or, Carl Sagan rides again, and again…

Prometheus Unbound raises questions about the atheist spirituality of Symphony of Science‘s star-scientist-studded videos (pun only slightly intended — they are mostly men, yes, but drumming on djembes (!), and it’s well worth waiting to see Jane Goodall tell us about the “wuzzy” line between humans and the rest of nature in the video below, starting at about the 2’30″ point).

Spirituality is, of course, in the eye, ear, and body of its beholder. What makes this spiritual is the way it mobilizes music, movement, and poetry in the service of spreading a message, in this case the gospel of science. The use of pitch-shifting and pitch-correction software to “musicalize” the spoken voices of scientists is analogous to the intended poeticization and spiritualization of science. Science in practice is, of course, dry, slow, laborious, and boring. But the results of science can be exciting. This parallels the natural process science itself describes: from the painstakingly slow and boring life of atoms, molecules, things responding to other things, what has built up over time is the world we know. Or, as Darwin famously put it:

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