Fresh of of its Ken Ham-Bill Nye debate, Answers in Genesis (the organization that brought you the Creation Museum) is demanding some airtime on Cosmos, the Neil deGrasse Tyson reboot of the classic Carl Sagan science series currently airing on Fox. Their argument? Basically, it's that the science program is not balanced without the inclusion of their religious beliefs. Although this will never happen — Tyson has personally ruled out debating Creationists on the issue of evolution — it's just the latest example of how the show is worrying a particular set of evangelical Christians in the US.
"Do they do any interviews with scientists themselves," Janet Mefferd asked Danny Faulkner of Answers In Genesis on Thursday, "and do they ever give creationists some time?" Faulkner responded that “Creationists aren’t even on the radar screen for them, they wouldn’t even consider us plausible at all.” Faulkner is partially correct because Neil deGrasse Tyson likely does not consider Answers in Genesis's young earth creationism theories plausible. Despite the overwhelming consensus of scientific research, the organization posits that the early is roughly 6,000 years old, based on clues from the Bible.
Mefferd then argues that Cosmos should have more of "the old, ‘some scientists say this, others disagree and think this,’" way of talking about evolution. Here's the audio, via Right Wing Watch:
Although there are scientists in a variety of disciplines who promote creationist beliefs, that's a different, more problematic, way of framing how science evaluates evidence. Tyson took on that issue in the first episode of his show:
As we've touched on here before, Cosmos does take on the issue of religion in a very substantial way. And it doesn't deny the compatibility of faith, or the notion of God, with the scientific method. There are plenty of scientists who are also Christian without being creationist in the way that Ken Ham is, because there is little non-Biblical evidence to support any of the major tenets of young earth creationism. Instead, Cosmos posits that belief, any belief, trumps an individual or a society's ability to question, to accept and evaluate different ideas. Historically, those institutions limiting scientific advancement have included organized religion.
The best-case scenario for young earth creationism, as an idea that wants to be taken seriously, is that it continues to get "equal time" on the issue of evolution, despite the fact that the theory hasn't earned a place at the scientific table. Often, they've been given some of the time they want. Cosmos, however, isn't going to give the creationists that satisfaction any time soon.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.