The Religion of Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ Has Come Back to Television


Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is hosting the new 13-part Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey television series. Seth MacFarlane, the guy behind the animated TV series Family Guy and and the film Ted produced the Cosmos reboot for Fox. Cosmos: A Personal Journey originally premiered on PBS and was hosted by the late astrophysicist Carl Sagan (1934-1996). It was based on his 1980 book Cosmos.

MacFarlane has an agenda. Like Sagan, he’s an atheist. Like all atheists, MacFarlane’s atheism is religious just as it was for Sagan.

The opening line in Cosmos is a religious ode, a hymn to the material gods of the cosmos, the little bits and pieces of matter that have no soul, no meaning, no morality, no design, and no ultimate purpose for any of us.

“The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”1

This is not science; it’s a declaration of faith.

As I mentioned, Cosmos was published in 1980. But before Sagan’s Cosmos, there was Stan and Jan Berenstain’s The Berenstain Bears in The Bears’s Nature Guide: A Nature Walk Through Bear Country published in 1975. While not as sophisticated as Sagan and not as academically credentialed, they beat him to the materialist punch in their children’s book

“Nature is all that IS or WAS or EVER WILL BE.”2

Young people have been indoctrinated with this nonsense masquerading as science for decades. It’s the prevailing worldview in all government schools. But it’s not science.

In an interview, MacFarlane said the new Cosmos series “is about what science knows.” But that’s the problem. There’s a whole lot that scientists don’t know that they’re passing off as science. Consider this from Michael Hanlon:

“More mysteries: we do not know how life began on our Earth, nor whether it has ever begun elsewhere. We are probably no closer to understanding the true nature of the human mind than Plato or Aristotle. We have no idea how exactly a couple of pounds of grey jelly can come up with Romeo and Juliet, appreciate a nice sunset or be in agonizing pain.”3

These aren’t the only things Hanlon says we don’t know, and one of them is Sagan’s claim that “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” This is a statement of belief without the scientific apparatus to prove it.

A personal God as Creator cannot enter the sacred sanctuaries of the materialists’ churches (university classrooms). American evolutionary biologist and geneticist Richard Lewontin explains what’s at stake when any part of the evolutionary creed is questioned:

“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.”4

The theory of evolution is a matter-only miracle without God, which, of course, makes it impossible.

Any evidence submitted to the contrary will be dismissed as inadmissible because of a prior bias against certain types of evidence since, according to Lewontin, “materialism is absolute.” Any evidence that might be considered “religious” is dismissed by a prior commitment to materialism.

John Maddox, editor of Nature magazine for more than 20 years, wrote an editorial with the title “Down with the Big Bang” in which he described the theory as “philosophically unacceptable”5 because he feared that the Big Bang theory, to use Michael Behe’s take on his views, had “extra scientific implications.”6">Testimony in the Dover, Pennsylvania, Intelligent Design Case (October 17, 2005).)) For Maddox, the Big Bang conjures up images of metaphysics that gives credence to creationist theories.

Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time, wrote, “Many people do not like the idea that time has a beginning, probably because it smacks of divine intervention.”7

Anything that is not by definition a part of the cosmos does not exist; it cannot be entered into evidence. The materialist judge screens any evidence that could call the evidence put forth by the defense into question.

If you or I present something as being outside, above, or beyond the cosmos as being real (e.g., God), then according to Sagan, MacFarlane, Lowontin, and Lewis Beck it does not exist and cannot be entered into evidence.

“Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion — a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit in this one complaint . . . the [i.e., creationists] are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”8

If you want a hefty dose of the religion of atheism, then tune into Cosmos, but watch it through the lens of Psalm 19:1-2 (also see Ps. 8:1; 50:6; Rom 1:19-20):

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.

  1. Carl Sagan, Cosmos (New York: Random House, 1980), 4. []
  2. Stan and Jan Berenstain, The Berenstain Bears in The Bears’s Nature Guide: A Nature Walk Through Bear Country (New York: Random House, 1975), [6–7]. []
  3. Michael Hanlon, 10 Questions Science Can’t Answer (Yet) (New York: Macmillan, 2007), 5. []
  4. Richard Lewontin, “Billions and billions of demons,” The New York Review (January 9, 1997), 31. []
  5. John Maddox, “Down with the Big Bang,” Nature (1989), 425. []
  6. Michael Behe, ]
  7. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, chap. 3. []
  8. Michael Ruse, “Saving Darwinism from the Darwinians,” National Post (May 13, 2000), B3. []
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