L’astrofisico Neil deGrasse Tyson risponde alla domanda “qual’è la cosa più stupefacente che può condividere con noi riguardo l’universo?”.
Parte del video completo delle “10 Questions to…” del Time.
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UFO Sightings: When people say they’ve seen a UFO, be sure to remind them what the “U” stands for. Typically, those who claim they’ve seen a UFO start by saying it was unidentified, then end up “inventing knowledge of everything” about it being an extraterrestrial spacecraft.
Inept Aliens: They travel trillions of miles to get here, then crash.
Behavior and Full Moons: The pressure of an extra pillow is a trillion times greater than the tidal force on a cranium.
Swami Levitation: Tyson suggest 1,000 cans of baked beans would generate sufficient flatulence to become airborne.
Jury Duty I: Tyson described being called for jury duty. He was asked what he did, he said that he was an astrophysicist. When asked what he teaches, he said “a course on evaluating evidence and the unreliability of eyewitness testimony,” at which point he was promptly dismissed.
Jury Duty II: Tyson was called for jury duty again, and made the first cut of jurors. The facts of the case were described–the defendant was charged with the possession of “2000 mg” of cocaine. When the jurors were asked if they had any questions, Tyson asked, “why did you describe it as 2000 mg instead of 2 g, about the weight of a postage stamp? Aren’t you trying to bias the jury by making it sound like a large quantity of drugs?” At which point he was promptly dismissed.
George W. Bush: Tyson said that he lives closer to Ground Zero in Manhattan than the height of the WTC towers, and showed some photographs he took on September 11. He attended a science medal presentation at the White House since he was on the presidential advisory committee; at that event Bush stated that “Our God is the God who named the stars.” However, 2/3 of all stars with names have Arabic names, because from 800-1100 Islam was very supportive of math and science, giving us the names of algebra and algorithm, and the Arabic numerals. But in the 12th century, Imam Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), the St. Augustine of Islam, stated that “manipulating numbers is the work of the devil.”
There are 1.2 billion Muslims, yet they’ve only earned 2 of 579 Nobel prizes (one in physics, one in economics), while Jews, who are 1/80 as numerous, have earned 143 Nobel prizes, and thus have had 6,400 times the impact of Muslims on modern science. He wondered how much more contribution they would have made if it had not been for al-Ghazali’s position of influence on Islam.
Intelligent Design: A 2004 SUV ad said, “In the world of SUV’s, it’s the survival of the fittest.” In 2005, it was changed to “Its features are nothing short of a miracle.”