Sunday, June 22, 2014


An interesting if weird take on the new Cosmos series written before the bird was barely out of the nest. The author is the founder or affliated with something called Science 2.0. Which reads like a populist take on sharing scientific information. Which sounds good on paper but there's a damn good reason why research is published in peer reviewed publications.

Anyway. I'd have to rewatch the first episode sections on Giordano Bruno but they made it plain that the inquisition condemned him first for heresy (I'd be in a world of trouble if I'd lived back then) but he was also condemned for holding the belief that there are multiple worlds and with independent futures. Over the years he's been considered a martyr for both faith and science. I loved some of the comments on the article. There are few folks out there that seemed to thinkj the church had the right to condemn him. Oh and the inquisition didn't kill him the state did. Give a me freakin' break. So called heretics were turned over to the "secular" arm knowing full well what the penalties would be and punishments were presided over by the church.

Venus and her poisonous atmostphere. A lot of different events led to a fairly liveable world being turned into what amounts to an antechamber of Hell. But even Carl Sagan referred to a runaway green house effect on Venus. Mr. Campbell claims to have seen the original series. Seems to have skipped the Heaven and Hell episode.

Ah, the multiverse. The idea has been around for awhile. It was even used in a STNG episode as Worf went universe hopping. Each jump taking him further away from his original timeline. For something that doesn't exist there are certainly a lot of articles on the net. Including articles in Scientific American, Nattional Geographic and for starters. Just because you don't like an idea doesn't mean it's wrong and can be dismissed out of hand. Especially when you start accusing those who hold it of looking for a secular alternative to Divine Origins. At this point the jury is out. The idea can't be proved or disproved. Yet. And Dr. Tyson pointed that out in the series.

Yes, Mr. Campbell there is no sound or swelling music heard in space. Talk about picking nits. They're called special effects. It's a ship of the imagination, we're free to imagine that it rumbles a bit. Geez.

Back to Bruno. The new series is a companion to the original. Kepler and Galileo were convered very fully in the original series. Especially Kepler. Why recover ground already covered. I'm still bummed because he didn't explore the Ionian and Alexandrian scientists more fully. But, there we are. Sagan did it first.

And the final addition to the hand basket. The Cosmic Calender is a thought device. It compresses the history of the universe into one year as a convenient teaching tool. Each month is just over a billion years, each day approximately forty million years. Believe me by the time you get to that little square that represents December 31 you're starting to feel mighty small.

Oh, and Mr. Campbell? Carl Sagan didn't get the basic story of Hypatia and the Christian establishement of Alexandria wrong. The only question is whether there was still a daughter library in the temple known as the Serapeiam. A temple destroyed several years before Hypatia's brutal and I do mean brutal murder at the hands of a Christian mob. The only question is what did "Saint" Cyril know and when did he know it? If he didn't order the hit, and there are contemporary commentaries that suggest that he did, he sure as hell didn't grieve for her.

I know I've gone on about Hypatia, a woman who dared to speak and teach and think. Who was respected by pagans and Christians in Alexandria alike. She got in the way, and we've all seen far to recently what happens when an 'uppirty" woman gets in the way.

Well, this didn't end up where I expected it to. Again. Oh, well, read the article. Look the guy up. Check out the book he wrote with another author. I'll be honest. After sifting through half a dozen websites I can't find out what this person's qualifications are. His profile on the science 2.0 website is singularly uninformative. I've written this. I've written that. I've written about science, I guess this qualifies me as a science writer too? I don't think so.  


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