Re: The Washington Post "Dissing Darwian"

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Fri Jun 03 2005 - 11:11:52 EDT

I don't disagree with the Washington Post, in that "The Priviledged Planet"
is religious--it offers a religious interpretation of excellent science,
very clearly explained. (Remember, I speak about the book, since I have not
yet seen the film version.) What I would wonder about, as others have been
wondering, is the following.

If a small amount of very clearly religious interpretation of science
disqualifies a film from being scientifically respectable, then what about
the whole series of films by Carl Sagan, "Cosmos." As many of us will
remember, "Cosmos" was shown on PBS, used in lots of college and high school
science classes--and still is used in those venues, though I probably much
less often than it was 20 years ago. The opening lines of "Cosmos" are
(in)famous for their explicit endorsement of materialism as a world view,
and the implication that science requires such a conclusion is obvious to
the viewer. Furthermore, the history of science/religion presented in
"Cosmos" is simply appalling--one might say that it follows in the old
Cornell tradition of AD White, which is to say as I just did that it is
simply appalling. The historical stuff in "The Priviledged Planet" book is
far more accurate, to say the least (I read some of it prior to publication
and have seen all of it since publication).

When will we see the Washington Post deny the scientific validity of
"Cosmos"? When we do, I'll take their response to "The Priviledged Planet"
more seriously.

Received on Fri Jun 3 11:13:20 2005

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