Justified & Ancient
- Nov 23, 2005
- Under the highest tree top in Kent
I’ve nothing against Prof Brian Cox. He at least has a verifiable scientific background and seems comfortable in front of the camera. Far better than the vacuous luvvies, with no idea about the subject who are doing quiz shows on a Friday and fronting a science programme on a Tuesday.Well, honestly, I’m shocked! I didn’t know Brian Cox (physicist) rubbed so many people up the wrong way! But we love Brian Cox the actor? - well I do anyway, he’s certainly brilliant in Succession. I actually really like Brian the physicist. I never got a feeling of him being condescending, I just felt he was trying to make science less confusing and more palatable, encourage enthusiasm even, in those who’d normally dismiss it as boring or just not their thing. However I don’t like the way he outright dismisses ghosts, and it does sound like he dismisses intelligent life on other planets?! Hmm ok, I’m not liking him quite as much, especially if he’s lecturing us about climate change and driving around in gas guzzling beasts...
Seriously now, I started this thread as I’ve been wavering in these last few years between being a believer in ghosts, the afterlife, God, something after death - whatever it may be, and worrying my head off that there’s just nothing. I’ve just been feeling very confused, where once I was so certain. Then to read Prof. Cox’s views on ghosts, well I think I just needed to hear alternative views and I know you guys know what you’re on with and give an intelligent argument! I genuinely appreciate all your replies, thank you
The problem seems to lie with the production values, if the presenter wants to convey the sense of numinous that Sagan talked about when observing the cosmos (and which some describe on witnessing UFOs, Ghosts, Cryptids, etc.) the answer seems to be in special effects, these get combined with some ego stoking shots of them gazing for long periods at said effects and the result, IMO becomes ridiculous.
I’ve posted elsewhere that the effect on people of seeing Saturn and its rings through a telescope seems to have a far more visceral effect on people than some of the stunning imagery from NASA. The special effects are pretty but will never replace the real experience. As Sky at Night says - “Go outside and look up.”
The result of all this, apart from a fairly tedious TV programme, is that the presenter tends to get their opinions sought after and probably feels beholden to give them as part of their TV persona.
I’m sure there are nearly as many views on ghosts from scientists as there are scientists but most will never be asked or won’t be drawn because of their funding stream. (Wasn’t there a well known physicist who had a horseshoe on his wall and when asked whether he believed in it replied “No, but it can’t hurt to have it there.”
Once you’ve become a media expert it is probably difficult to have an opinion that isn’t picked up on or to not have an opinion, even if it’s on something you know nothing about. Consider:
“Prof X, what are your opinions on the plight of pig farmers in Norfolk?”
Will your TV producers be happy with “How should I know I’m a cosmologist?” Which may prompt a media response of “Not asking Prof X anything again, some expert, Tracey from facebook knows a lot about it.”
However if the answer is “I guess they need support.” There is a story “Prof X supports Norfolk pig farmers”. And a nice lot of publicity however the comment is received.
I think Prof Cox has just got sucked into the media machine that just goes on producing increasingly dumbed down content and promotes a cult of personality; and he isn’t the only one.
Getting rather off topic but I think that explains why his views on ghosts are getting disproportionate interest.
Brian Cox, actor was a convincing Hannibal Lector as well!