“We give great value not only to the methods and the tools of science but also to the language of the universe we call mathematics.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Writing about the flaws of science in the age of fake news is like walking on eggshells. When supported by a public interview statement given by the celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, though, it is a far more comfortable challenge.

The Problem with Scientific Bias

As a guest at the Stephen Colbert’s informal interview-lecture at Montclair Kimberley Academy, DeGrasse-Tyson used the words of the Nobel-prize winning mathematician  Eugene Wigner to bring us closer to the specific bias of the scientific logic:

“Having in mind that it is a product made in our heads, mathematics has inexplicably large usefulness in the universe. We haven’t discovered mathematics under a rock. It is a pure mental fabrication, and yet, it provides us with exact predictive descriptions and explanations about the universe.”

Neil considers maths and physics the basic elements of the language of the universe. The majority of academia would agree that they are the backbone of science.

However, while getting used to interpreting phenomena and events through this language, we forget about stepping out of the lines of established thinking.

The Self-limiting Rules of Science

An almost perfect illustration of the limiting frame of a single scientific language is spinning the phrase “thinking out of the box” into “thinking out of maths”.

DeGrasse-Tyson added that there was a problem with the outcome of a one-directional interpretation of the universe.

By getting accustomed to dismissing our intrinsic senses to investigate and discover new things we possess as children, we filtrate everything through the already digested knowledge.

We make hypotheses and generate assumptions on the basis of “how things should be” and “have always been” to draw conclusions about “how things could be”.

In this way, we damage the childlike curiosity in the mind of a fully grown adult.     

This is where Tyson cuts it short by remembering the libretto of the Broadway musical “Phantom of the opera”. He showcases his love of another phenomenal language – the language of music: “Leave your senses – is a replica from the musical”, he says and adds: One day, perhaps in another life, I too would love to write texts for Broadway musicals…”

Stephen Colbert Interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson

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