Richard Dawkins and Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s ‘Mutual Tutorial’

by on January 22, 2015

What two great scientists have to learn from each other

Richard Dawkins – pioneering biologist, champion of atheism and skepticism, and author of several important books – and Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and one of our most important science educators today – have a meeting of minds in this fascinating one hour talk that seeks to enumerate on the ‘poetry of science.’

Distinguished in their respective fields of biology and physics, Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson are also well known for being outspoken about scientific issues at large in the non-scientific community. They have relentlessly sought to contribute to public understanding of science through their books, talks, lectures, websites and interviews. By connecting science to daily life, their approach of joining the dots to show how science fits into the larger scheme of things, finds place in the methods of past great scientific minds, including Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman.

In this talk, Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson attempt to bridge the gap between the two vast fields – physics and biology – to find the underlying thread that connects them together. Dawkins describes this process as a ‘mutual tutorial’, without a chairman to get in the way. The two scientists question and cross question each other, and exchange ideas to find patterns common to them all. It is an inherently fascinating exchange of ideas, engaging in its entirety, and bringing us closer to understanding science – or what Dawkins defines as ‘the poetry of reality.’

The urge to think of our senses as being powerful is good – because that is all we have. We are prone to walk around celebrating the sense of sight or smell – but we already know that our sense are feeble. This is the point of the methods and tools of science – to not only extend your senses, in a domain which you understand, but to take them to places you’ve never been before.

Image: Science Rhymes

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