"Ready for dinner"
On Sunday, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” premiered on prime time, which is the first science-oriented series to do so in decades. The show is a reboot of Carl Sagan’s original “Cosmos,” and is hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. However, viewers in Oklahoma missed around 15 seconds of the premiere — the only few seconds that briefly mentioned the theory of evolution — in favor of a station promo.
Though he hasn’t taken the Bill Nye route of debating the likes of creationist Ken Ham, Tyson comes under fire from the religious right nonetheless. He has eloquently voiced his feelings on using religious scripture as scientific text, and recently told Stephen Colbert that science is true “whether or not you believe in it.”
In this particular episode of “Cosmos” the word “evolution” is not even used. The theory is briefly mentioned during the last 10 minutes of the show. Viewers can only speculate why the promo ran randomly at this time. Real goof-up? Or blatant censorship? Who knows?
Yesterday KOKH Fox 25 tweeted out apologies. They called the mistimed promo an “operator error.”
Sunday, during @COSMOSonTV, a local news promo was aired over a portion of COSMOS content. This was an operator error & we regret the error.— KOKH FOX 25 (@OKCFOX) March 12, 2014
The KOKH Fox 25 version of this segment of “Cosmos” can be viewed below:
The segment that was cut read:
“Three and a half million years ago our ancestors, yours and mine, left these traces. We stood up, and parted ways from them. Once we stood on two feet, our eyes were no longer fixated on the ground. Now we were free to look up, and wonder.”
Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email email@example.com.More Sarah Gray.