The Cosmos E2: Some Of The Things That Molecules Do

In The Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey Episode two entitled: Some Of The Things That Molecules Do,depicts that life is in constant transformation. Artificial selection turned the wolf into man’s best friend and is ultimately responsible for all the other canine breeds we love today. And over the eons, natural selection is responsible for all of the  domesticated animals and plant, and .has sculpted the exquisitely complex human eye out of a microscopic patch of pigment. And reiterates that evolution is just the change in inheritable traits over time.

What did you learn from this episode and what did you find particularly interesting?

The Cosmos E1: “Standing Up in the Milky Way”

Neil deGrasse Tyson  makes science accessible and engaging for viewers.Cosmos-A Space Odyssey Episode One: Standing up in the Milky Way is an overview of the beginning of time. It briefly explains the Big Bang Theory, the Geologic Time Scale, Evolution and Astronomy. We are also introduced to Giordano Bruno, a rebel thinker of the times who thought that the Universe was infinite.

What did you find particularly fascinating about Cosmos-A Space Odyssey Episode One: Standing up in the Milky Way?

The Cosmos E3 Reflection: Nathalie

COSMOS: Episode 3

Posted by Nathalie Istanto in Biology SL on Sunday, May 18th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

The third episode of COSMOS was on how we have tried to map out our galaxy and tried to make sense of it from the very beginning of time. I didn’t really find much of the episode that interesting, but there were some parts that I think were important and also quite interesting.

My favorite part was at the beginning of the episode, which was when the narrator begins talking about how we, humans, try to find connections that might not really be there. An interesting example was how we tried to map out the comets and marked them as ill omens, when they are actually just rocks from outer space. However, comets are what created a revolution in the way we viewed our skies, through a discussion of two very important people, Isaac Newton and Edmond Haley.

I think that Edmond Haley was a really great guy. He had many different inventions, including the diving bell and the weather map. I always thought he was the man who found Haley’s comet, but as it turned out, he did many other things. He was also a good friend of Newton, and kept him from locking himself away in his room. Haley helped Newton published his book, which helped changed people’s minds that they might actually be able to learn more about what is up there.

Isaac Newton was more of a surprise to me. Previously, I only knew him as the guy who came up with the theory of gravity. Now, I know that we apparently share the same birthday, and that he was a brilliant, and slightly mad genius. He was able to figure out calculations that no one as could, but his one major flaw was that he didn’t want to publish anything else after how Robert Hooke accused him of stealing his work. It was only through Haley’s efforts that Newton was able to go and publish his work. This shows how important having friends and being nice to other people is.

I think that I want to watch the next episode of COSMOS. The whole series is very much interesting on how the galaxy and our earth work.

The Cosmos E3 Reflection: Christy

EPISODE THREE: When Knowledge Conquered Fear (14/05/14)

In this third episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the narrator Neil deGrasse Tyson introduces viewers to the contribution of pattern recognition in the advancement of humanity’s understanding of the universe. It was told that, as timely as the early civilization, humans utilized patterns in the sky to predict weather and seasons. At present, we understand that comets are celestial objects that heat up and outgas to display tails when their nucleases are exposed to solar radiation. In the past, however, humans perceived comets as omens for the future. Such gesture, in my opinion, reflects that, even since the first civilization, a part of human nature is designed to nurture the desire to believe in the existence of something bigger than ourselves – whether it’d be an all-encompassing God or destiny.

After an introduction on the basics of pattern recognition, the episode transitions to a story of Edmond Halley and Isaac Newton. Before watching this episode, I didn’t know that both Halley and Newton lived in the same time period (woops), let alone collaborated to produce Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematicathe first scientific work that examines the laws of physics through mathematics. I learnt that the publication of the work faced an array of hardships including the claim of plagiarism by Robert Hooke and lack of funding. Not surprisingly, the work was also deemed controversial as it challenges the notion that God designed and created the entire universe.

Left to right: Robert Hooke ("Hooke"), Edmond Halley ("Halley"), Isaac Newton ("Newton") and the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Philosophiæ")

To conclude, the episode focuses on Edmond Halley and his achievements – which were largely possible due to his ability to recognize and interpret patterns. I instinctively correlate the surname “Halley” to the famous Comet Halley, and instantly assumed that Edmond Halley was the one who pinpointed the comet’s characteristics. Nevertheless, I was surprised to discover that Halley’s work with Comet Halley is, in the words of Tyson, “his less significant contribution to the field of astronomy.” As it turns out, Halley was also the first person to determine the distance between the Earth and the Sun, chart motions of the stars and map out the Earth’s magnetic field!

All in all, through this episode, I mainly learnt about the role of pattern recognition in supplementing our understanding of the universe through case studies of humans in the early civilization, Robert Hooke, Edmond Halley and Isaac Newton.


“Halley.” Pinpoint Weather Blog. Web. 17 May 2014. <;.

“Hooke.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 May 2014. Web. 14 May 2014. <;.

“Newton.” Flash Sul Mondo … Di Tutto, Di Più: Isaac Newton: Primo Scienziato O Ultimo Alchimista. Web. 14 May 2014. <;.

 “Philosophiæ.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 May 2014. Web. 14 May 2014. <;.

The Cosmos E3 Reflection: Liam

Cosmos (Space-Time Odyssey), “3rd Episode”

Posted by William Sugiharto in Biology 11 on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 at 7:15 am

What can I say, the newest episode of “Cosmos, Space time Odyssey” dove into all things small and big comprising of the modern history of science. And again, it took me to the edge of my seat, thrilled and intrigued by the special effects that are comprised in this episode which is exceedingly superb and original. The musics that are utilized throughout the 3rd episode of cosmos matches very well to the context that are being presented thus, drawing my attention throughout the whole 3rd episode of the space time Odyssey.

The 3rd episode of the, “Cosmos: A personal Voyage”, really took me to the edge of my seat. It explicitly explains the understanding of how comets, gravity’s work and also not to mention, the solar system that has altered the way on how human gazes at the stars and science.

From what I can refer back from the 3rd episode of the cosmos is: “Edmond halley did not discover Halley’s comet and that Isaac newtons “Principia” which is newton’s three laws of motion, almost wasn’t published”.

Presently today, comets are usually refereed and named for the people who have stumbled on discovering them, however, this isn’t the same identical occurrence with Halley’s comet, the most prominent periodic comet. Halley’s comet as refereed back at the 3rd episode, become visible at the skies during night about once, approximately every 75 or 76 years, and during the time Edmund Halley (the comet’s namesake) didn’t discover it, nevertheless he was able to predict the orbits of comets that are all around the sun for the very first time. By identifying a system of pattern in his investigation research,  Halley was acknowledged as the first person to trail the tracks of the comet’s period. A very persistent person which ultimately leads to his success of his discovery.

“Halley also chase down every aspect of the astronomical observations of the comet recorded inside Europe between the year of 1472 to 1698. And quite ironically, this will be an intense work for Halley since there are no computers and search engines available during that period of time to aid his observations, since everything was not as advanced as today. Everything that Halley had were only his mind and the numerous amount of books that he owned. Halley had to gather all of the observations presented for each comet and identify the shape’s appearance of it actual path through space. I couldn’t say less, he was a mathematical genius and brilliance who was determined of his observations. Soon after, he discovered that the comets were bound to the sun in a long, oval orbits.”

What really shocks me most in the 3rd episode of the cosmos is that Isaac Newton’s “Principia” almost wasn’t published. The Royal society in the science area, accumulated most of their money for only one purpose and that is on, printing books of “The History of Fish,” leaving very little funding for Isaac Newton to produce his very scientific masterpiece which is, “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which is basically the three laws of motion of the universe, explaining why the planets revolves around the sun the way they do. But here’s the good news, Edmond Halley came to the rescue and that came to the publication of Isaac newton’s book  :)

Overall, I think that the 3rd episode comprised with cool special effects and it is indeed really captivating throughout the whole episode just like the 1st episode and the 2nd episode. Once again, I really enjoyed both the information context and the sparkling graphic 3D effects that the Cosmos Odyssey Adventure put up.


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The Cosmos Documentary E2 Reflection-Nathalie

COSMOS: Episode 2

Posted by Nathalie Istanto in Biology SL on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 3:49 pm

The second episode of Cosmos talked about the evolution of species. This relates back to the option chosen for our IBDP Biology course, Option D: Evolution. The episode begins by talking about artificial selection in wolves and continued on to talk about natural selection in polar bears. Finally, the episode shows extinctions of animals.

I was interested in the way the wolves evolved into domesticated dogs. It was interesting that the less violent wolves were the ones more likely to survive alongside humans, and evolved into domesticated dogs. I always thought that evolution was the “survival of the fittest”, which I always interpreted as the strongest and largest animals. However, after watching this episode, I found out that smaller animals can also survive, as long as they have a certain characteristic which benefits them.

I knew that polar bears evolved from normal bears, but I didn’t know that their fur color were a simple accidental gene mutation. It’s interesting to think that simple accidents can affect the survival of a whole population. Just from a small accident, the polar bears were able to catch their preys easily compared to the brown bears. I was also able to review a bit on genetics from the small section on the gene mutation in the polar bear’s egg.


Water Bear

The most interesting part of the whole episode for me would be the part where the host talks about how eyes evolve. I find it really interesting that our eyes aren’t as “perfect” as I expected. It turns out, our eyes were originally made to work underwater. As we evolved into land animals, our eyes were slowly adjusting, but wouldn’t work as great as it would underwater. This was because evolution didn’t start over. Instead, it changes bit by bit in our gene. I think that this part is really important as it shows that all living beings adapt. We are probably still evolving at this moment without realizing it.

There has been 5 mass extinctions in the history of the Earth. Apparently, one tiny animal known as the tardigrade was able to survive all this. The tardigrade can survive in many different conditions, from the cold ice to hot lava to even outer space. I find this creature quite cute but also interesting. This tardigrade is proof that with the right genes and characteristics, living things can survive in many different conditions.

The Cosmos Documentary E1Reflection-Nathalie

COSMOS: Episode 1

Posted by Nathalie Istanto in Biology SL on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 3:19 pm

We began watching part of the Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey in biology class. The first episode begins with how the universe was formed and how small the earth is compared to the rest of the universe. It also talks about Giordano Bruno, who stood up against the Catholic Church on his theory that the Earth wasn’t the center of everything.

I think that the whole episode was done so beautifully, and the shots were artistic. I find that the whole episode was informative and that I learned quite a bit on how the whole universe. I find it interesting how Bruno was able to think of his theory on the rest of the universe without any scientific training. It’s such a shame that he was killed before people began to prove his idea.

I find this episode fascinating, especially the way they presented the age of the universe with a cosmic calendar. I am astonished to find out how old the universe is compared to us, and that we humans are only found at the very end of the cosmic calendar. It was also interesting to find out how small we humans are when compared to the rest of the universe. We live in the planet Earth, which is located in the solar system. The solar system is located in the Milky Way Galaxy, which in turn is located in the Local Group. The Local Group is then located in the Virgo Supercluster. This shows we are compared to the rest of the world, which shows that we are quite insignificant when compared to the whole universe.

The Cosmos Documentary E1 Reflection -Nabilia

Cosmos: Space Time Odyssey #1 Posted by Nabilla Gunawan in Biology HL on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 at 06:45 My first impression after watching “The Cosmos” is: beautiful. I awed several times throughout the movie, I just simply think that the visuals this movie presented are beautiful. Watching this movie made me realize how grand the universe is. It is always interesting to explore the past and the beginning of life. Knowledge can be perceived as something dangerous back then. I was a little bit appalled by the narrowmindedness of people towards Bruno – the man who disagrees with the church’s persepctive about earth is the center of universe. Throughout the time, more and more things are discovered, such as Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Virgo Supercluster and The Cosmos.

The Cosmos Documentary E1 Reflection-Geun Myo

Cosmos documentary

Posted by Geun Kim in Biology HL on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 at 6:08 am

An episode on how lead was taken out of the environment told about how people now know that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and explored but shoots down the possibility of the Earth being 6,000 years old.Cosmos also explored a fight that lasted decades between scientists, the government, and big corporations about the hazards of lead emissions in the environment. By telling the story of a scientist who stood up against corporations to defend his views on the dangers of lead emissions, the corporations looked greedy and selfish on the show, and Cosmos opened up a controversial topic; one that could potentially make big companies look bad.

The Cosmos Documentary E1 Reflection – Christy

Biology: “Cosmos” Reflection

Posted by Christy Zakarias in Science on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 8:49 pm



  • The structure of our cosmos: Earth – Solar System – Milky Way Galaxy – Virgo Supercluster – The Cosmos.
  • Our cosmos was created through a Big Bang.
  • The Sun doesn’t exist for the first few months of the Cosmic Calendar.
  • Comets shower abolished the existence of dinosaurs on Earth.
  • Humans have only started to evolve within the last seconds of the Cosmic Calendar.


  • The Earth’s early conditions (atmosphere, diversity, topography, and so on) when humans first evolved.
  • The effects of human evolution on other living things.
  • The process scientists went through to map out our cosmos.


  • I love the concept of the Space Odyssey, and am definitely keen on the style of narration. The special effects and photos of outer space are out of this world (pun intended!). I am excited to continue watching!



  • Factors affecting evolution includes inter-species relation, natural selection and artificial selection.
  • Artificial selection is when human interference contributes to the resulting mutation – which ultimately leads to evolution. Meanwhile, natural selection is when the mutation that leads to evolution is utterly caused by natural factors. Natural selection ensures that only the strongest, better-adapted species survive.
  • Mutation due to transcription and translation is entirely random.
  • The genetic code is universal, hence all living things shares a common ancestor.
  • Evolution reshapes species by little tweaks in the genetic code over generations, but it can’t start over and create entirely new species.
  • Evolution is “blind” to catastrophes, this leads to extinctions.


  • Same as episode one.