Two Discoveroids have already attacked the initial show in the new Cosmos series, as we reported yesterday: Casey and Klinghoffer Criticize “Cosmos”. Now a third voice has joined their chorus.
At the Discoveroids’ creationist blog there’s a new posting: Cosmos Revives the Scientific Martyr Myth of Giordano Bruno. This one is from Jay Richards, a Discoveroid “Senior Fellow.” Wikipedia says that he once had some kind of faculty position at Biola University, a California bible college.
He’s a co-author (along with Guillermo Gonzalez, now a Discoveroid sleeper agent at Ball State University) of the creationist classic, The Privileged Planet — a book about the allegedly unique nature of the Earth. You know how that goes — everything is so perfectly arranged that it couldn’t have happened like that naturally; there had to be some guiding intelligence who set the dials so that everything would be as we see it. Here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us:
Some of us had speculated that the new Cosmos series, being a reboot of the series by the same name hosted by Carl Sagan in 1980, would be a paean to materialism. The premiere episode, featuring astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, laid the speculations to rest. Casey Luskin, our resident speed typist, has already given a detailed blow-by-blow of the episode, so let’s focus a bit more on the lengthy discussion of Giordano Bruno. This, more than anything, shows that the series is not just concerned to give a materialist spin to the evidence of science, but to the history of science as well.
Yes, Casey already gave a “blow-by-blow” account of the show as a “paean to materialism.” How disgusting that a show about science would ignore the evidence of mysticism in nature. Richards is going to set things right. He says:
Many viewers may have been baffled that so much time would be spent on Bruno, an Italian Dominican friar born in 1548 who was neither a scientist nor credited with any scientific discovery. Why is that? It’s because he’s the only one with even a passing association with a scientific controversy to be burned at the stake during this period of history. As a result, since the 19th century, when the mythological warfare between science and Christianity was invented, Bruno has been a leading character.
Giordano Bruno wasn’t a scientist? Brilliant point, Richards! But how many “scientists” were there in Europe in 1600, the year Bruno was torched by the Inquisition? The word “scientist” didn’t exist then. Galileo (who was 36 at the time of Bruno’s flaming demise) and later Newton are regarded as among the first scientists in the modern sense.
Richards continues to nit-pick the emphasis on Bruno. He tells us:
But there’s one problem: Bruno’s execution, troubling as it was, had virtually nothing to do with his Copernican views. He was condemned and burned in 1600, but it was not because he speculated that the Earth rotated around the sun along with the other planets. He was condemned because he denied the doctrine of the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, and transubstantiation, claimed that all would be saved, and taught that there was an infinite swarm of eternal worlds of which ours was only one.
Oh, then his execution was entirely reasonable. The wretch dared to deny Church doctrine. No problem! Let’s read on:
Is it any surprise, then, that, as a defrocked Dominican friar denying essential tenets of Catholic doctrine and drawing strength from the closest thing to an atheist in the Roman world, he might have gotten in trouble with the Inquisition? Yet a documentary series about science and our knowledge of the universe fritters away valuable airtime on this Dominican mystic and heretic, while scarcely mentioning Copernicus, the Polish guy who actually wrote the book proposing a sun-centered universe.
Copernicus had the good sense to delay publication of his heliocentric work until his shortly before his death, which might otherwise have been — shall we say — hastened by the Inquisition. Richards continues:
The reason [for the show’s attention to Bruno] is obvious once you see that Cosmos is not just good ole science education, but rather a glossy multi-million-dollar piece of agitprop for scientific materialism.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! How can true science focus only on the material world, without paying due attention to the supernatural influences which the Discoveroids see all around us? Here’s more:
Copernicus died peacefully in his bed just as his book, On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres, was hitting the bookstores (such as there were in 1543). And his most famous disciple, Galileo, despite being censured by the Holy See, died peacefully as well. So it falls to Bruno, who had no scientific achievements, to stand in as a martyr for science.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, Galileo died “peacefully,” while under house arrest after having been declared a heretic for his work on the solar system — see Indictment and Abjuration of 1633. His book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was banned and placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. According to Wikipedia’s list of authors and works listed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, more than a century after it was banned, a censored version of Galileo’s book was permitted in 1741, and almost another century passed until the entire book was finally removed from the Index — in 1835. But it was a “peaceful” death. Moving along:
I’d venture that virtually no one other than scholars of Christian history would even know the name of Giordano Bruno but for the propaganda machine of scientific materialism, which needed a martyr for its metanarrative.
Nevertheless, Bruno certainly deserves to be remembered. Besides, science has plenty of other martyrs — Galileo among them (notwithstanding what Richards describes as his peaceful death). We shouldn’t forget that Darwin’s life wasn’t entirely tranquil after he published his theory. And poor old John Scopes was convicted of the crime of teaching evolution. Hey — how many creationists have ever suffered criminal prosecution for being creationists? Our guess is that there are none. Oh, some get fired for incompetence, or aren’t re-hired, or are denied tenure, and the Discoveroids regard them as martyrs, but none have ever been prosecuted. Scientists don’t behave like creationists. Here’s another excerpt:
[N]ot one viewer in a thousand could miss the real message: Christianity has been the enemy of science, and its henchmen tried to kill off the first brave souls who ventured a scientific thought.
Well, yes — that is the message. Science hasn’t had it easy. And thanks to outfits like the Discoveroids, science continues to face considerable opposition.
Richards then mentions that Bruno has a good writeup in Wikipedia, and because of that, Cosmos didn’t need to even mention him. Hey, brilliant! But he fails to note that Wikipedia also has a smashing writeup on intelligent design, forthrightly describing it as creationism — so the Discoveroids can close up shop and find other jobs. Anyway, Richards closes his grand essay with this:
One wouldn’t want to let the facts get in the way of a good propaganda. The irony is that that makes it not-so-good propaganda.
We agree — Cosmos isn’t good propaganda; however, it appears to be a very good show about science. We’ll leave the propaganda to the Discoveroids.
Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.