fair and balanced: “Boy, but when you have so many scientists who simply do not accept Darwinian evolution it seems to me that that might be something to throw in there, you know, the old, ‘some scientists say this, others disagree and think this,’ but that’s not even allowed.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/creationists-demand-airtime-cosmos-sake-balance

    The show is about science, not make believe.

    Guy can go fuck himself and the dinosaur he thinks he road in on.

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  • Wraith260Wraith260 Happiest Goomba! Registered User regular
    “Creationists aren’t even on the radar screen for them, they wouldn’t even consider us plausible at all.”

    ok, so they know this. if only they'd actually understand it.

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