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Monday, March 10, 2014

Cosmos redux [updated]

I was delighted, and a bit nostalgic, to see the impressive first episode of the new Cosmos (though I missed the last few minutes and will have to re-watch). The original TV show and book both were influential on me, as were the works of Carl Sagan more broadly. I hope Nick Sagan, my long-ago colleague at Space.com, is pleased with the new version, and I was happy to see in the credits that Mitchell Cannold, company exec back then, is executive producer of the new series.

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UPDATE 3/12: I see some controversy has developed about the show's depiction of the life and death of Giordano Bruno. Let's stipulate that the Cosmos cartoon of Bruno's story was a bit cartoonish. It's still folly to try to downplay or implicitly defend what the Inquisition did: "Roman Catholics gave him 10 years to back off from his claim that his alternate religion was empirical fact they needed to accept." Or: "The Roman Inquisition, however, was no mindlessly brutal force with a lust for setting heretics afire. They saw their work as medicinal, as they tried to persuade people to recant heresies and rejoin the Church."

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