Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Between politics, crap like this and some stories about rape/shaming culture in certain fundie colleges in this country I was just about ready do somebody some serious injury last night. So I wrote it out instead of punching it out. 

“I rented the 13 episode series after having watched a portion on PBS, thinking that it seemed like a good watch. How wrong I was. This is nothing more than a New Age brainwashing series. The music, often Vangelis, repeating the same things over and over, does nothing but brainwash and dumb the viewer. The overall purpose of the video series is a "science as religion" infommercial (and perhaps a means of self-worship -- he seems to enjoy the sound of his own voice). Sagan, as it should by now now be widely known, himself engaged in his fair share of pseudoscience. He is best described as a sci-fi writer pretending to be a scientist. By accusing others of pseudoscience, he was able to divert attention away from his own pseudoscience because clearly, anyone accusing anyone else of something can't possibly be doing the same thing. That would be hypocritical! And, after almost 30 years, the tapes still sell for this ridiculous price. Save yourself the time and/or money and restrict yourself to series about real science. This is in the same league as "What the bleep do we know?", judging by the trailers and clips of the latter.

This is a review of the original Cosmos series I stumbled over on Amazon. I do love the one star reviews. In a back handed, how can anybody be so freakin’ braindead in the 21st century sort of way.

One the reviewer doesn’t tell us how much of the series he/she actually watched. I’m guessing just enough to trigger the inbuilt fundie meter. I gathered enough from the other reviews to suspect we might be dealing with some kind of “theology” student here.

Anyway, typical fundie bashing of anyone they don’t agree with. Beginning with, drum roll please.

“New Age propaganda.” New Age as defined by Webster: n eclectic group of cultural attitudes arising in late 20th century Western society that are adapted from those of a variety of ancient and modern cultures, that emphasize beliefs (as reincarnation, holism, pantheism, and occultism) outside the mainstream, and that advance alternative approaches to spirituality, right living, and health. If this mindless twit had bothered to actually watch the series he/she would have discovered that Carl Sagan was about as New Age as my mother. He doesn’t mention reincarnation, had no patience with the occult, astrology or the UFO cult of the times. He doesn’t discount the possibility of extra terrestrial life. Just that we’ve been visited recently. Or any time for that matter.

Geez, what do you have against Vangelis? The soundtrack also includes other “New Age” brain washers such as Vivaldi, Bach, Pachelbel and Rimsky Korsokoff.

Science as religion. Excuse me while I go take forty turns around the yard to cool off. Science is just that science. And Sagan did spend a fair amount of time over the course of the series lamenting what we’ve lost in the fires of history. And libraries.

“loves the sound of his own voice.” Yo, Spam for brains (sorry for insulting a perfectly useful if calorie and salt laden lunch meat) he’s the narrator for cryin’ out loud. The programs are his personal opinions so there are very few other talking heads involved. I guess he could have collected a bunch of slides, put labels on them and did a thirteen hour slide show. 

“A pseudo scientist pretending to be a scientist.” Face palm, head bounce, ear splitting scream. Two bachelors, a master’s and a PhD. Taught in California, at Harvard and Cornell. He participated in several space missions through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I mean how much MORE DO YOU WANT!!!. I have at least four of his essay collections upstairs. They’re probably pretty dog eared by now. He did write ONE novel. Contact, which I haven’t read. Saw the move though. It was cool. Known as a science fiction writer pretending to be a scientist????? Are we even on the same planet?

I suspect that the so called pseudo science in question is Sagan’s thorough going, passionate defense of the Theory of Evolution. And I do mean passionate. He spent at least ten minutes in the second episode waxing near poetic over the shared ancestry of bacteria, fish, trees…and us. And I just rewatched the third episode. I suspect the other "pseudoscience" is climate change. Sagan was ringing the alarm bells back in 1980. 

This is a prime example of the mountains of crap we have to put up with as we try to too many of our fellow citizens kicking, screaming and shouting at the top of their lungs out of the Dark Ages and into the future. Can’t stop now there’s too damn much to lose.

 And please excuse the caps and extra punctuation, but I passed pissed off yesterday and am rapidly heading into ballistic territory.

One consolation out of thirty six comments on this, ninety five percent were of the “bro, what HAVE you been smoking” variety. 


flask said...

the conservative christian right is not only against science of all kinds, it is against MATH.

go ahead, google it. these idiots are against any math beyond basic arithmetic because set theory is dangerous.

JACKIE said...

When I took math up to algebra 2 and trig those classes included logic and critical thinking. Obviously thinking logically and critically is lethal to the fundie mindset.