Thursday, February 21, 2008

degrasse tyson and dawkins

astrophysicist neil degrasse tyson bluntly tells richard dawkins what he thinks about dawkins's style of confronting the public... and dawkins responds in a way i didnt expect!


Anonymous said...

Funny reply!

Now let me get this strait. Neil Degrasse was complaining about his ability to present the facts, because he was not understanding the emotions involved?

Did I get this right?

A scientist should not present the facts, without understanding the emotions which those facts may invoke?

Anonymous said...

What I was trying to say, and why Neil Tyson's comments were rather upseting.

A scientist must present the facts as they are obtained and must never allow emotions or politics to alter what is being presented.

Facts are facts, and that is what a true scientist is all about.

Julia said...

That was a great clip to see. I don't have much respect for Richard Dawkins (and perhaps unsurprisingly disagree with him on a LOT) so it was great to see someone from within the astronomy community respond to him in such a good way. After this and the Colbert Report clip, I have now become a fan of Tyson.

Harvestar said...


No, he was saying that if you call yourself an educator then you have a responsibility to educate and know your audience if you want to persuade them to your point of view.

By acknowledging that those you are talking to are not empty slates, but come with a history and backstory, you are better able to make your arguments.

A very basic example is acknowledging that in American culture the color blue is associated with cold while red is associated with hot. However, a blue star is much hotter than a red star. People have experiences with the world that need to be taken into account if you want to teach them something new.

Anonymous said...

I love this blog, so many links to great links.. I just read "Dawkin's style"->thank you R.D.->Steven Weinberg.

I love the term "supernatural agency". That was a great interview!