Faith and reason are not reconcilable. Whatever one’s personal, emotional or spiritual takeaway from a religious belief or experience, such does not and cannot fall under the purview of reason. Nor does such pass for science, and thus was the crux of noted astrophysicist and science advocate Neil deGrasse Tyson’s argument, when he sat down with Bill Moyers to discuss the place of faith in the classroom.
During the interview, Tyson is careful to separate those he calls “enlightened religious” people –those who accept science as fact while retaining and rationalizing their faith internally– from fundamentalists, who much like the Taliban, would insist on a literal orthodox interpretation of their holy text as the final word on all things. Accepting that the former understood that in matters such as the debate over creationism in the classroom, that science should win the day, Tyson drew the line with the latter and their persistent attempts to drive religious beliefs into science classes.
[box type=”shadow”]“If you have a religious philosophy that is not based in objective realities that you then want to put in the science classroom, then I’m going stand there and say ‘no, I’m not going to allow you in the science classroom.” [/box]
During the discussion, which can be watched in full here, Moyers struggled to search for common ground, finding himself politely rebuffed at every attempt. Noting the honest efforts to bring the two worlds of religion and science together, Tyson shrugs as he notes that “they just fail.”