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A collection of quotes by Neil deGrasse Tyson on science, religion, humor, philosophy, spirituality, cosmology, atheism, astronomy, life, astrophysics and belief.

76 Life-Changing Neil DeGrasse Tyson Quotes

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Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, writer, science communicator, TV personality and a cosmologist. Tyson studied physics at Harvard University and went on to acquire a post doctorate degree from University of Texas, before getting his astrophysics doctorate from Columbia University in 1991. He also did research at Princeton University before joining the Hayden Planetarium and eventually becoming its director. However, it was in his capacity as an author and essayist on several scientific subjects that he became world famous. Some of his well-known books include ‘Merlin’s Tour of the Universe’, ‘Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries’, ‘My Favourite Universe’, ‘Just Visiting this Planet’, ‘Universe Down to Earth’ and ‘Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontiers’ among others. He has also hosted several shows among which ‘Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey’ is a notable one. Tyson is also an extremely persuasive speaker and is known to put his point across regarding several scientific concepts quite succinctly. His writings covered several subjects like astrohphysics, politics, astronomy and viewpoints. We have tried to take a stab here by collecting the famous quotes, thoughts and sayings by Neil deGrasse Tyson which have been excerpted from his writings, books, papers and interviews. Here is a selection of Neil deGrasse Tyson quotes on science, religion, humor, philosophy, spirituality, cosmology, atheism, astronomy, life, astrophysics and belief.

The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

We spend the first year of a child's life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There's something wrong there.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

The more I learn about the universe, the less convinced I am that there's any sort of benevolent force that has anything to do with it, at all.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

... there is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.

- The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson

My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us.

- Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Knowing how to think empowers you far beyond those who know only what to think.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

I know that the molecules in my body are traceable to phenomena in the cosmos. That makes me want to grab people on the street and say: ‘Have you HEARD THIS?

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

There’s as many atoms in a single molecule of your DNA as there are stars in the typical galaxy. We are, each of us, a little universe.

- Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson

When scientifically investigating the natural world, the only thing worse than a blind believer is a seeing denier.

- Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Where ignorance lurks, so too do the frontiers of discovery and imagination

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

So you're made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?

- Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ignorance is a virus. Once it starts spreading, it can only be cured by reason. For the sake of humanity, we must be that cure.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Down there between our legs, it's like an entertainment complex in the middle of a sewage system. Who designed that?

- Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Dinosaurs are extinct today because they lacked opposable thumbs and the brainpower to build a space program.

- The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson

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

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

So what is true for life itself is no less true for the universe: knowing where you came from is no less important than knowing where you are going.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Scientific inquiry shouldn't stop just because a reasonable explanation has apparently been found.

- Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, Neil deGrasse Tyson

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.

- Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, Neil deGrasse Tyson

God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that's getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

I love the smell of the universe in the morning.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

If you need to invoke your academic pedigree or job title for people to believe what you say, then you need a better argument.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

When students cheat on exams it's because our school system values grades more than students value learning.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Doing what has never been done before is intellectually seductive, whether or not we deem it practical.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Our nation is turning into an idiocracy.

- Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Some of the greatest poetry is revealing to the reader the beauty in something that was so simple you had taken it for granted.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance.

- Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, Neil deGrasse Tyson

In modern times, if the sole measure of what’s out there flows from your five senses then a precarious life awaits you.

- Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Science needs the light of free expression to flourish. It depends on the fearless questioning of authority, and the open exchange of ideas.

- Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Every living thing is a masterpiece, written by nature and edited by evolution.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

People like death and mayhem.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

The more of us that feel the universe, the better off we will be in this world.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

In the beginning, there was physics.

- Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, Neil deGrasse Tyson

When your reasons for believing something are justified ad hoc, you are left susceptible to further discoveries undermining the rationale for that belief.

- The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Unlike what you may be told in other sectors of life, when observing the universe, size does matter, which often leads to polite ‘telescope envy’ at gatherings of amateur astronomers.

- The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Still, our knowledge of the planets was meager, and where ignorance lurks, so too do the frontiers of discovery and imagination.

- Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Science literacy is an important part of what it is to be an informed citizen of society.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

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.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

It's okay not to know all the answers. It's better to admit our ignorance than to believe answers that might be wrong. Pretending to know everything, closes the door to finding out what's really there.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

There’s no shame in admitting what you don’t know. The only shame is pretending you know all the answers.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Without a doubt, the most spectacular way to die in space is to fall into a black hole.

- Death by Black Hole, Neil deGrasse Tyson

It is the destiny of stars to collapse.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

We live on a cosmic speck of dust, orbiting a mediocre star in the far suburbs of a common sort of galaxy, among a hundred billion galaxies in the universe.

- Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, Neil deGrasse Tyson

After 50 years of television, there’s no other conclusion the aliens could draw, but that most humans are neurotic, death-hungry, dysfunctional idiots.

- Death by Black Hole, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science. —EDWIN P. HUBBLE (1889–1953), The Nature of Science

- Death by Black Hole, Neil deGrasse Tyson

I get enormous satisfaction from knowing I'm doing something for society.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Science, enabled by engineering, empowered by NASA, tells us not only that we are in the universe but that the universe is in us. And for me, that sense of belonging elevates, not denigrates, the ego.

- Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Let’s get China to leak a memo that says they want to build military bases on Mars. We’d be on Mars in twelve months.

- Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Science literacy is less about what you know and more about how your brain is wired for asking questions.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Some 14 billion years ago, at the beginning of time, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe fit within a pinhead.

- Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, Neil deGrasse Tyson

The universe has never made one of anything, so why would there even be one of itself?

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

To declare that Earth must be the only planet in the universe with life would be inexcusably big-headed of us.

- Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Neil deGrasse Tyson

If we don't act , we're just standing still. and the act of standing still is the same as moving backwards when everyone else is in motion all around us, around the world

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Let there be no doubt that as they are currently practiced, there is no common ground between science and religion.

- Death by Black Hole, Neil deGrasse Tyson

I look forward to the day when the solar system becomes our collective backyard—explored not only with robots, but with the mind, body, and soul of our species.

- Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Neil deGrasse Tyson

On Venus you could cook a 16-inch pepperoni pizza in seven seconds, just by holding it out to the air. (Yes, I did the math.)

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

It's okay not to know all the answers. It's better to admit our ignorance than to believe answers that might be wrong. Pretending to know everything closes the door to finding out what's already there.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

And behold the greatest mystery of them all: an unopened can of diet Pepsi floats in water while an unopened can of regular Pepsi sinks.

- Death by Black Hole, Neil deGrasse Tyson

The options available to a creative person are ever limited by the choices offered by a philosopher.

- Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Neil deGrasse Tyson

To learn that it's easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

A bullet fired level from a gun will hit ground at same time as a bullet dropped from the same height. Do the Physics.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

The stated authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.

- The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Curious fact that those who never fail are also those who never truly succeed.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

We’re a sleepy nation right now. I want us to be a nation of innovation.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

The day gets about one second longer every 67,000 years.

- Merlin's Tour of the Universe, Neil deGrasse Tyson

When you organize extraordinary missions, you attract people of extraordinary talent who might not have been inspired by or attracted to the goal of saving the world from cancer or hunger or pestilence.

- Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Neil deGrasse Tyson

The only people who should have their head examined are those who never ask questions.

- Merlin's Tour of the Universe, Neil deGrasse Tyson