“This is science. It’s not something to toy with.”
Like a teacher that’s had to deal with too many obnoxious students, Neil deGrasse Tyson has had enough with those who deny the legitimacy of true science. Tyson, an astrophysicist famous for his scientific commentary and books, just released a short video to YouTube, explaining the the potentially catastrophic problems we face if politicians continue to deny provable scientific research.
Tyson’s argument is that the United States achieved greatness by pioneering industries through science, and as a result, “science is a fundamental part of the country that we are.” The problem, however, is that people are becoming skeptical of science, and as a result, this country is losing the spirit of innovation that once made it so great.
“When you have people who don’t know much about science, standing in denial of it, and rising to power, that is a recipe for the complete dismantling of our informed democracy.”
The short video highlights several areas of science that have come under fire from politicians and citizens alike, such as teaching evolution in schools, skepticism towards vaccines, bans on GMOs, climate change and more. Tyson believes that advancements in science are as much the responsibility of scientists as they are politicians. But, Tyson says, attitudes towards science seem to be largely based on distrust of scientific information, which in turn is holding our country back from advancing further.
“I don’t remember a time where people were standing in denial of what science was.”
Tyson admits our country isn’t perfect, and that we have faced numerous challenges, including Vietnam, the Cold War, the civil rights movement, but Tyson can’t remember a time when science faced such baseless skepticism as it does today. “One of the great things about science is that it is an entire exercise in finding what is true.” Tyson goes on to remind people that science is not something we have the luxury of denying, saying, “It’s not something to say ‘I choose not to believe e=mc squared.’ You don’t have that option […] It is true whether or not you choose to 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 us. ”
Tyson’s goal isn’t to attack viewers, but to warn them of the dangers we face as a people and a nation if we continue to deny the truth.
After one of the strangest murder trials to involve an NFL athlete since OJ Simpson, Aaron Hernandez was found dead last week in his cell in an apparent suicide. During Hernandez’s trial for the murder of two men in 2012, his previous frenemy Alexander Bradley — who Hernandez apparently shot in the face (causing him to lose an eye) — testified against him, but it wasn’t enough to convict him. Hernandez was acquitted of a double murder, all while serving a life sentence for another murder, which is only a part of Hernandez’s complicated story, if you can believe it. Here’s what we know after Hernandez’s death:
1. Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell with a bed sheet.
CREDIT: (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
According to Newsweek, Aaron Hernandez methodically went about ending his life. In the article, they detailed the painstaking measures he took to ensure his thoughts were recorded and his suicide would not fail.
According to corrections officers, it was done on purpose, so that if he changed his mind last minute, he’d have no choice but to follow through, as the floor would be too slippery to gain footing. He also made sure no one would be able to enter the cell to stop him, jamming the door with cardboard.
3. He had a reference to biblical text written on his forehead.
According to CBS Sports, Hernandez was found with the title of a famous bible verse written on his forehead in blood-red marker. The specific bible verse was John 3:16.
4. His bible was left open to the page with John 3:16 on it.
John 3:16 reads “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Those in the Christian faith see this as a verse that speaks to God’s love and his extreme sacrifice.
5. Markings were found on his hands and feet.
Signifying that perhaps he thought he was being crucified, like Jesus, as an innocent. Reports also said law enforcement was looking into whether he was smoking K2, a synthetic form of marijuana, right before he took his life.
6. His suicide came just days after his acquittal for a double murder and on the same day the Patriots visited The White House.
Some have found it suspicious, including his lawyer and agent, both of whom were surprised that he’d taken his life only five days after being acquitted of a double murder. After the acquittal, it was assumed by several news sources that an appeal would be filed for the murder he had already been convicted of and was serving a life sentence for.
7. His brain has been donated to science.
CREDIT: *Scans of several NFL player brains in CTE research, not of Hernandez’s.
To add to the strangeness of it all, within a day of his suicide it was revealed that his brain had been donated to research on CTE a disorder affecting NFL players and athletes. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain condition that some researchers think led to the suicides of Hall of Famer Junior Seau and former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson.
8. Hernandez left behind three suicide notes — this information wasn’t immediately divulged to the public.
CREDIT: (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
One was to his fiancé, another to his daughter and a third to his prison lover, confirming suspicions that Hernandez was bisexual. During Hernandez’s first murder case, investigators speculated that Hernandez’s attempt to hide his sexuality may have played a part in the motive.
9. The secrecy of his bisexuality is now being considered as one of the main motives for his previous murder conviction.
Investigators are now saying that the murder of Odin Lloyd may have occurred so Hernandez could keep his sexuality secret. Lloyd had allegedly called Hernandez a “schmoocher,” which Hernandez took for a gay slur, as one co-defendant told detectives in the case. As Newsweek reported, Hernandez’s long time high-school lover was compensated handsomely shortly before Hernandez’s arrest for Lloyd’s murder in a possible attempt to keep his sexuality a secret.
“Hernandez’s alleged longtime male lover, the high school friend, was interviewed extensively by authorities after Lloyd’s murder, and was forced to testify in front of a grand jury. Law enforcement officials also say Hernandez moved a large amount of money into three accounts shortly before his arrest for the Lloyd killing: one account was for his fiancée; a second was for his daughter; the third, where the most money was moved, was for that friend.”
Although some may find the lengths to which Hernandez would go to keep his sexuality secret — paying people off or even killing them – as extreme measures, the stress, the denial and the pain that can occur from suppressing or hiding one’s sexual identity can be dangerous to a person’s health.
According to a piece in LGBT Weekly, some of the many harmful things that can occur from the stress of hiding one’s sexuality, something Hernandez may have felt compelled to do as an NFL star, are dissociative identity disorder, chronic depression, self-disgust, self-hatred, low self-esteem and negative self-view, alcohol & drug-abuse and suicidal thoughts.
People were shocked when Aaron Hernandez took his own life, it’s no wonder watching Kennedy has become a priority with officers on him 24/7.
Aaron Hernandez left a mess in the wake of his suicide, unsolved murders, saddened loved ones, an undecided estate, and there’s no telling what is still yet to be uncovered in this case. We have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of it all. We may never know what was going through his mind when he decided to do what he did, but we can’t help but wonder what strange twists are left to be uncovered.