Neil deGrasse Tyson Mistakes God for Who He Is Not

Of course all humans fail and err. However, does Tyson mean to impugn God?

According to Mother Jones’ biblical and cosmological authority, Chris Mooney:

To be a Young Earth creationist is to hold a truly unique place in the history of wrongness. These religious ideologues don’t just deny human evolution; their belief in a universe that is only a few thousand years old commits them to an enormity of other errors, including many beliefs that fly in the face of modern physics.

But maybe he’s just host of MJ’s Climate Desk.

According to Mooney, Tyson explains:

To believe in a universe as young as 6 or 7,000 years old is to extinguish the light from most of the galaxy. Not to mention the light from all the hundred billion other galaxies in the observable universe.

But, by this statement, Tyson fallaciously misrepresents his opponent.

Crab Nebula (NASA)

Crab Nebula by Hubble Space Telescope (Public Domain)

Someone of no import nowadays, John Calvin, had this to say of God’s prerogatives with respect to His universe:

With regard to inanimate objects again we must hold that though each is possessed of its peculiar properties, yet all of them exert their force only in so far as directed by the immediate hand of God. Hence they are merely instruments, into which God constantly infuses what energy he sees meet, and turns and converts to any purpose at his pleasure. No created object makes a more wonderful or glorious display than the sun. …No pious man, therefore, will make the sun either the necessary or principal cause of those things which existed before the creation of the sun, but only the instrument which God employs, because he so pleases; though he can lay it aside, and act equally well by himself: Again, when we read, that at the prayer of Joshua the sun was stayed in its course; that as a favor to Hezekiah, its shadow receded ten degrees; by these miracles God declared that the sun does not daily rise and set by a blind instinct of nature, but is governed by Him in its course, that he may renew the remembrance of his paternal favor toward us…

We addressed this previously with our blog post Superstition. Another expert, Aldous Huxley, said:

Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know. It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence… No philosophy is completely disinterested. The pure love of truth is always mingled to some extent with the need, consciously or unconsciously felt by even the noblest and the most intelligent philosophers.

However, I think we’d all do well to heed John Horgan when he says:

Of course we feel validated when others see the world as we do. But we should resist the need to insist or even imply that our views—or anti-views—are better than all others. In fact, we should all be more modest in how we talk about our faith or lack thereof.

By way of disclosure, we do not hold to typical creation hypotheses, we believe Genesis chapters 1 and 2 are in harmony, and John Horgan does not endorse the content or views expressed on this blog.