In Neil deGrasse Tyson’s reboot of Cosmos, the popular astrophysicist attempts to make science accessible to the average person, and to broaden our collective understanding of the universe and all its myriad wonders. What, in your opinion, is he up to? Do you consider him a better or worse liar than previous host Carl Sagan? What improvements in the art of deception has mass media achieved in the three decades since the original series?
Many theories are discussed in Cosmos, including the big bang and natural selection. Did this inspire you to draft an online petition calling for the immediate cancellation of the series? If not, you’ll find helpful links to several pre-existing petitions in the latest issue of our weekly email newsletter. (Note: new columnists always wanted. Please send a sample of your writing and let us know which particular branch of science you’d like to debunk. Sorry, no payment at this time.)
Tyson explains at great length how infinitesimal, how insignificant Earth and all life on it is in relation to the vastness of the universe. How many seconds did you suffer this before changing the channel? Did you find a good reality show? Tell us about it.
Aboard his Ship of the Imagination, Tyson can take viewers millions of light-years across the universe to witness spectacular sights such as the birth and death of planets, suns, even entire galaxies. How many of our tax dollars were spent on this ship? Wouldn’t that money be better spent building imaginary things right here on Earth?
At one point, Tyson wonders if our universe may be merely one in a vast “multiverse.” Perverse speculation? Conspiracy? Drug-induced hallucination? Discuss and disparage.
Cosmos briefly relates the story of 16th-Century friar Giordano Bruno, who insisted that every star in the sky was actually a sun, and that the universe was far grander than anyone had previously dared imagine. For his views, he was burned at the stake. In your opinion, how did he like them apples?
Asteroids and comets are frequently discussed in Cosmos. Anyone remember the difference? Anyone care? Please take a moment to sign the online petitions again with a different name.
Tyson estimates the age of the earth to be approximately 4.5 billion years, and the universe to be 13.8 billion. On a scale of 1 to 10, how intense were your convulsions of laughter, horror, and rage? What measures did you take to recover your equilibrium? (Also wanted: columnist who can write about the delicate balance between living a healthy lifestyle and succumbing to persistent fits of anger.)
This wasn’t mentioned in Cosmos, but a recent study indicates that one in four people still believe the sun revolves around the Earth. Do you have any ideas about how we can increase that percentage?