36 Neil deGrasse Tyson Quotes That Had No Time For Stupid

Published November 17, 2017
Updated May 15, 2018

Consider yourself a little bit smarter once you read through our list of the most thought-provoking Neil deGrasse Tyson quotes.

On Science Denial...

Neil deGrasse Tyson Quotes
"If I were ever abducted by aliens, the first thing I’d ask is whether they came from a planet where people also deny science."

On Science...

Science Is True
"The good thing about Science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it."

On Obsession With Football...

Flying Cars
"Sometimes I wonder if we’d have flying cars by now had civilization spent a little less brain energy contemplating Football."

On Making America Great Again...

Make America Great
"We all want to Make America Great Again. But that won’t happen until we first Make America Smart Again."

On Intellectual Curiosity...

Intellectually Restless
"Not enough of us reflect on how modern civilization pivots on the discoveries of just a few intellectually restless people."

On Religion In Science Classrooms...

Science Classrooms
"Not that anybody asked, but I object to religion in science classrooms not because it’s religion but because it’s not science."

On President Trump...

Meeting Trump
"When I meet President Trump, I may first grab his crotch – to get his attention – then discuss science with him."

On Personal Delusions And Personal Beliefs

Personal Delusions
"If your Personal Beliefs deny what’s objectively true about the world, then they’re more accurately called Personal Delusions."

On Dad Diets...

Weight Loss
"A Weight Loss book written by Physicists would be 1 sentence long: 'Consume calories at a lower rate than your body burns them.'"

On Overeating...

Physics Weight
"Things you might say if you never took Physics: 'I’m overweight even though I don’t overeat.'"

On Deflategate...

Patriots Change In Temperature
"For the Patriots to blame a change in temperature for 15% lower-pressures, requires balls to be inflated with 125-degree air."

On Ancient Civilizations...

Ancient Civilizations
"Just because you can’t figure out how ancient civilizations built stuff, doesn’t mean they got help from Aliens."

On Wishing Upon The First Star...

Wish Upon A Star
"If you wished upon that first Star you saw tonight in twilight, then it will not likely come true. You wished on planet Venus."

On Our Five Senses...

Five Senses
"Our five senses are faulty data-taking devices, and they need help." (Hayden Planetarium)

On The Dark Side Of The Moon...

Dark Side Moon
"Astro-educators remain busy undoing damage caused by 1973 hit album Dark Side of the Moon. Nope. All sides get sunlight."

On Coincidences...

Neil Degrasse Coincidence
"Things you might say if you flunked Intro Probability & Statistics: 'There's no such thing as coincidences.'"

On Human Physiology Shortcomings...

Brain Failures
"If we were honest about shortcomings of human physiology then 'optical illusions' would instead be labelled 'brain failures.'"

On Fate...

No Coincidences
"Things you might say if you flunked Intro Probability & Statistics: 'Everything happens for a reason.'"

On Coincidences...

Probability Statistics
"When a coincidence seems amazing, that’s because the human mind isn’t wired to naturally comprehend probability & statistics."

On Conspiracy Theorists....

Conspiracy Neil Degrasse
"Conspiracy theorists are those who claim cover-ups whenever insufficient data exists to support what they’re sure is true."

On Ignorant Teachers...

Illiterate Teachers
"People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey school teacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah's ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it's about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers." (New York Times)

On Alien Civilizations...

Intelligent Life
"My only hope is that every other [alien] civilization isn’t doing exactly what we are doing because then everybody would be listening, nobody would be receiving, and we would collectively conclude that there is no other intelligent life in the universe." (Hayden Planetarium)

On Going To Mars...

Military Bases Mars
"Let’s get China to leak a memo that says they want to build military bases on Mars. We’d be on Mars in twelve months." (Rebrn)

On Being In Charge Of The World...

Neil Degrasse Control
"Within one linear centimeter of your lower colon there lives and works more bacteria (about 100 billion) than all humans who have ever been born. Yet many people continue to assert that it is we who are in charge of the world." (Business Insider)

On Racism...

Neil Degrasse Racism
"After the 9/11 attacks, when President George W. Bush, in a speech aimed at distinguishing the U.S. from the Muslim fundamentalists, said, 'Our God is the God who named the stars.' The problem is two-thirds of all the stars that have names, have Arabic names. I don't think he knew this. This would confound the point that he was making." (CNN)

On Being Objective...

Objective Realities
"You can neither cajole nor charm the laws of physics into agreeing with you if your ideas aren’t based in objective realities."

On The Paris Climate Accord...

Paris Climate Accord
"If I and my advisors had never learned what Science is or how & why it works, then I’d consider pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord too."

On Ignorance...

Ban Water
"[A student at a science fair] invited people to sign a petition that demanded either strict control of, or a total ban on, dihydrogen monoxide... Yes, 86 percent of the passersby voted to ban water (H20) from the environment. Maybe that’s what really happened to all the water on Mars." ("Google)

On Lack Of Rationality...

Rationalia Virtual Country
"Earth needs a virtual country: #Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence."

On Explaining Everything With 'God Did iI'...

Religion Neil Degrasse
"Does it mean, if you don’t understand something, and the community of physicists don’t understand it, that means God did it?... If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on." (Business Insider)

On The Importance Of Scientific Truth...

Science Degrasse
"This is science. It’s not something to toy with. It’s not something to say, 'I choose not to believe E=mc²' You don’t have that option. When you have an established scientific emergent truth it is true, whether or not you believe in it. And the sooner you understand that, the faster we can get on with the political conversations about how to solve the problems that face." (Bill Moyers)

On Cherry-Picking Scientific Truths...

Scientific Truths Degrasse
"If you cherry-pick scientific truths to serve cultural, economic, religious or political objectives, you undermine the foundations of an informed democracy." (Huffington Post)

On Using Words Without Knowing Their Meaning...

Toxin Chemistry
"The likelihood that a person uses the word 'toxin' correlates strongly with how much Chemistry the person does *not* know."

On Sixth Sense...

Tyson Nonsense
"The persistent failures of controlled, double-blind experiments to support the claims of parapsychology suggest that what’s going on is nonsense rather than sixth sense." (Google)

On Common Sense...

Common Sense
"A common way to compute density is, of course, to take the ratio of an object’s mass to its volume. But other types of densities exist, such as the resistance of somebody’s brain to the imparting of common sense..." (Google)

On Television...

Tyson Television
"After 50 years of television, there’s no other conclusion the aliens could draw, but that most humans are neurotic, death-hungry, dysfunctional idiots." (Google)

Who hasn’t heard of Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famous American astrophysicist, author and science communicator? He’s a popularizer of science who has made it his mission in life to excite and educate as many people about science and the mysteries of the universe as possible.

Are Neil deGrasse Tyson’s methods working? Is he exciting people? Is he pushing them to strive for scientific literacy? We like to think that he is.

His books, talks, and tweets are not only enlightening but also funny. He is approachable; he is humorous. Those who love science are glad to have Neil deGrasse Tyson in their ranks. Those who hate science... well, they suddenly find themselves wondering whether science is actually as boring as they previously thought.


Enjoy these Neil deGrasse Tyson Quotes? Next, why not have a look at the best Neil DeGrasse Tyson Tweets.. Then, check out the best Neil DeGrasse Tyson Talks

Laura Martisiute
Laura Martisiute is a freelance writer based in Tramore, Ireland. In her spare time, she likes to explore secret beaches, pet cats, and read.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.