Creationists to Neil deGrasse Tyson: Evolution isn’t scientific, but the Book of Genesis is

Creationists to Neil deGrasse Tyson: Evolution isn’t scientific, but the Book of Genesis is (via Raw Story )

Creationist Ray Comfort complained that Neil deGrasse Tyson had misrepresented the Bible. The astrophysicist and host of Fox’s “Cosmos” said recently that using the Bible as a scientific source was problematic, because no one had ever scientifically…



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Related video added by Juan Cole:

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks: “Creationist Outrage Over Cosmos With Neil DeGrasse Tyson”

11 Responses

  1. Oooof – The stupid, it burns! It burns! How do people this dumb get on television? Look, if Genesis is a scientific tract, then so too is Hesiod’s Theogony, since it too, describes the origins of the cosmos; the Enuma Elish is as well; so is Ovid’s Metamorphoses, since they tell us their own versions of the origins of the universe. Hell, while we’re at it, why not just throw out Chomsky’s work on linguistics and use Herodotus, who had a thing or two to say about the origins of human language, all of them quite silly of course.

    As to the “word of God”, ugh! So many ancient texts claim to be the word of god that it is literally impossible to privilege one over the other. What about Homer? What about Hesiod? What about Pindar? What about Socrates (via Plato)? (To be Hellenocentric). All claim divine inspiration, so good luck with setting one truth above the other.

    As to the claim for scientific “facts” in the Bible, this reader would like some hard evidence to back up that laughable claim – even the historical “facts” contained in both the Old and New Testament don’t pass a fairly cursory sniff test, and (contra the Israeli tourist board) are usually blown out of the water by modern archaeology (you know, um . . . SCIENCE!) E.g., there is no evidence for habitation of Jericho as a major bronze age community when it was allegedly destroyed by Joshua, so good luck bringing down its non-existent walls.

    The biggest difference between individuals such as Sagan or Tyson and Comfort is that Sagan and Tyson come from a community that recognizes knowledge as dynamic, that today’s truth could be tomorrow’s discarded absurdity; Comfort does not – he is dogmatic. And by the by, it is such dogmatism that the pagan intellectual community found, in part, so offensive about Christianity as it arose to prominence in the second and third centuries CE: how, asked Neoplatonists such as Prophyry and Celsus, can one be so certain about so profound a mystery?

    It is frustrating in the extreme that academics in the field of ancient studies let people like Comfort have a field day and dominate the discussion and do not, in a more public fashion, call bullshit on all this incoherent, and, by the way, essentially primitive babble.

  2. Taking the creation point of view, one might deduce some aspects of God’s nature. For instance Gods species bias. Approximately 90% of all known species are insects (900,000 currently identified), and beetles are a good proportion of the insect species. (900,000 is much lower than estimates of the actual number of species that currently exist, which range as high as 30 million.)

    So bereft of the evolution option, creation entailed the instant establishment of a huge number of viable insect species, dominated by beetles. It might be inferred from this that God, to the extent that it has likes and preferences, may be more partial to the little amoral creatures than homo sapiens.

    Just a thought.

  3. “You know, the word ‘science,’ it’s kind of a magical word,” Comfort said…”

    There is a psychological phenomenon known as “projection”. Ray Comfort is Exhibit A with this statement. He’s the one promoting an uncritical belief in magic, but it’s what he’s accusing scientists of? Incredible.

  4. Why are you all worked up about something people said on their own shows and own media? Do you regularly follow what is said on the Art Bell show and try to challenge that? What about other religious shows and what they are saying, hindu, moslem, buddhist, never hear them mentioned. Are these people trying to persecute you, restrict your free speech, declare you to be apostates and kill you? You people get worked up over nonsense from nonsense and you all just seem to feed off each other.

    • Hmm, let’s see. First of all, Christianity is the predominate religion in the US, and drives the base of the wealthiest most powerful political party, (which happens also at this late date to be a criminal enterprise). Islam, Buddhism, etc., are pretty marginalized and simply do not have the political power or clout in our political discourse. Christianism in its present form in the US at times variously poses a clear and present danger as it actively obstructs a number of pressing issues that merit immediate address, including human driven climate change, stem cell research, and other forms of research and development of any other number of technologies one could mention. The modern GOP and their assorted freak show of 700 Club stooges actively obstruct and obfuscate, by pouring millions of dollars to confuse and confound the public on a variety of issues for which scientific understanding is essential, and which they aggressively deride.

      As for free speech – you don’t need to gut the First Amendment to suppress free speech – you just pour millions of dollars into a campaign, say, to convince a supine public that the environmentally criminal organization that is Koch or Exxon are in fact great supporters of Green Energy; or you become a shill like George Stephanopoulis or David Gregory and give a voice to power every Sunday rather than a voice to those who will challenge it. Or you fund conservative think tanks for 30 or 40 years that put out position papers that then get reported as “news”. Hence the powerful talk about and analyze the Occupy Movement on the Sunday shows, but to get a critical mass of actual voices of the Occupy Movement represented on the Sunday shows (as opposed to the Koch funded Tea Party), is literally impossible. Your definition and understanding of how free expression works in this country seems naïve to me in the extreme (sorry if that sounds ad homninem, but I need to call ‘em as I see ‘em).

      When alternative discourse gets driven out from the main stream, a site and service such as Professor Cole provides becomes an important public space for real democracy, where opinions, perspectives, and voices that will never be heard on the MSM get to be aired at the very least. Worked up? The fate of the planet is being decided by a political faction in a single country that has captured our national legislature, and they are actively hostile to the type of science Tyson is presenting to the public. If you haven’t noticed, Greenland is melting, the oceans acidifying, and we are in the midst of a breathtaking mass extinction not seen in tens of millions of years, and it is our doing. Yeah, we’re worked up over nonsense. It is noted though, that you have a most peculiar definition of nonsense.

    • More like the apples, bananas, and fresh vegetables people versus the cotton candy people.

  5. As I’ve said before Joseph Campbell mentioned that when the christian church was being slapped together there was a strong lobby for it to be woven into the roots of the Greek mystery religions rather than the marking mad god of some little known cult.
    What a lost opportunity!

  6. “Comfort said last week on his online “Comfort Zone” program that Tyson wasn’t qualified to make that determination because he’s not a theologian.” Well,by that standard, Comfort is not qualified to make that determination either, because he is not a theologian either.

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