Good coverage on climate change; a small amount of atheist and anthropocentric bias; good at instilling a sense of wonder and inspiring young scientists
This is an excellent series for instilling a sense of wonder in relation to the natural world and the importance of science for understanding it. It also helps shed light on the human story in relation to the Earth story. The graphics and writing are excellent. It's pays homage to Sagan's vision and expands on it well. I learned quite a bit.
The coverage on climate change was excellent and unexpected, and given the power of the climate denial lobby in the U.S., it showed some courage to advance it. They could have mentioned the GHGs from industrial agriculture, but I am glad enough for the inclusion of an analysis of fossil fuels, and the call for renewable energy.
Are there biases on the show? Yes three I could discern. In the first episode the Roman Catholic's burning of Bruno was depicted in a literally cartoonish manner (with demonic looking animations), ignoring the more complex history of the RC church's history on this point, which culminated in a priest (Fr. LeMaitre) being one of the visionaries of modern cosmology, and the integration of this "new story" of science into the church canon. The science versus religion narrative of the show was too simplistic, in other words. The reality is more nuanced and complex, and many Christians have embraced modern cosmology and evolution. Not all are biblical literalists.
A second bias, though not over-done, was the periodic mention of how women scientists were maligned -- again, in a literally cartoonish depiction of male colleagues. This seemed a bit over-emphasized in places. All scientists have to go through peer review and criticism; it's not always the result of gender discrimination, as argued by the feminist narrative of history.
A third subtle bias is the anthropocentrism of the show's repeated emphasis on humanity, when in fact we are one of 8.7 million species, and our intelligence and technology is not proof of any superiority. In fact, if aliens were to come here, I suspect they would not be impressed by the fact that we are causing the sixth great mass extinction on earth. Climate change was mentioned but the show gave short shrift to the mass extinction and generally to the treatment of non-human animals -- though it did correctly note that humans are animals of a kind (as Darwin proved) -- but Darwin also said there is no higher or lower in evolution, and it's not a moral hierarchy. See the book Created from Animals by philosopher James Rachels.
Anthropocentic bias is common to our species to this day, so much so that it is reflected in scientific accounts of the cosmos. What we need is Copernican revolution in thinking, to realize that our traits do not make us superior, only different -- and our abilities bring with them moral responsibility towards other animals not so endowed.
Overall, this is a great show for inspiring young scientists and an appreciation for the natural world and the Enlightenment vision of understanding it through mathematics and scientific principles. It is a good popular telling of what author Thomas Berry calls "the new story."