Cosmos Episode 4: Telescope as Time Machine

I’m falling behind in regular viewing of the Cosmos reboot with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. My wife and I viewed the 4th episode earlier tonight. Telescope as time machine: very true and accurate premise, but not everybody thinks in this way.

Early in the episode Dr Tyson demolishes the Young Creation scenario. Of course, God, in all his power, could have given the speed of light a big push from what is apparently 13.4 billion years ago. But that would mean the Almighty is a teaser, and deceives our eyes with what is around us. Earth could have been made some thousands of years ago, but the rest of the universe is 13-point-some billion years old. That’s what our eyes and minds tell us.

Animation was minimal in this episode, but it was actually a good unfolding of the father-son relationship of the Herschels. Some have criticized the sentimentality of some aspects of this series. but I think putting a human face on these scientists, even if it is something of a dramatization, helps the viewer see them as real people.

Also I liked the focus on the greats of science of the past few centuries: Newton, Herschel, Faraday, Maxwell, and Einstein. The “chain” of images appearing on successive study walls was effective.

The depiction and description of the black hole was well done. I could have done without the speculative universes within universes. It would have been a dramatic touch to just disappear at the event horizon, and move from there. But it was pretty … eye catching.

So far, I though this was the best episode in the series. Any other viewers wishing to weigh in?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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