Latest Cosmos Takes Up Where Bill Nye Left Off
On Sunday evening the second episode of Cosmos aired and came out of the gates swinging at creationism while primarily focusing on the science behind evolution. Host Neil deGrasse Tyson and producer Seth MacFarlane beautifully laid out how evolution works basically putting to bed any arguments against the incredibly weak theory of creation. Episode number two of Cosmos served as a magnificent encore to Bill Nye’s recent creation debate against Ken Ham reinforcing facts Nye laid out while using a smart narrative written by Ann Druyan and utilizing amazing Hollywood style effects. Check out the full episode here. It’s well worth your time.
During the show, Neil deGrasse Tyson flatly stated, “The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, is a scientific fact” and didn’t hide his position in the debate that creationists just won’t let go. Using the domesticated dog as an example, Tyson continued to explain how over years of selective breeding we have mimicked the process of evolution with our very own hands. We took the savage wolf, and made it into all the different species of domesticated dog found on the planet today. He also summarized that all of the animals we use and the foods we eat have been manipulated by human intervention to evolution. That is the beauty of science. Evolution could be compared to selective breeding, but done by happenstances in nature on a much broader scale with natural selection to do the dirty work.
The show demonstrated that when a glitch happens at the DNA level that changes a trait in a creature, if the change is good, as in providing an advantage, that creature will thrive and pass on this new gene. If it makes the species stronger eventually through natural selection the better animals with the new advantage survive and the ones without it die off. The show used the example of the bear with dark pigmentation getting an advantage when living in polar climates when a fluke in the DNA of a baby gave birth to a white bear. This turned out to be a significant aid in the arctic region when hunting prey, and as a result over many generations the white bears, or Polar Bears as they are now called won out.
Contrary to new age religious belief, evolution is not some sort of divine roadmap. A divine roadmap wouldn’t have any abnormalities such as retardation, cancers, or other similar ailments. Evolution is simply flukes in DNA that randomly happen… Some make the species better and thus that change sticks around, and the flukes that don’t die off with the animal that had them. Natural selection is a mother-fucker, but this my friends is evolution! That’s how it works, and to teach anything different in classrooms is a major disservice to children everywhere which sets us as a civilization back. OK, enough ranting… back to the recap.
Cosmos Using The Example of “The Tree Of Life”
The show took Darwin’s favorite metaphor of the “Tree of Life” and literally brought it to life. It’s a neat analogy that shows how all organisms are living on different branches of the same hereditary tree. The scientists involved in the Open Tree of Life Project must have been clinking their glasses together in cheers watching this brought to the mainstream. The group plans to produce “the first online, comprehensive first-draft tree of all 1.8 million named species and make it accessible to both the public and scientific communities.” The example of the tree is a good one. Although it may not be perfect, it really helps to map out evolutionary relationships and drives home the theory of a common ancestry… And Cosmos presented it brilliantly.
Tyson also spent some time addressing the creationist’s favorite argument of the idea that complex organs, like the eye, could not have been produced through evolution. Tyson took their hand and walked them through step by step how the eye evolved from a light sensing dimple in a microscopic sea organism to where we are at today with an organ so complex that man has not yet been able to replicate it. Cosmos included POV through the eye of the different creatures in the eye’s complex evolutionary timeline. The matter of fact style really leaves no room for argument and the simplistic presentations of these complicated subjects is made accessible to a very broad audience. After seeing this, arguing against the idea of evolution would really make you come across as the worlds biggest idiot. It’s that well done. Shit, I’m ranting again.
Revisiting Carl Sagans “Evolution in 40 Seconds”
The end of this episode brought us back to the original Carl Sagan Cosmos series famous animation of “Evolution in 40 Seconds”. It’s hard to say it better then the man himself, and why reinvent the wheel? This animation, which i remember seeing as a child, is the perfect way to send the show out, and I think it’s the perfect way to end this short summary as well. So here ya go, enjoy it below. And if you haven’t seen the full episode 2 of Cosmos yet go do so now, and be sure to check back next week when we look at episode 3!
What do you think? We’d love to hear you sound off with your thoughts in the comments below!