science

Interview with Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Recently ran into Dr. Tyson at a holiday party and recorded this interview with him with my cell phone. All apologies about the quality.

Dr. Tyson graciously answers some questions about scientific topics.

Some context:
The Willamette meteor at the museum is considered holy by the Clackamas tribe of native Americans, who were upset when the museum cut off a part of the meteor for research.

Potentially Earth-like planets were recently discovered by the Kepler team: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/1222/Earth-like-planets-How-will-we-know-if-they-can-sustain-life-VIDEO

Scientists at the CERN supercollider discovered a new particle in their search for the Higgs-Boson: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/science-and-technology/2011/12/22/large-hadron-collider-scientists-discover-new-particle-as-search-for-god-particle-goes-on-86908-23654100/

Confession: Dogmata, Faith, Science, and Belief

I am a natural atheist. I was not raised in any particular faith tradition, and my earliest questions about religion and what it meant were often met by my parents with further questions rather than any answers. I came in the end to reject religion and belief in God in general because I could see no way to determine which of the conflicting views presented by the religions I knew about was correct. All of them seemed to claim that they were correct and the claims they made were incommensurable. I came to this understanding of the world at a very early age, and it seemed like a very natural and correct position to me. So much so that I recall very specifically being shocked a couple of times in my childhood that other kids hadn't come to the same conclusions. As early as the first grade I remember being taken aback when I was at friends houses and they said grace before a meal, or when someone that I thought was smart reacted strongly against some offhand remark I made about the stupidity of belief in God.