Neil Tyson explains evolution


#1

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#2

No go outside the US.

Maybe someone can put it up on Youtube and post it in the comments?


#3

Does this site work outside of the US?


#4

“worth watching if only to understand what you’re aligned against.”

We know what we are aligned against. We also know how that in the end we win. All we are doing at this point is watching the fulfillment of prophecy.


#5

That one’s US only, too, Mister44

Has anyone YouTubed it?


#6

My wife’s had Cosmos on while I play Dark Souls 2, and I was really impressed with the evolution episode. Especially since it’s on FOX! For those who haven’t seen it or can’t easily see it, Tyson basically says “Evolution is real, it’s why we’re here as we are, we’re not actually like monkeys in the way some people say but in a deep, science-based way that I’m now going to explain.” It was really good, and I was happy to see it on television.

That’s been the thing I like the most about Cosmos so far. Tyson just plainly states where we are with our knowledge of the universe, and doesn’t do wishy-washy “no one knows…!” statements and half-truths common to similar shows on The History Channel and so on.


#7

That comment was made to creationists, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, with the hope that hearing a clear, straightforward explanation might actually sway some of them toward reality.


#9

The last time Jewels_Vern mentioned a prophecy, it was about businesses boycotting Arizona over their anti-gay law. I suspect he has a very different conception of what reality there is to sway toward.


#10

Good point.


#11

Doubt is a sin in Christian belief (Romans 14:23); it is the opposite of faith. Creationism is the placing of one’s fingers in one’s ears and screaming “LA LA LA I can’t hear you!” at the reality of evolution that defies this misplaced faith. A show like this will never reach the people who need it most because to even consider and think about it runs contrary to their belief that you can’t introduce doubt into your life. But at least it will inoculate the rest of us who aren’t afraid of a little critical thinking.


#12

That Oklahoma TV station that “accidentally” aired a 20 second promo when Neil briefly talked about evolution during episode 1 must have had to take themselves off the air completely for episode 2.


#13

Good point, but as my wife noted, this show doesn’t seem to be aimed at adults. It seems to be aimed at a somewhat younger audience. Perhaps an audience that still hasn’t solidified their worldview yet, and has a chance to change and be a part of the future rather than burying their head in the sand.


#14

Shouldn’t prophesy be capitalized? Well, unless you’ve noticed that there’s a list for that…
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dates_predicted_for_apocalyptic_events


#15

I feel like there is a larger issue going on with the anti-science mindset that is not just on the right (anti-creationism) but on the left (anti-vaccination, miracle cures) too. To me, that issue is a lack of critical thinking. It’s hard to tell if the lack of critical thinking is that it’s a skill not being taught or whether people willfully disregard what they know how to do because it’s easier to not challenge yourself and make everything conform to your world view instead of being open to new facts that don’t fit into how you already see the world.


#16

Maybe, but just to remind you, this association of anti-vaccination with the political left - in the way that things like climate denialism have been with the right - seems to be a myth. I might guess miracle cures are not so correlated either, though specific types might be.


#17

Here’s a good example of the miracle cures. I have many friends, yoga teachers and massage therapist who lean left politically, who would go for foot treatments. The idea behind these foot treatments is that you soak your feet in the mineral water and it leaches toxins out of your feet. You can see how it gets all the toxins out because the water is all gross when you are done. If you think about this critically, if you are leaching goo out your feet, you probably need to get to a hospital soon because leaky feet is not normal. But if you are following the simple logic of feet go into clear water that turns into gunky water, then that’s proof positive that the stuff works. I could go on and on about the cures my friends have told me to take for colds and pains that have absolutely no medical proof of being useful.

Here’s another example, I have restless legs syndrome and if you read up about it, there are studies linking RLS to deficiencies in iron. So, naturally, lots of well meaning friends have suggest iron supplements. When I asked a doctor about this, he explained that the mechanisms for absorbing minerals are more complicated that iron in/iron absorbed. He explained that there could be another thing I am eating that is blocking the absorption of iron, or there could be some physical reason my body cannot absorb iron so even if I eat plenty I still don’t have it where I need it.

I definitely understand the desire to find relief to pain and to stay healthy, so I do get what drives this behavior, but I think there is a problem with people needing simple explanations and not being able to accept ones that involve following some logical complexity. I feel like overall, whether people are coming from a religious background or interested in alternative medicine, there is a desire for simple answers and a rejection of ones that involve understanding science.


#18

No, I understood what you meant, and at least where I am I associate those with more liberal people. But then there are things like faith healing that are more associated with religious conservatives, and I imagine things like trusting in not-quite-medicine like iron supplements are probably pretty similar across the board.

I don’t know precise stats, but I question if it is really a particularly “left” thing the way your post categorized them. Anti-vaccination isn’t, it’s bi-partisan; thinking it’s a liberal thing is a popular mistake so I thought I should point it out. False balance is false balance, though it doesn’t change your main point that anti-science attitudes are widespread.


#19

You said it better than me - yes, exactly.


#20

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