The Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Internet resource at

hathe Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Internet resource at


“I will never require you to believe anything” – Tyson

“But Britain is not Europe as we are constantly reminded. That’s right, here we have the English breakfast and the Continental breakfast. That’s very different breakfasts that you can order here.” – Tyson

“10:02 Yeah, but hum …is anybody on my side here?
10:04 You want it to be a harder problem than it is. I’m just simply saying… So, here you
10:15 go. Here you go.
10:17 The radius to that / to our horizon is about 14 billion light years.
10:21 Got it.
10:23 Okay? If we sat here or returned to this spot a billion years from now, that horizon will
10:29 be 15 billion light years away. It’s actually an expanding horizon because / the light from
10:37 15 billion years / light years away, will have had time to reach us. Right now, it’s still
10:44 en route.
10:45 Yeah / I have no problem with that, but beyond the 14 billion year…
10:49 The problem is the universe wasn’t born yet.
10:52 Yeah, okay.
10:53 That’s the problem.
10:54 I know.
10:55 Okay? So, you can’t see the universe before it existed.
11:02 So why doesn’t somebody…
11:03 …invent the kind of telescope that can?
11:07 No, no, no. Okay, I’m getting out of my depth here. Let’s get back to…”

“So, what comes of this is you learn to abandon your senses. …You train yourself to abandon your senses because you recognize how they can fool you into thinking one thing is true that is not. You abandon them. You use your tools that do the measuring to say, okay, that’s the reality. Then you make a mathematical model of that you can manipulate logically, because math is all about the logical extension of one point to another…and then you can make new discoveries about the world that, frankly, you’ll just have to get used to. No longer do you have the right…right is not the right word, but no longer are you justified saying that idea in science is not true because it doesn’t make sense.” – Tyson

49:07 My question to you: are biologists closed-minded or open-minded about what is possible in terms
49:16 of biology in this universe? Because at the end of the day, you go behind closed doors /
49:21 and you confess to yourselves that you only have a data sample of one because all life
49:26 on earth has common DNA.
49:27 Yeah. Well, [1 he was being closed-minded]1.
49:29 [1 Most any other sciences]1, we would say that’s not // how do you make science out of a sample
49:33 of one?
49:33 No, that / that’s right. He was being closed-minded, no question about it because he was using
49:37 his experience of life on this planet to make that generalization. Uhm on the other hand, one
49:42 could make sure a statement by using the laws of physics, and you could say that there are
49:48 certain things that wouldn’t work for physical reasons.
49:52 I mean / I’m not saying that a tiny worm wouldn’t work for physical reasons, but I could imagine
49:56 somebody making an argument that said uhm / you cannot have…for example, maybe there’s a
50:03 certain minimum size of eye that could form an image, for purely physical reasons. And that
50:08 would be a good reason why.
50:10 And I’m there, all the way. It’s just that he cited earth as his measure of what is possible.
50:14 Well, he was just wrong.

Related videos:

Neil deGrasse Tyson. 5/11/2006. Beyond Belief. Presentation on Intelligent Design.
Neil deGrasse Tyson. 5/12/2011. Lecture at the University of Washington. On Astronomy, Sociology, and Scientific development in the context of the USA.