All this week on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” the host of the series “Cosmos,” Neil deGrasse Tyson sat down with Chris to talk about life, the universe and everything. Here are the first three segments.
Chris talks with renowned astrophysicist and host of “Cosmos,” Neil deGrasse Tyson, about the future of science and the possibility of extra-terrestrial life.
Neil deGrasse Tyson on climate change
Chris Hayes speaks with legendary astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson about the rhetoric and reality of climate change.
Neil deGrasse Tyson on ‘Cosmos’ and creationists
Chris Hayes and renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson discuss the often heated responses to the television show “Cosmos” from creationists.
More fun from the far right and re-inventing history. Sarah Palin’s ignorance about Paul Revere’s ride at least didn’t screw with the time line. The right wings favorite winger historian, Texan Evangelical, David Barton, whose theory is that America’s unique success in the world is divinely caused and due to its commitment to core Judeo-Christian principles, has his own version of history stating that the Founding Fathers rejected Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Small problem with that, Darwin hadn’t been born yet and Origin of the Species wasn’t published until 1859 but according to Barton “there is no need to debate the teaching of Creationism in public schools, because the Founding Fathers made clear that we needed to do so.”
On Wednesday, Right Wing Watch flagged a recent interview Barton gave with an evangelcial talk show, in which he argues that the Founding Fathers had explicitly rejected Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Yes, that Darwin. The one whose seminal work, On the Origin of Species, wasn’t even published until 1859. Barton declared, “As far as the Founding Fathers were concerned, they’d already had the entire debate over creation and evolution, and you get Thomas Paine, who is the least religious Founding Father, saying you’ve got to teach Creation science in the classroom. Scientific method demands that!” Paine died in 1809, the same year Darwin was born. . . . .
It’s been said that James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were ahead of their times. But perhaps not that prescient.
In the same interview, Barton explains that one of the main reasons that the colonies wanted to break away from England was because it would then become easier to abolish slavery. Any who has studied the basics of the American Revolution knows that the issue of slavery was tabled in order to secure approval of the Declaration of Independence. (For the record, Britain abolished slavery in 1833-32 years before the United States.)
Newt Gingrich is a fan. So’s Michele Bachmann. Mike Huckabee’s such a booster that he recently said that all Americans should be “forced at gunpoint” to listen to this guy.
The object of this high praise from Huckabee-and recent shout-outs from other potential GOP presidential contenders-is David Barton, a Republican activist and minister who founded WallBuilders, a for-profit evangelical outfit that works to inject religion into politics. Barton holds some pretty unconventional views, and in the past he has spoken alongside fringe figures like Holocaust deniers and white supremacists. Among other things, he claims that Jesus would oppose the capital gains tax and the minimum wage; that global warming is “self-correcting”; and that the nation’s homeland security apparatus has been infiltrated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. He also contends that the separation of church and state is a perversion of the Founding Fathers’ intention to create a Christian nation.
Remember the Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever, maybe Darwin popped through the portal to meet with the Founding Fathers to discuss evolution. I bet Ben Franklin would have been quite intrigued.
On July 21, 1925, a court in Dayton, Tennessee found the defendant, John Scopes, guilty of teaching the theory of evolution in high school. Writing in the Baltimore Evening Sun, journalist H.L. Mencken had some harsh words for anti-intellectuals opposing Scopes’ viewpoint
What its people ask for — many of them in plain terms — is suspended judgment, sympathy, Christian charity, and I believe that they deserve all these things… The civilized minority in the State is probably as large as in any other Southern State. What ails it is simply the fact it has been, in the past, too cautious and politic — that it has been too reluctant to offend the Fundamentalist majority. To that reluctance something else has been added: an uncritical and somewhat childish local patriotism. The Tennesseeans have tolerated their imbeciles for fear that attacking them would bring down the derision of the rest of the country.
[F]undamentalism, after all, made men happy — that a Tennesseean gained something valuable by being an ignoramus — in other words, that a hog in a barnyard was to be envied by an Aristotle.
Creationism has seen big gains in the State of Texas school cirriculum in recent months aided by the help of a widespread radical Christian Fundamentalist mind-set.
“Paleontologists took a trip to Answers in Genesis’s Creation “Museum” – and were dismayed, unsurprisingly, by what they saw. The Ninth North American Paleontological Convention was held June 21-26, 2009, at the University of Cincinnati, attracting several hundred paleontologists from around the world to present their latest research, as well as to attend a plenary session on evolution and society featuring NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott. The organizers of the convention also offered a side trip to the nearby Creation “Museum, explaining that “it is essential for professional paleontologists to become better aware of how their work and their roles in society are portrayed by creationists, themes that are conveyed vividly at the museum.”