Neil deGrasse Tyson on Science and Faith
Question: Does religion have an inherent conflict with science?
DeGrasse Tyson: Most religious people in America, fully embrace science. So the argument that religion has some issue with science applies to a small fraction of those who declare that they are religious. They just happen to be a very vocal fraction so you got the impression that there are more of them than there actually is. It’s actually the minority of religious people who rejects science or feel threatened by it or want to sort of undo or restrict the… where science can go. The rest, you know, are just fine with science. And has been that way ever since the beginning. And by the way, there’s no tradition of scientists knocking down the door, the Sunday school door, telling the preacher what to teach. There’s no tradition of scientists picketing outside of churches nor should there be some [emergent] tradition of religious fundamentalists trying to change the curriculum in the science classroom. There’s been a happy coexistence for centuries. And for that to change now would be unfortunate. Because I’ve seen this happen in other nations and the other states where the consequences are that you just basically recede back to the cave because that’s where you land when you undermine the scientific and technological innovations that come about when you’re a properly trained scientist or technologist. Consider also that in America, 40% of American scientists are religious. So this notion that there’s some… that if you’re a scientist, you’re an atheist or if you’re religious, you’re not a scientist, that’s just empirically false. It’s an empirically false statement. And what I mean by religious is that you can pose the question in a way that is unambiguous. You don’t ask, well, do you go to church every Sunday ‘cause plenty of people go to church, like, just for the pie, you know, or the social scene after the service. You ask people, do you pray to [a person or] God. If you say yes to that, you’re religious by, presumably, anybody’s standards of your conduct. And it’s the yes to that question that applies to 40% of scientists. So… Well, there’re plenty of atheists who are scientists or not scientists to paint this as some built-in conflict is… There maybe a conflict but many… plenty of people in this country coexist in both worlds.
The astrophysicist debunks the notion that scientists cannot be believers
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.