Read the Bible if you’re going to have an opinion about it

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson. NASA/Bill Ingalls, Wikimedia Commons

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has a list of books you should read. His selection concerns works of profound and lasting influence, such as On the Origin of Species and The Wealth of Nations.

Topping the list — not too surprisingly — is the Bible. But curiously Tyson slanders the book. Why read it? “[T]o learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself,” he says.

It reminds me of a comment by Fr. Tom Hopko: If you’re going to have an opinion about the Bible, you should read it. Clearly Tyson hasn’t read the Book of Job.

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  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    “[T]o learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself,”

    That would be an obtuse statement for anyone to make, but that it was made by someone with a reputation for intelligence who is proposing to catalog literature worthy of particular attention it is shockingly obtuse.

    You’re letting him off easy with the reference to Job. There is not a single page of the Bible that does not demand serious thought of a reader – partly due to its ancient and foreign origins and partly due to its very subject matter. Were the Bible not to demand so much thinking from its readers, it would be more widely read than it is.

    • Joel J. Miller

      I just came across Tyson’s comments the same moment I was studying Job and was amused by the contradiction.

  • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

    I like Tyson. He’s featured several times in The Symphony of Science, which is the most oft played sacred music in our house.

    youtube.com/watch?v=8g4d-rnhuSg