Tyson Reboots Sagan’s Cosmos

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Finally, in this world of constant crisis, we have a reminder that we are part of something vast and magical that Carl Sagan introduced us to with his 1980’s Cosmos series. Neil deGrasse Tyson channels the spirit of Sagan with his Cosmos: a spacetime Odyssey on March 9th and reinforces Sagan’s observation that we are still the way for the cosmos to know itself:


by Allen L Roland


When Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Journey aired on PBS in 1980, it went on to win an Emmy Award and become that network’s most-watched series, by more than 700 million people worldwide. Not only did it capture the majesty of the universe and the possibility of humankind’s potential, it also ~ thanks to the charisma of its host, the late astrophysicist Carl Sagan ~ transformed the way the public regarded science.

It most certainly inspired my mind and imagination for I have always felt a deep kinship with space and innately knew that a deep love within myself somehow was connected to a Unified Field of love and soul consciousness that existed beyond time and space. Longfellow called it “the thread of all sustaining beauty that runs through all and doth all unite “

Here’s Carl Sagan’s brilliant introduction to the original 1980 Cosmos and it still deeply stirs my imagination and deep sense of awe and wonder as well as my own connection with the Universe through love. Four minute video ~

In 2012 the Library of Congress designated the book version of Sagan’s show as one of 88 books that shaped America (among the others were “Moby-Dick” and “The Joy of Cooking”). In a foreword to a new edition of that book, Dr. Neil Tyson writes that the show revealed “a hidden hunger in us all to learn about our place in the universe and embrace why that matters intellectually, culturally and emotionally.”

Now, an equally inspired astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and executive producers Ann Druyan and Brannon Braga have launched an ambitious remake of the seminal ’80s science series attempts to channel the spirit of Carl Sagan while introducing the universe to a new generation of viewers.

The resulting 13-episode resurrection of that iconic series ~ Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, premiering March 9th and 10th on Fox and National Geographic channels ~ is both a continuation and updating of Sagan’s message.

Of course, the new series has its spaceship of imagination ~ an immersive transport spaceship that takes viewers through the universe) and a Cosmic Calendar (which scales the life of the universe down to a year) ~ but enhances them with advancements in digital effects. Computer-generated effects also recreate the Library of Alexandria and its surrounding city.

In the first episode on Sunday, March 9th, “Standing Up in the Universe,” we roam the streets of Rome as Tyson recounts the story of Giordano Bruno, the philosopher who was burned at the stake in 1600 for professing the existence of an infinite number of worlds beyond our own. That’s what still happens to truth tellers and that was the early dawn of the scientific age, only a decade before Galileo looked through a telescope and saw that Bruno was right.

Much of the first episode consists of a tour of the solar system and then outward as Dr. Tyson fills out what he calls our long address ~ for earth, as Sagan once pointed out, is but “a small stage in a vast cosmic arena” filled with millions of galaxies and billions of solar systems as well as planets (and perhaps many of them life bearing).

  1. Earth.
  2. Solar system.
  3. Milky Way galaxy.
  4. Local Group.
  5. Virgo supercluster.
  6. Observable universe.

And then we get to hop aboard a cosmic calendar in which the 13.8-billion-year history of the universe has been compressed to 365 days and right now ~ it’s midnight on New Year’s Eve.

On this scale, Dr. Tyson correctly reports, the sun was born on Aug. 31, and the dinosaurs died yesterday morning in that asteroid blast. Everybody you ever heard of, all the kings and queens and prophets, lived in the last 14 seconds of this cosmic year. “Jesus was born five seconds ago,” he goes on.“In the last second we began to do science,” he concludes. “It allowed us to discover where and when we are in the cosmos. Don’t miss it ~ Here’s the one minute trailer

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality,” Carl Sagan wrote. “When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.”

About the Author: Allen L Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist. He is also a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his web site at AllenRoland.com. He also guest hosts a Truthtalk, a national radio show that airs monthly. He is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations via email at [email protected].

Author Details
Allen L Roland, PhD is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist. He is also a heart centered spiritual consultant, author and lecturer who also shares a weekly political and social commentary on his web site at AllenRoland.com. He also guest hosts Truthtalk, a national radio show that airs monthly. He is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements as well as private consultations via email at [email protected]. Roland is a twin who was born in Boston, Massachusetts, survived a dysfunctional family, pursued and lived his dreams, including becoming a Navy supersonic carrier pilot, finding himself by fully opening his heart, writing three books, siring four children ~ and is still living his ultimate dream by making a difference from a place of love, celebration and service. His Ph.D dissertation THE UNIFIED FIELD was chosen by Common Boundary and Noetic Science Institute, in their 1998 national dissertation contest, as one of the top three finalists for combining spirituality and psychology. His ongoing heart centered work as a consultant with veterans with PTSD, is the most satisfying work of his life. Allen’s online newsletter, columns and radio broadcasts are committed to the truth ~ as he sees it ~ for only the truth is revolutionary.
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