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Neil deGrasse Tyson - Communicating Science
Posted: 23 March 2011 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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neiltyson - 06 March 2011 09:22 AM

1) No question that vocal/viisible religious scientists are criticized often and resoundingly.  My comments were not about these individuals but about the persistence of belief among scientists in general (40% in America) - a point that I hardly ever see addressed in public discourse by anyone.  And the related fact that members of the National Academy of Sciences are at 7%.  Active atheists cite and celebrate this small number, yet, to me, the most interesting fact worthy of further research is why that number is not identically zero.

Finally got to this! it is great having someting like this to look forward to…—very much enjoyed it. Chris did a good job with the interview and I like his style - start with a question like “what did you learn from…”  (Chris’ interview style does not presume that he knows everything the interviewee knows—he takes a surrogate audience position and asks quesions we might ask. Robert Price in contrast has more of a discussion format and doesn’t ask audience-focused questions).

The comment I highlighted above also struck me and I think it’s excellent advice.  As a scienitist/mathematician I wonder why I was religious for too many years.  Although Dr. Tyson is probably on the money that this should be a fruitful and logical place to carry the discussion, I also felt (like another commenter) that saying that it’s inappropriate to criticize nonscientists until 0% of scientistis are religious doesn’t follow at all.  Dr. Tyson knows it would never be 0%.  In addition, there is a some broad category of liberal/cultural/metaphorical Christianity where people behave AS IF appropriate parts were true, but not really believing they are literally true. 

I hadn’t heard of that great Colbert episode with Bill O-Reilly—thanks for that anecdote and thanks CC for the link…

I also agree with Asanta that Dr. Tyson’s style of explaining is really great, he is able to conjure up related science topics which help to illustrate his point in what seems like an effortless display of virtuosity. 

I also agree with other commenters - in addition to space,  paleontology is an attractor for some kids, as well as natural history (I still have an old Marlin Perkins Zoo Parade book, as well as a Show-me-the-world-of-Space-Travel book from the 50’s).  And I also agree that ‘weather’ can be a springboard for an interest in science in general, and perhaps get more folks working on solutions to the climate challenges.

Posted: 25 May 2011 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Tyson’s approach is obviously working.  Kudos to him.  Great interview.

Agnostic means A - not Gnostic - knowing.  You don’t know that there is a God in the usual application.
Atheist meas A - not Theist - believing in a God.

You can be both.  You don’t know that there is a God and you don’t believe that there is one.  Most atheists are also agnostics.

I suspect most agnostics don’t believe there is a god… certainly they typically don’t believe in a personal, christian god.  They may or not believe in some impersonal perhaps intelligent first cause of the universe.

There’s no particular reason to put down one or the other of these beliefs.  Both are a lot better than being in a religious cult.


Homeopaths don’t have brains, just skull water with the memory of brains - Robin Ince of The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The phrase “False Prophet” is redundant.  Cleanliness is next to… nothing.
I don’t have a God-shaped hole in my soul.  You have a Reason-shaped hole in your head!

Posted: 21 December 2011 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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