Neil deGrasse Tyson was recently corrected by others on Twitter over his statement on sex in the animal kingdom
Past statements about "Star Wars," Leap Day and other topics have received a backlash
Highly respected astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has become well known for his many appearances on television, including hosting the 2014 series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”
He also has more than 5 million followers on Twitter, where he gives his thoughts on current events from a scientific point of view (along with random musings such as “I occasionally wonder whether the entire Universe is nothing more than a snow-globe on the living room mantle of an Alien.”)
He’s no Kanye West or Donald Trump, to be sure, but he has gotten his share of backlash from some of the things he’s tweeted.
1. He got sex in the animal kingdom wrong
The most recent tweet to cause an uproar had Tyson commenting on biology.
“If there were ever a species for whom sex hurt, it surely went extinct long ago,” he wrote.
The response was immediate, with science writer Carl Zimmer tweeting, “I think you need to read about bedbugs, sir.”
Kyle Hill, the science editor for Nerdist, tweeted a series of examples, such as “snails love getting stabbed in the head with sex spikes. And spiders go crazy for snapping their penises off.”
Perhaps Tyson should stick to astrophysics.
2 He hated the science in the new ‘Star Wars’
Tyson has often given his thoughts on science fiction movies and how realistic they are, but it’s highly unlikely that many people saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” looking for scientific accuracy.
Even so, he fact checked the smash hit movie anyway.
Among his observations: “BB-8, a smooth rolling metal spherical ball, would have skidded uncontrollably on sand,” and “the energy in a Star is enough to destroy ten-thousand planets, not just a few here & there.”
Needless to say, “Star Wars” fans were none too pleased with him.
It’s somewhat to be expected since Tyson prefers “Star Trek.”
Read more on this here.
3. He debunked Leap Day, for some reason
So there we were enjoying our extra day a few weeks ago, when Tyson had to go and tweet about how Leap Day is a misnomer.
“We’re not leaping anywhere,” he said. “The calendar is simply, and abruptly, catching up with Earth’s orbit.”
Matt Breunig was among those heaping sarcasm or scorn on Tyson’s thoughts: “if only there was a name for a sudden and abrupt lurch forward.”
Though he also offered up an alternative.
“We could instead wait 28 years and insert a ‘Leap Week.’ Or 112 years and insert a ‘Leap Month.’ “
4. Trolling on Christmas
One way you’re guaranteed to get some people upset is to tweet sarcastically about the biblical meaning of Christmas on Christmas Day itself. And that’s exactly what Tyson did in 2014.
“On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world,” Tyson wrote, followed by the punchline: “Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642.”
He went on to tweet, “Merry Christmas to all. A Pagan holiday (BC) becomes a Religious holiday (AD). Which then becomes a Shopping holiday (USA).”
Click here to read more about this.
5. He really does not like Pluto as a planet
Probably the biggest thing Tyson is asked about is his view on the former planet Pluto.
Tyson is staunchly in favor of the decision to demote the planet to “dwarf planet” status in 2005.
Every once in a while, he’ll tweet about it: “You’re still a dwarf planet. Get over it,” and the like.
And he’ll continue to get responses like, “Dad stop bullying Pluto, his self esteem is already low enough,” and “Pluto has a heart. Tyson doesn’t seem to though.”
But no worries everyone, Tyson and Pluto have made up.