Pundits React to the Cosmos Reboot

Greg Pollowitz at the National Review thinks Cosmos is boring;

I think we have a real dud of a show in the making.

I beg to differ, my reviews of Cosmos are here and here.

Daily Beast’s  David Sessions, argues that Bruno was a theologian not a scientist.

What Cosmos doesn’t mention is that Bruno’s conflict with the Catholic Church was theological, not scientific, even if it did involve his wild—and occasionally correct—guesses about the universe.

Sessions must have fallen  asleep while watching the episode, because I distinctly remember De Grasse Tyson mentioning that Bruno’s was not a scientist.

Andrew Sullivan at the Dish, finds the history lessons cartoonish.

The segment previewed above is on the 16th century priest and philosopher Giordano Bruno, which includes deGrasse Tyson intoning that the Roman Catholic Church sought to “investigate and torment anyone who voiced views that differed from theirs”. Really?

Yes, really. Has the great scholar of history not heard of Galileo? Besides, what does it matter if Bruno was not a scientist? I thought Andrew Sullivan was against torture. Or is torture okay if condoned by the Catholic Church?

Besides have Sessions and Sullivan not heard of Copernicus? He delayed the publication of his book until the year of his death.  The book, postulated a heliocentric solar system based on his observations of the planets.  Perhaps, because as a man of the cloth, Copernicus was aware of the blow back from the Church if he published his thesis.

What exactly is Bruno’s being a priest supposed to prove? In fifteenth and the sixteenth  centuries, not many besides priests and noble men had the time to dedicate their life to philosophical or scientific questions.  I don’t really get Sullivan’s and Sessions’ criticism.

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Posted on April 3, 2014, in Physics, Politics, Punditubbies say Hello, Science, TV shows and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What Cosmos doesn’t mention is that Bruno’s conflict with the Catholic Church was theological, not scientific, even if it did involve his wild—and occasionally correct—guesses about the universe.

    I will freely admit to not being an expert historian, but all you have to do is read the entertaining Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel to know that, at that period of Church history, science WAS theology, and any scientific discoveries that contradicted the Bible’s view of the universe as being centered around the Earth were religious heresy, punishable directly by the Roman Catholic Church.

    This is basic, basic stuff and I’m embarrassed that these guys are so clueless about it.

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