New Neil deGrasse Tyson Book Out Now

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by NdGT is now available.

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

Give a listen to my interview with NdGT, from a few years back. Which, by the way, was a great interview, because I did two things to prepare. First, I checked out several other interviews done of him, and vowed to not ask any of those questions. Second, I read all his books and looked into his professional and academic background, and mostly asked him questions about his area of research. Do you know what his specific research area is? Most people don't. Find out.

His new book is actually more about his research are than many of his other books are.

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I have to admit I didn't become aware of Neil deGrasse Tyson until I watched the series of twelve talks presented at the 'Beyond Belief Conference' at the Salk Institute in 2006.

Here is video of Neil's contribution.

I have the video of all talks downloaded here at the time - a bit slow - the intertubes have come on a bit since, especially with Ethernet over mains cabling internally.

Lionel, so much wrong stuff in the video you post. It is a good example of how self proclaimed skeptics are credulous if tall tales reinforce their prejudices. Just like most the populace.

Tyson has Bush seizing 9-11 as an opportunity to brag about his God in order to "distinguish we from they." Bush's actual 9-11 speech was a call for tolerance and inclusion. Moreover Bush and his administration have repeatedly condemned anti-Muslim rhetoric. In fact Colin Powell played a large part in bring Corporal Kareem Kahn's sacrifice to the public's attention. Tyson's shallow stereotype may apply to some Republicans, but not all.

In 2014 Sean Davis blew the whistle on this false story. Tyson eventually admitted his error and apologized to Bush. But that was *eight years* his credulous fans swallowed this false story.

After apologizing Tyson said it was a minor error since the Bush falsehood leads into the large story of how Hamid al Ghazali demonized mathematics and brought the Golden Age of Islam to a screaming halt. Which is also a fiction coming from Tyson's addled memories and vivid imagination. Ghazali praised the disciplines of math and science saying they were necessary for a prosperous society. Moreover the Golden Age of Islam ended in the 1600s when the mideast cease to be a trading hub where diverse cultures would meet and exchange ideas.

His photo of a billboard demonstrating how Christians stifle science? Doesn't Tyson know that the Big Bang Theory was formulated by a Catholic priest, Msgr Georges Lemaître?

I could go on. Tyson as well as his "skeptic" audience should be deeply embarrassed by the video you linked to.

By Hop David (not verified) on 02 May 2017 #permalink

Hop, the Big Bang Theory is not a fact. It is one of many theories about the origin of the universe. But its acceptance as fact is how "Theists" stifle science.

"It is a good example of how self proclaimed skeptics are credulous if tall tales reinforce their prejudices."

1, You proclaim yourself a skeptic. Check.
2.You have "found" something that confirms your preconception. Check.
3, You insist the myth you like is true, all others wrong, merely by asserting. Check.
4. Trying to shut down science in favour of your superstition. Check.

Thereby proving all yoir post is projection and Neil is correct in his assertion.
You're an idiot? Check.

c"Bush’s actual 9-11 speech was a call for tolerance and inclusion."

Shrub: "We will not tolerate this sort of act".

Always annoyed me because they'd been happily funding the IRA for decades. All terrorists were fine until one *foreigh* terrorist attack happened *on US soil*. The the entire world had to be against terrorisim... As John McClane said "Welcome to the party, pal".

"Moreover Bush and his administration have repeatedly condemned anti-Muslim rhetoric."

Shrub; "You're either against the terrorists or with the terrorists". And getting the wrong country. And ignoring Saudi because the royal family is big in oil.

" Doesn’t Tyson know that the Big Bang Theory was formulated by a Catholic priest, Msgr Georges Lemaître?"

Yes. Did you know there's more than one christian?

You should be deeply embarrased by your post. You COULD have just added a few things like Colin and the 1600 date and so forth without the proclamations.

Tell me, is it Pluto?

#2: You may be right in your criticisms but it just seems so unlikely that Neil deGrasse Tyson would think that he could get away with lying about matters that must be well known to historians of the American presidency and the history of the Middle East, and many other people as well.

As you imply, the relationship between science and religion (both Christianity and Islam) is certainly more complex than simple opposition but opposition there certainly was and is still.

From living in the Bible belt, teaching historical geology, and reading a lot of the anti-evolution and anti-geology literature and website posts, it seems clear to me that the opposition is basically a fundamentalist (Christian and Islamic) reaction to the accumulation of scientific findings and conclusions that show that the Old Testament stories of the Creation and the Great Flood of Noah's time are not literal history. In the literalist view, anything that contradicts the OT must be wrong by definition. This includes biology (comparative anatomy, genetics, molecular bio.), geology (depositional conditions, relative dating using fossils etc., radiometric dating), physics (support for radiometric dating, constancy of the speed of light), and significant parts of astronomy and cosmology.

Anthropogenic global warming seems to have been added to the list lately because, as one Republican Congressman put it: "God still controls the weather."

By Tyvor Winn (not verified) on 03 May 2017 #permalink

In fairness, I should add that there are also books, posts, and even website written by religious people dedicated to pointing out the distortions, out of context referencing, and outright lies of a great deal of the anti-science opposition I described in my recent post. They however are not as well-funded and vociferous as the antis are and do not have a major political party catering to them.

By Tyvor Winn (not verified) on 03 May 2017 #permalink

Some of that is media sensationalisation. Conflict is more "interesting". Some from the fact that those who are less hinged are louder, having more to prove and less to sustain the argument.

#8: I agree completely with your points. They have the unfortunate side effect of giving spurious legitimacy to untenable or just plain wrong views. Something very similar was argued as a reason for scientists and science popularizers not to debate creationists before the fairly recent Bill Nye-Ken Ham debate regarding evolution vs young Earth creationism.

By Tyvor Winn (not verified) on 04 May 2017 #permalink

#8: A former U. S. president, Theodore Roosevelt is credited with the metaphor: "Talk softly and carry a big stick." Now, as you pointed out, it's: "Talk loudly to disguise that you have no stick."

TR was an interesting man and a Republican who would be unwelcome within Republican ranks today, He broke up the huge business monopolies, doubled the number of national parks, established national monuments, and established the Antiquities Act which allows preservation and protection of national landmarks, historic buildings, etc. All things that get in the way of current GOP dreams.

By Tyvor Winn (not verified) on 05 May 2017 #permalink

Nah, it's "talk loudly and say 'let me tell you, I have no problems in the stick department, believe me'".

Then cry "FAKE NEWS!" when someone points out that's not a stick, it's a kipper. And the shrubbery is to the left, in the corner of the oval office where he sits.

#11: I'm not even going to try to add to that. It'll do fine just as it is.

By Tyvor Winn (not verified) on 05 May 2017 #permalink