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Tue Feb 24, 2015, 12:44 AM

 

~Neil DeGrasse Tyson Shows Science And Religion Can Co-Exist In ‘Cosmos’~

The tension that seems* to exist between science and religion has possibly been aggravated by creationism and climate deniers in recent years, but it's really quite unnecessary. Only the most fundamentalist among scientists and religious leaders seem to be militant about their position to the exclusion of others.

Some of the most stimulation conversations about science involve the way it's been influenced by religion, and vice-versa. I'm fascinated by the contrasts and similarities between the science and religion. Both enterprises are sometimes at war with one another, and both involve generous helpings of "belief" and "faith", but to far different ends.

And, finally, the best minds in both fields practice "Intellectual generosity"—the willingness and ability to grasp another person's arguments and respond to them constructively.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Shows Science And Religion Can Co-Exist In ‘Cosmos’

by Jack Jenkins Posted on March 11, 2014 at 11:35 am



Neil deGrasse Tyson has been called many things. Groundbreaking astronomer. Dynamic communicator. Sexiest astrophysicist alive.

But what about public theologian?

It might sound crazy, but the recent reboot of the television show Cosmos: A Personal Journey — Carl Sagan’s classic 1980s exploration of all things science, this time starring the charismatic Tyson and renamed “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” — is already attracting more attention for what it says about religion than astrophysics.

The show, which premiered Sunday night, begins roughly as expected, with Tyson guiding viewers through a humbling and special-effect laden tour of our seemingly infinite cosmos. But things abruptly shift gears as the program enters its middle segment, with Tyson narrating an animated retelling of the life of Giordano Bruno, a 14th century Dominican friar who dared to make the bold claim that our universe is not confined to the solar system (with the sun at the center), but in fact home an infinite number of suns besides our own, each surrounded by worlds populated with intelligent beings.

Predictably, Bruno’s ideas weren’t exactly popular with the religious leadership of his day. Scene after scene shows him mocked and exiled for his passionate embrace of an infinite universe, and Bruno is eventually imprisoned and tortured by the religious “thought police.” Ultimately, despite Bruno’s repeated assertion that his controversial conviction is fueled by his deep love in “the Creator,” we see him burned at the stake for his beliefs.

more deliciousness at: http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/03/11/3389411/degrasse-tyson-religion/

43 replies, 6594 views

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Reply ~Neil DeGrasse Tyson Shows Science And Religion Can Co-Exist In ‘Cosmos’~ (Original post)
NYC_SKP Feb 2015 OP
chillfactor Feb 2015 #1
AtheistCrusader Feb 2015 #2
bvf Feb 2015 #4
Warren Stupidity Feb 2015 #10
AtheistCrusader Feb 2015 #14
demwing Feb 2015 #42
AtheistCrusader Feb 2015 #43
cbayer Feb 2015 #8
skepticscott Feb 2015 #3
NYC_SKP Feb 2015 #6
AtheistCrusader Feb 2015 #16
NYC_SKP Feb 2015 #36
AtheistCrusader Feb 2015 #37
NYC_SKP Feb 2015 #38
skepticscott Feb 2015 #35
cbayer Feb 2015 #5
NYC_SKP Feb 2015 #7
cbayer Feb 2015 #9
NYC_SKP Feb 2015 #11
cbayer Feb 2015 #13
MellowDem Feb 2015 #12
NYC_SKP Feb 2015 #17
edhopper Feb 2015 #15
NYC_SKP Feb 2015 #18
Humanist_Activist Feb 2015 #19
edhopper Feb 2015 #21
Fumesucker Feb 2015 #22
cbayer Feb 2015 #23
Fumesucker Feb 2015 #24
cbayer Feb 2015 #25
Fumesucker Feb 2015 #26
cbayer Feb 2015 #27
Fumesucker Feb 2015 #28
cbayer Feb 2015 #30
Fumesucker Feb 2015 #31
cbayer Feb 2015 #34
AtheistCrusader Feb 2015 #33
trotsky Feb 2015 #29
AtheistCrusader Feb 2015 #32
Humanist_Activist Feb 2015 #39
Humanist_Activist Feb 2015 #20
skepticscott Feb 2015 #40
Humanist_Activist Feb 2015 #41

Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 12:51 AM

1. I am a true believer...

that science and religion can co-exist...I have never understood the conflict between them...

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Response to chillfactor (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 01:27 AM

2. Because religion purports to reveal truths about the universe that aren't true.

As a species, we REALLY don't have time for that shit. We do live at the bottom of a gravity well, after all.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 07:28 AM

4. Which raises an interesting question.

 

How much time do we, as a species, actually have in the face of such nonsense?

Woo kills.

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Response to bvf (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 10:33 AM

10. We are currently facing several existential crisis, and the Bullshit Factory, which includes

 

religion as one of its primary tools, is hard at work making sure we don't address the ones that could damage the Ruling Elite's bottom line. They would probably welcome a massive die off as long as the technology is advanced enough to keep them comfortable without needing billions of serfs.

Other than that there is the fact that religion is used to justify other horrendous irrational shit that isn't going to kill us off but sure makes life suck for many people.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 12:29 PM

14. Some of those religions are predicated upon a hoped-for future die-off.

It's fucking disgusting, yet it's part and parcel of the largest single religious bloc in the United States. (Evangelicals)

http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2013/09/11/shock-poll-startling-numbers-of-americans-believe-world-now-in-the-end-times/

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 11:21 PM

42. Wrong. Science doesn't deal in truths

 

it deal in facts. Religions and philosophies deal in truths.

Before you scoff, let me explain why truths are not always facts...

Your partner asks you if these new jeans make them look fat.

Do you give them a fact? :

"No, it's the great roll of chub around your hips, belly, and ass that makes you look fat."

or do you give them the truth? :

"You look like a million bucks, and I love you just the way you are"

Donn't tell me that truths and facts are the same thing, and don't pretend that you only deal with "facts"





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Response to demwing (Reply #42)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 11:49 PM

43. Hardly.

I always tend toward the truth. Which requires that I given an honest answer.

Your 'truth' answer does not actually answer the question. The hypothetical first answer you gave is unnecessarily vicious, and mean.

So, no, I don't think we're speaking the same language. Religion doesn't appear to deal in truth at all.

And you are completely forgetting that most (not all, but the 'great' portion of them) pretends to answering those questions, and claim facts that aren't true.

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Response to chillfactor (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 10:24 AM

8. Absolutely and most people do not have difficulty with that at all.

I think there are areas of clear conflict that have the potential for harm, like rejecting evolution or denying climate change.

But for most those things are not a problem at all.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 06:27 AM

3. Yes, and our founding fathers showed that slavery could co-exist

 

with democracy and Enlightenment values in early America.

What was your point again?

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 10:16 AM

6. You didn't read it, did you? Here, I'll grab my highlighter.

 

I'm hoping that you'll get my point.

But a closer look at the segment reveals that Tyson and company may have in fact divised a far more effective way of disarming the science-v.-religion debate by venturing into what religious scholars sometimes classify as “public theology.” Others have rightly noted that the [div style="display:inline; background-color:#FFFF66;"]core message of the Bruno narrative isn’t that God doesn’t exist, but rather “your God is too small.”
The “your” here is directed not at believers at large, but instead implicitly pointed at the small minority of conservative Christians who continue to doggedly insist that science is somehow incompatible with religion.

And make no mistake, they are a minority. Although it receives less airtime than fundamentalist theological strains, scientifically-informed theology is norm — not the exception — among modern American Christians. For every conservative pundit or elected official who tries to use the Bible to deny climate change, polls show that there are millions more religious Americans (read: the majority of almost every faith major faith tradition) who agree that the recent string of natural disasters were the result of climate change. In fact, a recent study conducted by Rice University found that not only do roughly half of American [div style="display:inline; background-color:#FFFF66;"]evangelicals believe that “science and religion can work together and support one another,” but that evangelical scientists actually practice their religion more than evangelical Protestants in the general population.


My point is simple:
Enlightened evangelicals can embrace conflicting ideas openly and objectively.
Enlightened scientists do the same thing. Every day. As a matter of practice.

It's the closed minded nasty evangelicals, bad scientists, and the very unimaginative among us who hold rigid "my way or highway" points of view.
Sucks to be them.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 12:32 PM

16. Disingenuous as fuck.

That is a really outrageous quote. Completely blind to multiple survey/polling realities.

Science and religion can work together? Then explain how "77% of Evangelicals believe the world is now living in the biblical end times."

Because there's zero scientific evidence for that rather staggering worldview.

http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2013/09/11/shock-poll-startling-numbers-of-americans-believe-world-now-in-the-end-times/

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 06:01 PM

36. 73% of Catholics said "No", we aren't in the end times. Not bad!

 

I think many here immediately think "Christian fundamentalism" when the discussion is about religions, generally.

If I wanted to discuss them exclusively, you would have a good point, but I'm addressing religions and spirituality generally, I almost always do.

There are a lot of faiths out there, not all of them are bible thumpers.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #36)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 06:11 PM

37. Yeah, but they're outnumbered.

That said, 'always look on the bright side of your life' I guess.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #37)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 06:27 PM

38. Yup! Hey, have you ever seen this: World Religions Tree? Giant graphic.

 

http://silenced.co/2014/10/world-religions-tree/

Click on the image for the gigantic graphic, shows origins and concentric rings show time.

Thanks for your reply which made me go do a search for world religions, I was looking for a pie chart and found this.



Small version:

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 05:51 PM

35. Yawn. Yes, I know what point you THOUGHT you were making

 

I know what point you desperately wanted to make. Your problem is, you did a really rotten job of it.

Here's the real point: People can compartmentalize and keep all sorts of contradictory ideas in their heads together if it helps them get through the day. But just because two things can "co-exist", it does not in any way follow that they are "compatible", much less mutually supportive or cooperative. Quite a lot of married and formerly married couples can attest to that.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 09:52 AM

5. Good article worth the re-read.

He's such a lightening rod when it comes to religion, even though he seems to take the most neutral position possible.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 10:23 AM

7. When someone finds the middle ground between two camps, it pisses off the extremists...

 

...at each end.

IMO, the greatest minds and greatest ideas and inventions and breakthroughs of all manner have come from thinking outside the box of convention, of being able to see things differently, having a different vision, putting otherwise unlike ideas together.

Rigid thinking in religion and in science can hinder progress and innovation, and often, in both disciplines, it's evidence of adherent's fear of change.

Daily dolphins here of late, any critters in your waters?

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 10:26 AM

9. Isn't that the truth.

When you are waging a war against a supposed enemy, the peacemakers and bridge builders are held in contempt.

While not always successful, I think NDT is one of those bridge builders.

We are seeing whales. They are in the middle of their season down here and are everywhere. The birds and fish are also in abundance.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 10:35 AM

11. The marine mammals are so moving.

 

I haven't seen any whales lately but will never forget that one day.

And, I promise not to stay in the water if I am met again by a pair of seals!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 10:40 AM

13. The whales are all down here, but they should be passing through your region in a couple of months.

The moms are doing some training with their calves these days. They allow them into some of the anchorages in the evenings and sit outside keeping an eye on them. It's quite a sight to behold.

Yes, stay away from the seals. Sharks like seals.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 10:37 AM

12. They contradict each other...

Of course they can c-exist through enough cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization

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Response to MellowDem (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 12:36 PM

17. I see all the place where there's concordance.

 

Of course there are contradictions. Nobody is denying that fact.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 12:31 PM

15. You lost me

by claiming there are "fundamentalist scientist".

No such thing.

Are there legitimate scientist still claiming that N-Rays and the Ether exist?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 12:44 PM

18. To me, they aren't legitimate if they're stuck in their narrow POV. Good grief.

 

I keep forgetting that posters here are so convinced that they're right about something that they can't really have a discussion.

Yet I try, it's good exercise.

One might want to think that all science and all scientist are infallible because, well, "science". That and, "religion bad!".

Well, it turns out that just as not all religions are bad and not all religious beliefs are wrong, some scientists aren't right and some aren't particularly "good".

So here, I used a Google just for you. I want to be sure you at least understand what I'm saying, even if you don't agree with it.

What does fundamentalism mean in Science?

We know what fundamentalism means in religion: it is people hanging desperately onto their beliefs, denying any discussion or idea that might challenge those beliefs. Typically it means going beyond taking a measured and balanced interpretation of the doctrine, and instead taking a literal, inflexible and hard-line one. It is also associated with a hostile reaction to anyone with competing ideas.

Looking beneath the surface, we might say that the members have detected that the days are numbered for their religion, that there are too many inconsistencies coming to the surface and too many challenges to the authority of its leaders. Rather than face the pain and personal turmoil of admitting that their investment of faith in their religion was misguided, they go in the opposite direction, holding on ever more tightly. This is a vicious cycle -- as they become ever more tightly invested in their beliefs it becomes ever more painful to consider that they were wrong, reinforcing the problem.

Now then to Science. Science should have no need for fundamentalism, after all it is a system of beliefs that has had enormous success, making predictions which have led to the development of the technologies on which our entire world runs. Scientists should be walking around with a big smile on their faces, saying, "Look at what we have achieved."

But still there are growing signs of fundamentalism, people rigidly holding onto beliefs that they consider to be scientific without accepting any discussion on their validity. This is most obvious at the edges of Science, where it meets other systems of knowledge which it judges to be sub-standard. However, there are signs of fundamentalism even in some at the top of their profession.

http://uazu.net/notes/pseudo.html


Finally, let me just say this:

Not all religions are evil Christianity, and not all Science is right.

If we can't agree with at least that much, then there's little point in talking about these things.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 01:56 PM

19. "Not all religions are evil Christianity, and not all Science is right." This is a nonsensical...

 

sentence. In fact, it shows a gross ignorance of science and what it is. Here is what it is not, a belief system. It is a process for trying to eliminate as many biases as possible to come to as accurate a picture as possible of reality. It can no more be "right" or "wrong" as algebra. Some people can be bad at it, but, like algebra, there are processes in place that allow others to check your work, and if its found inaccurate, it is corrected.

Also, just a note, you have linked to someone's personal blog who seems to have several odd ideas about science, and actually calls on us using our fallible senses as the hard output. Seems like a direct misapplication of science, and a gross misunderstanding, or I should say, half understanding of it.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 02:43 PM

21. I'll stick with my first post

fundamentalist science is an oxymoron.

We can keep testing claims by science to see if they are right or wrong.

Religion, not so much.

And the essay you linked is as poorly reasoned as most of your posts.





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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 03:33 PM

22. Science is a process, a technique for determining physical reality..

If something has nothing to do with physical reality then science can't be involved.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 03:40 PM

23. Not true at all.

Science is a method that is used to study and explore all kinds of things, including those for which there is no clear physical reality.

Social scientists use the method to study all kinds of phenomenon. There may be a physical reality in there somewhere, but it's not in evidence yet.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 03:44 PM

24. Phenomenons are things that are happening in physical reality hence they are part of it

We don't know the extents of physical reality yet and perhaps never will but science is the tool and process we use to study what those extents might be.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 03:50 PM

25. Everything that we don't understand now we call supernatural.

You can not determine which of those will be shown to be physical and which may never be shown to be physical, at least not within our current conceptual framework of reality.

Science studies them all whether we know of the physical basis or not.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 03:51 PM

26. Gravity is supernatural?

I did not know that..

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 03:55 PM

27. Of course you didn't know that, because it's not true.

I understand gravity. Perhaps you do not.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 04:16 PM

28. I've been into astronomy since I was about seven or eight

Vice President of the local junior astronomy league at twelve but I don't understand gravity and gravity is very important to astronomy, it keeps the planets in their orbits among other things and I know how to calculate those orbits and have software on my computer that does it.

Here's a picture of Comet Lovejoy and the Pleiades I took just recently. The original looks a good bit better than what I can squeeze onto DU..

http://www.democraticunderground.com/103639073

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 04:28 PM

30. Wow! That is so cool.

You obviously know more astronomy than I. We have some magnificent skies here at night and I use my star walk app a lot, but I rarely know what I am really looking at.

I did see the space shuttle chase MIR and attach to it one night a couple of years ago. That was very cool.

Of course, gravity is not supernatural. While we may not fully understand, we have some understanding of it.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 05:00 PM

31. Lots of trees here where I am and some light pollution

The sky I see is in little chunks between large hardwoods and I move around to view different parts, that sight was just about straight up when I shot it so it was convenient.

The sky was magnificent here several times lately, the brutal cold clears the skies better than anything, much more transparent when it's in the single digits than even the thirties and forget anything over 70. I just couldn't take it long enough to get everything set up and take photos.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 05:15 PM

34. Our view is completely unobstructed and we often have a complete

absence of ambient light, but it is often humid which makes them fuzzy.

I am quite impressed with your photography.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 05:09 PM

33. And yet you just said

"Everything that we don't understand now we call supernatural."


So, because we partially understand it, we no longer call it supernatural? HOGWASH.

We don't know shit about gravity. We know a lot about the EFFECT gravity has on time and space. NOT THE SAME THING.
That's like saying we may not fully understand gruffalo's, we have some understanding of them from this strange footprint that we found, and can measure very precisely.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 04:23 PM

29. Simply not true.

You don't understand gravity. No one "understands" gravity. We can describe it, but how it works remains a mystery.

That, however, doesn't mean goddidit.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 05:03 PM

32. No we fucking don't.

Where do you get this 'we' shit?

"You can not determine which of those will be shown to be physical and which may never be shown to be physical, at least not within our current conceptual framework of reality. "


Like fucking hell science/scientists default to 'gawd did it'/supernatural explanations when the cause isn't yet known. At most, research papers, studies, thesis, etc, will suggest possibilities, or suggest areas of future study that might reveal the as-unknown-at-the-time cause.

"Science studies them all whether we know of the physical basis or not."


And FS absolutely did not imply otherwise.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 07:18 PM

39. No we don't, that's a stupid assertion, what we don't understand now we call unknown.

 

Some people choose to believe everything we don't have a clear understanding of is supernatural or of supernatural origin, but that's simply the "god of the gaps" argument expanded to include other things besides just deities.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 01:59 PM

20. Both series(both Carl Sagan's and Neil Degrasse Tyson's, and their hosts and producers...

 

were and are dismissive of religion, going so far as to say they are the wrong way to think about the world.

At best, they are blithely dismissive, at worst, completely hostile.

Also bear in mind that this article was written soon after the first episode of the second series aired.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 07:36 PM

40. Yes, but there are some here who are so gaga over NDT

 

that they have to convince themselves that he is kissing religion's ass as much as they are.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #40)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 08:11 PM

41. The contrast between Dawkins and Tyson is this, their specialties...

 

are different.

Dawkins is a Biologist, so many religious beliefs are directly challenged by his field of study, and as a result, his field is more likely to be attacked on the basis of religion.

Tyson is an Astrophysicist, so his field is much more...exotic and, not sure of the terminology here, but less approachable by the layman, at least compared to Biology. People are less likely to know just enough about Astrophysics to get it completely wrong, they are more likely to get it completely wrong due to not understanding it at all. But as a result, religious based attacks against astrophysics is far less common, they are more likely to get attacked by pseudoscience and woo believers.

However, having seen Tyson's rants against astrology, I feel that he feels about that like Dawkins does about creationism.

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