Sunday, 6 March 2011

View from the Pulpit - Neil DeGrasse Tyson

From here;

Now it’s been 130 years since Darwin. So you have to ask, what is your measure of this resistance? Is it most of the world? No, it’s not most of the world that’s resisting this. It’s a small subset of the world. One might even say the holdouts. But they need to understand that their counterparts in the past were no less passionate about their objection to a scientific discovery as people objecting to the sun going around the earth or vice versa.
They were no less passionate in the invention of the microscope, the discovery of germs: that when you got sick, it wasn’t because God made you sick, it was because you exposed yourself to these microorganisms. And I can hand you these microorganisms and you’ll come down with all these symptoms. That discovery removed God from many equations that people had going in their head for why you got sick.
There’s a famous statement about venereal disease… when penicillin was demonstrated to cure venereal disease, there was some bishop who at the time said that this medicine was the work of the devil, because it allows you to fornicate and not face God’s punishment. And you still see a little bit of that with the AIDS virus. But by and large, people are not thinking that germs are handed off by supernatural powers.
So I think it’s a matter of time. There’s an old saying about the evolution of every great truth: First, people say they don’t believe it; then, they say it contradicts the Bible; and third, they say they’ve known it all along.
So just give them a little more time. They might warm up to it.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could agree with this optimistic assessment. We are looking at a repeated recrudescence, funded by political and religious reactionaries of many kinds from Seattle to Saudi Arabia, and not just the tattered remnants of the original opposition.