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Neil deGrasse Tyson is Awesome

By Dan8267   2014 Aug 18, 12:39pm   3 links   5,050 views   30 comments   watch (2)   quote      

Bill: There is literally -- maybe not a handful -- but a few dozen people, scientists, all in the history of our planet who have discovered everything important. And every other billions of the people have just glommed onto that, or else we would be sitting in rolled up balls of dirt and eating straw.

Neil: That is accurate. Civilization, if you read history books, you think civilization pivots on what conquerors did or leaders or politicians. And civilization, as we have come to know it and understand it, pivots on the work of singular people who have preceded us who have changed the course of how we have interacted with the laws of nature.

Exactly. It is the scientist, the engineer, and the mathematician that have brought us from the Bronze Age to today. Everything that makes your life easier, longer, better is the result of these three disciplines. All the emperors, generals, politicians, corporate tycoons, and prophets haven't done jack diddle to materially influence the way people live their lives other than to disrupt those lives with periods of violence and despair. Everything great in our our anyone's culture is derived from the shockingly rare individuals in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Yet just a few dozen individuals have guided our entire planet from the Bronze Age to today. Image what we could accomplish if a mere 10% of our species was devoted to these disciplines.

Comments 1-30 of 30     Last »

1   BlueSardine   2014 Aug 18, 12:47pm     ↑ like (5)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote    

I see you've been jerking off to bill Maher reruns all day...

2   JH   2014 Aug 18, 12:49pm     ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Dan8267 says

Yet just a few dozen individuals have guided our entire planet from the Bronze Age to today.

And yet just a few dozen of the other folks are driving America into feudalism.

3   Dan8267   2014 Aug 18, 3:23pm     ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote    

SoftShell says

I see you've been jerking off to bill Maher reruns all day...

Your statement refutes nothing. It expresses that you hate Bill Maher, but that's not surprising. Conservatives hate Maher precisely because they cannot refute anything he says and he makes them look like the fools they are.

4   Dan8267   2014 Aug 19, 12:48am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I've been pulling for Elizabeth Warren and William Black to be on the next presidential ticket, but I'd be satisfied with Neil deGrasse Tyson for president as well.

Tyson/Dawkins bumper sticker?

5   Tenpoundbass   2014 Aug 19, 2:06am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Well Neil, isn't one of them Sunshine.

6   HEY YOU   2014 Aug 19, 3:07am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Dan8267,
You need to stop watching all the left wing BS.
If you start watching Fox,Beck, Limbaugh etc.,you will have proof of how intelligent you are. "I watch FOX!" roflmao

7   Tenpoundbass   2014 Aug 19, 3:37am     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

HEY YOU says

If you start watching Fox,Beck, Limbaugh etc.,you will have proof of how intelligent you are. "I watch FOX!" roflmao

Neil's show was on FOX. roflmho

8   Dan8267   2014 Aug 19, 7:09am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

CaptainShuddup says

Neil's show was on FOX. roflmho

So's The Simpson's. Neither is reflective of the right-wing propaganda machine. And as stated in the video above, the right hates Cosmos because it shows that humans aren't special or divinely created. Our very existence is the result of many arbitrary events, any of which could have gone another way. We exist because of dumb luck.

9   Tenpoundbass   2014 Aug 19, 7:11am     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Dan8267 says

Neither is reflective of the right-wing propaganda machine.

It's subtle, Lisa's pie in the sky idealistic ideas always end horribly for everyone.

10   Dan8267   2014 Aug 19, 7:19am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Yeah, like not letting banks cause great depressions.

11   Tenpoundbass   2014 Aug 19, 7:23am     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I am NOT going to debate the Simpsons with you right now.

12   Dan8267   2014 Aug 19, 9:19am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

CaptainShuddup says

I am NOT going to debate the Simpsons with you right now.

I thought you were making a smart aleck remark about Elizabeth Warren. Can't always translate batshit crazy right-speak to English.

13   Tenpoundbass   2014 Aug 19, 9:33am     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I know, I'm not even very good at it...

14   Tenpoundbass   2014 Aug 19, 10:05am     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

sbh says

Batshit crazy right-speak is your only language.

Heh! it's You're!

15   Tenpoundbass   2014 Aug 19, 10:07am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Hey is thread about How Great I'm not, or Neil is?

16   SpecialSnowflake   2014 Aug 19, 11:44am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Dan8267 says

I've been pulling for Elizabeth Warren and William Black to be on the next presidential ticket, but I'd be satisfied with Neil deGrasse Tyson for president as well.

Two lawyers and one astrophysicist "focused on observations in cosmology, stellar evolution, galactic astronomy, bulges, and stellar formation".

17   BlueSardine   2014 Aug 19, 1:50pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

It was not designed to refute anything.
It was written to point out your obsession with maher...

Dan8267 says

SoftShell says

I see you've been jerking off to bill Maher reruns all day...

Your statement refutes nothing.

18   Dan8267   2014 Aug 19, 1:51pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Ah, the mere mention of Warren brings fear to conservatives and makes them wet their pants. That alone is enough to justify electing her.

19   curious2   2014 Aug 19, 4:20pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

20   plymster   2014 Aug 20, 1:37am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I'm a fan of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians as much as anybody, but whenever I hear the old "scientists are the only ones dragging us forward" trope, I always think of Douglas Adams old story about Golgofrinchans loading up a spacecraft with the useless third of the population (administrators, bureaucrats, telephone hygiene technicians, and hairdressers) and blasting them off at the Earth. Then the society dies from a virus spread through dirty telephones.

The truth is, we need most of the aspects of society. From the investment fund manager who pools peoples' money to invest in Tesla Motors, to the neuro-surgeon who discovers tumor paint, to the janitor who cleans their toilets.

Where would Niel Degrasse Tyson be without the high-school dropout who fixes his car and changes his oil? Probably at the mercy of the high-school graduate that drives the bus, or the Biology Phd who's making him a latte.

21   Tenpoundbass   2014 Aug 20, 1:54am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

curious2 says

25  
11:20pm Tue 19 Aug 2014

What gets me, is not Carl, not Neil or even Bill has ever said anything, we didn't say countless times while smoking a bong back in the 80's. Those old hippies and heads, that used to blow our minds talking about what the cosmos MIGHT be. Never had this elitist view of it. It was just some heavy shit they were laying down, just practical theories until better facts came along.

Neil didn't come up with not one original thought in the Cosmos series.
Yet the majority of people under 30 that watched the series, thinks he came up with every theory. Not only that, they are also unaware that 90% of what Neil said, was in fact only theories.

22   curious2   2014 Aug 20, 8:14am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

CaptainShuddup says

Yet the majority of people under 30 that watched the series, thinks he came up with every theory.

Do you have data to support that hypothesis? Having watched the series, I can say from direct observation that Dr. Tyson devoted much or most of his words to shining a spotlight on brave and brilliant scientists who discovered fundamental laws of nature, and developed experiments to prove their hypotheses. I didn't see him take credit for others' work; to the contrary, he commemorated many scientists who would otherwise have remained in obscurity. I loved especially Tyson's weekly reminders of Carl Sagan, whose original Cosmos series I loved watching. Tyson's Cosmos series is presented expressly as a sequel to Sagan's, and it proved certainly worthy, so much so that I hope Tyson will present more such programs.

CaptainShuddup says

Those old hippies and heads, that used to blow our minds talking about what the cosmos MIGHT be.

That is actually a fair description of how religions begin, some mystics smoking something and having visions. It isn't a fair description of science, where hypotheses are tested and theories require proof.

Another thread asks what is the "Islamic State," and we live in an era where we see religious violence all over the world. From Missouri to west Africa to Iraq, we see violence because people leap to, and then insist on, conclusions that have not been tested for accuracy. They prefer to insist on their conflicting (and often incorrect) visions of what might be rather than investigating what is. It's ironic that the "Islamic State" fighters call themselves "IS," because their doctrine is tautologically false: they refuse to accept that no omnipotent god could possibly need their help, and so, in an act of conspicuous vanity, they put themselves in the shoes of their purported deity and do what they claim the supposedly omnipotent deity wants. If they really believed in their own doctrine, they would simply pray, but no, they are lost in their own vanity and visions of what they claim "IS."

The same happens in Missouri and elsewhere; instead of waiting for investigations and facts and data, people line up and choose sides along mostly tribal lines. A majority within the Republican party have fallen into the same practice, which means one of the two major parties has become lost in navel gazing and speculation about what they feel spiritually might be, or rather (in their belief system) IS. It's why W claimed he could see into Putin's soul (in 20 minutes or less, concluding Putin was praiseworthy probably because Putin claims to be religious), and McCain posed with ISIL fighters.

The difference between science and religion is, scientists test hypotheses rather than insisting on stoned (or otherwise mystical) conjectures. A stoner can hypothesize, but a scientist sets to work testing which hypotheses are actually supported by evidence, and those become the building blocks of theories. A particularly charismatic stoner or mystic (whether Jim Morrison, or Jim Jones, or Mohamed) can become the basis of a new religion, he doesn't really need evidence to prove his assertions. As Andy Grove said, if you look at the medieval Christian era when people sought miracles as "proof" of Christianity, they never came up with anything like the proofs that science produces on a daily basis.

From the moon landing to your smartphone, scientific theories are proved all the time; meanwhile, the best advance in the history of religion continues to be the 1st amendment which says essentially we can agree to disagree. The founders, an alliance of Christians, Jews, Deists, agnostics, and atheists, wrote the 1st Amendment in a direct contrast to the 1st Commandment. The 1st Commandment establishes a religion based on a particular divinity. The 1st Amendment says precisely the opposite: the Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor restricting the free exercise thereof. Everywhere else we see why: in Iraq, where W imposed a religious constitution, people are killing each other over which religion is "the one true religion." Since they have no proof either way, in fact since the belief systems don't even require proof, the only way they can settle the dispute is by killing each other.

If you ever encounter anyone under 30 who thinks Tyson originated all the theories that he presented, or that those theories lack empirical proof, tell that person to watch the series.

23   Dan8267   2014 Aug 20, 8:54am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

plymster says

I'm a fan of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians as much as anybody, but whenever I hear the old "scientists are the only ones dragging us forward" trope, I always think of

Certainly many people contribute to the economic prosperity of society, and mechanics, waiters, bus boys, and janitors do honest, useful work and that's respectable. This does not diminish the truth that relatively few persons are responsible for advancing society. It really is only few dozen, maybe a few hundred, people in history that made all the important discoveries and inventions that made life better and got us from the Bronze Age to the modern age.

Furthermore, there are multitudes of people doing useless or counterproductive jobs like the financial industry, executives, the fashion industry, lawyers, marketers, etc. These multitudes essentially produce no wealth and are a drag on society. At best, they are necessary overhead, but usually, they are simply parasites.

24   Dan8267   2014 Aug 20, 8:55am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

curious2 says

CaptainShuddup says

Yet the majority of people under 30 that watched the series, thinks he came up with every theory.

Do you have data to support that hypothesis?

Of course not! He just pulled that out of his ass. It has no basis in reality like most of what the Captain says. It's a ridiculous statement.

25   Tenpoundbass   2014 Aug 20, 8:57am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

My bad, it was more like 40%. The rest of the dumb son of a bitches didn't have a clue what he was even talking about. They thought he was describing a new Obama program.

26   Dan8267   2014 Aug 20, 9:00am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

curious2 says

It's why W claimed he could see into Putin's soul (in 20 minutes or less, concluding Putin was praiseworthy probably because Putin claims to be religious), and McCain posed with ISIL fighters.

Damn, I hadn't even heard about that. Scary shit. I mean, praising Putin is just batshit crazy. The guy is a Bond villain.


The guy on the left-hand side looks like an evil henchman.

27   Dan8267   2014 Aug 20, 9:03am     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

They should make a James Bond - Batman crossover movie with Putin as Dr. Evil and Cheney as the Penguin.

28   curious2   2014 Aug 20, 9:33am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Dan8267 says

I hadn't even heard about that.

"I was able to get a sense of his soul, a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country," Bush declared after their 2001 visit. They had met for 20 minutes, during which Putin showed Bush a cross that Putin's mother had blessed in Jerusalem, and that had later been saved from the wreckage of a house fire.

"McCain's ISIS Buddies Now Better Armed Than The Kurds: Thanks, America!"

29   Mark   2014 Aug 21, 2:26am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I wonder what Neil thinks about living in such a scientific illiterate culture as the U.S.?

30   Dan8267   2014 Aug 21, 2:57am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Mark says

I wonder what Neil thinks about living in such a scientific illiterate culture as the U.S.?

That's exactly why he's working so hard to bring scientific literacy to the masses.

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