FOX Television Series Cosmos Once Again Gotten Into Strange Controversy

FOX Television Series Cosmos Once Again Gotten Into Strange Controversy

The FOX television series Cosmos has once again gotten itself into a strange scientific controversy. However this time it is not over global warming, the Big Bang or even evolution. This go-round, it is about comets. The most recent episode explained what comets are and also what they are not. Before science, stated Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson; it was believed that comets were warnings of doom over many different cultures. He also explained that the actual word disaster means “bad star” in the Greek language.

The show proceeded to show some science history and explained Edmund Halley’s life story. He was the one who figured out how comets work and the comet which now has his name comes back by the Earth about every 75 years. It came by here in 1986 and is scheduled again in 2061. Halley was the individual that encouraged Sir Isaac Newton to publish what is thought to possibly be the most important science book ever, the Principia Mathematica.

How did all this make creationists angry?  That was  due to anyone who is a young Earth creationist not only not believing in evolution; he or she also denies any type of science that even remotely suggests that anything on the Earth or anywhere else out in the universe is over 6,000 years old. This includes comets, most of which are not young.

On the most recent episode, Tyson stated that several comets arrive from the Oort Cloud, which is an extremely far off region of icy figures that lay very far outside of Pluto, yet still orbit the sun. There could be over two trillion of these ice-covered objects, and sometimes, one of them gets knocked from its regular trek and instead takes a very long travel time to the inner portion of the solar system. As that object gets closer to the sun and starts to warm, the transferal of gas and ice provides it with a tail, and if it comes near Earth, than humans may get to view a comet.

However, creationists have a big problem here NASA states that the objects in the cloud region are believed to be left over from when the solar system was first formed about 4.6 billion years ago. They are also so far away that it takes these comets extremely long periods of time to get to the inner solar system. Because of this, they have the name of “long-period comets”.

The problem should now be obvious. There is no way comets can exist that are much older than creationists think the entire age of creation to be. They think the Oort region was just imagined up by scientist to give a birthplace for comets, since they have not existed as long as astronomers say they have. Therefore the Oort area is just fiction. The big problem creationists have is the idea that comets are prehistoric and have traveled enormous distances.

Science says the Earth is old and that the Oort Cloud exists. That does not mean any creationist is going to have his or her mind changed due to Cosmos being on the airwaves. That is really sad too because the awesome, amazing and wonderful Neil deGrasse Tyson has ended up making science cool, and not just for those of us who loved the topic in the first place. He has actually made it fun for everyone in the family to watch, so too bad for creationists and their closed minds. They cannot get any type of enjoyment out of a show that is smart and really fun at the same time. They will just continue to go on wasting their lives denying reality because they feel reality has to bend to what they believe. It cannot go the other way and that is sad. That makes God very tiny and small is something that He is not.

The FOX television series Cosmos almost seems to like getting itself into all kinds of strange scientific controversies.

By Kimberly Ruble


International Business Times

NPR News

Mother Jones News

40 Responses to "FOX Television Series Cosmos Once Again Gotten Into Strange Controversy"

  1. Eddie   October 13, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I am one of those “Creationists” that gets deemed outrageous on a supposedly subjective and explorative show. That is why the show is controversial. It’s not about the possibilities of it’s timelines. I have been educated in religious studies through college and study my bible and believe that it is Gods word whole heartedly. I do not discredit science and do not feel that anyone has a definite answer to the universes timeline so it does not offend me. But to claim on the show, as he has, to explore everything as a possibility and then under the same breathe claim that creation is a ridiculous possibility exposes the true nature of this show…

  2. ed a   June 1, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    I enjoy the series but the back ground music I too loud, it takes away from the message..

  3. John Ellis   March 25, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Discussions above are totaly ignorant. Religion or creationist does not exist without humanity; Both Religion and Scientific theory at the present time are being presented as finite. The term Multiverse is also being used in a Star Trek format. Universe as a coined word was originally defined as an infinite. I hereby submit that all you Cosmos fans are brainless idiots in a sea of infinite proportion.

  4. zhaphod   March 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    String theory is scientific controversy. Not creationists messed up ideas about our universe. Saying that Cosmos is getting itself into scientific controversy is doing science a disservice.

    • Mickey Richard (@mickskeptic)   March 24, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      My first thought after reading this article was to say exactly that.

      The real controversy should be why is anyone still paying attention to these cretinists. Oops…did I misspell “creationist”? My bad.

  5. Stan Woosley   March 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    The earth goes round the sun. Can we at least agree on that? The distance to the sun is measured with enormous precision. As the earth goes round the sun the distances to faraway stars are shifted by a small, but measurable angle. Its called parallax. The spacecraft Gaia is measuring the distances to over a billion stars by parallax. Many, many of these stars are over 6000 light years away. Obviously the universe has to live long enough for the light to get here or was the light created in transit by God or does the
    earth not go round the sun?

  6. sincitylife   March 24, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Religion is not about Truth…It’s all about Power over sheeple & keeping them “asleep”. Science is about discovering Truth & waking those who still are counting sheep.

  7. Phillip   March 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    This is comical in my opinion. The few ‘creationists’ that disapprove of the theory that anything is older than 6000 years, has already been proven that they’re a small majority, I respect them, but they’re reactions always are good for a chuckle.

    That said, lets let them keep barking up whatever 6000 year old tree they’re stuck on, and let some of the hard-line creationists concepts be one of the reason we seek to improve scientific exploration.

  8. Bernard DOwdell   March 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    It is amazing how many people want to use a small vocal minority of Christians by which to judge the validity of a Christ centered world. Especially when many of those same individuals are willing to accept that only a small number of muslims are terrorists. Do you people really believe science has the answers to the complexity of the world in which we live. Remember the scientists of today are like the scientists of history when the earth was flat, the sun was the center of the universe, and you could cure people by bleeding them. Do not dismiss the love of God so quickly dear friends and mock his Son so readily, you so so at your peril.

    • Joey   March 24, 2014 at 11:59 pm

      “Do you people really believe science has the answers to the complexity of the world in which we live.”

      Science doesn’t have all the answers but religion certainly provides no answers whatsoever. To think a religious explanation for anything is an “answer” is to think any wild guess about anything is knowledge.

    • scooterwes   March 25, 2014 at 10:38 am

      “Do not dismiss the love of God so quickly dear friends and mock his Son so readily, you so so at your peril.”

      Well, I have done (and do) both, and no bolt of lightning has struck me yet. I was a christian for 46 and a missionary. I am no longer a slave to wishful thinking, which includes having “Jesus as my Savior”. I am good without God, thank you. And thanks to your “small vocal minority”, 48% of Americans do not believe that evolution is the explanation for the diversity of life on this planet. Disgusting.

  9. Don Peckham   March 24, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    The only reason this topic is considered “news” is because Cosmos is on FOX. If Cosmos was on PBS, there would be no issue.

  10. Den   March 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Unfortunately we must never underestimate the power of the ignorant in great numbers.

  11. John   March 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Video didn’t kill the radio, they both exist today and will for quite a while. So is science and religion. They both serve a purpose and its high time religion needs to get out of its areas of expertise and let science do its job for everyone’s good. Hope pope can edit “The book” and remove the non-religious parts…

  12. Gerard   March 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    No offense, but this isn’t really a new controversy. It’s the same controversy. And it’s not really a controversy. There are people who believe that Jesus came to America. There are people who believe that the world’s leaders are lizard people in disguise. There are people who believe that there is another world in the center of this one that you get to by traveling through a hole at the pole, and that there is another tiny sun in the core of this hollow planet. These are not controversies. They are stupidities. They are paranoid delusions. They are the product of thinking that we knew all there was to know several thousand years ago and that we put it all down in a book so that no one would ever have to wonder again. There are people who believe this because they are intellectually timid and have been taught that questioning and learning are somehow evil. These are the same people who condemn anyone who disagrees with them and dream up huge conspiracy theories to explain why their opinions are treated with such derision. Some of these people are members of our United States Congress. Seriously. Some of them sit on science committees. Seriously. I want to know what they would think about giving equal time to science (real science, not their version) on their religious television programs, or in their religious textbooks, or in their church services. The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous, and they SHOULD be derided and laughed out of town.

  13. Mr. Jonathan   March 24, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    If creationists don’t like what the show is saying they should stop watching it. Vote with your feet, it’s the American way. And always remember- God hates ignorance.

  14. scooterwes   March 24, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Personally, if the creationists weren’t pissed off at Cosmos, then we would know that Cosmos did not do it’s job. I’m THRILLED they are angry. They’ve made ME beyond angry with their dumbing down of America and making us the laughing stock of the rest of the developed world over the past decades. It’s about damn time that literate, intelligent people fought back against this ignorance!

  15. Roger Day   March 24, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    As Mr. Speer implied by his comment, Ms. Ruble should have used the term “young earthers” instead of “creationists”. Young earthers are scholarship challenged folks, who help to give a bad name to Christianity, as though there aren’t already plenty of other nutty flavors that also do so. Most Christian creationists believe the earth is 4.5 billion years old, and that the universe is at least 13.5 billion years old. Young earthers say that light used to travel faster. Really?! Why would God want to fool us into thinking the universe is much older the young earthers say it is? Young earthers think there are only two choices: evolution or creationism. There is a third choice, which is that true science and true religion should not be in conflict. It seems that more truth in both categories would be in order.

  16. paulheckbert   March 24, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    No controversy. Nobody cares what the creationists say.

  17. John Strebler   March 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Scientific controversy – There is no scientific controversy here. There is a religious myth (based entirely on books written by men a long time ago) about the age of the universe. Of course there is also an older myth that has the world on the back of a turtle. Each myth is equally believable.

  18. Charles Atchison   March 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    There was a time when the greatest scientific minds believed the earth was the center of the solar system. We tend to deride them for their foolishness. But it seems the joke is on us as the newest revelations indicate edge of the universe is 14+ billion light years in every direction. Making the earth not the center of the solar system but the center of the universe.

    So how about the world being flat and having an edge? Kind of a two dimensional thought. So how about the universe being a sphere? That’s kind of three dimensional thought.

    • YS   March 24, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      @Charles Atchison. … You misunderstand the concept. At any point anywhere in the universe it APPEARS as if it is at the “center” of a space-time sphere 13+ billion light years in radius.

      • Charles Atchison   March 24, 2014 at 9:11 pm

        You are the first one I’ve heard that proffers a minimum age of the universe at 26+ Billion years. I have tried to conceptualize it but kept getting hung up on the limit of what we can detect being the actual edge because of its uniformity. Are you telling me this uniformity is an illusion and not a definitive location. So if we were at a point at the edge of the known (13+BLY) universe we could detect the earth as existing on the edge?

        • Brandon   March 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm

          We can detect as far as the light allows us to see. It took 13+ billion light years to reach us (in all directions). This means we can’t see further than 13+ billion light years, not that the Earth is the center of the universe.

          Actually, we can’t even see the edge yet. Hubble can see about 500 million years or so after the Big Bang (and shows some of the earliest galaxies).

          The age of the universe is based on the cosmic background radiation, not visible light.

          • Sundra Tanakoh   March 24, 2014 at 10:30 pm

            Well said Brandon!

          • Li Zhi   March 25, 2014 at 12:13 am

            CA’s mind would probably melt if someone were to explain to him how the radius of the Observable Universe is now thought to be about 46 billion light years… That is about 92 billion light years in diameter, just to be clear. Although we certainly are in the center of our Observable Universe, by definition.
            Also by definition, a belief not founded on empirical evidence is NOT scientific, regardless of whether it is true or not. Last I heard, scientists hold many unscientific beliefs, just like the rest of us. That has nothing to do with science. Third, why not get it right? 14+ is (believed to be) wrong, “13+” is off by 798,000,000 years.The figure is 13.8 billion years for the age of the Universe (rounded up).
            As far as controvery, the media continues to toss incompatible world views against one another as if the exercise has some value other than selling advertisements.

          • Charles Atchison   March 25, 2014 at 9:08 am

            Brandon. It appears you have confused yourself while trying to differentiate between how long it takes light to reach us from the furthest reaches of the universe and the age of the universe and the measured cosmic microwave background. Till now I understood they were are approximately the same. Microwave radiation travels at the speed of light so the time and distances will be the same whether measured by an optical telescope or radio telescope.

            It is the cosmic microwave background I am referring to as the “edge” and estimated to be 14 BLY (I use 14 but 13.82 is believed more accurate) from earth in all directions. So is this uniformity of cosmic microwave background as depicted here>


            Actually represent the “edge” of the universe and the beginning of time? If we could take similar microwave readings from another location in the universe that is say 10 BLY from earth would we get the same readings?

            IF readings from 10BLY from earth ~ same as from earth
            THEN new readings put earth 23BLY from one edge and 3BLY from the opposite edge.

            Here is my point: The jury is still out. It is incredulous to think that all scientific truths are final and not subject to investigation or worthy of additional study.

            As a way of predicting the future I proffer: There will come many advances in the study and observation of space and time. Some will build on and underscore current understandings but others will displace current common conceptions.

        • YS   March 25, 2014 at 7:37 am

          CA – you don’t seem to understand what radius implies. Also, you are having problems perceiving a situation where there is no “edge”

          • Charles Atchison   March 25, 2014 at 9:40 am

            YS – Finally someone is beginning to understanding my point exactly. There is no “edge” only a limit to what we can observe.

            Can you see the danger in denying anything that cannot be verified with empirical evidence. Does this leave room for curiosity, conversations, hypothesis, and investigations.

            While I am not a “young earther” I’ve been a proponent of the Big Bang from a young age even though my grade school teachers presented a “steady state” theory of the universe as gospel. Funny how their gospel has changed but mine hasn’t.

          • YS   March 26, 2014 at 9:01 am

            You are still stupendously confused. You cannot seem to get clear in your head that the expansion of space-time has no favored “center”

  19. rik warren   March 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    While their numbers may be small they represent the tip of the iceberg that is scientific illiteracy in the US. I,e,; Approximately 50% of US citizens believe the sun revolves around the earth. These outliers are not so far out on the curve as we may wish. Anti science is alive and well and the ‘young creationists’ are only the warning sign of what a dystopic future the US may face. They must be challenged at every turn. Today it is this, and tomorrow they are rewriting science text books in Texas.

    • scooterwes   March 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Your percentage is wrong: 25% of Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth, and 46% believe in the Genesis account of creation (without evolution). Nevertheless, it’s still extremely depressing!

  20. Jonathan   March 24, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Gary, If you’ll look at the 3rd paragraph in this link I think you’ll find that they aren’t the ‘small’ minority you want them to be.

  21. Marty Biner   March 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I hope you many, many good Christians out there will do something to rein in your rabid fanatics. Look at the state of Islam to see what happens if you don’t do that.

  22. Lane   March 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Creationsim should be derided as a joke by anyone and everyone. It’s a crying shame they raised enough money to build a museum.

  23. Skip Bippleman   March 24, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    F*ck the creationists

  24. Marty Biner   March 24, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    If they are such a SMALL minority, why do we have bans on stem-cell research, textbooks that deny evolution, laws against euthanasia, abortion bans, etc., etc.,

  25. Bill   March 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Creationist make me giggle 🙂

  26. Gary Speer   March 24, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Do folks writing this column, and the majority of folks reading it, understand how truly rare and odd-balled “young earth creationists” are within the “Christian world views” out there? For the relatively small handful of creationists that abide by such silliness there are literally millions of mainline and even evangelical Christians who accept 1) some view of evolution, geology, and astronomy that entails a legitimate 4+ billion year earth and 13+ billion year universe, and, 2) a Creator who chose to work through “natural” or “scientific” means.

    The young earth and anti-evolution, anti-geology, anti-astronomy, anti-physics Christians out there are really just a very vocal, zealous SMALL minority.

  27. Kathleen Rowe   March 24, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    This article has certainly made science fun because the creationists’ complaint made me laugh out loud. 🙂


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