As Neil deGrasse Tyson delves into the mysteries of the cosmos in the show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, creationists are demanding equal treatment.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is a remake of a 1980's documentary television show called Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. The show is hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and it discusses a wide variety of scientific topics.
The show first butted heads with creationists during its pilot episode that included a 14 second segment that touched on the subject of evolution. The controversy started when the 14 second segment was "accidentally" cut by a local Oklahoma television station. However, Tyson dismissed the problem as nothing more than technical problem.
Following the pilot episode, the show's second episode entitled "Some of the Things That Molecules Do" included a more in depth discussion on the molecular processes involved in evolution. In this episode, Tyson also added a short commentary on intelligent design.
While the show was generally well received, creationists are requesting airtime on their show to discuss creationist theories on how life came to be. During an interview in "The Janet Mefferd Show," physicist and astronomer Danny R. Faulkner has aired his complaints regarding the apparent biases in the show Cosmos. Faulkner is the author of the book Universe by Design and is also an active member of Answers in Genesis, a creationist organization.
"I was struck in the first episode where [Tyson] talked about science and how, you know, all ideas are discussed, you know, everything is up for discussion -- it's all on the table -- and I thought to myself, 'No, consideration of special creation is definitely not open for discussion, it would seem," said Faulkner.
Faulkner also said that creationism should also be given airtime as a dissenting view with regards to evolution. Creationists' opposition to the show flared up during the airing of the second episode were Tyson very clearly declared evolution as a fact.
"The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, is a scientific fact," said Tyson in the second episode of Cosmos.
However, Tyson has been very vocal about his view that the media should not give "equal time" to ideas and concepts that are currently not in agreement with widely accepted scientific ideas and theories. While Tyson advocates airing both sides of any given story, he also said that the idea of "equal time" may not necessarily apply in scientific topics. Tyson provided an example involving a hypothetical discussion on the spherical Earth with NASA and providing equal time to people who still believe in a "flat Earth."