Cosmos evolution scene purposely cut? Many are wondering if a commercial airing right in the middle of Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining the first instance of life leaving the sea was an error or subtle editing. Fox affiliate KOKH-TV was hosting the show during the cut that occurred in Oklahoma, prompting many to think that the high population of religious conservatives in the state may have been a factor for limiting the amount of time spent discussing the evolution theory. Given the extremely sudden cut from scientific discussion to a local news station commercial, heated debates have flared up over whether or not the change was indeed the human error claimed by KOKH-TV, or an attempt to keep the idea from spreading among Oklahoma citizens.
Evolution versus creationism has been a hot topic for decades before the reboot of Cosmos aired, especially in some states. But the most important thing to keep in mind during these disagreements is that no one is trying to change anyone’s mind. The topic is very sensitive, but given the history of controversy in the state, many have jumped to the conclusion that the commercial was absolutely intended to block the evolution scenes from airing. KOKH-TV has tweeted that the jump was the result of human error and apologized, but the specific timing of leaving the show and returning just after evolution is discussed has kept the rumour mill circulating.
The question of whether or not the Cosmos evolution scene was purposely cut comes at a time when the debate between Creationism and Evolution is at a recent high. Ken Ham of the Creation Museum and Bill Nye the Science Guy recently held a widely publicised debate on the credibility of creationism versus evolution. While the debate itself did not offer any final answers one way or the other, it did serve to get the public thinking about something that has been in the background for several years. While some believe that faith is all you need, people on the other side of the fence are quick to dismiss the idea the creationism as fanciful.
Although the right to believe what you will is ingrained in the U.S. constitution, there is fierce debate over what is taught in schools, as we all know young minds are quite malleable. Some states insist that Creationism be taught as the only possible way life could have originated, but other say that evolution, despite small grey areas, must be taken into account as well. Ideally, neither idea would be presented as the only possible explanation for life on Earth as well currently know it, but instead both would be presented beside the other and the students would be implored to use their critical thinking skills to decide what they want to believe.
The likelihood of this is slim of course, because frankly each side is impossible to prove beyond doubt. Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence shown in Cosmos and other scientific materials, Evolution is still touted as a theory, open to interpretation and fine tuning. Similarly, Creationism relies on the faith of those that carry it. Whether or not we discover the true origin of life is beside the point however if we cannot agree to disagree and allow each person to make their own decisions.
By Daniel O’Brien