Also, Fat Turtle is a great band name.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: Answering the questions that no one was asking since ’94.
Learning starts outside the classroom.
Slightly takes the shine off Valentine’s Day, doesn’t it? No it isn’t.
Scientists are human. We have our blind spots and prejudices. Science is a mechanism designed to ferret them out. Problem is we aren’t always faithful to the core values of science.
The past is another planet.
“Once upon a time, people identified the god Neptune as the source of storms at sea. Today we call these storms hurricanes … The only people who still call hurricanes acts of God are the people who write insurance forms.”
“Science reveals that all life on Earth is one.”
“Every person you’ve ever heard of lies right in there. All those kings and battles, migrations and inventions, wars and loves, everything in the history books happened here in the last 14 seconds of the cosmic calendar.”
“The tenacity of life is mind-boggling. We keep finding it where no one thought it could be.”
“Artificial selection turned the wolf into the shepherd, and the wild grasses into wheat and corn. In fact, almost every plant and animal that we eat today was bred from a wild, less edible ancestor. If artificial selection can work such profound changes in only ten or fifteen thousand years, what can natural selection do operating over billions of years? The answer is all the beauty and diversity of life.”
“The Earth took one hell of a beating in its first billion years, fragments of orbiting debris collided and coalesced, until they snowballed to form our Moon.”
“This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adherent to a simple set of rules. Test ideas by experiments and observations. Build on those ideas that pass the test. Reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question everything. Accept these terms, and the cosmos is yours.”
“To make this journey, we’ll need imagination, but imagination alone is not enough, because the reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can imagine.”
“Our entire universe emerged from a point smaller than a single atom. Space itself exploded in a cosmic fire, launching the expansion of the universe and giving birth to all the energy and all the matter we know today. I know that sounds crazy, but there’s strong observational evidence to support the Big Bang theory. And it includes the amount of helium in the cosmos and the glow of radio waves left over from the explosion.”
“The Moon is a souvenir of that violent epoch. If you stood on the surface of that long ago Earth, the Moon would have looked a hundred times brighter. It was ten times closer back then, locked in a much more intimate gravitational embrace.”
“Beyond that horizon lie parts of the universe that are too far away. There hasn’t been enough time in the 13.8 billion year history of the universe for their light to have reached us.”
“Every breed of dog you’ve ever seen was sculpted by human hands.”
“Stars die and reborn […] They get so hot that the nuclei of the atoms fuse together deep within them to make the oxygen we breathe, the carbon in our muscles, the calcium in our bones, the iron in our blood. All was cooked in the fiery hearts of long vanished stars. … The cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
It’s the great tragedy – people employed in ways that don’t fully tap everything they do best in life.
Even with all our technology and the inventions that make modern life so much easier than it once was, it takes just one big natural disaster to wipe all that away and remind us that, here on Earth, we’re still at the mercy of nature.
Not enough people in this world, I think, carry a cosmic perspective with them. It could be life-changing.
I try to show the public that chemistry, biology, physics, astrophysics is life. It is not some separate subject that you have to be pulled into a corner to be taught about.
Not enough books focus on how a culture responds to radically new ideas or discovery. Especially in the biography genre, they tend to focus on all the sordid details in the life of the person who made the discovery. I find this path to be voyeuristic but not enlightening. [/su_note
If the purpose of the universe was to create humans then the cosmos was embarrassingly inefficient about it.
If humans one day become extinct from a catastrophic collision, there would be no greater tragedy in the history of life in the universe. Not because we lacked the brain power to protect ourselves but because we lacked the foresight. The dominant species that replaces us in post-apocalyptic Earth just might wonder, as they gaze upon our mounted skeletons in their natural history museums, why large headed Homo sapiens fared no better than the proverbially peabrained dinosaurs.
when I wrestled, I would set aside the time to wrestle, so that in my mind it didn’t interfere with my study time. That helped me psychologically. When I’m wrestling, I’m not studying the universe. And when I’m studying the universe, I’m not wrestling.
We hunger for significance, for signs that our personal existence is of special meaning to the universe. To that end, we’re all too eager to deceive ourselves and others, to discern a sacred image in a grilled cheese sandwich or find a divine warning in a comet
The universe is hilarious! Like, Venus is 900 degrees. I could tell you it melts lead. But that’s not as fun as saying, ‘You can cook a pizza on the windowsill in nine seconds.’ And next time my fans eat pizza, they’re thinking of Venus!
When asked about which scientist he’d like to meet, Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “Isaac Newton. No question about it. The smartest person ever to walk the face of this earth. The man was connected to the universe in spooky ways. He discovered the laws of motion, the laws of gravity, the laws of optics. Then he turned 26.