Cosmos 2.0: Revisiting the Cathedral of Science?

Some of you are old enough to remember the Cosmos 1.0 where Carl Sagan fawned at billllions and billlions of stars from the vantage point of what looked, for all the world, like a cathedral without the stained glass.

It was a fascinating series, revealing to the commoner what science had discovered about the greatest WHERE of them all–the universe in which we are embedded and “live and move and have our being.”

The new Cosmos starts Sunday March 9 on Fox stations, at 9pm EDT. It turns out I will be situated so that I can actually see it on a wide-screen TV. I expect the graphics to be parsecs better than Dr. Sagan’s version.

I hope, this time around, the pride of what we know with our science and can do with our technology will be balanced by humility. There is much we don’t know, and some would say much we cannot learn through science–one important way of knowing, but not the only way.

There is much we have failed to do on Earth to the least of our kind (not to mention those other kinds at the margins of our vision and care) even while we’ve sent our surrogate eyes unimaginably far, looking for the physics and chemistry of WHY, WHO and WHAT we are.

Maybe there will be discussions around this new series out there, somewhere, among billlions and billlions of blogs and web pages.

We are stardust. And history is a dustbin. Humanity is light years from knowing how to live in harmony with each other and the only planet we have.

I hope that, in the end, this series points our passion for understanding back to Earth.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. As a former science teacher, my hope for this popularized science on Fox is that it will give the evolution deniers cause to pause and ponder.