Oklahoma, Jake

With apologies to Soonergrunt, I can’t help being unsurprised by this:*

There’s not been a lot of discussion of evolution in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos so far, and yet a very slight reference to it was so upsetting to Fox’s Oklahoma City affiliate that they just “happened” to run a promo for the nightly news over the show’s sole mention it, as you can see in the above video.

Hit the link (to the delightful io9) to see what so spooked the delicate sensibilities of the good folks at Fox25 Oklahoma City.

quot+God+is+an+ever+receding+pocket+of+scientific+ignorance+quot+_a3dcb3c771a4785a3e2fa249e2b4633e

On the one hand, I’m glad:  the competitive advantage of the science-friendly states can only grow in the face of willed ignorance elsewhere.  On the other, I’m terribly sad.  I don’t live only on my block; I’m a citizen of a commonwealth, a country and a member of  a global commons.  The more such idiocy persists, the more we all lose.

*Back when I was working w. Neil deGrasse Tyson on the NOVA series Origins, I made the film on the evolution of the universe to the chemical conditions compatible with earth-like life.  I wanted to call it “In the beginning,” for obvious reasons.  My elders and betters morphed that to “Back to the Beginning” — which manages to offend those who would be offended anyway while losing all the force of original.  So it ain’t just Fox, ya know.

Image via.

147 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, yeah.

    I can see why that would spook them. Because it basically says that filling in the gap of ignorance with even greater ignorance is bad. And creationism is greater ignorance.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    Maybe they’re right, and only us Liberals evolved from apes.

    And Christian Conservatives evolved from dung-beetles.

    Hey, OK – the show is called “Cosmos,” NOT ‘Church!”
    Jayzoos!!!!!!

  3. 3
    Chyron HR says:

    Yes, but as Richard Dawkins says, “There are more atoms in a Bible than there are stars in the universe.”

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    The average Fox viewing, Oklahoman is more worried about the government taking away their freedoms, rather than censorship. Does that even make sense?

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL:

    Does that even make sense?

    No, which is the beauty of it, really.

  6. 6
    aimai says:

    @JPL: I’ve had this conversation with people who own guns “in order to protect freedoms.” I often list off the various cases which have widened freedoms, or narrowed them, and asked them whether they used their gun to make sure those legal cases or those laws were filed or blocked? These people are in a permenanent state of readiness to do something, or to ward off an evil, that in reality they would never dream of affecting IRL.

  7. 7
    Freemark says:

    I’m sure we will soon hear from the wingers that ‘Not allowing censorship would violate the 1st Amendment rights of that Fox station.’

  8. 8
    Mnemosyne says:

    Just cutting that one bit isn’t going to do much to protect the delicate sensibilities of the anti-evolutionists since the ENTIRE EPISODE was based on a metaphor that all of known time is a calendar, and humans showed up at one minute to midnight on December 31st. It’s like letting someone tell an entire joke and cutting only the punchline (“We call it ‘The Aristocrats’!”)

    Also, I loved the part where Tyson showed the notation of his meeting with Sagan as a teenager in Sagan’s own handwriting. That was really cool, and I liked that the show is being presented as a tribute to and continuation of Sagan’s work.

  9. 9
    Fuzzy says:

    Do all creationists own a lot of guns? Does this protect them against common sense?

  10. 10
    Freemark says:

    I also wanted to let everyone know that I was excepted for a REU (Research Undergraduate Experience) at Arecibo Observatory. I’ll be spending 10 weeks in Puerto Rico doing research over the summer. I am pretty excited.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    shelly says:

    Hmmm, what’s next? Going back to pre-Galileo and insisting that the Earth is the center of our solar system?
    *****
    Freemark, congrats!

  13. 13
    dmsilev says:

    @Freemark: Congratulations! REUs are a wonderful experience.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    On the one hand, I’m glad: the competitive advantage of the science-friendly states can only grow in the face of willed ignorance elsewhere. On the other, I’m terribly sad. I don’t live only on my block; I’m a citizen of a commonwealth, a country and a member of a global commons. The more such idiocy persists, the more we all lose.

    Yep. Those dead-ending fuckers on the other block get the same 2 senators we do, no matter how many people decide to live on our block.

    Just because the leak is at the other end of the boat doesn’t make us any better off.

  16. 16
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    We are all star stuff – Neil deGrasse Tyson

    That probably made their heads explode, too.

  17. 17
    JaneE says:

    Science, evolution, and a black host. It is a wonder they aired the program at all.

    The people who watch Fox generally don’t want their ignorance challenged.

  18. 18
    Roger Moore says:

    @shelly:

    Going back to pre-Galileo and insisting that the Earth is the center of our solar system?

    ITYM staying with a geocentric universe; the people who believe in geocentrism and the like aren’t going back to the old way of thinking because they never left it in the first place.

  19. 19
    another Holocene human says:

    @JPL: there are so many Indians there treated so badly that white supremacist concerns are at the forefront for whites there. And don’t forget Tulsa race riots (white attack) and the rest of that ugly black white history including the recent adoption of SYG.

    Ok is not ok. They never should have let Americans settle in that hellhole, sin enough to force the Cherokee to resettle there, and stealing the mineral wealth out from under the Indians, well don’t that just beat all.

    There’s a special kind of paranoia that comes from guilt due to wrongs never made right. The minds of whites are tortured there. But that is not justice. Justice has not been done and they are fighting like hell to prevent it.

  20. 20
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Freemark: wow, I’m jealous! Have fun, my sibs certainly did (one in Alaska, the other in Chingdao or “Tsingtao” by Wade-Giles).

    my grades weren’t good enough :(((

  21. 21
    catclub says:

    @JaneE: And yet it is on Fox, not some Tiffany network.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JaneE:

    Science, evolution, and a black host. It is a wonder they aired the program at all.

    It was because Seth McFarlane basically told them, No new shows from me until you let me make “Cosmos.” Apparently McFarlane finally got bored with spending all of his money on plastic surgery, hookers, and blow, and decided to make this show.

  23. 23
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Freemark:
    CONGRATS!

    Too bad it ain’t in the winter, though. :-)

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne: ahhh, now the real reason ( or at least the first suggestion of the real reason)

  25. 25
    Mike in NC says:

    So will the next US senator from OK be every bit as bad as Coburn and Inhofe?

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    Tom: this is good place to spotlight Michael Hiltzik’s LA Times column last weekend on “agnotology”, the study of ignorance, and those who sow ignorance for their own gains.

    … [Robert] Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford, is one of the world’s leading experts in agnotology, a neologism signifying the study of the cultural production of ignorance. It’s a rich field, especially today when whole industries devote themselves to sowing public misinformation and doubt about their products and activities.

    The tobacco industry was a pioneer at this. Its goal was to erode public acceptance of the scientifically proven links between smoking and disease: In the words of an internal 1969 memo legal opponents extracted from Brown & Williamson’s files, “Doubt is our product.” Big Tobacco’s method should not be to debunk the evidence, the memo’s author wrote, but to establish a “controversy.”

    … And all those fabricated Obamacare horror stories wholesaled by Republican and conservative opponents of the Affordable Care Act and their aiders and abetters in the right-wing press? Their purpose is to sow doubt about the entire project of healthcare reform; if the aim were to identify specific shortcomings of the act, they’d have to accompany every story with a proposal about how to fix it.

    Proctor came to the study of agnotology through his study of the Nazi scientific establishment and subsequently of the tobacco industry’s defensive campaign.

    Early in his career, … he asked an advisor if Nazi science was an appropriate topic of research. “Of course,” he was told. “Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is scholarship.” As part of his scholarship, Proctor says he “watches Fox News all the time.”

    … [T]hen there’s ignorance custom-designed to manipulate the public. “The myth of the ‘information society’ is that we’re drowning in knowledge,” he says. “But it’s easier to propagate ignorance.”

    That’s especially so when issues are so complicated that it’s easier to present them as the topics for discussion in which both sides are granted equal time.

    Big Tobacco’s public relations campaign against the anti-smoking movement, for example, was aimed at “manufacturing a ‘debate,’ convincing the mass media that responsible journalists had an obligation to present ‘both sides’ of it,” reported Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway in their 2010 book, “Merchants of Doubt.”

    The industry correctly perceived that no journalist would ever get fired for giving the two sides equal weight, even when that balance wasn’t warranted by the facts.

    Proctor tells Hiltzik the deliberate promotion of ignorance is most harmful when applied commercially (Big Sugar, the anti-vaccine movement, Big Pharma-paid scientific research), but I think it’s most harmful for what it does to our body public and political system.

    Look to who benefits from a divided and ignorant populace. And what’s happened when societies let that run amok before.

  27. 27
    danimal says:

    Tom, the “competitive advantage” from liberal promotion of science and technology needs to become evident to everyone if the situation is ever going to change. Right now, conservatives in purple and blue states can pander to their idiots while relying on liberals to save them from actually destroying their public education systems. They don’t have that luxury in the red states anymore.

    In red states, conservatives are having increasing difficulties keeping both the yahoos and the Chamber wings happy. For example, there just aren’t enough liberals in LA (vouchers), KS (evolution/creation) or TX (textbook propaganda) to stop them from their worst instincts, leading to reall (if under-reported) fissures within the GOP. Until the ‘silent majority’ in red states mobilize to stand behind science and technology, the yahoos will win. And the silent majority won’t act until they are convinced that Junior is falling behind his cohorts in the blue states.

  28. 28
    No One of Consequence says:

    For the most part, such arguments are fruitless endeavors, the exchange of so much heated air. One cannot progress through argument to understanding, if both parties are not willing to agree upon the givens. This, actually, is the very reason the abortion debate continues, though (begrudgingly) both sides would have to admit that there are real, caring, loving human beings who have strong opinions on the other side.

    I am an avowed agnostic. I suppose one could conclude that means coward. But I have some exposure to a range of religion, myth and belief systems of different peoples. I also have some exposure to the scientific method, empiricism, and philosophy. I understand the compulsion of some who feel that existence (as they understand it) is so wondrous, so far beyond any conceivably comprehensive understanding, that it stands to (their) reason that there is the implication of the ‘Clockmaker’. Thus, the rise of religion, myth and superstition for a means of grappling with a reality you are forced to admit you cannot comprehend.

    What I lack is certainty enough to make a proclamation of belief or lack thereof. One cannot prove a negative. I have seen wondrous and inspiring things in Nature and my life. Some of them I could not explain with the tools I have available. Though I understand calculus, and can tell you how to use it, and what for, I cannot explain to you Limits in any meaningful way.

    I understand these things, and fail to understand matters that would fill oceans, but yet I propose to those that hold strong religious beliefs, and those that hold strong athiest beliefs, that we have no conflict. I cannot change another person’s mind. Instead, posit that if there is a need for the divine, the Tao, a ‘Clockmaker’ – then this is what existed before the Big Bang. Before the Big Bang, time (as we understand it) did not exist, therefore no observation was possible (not to mention the implication of making an observation with ‘No Light’). Science (if I am to understand correctly) will Never, be able to tell us what was before that.

    Why not call that God?

    We cannot progress towards our destiny as a species and duty as the only known life in the Universe, if we do not hold to the path of Science. Discerning that which is Known from that which is Unknown from that which is Unknowable. Atheists and Agnostics should consider ceding ground on the Unknowable. Just let them have it.

    Then, perhaps we could get about the work of living our lives, loving our children and caring for our planet.

    – NOoC

    “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use.” – Galileo Galilei

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    Yesterday while in East Cobb, I saw at least six large signs supporting Broun’s for Senate. He’s the GA representative who said that evolution and the big band theory are lies straight from hell. He’s also a physician so one would think he took a number of science classes, and understands that the advancement in medicine occurred because of studies associated with evolution. Who knows, maybe he believes in the tooth fairy.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    @JPL:

    Who knows, maybe he believes in the tooth fairy.

    As long as he’s not a dentist …

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mike in NC:

    So will the next US senator from OK be every bit as bad as Coburn and Inhofe?

    No. He’ll be worse. I don’t know how, but I have faith.

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    @Roger MooreThe very few (total = 2) terracentric people I’ve encountered promptly shut their yaps when asked if they also subscribed to the classical belief that Heaven is above the Earth and Hell inside it.

    When they agreed with that proposition, I then asked if the devil is at the center of Hell.

    Because if so, then Satan, not God, is the center of the universe, and everything revolves around Hell.

  33. 33
    James E Powell says:

    @another Holocene human:

    Whatcha got ain’t nothin new. This country’s hard on people, you can’t stop what’s coming, it ain’t all waiting on you. That’s vanity.

    Ellis in No Country For Old Men

  34. 34
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    KOKH (fnar) is Sinclair Broadcast Group, the wingnut-run affiliate corp that chose not to broadcast Ted Koppel reading out the names of dead US service members on Nightline, while choosing to broadcast an anti-Obama “documentary” in swing states on the eve of the 2012 election.

    I suppose it’s some kind of progress that they have to do it accidentally-on-purpose instead of blocking it explicitly. (Also, it would probably piss off the network which has power over primetime.)

  35. 35
    JPL says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s definitely the case in GA when Chambliss retires. Broun is ahead in all the polls. Ga is not a purple state and Michelle Nunn doesn’t have a chance. GA has made it more difficult for hourly employees to vote and that is her base.

  36. 36
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @No One of Consequence:

    Why not call that God?

    It’s a move that was popular with rationalist philosophers in the days when being publicly atheist could get you thrown in prison. But call that God and people will make all kinds of unsupported assumptions about the kind of God you’re referring to. There’s nothing inherent in a hypothetical cosmological First Cause to indicate the presence of some sort of person who has moral preferences, answers prayers and plays favorites.

  37. 37
    Anoniminous says:

    the competitive advantage of the science-friendly states can only grow in the face of willed ignorance elsewhere.

    Except that the US Constitution provides 2 Senators from every state and as the concentration of the scientifically literate US population leaves Dumbfuckistan the greater its political power.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    @JPL

    the big band theory

    It takes a lot of brass to beat the drum disputing that one. :)

  39. 39
    No One of Consequence says:

    @TaMara (BHF)

    That was actually Sagan’s line from the first Cosmos series…

  40. 40
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @shelly:
    Hard to say. They’re flailing randomly, terrified by a world they never thought could exist. A black man is president, you don’t get a free pat on the back for saying the word ‘god’, violence towards homosexuals is no longer acceptable, and voting for assholes never made them rich. They’re just following Cleek’s law now. It’s all they’ve got.

  41. 41
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Freemark:
    That is just awesome! Congratulations!

  42. 42
    raven says:

    We watched “Nebraska” last night and it wasn’t hard to imagine all those guys staring at the Bear-Lion game watching Fox.

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    @No One of Consequence

    those that hold strong athiest beliefs

    Confusing the concept of atheism as being some sort of alternative religious doctrine is a fallacy. There are self-avowed atheists who do that same thing.

  44. 44
    JPL says:

    @NotMax: Embryology also, too. This good be the next Senator from GA.
    youtube

  45. 45
    BGK says:

    @JPL:

    big band theory are lies straight from hell

    Does that make Glen Miller the root of all evil? Maybe Tommy Dorsey? Artie Shaw…now maybe we’re on to something. He was married eight times, after all.

  46. 46
    Elizabelle says:

    @raven:

    Definitely the larcenous younger cousins, when they had time.

    Glad you saw “Nebraska”. Good flick.

  47. 47
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Matt McIrvin
    Ah, did not know the history on the Rationalists and jail for admitted atheism.

    That said, the Unknowable is territory that requires faith to blunder around in. Science acknowledges Unknowable, so I conclude it doesn’t matter.

    ‘I’ve been touched by his Noodly Appendage!’ carries as much UnKnowable Heft as ‘Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me.’

    Right? I guess I am saying that it really doesn’t matter, but considering other perspectives after reading folks post. True enough about one end of the boat having a hole. Perhaps what I am looking for is a way for the Religious to save face from having to back out of Science and the advancement of Understanding our Existence. A truce from them from the BigBang forward, as the Universe obeying strict laws that every day Humankind draws closer to having a greater understanding thereof.

    – NOoC

  48. 48
    Schlemizel says:

    @NotMax:

    Great approach! I am so going to steal that.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:

    @JPL

    We ain’t seen/heard nothin’ yet. Likelihood is for a run-off in the R primary. The crazy will be cubed.

  50. 50
    No One of Consequence says:

    @NotMax
    Very good, and I concede that point. Perhaps I should say rather Vocal and Likely Adept Verbal Defensepeople. ?

    Heh.

  51. 51
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @No One of Consequence: I know (I’m old enough to have seen the original) but while I was watching this the other night and Tyson was explaining the whole concept, my only thought was, it’s going to make the bible-only-truth people’s heads explode.

    I had no such thoughts the first time around. Since Cosmos, science and Sagan himself were regarded with the respect they deserved (or I was much more naive).

  52. 52
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne: Wow. Seriously.

    Maybe he out gross-out tv’d himself. When I saw him on TV selling his, er, book, he was pretty toned down from his shows. Which made me wonder if he’s outgrown TED. Though he hasn’t outgrown making money from crap, obviously.

    Still can’t stand the guy, though, he’s like walking white male privilege. Neil DeGrasse Tyson kind of resembles Cleveland when you think about it. (I can’t believe I just wrote that.)

  53. 53
    JPL says:

    @BGK: Broun is a good Christian who happens to be married to his fourth wife.

  54. 54
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @catclub: It definitely explains why it’s on FOX which really seemed like a mismatch. (Though, FX, I could see.)

    It better be on streaming is all I have to say. If not, it’s getting pirated. You’re on notice, FOX.

  55. 55
    RaflW says:

    Some day Oklahoma will be a dusty, backwater state with a relatively small population that is plum ignorant.

    Hahaha

    Whatever, Okies.

    *I lived in Tulsa for 2 years in my youth. It was an alright place, but it’s sort of the high point of culture and countryside there (actual trees, lakes nearby, Gilcrease museum, etc). That says a lot.

    **There is wretchedness in greater Tulsa, too. These fine (if a little wacky) folks in Turley, OK, are doing their level best to deal with systemic poverty, racism, and a severe lack of public services.

  56. 56
    Schlemizel says:

    @BGK:

    I am old enough to remember small band (usually 3 guitars & a drummer) being called “jungle music” and “designed to inflame the passion of young white girls” so maybe the Big Band theory says those are worse. I know Gay Lombardo sounded like hell to me.

  57. 57
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Next week’s episode looks to be all about evolution.

  58. 58
    David Hunt says:

    I remember that one of the first things that I watched when I got a Netflix account a couple of years back was Sagan’s Cosmos. I remember thinking that if it had aired today, the Rabid Right would have thrown a shit-fit somehow about his piece on evolution as came out and flat-out said that evolution wasn’t just some story that we’d told ourselves, “It really happened.” This bit from the guys in Oklahoma doesn’t surprise me at all.

    And Oh Boy do I miss Carl Sagan.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    @Another Holocene Human

    If you get the National Geographic Channel, you can watch it there on Mondays.

  60. 60
    No One of Consequence says:

    @TaMara (BHF) says:

    I had no such thoughts the first time around. Since Cosmos, science and Sagan himself were regarded with the respect they deserved (or I was much more naive).

    This.

    At a tender age of 10, I have vividly strong memories of watching this with my father. The original. On PBS. Needless to say, it affected me deeply. The horizons and borders of my world and mind were expanded significantly. Profoundly.

    Thank you TaMara, I did not mean to be pedantic, but Neil has a lot of fantastic quotes himself. ;)

  61. 61
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Nah, Sagan was always fighting these kinds of battles along with all the other science popularizers out there. In 1980, religious fundamentalist nonsense was on the upswing and on the march.

  62. 62
    Belafon says:

    @TaMara (BHF): One of the coolest things I found out in the last year or so was that we are probably third generation start stuff.

  63. 63
    Glidwrith says:

    @No One of Consequence: “We cannot progress towards our destiny as a species and duty as the only known life in the Universe, if we do not hold to the path of Science. Discerning that which is Known from that which is Unknown from that which is Unknowable. Atheists and Agnostics should consider ceding ground on the Unknowable. Just let them have it. ”

    Not a chance in the non-existent Hell that I will cede this ground. These folks are inherently anti-science or to put it another way, just because they’ve got the imagination of a 10 year old in their failure to comprehend even the small amount of knowledge we now have doesn’t mean the rest of us have to go down to their blithering pig-ignorant level of understanding.

    If you think you cannot change another person’s mind then you are part of the problem. I have read any number of accounts of people being persuaded that their original outlook (CAN YOU SAY GAY?) was mistaken and changing their minds.

    Simply conceding to willful ignorance? Not while I’m on this side of the grave.

  64. 64
    Belafon says:

    @JaneE: I don’t think the people who watch Fox have trouble with it. It’s the people who watch Fox News, who must not have any clue about the other station.

  65. 65
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    @JPL:

    He’s also a physician so one would think he took a number of science classes,

    There are quite a lot of folks out there illustrating the point that “passing science courses” and “understanding science” are not the same thing at all.

  66. 66
    Schlemizel says:

    @TaMara (BHF):

    QED – the country is going to hell in a handcart. I lived around some strongly religious types back then and they didn’t like that Sagan did not credit their invisible hairy thunderer for making the cosmos from scratch but they never suggested that the science was wrong. Surely there were some nut jobs then but they held no sway on the national scene & wouldn’t have gotten any traction with the media other than as “look at these nutballs!”

    Today those nutballs own one whole major political party and drive the national debate into the ditch. I hate these people more than I can explain & they have crushed my soul.

  67. 67
    Belafon says:

    @Mnemosyne: OK, this is funny:

    Druyan [Sagan’s widow] — a big Family Guy fan, wouldn’t you know

  68. 68
    Freemark says:

    Thanks for the congratulations. I will be one of the older REU members they have had which just makes it all the sweeter. With a windchill of 13F here right now I wouldn’t mind being asked to go early. But then I couldn’t do my volunteer work at the GSA (Geological Society of America) convention here in Lancaster, PA next weekend.

    I really appreciate everyone’s well wishes. Many of the students here are going to the Physics conference in Georgia next month where NDT is supposed to give a talk which I won’t be able to attend so I will have to ‘settle’ for Arecibo in June. I doubt they will let us re-enact the 006/007 scene but I can hope.

  69. 69
    EconWatcher says:

    Did you all see that Boehner and Pelosi have invited Pope Francis to speak to Congress? This could be good….

  70. 70
    Citizen_X says:

    @TaMara (BHF):

    it’s going to make the bible-only-truth people’s heads explode.

    I think that’s by design on Tyson’s part. When the original aired, during the Cold War, on the cusp of Reagan’s election, Sagan, who was involved in planetary exploration and would develop the nuclear winter hypothesis, had an overriding message of “please don’t blow up our planet.” Now, with science and education funding being cut, and ignorance being spread about evolution, global warming and everything else, Tyson has a message of “please don’t abandon the scientific method.”

  71. 71
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Schlemizel: The “creation science” movement was well under way by the time Cosmos aired. McLean v. Arkansas in 1982 and Edwards v. Aguillard in 1987 did major damage to the movement to teach this stuff in public schools (which resulted in proponents getting more creative), but those hadn’t happened yet.

  72. 72
    Rob in CT says:

    Concern troll is concerned.

    I enjoyed episode one (though I thought the animated stuff on our friendly neighborhood monk theorist who was burnt at the stake was a bit odd, and oh by the way far more likely to piss off the reglionistas).

  73. 73
    Marmot says:

    @maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor:

    Just because the leak is at the other end of the boat doesn’t make us any better off.

    You say it better than I was going to. But I feel like piling on.

    the competitive advantage of the science-friendly states can only grow in the face of willed ignorance elsewhere.

    For serious, Tom? So, presumably the economies of the enlightened states will soar above those of dumb states? Or is this just badly phrased tribalism?

    Either way, you’re smugly ignoring the fact that people generally assimilate to their cultural environs, and they could use our help out of that mess.

    Oh, and 1985 wants its double-space-after-a-period back.

  74. 74
    Belafon says:

    @No One of Consequence: Yeah, but at 10, I didn’t know there were millions of people in this country that did not believe that the earth was billions of years old. At the time the original Cosmos came out, these people were not driving the thinking in the country: Science and the Cold War were.

    This version of Cosmos is not only trying to present science, it is trying to educate about how science works.

  75. 75
    Joseph Nobles says:

    The Cosmos episode on evolution is coming. In fact, I think it’s this Sunday. So the Oklahoma station better get an hour-long special report ready.

  76. 76
    Redshift says:

    The one point in the episode where I felt like Tyson was deliberately poking fundamentalists was when he said that the evolution of the universe is “the greatest story.” But it was actually pretty understated, and if you weren’t paying close attention you could easily have missed it.

  77. 77
    NotMax says:

    @Matt McIrvin

    Watched the premiere of the new series (and am old enough to have watched the original when it first aired).

    Now, of course I am not the target audience, but found Tyson too intent on imitating Sagan, not altogether successfully.

    Sagan had verbal peculiarities, to be sure (late night hosts were mimicking “billionzzzzz and billionzzzz” for many months at the time), but also smiled and otherwise animated his facial expressions and was naturally adept at conveying a sense of excitement about what he was sharing through modulation of his voice. Tyson’s narration came across (to me) as plodding and at times patronizing, especially when coupled with apparent determination at keeping his ‘serious’ face on.

  78. 78
    Freemark says:

    @Elizabelle: I am in complete agreement with that whole excerpt. I see the climate change ‘debate’ taken almost verbatim from Big Tobacco’s play book yet people absolutely refuse to see it. I have literally had people talk about how long it took ‘scientists’ to show cigarettes caused cancer so how can they know climate change is so serious so quickly. If you explain scientists knew the dangers of cigarette smoking decades before it was excepted by Congress that isn’t how they ‘remember it’. Brick walls and my forehead are well acquainted with each other.

  79. 79
    catclub says:

    @Rob in CT: Lucretius! On the nature of things.

    Mindbendingly ahead of its time. I have not made my way all the way through it, yet.

  80. 80
    Fred says:

    A copy of Sagan’s “Cosmos” sits on my night table. Reading about the massive pressures, temperatures and power in a humdrum star like our sun and putting that in context of how it is lost in the vastness of the universe gives me an awe for the existence I am privileged to witness. Was it all created by God? I can’t even comprehend the distance to the nearest star so how could I be so vain as to think I could know. But I still give thanks for my blessings. I can look up at a night sky and see stars. A few of them, anyway. It’s enough for a poor creature like me.
    My Mom used to tell me a rainbow is an answer to a prayer. I like to believe that is true. Where I live we see lots of rainbows, even double ones. Spectacular. The doubles come from a second reflection of the sun from the big lake. Up the road I saw a triple, I’m guessing there was another lake up the mountain. Still could have been three prayers answered.

  81. 81
    Schlemizel says:

    @Freemark:

    You are so right. Even when you can show some of these morans the bad guys using exactly the same tricks they can ignore that. I have a permanent dent in my forehead from slamming it into my desk.

    You can see the same technique being used by climate deniers, by the NFL on CTE, creationists, nuke power folks, anti-vax’ers, more tax cuts and less regulation whores and many many more. They have learned the lesson well – in a way tobacco IS going to kill us all.

  82. 82
    Anoniminous says:

    @catclub:

    If you like Lucretius you should love Denis Diderot’s Letter on the Blind

    This powerful essay … revolves around a remarkable deathbed scene in which a dying blind philosopher, Saunderson, rejects the arguments of a providential God during his last hours. Saunderson’s arguments are those of a Neo-Spinozist, Naturalist, and Fatalist, using a sophisticated notion of the self-generation and natural evolution of species without Creation or supernatural intervention. The notion of “thinking matter” is upheld and the “argument from design” discarded … as hollow and unconvincing. The work appeared anonymously … and was vigorously suppressed by the authorities. Diderot, who had been under police surveillance since 1747, was swiftly identified as the author … and was imprisoned for some months at Vincennes

  83. 83
    drkrick says:

    @Freemark:

    I’m sure we will soon hear from the wingers that ‘Not allowing censorship would violate the 1st Amendment rights of that Fox station.’

    And they’d be right. It’s Sinclair’s station and they have the right to broadcast all, none or part of whatever shows they want. That doesn’t mean this wasn’t stupid, but unless their contract with Fox says otherwise they’re within their rights.

  84. 84
    Anoniminous says:

    @drkrick:

    In living memory the CW was broadcasters were granted access to the Public airwaves and for access one of the duties of a broadcaster was to Educate and Inform.

  85. 85
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: By all accounts, Mr. Sagan was a pretty cool dude.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    chopper says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson kind of resembles Cleveland when you think about it.

    you, sir, are a horrible person.

  88. 88
    Paul in KY says:

    @Freemark: Great news! Hope you find something new you can name.

  89. 89
    drkrick says:

    @NotMax:

    @No One of Consequence

    those that hold strong athiest beliefs

    Confusing the concept of atheism as being some sort of alternative religious doctrine is a fallacy. There are self-avowed atheists who do that same thing.

    So there’s no such thing as people who strongly or even aggressively believe that there’s no God?

  90. 90
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mike in NC: Maybe worse, if you can wrap your head around that. Think of a cross between John Calhoun & Father Coughlin.

  91. 91
    Jeffro says:

    @drkrick: You can feel strongly that you’re an atheist w/o having religion…don’t you have to worship something to be religious?

  92. 92
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Glidwrith:
    Don’t beat around the bush, let me know how you really feel!

    Not a chance in the non-existent Hell that I will cede this ground. …go down to their blithering pig-ignorant level of understanding.

    Amen. I am not suggesting offering anything up of the Unknown. Merely the Unknowable. I can conceive of no value in the Unknowable other than a place to file away those fruitless endeavors of the mind.

    In exchange, for ceding ground on the Unknowable, from the Big Bang forward, we would need to all agree that Objective Reality appears to adhere to a rather broad set of Physical Laws. That Chemistry is a thing. That *BIO*chemistry is a thing.

    If you think you cannot change another person’s mind then you are part of the problem. I have read any number of accounts of people being persuaded that their original outlook (CAN YOU SAY GAY?) was mistaken and changing their minds.

    I can argue that your having read about these any number of accounts, others were instrumental in given individual’s change of heart/mind — but it was the individual who did the changing. The individual mind that decided their Subjective or Anecdotal Reality and Objective or Discernible Reality did not jive, and altered their Subjective in accordance. Those that are used to this sort of Edit, take such changes largely in stride. For those whom such an Edit is a rare occurrence, it requires a greater conscious effort.

    I do not mean to posit that I do not try to persuade, or to take a contrary opinion in order to force another to defend an opinion or position, and in so doing learn more about my own opinions and positions.

    Simply conceding to willful ignorance? Not while I’m on this side of the grave.

    Good on you. I will not concede to willful ignorance either. From the BigBang backward, what does it matter? Nothing (as Science is to understand it) observable existed. Neither time, nor light. Forward from that point, well, we can provide a little more information on what appears to have happened. That information will change over time. Become more refined. Perhaps even misunderstandings corrected. Largely it will hew to physical laws with which we are quite familiar at this point.

    The Known is the collected works of humanity and our experiments. We stand today on the deeds of those who passed before, carving understanding from nature, and refining knowledge with certainty that could sustain the next level of discovery. The UnKnown is that with which we still struggle, still seek, but lies within our capacity to Understand.

    The UnKnowable, is that which Science cannot Subdue. It also is that which can never be brought into the Known or Unknown spheres. I place God there. Hell, even Christians place God there. “We cannot fathom the mind of the Lord.” or some such stuff. It is a territory of no value to me, and of no location, therefore what anyone has to say, or professes to understand about it is inconsequential, immaterial, and ultimately worthless.

    I want to move past wasting time on it, endangering our educational systems with the ‘teaching’ of ‘beliefs’ not the Scientific Method, and Empirical Testing. I want the conversation to go to ‘Believe what you want, *here* is what we can prove.’

    – NOoC

  93. 93
    Paul in KY says:

    @No One of Consequence: Time in our universe did not exist, as it did not exist (pre-our-universe). Time could/can exist outside our universe (IMO).

  94. 94
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Freemark: That’s exciting – good for you.

  95. 95
    Paul in KY says:

    @No One of Consequence: Any rational religious person can still have a supreme creator & evolution. In fact the ‘supreme creator’ is made more supreme by the vast span of universe, time, etc.

    Those who essentially believe in magic will get no face saving as knowledge is a harsh mistress.

  96. 96
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @catclub: There was an NY Times best seller dealing with Lucretius, atomism, etc. called The Swerve. by Stephen Greenblatt.

  97. 97
    Schlemizel says:

    @Paul in KY:
    “Time is an illusion, lunch time double so.”
    – Ford Prefect

  98. 98
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Belafon:
    Fair enough. It is a concern. I guess I am looking for a way forward. I cannot embrace faith and argue the Religious’ists’ ground. They are unwilling to ‘abandon’ faith in order to engage on scientific grounds. My thought was, here, you magical sk-wizard followers: take this Unknowable space. Frolic about, create the wildest, incredulous mythos you can, and no one will bother you, because no one can tell you it wasn’t so. They can only tell you that you cannot prove that it was.

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @Freemark:

    I have literally had people talk about how long it took ‘scientists’ to show cigarettes caused cancer so how can they know climate change is so serious so quickly.

    Maybe you should point out that Svante Arrhenius first proposed the existence of the greenhouse effect in 1896 and published a book about it in 1906. It’s not exactly new science.

  100. 100
    catclub says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I read The Swerve, which was my introduction to it.

  101. 101
    Belafon says:

    @drkrick: Only if you think that having to believe in a god is the default position. Is not being a smoker smoking by different means?

  102. 102
    drkrick says:

    @Anoniminous:

    n living memory the CW was broadcasters were granted access to the Public airwaves and for access one of the duties of a broadcaster was to Educate and Inform.

    Yes. The law still reads that way, I believe. Hell, I’m old enough to remember the Fairness Doctrine. But as a factual matter, Sinclair has the First Amendment right to exercise their own editorial judgement about what fulfills that obligation within pretty broad boundaries. Someone could challenge their next license renewal about it if they wanted to, but I don’t like their chances for success.

  103. 103
    Paul in KY says:

    @Rob in CT: Those that freak out about Cosmos also probably knew the poor guy was a papist, so they probably liked that part.

  104. 104
    JPL says:

    @Jeffro: The U.S. Military is socialist and I wonder whether the representative wants to rid us of that.

  105. 105
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore: I would be confident in guessing that his greenhouse effect was based on water vapor, which is still the largest contributor. So I am not confident that bringing it up would help.

    The CO2 contribution is a relatively subtle effect. It is just that without it, all the models we have do not work to match recent observations, but with it, they are far, far, closer to actual observations.

  106. 106
    dmsilev says:

    @Freemark:

    Many of the students here are going to the Physics conference in Georgia next month where NDT is supposed to give a talk which I won’t be able to attend so I will have to ‘settle’ for Arecibo in June. I doubt they will let us re-enact the 006/007 scene but I can hope.

    I just got back from a physics conference, and believe it or not there was a bit of a James Bond moment there. Someone was giving a talk about the history of the laser, and he showed the classic clip from _Goldfinger_ (“Do you expect me to talk?” “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die”). Of course, he muffed it by labeling the clip as ‘Dr. No’, and was called out on the error by someone in the audience.

  107. 107
    Paul in KY says:

    @Schlemizel: The ‘it’ in my comment was our universe, not time as a dimension. Just noting that for the record.

  108. 108
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Paul in KY: Very well. Perhaps we need a given that no observation of our universe is possible without being *in* it? Or is that just as ludicrous?

  109. 109
    NotMax says:

    @drkrick

    Of course there are. In fact, that is what was said.

    The concept of atheism (note that is what I was referring to, not just “atheism” as if it were some unitary practice) is rooted in rejection of the concept of a deity or deities and by extension the religious worship such conceptualization evinces.

  110. 110
    Freemark says:

    @drkrick: My point, sorry to not make it clear, was that those are the same people who claimed the NFL was violating the 1st Amendment by not showing some over-the-top gun ad.

  111. 111
    Freemark says:

    @dmsilev: Was that the main one in Denver?

  112. 112
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Paul in KY: Without getting into whether or not Religion is rational, I agree largely with what you say. ‘The Demon-haunted World’ as Sagan referred.

    I suppose I see no danger in a Clockmaker, because back from the Bang, I got nothing. Bang->Forward though, the Universe appears to obey a set of (apparently) pretty strict physical laws.

  113. 113
    Roger Moore says:

    @catclub:

    I would be confident in guessing that his greenhouse effect was based on water vapor, which is still the largest contributor.

    You would be incorrect. He got a lot of the basic science correct, looking specifically at anthropogenic CO2 with water vapor as an enhancing secondary factor. He missed some of the positive and negative feedback that is included in current models, but his calculated temperature changes for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 fall within the range the of current IPCC estimates.

  114. 114
    Belafon says:

    @dmsilev: My youngest son and I attended storm spotter training last weekend, and they started it off by talking about the NWS monitoring all types of weather, and included clips from Sharknado.

  115. 115
    NotMax says:

    @Belafon

    Touché, and happily defer to your succinctness.

  116. 116
    Jeffro says:

    @JPL: The US interstate system is socialist…why can’t I drive on a libertarian road in the dang country??!?

    (Actually I guess I could…it’s called “off-roading”)

  117. 117
    dmsilev says:

    @Freemark: Yep. Something like 9 or 10 thousand people, usually fifty or so talks going on simultaneously, etc. It’s a tiring experience.

  118. 118
    Rob in CT says:

    Jesus Christ, who the hell gets all up in arms about saying “I dunno” about the bit before the Big Bang?

    If that’s the big concession, it’s no concession at all. And the religionistas won’t give a shit, btw.

  119. 119
    Elizabelle says:

    @Freemark:

    Thank you for mentioning! I was afraid I bored people with the long excerpt, but it was so on topic (to me, at least).

    Michael Hiltzik is a treasure. Lot of good work by him in last year or two.

    And congrats to you, personally, on the REU selection. Woo hoo! Puerto Rico.

    Maybe you will bring back a street dog too, no? (Saturn, satellite, sato dog …)

  120. 120
    Belafon says:

    @Rob in CT: Before the Big Bang was the Big Sex, which, luckily, was preceded by the Big Foreplay.

  121. 121
    karen says:

    What will eventually happen is that the Northeast, probably down to Virginia, Washington and California will be where the doctors, scientists and engineers come from and will contribute to make the world a better place.

    The rest of the country will have schools where they’re taught the bible even though it’s not an actual bible school. Teachers will teach about the “Constitution” but not the real Constitution of course.

    Since the administrations in charge KNOW that actual medical knowledge is necessary to take care them and the rich elites who own them, smart kids will be going to real school.

    Meanwhile, we will be educated and our states will be more affluent. Unfortunately, ignorance breeds poverty and that suits that other states just fine.

  122. 122
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Rob in CT: The Religionistas won’t give a shit, you are probably right. I suppose the idea is to provide a metaphorical sanctuary for their beliefs. An unassailable Dunderland where they could believe whatever they want. A little birdhouse for their Lord, if you will. Therefore, you can print whatever you want to indoctrinate with, but it has no place in our Public Educational system, which just deals with the spheres of the Unknown (but knowable) and the Known.

    I want to cede the Unknowable for continued incursion into the Unknown and for increasing the holdings of the Known.

    If God is in our Universe, they seem to take a *considerably* less active role in showing us how badass they are and demanding sacrifices, then say a scant two or three thousand years ago…

    Therefore, with education and science, let’s just stick with what we can demonstrate, and what we can prove. And don’t worry, we all promise not to think in your churches.

    – NOoC

  123. 123
    Freemark says:

    @Roger Moore: I actually have done that. I also mention that this what we were taught in grade school more than 35 years ago. Since we were taught in school the ‘greenhouse effect’ was what made Earth livable wouldn’t it make logical sense that if we double or tripled the amount of gas that kept Earth from freezing that it might have some affect. Unfortunately, I have learned over the years that logical arguments don’t work with a large number of people.

  124. 124
    IowaOldLady says:

    I hate to admit it but I was disappointed in the first Cosmos episode. The visuals were stunning but the content felt thin.

  125. 125
    Barry says:

    “On the one hand, I’m glad: the competitive advantage of the science-friendly states can only grow in the face of willed ignorance elsewhere. ”

    On the other hand, we live in the same country as these people.

  126. 126
    Redshift says:

    @Fred:

    The doubles come from a second reflection of the sun from the big lake.

    No, they don’t. The main rainbow is formed by light being reflected off the back of raindrops, and being split into colors by refraction while passing through surface of the raindrop. The light in a double rainbow reflects twice within the raindrop, so it emerges at a different angle, and as a result, the light that reaches your eye cooked from raindrops in different locations than the primary one, which is why it appears above the primary. For a triple, the light reflects three times.

    Double and triple rainbows form when there is rain in the right place, and more important, when the sunlight is intense enough that it’s still bright enough to see after some is absorbed during all those bounces.

    I saw a full-arc double rainbow just yesterday on my way home from work!

  127. 127
    Tom Levenson says:

    @maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor: @Marmot:

    1) I agree that the Senate and the rural advantage in the House will leave more power in the hands of knowledge-poor states than disparities in economic vitality would suggest.

    2) Economically, there are two ways to be a rich state in the US: resources (see, e.g. North Dakota) or an economy animated by a strong science/knowledge sector. See, e.g., this quick and dirty comparison. As places like Oklahoma encourage their best and brightest to escape to Austin, or Silicon Valley, or Kendal Square, or Research Triangle, or NY city, that’s only going to accelerate.

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I probably have to give up some kind of feminist or liberal card for admitting this, but I ended up really liking Ted. Yes, it was dopey and juvenile in a lot of parts, but it managed not to fall into that buddy comedy trap of having the girlfriend be a harpy or a golddigger or just a bitch. You could completely understand why she was exasperated at having to deal with her boyfriend’s stoner buddy and — more importantly — the movie understood and was for the most part on her side.

    Plus, come on, Flash Gordon saved them all!

  129. 129
    karen says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I loved Ted too and have a soft spot for McFarlane. But he’s pretty liberal so why would your card be given up?

  130. 130
    Roger Moore says:

    @Freemark:

    Unfortunately, I have learned over the years that logical arguments don’t work with a large number of people.

    As the saying goes, you can’t reason a person out of a belief they didn’t reason themselves into. They don’t believe in the greenhouse effect because they don’t want to believe, and it’s going to be very difficult to convince them to change that.

  131. 131
    canuckistani says:

    There are hints at large scale structures in the cosmic background radiation which might imply the existence of other universes. Too early to say and we need to see the data from the next generation of space telescopes, but.. the possibility exists of gaining knowledge of what exists beyond our universe and before the Big Bang.
    Where’s your Messiah now, Flanders?

  132. 132
    Redshift says:

    @No One of Consequence: You’re overthinking this. The scientifically-minded were willing to offer something far broader than the small “sanctuary” you’re suggesting. To wit: you can believe whatever you want as long as you don’t ask to have your beliefs enforced on the rest of us by government or Controlling what is taught in public schools. The reason there is such a public argument is that fundamentalist religious types won’t take that deal.

  133. 133
    Mnemosyne says:

    @No One of Consequence:

    If you don’t read Fred Clark at Slacktivist, you really should. He’s had some really good posts both recently and in the past pointing out that many of the fundamentalist creationists have built themselves a house of cards where if you remove just one card — like, say, believing that evolution happened — they’ve declared that the entire edifice crumbles and you have to stop believing altogether. It really is a self-created problem for them.

    One of the early pieces I remember by him was talking about going on a high school or college trip to Israel and the group being shown an 8,000 year-old pot from Jericho. This caused one of his friends on the trip to have a breakdown because he had been told his whole life that the earth was only 6,000 years old, and if that was a lie, then his entire life was a lie, too. (They did eventually talk him down, but what a cruel thing to do to someone — teach them that they either have to believe that verifiable facts are wrong or abandon everyone and everything they’ve ever loved.)

  134. 134
    Redshift says:

    @Mnemosyne: I agree. I hadn’t watched it based on the trailers, but my niece wanted to watch it with us when she was visiting, and it’s actually a rather sweet romantic comedy. Not at all what I was expecting.

  135. 135
    No One of Consequence says:

    @canuckistani: But I don’t even believe in Jeebus!!!

    Hints of large structures in background radiation?! OK. Don’t mind me while I wait for a little more info on that one.

    However, you are right. It is conceivable that we could gain knowledge about what existed before observational time, but I doubt very highly we will come to much conclusive evidence about it.

    I could totally be wrong though. It has happened before.

    – NOoC

  136. 136
    Jeffro says:

    @karen: It will be interesting to see if, over time, this produces our own home-grown version of North and South Korea. One side propagandized to the hilt and poor; the other well-educated, prosperous, and high-tech.

  137. 137
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Redshift: That’s a distinct possibility. I overthink most everything. It is a personal failing.

    Yes, I have heard that enormously large concession. I signed onto it. It has never been seriously considered by the Religioso’s. The rational, the pragmatic, the Realists: we need to get beyond this. Frankly, I am unconcerned with the god-botherers. They will always be with us. In some form or another. I just want them out of public education. My child deserves every benefit I can provide them. They also deserve as few shackles as possible tied to them. I view dogmatic, demonstrably-false and self-contradictory world-views or creation-views as inherently negative and limiting.

    So, here is the sales pitch:

    Hey God-Botherers: You’re RIGHT! God *IS* awesome but ultimately UnKnowable, and therefore Science wants you to praise him eternally in the UnKnowable Space! Without interruption or intrusion from Rational Thought or Constructive Criticism! Safe from any undue outside influence. Sound good? You BET! The *only* thing we need to do is for you to sign right here, making your voice and vote known for the complete removal of any religious/superstitious/magical-thinking matter or material from any public educational space and/or school system. That’s it! You are still *FREE* to Home School your little Noah and Mary about the Evils of Liberalism and how those SCARY people of color are Satan’s Helpers!

    Whaddaya think? Will they go for it?

    – NOoC

  138. 138
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thanks Mnemosyne! I will check that out directly! Much appreciated.

  139. 139
    Renie says:

    @EconWatcher: I don’t think those more conservative Republicans are going to like what the Pope has to say.

  140. 140
    JaneE says:

    @Belafon: Out here in the back of beyond, Fox the station and Fox News the cable station are all just Fox, the only trustworthy source of information. The LA Fox affiliate news is pretty much the same slant as the cable, with local interest stories. I haven’t seen their entertainment offerings.

  141. 141
    Citizen_X says:

    Well, here is something seriously kickass about Oklahoma: Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor Cathy Cummings who is the official teacher-of-Guiness-pouring-for-all-of-Oklahoma and should probably be elected on that basis alone, but on top of that is an awesomesauce liberal. (Check out the video of her and her husband trying to live on two minimum-wage incomes for one month-DEDICATION, BITCHEZ!)

  142. 142
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @No One of Consequence: No, they won’t. The only Christians who might be susceptible to that kind of reasoning are mainstream Protestants and Catholics who are pretty much there already. The people who get upset about evolution and the Big Bang are not interested in any kind of acceptable truce.

  143. 143
    Freemark says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’ve seen that before. Their faith has to be so rigid and unyielding that the smallest crack or twist in it causes it to shatter. That is why when so many fundamentalists lose their faith they lose it completely. It is all or nothing.

  144. 144
    Mike G says:

    I understand better why bible-thumpers are so afraid of government censorship. It’s not that they’re morally opposed to censorship itself, they just want it to be privatized and under their control.

  145. 145
    Ian says:

    @Belafon:
    Which scientists think only lasted for seconds.

  146. 146
  147. 147
    wtsamatta says:

    @aimai: @Freemark:

    To me, your reaction is no different. If the cult of liberalism it anything but tolerant or yielding. If we’re not on your boat, we’re loons or fox news watchers with nothing but hate or intolerance in our hearts. Rock the cult of liberalism a little bit and see what happens..you guys would make the crusades look like a gang fight in a kiddie park..

    In 2010, Stephen W. Hawking, with Leonard Mlodino, argued that the laws of physics allow for the universe to have created itself . . . from nothing. In their book, The Grand Design, Hawking states:
    “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

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