Scientific literacy is an intellectual vaccine against the claims of charlatans who would exploit ignorance.
Rational thoughts never drive people's creativity the way emotions do.
No astrophysicist would deny the possibility of life. I think we're not creative enough to imagine what life would be like on another planet. Show me a dead alien. Better yet, show me a live one!
There's no shame in admitting what you don't know. The only shame is pretending you know all the answers.
Quantum physics fluctuates all the time. But now the fluctuations are not just particle coming into and out of existence, which happens all the time. It's whole universe coming into and out of existence.
I said that if an alien came to visit, I'd be embarrassed that we fight wars to pull fossil fuels out of the ground to run our transportation. They'd be like,'What?'
No astrophysicist would deny the possibility of life. I think we're not creative enough to imagine what life would be like on another planet. Show me a dead alien. Better yet, show me a live one.
When students cheat on exams it's because our school system values grades more than students value learning.
I think the greatest people in society carved niches that represented the unique expression of their combinations of talents, and if everyone had the luxury of expressing the unique combination of talents in this world, our society would be transformed overnight.
I have to recognize the elements of exploration that excite people. It's not only the discoveries and the beautiful photos that come down from the heavens; it's the vicarious participation in discovery itself.
In 5-billion years the Sun will expand and engulf our orbit as the charred ember that was once Earth vaporizes. Have a nice day.
The cosmic perspective not only embraces our genetic kinship with all life on Earth but also values our chemical kinship with any yet to be discovered life in the universe, as well as our atomic kinship with the universe itself.
If you're a scientist, and you have to have an answer, even in the absence of data, you're not going to be a good scientist.
We are all connected; to each other, biologically, to the earth, chemically, to the universe atomically.
As children we all wonder -- we wonder all the time. And that gets lost in adulthood. It gets beaten out, it gets filtered out or diluted out.
When I was a kid, I thought that if everyone looked up the way I did then everyone would want to study the universe just like me -- how could they not? This naiveté is what tells me that my interest was more a calling than a rational comparative assessment about what to be when I grew up.
Your center of mass is a place you cannot visit but you always carry with you. Like memories, it is part of life's baggage.
You could do math early, but there are no brilliant 16-year-old novelists. They don't know the human condition yet.
Science is like an inoculation against charlatans who would have you believe whatever it is they tell you.
As they are currently practiced, there is no common ground between science and religion... Although just as in hostage negotiations, it's probably best to keep both sides talking to each other.
In all civilizations we've studied, all cultures that we know of across the Earth and across time have invested some kind of attempt to understanding where where, where they come from, and where they are going.
All the great advances in cinema came about from technology. The 3-D camera was not invented by a movie director. The new industries are driven by the innovations in science and technology.
Curiosity is a self-driven motivation to explore and to learn. Learning is like... you know, you have to take your medicine. And that is what it has become. And that's unfortunate.
We only went to the moon for military reasons. The space enthusiasts of the day kept saying, Oh, we're on the moon; we should be on Mars in ten years. That's if it was driven by exploration, but it's never been driven by exploration.
Exploration is what you do when you don't know what you're doing. That's what scientists do every day. If a scientist already knew what they were doing, they wouldn't be discovering anything, because they already knew what they were doing.
I'm revealing information to people. I'm not creating it. And to the extent that people embrace it, I think they're empowered by it, because any time you have a bigger perspective today than you did yesterday, it's got to be only for the good of your mind, your body, your soul.
Space is the ultimate frontier. I think when people historically thought of the frontier, there was where you were living and then there was some edge beyond which no one had explored.
A bullet fired level from a gun will hit ground at same time as a bullet dropped from the same height. Do the Physics.
I'd like -- inviting aliens and have them observe what we do because so much of what we do that we take for granted will just be weird or extraordinary or just plain dumb when observed by an alien from another civilization.
I think I'm misunderstood when I post these comments about films. So here is Kate Winslet sitting on -- you know, laying on this plank. This ship is down. She let her boyfriend drown. They didn't even try a second time to get him to float on that with her. So I'm angry by that. I think.
It's odd that the word 'atheist' even exist. I don't play golf, is there a word for non-golf players ?
It could be that these other civilizations, if they are far more advanced intellectually than we are, would not even measure our existence as a blip on the intelligence radar. They could be so advanced that we are to them what worms are to us.
When did it become okay to be more offended by what someone with no power says than by what someone with power does?
Relativity. Gravity. Quantum. Electrodynamics. Evolution. Each of these theories is true, whether or not you believe in them.
Society needs to see science not as a luxury of funding but as a fundamental activity that drives enlightenment, economics, and security.
I think on some level, role models are overrated If you require a role model who looks just like you to be something you wanna be and you can't find one, is that a reason to not be what you wanna be? No!
I believe that the manned space program can engage the public by advancing the space frontier. Every next mission takes you farther out in space than you were before, either technologically or in terms of distance.
My interest in the space program has a certain purity to it because I recognize the romance of it but I was never seduced by it. That allowed me to view it through a more purely scientific lens. My interest in space while in school came about through my scientific activities.
The value of the space program is beyond science, it's beyond military; it's a cultural shift in how we think of our place in the universe.
In America, there are people who don't read science fiction but still think about tomorrow, so it's not only the force of science-fiction that makes you a tomorrow thinker.
One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong.
Speaking as just simply an American who cares about the economic health of our country, I see one of the surest ways to bring wealth and prosperity to the country is to innovate in science and technology.
Jesus Christ rose up from the tomb. Well, he's the son of God, and now he's like God's spirit at this point. Why would a spirit need to move a rock? Why not just pass through the rock? But also, why wait for the guards to go to sleep?
Imagination alone is not enough, because the reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can imagine.
Let us not fool ourselves into thinking we went to the Moon because we are pioneers, or discoverers, or adventurers. We went to the Moon because it was the militaristically expedient thing to do.
Astronauts are the only kind of celebrity I know who can have a line of people waiting for their autograph, even if the line of people does not know in advance the astronaut's name.
While I'm a big fan of science fiction, especially as rendered in expensive Hollywood blockbusters, it's the real universe that calls to me.
We already know the limits of Einstein's theories. From the centers of black holes at the very beginning of the universe -- we call these singularities -- Einstein's equations fail. In fact, people have joked that's where God is dividing by zero.
I want to know what dark matter and dark energy are comprised of. They remain a mystery, a complete mystery. No one is any closer to solving the problem than when these two things were discovered.
As important as the civil rights movement was, I think what will rise to the top is that we left Earth in that time.
One of the great challenges in this world is knowing enough about a subject to think you're wright, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong.
My investment of time, as an educator, in my judgment, is best served teaching people how to think about the world around them. Teach them how to pose a question. How to judge whether one thing is true versus another.
Politics will take whatever shape it needs for people to get elected. But at the end of the day, the population remains and that's really, as an educator, who I care about.
The educated elite is not without their own actual snobbery. And I kind of an anti-elitist in that regard.
If factual information upsets you, then you are creating a world that is not embracing objective truths, and that's not how you advance a democracy.
Science needs the light of free expression to flourish. It depends on the fearless questioning of authority, and the open exchange of ideas.
Access to science is greater than ever before. There are more vehicles out there that grant the public access to science. Not to mention the Internet.
With one linear centimeter of your lower colon there lives and works more bacteria (about 100 billion) that all humans who have ever been born. Yet many people continue to assert that it is we who are in charge of the world.
Just before I said I wanted to be an astronomer I said I wanted to be a baseball player. I was quite athletic at the time, probably because I was bigger than other kids, and if you're bigger than other kids and you're 11 you win everything.
UFO (Unidentified Flying Object)sightings are not higher among amateur astronomers than they are in the general public. In fact, they're lower. You say, why is that so? Well, because we know what the hell we're looking at!
Had Earth been much closer to the Sun, the oceans would have evaporated. Had Earth been much farther away, the oceans would have frozen. In either case, life as we know it would not have evolved.
These early, single-celled organisms unwittingly transformed Earth's carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into one with sufficient oxygen to allow aerobic organisms to emerge and dominate the oceans and land.
Quarks are quirky beasts. Unlike protons, each with an electric charge of +1, and electrons, with a charge of -1, quarks have fractional charges that come in thirds.
Filling out the entire electromagnetic spectrum, in order of low-energy and low-frequency to high-energy and high-frequency, we have: radio waves, micro waves, ROYGBIV, ultra violet, x rays, and gamma rays.
These same oxygen atoms, normally found in pairs (O2), also combined in threes to form ozone (O3) in the upper atmosphere, which serves as a shield that protects Earth's surface from most of the Sun's molecule-hostile ultraviolet photons.
This general flattening of objects that rotate is why Earth's pole-to-pole diameter is smaller than its diameter at the equator. Not by much: three-tenths of one percent--about twenty-six miles.
Earth has also tidally locked the Moon, leaving it with identical periods of rotation on its axis and revolution around Earth. Wherever and whenever this happens, the locked moon shows only one face to its host planet.
A modern example of this stunning knowledge of nature that Einstein has gifted us, comes from 2016, when gravitational waves were discovered by a specially designed observatory tuned for just this purpose.
From that day on, I began to think of people not as the masters of space and time but as participants in a great cosmic chain of being, with a direct genetic link across species both living and extinct, extending back nearly four billion years to the earliest single-celled organisms on Earth.
In the beginning, nearly 14 billion years ago, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence.
Dark energy is a mysterious pressure in the vacuum of space that acts in the opposite direction of gravity, forcing the universe to expand faster than it otherwise would.
When Newton breached this philosophical barrier by rendering all motion comprehensible and predictable, some theologians criticized him for leaving nothing for the Creator to do.
For reasons I have yet to understand, many people don't like chemicals, which might explain the perennial movement to rid foods of them. andlt;...andgt; Personally, I am quite comfortable with chemicals, anywhere in the universe. My favorite stars, as well as my best friends, are all made of them.
People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe.
Not only are we in the universe, the universe is in us. I don't know of any deeper spiritual feeling than what that brings upon me.
If you love what you do, you'll be your best at it compared to anything else you might have chosen as a career. Or at least you will love it more, and you won't lead a depressed day of your life.
It would be great if we were on multiple planets, but I think that's unrealistic. Hawking says we have to be on multiple planets so an asteroid could come and you'd still have some humans left. It's a nice idea. It satisfies the multiple-eggs-in-multiple-baskets concept.
If you want to assert a truth, first make sure it's not just an opinion that you desperately want to be true.
Climate change has taken on political dimensions. That's odd because I don't see people choosing sides over E=Mc2 or other fundamental facts of science.
Einstein's theory, we know that it fails. In advance, we know it fails. So that a deeper understanding of nature is awaiting us.
If you want to come behind the Bible and explain everything scientifically, then you're denying God's power over miracles.
If you removed all the arteries, veins, and capillaries from a person's body, and tied them end-to-end…the person will die.
Dark matter and dark energy are two things we measure in the universe that are making things happen, and we have no idea what the cause is.
I'd bet almost anything that life from another planet, if formed independently from life on Earth, would be more different from all species of Earth life than any two species of Earth life are from each other.
For centuries, epilepsy was the exact expectation of someone being possessed by the Devil. There was no better explanation, and it allows you to admit the existence of the Devil. If there's a Devil, that mean's there's a God.
Scientists are human. We have our blind spots and prejudices. Science is a mechanism designed to ferret them out. Problem is we aren't always faithful to the core values of science.
While I'm a big fan of science fiction, especially as rendered in expensive Hollywood blockbusters, it's the real universe that calls to me. To fall into a black hole, that is more amazing than anything I've ever read in a science-fiction story.
No matter what eyewitness testimony is in the court of law, it is the lowest form of evidence in the court of science.
My popularity does not derive from me pandering to people. People came to me. I don't tell anyone to follow me on Twitter. I don't tell people to like my Facebook page. I don't tell people to fill the venue. I'm offered to people, and then people come.
Don't know if it's good or bad that a Google search on Big Bang Theory lists the sitcom before the origin of the Universe.
Gamma rays are the sort of radiation you should avoid. Want proof? Just remember how the comic strip character The Hulk became big, green, and ugly.
Practically every food you buy in a store for consumption by humans is genetically modified food. There are no wild, seedless watermelons. There's no wild cows.
You get to say that the Earth is flat because we live in a country that guarantees your free speech. But it's not a country that guarantees that anything you say is correct.
I try to write in a way where you care deeply what the next paragraph will be. I hear the rhythm of prose and that, to me, distinguishes great writing from ordinary writing. By the way, I don't even claim that I'm good. I claim that I value it.
Extreme skepticism and extreme gullibility are two equal ways of not having to think at all. And I don't think I'm the first to say that.
The day that you stop looking -- because you're content God did it -- I don't need you in the lab. You're useless on the frontier of understanding the nature of the world.
Let's create a World's Fair that captures everybody's visions of tomorrow together and let's celebrate that vision. Let's have articles on it with illustrators imagining how we'd be living differently.
Wanna lose 1200 Calories a month? Drink a liter of ice water a day. You burn the energy just raising the water to body temp.
They scientists of centuries past call on God only from the lonely and precarious edge of incomprehension. Where they feel certain about their explanations, however, God gets hardly a mention.
Odd how often blood is shed to obtain freedom from those in power. Oppressors must be the most insecure people in the world.
The depth of experience fine wine can bring to a dinner, particularly a bottle that has been through the past 100 years, makes you take stock of your own life.
Around the world, varying belief systems lead to political differences that are not always resolved peacefully. The power and beauty of physical laws is that they apply everywhere, whether or not you choose to believe in them.
In other words, after the laws of physics, everything else is opinion.
The remarkable feature of physical laws is that they apply everywhere, whether or not you choose to believe in them. After the laws of physics, everything else is opinion.
We account for all the matter and energy that we're familiar with, measure up how much gravity it should have, it's one-sixth of the gravity that's actually operating on the universe. We call that dark matter. It really should be called dark gravity. We don't know what that is.
Science is not just 'Here are some facts, learn that'. There's a thread through these stories that, if you know how to tell it because you know how they connect, then it's a thread that will land right in your mind, body and soul.
Seventy percent of Earth's surface is water and over 99 percent is uninhabited, so you would expect nearly all impactors to hit either the ocean or desolate regions on Earth's surface. So why do movie meteors have such good aim?
The people that first climbed Mt. Everest weren't scientists, right, they were adventurers. If you're an adventurer, you want to go yourself. It's different than a scientist, who is simply wanting to learn.
The whole society has to recognize the importance of the value in embracing what science is going into the 21st Century. Otherwise, we might as well start packing and moving back into the cave right now, because that's where we'll end up.
This past year, we received our second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Informational Series. While we'd all like to win, I can say with utmost sincerity that it mattered more to me that we got noticed than whether or not we win.
To achieve this density of a neutron star at home, just cram a herd of 50 million elephants into the volume of a thimble.
It would be amazing if something completely spiritual sounding happened. Oh, my gosh! We'd be all over it. Because it's something new about the physical universe.
Note, however, that you cannot simply add temperatures the way you can add volumes or weights. Two people in bed, each with body temperatures of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, do not normally create a 197.2 degree under-the-cover oven.
One of the reasons we're here, that we exist at all, is that Earth, cosmically speaking, is in a relatively peaceful place: orbiting our Sun in a near perfect circle.
Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive.
I think everyone should have a personal mission to leave the Earth a better place for them having lived in it and let Earth then take it from there.
Photons are accurately and legitimately described as waves and particles at the same time. They are genuine wavicles.
If all that you see, do, measure and discover is the will of a deity, then ideas can never be proven wrong, you have no predictive power, and you are at a loss to understand the principles behind most of the fundamental interconnections of nature.
If you are that person, you are more likely to believe that God cured you, this invisible force, creator of the universe, cured you, than that you had three idiotic doctors diagnose you. ... I taught physics to pre-med students who became doctors. Not all of them are smart, I assure you.
So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if, in fact, that were 'reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.'
I remain unconvinced that anything other than rapid decomposition is the fate of my body and mind after death.
If we want to unlock the secret behind the origin of our sun and its planets, it would be helpful to find some remnants from the birth itself, an event that took place about four-and-a-half-billion years ago.
Why can't we summon the ingenuity and courage of the generations that came before us? The dinosaurs never saw that asteroid coming. What's our excuse?
I didn't even know there were stars to look at to not see. If you don't know that they're there, you don't know that you're missing them.
It is astonishing to realize that until Galileo performed his experiments on the acceleration of gravity in the early seventeenth century, nobody questioned Aristotle's falling balls. Nobody said, Show Me!
People like it when they understand something that they previously thought they couldn't understand. It's a sense of empowerment.
Who you are, where you've been and what you've done is all up here, captured and preserved in your memories. If you lost that -- the story of your own origins -- you'd lose your identity, your sense of self.
We can trace the elements. They were forged in the centers of high-mass stars that went unstable at the ends of their lives, they exploded, scattered their enriched contents across the galaxy, sprinkled into gas clouds that then collapsed and formed stars and planets and life.
Earth's Moon is about 1 400th the diameter of the Sun, but it is also 1 400th as far from us, making the Sun and the Moon the same size on the sky--a coincidence not shared by any other planet -- moon combination in the solar system, allowing for uniquely photogenic total solar eclipses.
A supernova is one of the most powerful explosions in the universe. It's so luminous, it can be seen across billions of light years. It releases as much energy in an instant as our sun will produce over its 10-billion-year lifetime.
I knew my interest in the universe and I owned a telescope that I bought with money I earned by walking dogs. 50 cents per walk, per dog, and that accumulated quickly. I bought a camera, a telescope. I taught myself astrophotography. I did all this.
There's nothing a teacher likes better than ten minute videos. It's not the whole class, but it's not too short, it's enough to wrap a lesson plan around.
Science is a cooperative enterprise spanning the generations. It's the passing of a torch from teacher to student to teacher. A community of minds, reaching back to antiquity and forward to the stars.
Perhaps these ancient observatories like Stonehenge perennially impress modern people because modern people have no idea how the Sun, Moon, or stars move. We are too busy watching evening television to care what's going on in the sky.
With no gravitational force to work against, your body not only doesn't need the same amount of muscle and bone, it starts breaking them down. As on Earth, so in space: use it or lose it. And exercise may not solve the problem.
Science surrounds you. It's not something that you can step aside, step over or push out of your way because you were never good at science in school. Science is around you. Once you know and embrace that fact, it might stimulate curiosity within you to learn more about the natural world.