Carl Sagan sadly still dead

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That’s what Carl wants you to believe.

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Scientifically, an eclipse is not particularly interesting. We know how they work, why they happen, the lot.

But the thing about science is that it is a human endeavor, above all else, and there’s precious few humans who can see darkness at mid-day and not be moved. And a precious few who’ll see it more than once or twice in a lifetime.

So no, they are not rare if you are a planet. And not special at all, unless, of course, you happen to be human.


God, what a pompous ass, with all these FACTS and shit. Facts shmacts.


Did you see the eclipse in totality? WELL, HOORAY FOR YOU. Many more of THE REST OF US saw something that was STILL PRETTY COOL, okay???


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It seems gratuitous to warn people against claiming eclipses are rare. NGT is kind of the anti-Sagan here. Sagan was OK with wonder.

I saw the eclipse the other day. Totality looked just like the pictures, except it was literally unbelievable. One couldn’t believe one’s eyes when one took off one’s eclipse glasses after the sun disappeared. It seems that, if NGT had been there, he’d have made sure one didn’t feel that way.


Gotta agree here, normally I’m pretty ok with Neil deGrasse Tyson but lately he does seem to fairly consistently want to take the joy out of science and boil it down to just the facts. He’s getting to be as bad as the detested “aktually” mansplainer.


$1 says it’s because he’s always on twitter, getting angry about things


Also mugs. Which I will now have one of. Yay Wondermark!

I like science, but I do think he is a pompous ass.

Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Case in point. Leading up into it mom and my stepdad both were ‘eh we’ll see it on TV nothing to get excited over.’

Sky started to get dark. BOTH of them poked out and took turns looking through glasses. I won’t claim it swayed their opinions any, but it was a moment that was special enough that even through their cynicism and in my stepdad’s case outright disdain for astronomy, smiled at.

The fact it got them to stop fighting for a few minutes is the real miracle.


I am pretty sure that I am in the minority, but I have never really liked Neal all that much. I tried to like his version of Cosmos. I gave it a try, but I never made it through the whole series. Something about the guy that just grates.

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The Sagan quote is more pompous; Tyson’s tweet is more pedantic.

“Certitude” is a mischaracterization of Tyson’s contrarian factualism. “Wonder” is overrated. Some of us prefer stubborn adherence to facts over self-indulgent whimsy; objectivity over subjectivity.

I think I’ve officially reached Beschizza;DR.

As a scientist and astronomy professor myself… I agree that NdGT is often a pompous ass. It’s frustrating how often he misses an opportunity to have a compelling and subtle conversation about the process of science, and instead responds with smug soundbites.


I liked Segan not because of his Science, but by making people around him understand that even in the mundanity of life there are moments of pure wonder. Tyson… I like Cosmos, I like how he waxes philosophical. However like others in this thread it seems that here lately he has devolved into smug slapping down people who dare find anything wondrous about anything.

In other words current tyson is acting like the anti to his past self which advocated embracing the wonder of all things science can show us.

Aw man, I thought we’d gotten rid of the gamers.


Jesus Christ is this ever unfair to NDT. His Cosmos is beautiful stuff, and he speaks to people in his own voice.

He is absolutely not “in alignment” with the enemies of science. Science is about understanding phenomena, not assigning mysticism to it.


Agreed. I look at his tweets stating such “hard facts” as neccesary in this age of “alternate facts” and science denial. Nothing wrong with enjoying a little wonder in the universe, but remember some hard science and facts to go along with it.

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There is no science without wonder, and no science without human beings. We start with wonder, and with some work, devise some repeatable predictions in some language of choice that we call science. These ‘Hard Facts’ change with each iteration. Wonder is the catalyst for all of this.

Tyson chooses pedantic facts over wonder. It kills the goose that’s laying those golden eggs.


Maybe this will help…

Neal deGrass Tyson eats hot wings for Hot Ones.