Creationist group Answers in Genesis has spoken out against the TV series "Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey," arguing that it promotes a "blind faith" in evolution.
"Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, if the first segment is any indication, will attempt to package unconditional blind faith in evolution as scientific literacy in an effort to create interest in science," wrote Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on the AiG blog.
"We hope that future segments will spend more time showing actual scientific observations-such as the brief part of this episode showing where earth is in relation to the rest of the universe."
"Cosmos" premiered Sunday night and is presented by astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson. The 13-part show, which is a new take on the Carl Sagan 1980 series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," brings together Tyson, "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane and Ann Druyan, who co-wrote the original series, and is being featured both by Fox and the National Geographic Channel in the U.S.
"The goal is to convey why science matters to the person, to our society, to us as shepherds of this planet. It involves presenting science in ways that connect to you, so 'Cosmos' can influence you not only intellectually but emotionally, with a celebration of wonder and awe," Tyson says about the series, according to USA Today.
"Science should be part of everybody's life. The prerequisite is not that you become a scientist. It's that at the end of the series, you will embrace science and recognize its role in who and what you are."
Executive Producer MacFarlane said he sees a decline in appreciation for science in America, describing the state of the space program as "incredibly depressing," and criticizing the challenge to evolution in schools.
"All these things piling up that betray the fact that we've lost our way in terms of our scientific literacy and it's incredibly damaging to the evolution of any society," MacFarlane said. "I thought we solved this whole evolution thing years and years ago but I guess not, I guess it still needs to be explained. There are a number of areas where scientific illiteracy rears its head."
In an interview with National Geographic, Tyson added that he wanted people to come away from the show "compelled to recognize the cosmic perspective on their own lives."
AiG, however, criticized the show's decision to adopt Sagan's famous quote, "The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be," arguing that the producers have chosen to go against science.
"There is not a bit of science in that statement," wrote AiG astronomer Dr. Danny Faulkner.
"It is denial of the supernatural, saying the only thing that exists is the physical world, the natural world. But to say that with any certainty Sagan had to get outside the physical universe and see that the physical universe is all that there is. And he would have had to do that in eternity past and in eternity future in order to say that. If he could really see that, then he would be god. It's a very bold, metaphysical statement. It's an assertion. But it's not science. It's not a scientific statement."
AiG maintained that God is the Creator, who "was the only eyewitness to the time of origins and that He has given us the truth about how He created everything in His Word. He is the one that created the natural laws that govern the physical world and make science possible."
The first "Cosmos" episode on Sunday drew strong ratings with 8.5 million total viewers, 2.9 million of whom were adults age 18-49, Deadline.com reported.