Friday, February 1, 2013

Dr. T says...

Q&A after the lecture for Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s new book in June 2012.

Q: Philosophical question – would you rather die now or live forever?


“I’ve kind of bought into the concept of a natural life.

“I know philosophers like having those kind of debates but I never believe that the options available to a creative person are ever limited by the choices offered by a philosopher.

“So, for example, if there’s a lifeboat and there’s only a certain amount of food for four, but there’s six people, so do you throw them overboard? Otherwise everyone dies, or do you eat them? So these choices…so I’m saying maybe we can invent a way to draw fish from the ocean so we don’t have to throw them overboard. See, I like solutions to problems rather than the blunt do A or B.

“And part of this, I think, is because we grew up in a multiple choice school system. Sometimes answers exist beyond the choices you have thought up as the person who wrote the exam.”