Tags: Neil deGrasse Tyson | tweets | science | christmas

Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson Stands Behind Controversial Christmas Tweets

By    |   Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 11:53 AM

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who angered Christians on Christmas Day with a series of tweets they believed mocked the holiday, said Friday he's not clear why people took his statements as being anti-Christian.
Tyson's message, garnered thousands of responses and was retweeted 72,000 times, and the scientist said on Facebook that it was by far his most-retweeted message ever.

But Tyson stood behind his tweet, saying that while everybody knows that Christians celebrate the birth of Christ on Dec. 25, not everybody knows that Sir Isaac Newton shares the same birthday.

"And perhaps even fewer people know that before he turned 30, Newton had discovered the laws of motion, the universal law of gravitation, and invented integral and differential calculus," Tyson wrote. "All of which served as the mechanistic foundation for the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries that would forever transform the world."

He said he gathers that his message was retweeted so much not because of his enthusiasm over Newton, but because of "accusations that the tweet is somehow anti-Christian."

But, he said, for a person who really wants to express anti-Christian sentiment, "my guess is that alerting people of Isaac Newton's birthday would appear nowhere on the list."

Tyson said there have been many who have called for him to delete the tweet, but instead, he chose to post a new one:
Tyson noted in his Facebook message that his retweet rates are usually between 2,500 and 3,5400, and have occasionally gone up to 10,000.

"I wonder if you are as astonished by this fact as I am," Tyson said in his Facebook post. "For example, I've made direct reference to Jesus in previous tweets that have not come close to this number."

He pointed out a tweet from earlier this year, in which he said that "Some claim the USA is a Christian nation, compelling me to wonder which assault rifle Jesus would choose: the AR-15 or AK-47."

That tweet gathered just 13,000 retweets, "so I can honestly say that I don't understand the breadth and depth of reaction to the Newton tweet, relative to all my other tweets over the years."

Tyson made three other tweets on Christmas, including one that mocked Christmas for becoming a shopping holiday and another about Dec. 25being just Thursday for Muslims and Jews. Yet another tweet, saying that Rudolph has a red nose because Santa knows physics, in fact, met with chuckles, not outrage.

But ironically, Tyson said, Newton may not have even been born on Christmas Day, as the Gregorian Calendar introduced in 1584 by Pope Gregory was not yet adopted in Great Britain when Newton was born in 1642.

"If you wanted to reckon Newton's birthday on today's Gregorian Calendar, we would place his birth on January 4, 1643," Tyson noted.

He has a final warning, though: with the New Year he plans to tweet about Earth's perihelion — "Just a head's up in case people want to avert their eyes over that one."

Related stories:


© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who angered Christians on Christmas Day with a series of tweets they believed mocked the holiday, said Friday he's not clear why people took his statements as being anti-Christian.On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30,...
Neil deGrasse Tyson, tweets, science, christmas
580
2014-53-28
Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 11:53 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved