One reason for which I love the new Cosmos series is that it really doesn’t pussyfoot around those issues upon which the science is “settled” but the politics are really not. Already, this has led to criticisms of the series from creationists and others. Unfortunately, much though I would like to believe that Cosmos could be the almighty blow which lays low the public relations campaigns of such well-heeled denialists, I know that this is not, realistically, the case, and that in the present political climate, such a challenge cannot go unanswered. So I would like to make the following prediction:
Within the next few years, some conservative group will produce a “response” to the new Cosmos series, which will consist of a glossy, high production-value compilation of the most insultingly incoherent, right-wing pseudoscience ever assembled. Creationism, climate denial, environmental conspiracy theories, race and IQ, overblown claims about the “innate differences” between men and women (which will be hypocritically premised on evo-psych), grossly inaccurate claims about abortion and childbirth, arguments for reparative therapy… it will all be there.
Remember: you heard it here first.