I didn’t watch the original Cosmos TV series, but I’ve heard retrospective rave reviews of the original show. I also haven’t watched any of the reboot, but Ace has, and he’s not impressed at all:
More Tyson “quotes” that serve no purpose except to stroke his own ego while he simultaneously strokes the egos of his fanbois and fangurlz.
I was taken aback by the first episode of the Cosmos reboot. That episode also contained, get this, a generally dishonest accounting of a mad monk named Giordani Bruno who challenged the prevailing theory that the sun was singular in the heavens in its possession of a planetary system.
That story was fable-ized — stripped of the complicated reality of truth, turned into a simplistic Aesop Fable for children — in order to flatter the sensibilities of the I Love Science Sexually camp while insulting anyone of even a mild religious disposition.
This is quite jackass, if you assume that the show’s creators actually wanted to evangelize for science among those who had come to distrust science. The show began by making things up in order to denigrate those who distrust science — certainly not evangelizing them to join Team Science at all.
But this approach does make sense if one assumes their stated motivations for the show (evangelize for science among the “science pagans,” if you will) were not their real motivations.
It makes sense if you assume their actual motivation was to tell the Science Flock that They’re Awesome and that the people who do not believe in The God Science are apes and monkeys.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s position grants him power; it also imposes on him responsibility. I would never myself have nominated what is essentially a planetarium manager as Head of Science of the Western World; but the I Love Science Sexually brigade, the fanbois and fangurlz, did, so this is what we have.
By Tyson’s own lights, is he actually popularizing science, or is making science look rather shabby and stupid by confusing actual science with its sorta-lookalike, “Science”?
I think the latter. He doesn’t seem to be talking about science; he’s talking about “Science,” which is not an intellectual discipline, but a tribal signifier and I Win Button for stupid internet political arguments.
Update the second: Sean Davis wonders “Why Is Wikipedia Deleting All References To Neil Tyson’s Fabrication?”
Judging by many of the responses to the three pieces I wrote detailing Neil Tyson’s history of fabricating quotes and embellishing stories (part 1, part 2, and part 3), you’d think I had defamed somebody’s god. It turns out that fanatical cultists do not appreciate being shown evidence that the object of their worship may not, in fact, be infallible.
Which brings us to Wikipedia. Oh, Wikipedia. After I published my piece about Neil Tyson’s fabrication of the George W. Bush quote, several users edited Neil Tyson’s wiki page to include details of the quote fabrication controversy. The fact-loving, evidence-weighing, ever-objective editors of the online encyclopedia did not appreciate the inclusion of the evidence of Tyson’s fabrication. Not at all.
According to a review of the edit history of Tyson’s page, one long-time Wikipedia editor deleted an entire pending section summarizing the issue of Tyson’s fabricated quotes. Another editor attempted to insert a brief mention of Tyson’s fabrication of the George W. Bush quote. That mention was also deleted. When it was reinserted, it was deleted yet again by an editor who describes himself as a childless progressive and an apostle of Daily Kos (h/t @kerpen). Here are just a few of that user’s political ramblings, in case you were curious about the motivation behind the scrubbing of Tyson’s wiki.
Literally every single mention of Tyson’s history of fabricating quotes has been removed from Tyson’s Wikipedia page.