Death by black hole – Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Writing in centuries past, many scientists felt compelled to wax poetic about cosmic mysteries and God’s handiwork. Perhaps one should not be surprised at this: most scientists back then, as well as many scientists today, identify themselves as spiritually devout.

But be careful reading of older texts, particularly those concerned with the universe itself, shows that the authors invoke divinity only when they reach the boundaries of their understanding. They appeal to a higher power only when staring into the ocean of their ignorance. They call on God only from the lonely and precarious edge of incomprehension. Where they feel certain about their explanations, however, God gets hardly a mention.

[openbook booknumber=”978-0-393-06224-3″ templatenumber=”2″]This excerpt, from Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s book, highlights the sort of witty undertone and intelligent discourse that you should expect from no one other than someone I idolize. His choice of words throughout the book gave me a perpetual state of amazement that continues to wash over me. He covers topics ranging from temperature and how few people actually understand it, to the moon, Saturn and the stars to topics on the study of nature and does it all without conveying any need to be a theoretical physicist to understand any of it.

Above all else I recommend this book on the grounds that while it’s a fascinating read, it is also a very good read. I got through it in about a week and had time to spare to make sure that I did not miss out in class. If you enjoy learning and you find science to be one of the persuasive topics, I suggest you give this one a try.