Neil deGrasse Tyson on god and science

I'd like to draw attention to the way he fields this question. He essentially says he's an atheist without saying he's an atheist. I think it's very non-confrontational without being apologetic. There's definitely something to be said for his sense of tact (which many of us, including myself, lack).

I like it, and I don't like that I like it. I know his answer is superior to anything I would have said. It's not disenfranchising, it doesn't point a finger and say "No, you're wrong". It does what the out campaign is trying to do by demonstrating that we can be caring, understanding, good people for whom god is simply an idea that doesn't work.

Should he have been less, um ... political? (I suppose that's the right word) ... I can't, as much as I'd like to ... imagine how a stronger assertion would have been more effective.


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Comment by Jim DePaulo on July 31, 2010 at 7:36pm
Tyson has appeared on Science Channel programs frequently and he is an insightful individual. I would guess the 40% of scientist he speaks of are not in the biological or physical sciences and are very likely in the applied sciences and engineering where foundational science is less important.
There is also the question as to what their concept of god is.
Comment by Loren Miller on July 30, 2010 at 3:26pm
Brilliant and eloquent!
Comment by Jani Kotakoski on July 30, 2010 at 3:12pm
His reply was very good. He clearly stated that he is a non-believer, but in a way in which one had to actually listen to what he said in order to catch that. On top of that, he made it clear that some scientists remain (at least outwards) religious.

Clearly, this response is not for everybody, but I'm glad some of us (i.e. scientists) are using this language. At least to me it seems that this approach is needed in the States (I'm writing from Europe) to keep the "Scientists are immoral atheists who will try to preach their non-belief onto everyone!!!"-attitude in bay.

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