A new ‘Cosmos,’ same message
    March 18 2014 by Dan Dewitt, Baptist Press

    The first documentary by the title of “Cosmos” was broadcast in 1980. Now the show is back.
     
    The original began with a panoramic shot of atheistic scientist Carl Sagan standing in front of the ocean. The new series features astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, also an atheist.
     
    In the first production Carl Sagan delivered his famous maxim, “The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be,” a fitting summary of a naturalistic worldview. For the sake of full disclosure, formally trained scientists are not the only ones to recount this creed. Not long ago I picked up an old copy of the Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature. One chapter begins these words, “Nature is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.”
     
    In the new Cosmos, Tyson encourages viewers to “Test ideas by experiment and observation; build on those ideas that pass the test, reject the ones that fail; follow the evidence wherever it leads and question everything.”
     
    For anyone who values scientific discovery, his advice is appropriate. But how can Sagan’s original opening line stand up to this standard? We have not proven scientifically that nature, or the cosmos, is all there is, or was, or ever will be. So, where has this belief come from? I think we should heed Tyson’s advice and question everything, including this materialistic manifesto.
     
    Even as the remix of Cosmos is sure to fascinate and educate, it is also likely committed to regurgitating some of the old faith/science myths, and perpetuate an atheistic worldview. Even in the first of the 13 broadcasts, Tyson is already postulating the possibility of a multiverse, a theory that there is an infinite number of randomly ordered universes beyond our universe. It is interesting to see someone who reminds us to only follow the evidence proposing a theory that has zero physical evidence.
     
    This shouldn’t be overly surprising as the multiverse has become a go-to theory for many public atheists as a way of explaining away the uniqueness of our universe to host a planet that allows for life, particularly human life. And while Tyson maintains that we don’t know how life began, his comments make it clear that he is committed to only one option, as he tells viewers, “You, me, everyone – we are made of star stuff.” Of course we are made of star stuff. After all, the cosmos is all there is, or ever was, or ever will be.
     
    I look forward to the full series and I’m sure I will learn a lot. Yet, I am prepared for some measure of the hum drum of the popular, yet false, notion that Christianity is at odds with science to be mingled with awe-inspiring shots of the universe. While I’m certain the show will deliver on its promise to provide a fascinating tour of the cosmos, I’m also confident the new documentary will convey the old message that nature is all there is.
     
    I think some of the historical greats from the science hall of fame who were men of great Christian commitment like Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler and even Galileo, were they alive today, would find the show captivating even while rejecting its atheistic slant. As Kepler once said: Science is thinking God’s thoughts after him. Had Kepler or Newton hosted the original broadcast instead of Sagan, or the new one instead of Tyson, it is likely the opening scene would begin with the words, “The heavens declare the glory of God.”

    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Dan DeWitt is dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate school of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Quotes from the show are taken from the following Washington Post article “Cosmos: A Fond Return to the Vastness of Space.”)
    3/18/2014 11:10:58 AM by Dan Dewitt, Baptist Press | with 2 comments
    Filed under: creation, science




Comments
Chuck Anziulewicz
If Dan Dewitt, Ken Ham, or any of the other Creationists can provide scientific evidence to contradict anything that Neil deGrasse Tyson says, they should. But platitudes like "The Heavens Declare the Glory of God" certainly don't. To characterize evolution as mindless is irrelevant; anyone with a rudimentary understanding of physics and chemistry knows that evolution ultimately isn’t guided by “chance” or “random” or “accident,” but rather evolution and even LIFE ITSELF springs from the fundamental rules of physics and chemical reactions. For instance:

1: WATER. It’s unfortunate that we have experience with no other watery worlds save our own. But the fact remains that the common gases of hydrogen and oxygen combine very efficiently with each other to form water, and liquid water is undoubtedly common on countless worlds throughout the Universe.

2: CHON. Life on Earth, and probably elsewhere in the Universe, depends on various combinations of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Given their natural valences, these elements can combine very nicely with each other in the right circumstances.

3: STRUCTURE. Given the presence of water, energy, and an ongoing supply of simple organic molecules, these molecules can organize themselves into increasingly complex structures. At increasingly complex levels, these structures are even capable of storing and transferring energy and even self-replication.

FORGET these foolish arguments about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. That law applies to closed systems, not deep sea volcanic vents where all sorts of chemical reactions might occur. Order, complexity, self-replication, and ultimately organic life all SPRING from the the simple rules that govern chemistry and physics. To suggest that some wizard is pulling levers behind a curtain somewhere is little more than anthropocentric thinking.

Richard Dawkins said it best: "Science replaces private prejudice with publicly verifiable evidence."
3/18/2014 1:54:42 PM

Brian Westley
"We have not proven scientifically"

Nothing is ever proven in science, proofs are only in formal systems like mathematics.

"Even in the first of the 13 broadcasts, Tyson is already postulating the possibility of a multiverse, a theory that there is an infinite number of randomly ordered universes beyond our universe. It is interesting to see someone who reminds us to only follow the evidence proposing a theory that has zero physical evidence."

There's no problem with proposing theories; that's the first step in looking for evidence for or against it.

You may have notice the first direct evidence of inflationary theory just the other day, some 30 years after the theory was proposed.
3/18/2014 12:15:37 PM