With Cosmos’ thirteenth episode, “Unafraid of the Dark,” Neil deGrasse Tyson brings to conclusion his extraordinary re-imagining of Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking series. Tyson’s brilliant presentations, rich in detail while always clear and comprehensible, have done a great service to the public understanding of science. Over the last few months, the intellectual wasteland of American popular culture was briefly illuminated with this surprising display of science.

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In late 2012, GQ magazine asked Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio, “How old do you think the Earth is?”

He answered “4.55 billion years” and no one ever talked about it again.

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“Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me”

—Traditional mnemonic for stellar classification

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THERE’S TOO MUCH TO SAY ABOUT LAST SUNDAY'S EPISODE OF COSMOS.

Steve Newton and I have shared Cosmos reviewing duties, and this week Neil deGrasse Tyson and his team served us an overflowing plate.

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I recently took umbrage at Richard McNider and John Christy’s claims, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, to being like the “scientific skeptics” who “dared question” a “scientific consensus” of a flat Earth.

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’Twas the night before Kitzmas and all through the land,
No creationist was stirring, not even Ken Ham;
The briefs had been drafted and filed with great care,
In hopes that Judge Jones’s decision’d be fair;
The plaintiffs were nestled all snug in their beds,
While Bill of Rights visions ran round in their heads;
And Nick blogged for PT, and Vic played The Boss,
And fretted and fussed o’er the chance of a loss,

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After last month’s Texas textbook vote, I was ready to declare total victory. I wrote:

It's a joy to be able to report on a sweeping victory for science education in Texas, and to be able to give an eyewitness report of the fight over the textbooks that will be used in that massive textbook market for years to come.

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So I’m skimming through the latest issue of the Institute for Creation Research’s monthly publication, Acts & Facts, chuckling over the convoluted treatment of ice ages (short story: they’re real, only the advances and contractions of the four Northern Hemispheric glaciers were really zippy, taking only a few hundred years) and other scientific zaniness, when a commentary caught my eye.

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