Was driving home from dinner today and caught Neil deGrasse Tyson on NPR. The dude is something special. An astrophysicist with mass appeal. He’s the embodiment of what the world needs. An expert in a field, who doesn’t fault anti-intellectualism or anti-science, but instead, looks for root causes for the what’s manifested. Hearing him talk about Pruitt’s commentary on greenhouse gases and the human effect — for most of my friends, this would devlove into a critique of particular political affiliations or economic interests. NdGT?
Pushed the conversation to K-12 education. There’s something bigger at play. There’s something more fundamental to consider. And that’s the thing — it’s about what’s fundamental. Stepping back from a specific topic like GhG … whether you agree with his premise or his root cause analysis or not, hopefully we can universally agree with his broader “cosmic perspective”. Summarized for me as such: psychologically, our ego tells us and convinces us that we are different from everyone else, and not simply different, but in ways that matter to us, often better. But science proves to us that we are made up of Carbon, Nitrogen, Hydrogen — matter, not dissimilar from other people, an oak tree, or the universe itself…hell, our DNA is 99% the same as a chimp. Psychology teaches us to think we’re different. Science humbles us to prove we’re so much the same.
Let’s do this. #Iamgrateful and #Iamthankful for the scientific and cosmic worldview. Starting from a place where we acknowledge our sameness, is the best way to contextualize, understand, and ideally, reduce the impact of our differences.