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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Ah, California living. Land of fruits and nuts. And fungi. Impressed one day by the unusually high number of kinds of mushrooms at my local produce store (I stopped counting at 25), I posted a picture of the array on my Facebook page. Whereupon Jim Strickland waggishly warned me about using the term “kinds”, a taxonomic term of creationists that fails to map onto any actual scientific taxonomic system.

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Comet ISONWhat neighborhood? Mine? Yours? I’m actually referring to both of our neighborhoods and a good deal more. I’m talking about the Solar System, and not just out to Neptune or Pluto but a thousand times farther–out to the Oort cloud of would-be comets.

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In tonight’s debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, the Science Guy went on stage equipped with the most vital tool of all in any oral debate over evolution and creationism: a showman's flair, developed over three decades of experience explaining science to the broad public.

Of course, he also had the science on his side, which doesn't hurt. But it isn’t a guarantee of anything in a stage debate: competitive debaters are judged by their ability to argue either side of a question. Debate is a tool for showing who's a better orator, not necessarily who's right.

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Tonight at 4 p.m. for us in Oakland, 7 p.m. in Cincinnati, I plan to tune in and watch the debate between Ken Ham the Answers in Genesis frontman and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

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