Friday, February 28, 2014

When smart people are dumb 3

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson in the New Yorker:

My confidence that there is a loving God who cares at all for your health or your longevity, based on what I see in the physical universe, is so low that it is not something that I would spend any time investing in, to try to explore any further about whether or not it is true. I'll let other people do that exploring. And, if they bring the evidence to me, that's fine.

Where would anyone look to find that evidence? Not in the cosmos, according to Tyson. And not here on earth, since the major superstitions---Judaism, Christianity, Islam---are based on documents that were written hundreds/thousands of years ago by people who thought the earth was the center of the universe.

Alas, Tyson adds this stupidity:

It's odd that the word "atheist" even exists. I don't play golf. Is there a word for non-golf players? Do non-golf players gather together to strategize? Do non-skiers have a word, and come together, and talk about the fact that they don't ski?

It's silly to compare golf and skiing to belief in God, as if the latter had equal insignificance. Of course if you believe in any sort of God, you would/should take a great interest in its nature and your relationship to it.

Seems fair to suspect that Tyson is really an atheist who doesn't want to come out of the closet as such, especially when his new PBS TV series is about to debut. Why alienate your potential audience before the series even begins?

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At 12:17 PM, Anonymous sfthen said...

Ran across a cute quote about Christopher Hitchens:

"the last time I was with him I was reading the New York Times at his kitchen table, and there was an article about the ongoing effort to keep Catholic students at elite colleges like Yale from losing their faith. The article said something like 'faced with Nietzsche, coed dorms, Hitchens, and beer pong, students are likely to stray.'
"There are two really amazing aspects of that. For one, to be so culturally ubiquitous that you can be mentioned in a sentence like that without any further explanation is pretty exceptional. But also to be sandwiched between 'Nietzsche' and 'beer pong' is an honor that very few of us can ever aspire to.

Came from this interview

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Good quote and an interesting interview with Lawrence Krauss. Hitchens is much missed, especially on the subject of Islamic fascism.

At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Krauss seems to be getting around some, the New Yorker has a post-Academy Awards article by him:

Hollywood and Atheism.

End of article notes that Krauss "and Richard Dawkins are the subjects of the recent film, 'The Unbelievers,' released this year"


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