By Dan Arel
In the wake of the success of the “Cosmos” television series, which picked up four Emmy Awards earlier this week, Neil deGrasse Tyson discussed politics, religion and science in a recent interview with AlterNet.
When I asked if the success of “Cosmos” had surprised him, Tyson said he had not anticipated the kind of coverage the show would get by entertainment sites and blogs. Because of the show’s major network backing and primetime slot, he said, it was covered like any other television show. He said this forced many entertainment writers to write about all sorts of science topics not often covered in these publications, exposing the show to a new and possibly unintended audience.
Tyson was not as shocked by the backlash the show garnered from certain religious and political groups, mainly creationists who took issue with Tyson’s insistence on discussing evolution, the Big Bang theory and the history of scientific discovery. Their criticism of the show did not bother Tyson at all. “You have to ask yourself, what are the numbers behind the people making these claims? Someone like Ken Ham [owner of the Creation Museum] has beliefs that are even crazy to many Christians.”
Ken Ham’s criticisms came in the form of a weekly review on his website Answers in Genesis, a creationist organization. Ham’s comments gained some attention from the media and were often answered by science writers all over the Internet.
But Tyson wondered how Ham was even able to get anyone’s attention. He speculated it had something to do with Ham’s debate with Bill Nye, the Science Guy.