The new television series Cosmos began tonight. It was a visually attractive work of television art. However, as I listened to the narration and experienced the unfolding of the story I could not help but feel I was hearing a old secular apology, polished up, and being offered up in a new more digitized format. I also felt there was a significant anti-religious undertone.
I am not a scientist. I am a person of committed religious faith. However I do believe that truth is truth and that modern scientific advances have made human life better. I do not feel there must be tension between true science and true faith. I also think that scientism makes for a terrible religion even though it claims that it is not “religious”. Is the “new” Cosmos just a new version of the scientism sacraments?
Human knowledge can easily become an idol that is just as ignorant as any idol made of wood, stone, metal, or plastic. We human beings are very limited in what we can know about creation (a truth that is acknowledged but sugar-coated in the first episode of Cosmos). We only know what we have recorded and what we can verify and even then we must do so only in faith that we have perceived correctly. Modern science came out of a world view that there exists a God who is predictable and orderly. The current version of Cosmos (likes its predecessor) seems oriented against such an idea. In the first program it takes a significant amount of time to tell the story of a “mystic” who was rejected by the church. While the story may have had historical accuracy, the way the story was played utilized a lot of imaginary license (which was prejudiced against the church). Propaganda is propaganda and is not science.
I do not expect Cosmos (redux) to be based on religious teachings. The story of the mystery and majesty of what science has discovered can be told without a pro or anti God basis. However I cannot help, as was stated earlier, that the anti-God attitude is what the producers of Cosmos are hoping to accomplish. I am hoping the ratings will reveal this is not road they really want to take.
This mode of propaganda was not that effective before and I do not believe this up-scaled version will fare much better. I will continue to watch Cosmos and marvel at the imagination involved and then feel sorry for those who feel they must engage in a not so subtle subversion of the traditional value of religious faith (especially Christian).