Sunday night I watched the first episode of Cosmos – A Spacetime odyssey (Fox at 8 Central Time, and National Geographic Mondays). I thought it was pretty good and refreshing to see a program on commercial TV that doesn’t shy away from the reality of evolution. One review likened it to an hour long ad for science. In a segment of the program where the host Neil deGrasse Tyson illustrates the age of the universe (13.8 billion years) by compressing it into a twelve month calendar, humans have been around about 40 minutes and human history since Galileo (400 years) is the last 9 seconds. He then makes the interesting observation that the incredible changes that have occurred in our corner of the universe in that last brief 9 seconds is a tribute to the “incredible power of the scientific method.” I wonder if he realizes that this incredible power is based on the same computational strategy that is also makes possible the evolution of life? We can watch future episodes to see if he makes the connection.

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