Tyson vs. Dawkins
It’s been awhile since I blogged about Richard Dawkins. Today I discovered, via 3 Quarks Daily, a video that shows astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson saying everything to Dawkins I could ever hope for. Dawkins’ retort is telling.
In a recent conversation with a friend who is a fan, I allowed myself to be semi-convinced that Richard Dawkins‘ hot-headed, short-sighted condemnation of the entire category of human spirituality is useful as a lightning rod, diverting the wrath of religious fundamentalists away from scientists with more moderate opinions on matters of faith. OK, I’ll buy that…as long as Neil DeGrasse Tyson is also on the scene. As glib and earthy as he is brilliant, Tyson is the current host of PBS’s NOVA ScienceNOW and the director of Hayden Planetarium. His charismatic commitment to educational outreach is the antidote to Dawkins’ venomous policy of hostile non-communication. I’m delighted that Tyson has emerged as a prominent public intellectual. His voice offers a sensitivity and temperance to a debate too often plagued by certainty on all sides.