Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Sugar-Coated Dawkins

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Categories : The Critics, The New Atheists

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published: samedi 2 décembre 2006 22:42:53

Over at Onegoodmove, there is a brief clip of the exchange between Neil deGrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins. It is the one where Tyson allegedly scolded Dawkins for being too hostile to religion and Dawkins accepted the criticism. But if you watch the video, it looks more like the Good Cop complaining about the Bad Cop, while the Bad Cop deflects the whole point with a joke.

It certainly appears to me that Tyson is really no different than Dawkins in wanting to use science as a means to evangelize for atheism. He does not criticize Dawkins for claiming that science leads to atheism. He does not criticize Dawkins for thinking that science can determine whether or not God exists. He does not criticize Dawkins' illogical and pseudoscientific positions. He criticizes Dawkins for being "ineffective." When you complain about someone being "ineffective", you are admitting a shared objective and lamenting a strategy. In other words, Tyson is just a sugar-coated version of Dawkins. After all, Tyson is troubled by the existence of religious scientists:

Like many of the others at the meeting, Porco was preaching to the choir, and there was no more animated or passionate preacher than Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York. Tyson spoke with an evangelist's zeal, and he had the heretics in his sights. Referring to a recent poll of US National Academy of Sciences members which showed 85 per cent do not believe in a personal God, he suggested that the remaining 15 per cent were a problem that needs to be addressed. "How come the number isn't zero?" he asked. "That should be the subject of everybody's investigation. That's something that we can't just sweep under the rug."

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