Response to my e-mail on the truth from Neil deGrasse Tyson

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by chiefMOJOrisin, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. I would like to put a different spin on the recent TRUTH vs. creationism debates going on.............

    I (like I have before) e-mail one of my favorite people in the world (besides Charles Darwin and Maynard James Keenan) Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    I e-mailed him saying blatently, that there were some people on a internet forum that were driving me crazy about their creationism garbage... and that i would love for him to send me anything he could to shed positive light on the situation. (positive light shining on the truth). I went on about how the opposings sides resources were greatly different and often quite biased. In my e-mail I was very blunt in telling him how I felt about the whole topic and here is what he had to say......

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=HT vAlign=top width="100%"><TABLE class=TH><TBODY><TR><TD noWrap>Subject : </TD><TD>Re: Need help proving the truth to a 'young-earther'.........</TD></TR><TR><TD style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px">[​IMG]</TD><TD style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px" width="100%"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD><TD class=HT vAlign=top align=right><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>[​IMG]</TD><TD>|</TD><TD>[​IMG]</TD><TD>|</TD><TD>[​IMG]</TD><TD>|</TD><TD noWrap>[​IMG]Inbox</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px" width="100%"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE id=MsgBody height=209 width="100%" bgColor=#ffffff><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top><TABLE cellSpacing=8 cellPadding=0 width="100%" align=center border=0 nowrap><TBODY><TR><TD><TT>Dear *****,

    Thank you for your heartfelt appeal below. As a guiding principle, I take to heart the following quote: "If an argument lasts longer than 10 minutes then both sides are wrong."

    While not literally true, it offers a useful perspective on disagreements.

    What matters is not what people know or how many facts they recite, but how they think - how their brains are wired in the first place.

    So rather than fight back with facts, you should hone your effort to fight back with questions. This will allow you to probe the brain wiring itself.

    For examples, your adversary surely accepts that Earth goes around the Sun, but nowhere in the Bible is this fact known or revealed. Indeed every mention of Earth is consistent with it being a flat circular disk in the center of the known universe. So the same methods and tools that show Earth moves around the Sun -- we call the enterprise science -- also shows that Earth is 4.55 billion years old. So he is being selective about what of discoveries of science he believes and what he does not - keeping those things that in modern times are least offensive to his religious philosophies. Note, of course, that 600 years ago the fellow would have been burned at the stake by religious authorities for believing that Earth moved around the Sun.

    The Bible makes a poor science textbook, which has been known since the time of Galileo, when he wrote : The Bible tells you how to go to heaven and not how the heavens go." in which he was, in fact, quoting a local religious leader.

    Furthermore, science advances most commonly by the slow accumulation of consensus. When more than one branch of science arrives at the same or similar conclusion, great confidence is given the result. The age of the Earth comes from geology, biology, meteoritics, astrophysics, and nuclear physics. And they all agree to within about 10% of each other.

    In my latest book "Death By Black Hole: and Other Cosmic Quandaries" in spite of the title, much of the content is devoted to how science works (and does not work(, dispelling many misconceptions about the enterprise.

    May I recommend that you read it before you engage in further internet arguments? You might also subscribe to the Skeptical Inquirer magazine, a bi-monthly report on all the delusional thinking that goes on around the world in the name of science.

    Good luck in your endeavors.



    Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Department of Astrophysics
    & Director, Hayden Planetarium
    American Museum of Natural History
    Central Park West at 79th Street
    New York, NY 10024 </TT>
    <TT>God that dude is the man.................</TT>
  2. That man is too cool.

    Wicked post.

    rep + for Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
  3. Im surprised that he wrote back. I assume he is a pretty busy guy. I loved that guy in the NOVA shows. He makes a really good point in his response. It gives me some hope for the future. The earth going around the sun is so blatantly factual that the religious had to accept it. With the advancements in science, evolution will soon make it to that level of blatant truth. Neil DeGrasse Tyson responding to a question posed by someone from this forum blows my mind.
  4. I love Neil deGrasse. He did that great Stupid Design thing, he does a great Nova series and his book "Origins" is also very good.

    Very cool man.
  5. Anybody who can get that worked up over science and astronomy is cool in my book. :D
  6. It's not about getting worked up, it's just about separating truth from fiction. Doesn't mean he's really worked up per say, just that he's honest in his assessments, as all scientists should be.
  7. Yeah for sure -- but it's just a bonus, because whenever I see him talk, weather it's on Colbert or in youtube clips he always seems really energetic and passionate about his work.

    It's refreshing -- he reminds me of a black Carl Sagan.... with a mustache.
  8. No doubt about it, he's a very energetic personality. I don't know to go as far as to say he is like a black Carl Sagan, he doesn't write science fiction stories like Sagan did or say things so deep, but I may go far enough to say he is very similar to Sagan.

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