All thirteen episodes of the science education series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is now on Netflix! If you have a Netflix membership and didn’t see the cosmos series while it was on TV (or just, understandably, want to re-watch it), you should take at least some time out of your day to check it out.
Hosted by the charismatic astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is a reboot of the thirteen episode series (and book) hosted by Carl Sagan, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, originally aired in the 80’s. Carl Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan (for whom Sagan’s book adaptation of Cosmos is dedicated), also helped create the reboot of Cosmos.
Airing on Fox back in early March, the pilot “Standing Up in the Milky Way” gathered nearly six million viewers on Fox alone. The pilot episode was even introduced by president Barack Obama. It is not so usual for a science documentary to air on prime time television on a popular channel such as Fox. At this year’s Emmy’s, Cosmos received four awards and twelve nominations.
Amidst all of the incredible success, Cosmos was not without it’s critics. Many religious fundamentalists issued tweets after the airing of the pilot episode, disregarding the science of the show–particularly that dealing with the age of the universe. The young-earth creationist website Answers in Genesis (and curators of the Creation Museum in Kentucky) posted articles–which I refuse to link to here, because I don’t respect AiG enough to give them traffic–refuting each individual episode of Cosmos, claiming that the show was unscientific for perpetuating evolution and an ancient universe.
I feel such criticism was undeserved by the show, and I only have good things to say about it. In the words of Tyson:
“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
I think the show was much needed, amazingly educational as well as entertaining, and I think we could all benefit from watching it. Possibly repeatedly.