The astrophysicist explained during the episode, “Sky Full of Ghosts,” that the Crab Nebula disproved the Bible-based belief about the age of the universe.
“The Crab Nebula is about 6,500 light years from Earth,” Tyson said. “According to some beliefs, that’s the age of the whole universe, but if the universe were only 6,500 years old, how could we see light from anything more distant than the Crab Nebula? We couldn’t.”
Light travels about 6 trillion miles per year, and Tyson said there simply wouldn’t be enough time for light to reach Earth from celestial bodies beyond the Crab Nebula.
“To believe in a universe as young as 6,000 or 7,000 years old is to extinguish the light from most of the galaxy, not to mention the light from all the other hundred billion other galaxies in the observable universe,” Tyson said.
Creationists complained last month that “Cosmos” didn’t even pay lip service to their beliefs and demanded equal time on the Fox program, but this is probably not quite what they meant.
The reference also suggests that Tyson might just be using his prime-time program to discredit creationist beliefs, one by one.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.