Thoughts on the MSU Presentation of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Thoughts on the 2/15/11 MSU Presentation of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Robert J. Allen
rjallenofms@gmail.com
1-662-465-6190

DRAFT

I attended the 2/15/11, (7-10 PM ) presentation by astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York. which he gave at Humphrey Colosseum, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS.  Along the left margin of the following text, are statements (as close to verbatim as I can recall or was able to write down at the time) he made in that lecture.  At times I have expanded upon Dr. Tyson’s words when I felt it necessary to explain and give context to certain of his statements.  His statements are reported in this text as close to the order in which he presented them as I was able to recall at the time of this writing.  Indented, to one degree or another, below the left-margin statements of Dr. Tyson, are comments I offer in response to his statements.

Two Failures of Memory:
1. Remembering things that never happened
2. Forgetting things that did happen
If this happens to you, are you still doomed to repeat the past?
This question may initially sound clever and insightful but, and not to quibble here      but, it is actually a time-wasting nonsense question – how can one repeat what never happened?

Recently, a Moon-orbiting satellite propelled an impactor  portion of that satellite down into a crater at the N pole of the Moon.   The ejected cloud plume that rose up from that collision enabled the detection of 50 million gallons of water (frozen, ionized, etc.) at the bottom of this crater.
This value sounds (to me, at least) to be one of those “made up” statistics dishonest scientists, and other people, use to make it easy to support an otherwise unsupportable (or at least difficult to support) claim.
How can one determine, with accuracy (and credibility), how much water remains in the source/reservoir from which a plume was just ejected — from the size of the plume itself?  Did the plume carry all the water at the bottom of the crater up with it…only 1%… .001 %… .000,000,001 %?   And if Tyson will present as fact, such speculative numbers in such a talk, what other unsupportable things has he said and/or is willing to say in his presentations?

Typical velocity of an asteroid impacting Earth = 10 miles/sec.
Again, and however common this value may be bandied about, it sounds like just another “made up” statistic.  Such unacknowledged fictions should be below the bar of acceptable behavior for respectable speakers giving supposedly fact-based invited lectures to institutions of higher education.
1. The orbital velocity of the Earth around the Sun  is often stated to be 18 mps.  If so, then the velocity of an asteroid striking Earth would tend to be plus-or-minus that 18 miles/sec velocity of the Earth.
( “-“ if the asteroid caught up with the Earth from behind, or
“+” if it struck the Earth head-on from in front of it.)
Either way, the “+” and “-“  total values seem sufficiently different to not allow for an average impact velocity of 10 mps.
2.  Also, we would only know that the average speed of an asteroid impacting Earth is really 10 mps by clocking and then averaging the observed speed of many side-approaching impact asteroids – and I don’t think there is even ONE such KNOWN asteroid that has actually been “clocked” to give us even a single “hard” number of velocity.*

* For an overview mix of “fact and fancy” contained in the typical evolutionary description of asteroid impacts, see:
THE EFFECTS & LIKELIHOODS  OF ASTEROID IMPACTS, http://bookbuilder.cast.org/view_print.php?book=6808

Photo:
Along the inner rim of a c. 2-week-old new “stage-sized” (c.50′ X 30′?) impact crater on Mars was seen a white surface.  This white surface was interpreted as being either white rock that had been exposed by the impact or water ice.  Since the white was not seen in an overhead flyover satellite 2 weeks later, it was decided that the white had been produced by water ice that had sublimed away.
1.    How do they know the white had not been rock material that had been covered by dust that had blown over the white surface during the subsequent 2 weeks and returned it back to the condition (covered) it had been in before the impact?
2.    If sublimation was the explanation for the disappearing ice – within 2 weeks – in this crater on Mars, why does not sublimation cause the disappearance of ice on comets that come, at perigee, into much greater and ever-closer proximity to the Sun than Mars ever comes?*

*Primordial Dry Ice Fuels Comet Jets, http://www.spacedaily.com/reports              /Primordial_Dry_Ice_Fuels_Comet_Jets_999.html

*http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/EPOXI_Reveals_Comet_Hartley_2_999.html

Photo:
A running water rivulet meandering down the wall of a newly produced impact crater on Mars.
1. Although Tyson did not actually SAY this, the audience understood that the reason he even SHOWED this and similar photos, and the reason he made the statements he made about non-Earth-bound water is because the whole search for, and emphasis on finding, water anywhere beyond Earth is to advance the speculation that the presence of water  – especially liquid water – is a near-guarantee that life is almost inevitably possible – if not actually probable – to be found at that location.  This speculation is a grossly dishonest exaggeration.  To say it is probable that life will be found wherever liquid water is found, is the same grossly dishonest exaggeration as it is to say it is probable that buildings will be found wherever the clay used to make bricks is found.  Informed and reasonable people know that much more than water and clay is needed to make life and buildings.*  And they know that only dishonest and/or badly uninformed people would make a claim that these alone are sufficient.
2. How do they know it was water that produced this rivulet?  Could it have been lava or some other solid-suddenly-turned-to-liquid material?*

∙    http://www.spacedaily.com/news/mars-life-04w.html
∙    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242794/Have-Nasa-scientists-trees-Mars.html

Photo:
Meteor Crater, Arizona.
This crater was once thought to be a volcanic crater, even though no lava has ever been found in, or around, it.
If you never look up (as Astronomers do), you (geologists, who are always looking “down” at your rocks, and mountains, and volcanoes, etc.) can never see the answers to the problems below you.
I generally agree with this generality.  But I apply this insight to Dr. Tyson himself, and to other Secularists/Evolutionists: if they never look up (to the Creator God) they can never see the answers to the unnecessary problems their naturalistic belief-system viewpoint has brought upon themselves and their discipline.

Photo:
Artist’s conception of a flying pterodactyl in the foreground with an asteroid impact in progress (in the background) that many evolutionists believe and teach was the cause of dinosaur extinction.
Tyson reported he had used this photo in a former lecture in which a member of the audience had asked, “Is that a photograph?”
In this depressing quote, we see the influence that highly skilled artisans can (and often do) have on the relatively uninformed lay public.  In this case, the skill (and license) of the artist was so well executed that it presented to this viewer (and many others who have seen this and similar highly-skilled naturalistic/evolutionist depictions) such a realistic-looking appearance and impression that what it depicted was immediately accepted as a “snapshot” of the way dinosaur extinction “really happened.”  This persuasion in many cases seems to be often accomplished with only a mere assertion that dinosaur extinction occurred this way – the mere picture is enough to convince many – no supporting data or information need even be given to many viewers to support the depiction that the extinction indeed happened that way.
While well-done accurate depictions and illustrations are of course beneficial to teachers and students of all sorts and subjects, persuasion within these subjects should be achieved by honest and objective substance, information, data, and content – it should not be obtained by mere subjective pretty flashy misleading and exaggerated theatrical presentations and depictions of imaginary themes and schemes.

The Apophus asteroid is projected to possibly hit Earth on 13 Apr 2026 near the San Diego California coast.  This hit will supposedly produce a rapidly-repeating cycle of 45 fountain-type “ups-and-downs” to the Stratosphere-and-back, a series of water-pulses that will all be over in 45 seconds.   Most of the action, and resultant damage, produced by this impact will be confined to the general region around San Diego – a tsunami-type wave will not even travel very far inland from this impact zone to cause great damage in the continental interior.
1. This 45-second event is contrary to what we know about gravity.  According to what we know about gravity, nothing can go “up to the Stratosphere” and free-fall back down (at the acceleration of 32 feet per second/ second) to Earth even one (1) time – let alone 45 times within a 45-second interval.
2.  Perhaps the 45 “second” detail stated by Tyson was a verbal “typo” and he meant to say 45 “minutes.”  Perhaps the vertical oscillations he described are possible within that time frame (I doubt it, but a rebuttal requires more time, data-and-number-crunching instrumentation, and expertise than I possess).
3.  Tyson’s impact scenario for Apophis is strange – and frankly (to me at least) intuitively unrealistic and unconvincing.  Is this scenario his own idea or one that he acquired elsewhere?  A citation would have been helpful.  But regardless, what is supposedly different from his projected future impact of Apophus, with its projected more-or-less “tranquil” and relatively small-scale consequences, and the impacts of similar-sized known past impacts (and other projected future impacts) that have all allegedly resulted in globally catastrophic mass-extinction consequences that include long-distance-traveling lithographic and atmospheric shock waves, continent-covering-or-even-globe-circling tsunamis, massive dust up-drafting, sun-blocking, “nuclear winter”-type scenarios that are all supposedly more-or-less typical of all the other past and future asteroid impacts?  Why is none of this projected to happen when Apophis hits?

Gravitational tether: A suggested way of gradually gravitationally “coaxing” Apophus out of harm’s way to Earth.
Knowing there are always 2 sides to every issue and question, I would have liked to have heard Tyson offer a second opinion from specialists in the field as to whether or not the tether approach he mentioned is actually feasible.

Miller-Urey experiment in 1950s.
Tyson presented this experiment as if the amino acids produced in it strongly indicated that the spontaneous generation of life is nearly inevitable wherever water, methane, carbon dioxide, and energy were combined.
Tyson’s use of this old and long-discounted experiment (both the experimental conditions and the experimental results and use of these results have been shown to be unrealistic*) to advocate spontaneous generation was perhaps his most outrageous of many outrageous claims in this presentation

∙    http://creation.com/why-the-miller-urey-research-argues-against-abiogenesis
∙    http://creation.com/hawking-aliens-life-by-chance

85% of the gravity in the Universe is of unknown origin.  We do not know what mass is responsible for making this gravity.  We call this mass, “dark matter” but that is just a name…a place holder”
1. This admission shows then that this “place holder” is actually a hypocritical “matter-of-the-gaps” equivalent to the “god-of-the-gaps” appeal that evolutionists/Atheists dishonestly charge/criticize Christians/Creationists for using.  The “god of the gaps” claim is an accusation that Christians insert God into science into those places where we have no explanation.  But, these Secularists claim, when we DO obtain an explanation, we take God out of that gap and put the explanation in.  In this way, Secularists argue, God is being increasingly displaced and pushed farther and farther away – until He is eventually shown to be totally irrelevant.  This accusation is a straw man.  Creationists do not appeal to God because of what we do NOT know…we appeal to God because of what we DO know – He is the only known sufficient cause for what we know exists.
2. But, let’s say that the Secularists are correct in their claim that we are guilty of a “god-of-the-gaps” evasion.  How is it wrong for US to appeal to such a tactic but it is OK for THEM to do so?

The Universe is expanding – and accelerating in that expansion.  We do not know what mass or energy is responsible for this acceleration.  We call this energy, “dark energy” but that too is just a name…a place holder
This admission shows that this “place holder” is yet another hypocritical equivalent to the “god-of-the-gaps” appeal: this time it is an “energy-of-the-gaps” appeal.  Again, why is it OK for them to resort to such a tactic, but not for us?  These intellectual double standards are outrageous and all honest men of science should expose and reject them.

…Therefore, 96% of all the Universe is stuff of which we are IGNORANT.  The matter and energy component that we do know about constitutes only 4% of what apparently exists…For as much (96%) as we don’t know of the Universe, that which we do know, we know really well
For as confident as Tyson may have projected himself in claiming this, this is a patently illogical (even absurd) statement.  When we admit that we do not know 96% of the information we must know in order to understand/comprehend a system, we do NOT know that the 4% we think we DO know is REALLY knowledge.  With 96% of the knowledge missing, there is simply too much opportunity for things within that 96% to contradict/overcome the mere 4% we think we know.
We should be intellectually honest and make sure we REALLY KNOW what we claim we know.  Much of what Tyson and other Naturalistic Secularist claim is “knowledge” is really merely “plausible-to-THEM-but-unproven” speculation and concepts – much of it merely ad hoc.

Optical illusions should be called “brain failures”.  These “illusions” are not real…they are merely a consequence of our brain processing supposedly easily-recognizable visual inputs inaccurately.
For all of Tyson’s realization about, and insight into, how our brain often processes supposedly easily-recognizable visual inputs inaccurately, one would think he would be sensitive to a  possible tendency to misinterpret inputs and data of all sort (including in science).  One would think this sensitivity would lead a fair-minded speaker to be open to presenting to the public different interpretations, answers, hypothesizes, of the Astronomical, Biological, Geological and other science issues, questions, and problems he speaks and writes upon  Yet, he advocates and presents to his audiences only one of the only two known and viable interpretations of all of physical reality.  He presents only Atheism/Naturalism/Evolution while omitting, if not actually opposing its alternate perspective of  Theism/Dualism/Creation.  For a speaker to general audiences, this one-sidedness is not honest and reasonable.  It is a “brain failure” (not to mention a “professional ethics failure”) on his part.

STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  Excellence/expertise in these areas are the source of the solutions to all of our society’s problems
Tyson presented these areas (without defending/explaining it or even specifically SAYING it) as if they are automatically and naturally counter to the Theistic (and specifically Judeo-Christian moral) foundation of America.  As just stated, Tyson did not actually SAY this himself: he merely played video clips of OTHER people saying it.

Colbert TV Program – Tyson guest appearance video clip.
Tyson acted like his showing of this clip was a “Oh yeah… let me show you THIS that I just happened to think of” type of spontaneous action.  It looked “practiced” to me.
Secularist’s straw man alleged summary claim of Theists: “I know there is a God because I don’t know how things work.”
The video clip Tyson showed was a cut-and-paste-and-then-looped-back-upon-itself-stream-of-video-segments of O’Reilly saying something to the effect that he knows God is real “because we don’t know what makes the tides occur everyday…because we don’t know what makes the tides occur everyday…because we don’t know what makes the tides occur everyday…because we don’t know what makes the tides occur everyday…”
Anyone can make anybody appear silly and laughable by cutting-and-pasting and then looping back upon itself a stream of video segments of them saying anything they frequently say in different video segments covering the same topic.  So, the fact that someone in Colbert’s circle did this to O’Reilly is – by itself – irrelevant to anything of substance – a logical “Zero” contribution to honest legitimate discussion – and therefore only “good” for emotional purposes (mocking, ridicule,  misleading, etc.)
While I agree O’Reilly could have argued his point better, (but he is not a scientist and cannot be expected to carry an argument of “Earth-Moon Science” as well as astronomers, geologists, and related scientists can be expected to do) he obviously was merely citing a strong talking point he uses when discussing his persuasion that science supports the conclusion that God must exist.  If more than the laugh-track segment had been played of what O’Reilly said in these events, we might have seen O’Reilly show knowledge of what he (and most half-informed adults) surely knows – that it is the Moon that primarily is the physical cause of the tides.  So, if more of the video had been presented, we would have seen that what O’Reilly was really referring to was that only God could have established the orbit of the Moon and established the other relevant Earth-Moon parameters that make, and keep, the tides so very regular, precise, and predictable.
This video clip was therefore merely a cheap shot and would have been beneath the dignity of an honest speaker.  If Tyson had been such an honest speaker, the audience would have been spared having our intelligence insulted in this way by this video.

The Universe is 13.7 billion-years-old (has a 13.7 billion-year-old radius).
This is an unreasonable, self-contradictory argumentum ad absurdum concept/claim.  Evolutionary Astronomers tell us the most distant objects we can see in the Universe are galaxies that are 13.7 billion light years away – therefore it took the light from those galaxies 13.7 billion years to get to us.  For purposes of discussion, let’s give that to them and say we might be “seeing” objects that are really 13.7 billion years old.  But those objects were aging on their way to the 13.7-year-old point.  Then we saw the light from them at that age – but it took 13.7 billion years for that light to get to us.  So the Universe must really be closer to DOUBLE that value, or 24.4 billion years old.

Quantum physics operates at a level that is below common sense.  Because of this, one can no longer invoke common sense to judge whether or not something is “true” or not at this level.
If this claim is true, then one cannot use common sense to judge whether or not something Tyson, or anyone else, says about things at this level, and in this area,  are correct or not.  Therefore, by your own common sense (or whatever) reasoning, we have no basis or reason to accept anything you say.  So, why are you taking my time up by telling me stuff you cannot even argue is true and worth telling?

These Secularist/Evolutionists reveal great inconsistency at several places in their argument.
1.  For example, they would say that “Science is what you see” but to solve problems produced by their own naturalistic belief system, they imagine unseeable items (which, being “unseeable” cannot even be confirmed to exist – but they MUST be known to exist in order to be viewed as legitimate possible components of an eventual solution to the problems we are seeking to solve).
2. They claim that their approach to problems is a common-sense approach, yet they are quick to warn us that common sense does not apply at the level of reality that they are investigating.

Tyson listed several technological failures in the US: the broken levees at New Orleans, the collapsed bridge of years ago in Minneapolis, train collisions in Alabama, etc.  He then used these examples as evidence of the failure of American technology.
This use is false on several counts.  For example:
1.He did not mention the similar technological-system failures experienced in other nations. But it happens: is the technological base in these nations in a state of collapse too?  He never suggested it was – Tyson implied that it was only a deteriorating AMERICAN technological base that is the cause of failure of systems in our infrastructure.
2. He did not mention that in each technological disaster case he mentioned, subsequent follow-up investigations identified  human factors were the causative agents: repeated failure of political parties to use sufficient funds allocated to them to correct known deficiencies,  failure to follow specified and routine maintenance schedules, a captain/conductor was drunk and/or asleep at the wheel, etc.  In the cases he mentioned, it was failure/refusal to apply the STEM knowledge that we DID possess and know.  These system failures were NOT caused by a failure to even KNOW the necessary STEM data.
3. In this 2nd Law of Thermodynamics world*1 in which “moth and rust” *2 (biological and chemical processes) corrupts and deteriorates everything, even in properly used and maintained systems failure is possible.  But eventual failure of improperly-maintained and improperly-used technological systems, such as the ones Tyson cited, is inevitable.  Therefore, when such systems do fail, it is not necessarily evidence of collapse of the technological base that initially built these systems but that is no longer able to maintain them.

*1 http://www.allaboutscience.org/second-law-of-thermodynamics.htm

Proverbs 24:
30: I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
31: And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
32: Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
33: Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
34: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth;
The owner of these properties is never home to make necessary repairs and do PM on things that have a 2nd Law of Thermodynamics natural tendency to deteriorate

*2     Matthew 6:19 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Tyson talked about how, in an apparent public appearance with the Oxford Atheist Richard Dawkins, Tyson had chided Dawkins about his great ineffectiveness against Theists due to his intentionally highly-abrasive obnoxious insulting treatment of them.  Tyson said he told Dawkins that he would be much more effective if he treated his opposition with a little respect.  He reported that Dawkins acknowledged the value of his criticism, but did not follow his advice at that time, nor any other.
What Tyson failed to mention is that Dawkins is ineffective due to his sloppy philosophical arguments and false reconstructionist history.  The obnoxiousness he shows towards Theists does alienate him from many layman-level Theists, but most well-informed Theists are quite able to endure his admirably picturesque, well-crafted, well-expressed, but untrue-and-uncalled-for, knowledge-free insults of mere words.  Many of these well-informed Theists are even happily willing and able to take him and the other popular Atheists on – and several of these have already done so in public debates*1 and best-selling books that devastated these Atheists and their Atheism.*2

*1 Madalyn Murray O’Hair debate with Dr. Walter Martin
Madalyn Murray O’Hair did particularly badly in her debate with Dr. Walter Martin.[435] For example, when she claimed there were supposedly were contradictions in the Bible, Dr. Martin asked her to provide an example of one and Ms. O’Hair did not and could not offer even an alleged example of a Bible contradiction.[436] In addition, Ms. O’Hair was ill prepared in terms of defending against the issue of atheism and mass murder.[437]

Frank Zindler Versus Dr. William Craig Debate
The website TrueOrigin states the following regarding the debate between atheist Frank Zindler and Christian philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig:
“Frank Zindler… A leading light in the American Atheists. Isn’t it amazing how so many atheists love evolution and appear to be threatened by the massive scientific evidence for creation? Zindler took the atheism side in an Atheism v. Christianity debate in front of 7,500 people at Willow Creek Community Church, USA. His opponent, Dr William Lane Craig, tore his ignorant arguments to shreds so effectively that many atheists in the audience realised that Zindler had lost the debate. It was presumably to this debate that John Snowden was alluding when he wrote that a representative of the American Atheists, whom he used to support, lost a public debate to a “fundamentalist” (Skeptic 18(3), 1998).[438]

*2 General Works On Atheism:

* Norman Geisler, (2004), I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Crossway, ISBN 9781581345612
* Alister McGrath, (2004), The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World ISBN 0-385-50061-0
* Ravi Zacharias, (1994, 2004), A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism ISBN 0801065119
* Ravi Zacharias, (1994, 1996), Can Man Live Without God? ISBN 0849939437
* Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, (1982) Understanding Secular Religions, Here’s Life Publishers, San Bernardino, California, ISBN 0-86605-093-0
* Vox Day, (2008),The Irrational Atheist, BenBella Books, Inc. ISBN 1933771364
* American Vision, Return of the Village Atheist (e-book), ISBN: 9780915815784
* R. Albert Mohler Jr., (2008), Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists, Crossway, ISBN 9781433504976

Source of the above: http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism

Pluto is not a planet – “Get over it”.
It would have been instructive if Tyson (since he is particularly identified with the demotion of Pluto from being considered by many as “not a planet”) would have given some of the reasons why he and others had reached that arbitrary mere “definitional” conclusion.
Q/A

One questioner commented about the two charts Tyson presented: One chart portrayed the number of STEM papers presented one year by the nations of the world, and the other chart portrayed the change in number of papers presented by the same nations 10 years later.  Tyson then compared the difference between the 2 charts and claimed that this difference documented/illustrated the declining impact of the USA in the world as it relates to STEM matters.
The questioner stated that the charts themselves, and the use of the charts in the way Tyson used them, may be just as reasonably interpreted as showing a bias against the productivity of USA.  The questioner said that a nation such as the USA, that has been very productive for a long time, has less opportunity to increase its publication volume in a world in which it has already pretty-well saturated the major journals of the world.  But the other nations, that have not been publishing much, will show a relatively great change in numbers of publications, with only a small increase in their publication number.  The questioner suggested that another way of expressing this bias is seen, for example, with a student who has been an A student all along:  it is much harder for this student to show improvement than it is for a student that has been a “D” or “C” student all along to show improvement by finally getting some “A”s or even “B”s.  The D or C student has “room” to “grow”, whereas the A student does not.  I agree with the questioner.  Tyson dismissed him with something like, “I’ll have to think about that.”

One questioner asked a question about what Einstein referred to as “spooky” photon behavior: the apparent behavior of a pair of photons to act in tandem, such that when one photon of one charge (say “+”) disappears in one place, its opposite-charged (“-“) counterpart “automatically” appears in another place.  The questioner asked how the experimenter KNOWS the particular photon that appeared is indeed the actual counterpart of the particular one that just disappeared?
Tyson replied that it is more reasonable to conclude that the – photon that appears in the same room in which a  + photon just disappeared, is more likely to be the counterpart of the just-disappeared + photon than is a – photon that just appeared, for example, in Thailand.  But how does Tyson, or anyone else,  KNOW this?  In my view, the questioner posed an excellent question – one which Tyson sidestepped (copped-out on) with only the appearance of having answered it.

Photo:
The “Face” on Mars:
Tyson claimed that some people saw (see?) the “human” face on Mars, not because an actual human face is actually there, but because they themselves are people and are biased to see what they are themselves.  If we were lobsters, some of us would be seeing lobsters on Mars.
1. This claim may sound plausible to folks like Tyson, but it is merely an attempt to explain, it is not a confirmed fact.
2. It needs to be determined that there ARE lobster-shaped “faces” on Mars  that exist to be seen, in order for us to see them as lobsters, if we were lobsters.
3. Many people see shapes that are not man-like.  If they can see spider shapes when they are not spiders, how can Tyson logically claim the seeing of human shapes is a result of being a human?
4. The fact that people may be biased to see things that look like people does not mean that some things do not indeed look like people.  And if they indeed do look like people, the easy dismissal of a tendency of proneness to see one’s own image, does not address the speculation that certain things that look like people look like people because they were fashioned to look like people by people who wanted them to look like people.   I don’t know what the ‘human” likeness on Mars is, but I do know that Tyson’s bias against human shapes actually being on Mars was merely self-serving chronological snobbery and bias.

==========================

I conclusion, as an above-average-informed layman on these matters, and from a thoroughly Christian perspective, I regard the talk given by Tyson to have been a meritless-but-high-sounding mere theatrical performance.  Tyson delivered to the Secularized student masses what he knew from experience that students in a state Secular educational institution are indoctrinated into believing and that consequently tend to want to hear.*1 But Tyson did nothing to inform and actually serve these students.  These students did not leave the lecture better for having been there.  Actually, they left this lecture in a worse state.*2   The lecture worked to keep these students trapped in the monopolistic anti-God, anti-Christian,  worldview that government-run-and-supported Secular institutions promote.  These institutions   (often mistakenly called “higher education”)  ensnare students into Atheistic beliefs and people like Tyson are regularly invited in to give them another dose of it all in the form of guest speakers in special assemblies.

The “success” of the Secularists in filling this trap with these students is not as remarkable a feat as it may seem.  The entrapment was actually a relatively easy task to accomplish, and maintain, because each member of the “catch” was already inclined in that direction by his own inner and natural enmity against God*3 – the target against which all Secularism is directed.  The audience displayed throughout his talk an eager “give us more, give us more” attitude that was, to me at least, a sad – even tragic – scene.*1  I saw a false teacher promising hundreds of deceived students wisdom and knowledge but delivering them to an even greater enslavement in their own error and foolishness.*4

*1
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”
II Timothy 4:3

*2
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
Matthew 23:15

*3
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Romans 8:7

*4
“For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”
II Peter 2:18

“These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”
Jude 1:16

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