Like last week, the second episode of ‘Cosmos’ is a a recreation of the 1980 episode, “One Voice in a Cosmic Fugue”. It follows the general theme of Sagan’s original series, and focuses on the complexity of life.
In it, Neil DeGrasse Tyson takes the spaceship of the imagination and Magic-School-Buses us into the DNA of a bear to see how evolution works. Well, okay,first he talks about how dogs have changed over the last few millennium, and discusses how we can change the appearance and temperaments of animals. Imagine, then, he suggests, what nature does on its own. Then we talk about bears, and how fur color changes happened do to tiny mutations in its DNA.
For the science-minded, the episode may seem rather simple and “no duh”, but this show wasn’t meant for you, so shh. This show is about getting people interested in science again, and while I’m not entirely convinced the FOX network is place to do this, I can’t wait until these episodes show up in the classroom as a teaching device. The graphics are beautiful, and the narrative simple and wonder-inspiring.
Tyson is as engaging as he is intelligent, and his way of explaining simple concepts like Darwinism and avoiding the pitfalls of common misconceptions (it is not survival of the fittest). He does a great job of getting viewers to think about the reality of evolution and ask important questions.
It’s no secret that, especially after the last episode, he is hoping that these shows will inspire the next generation to answer the questions his generation hasn’t figured out yet. After all, he dared us to discover the true origin of life.
He’s got high expectations.
Though I wish ‘Cosmos’ would branch a little bit more out from the original serial, it’s branching out enough to keep it enjoyable for old fans, and still pertinent and educational for the new fans. I can’t wait for next week’s episode.