Such challenges are not new in the religious history. Similar challenges were issued to prophets of God, in the past, by non-believers of their time. Let me quote the Quranic verse, pertaining to Patriarch Abraham and the ruler of the time:
Hast thou not heard of him who disputed with Abraham about his Lord, because Allah had given him kingdom? When Abraham said, ‘My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death,’ he said, ‘I also give life and cause death.’ Abraham said, ‘Well, Allah brings the sun from the East; bring it thou from the West.’ Thereupon the infidel was dumbfounded. And Allah guides not the unjust people. (Al Quran 2:259)
This verse not only lays down the debate between Abraham and the king of the time but also gives psychological back ground of the ruler. Secular success had gotten to the head of the king and not appreciating his own mortality, he was claiming some divine powers for himself, like his dictatorial control over the life and death of his subjects. Success can creep in as arrogance in various disguises!
Another area of fuzzy thinking out there is the movement called Intelligent Design. It asserts that somethings are too marvelous or too intricate to explain. The contention is that these things defy common scientific accounts for cause and effect and so they are ascribed to an intelligent, purposeful designer. … So, let us start a movement called Stupid Design and we will see where that takes us. For example what is going on with your appendix? It is much better at killing you than it’s at anything else. That’s definitely a stupid design. What about your pinky toenail? You can barely put nail polish on it; there is no real estate there. How about bad breath and the fact that you breathe and drink through the same hole, in your body, causing some fraction of us to choke to death every year? And here is my last one. Ready? Down there between your legs, it is like an entertainment complex in the middle of the sewage system. Who designed that?
In line of argumentation by the Patriarch Abraham, we could ask Neil Tyson, rather than denying the amazing beauty and organization of the universe and taking a shot at what he considers to be of limited value, to get together a team of biologists and design a new mammalian species with separate openings for the systems he is questioning, let us have a two headed and 6 legged monster, if he so wills! We will see how his design compares with that of God and withstands the test of time. Let us see the long term results of monkeying with God’s creation.
Incidentally, unlike Intelligent Design, we, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, do not deny science and do not propose any super-natural mechanisms for God’s Providence. God works through natural mechanisms, one of His attributes is Al Baatin meaning the Hidden (Al Quran 57:4 & 6:104). His Providence may be through quantum physics or other yet unknown natural mechanisms.
Here, let me add several articles to refute Tyson’s childish criticism against the Creator of the universe and life:
Neil deGrasse Tyson (born October 5, 1958) is an American astrophysicist and science communicator. He is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. Since 2006 he has hosted the educational science television show NOVA scienceNOW on PBS, and has been a frequent guest on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Jeopardy!. It was announced on August 5, 2011 that Tyson will be hosting a new sequel to Carl Sagan‘s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage television series.