Debating Religion and Science with Hillsong’s Carl Lentz & Neil deGrasse Tyson

By BDEngler (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By BDEngler (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Hillsong Christian Church’s Carl Lentz, friend of Justin Bieber, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson debate the age old topic of religion and science.

Douglas Adams, the famous author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, coined an interesting term called the puddle theory to rebuke the notion that the universe was created by God. It goes something like this (paraphrasing his actual words) – imagine if you were a puddle that woke up one morning and thought 'What an interesting world it is that I find I am a part of – a curious hole I am in – fits me pretty well, doesn't it? It fits me so well that it most certainly was made so that I could be in it!' He said that this sentient puddle finds this idea so appealing that as it wakes up every morning to the rising sun and as the hole keeps shrinking in size, it desperately hangs on to the idea that things are going to be fine and that the world was designed for him, and to have him. So, he is caught completely by surprise when he disappears. In his acid wit, he concluded that this might be something that all of us need to watch out for.

Lentz/deGrasse Tyson: Religion and Science Debate.[/tweetthis]

Adams’ book was published in 1979, decades ago, yet this debate between religion and science continues still. The latest and most entertaining version of it happened Thursday night on Comedy Central during The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore as the celebrity Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson debated the compatibility of science and religion with Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church. They were joined by the comedian Tom Papa.

DeGrasse Tyson rejected outright the notion that benevolence and kindness go together with the belief people have in God. He explained that it's the standard ruse used by people every time they have to describe or justify their understanding of how God works. He further added that the universe is filled with unexplained mysteries as much as natural calamities like asteroid strikes, tornadoes, volcanoes, tsunamis and deadly disease that could wipe you out. He cited this as contrary proof to the idea that there is a God out there who cares deeply about what we do or what happens to us.

Pastor Lentz, friend and pastor to Justin Bieber, echoed the sentiment that without God, there wouldn't be any scientific progress. Tyson added that although there is no evidence for an intelligent being, he was willing to accept evidence if there was any. He also conceded that belief in a personal God and at the same time, trusting science are not entirely incompatible.


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