As many know, Neil deGrasse Tyson has made a name for himself in the scientific community since the airing of Cosmos. This put him in the position of a spokesperson for atheists, agnostics, humanists, and people who just enjoy science in general.
But, I was disappointed by a response he gave during his podcast Star Talk. When asked whether he believed that there was a God he really dropped the ball. Instead of simply saying no, as he implies time and time again on Cosmos, Tyson had an uncomfortable pause, and said he wasn’t “convinced.”
This was obviously an attempt to appeal to an audience of all backgrounds and to avoid stepping on any toes. I would like to argue that this is not the kind of response that someone in his position should make.
With atheists already largely in the closet, the last thing we need is someone in his position dancing around the question “is there a God.” It simply strengthens the notion that it is not acceptable to deny evidence of a God in a social context. Instead it implies that atheists should respond in kind by saying that we really just need religions to try even more than they already do to convince and evangelize us.