Tyson quotes

  • “Usually, this sort of talk is a thinly veiled commercial for a new book.  And this one is no exception.”
  • “We graduated 50,000 engineers in 2004 in the United States.  Okay, great.  Yay America.  India graduated 70,000.  Okay, they’re a bigger country, we expect that.  But China graduated 500,000.  China does not have ten times our population.  So I went through and tried to find something that America graduated half a million of in 2004.  …Lawyers.”
  • “Are there any Plutophiles in the audience? GET OVER IT.”
  • “If you brought Pluto in to Earth’s orbit, it would burn off and grow a tail! That’s not very well-behaved for a planet, is it?”
  • “No wonder the Germans are so good at math.  The Gaussian distribution is on their money.”
  • “They didn’t reprint the first part of Kennedy’s speech…’In order to kill commies, I believe that this nation should commit itself to the goal of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.'”
  • “Isaac Newton was the smartest guy ever, ever, ever.  I’m just telling you.”
  • “Only live people talk!”
  • “Laplace invented a version of calculus and stabilized the solar system.  Why couldn’t Newton do that?  Laplace invented a version of calculus.  Newton invented calculus on a dare.  And then he turned 26.  He could have stabilized the solar system in the bathroom, looking out the window.  Why didn’t he?  Because Newton’s discoveries stopped when he gave up and started ascribing things to intelligent design.  Laplace just looked at this and saw a cool problem to solve.”
  • “You can tell when you’re not making progress if you look at the first thing you did and you are still impressed.”
  • “First telephone?  Aww, how quaint.  First radio?  Oh, it’s so cute.  First airplane?  It flew the wingspan of a 757.  It belongs in a museum.  First spacecraft capable of carrying humans to another body?  People bow down and genuflect before this thing.  There’s something wrong here!”
  • “It’s not a question of separation of church and state. It’s a question of separating the scientifically illiterate from the ranks of teachers.  ‘You’re going to die and go to hell:’ I don’t got data on that.  ‘Noah’s Ark carried dinosaurs:’ there, I got data.
  • “President Bush was the first president not to present these awards [for achievement in science and technical fields] personally. We all know why he didn’t do it. He would have had to read science words.”
  • Stupid design: we eat, drink, and breathe through the same hole in our bodies.  Thus ensuring that a certain amount of human beings choke to death every year.  I’m not asking for much!  Just another hole!  Porpoises eat and breathe through different holes, and they never choke to death!”

I miss any good ones, Nicole?

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2 Responses to Tyson quotes

  1. jshoer says:

    Nicole linked me to this, which is a segment of the talk he also gave at Cornell:

  2. I’m a proud Plutophile, and I’m not “getting over” the IAU’s ridiculous determination that a dwarf planet is not a planet any time soon. Sorry, Dr. Tyson, but Pluto isn’t in Earth’s orbit. And following your logic, if Earth were in Pluto’s orbit, it would not be considered a planet either, as it would still be orbiting in the Kuiper Belt and therefore would not have “cleared its orbit.”

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