Neil deGrasse Tyson ; 1958–present) is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, and author. He excels in communicating about the place of science in our lives, and while doing this, inevitably encounters the world of spirituality and religion.
Tyson is frequently interviewed in various media, and discusses everything from space exploration to spirituality. Tyson offers here his definition of spirituality: “For me, when I say spiritual, I’m referring to a feeling you would have that connects you to the universe in a way that it may defy simple vocabulary. We think about the universe as an intellectual playground, which it surely is, but the moment you learn something that touches an emotion rather than just something intellectual, I would call that a spiritual encounter with the universe.” Tyson has argued that many great historical scientists’ belief in intelligent design limited their scientific inquiries.
Western culture has a love/hate relationship, in many ways, with the world of science. We hear people discuss whether opinion is the counterbalance to fact, whether science can be trusted, whether science should determine public policy, and so on. So having a scientist included in a text on philosophy certainly is needed as we look at how science impacts our world.
Tyson discusses the vital place of science in many ways. This interview helps portray his views:
We also might find this useful in explaining the conflict between opinion and science: