Episode two of Cosmos, hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson aired this week and Tyson, towards the end of the program made one of the best statements that one can hope sank into the minds of young and old viewers alike, and most importantly, creationists. Tyson proclaimed there is no shame in admitting you do not know something and that the real shame is pretending to know everything.
Just as we saw Ken Ham do when debating evolution against Bill Nye, Ham was able to claim that he knew everything that Nye honestly claimed he did not know by simply saying "Bill, I do know how X happened, it's all explained in this book," referencing the Bible. Ham is shameful in the fact that he cannot admit what he does not know, he would rather go on pretending to know things he does not know, the definition of faith.
Ham went as far as to claim he believes in his views so strongly, nothing can change his mind. The sure sign of someone who believes to know things they do not know and does not care about finding the truth, only sticking to what they want to believe.
During this week's episode, Tyson discussed the evolution of the eye; something creationists have said for years that evolution cannot explain and attempting to use as evidence that life must be intelligently designed. Tyson eloquently explained how the eye evolved and how well scientists understand this evolution.
Tyson touched on how many species have evolved an eye, but did leave out the fact that there are over 40 known independent eye evolutions, something that very clearly discredits any intelligent design.
However, these facts mean nothing to creationists. Not long after Cosmos aired, Jay W. Richards, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute (DI), a non-science, religious based foundation that fights to discredit evolution and replace it with faith based creationism, tweeted:
"On eye evolution, the #Cosmos editors again failed to do a Google Search:"
Linking to a Discovery Institute PDF download that is supposed to debunk the evolution of the eye claim, yet is nothing more than praise for the Christian Right pundit Ann Coulter and a lambasting of Richard Dawkins, public enemy number one at DI.
Watching the Christian Right, and especially the creationist wing struggle to counter Cosmos each week is like watching a frightened, cornered animal that knows it is about to die. Grabbing at straws each and every week, blasting out social media links that are meant to reel their following back in as their eyes are opened to the greatness of the scientific method.
Those like Richards, Ham and the creationist lobby will simply stop at nothing to protect the industry that they have created. A series like Cosmos will inspire a new young group of future scientists who will put down their bibles and pick up On the Origin of Species, who will leave church and walk into a science lab and who will stop putting money into coffers and put them into research facilities.
Creationism's days are numbered; Cosmos frightens them more than anything has in a very long time. Everyday their numbers get smaller and smaller and their grasp on America becomes weaker and weaker.
The time is now for a scientifically literate America to return, for scientific innovations to flow out of our borders and spread around the world. We can no longer take a backseat to the world of science and must return once again to the drivers seat.
Cosmos is just the program we need to inspire people in this country and around the world of the wonders of science and realize that the facts offered through the scientific method are more beautiful and more satisfying that any religion on this planet can offer. A series like Cosmos shows the world that facts are always better than fairytales.
Follow Dan Arel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/danarel