Discoveroids Attack the “Cosmos” Premier Again

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.

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25 responses to “Discoveroids Attack the “Cosmos” Premier Again

  1. Discoveroid Richards writes:

    Casey Luskin, our resident speed typist, has already given a detailed blow-by-blow of the episode

    In case anyone missed the two typos therein, here’s the correction:

    Casey Luskin, our resident speed typist gerbil on speed, has already given a detailed blow-by-blowhard of the episode

  2. Flailin’ flagella and clottin’ cascades, for a bunch of simpletons, the Discorrhoids sure do disdain simplicity.

  3. Hmm, on second thoughts, “cascading clots” is more apt.

  4. Discoveroid Richards further bloviates:

    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

    Richards ventures very wrong in this–unless he wants to include James Joyce as a ‘propagandist for scientific materialism’, which would certainly be an original approach to Finnegan’s Wake.

    Frances Yates’ seminal work, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition was published in 1964 and remains a key text for historians of the Renaissance, and for scholars of the history of philosophy.

    Richards needs to get out a bit more…

  5. I’m glad the reboot took a very aggressive stance towards mythical and supernatural bulls**t. I think NdGT made his opening statement about skepticism and the scientific method (obviously evil materialism in disguise) with the very goal of pissing off people like our lovely Discovorrhoids. The Obama intro was just the cherry on top to get their attention and really rile them up.

  6. The point the idiots, excuse me the Discoveroids, miss is that the Church decided that it was okay for it to burn people alive because of their thoughts. Did Bruno harm anyone? Did he cheat anyone? His crime was that he “thought.” And thinking, ecclesiastic or naturalistic, that conflicted with what the Church was teaching was considered a capital offence. To “speak against” is to contradict and whether you were right or wrong, you could die.

    The show made the point that Bruno’s knowledge of the Cosmos was unscientific, as he had no evidence, so they are clean as far as I can tell. Their point was “Thinking Differently” (sorry, Apple) could be lethal and science is all about following the data wherever it takes you..

  7. @ stephenpruis: Well stated, that is indeed the point about Bruno.

    If anything, it’s remarkable the Disco’Tooters haven’t tried to claim Bruno and Hermeticism (which is solid Oogity-Boogity) as a ‘martyr’ in the same way Creationists (particularly of the Self-Published Genius variety) keep misappropriating Gallileo (who was solidly un-Oogity-Boogity).

    I think the DI and other Creationists, who love ‘persecution’ as some sort of validation, are suffering from Martyr-Envy….

  8. @Megalonyx
    Martyr-Envy, also know as ME. Seems appropriate.

  9. Srsly? Back to being persecuted again? As I watched on Monday morning (I’m no night owl), I remember thinking that it was pretty darn fair to Christianity, and didn’t try to refute religion at all.

    But, I may have misremembered, so I watched it again. So I found some examples of how the producers and narrator must hate Christians. Please note, they don’t belittle Bruno’s, or anyone’s faith.

    – “Bruno hungered to know everything about God’s creation.”

    – “The Universe must be infinite. This made perfect sense to Bruno. The God he worshiped was infinite. So how, he reasoned, could creation be anything less?”

    – Bruno, during his lecture at Oxford: “Our infinite God has created a boundless universe with an infinite number of worlds.”

    – And Bruno again, while being shouted at by the rabble: “Your God is too small.”

    That last quote, I think, sums up the DI’s position on God. Why do they want their God to be so small?

    Whenever I read a Discovery Institute article, I’m reminded of a few lines in the Modest Mouse song, “Bukowski.”

    If God controls the land and disease,
    keeps a watchful eye on me,
    If he’s really so damn mighty,
    my problem is I can’t see,
    well who would wanna be…
    such a control freak?

  10. Good point why haven’t the IDiots tried to claim Bruno as one of their own?

    None of the Bruno quotes above sound like “materialist atheism”, apparently “materialistic atheism” is the IDiots Pavlovian, knee jerk reaction to any new sensory stimuli.

  11. Stephen Kennedy

    The discoveroids are certainly showing their true theocratic colors. They are making a bigger stink about this than Hambo.

  12. No, Mr. Richards, the cosmos is not driven by your cosmic spook. She just rattles around in your pea-sized brain.

  13. This is O/T, but…

    Don McLeroy of TX: “I am a creationist…because I…looked at the evidence 4 evolution & found it weak” #GodofGaps

  14. Michael Servetus (1509 or 1511 – 1553) “theologian, physician, cartographer, and Renaissance humanist. He was the first European to correctly describe the function of pulmonary circulation. He was a polymath versed in many sciences: mathematics, astronomy and meteorology, geography, human anatomy, medicine and pharmacology,” (Wikipedia article on Michael Servetus), burned at the stake in Calvin’s Geneva.

  15. “…but for the propaganda machine of intelligent design , which needs martyrs for its metanarrative.” Gonzalez, Meyer, Coppedge, et. al anyone?

    Stephenpruis said:
    “The point the idiots, excuse me the Discoveroids, miss is that the Church decided that it was okay for it to burn people alive because of their thoughts.”

    Good to point out that “critical thinking” was, and is, unacceptable when it comes to religion, creationism, and intelligent design.

  16. Already tweeted on it. @FreemarketJay is Jay W. Richard:

    @FreemarketJay falsifies Galileo, sez he was “censured”! Like house arrest & Bellarmine’s thret nevr happnd #IDerrors

    @FreemarketJay asks of Bruno: “Is it any surprise” that Xians burnd him @ stake for askng questns? No surprs. Rationalsts know how Xians act

  17. AiG has a rather tepid response to Cosmos . . . it’s written by a retired gynecologist. That’s where I’d go for advice on cosmic origins and astronomy. Yeah . . . . a homeschooling wackaloon . . . . that’s it!

  18. waldteufel says: “AiG has a rather tepid response to Cosmos”

    I’ve been waiting for that. They must have posted it late today and I missed it. I haven’t read it yet, but if it’s sufficiently amusing, I’ll post about it tomorrow.

  19. Agree with Mark Germano. I didn’t find the Bruno affair all that interesting, though I hadn’t heard of it so I learned something. It isn’t anti-religious or anti-Christian in the least, it is however anti-fundamentalist which is why the Discoveroids take such umbrage.
    Contrary to the Discoveroid’s criticism I’d point out to believe in multiple Copernican systems you must first believe that the Earth is in a Copernican system. For example if everything goes around the sun, the stars can’t have planets of their own. Copernican belief is a bit of an extrapolation of the heresy charges brought against Bruno, but it was certainly correct.

  20. I just finished the AIG piece. It’s not worth bothering about.

  21. “which might otherwise have been — shall we say — hastened by the Inquisition.”
    Unlikely, SC. His direct superior, this guy:

    was all for publication.
    And this guy

    learned about heliocentrism as early as 1533 – and did not send the Inquisition, which hadn’t much of a say in Royal Prussia, where Copernicus lived, anyway.
    Not that this makes Richards’ piece any better.

  22. @StephenP: my thanks as well, as I won’t be able to see the show and by defintion don’t trust creawhining.

    @Anevilmeme: “Good point why haven’t the IDiots tried to claim Bruno as one of their own?”
    Because they need scientists on their side, not scatterbrains like Bruno.

    @TomS: you owe my thanks as well – I clearly remembered Calvin persecuting witches, but had forgotten about Servetus.

    @Troy: “For example if everything goes around the sun, the stars can’t have planets of their own.”
    They totally can, even if everything goes around the Earth. The mathematical equations describing the orbits get very complicated though.

  23. @mnbo: I meant to say “For example if everything goes around the Earth, the stars can’t have planets of their own. “

  24. This was brilliant. Great job eviscerating Richards and proving that most of these flunkies are nothing more than cut-rate buffoons.