STARGAZING LIVE WITH THE BBC

All right, already, after the Phoenix Ark essay on the need for two languages, Professor Brian Cox and the BBC rather win the field with all their marvellous star-gazing. Just as talking to a believer the other day had us wanting to throttle them for their ignorance of Science, their arrogance, and their talk of supposedly overturned theories, that do not discredit great scientists, but which they simply use to inhabit their own prejudice or ignorance again. Like Creationists simply ignoring the fossil record, the age of the Earth and Universe, and precisely what people are physically looking up at now. Cox’s approach to the Apollo Mission astronaut and last man to walk on the Moon, Eugene Cernan, was awe wrapped and as charming as he was himself, unlike rather dismissive Darah O’Brian, while Cox captures the ‘miracle’ of it even in talking of the way we used to build Cathedrals, like kinds of imaginative spacecrafts, or powerhouses to the heavens. Could he speak about the power and mystery of the human mind too though, language itself, evolving out of nature, and all those crazy scientific ‘realities’ that make it all as extraordinary as talking of any God? What above all, in being facetious about Mayan Calendars, has he to say of the great human journey, that in a Billion years or two will be ended by the death of the Sun, and end any concerns about environmentalism or Global Warming too? A sense of perspective can be both useful and impossible, so keep looking up and out, but inside as well, and keep telling stories.

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