Comments about ‘'Cosmos' return puts science and religion under the scope’

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Published: Monday, March 10 2014 4:45 p.m. MDT

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LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT


My 17 year college enrolled daughter just had her Sunday School teacher "lecture" her about the lies of Science.
The Big Bang, Evolution, Age and Size of the Universe, ect.

The Earth is 6,000 years old, Evolution doesn't happen in any way, shape or form, and the Big Bang never happened because God has always been around, and so has his universe.

So, it would seem that the teaching of Abraham and Joseph Smith, Brigham Young etc. would not be very well accepted by many of today's 21st century LDS Church members.

Farmington, UT

Please note that Tyson specifically states that Bruno was not a scientist, and that he was lucky in his guess about the universe (26:46). Whether he was a scientist or not was never the point. It's undeniable that religions have, and will continue to reject anything that contradicts its revealed wisdom, and you can see it happening today. The reality of the universe makes a mockery of the Gods our ancient ancestors worshiped, and many of us still do today.

up North, WI

I don't trust anything Seth McFarland puts his hands on. He should stick to inane attempts entertaining the lowest common denominator.

ex patria cougar
Australia, 00

It is easy to get caught up in false arguments, where people and ideas that are not inherently at odds, are set at opposition and people take sides. There are a number of reasons for this: ignorance, mistrust, or in the case of the media, for the profit found in the entertainment value of arguments, debates, and contention.

Faith vs. Science is a false argument. I love both, and have no reason to doubt either. Devaluing either one is foolishness. The more I learn about faith and science, the more I realize how much there is to learn. Science does not threaten my faith.

Faith vs. Works is another false argument.

American Fork, UT

Why? It's kind of like comparing a tv show about reality versus reality television. On the surface they sound similar but really one is about science and one is 'big brother' or 'the amazing race'.

t-ville, UT

Science and religion are contradictory in the sense that one requires curiosity and humility, the other superstition and certainty. Those who have continued to embrace religion into adulthood would be wise to consider the limits of human understanding in any area and maintain the distance between an ever-changing society that is developing a preference for scientific inquiry in place of rituals and dogmatic teaching. The case will always be made that the latter of the two has value and should not be discounted, however scientific inquiry encompasses both the benefits and drawbacks of religion and thus makes the dichotomy a false one. Religion has and will continue to belong in the area of anthropology. The foremost question should not be which religion is true but rather why was religion necessary to begin with.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

“And, Rossi said, Bruno was outcast because of his anti-God beliefs and not his perception of the universe.”

What an (unintentionally) great line… as if that’s an excuse for his execution.

And if science is beginning to push back on religion a little it is only because religion has become a disproportionally powerful political force in our country seeking to mobilize (for what?) a large segment of the population with a constant stream of fear based victim rants (e.g., war on Christmas, war on religion, etc.).

The Religious Right has done more to change the tone (negatively) of our public discourse than science or secularism ever has, and they are largely responsible for whatever tension exists between science and religion.

Which of course the quoted line above makes perfectly clear…

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm intrigued by Seth MacFarlane's involvement.

Science is all about questioning the world around us. Comedy/satire is meant to poke holes in rigid thinking & the status quo.

p.s. Matheria: Did you notice that the lead in to Cosmos on Sunday was a Seth MacFarlane show on Fox?

Nofolk, MA

Self-proclaimed scientists seem to be feeling their way towards a new inquisition, but this time it is against anyone who believes in any type of religion. The initial Cosmos show universally depicted complex situations as cartoons. Rather than the ponderous, self-righteous tone, it would have been refreshing to see humility at the difficulty of understanding reality and eagerness to discover new truths.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

Scientists teach us how little we really know and then get all excited because this means there is so much to discover. I love that: the brain firing, the imagination soaring. Learning how things really work - now that's an incredible experience.

I think science and scientists can teach us how to become comfortable with uncertainty, and I think this would be a good thing for humanity. The illusion of certainty breeds arrogance and its many ills. Uncertainty begets humility. Humility is better.

Farmington, UT

Your belief in evolution, historical geology, or history of the earth in the LDS Church is like being a democrat or republican. The church has no stance on it and you will find members on both sides.

Leesburg, VA

>>scientific inquiry encompasses both the benefits and drawbacks of religion and thus makes the dichotomy a false one.

Unfortunately, science alone is completely inadequate for developing ethics and morals.

In fact, teaching people that they are nothing more than randomly organized blobs of matter who will cease to exist at death and who answer to no higher power than themselves leads one to question why any particular moral code should be binding upon the individual.

Mapleton, UT

I really like: "Don't let your god be too small." Mormon theology has a firm footing against some of the criticisms raised in this article. The Pearl of Great Price portrays a god that weeps, yet governs a universe with countless worlds. As an LDS scientist, it is liberating to be part of a religious community that embraces science, and a god of galaxies. In my lifetime, I've never felt church leadership questioning honest scientific inquiry. These days, they allocate money toward open-ended scientific research carried out by students at BYU. Awesome, right? You've got to love a religion that essentially says: let's get the truth wherever we can find it; we're not afraid to scrutinize everything. It if turns out that the earth is billions of years old, that's enlightening; if it turns out that native American peoples have a genetic composition that's really Asian, great. Does scientific progress require that religious people revise some old beliefs? Sure, and the closer we get to the truth, the closer we get to God.

Midwest City, USA, OK

Science is merely the observation of the world that God has created; it doesn't suggest that God doesn't exist or that Christianity is wrong, and this is something mankind has understood through most of its history. Revelation and scientific understanding both come about through inquiry and humility.

But in recent times, people have attached a lot of un-scientific baggage to the label "science": arrogance in man's own understanding, unconstructive skepticism and cynicism, and confirmation bias toward anything they think suggests against intelligent design in life or the universe.

For every instance in which "religion" has held back discovery and progress, so "science" has impeded actual scientific understanding and progress, as well as moral fiber. For every claim that being religious requires certainty and superstition there is the fact that some's misguided idea of "science" involves certainty in that science and a zealous denouncement of all other forms of thought.

Salt Lake City, UT

A lot of people misunderstand both science and religion. Both use faith, both need to seek the truth. Science is always evolving as they pursue truth. Some 'religionists' do not seek truth. Science has been very helpful in developing technologies. Science has not been helpful in using these technologies wisely. Sadly, man's weak faith in God has likewise not been helpful, Clearly, more work is needed in the latter area.

t-ville, UT


"Unfortunately, science alone is completely inadequate for developing ethics and morals."

Empty rhetoric. Ethics and morals are a result of sociological evolution, hence the disparate values and morals of societies. Taboos and mores emerge and disappear like languages or religions. The above statement is akin to claiming an broad understanding of human civilization, recognizing a distinct pattern of morals, and being certain as to the correctness of those morals. Note: see the above comments regarding humility.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@mhenshaw – “science alone is completely inadequate for developing ethics and morals.”

And yet hundreds of millions of people on the planet who embrace all the findings science and do not believe in God (at least in the “man in white beard, law giver” sense) seem to have no problem behaving quite ethically. In fact when we look at countries around the world, there appears to be an inverse relationship between religious belief and ethical behavior - compare the most atheistic country, Sweden, to the most religious, Pakistan; or even the 20 most atheist/agnostic countries with the 20 most religious – the results should be eye opening to any fair minded person.

But since you imply that we can only have objective morality by believing in God, I’m curious if you can tell us what this objective morality is (i.e., is there a God written/inspired book that would give these “true for all time” moral codes you suggest we are otherwise lacking?

Hank Jr
Draper, UT

I enjoyed the premier especially after I fast forwarded Obama out of it.

Filo Doughboy
Bakersfield, CA

Thank you, Neil and Seth. And a word to you:

"Don't let your God of Science be too big." Lest He have to be ever-redefined, as He has been in His attempts to purport Himself above and beyond the Organizer of the Cosmos. Just pick up any science text book in any decade and compare it with the previous decade's curriculum. Just compare Job 38's analogy of "stretching out" the cosmos... (The oldest Biblical book, never revised or updated.

And science reinvents itself and its "facts" every few years, as it peers deeper into a Cosmos that it clearly cannot comprehend:
Dark Energy, Dark Matter, Black Holes: 1924 vs. 2014? Google what astrophysicists still cannot explain. Go to NASA's site on what no one knew before Hubble's spectacular emissions back to earth in 1998...

And don't forget God's Word to Job:
"Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" (38:2)

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

If you are LDS,
Science and Religion are based on the exact same foluma for determing "tuth".

1. Ponder it in your mind.
2. Make a decision as to what you "think" is right.
3. Then, set out to "prove it" for yourself.

I have no problems reconciling Science and Religion.
If you are using the same fomula,
You will ultimately determine the truth of ALL things.

BTW -- Cosmos: a Space-Time Odessey hammer this home thorugh out the entire 1st episode.

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