Andrew Toth, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
by Mike Vulpo | Mon., Jan. 25, 2016 6:23 PM
Andrew Toth, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Don't mess with the scientists!
When it comes to planets, stars, galaxies and more, Neil deGrasse Tyson knows more than a few things. With a BA in Physics from Harvard and a PhD in astrophysics from Columbia, the host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey clearly knows a bit more than the average fellow.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise then that when rapper B.o.B spoke out on Twitter claiming the Earth is flat, Neil had to step in.
"Earth's curve indeed blocks 150 (not 170) ft of Manhattan. But most buildings in midtown are waaay taller than that," he tweeted Sunday night. "Polaris is gone by 1.5 deg S. Latitude. You've never been south of Earth's Equator, or if so, you've never looked up."
He continued, "Flat Earth is a problem only when people in charge think that way. No law stops you from regressively basking in it. Duude—to be clear: Being five centuries regressed in your reasoning doesn't mean we all can't still like your music." Burn!
While B.o.B continues to express his skepticism, we're taking a look back at all the people who had an interesting debate with Neil. Something tells us we're all going to learn a thing or two in the process.
1. Stephen Colbert: While promoting Cosmos, Neil was faced with an important question from the late-night host: Why don't we have to present both sides of every scientific theory? "Don't you want to be fair and balanced?" Stephen asked. Neil responded, "That would be a waste of everyone's time. When different experiments give you the same result, it is no longer subject to your opinion. That's the good thing about science: It's true whether or not you believe in it."
2. Bill Nye: When it comes to the pop culture debate Star Wars vs. Star Trek, both science enthusiasts couldn't help but join the conversation. "Oh that's easy. Oh my gosh. Oh, the Enterprise. There's no question! No question," Neil explained. "The Enterprise has the benefit of being real. In the sense that there are real scientists and real engineers on the ship, monitoring its engine and its warp drive, its photon torpedoes. And so, it's ‘fake-real,' as opposed to the Millennium Falcon, which is just ‘fake-fake.'" While Bill has many Star Wars fans, he also had to agree with Neil.
3. Jon Stewart: To continue the theme of healthy debates, the host of The Daily Show couldn't help but ask Neil if he would pick Superman or Batman to win a fight. Jon made it clear that he believes Superman is "invincible" and can win. As for Neil, he has some doubts. "At the end of the day, what might matter is the public reception of the superhero and superhero's conduct and if Batman executes our wishes in the city and superman does what the hell he wants, that's a conflict."
4. Bill Maher: When the host of Real Time With Bill Maher brought up arguments between political parties, Neil couldn't help but highlight how Congress is made up of very few scientists. "I realized this when I was a kid, I said I wonder what profession all these senators in congress were. Law, law, law, law, law, businessman," he explained. "I said there are no scientists? Where are the engineers? Where is the rest of life represented?" He later defended science to Bill against his right wing critics.
5. Joe Rogan: In a radio interview several years ago, the former host of Fear Factor debated moon landing conspiracy theories. While Joe didn't necessary believe the speculation, he couldn't help but share what some were thinking. "Some people are only happy when they're sad," Neil explained. "You can do simple statistics on this. For example, Earth has been here for billions of years and if you think it will end in your lifetime, that's awfully hubristic of you."
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