On Christmas, faux intellectual Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who has become famous for his supposedly-deep tweets that verge on the banal, sent out this backhanded slap at Christianity:
This has become part of Tyson’s shtick — pricking Western culture by referring to it as a minority culture. But Tyson only has the liberty to do that because he lives in a Western society that not only tolerates but encourages dissent. He’d never have the intestinal fortitude to tweet the same sentiment during Ramadan were he a citizen of Saudi Arabia.
This is one of the more irritating features of the science-is-everything movement: its chief spokespeople all too often ignore that science is a specific cultural outgrowth of a civilization rooted in particular values. The roots of Western science — which is to say, the scientific method and virtually all scientific development over the course of the last several centuries — lie at the crossroads of Athens and Jerusalem, not in animism, Islam, or atheism.
But so long as Tyson can seem like a sophisticate by tut-tutting Christians on Christmas, he’ll keep doing it.