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Neil deGrasse Tyson quotes (showing 31-60 of 132)

“Ignorance is a virus. Once it starts spreading, it can only be cured by reason. For the sake of humanity, we must be that cure.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“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.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Dinosaurs are extinct today because they lacked opposable thumbs and the brainpower to build a space program.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist
“As a child, I was aware that, at night, infrared vision would reveal monsters hiding in the bedroom closet only if they were warm-blooded. But everybody knows that your average bedroom monster is reptilian and cold-blooded.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
“But you can’t be a scientist if you’re uncomfortable with ignorance, because scientists live at the boundary between what is known and unknown in the cosmos. This is very different from the way journalists portray us. So many articles begin, “Scientists now have to go back to the drawing board.” It’s as though we’re sitting in our offices, feet up on our desks—masters of the universe—and suddenly say, “Oops, somebody discovered something!”

No. We’re always at the drawing board. If you’re not at the drawing board, you’re not making discoveries. You’re not a scientist; you’re something else. The public, on the other hand, seems to demand conclusive explanations as they leap without hesitation from statements of abject ignorance to statements of absolute certainty.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
“Down there between our legs, it's like an entertainment complex in the middle of a sewage system. Who designed that?”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
“Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Scientific inquiry shouldn't stop just because a reasonable explanation has apparently been found.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“So what is true for life itself is no less true for the universe: knowing where you came from is no less important than knowing where you are going.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Again and again across the centuries, cosmic discoveries have demoted our self-image. Earth was once assumed to be astronomically unique, until astronomers learned that Earth is just another planet orbiting the Sun. Then we presumed the Sun was unique, until we learned that the countless stars of the night sky are suns themselves. Then we presumed our galaxy, the Milky Way, was the entire known universe, until we established that the countless fuzzy things in the sky are other galaxies, dotting the landscape of our known universe.

Today, how easy it is to presume that one universe is all there is. Yet emerging theories of modern cosmology, as well as the continually reaffirmed improbability that anything is unique, require that we remain open to the latest assault on our plea for distinctiveness: multiple universes, otherwise known as the “multiverse,” in which ours is just one of countless bubbles bursting forth from the fabric of the cosmos.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmic Horizons: Astronomy at the Cutting Edge
“God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that's getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“The remarkable feature of physical laws is that they apply everywhere, whether or not you choose to believe in them. After the laws of physics, everything else is opinion.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“Our nation is turning into an idiocracy.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
“While the Copernican principle comes with no guarantees that it will forever guide us to cosmic truths, it's worked quite well so far: not only is Earth not in the center of the solar system, but the solar system is not in the center of the Milky Way galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy is not in the center of the universe, and it may come to pass that our universe is just one of many that comprise a multiverse. And in case you're one of those people who thinks that the edge may be a special place, we are not at the edge of anything either.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“We are all connected;
To each other, biologically.
To the earth, chemically.
To the rest of the universe
atomically".”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Allow intelligent design into science textbooks, lecture halls, and laboratories, and the cost to the frontier of scientific discovery—the frontier that drives the economies of the future—would be incalculable. I don't want students who could make the next major breakthrough in renewable energy sources or space travel to have been taught that anything they don't understand, and that nobody yet understands, is divinely constructed and therefore beyond their intellectual capacity. The day that happens, Americans will just sit in awe of what we don't understand, while we watch the rest of the world boldly go where no mortal has gone before.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“When you visit countries that don't nurture these kinds of ambitions, you can feel th absence of hope...people are reduced to worrying only about that day's shelter or the next day's meal. It's a shame, even a tragedy, how many people do not get to think about the future. Technology coupled with wise leadership not only solves these problems but enables dreams of tomorow.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Some molecules - ammonia, carbon dioxide, water - show up everywhere in the universe, whether life is present or not. But others pop up especially in the presence of life itself. Among the biomarkers in Earth's atmosphere are ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons from aerosol sprays, vapor from mineral solvents, escaped coolants from refrigerators and air conditioners, and smog from the burning of fossil fuels. No other way to read that list: sure signs of the absence of intelligence.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
“Some of the greatest poetry is revealing to the reader the beauty in something that was so simple you had taken it for granted.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“I love the smell of the universe in the morning.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Some morning while your eating breakfast and you need something new to think about, though, you might want to ponder the fact that you see your kids across the table not as they are but as they once were, about three nanoseconds ago.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“If you need to invoke your academic pedigree or job title for people to believe what you say, then you need a better argument.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“I’m often asked by parents what advice can I give them to help get kids interested in science? And I have only one bit of advice. Get out of their way. Kids are born curious. Period. I don’t care about your economic background. I don’t care what town you’re born in, what city, what country. If you’re a child, you are curious about your environment. You’re overturning rocks. You’re plucking leaves off of trees and petals off of flowers, looking inside, and you’re doing things that create disorder in the lives of the adults around you.
And so then so what do adults do? They say, “Don’t pluck the petals off the flowers. I just spent money on that. Don’t play with the egg. It might break. Don’t….” Everything is a don’t. We spend the first year teaching them to walk and talk and the rest of their lives telling them to shut up and sit down.

So you get out of their way. And you know what you do? You put things in their midst that help them explore. Help ‘em explore. Why don’t you get a pair of binoculars, just leave it there one day? Watch ‘em pick it up. And watch ‘em look around. They’ll do all kinds of things with it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“The most accessible field in science, from the point of view of language, is astrophysics. What do you call spots on the sun? Sunspots. Regions of space you fall into and you don’t come out of? Black holes. Big red stars? Red giants. So I take my fellow scientists to task. He’ll use his word, and if I understand it, I’ll say, “Oh, does that mean da-da-da-de-da?”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Doing what has never been done before is intellectually seductive, whether or not we deem it practical.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“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 pea-brained dinosaurs.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“In modern times, if the sole measure of what’s out there flows from your five senses then a precarious life awaits you.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“In the twentieth century, astrophysicists in the United States discovered galaxies, the expanding of the universe, the nature of supernovas, quasars, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, the origin of the elements, the cosmic microwave background, and most of the known planets in orbit around solar systems other than our own. Although the Russians reached one or two places before us, we sent space probes to Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. American probes have also landed on Mars and on the asteroid Eros. And American astronauts have walked on the Moon. Nowadays most Americans take all this for granted, which is practically a working definition of culture: something everyone does or knows about, but no longer actively notices.

While shopping at the supermarket, most Americans aren’t surprised to find an entire aisle filled with sugar-loaded, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. But foreigners notice this kind of thing immediately, just as traveling Americans notice that supermarkets in Italy display vast selections of pasta and that markets in China and Japan offer an astonishing variety of rice. The flip side of not noticing your own culture is one of the great pleasures of foreign travel: realizing what you hadn’t noticed about your own country, and noticing what the people of other countries no longer realize about themselves.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“People like death and mayhem.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson


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