Cosmic Queries – The Deep with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Cosmic Queries – The Deep with Neil deGrasse Tyson


– Hey, Youtubiverse. Coming up next, StarTalk Cosmic
Queries: The Deep Edition. (exciting music) This is StarTalk. I’m your host, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Your personal astrophysicist. And I got with me Chuck Nice. – Hey, Neil. – [Neil] Chuck, today is Cosmic Queries. That’s one of our favorite forms. – Everybody love it. – Everybody loves it. – Everybody loves it. – Everybody love it. – Everybody loves it. – Everybody love it. And. (laughter) We are, in fact, educated people. – I know. My mom is spinning in her grave right now. – So, but this is a Cosmic Queries of a topic we’ve never solicited before. – No we have not. And the topic is the deep. Deep space. Deep thoughts. – Deep questions. – Deep questions. – Chuck, you got to give
it in your deepest voice. – Okay, here we go. – By the, we did this once. – [Chuck] Yes, we did. – And I think I beat you by
half a tone or something. Just barely. Let me hear it. – Oh, here we go. Deep thoughts. – Deep thoughts. – Yeah, you got me already. – Deep. – See, I got to drink
scotch the night before. – And smoke a cigar. – Yeah, I got to smoke a
cigar and drink some scotch. – Smoke and alcohol just
fixed that right up. – But then it becomes a deep voice and somewhat Harvey Fierstein. – [Neil] Raspy. – Yeah, it was like deep thoughts. – Thoughts. – [Chuck] Oh my god. – If you put on the accent. – Deep thoughts. – Thoughts. (laughter) Scotch doesn’t give you the
Harvey Fierstein accent. – That’d be pretty cool if it did. A couple scotches. – Deep, deep. – Could someone call me an Uber? I’ve had too much to drink. – Deep. All right, let’s get deep. And I like deep thoughts, ’cause usually there isn’t a right answer. So, you just get to sort of play with it and see where it takes you. – So, this is deep questions only. – Let’s do it. Solicited from our fanbase. – It’s from our fanbase. And, as usual, we start
with a Patreon patron, because they’re fans that pay us. (laughter) And nothing says fandom like a check. – All right. There are different levels
you can be at Patreon. – The way Patreon works. – What’s the lowest level? – $5 a month. Actually, you can go down to two. – [Neil] $2 a month. – But we really want
you to come in at five so that you can get the
perks of getting our videos. And being able to get extra content. – We revamped that recently. – And we read your names. – I don’t remember what’s in the list. One of them, I think,
you come on the show. – [Chuck] Yes, that’s the. – We put you on StarTalk. – Yes, you come on the show and you are a guest on the show. – Right, and you get to ask
all the questions you want. – That’s cool, man. You know what, I would do. – We didn’t say whether
we’d actually air it. – Oh, that’s so wrong. – No, no, we do. – By the way, wouldn’t that
be the ultimate rip-off? It’s like, “So, when can
I expect to see this?” Oh, you can’t unfortunately. All right, so, let’s go
with our Patreon patron. And here’s the question from Jonathan Wax. And Jonathan says or asks, “What boggles your mind more than the thought of endless time or the thought of endless space?” So, it’s impossible to truly
contemplate endless time, because you would spend the rest of your existence doing so. – Well, here’s. Two things boggle me. There’s a beautiful frontier
of research going on in the field of neuroscience. – Oh, interesting. – So, I have two questions related to that that boggle my mind. – [Chuck] Okay, I’m
gonna write these down. – Can the human brain
figure out the human mind? – It’s a great question. – If it is the human brain. – That actually creates the human mind. – That creates the human mind. – That’s a good question. – That’s what I’m saying. Or do you need something outside of that that is greater, smarter, different? So that it can come in
and then understand that as its own test kitchen. – Wow. – [Neil] Carl Sagan has famously said. – Go ahead. – That humans are the universe’s
way to understand itself. – The universe is understanding
itself through human beings? – Through humans, correct. Without humans, there’d
be no thoughts to do that. However, that elevates us higher
than I’m prepared to do so. Because who says we are the measure of what is intelligent in this universe? – Well, we do. – Exactly, exactly. – So, that statement,
that Carl Sagan statement, it’s kind of like a
cosmological Descartes. That’s like the universe, the Descartes. – I think, therefore I
am kind of thing, okay. – Right, but it’s like we
think, therefore you are. – Ooh, ooh, Chuck. – Every once in a while,
I’ll do something. – We think, therefore you are. Rather than I think, therefore I am. Ooh, Chuck, that was beautiful. – Aw, thanks, man. – We should end the show right now. We ain’t surpassing that thought. (laughter) Thank you for watching StarTalk. It’s downhill from here. So, I wonder whether there is a level of intelligence out there where we are to they what
chimpanzees are to us. – That’s interesting. So, how. Oh, that’s terrible. – Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. – Oh, I hope not. – You can go to a chimpanzee and say, “Tomorrow morning at 8:30, let’s go to Starbucks and
have a cup of coffee.” Nothing in that sentence makes
any sense to a chimpanzee. Or ever will. – I’m pretty sure there’s
a chimp Starbucks. I’m just pretty sure there is
a chimp Starbucks somewhere. I’m just saying. – You think Starbucks figured out how to make chimp Starbucks? – Yeah, Starbucks has
got to be selling chimps coffee somehow, someway. – Is that why they’re so hyper at the zoo? – Exactly, you know what I mean? You go to get your coffee. And it’s just like, “Curious George? Curious George? Decaf latte for Curious George.” Okay, sorry. – Wait, wait, so. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Here’s why I say that. And I say this many times. I’ve written it. I will tell you to your face now. – [Chuck] All right, good. – So, there’s about 1% difference in DNA between humans and chimps. Yet we like to think of ourselves as. – [Chuck] Highly superior. – Highly superior
intellectually to the chimp. Maybe the difference in our brain power is as small as that 1% indicates. So that pulling termites
out of a mound with a stick that was carefully
chosen from a branch is. From a bush. Maybe that is not very far from. – Space travel. – The Hubble Telescope. (laughter) Think about it. No, no, I know this sounds crazy. No, no, think about it. Maybe. – Oh, look at those cute, little humans and their telescopes
they’re putting up there. – [Neil] That’s what I’m saying. – Look at. Is that a space shuttle? Did they just launch. – So, now, watch. Smartest chimp that are studied in labs that are brought before chimp societies. You bring them forward
and what do they do? They’ll stack boxes to reach a banana. It might put up an umbrella. They’ll do some things. Have rudimentary sign language. Our toddlers can do that. – Right. – But those are the smartest chimps. – You’re right. – But our toddlers do that. – Same thing with dogs. Dogs have about. – I can do this example for dogs, as well. But chimps is simpler. – ‘Cause they’re closer to us. – [Neil] Even closer. – I got you. Got you. See what you’re doing. – You see where I’m going. If the smartest chimp equals our toddler and there’s only 1%
difference in DNA between us, let’s go 1% beyond us. – Ooh, that’s scary. – That’s what I’m saying. If we go 1% beyond us in that
same vector of intelligence. – Yeah, they’re traveling
at the speed of light. They’ve figured out light travel. – Then the smartest human,
they’ll roll forward. They’ll take Steven
Hawking and they’ll say, “This human is slightly
smarter than the rest, because he can do astrophysics
calculations in his head. Like little Timmy over here who just came home from alien preschool.” – Right. – The toddler. – The toddler, right. – And they’ll say, “Oh,
you just composed a sonnet. Isn’t that cute? Let’s put it up on the refrigerator. Oh, you just derived the
principles of calculus. Oh, isn’t that cute?” – That’s funny. – So, if the smartest human
does what their toddlers can do, their average people will have thoughts. They will have sentences that will rise above and beyond our
most brilliant capacity to understand. And I stay awake at night wondering whether the universe
has complexities in it that are out of reach of the neurosynapses of the human brain. That’s my answer. – So, there’s information out there that we just cannot conceive or perceive. – We don’t even know how to
ask the question about it. – [Chuck] To get an answer. – Correct. – We don’t know the answer. We don’t know the
question to get an answer. – [Neil] To get an answer. – Right. – And not that we don’t know it, ’cause we haven’t told it yet. – Just can’t conceive of the question. – Can’t conceive it. You go to a chimp and say. Go to a chimp and say. What would it be? – Something as simple
as navigating the stars to get some place. Chimps can’t do that. – The stars? What? Navigate? What? Space ship? What? Rocket? Fuel? What? None of that. None of it. We can’t even have that conversation. So, that’s my point. – Now I’m thinking that the whole thing might be some type of science experiment by some alien kid now. – Yes, why not? Why not? – Ugh. – We are all a simulation
in an alien kid’s basement who hasn’t moved out of the house yet. – That’s so funny. We’re the Minecraft of
some other alien kid. – Yes, Minecraft, yes. – Wow, wow, yeah. – And, when things get
too peaceful and stable, they stir the pot. They throw in a politician or a war. A crazy person. Oh and now it’s entertaining. So, we’re just entertainment for. – This is the best video game. Okay, wow, man. Listen, that’s a great answer
to what boggles your mind. That’s a really. – It doesn’t so much boggle my mind. It upsets my mind. – Yeah, I was about to say. It’s very upsetting. – [Neil] Are we not. – I’m mad. I don’t even know why. – Here’s my one out. – Go ahead. – Because, for humans, our
knowledge is cumulative. – [Chuck] So true. – You don’t have to invent calculus. Somebody else did that. You just have to use it. You learn it and use it. So, I have the feeling that we are. Every next generation that has brilliant people contributing to our understanding of the universe. They’re adding a rung to a ladder. – [Chuck] Right. – And then we all sort of climb up that. And then just get that next rung. And we climb that. And then the next rung. – Well, with that in mind, I think that the next
evolutionary step for human beings is that we will create an
intelligence greater than our own. That’s really the deal. – This scares the hell out of everyone. – [Chuck] Yeah. – Because that intelligence will say, “We don’t need you.” – You know what? We’d have to say you’re right. – That’s what happened in the Matrix. – Yeah. – You’re a virus on this Earth. – Mister Anderson. I smell you Mister Anderson. – No, he was smelling Morpheus. – Oh, that’s right. That’s right. – Get your Matrix. If you could go there in front of me. That’s my favorite movie. Don’t even. – Yes, he was talking to Morpheus when he was tied up in the chair. – It’s the smell. (laughter) – You know what? You got to have some really serious BO for a computer to tell you you stink. I’m just saying. – That’s good. – I’m just saying. All right, let’s. – You get through the
electronics into the. – So, this is alexgreg56 from Instagram. And alexgreg says this. If the universe needs
not make any sense to us, then what is the point of doing science? Is science not, in fact, the discipline of trying to grasp what’s around us? By the way, is this statement not equal to the old one, which
is God has his reason to make it that way, so, just don’t ask? – Of course, I’ve never
heard that expression. But the shorter version of that is God works in mysterious ways. – [Chuck] That is so true. – When you can’t explain it. – Well, the Lord works in mysterious ways. – And, if you can explain
it using God, then you do. Oh, God has blessed you. You bless God. Then, as a tsunami takes out
a quarter million people. – [Chuck] God hates you. – No one says that. – No one says that? Why don’t we say that? We should say that. I want to start saying. You know what? I think God hates you. – Well, the most hateful
god in our culture is the one represented on insurance forms. – Oh, that’s so true. – [Neil] Acts of god. – Acts of god. – Right, it’s only very bad things. No one says “Flowers
bloomed in your garden. An act of god.” No, it’s tsunami took out your house. – That’s an act of god. – And now you’re homeless on the street. Act of god. – Wow, look at that. This moment of God hates you brought to you by Farmers Insurance. (laughter) – State Farm. – State Farm. (laughter) – Dun dun dun dun. – Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum. – What’s that one? Nationwide. – Is not on your side. Nationwide is on your side. God is not. Okay, that’s enough. I’m probably gonna get some hate mail now. Chuck, you hate God. Chuck is at it. Okay, sorry. So, is science, in fact, the discipline of trying
to grasp what is around us? – So, what he started quoting me. Where I said I open my book, the Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, with the quote, “The universe
is under no obligation to make sense to you.” What that means is your
five traditional senses, which rose up out of the Serengeti, which help us not get eaten by lions, they’re very good at that. They’re not as good at
contemplating infinity. They’re not good contemplating timescales much longer than your life expectancy. – True. – You can’t intuit billions of years. You can’t intuit infinitesimals. There are things that are hard for us. There are things that may
even be impossible for us. Can you picture a five-dimensional cube? – No, I cannot. – No, you cannot. Can you picture a four-dimensional cube? – Probably not, no. – Actually, the tesseract is close. That’s like a. – I can actually picture that. (laughter) ‘Cause I’ve seen a drawing. – I have a tesseract. – Do you really? Get out. – I’ll bring it in Monday. Another episode. – Another episode. – The episode of higher dimensions. – [Chuck] Sweet. – The whole thing on
just higher dimensions. – That’s a good episode. Yeah, I like that. We did that? – We did that already? How come I don’t remember it? Man, I’m getting old. Did I have my tesseract in my hand? – Now we gotta do it again. (laughter) – Which I took from Thanos. What it means is, if
you are going to deduce what is or is not true in the universe, your senses are not the
most reliable measure of whether it’s true. – [Chuck] So true. – Because the senses give you
a restricted understanding of what’s actually going
on in the universe. Your eyes. You would never trade them for anything. Yet they only expose your mind to a very tiny, narrow strip of all the electromagnetic
energy that’s out there. You can’t see infrared. You can feet it as heat. But you can’t see it. Ultraviolet, you can’t see that, either. You can feel that in a delayed sense by getting sunburn and skin cancer. It’s not telling you in that instant. It’s a time delay. But keep going out. There’s infrared, ultraviolet,
X-ray, gamma rays. Can’t see any of that. But the universe is
talking to you in that. So, are you gonna say, “My
senses give me everything that there is in the universe. And, therefore, it makes sense.” No, as long as we detect things that fall outside of our senses, it’s a challenge for you to declare that what we say, do, and discover makes sense. The very statement “makes sense” means your senses can contemplate it. That your senses have experienced. If I let go of a ball and it floats up, you say, “That doesn’t make sense.” ‘Cause your senses always told you that, if you let go of a ball, it drops. And, in fact, the very
statement “Let it go.” Not the. – Frozen. – Not the Frozen version. But just let it go means drop it. They mean the same thing. But that can only be true on Earth with the force of gravity pointing down. In space, in free orbit, you let go. It just floats there. – Stays right there. – [Neil] Stays right there. – Like my problems. Yeah, I must be in space. ‘Cause all my problems. Somebody says drop it. And I say I did that. They’re still here. – And you let it go and it’s still there. – Exactly. – So, my point is the methods of science give you a way to understand what is true without it being hinged on whether your senses think it’s true. – [Chuck] Nice. – So, the message science
gives us access to truth where you can still probe the universe. Whereas God works in mysterious ways kind of ends that conversation. Whereas I say I’ve
developed a new instrument that can see in ways humans cannot. Oh my gosh. That opens entire worlds of investigation. Entire branches of science. And there you have it. – All right. – So, it’s Cosmic Queries. – [Chuck] Yes, it is. – The Deep Edition. – Deep. – Deep, yes. – Deep. – Deep. – [Chuck] Deep. – Deep. – Okay. – I think I know the difference. I think we’re hitting the same note. But I have more sort of cavity resonance. – This is true. – Chest cavity. – Well, you’re a bigger guy than I. – Oh, yeah. (laughter) Okay, Chuck. – All right, here we go. So, this is from probablyasleep. – That’s the name of the person? – That’s the name of the person. – Okay, your momma didn’t like you. (laughter) – How long do you think the human race will actually survive? Wow, I mean, there’s
precedent for that, right? – Well, you can look at what is the average life expectancy of mammals? Mammal species. And, last I checked, it was
around two million years. Something like that. And so, we’ve been around. – We have a long way to go. – We have a long way to go. We’ve been around a couple
hundred thousand years in our current anatomical form. Cro Magnon form. And so, that means we
have a long way to go. But this presumes that the species is not smart enough to kill itself. – Well, then it’s over. (laughter) It was nice knowing you guys. – Yeah, we have invented
multiple ways to kill ourselves. And I don’t think the elephants did. Nobody else did this. The mice. No, they’re not killing themselves. Humans, yes. – Yeah, maybe cockroaches
invented human beings. – [Neil] Why? – ‘Cause, when everything’s gone, they’re gonna be the only ones left. And it’s like. – No, no, then they don’t have to invent us in the first place. What kind of reasoning are you using here? – They want everything else gone. – So, they need us to build the structures that they then move into. – Right, and they move in. (laughter) I don’t mind it. That makes perfect sense. We are. I think what he’s really asking is, in your estimation,
from your sage opinion, how long do you think we will last? – I give us 20 years. (laughter) – [Chuck] Oh, that’s funny. – No, I think we’re good. This is why many people want to become a two-planet species. Terraform Mars. Send some humans there. So, if something bad happens on Earth, you still have humans somewhere else. – Wow, that is not encouraging at all. – Not for half the people who
aren’t on the planet that’s. – Exactly. – So, if an asteroid
comes, if a killer virus, if AI gets out of hand. – So, I understand seeding something with a remnant for
survival of the species. That’s extraneous. I mean, that’s something that’s outside of our own destruction. Even though we could stop
an asteroid from hitting us if we put resources. – Ain’t nobody doing it. But we know how. – [Chuck] I’m saying, if we
put the resources into it, we could stop even that from happening. – So, what’s the example you’re giving? – What do you mean? To stop the asteroid? – No, no. – So, what I’m saying is
will we ever get to a place where, as the Buddhist monks call it, the so-called monkey brain that causes us to do so much
destructive work to each other and to the planet. Will we ever get to a place
where we overcome that or we’re able to train
those who come behind us to overcome that? Now, it does happen in some people. – I get it. First, I’ve never heard a Buddhist monk say the phrase monkey brain. I’ve never heard that. This is a thing? – This is a thing. – Okay, fine. I got to attend more monasteries. You feeling monkey brain today? All right. – Delicious. – I’ve heard of reptilian brain. But not monkey brain. So, the reptilian brain
reference something primal that goes on within you. So, if we follow the
reasoning by Steven Pinker in his book The Better
Angels of Our Nature, he studied the likelihood of
you dying before maturity, or dying before adulthood, which is dying, at the hands of another human from early days of tribal
warfare to modern days of state-sanctioned global warfare. And what he found is that the likelihood of you dying in that way has
been dropping ever since. – Okay. – So, tribal warfare, you would
kill maybe a third or half of the other tribe. Or the entire tribe. And then you win and you get their land. That doesn’t happen today. – True. – [Neil] The state surrenders
before that happens. – True. – Saving the lives of the
rest of the population. If you look at. I did this just recently. If you look at what countries had the greatest percent
of their population die in the Second World War. Was it Belarus? One of them is very high. It’s like a third. I forgot the exact numbers. But they’re high. But they’re not half. And you keep going down. And you get to even Germany. Even ones that were heavily bombed. Germany, Japan. A fraction of the total population. That is not how it used
to end in tribal warfare. So, now consider that, even so,
during the Second World War, between 1939 and 1945, 1,000 humans were killed
by other humans per hour for every hour from 1939 to 1945. – Wow. – [Neil] Is that going on today? No, no. – No, we’re really slipping. – No, stop. – We really gotta pick up our game. – Just so we can. So, the point is. Often, that era is called
The Greatest Generation. ‘Cause they fought evil
forces and this sort of thing. Although my father fought
in a segregated Army. So, he’s not thinking that
was the greatest generation. He has other perspectives on that period. – [Chuck] It’s the second
greatest generation. – My point is is the greatest generation the one where the fewest fraction of everyone dies out of hate? We might have a lot of hate. But, if the number of
people who die from it is lower than ever before, then this arc that you are hinting at, that maybe the next generation
learns from the previous one, maybe that’s gonna work. Europe, with all of their
turbulence and turmoil, they actually haven’t been at war with each other for 70 years. Is there another 70 year period in the history of Europe where
nobody was fighting anybody? I don’t think so. – Not if Twitter has
anything to do with it. (laughter) – What you’re saying is
imagine if Twitter existed. – [Chuck] Back then. – Back then. Oh my gosh. – Let me tell you something. The war wouldn’t have stopped
until everybody was dead. People would have said, “I surrender.” A tweet would have gone out. It would be like, “I take it back. Let’s keep fighting. Let’s keep fighting. I don’t care.” – I hate you more. So, maybe we are getting
kinder and gentler. Time still needs to bear that out on a level that would please everyone. But I still worry that this primal brain will always segregate us all
by some arbitrary factor. And thereby justify doing
harm to other groups. – Interesting. I think you’re right. – Who’s the comedian? Was it Franklin Ajaye? One of the guys from the ’70s. – Back in the day. – In the day. In the day. He was talking about who
hates who in the world. And he says, “Read the papers? What? In Northern Ireland, the
Protestants and the Catholics are fighting each other? And they’re both white?” He said, “You know I don’t have a chance. ‘Cause I’m Black.” – That’s funny. That’s true. – If white people divide
themselves up in that way, two Christian communities
killing each other and they’re both white and
they’re both Christian. – It’s over for you, brother. – It’s over for everybody else. If people can kill each
other for those reasons, it’s almost no hope in this world. So, yeah, I don’t know. So, I’m sorry. I don’t have a good answer. – That was a pretty good answer. The answer is we’re not gonna make it. (laughter) – I’d like to think we go thousands of years into the future and possibly outlive the sun. – [Chuck] All right, that’d be great. – But starhopping to
other planetary systems. – That’s, you know, I’m just gonna say that’s the way it’s gonna end. ‘Cause I won’t be here. So, that’s great. – Maybe. It has been said that the
first person who will never die is now alive. – What? That’s a. – No, this is how you do it. – [Chuck] I know what you’re saying. – So, they get some new thing that makes you live an extra 50 years. So, now you live to 150 instead of 100. And then, somewhere in
there is another thing. Now, you can live another 200 years. So, now the 150 goes to 350. Now you can live 500 years. Now you go to 1000. You can live 5000 years now. So, as we progress in our
understanding of what ages you. If we can reverse that or
prevent it from ever advancing, there’s someone alive today
who will benefit from this. – That’s pretty cool. I like it. – So, if that happens, you
better find another planet. That’s all. – This is true. That’s the premise of a
show called Altered Carbon. Where people actually
take their consciousness and put it into what they call
a sleeve, which is the body. – I think I voiceovered the
opening sequence to that show. – Oh my god. I think we had that conversation once where you told me that. ‘Cause I told you I was a fan. – I don’t remember if it was
the pilot or the other shows. But I lent my voice to the cause. – Nice. Wow, all right. Well, let’s go to joey24. Joeyjr24. He says this personal question. Based on all your experiences
and knowledge thus far. – Personal for me or for you? – [Chuck] Personal for you. – Okay. – Nobody asking me anything. (laughter) He says, based on all of your experiences and knowledge thus far, what do you think the meaning
of our human existence is? He just asked you what
is the meaning of life according to Neil deGrasse Tyson? – Okay, so, in my next book. – [Chuck] Uh oh. – Yeah, you never hear me plug my stuff. – I was gonna say. Here’s the meaning of life right now. Plug your book when you get a chance. (laughter) – My next book’s called
Letters From an Astrophysicist. – [Chuck] You know what? Yes. – It’s the correspondence
I’ve had with people who’ve had similar angst
about their existence. – That’s not just the book. It’s not about that. It’s about all kind of different
letters you’ve received. – All kinds of letters. But a very recurring theme is that people want to know the meaning of life and the significance of
their life in this world. And some of them come
from religious angles. Some are secular. But everybody’s got this burning issue. – Yes. – So, here’s how I have dealt with it. Others will do it other ways. – [Chuck] Okay. – But here’s how I deal with it. – [Chuck] I’m interested now. – Many people are in search
of the meaning of life as though it’s behind
a tree or under a rock. – Everybody knows it’s in a drawer. – In the back near the paperclip. – It’s in that junk drawer, too. It’s not like an underwear
drawer or something. You know that drawer. You go to look for stamps and stuff. – Yeah, yeah, that drawer. That drawer. The junk drawer. – The junk drawer. – Everybody’s got a junk drawer. – Everybody got a junk drawer. – It’s near the kitchen somewhere. So, if you are looking for meaning, you may never find it. So, instead, recognize
that you have the power to manufacture meaning. Create it within yourself. And that’s what I do. My meaning for life is derived
by several simple principles. Have I lessened the
sufferings of others today? That brings meaning to me. Because that means the
world is a little better off because I was in it today. If, after your day is over,
the world is worse off, you have subtracted meaning. – I should kill myself. ‘Cause, at the end of every day, somebody is like “That mother beep beep.” But go ahead. – So, lessen the suffering
of others in some way. It doesn’t mean redirect your whole life, mind, body, and soul. But, if you can help
someone across the street, help an aging person,
make a little child laugh. Just put a little bit of joy in the world to lessen the suffering. I also try to learn something every day. – All right. – Now, I like being a perpetual student. Most people hated being students. This saddens me. School is finished and what do you do? You run down the steps. ♪ School is out forever.♪ Out for the summer. That attitude captured in that song is as though you don’t
want to be in school. And what’s your only job in school? – It’s to learn. – To learn. And somehow that’s a chore. I don’t blame you for feeling that way. I blame the school system for not instilling within
us eternal curiosity. Knowing that you’ll spend
more years of your life not in school than in school. And so, if you have curiosity, you can be a lifelong learner. And so, I want to lessen
the sufferings of others and make sure I learn something more about the world today
than I did yesterday. – Nice. – And who’s to say whether that
extra increment of learning can help me be better at lessening
the sufferings of others? So, that is how I make meaning in life. And, as a result, I’ve
owned thousands of books. Thousands. And I read a little bit. You know, I have a
little stash near my bed and I cycle them out. And, every day, I try. It’s harder now. ‘Cause I get recognized. But I try to help people every day. Total strangers. – That’s nice. – Yeah, so, you can make
meaning for yourself. Don’t look for it. ‘Cause you may never find it. – You know, I’m gonna say. As a philosophy, that’s admirable. That’s doable. – [Neil] That’s in the book. I wrote that in the book. – Nice, excellent, excellent. – Thank you. Give me another question. – We got one more question coming. – We can fit it in this segment. Go on. – Oh, here we go. Aw, man. – What? – Ninjanay, ninjanay. Okay, there you go. I think that’s your name. (laughter) Damn you, people. – Okay. – On Instagram, says “I
keep hearing the phrase the vacuum of space. How exactly is it a vacuum?” – [Neil] Very nice. – That’s a really good question. – Okay, so, when I was a kid, a vacuum was a physical object. – Yes, it was. – When I heard physicists
speak of the vacuum of space, I just imagined all
these Hoovers in the sky. So, I didn’t know that
a vacuum was a thing. It was a concept. And then you make a machine
that duplicates that thing. I just didn’t know that. So, I learned. Okay, so, a vacuum is where
there’s basically no air. Okay, you can have objects there. But, when we think of a vacuum, it’s not a place where
there isn’t anything. It’s a place where there’s no air molecules moving typically. Generally, you can have some. And we would still
classify it as a vacuum. You have to distinguish
a regular, old vacuum or a perfect vacuum. You know what happens? If there’s an object and you take away all the air molecules, the object outgasses. There are air molecules embedded in the surface of that object and they start coming out. It’s fascinating. Then you heat it. It sends out more. It’s very hard to make a perfect vacuum. Very hard. So, here’s an old saying. Nature. – Abhors a vacuum. – Abhors a vacuum. These are people who have
never been into space. Most of the universe is a vacuum. Nature loves a vacuum. – [Chuck] Nice. – Was I Trumpy in there. Love. – Nature loves a vacuum. – A vacuum. – Preferably Trump brand vacuums. Trump brand vacuums. We suck the best. (laughter) – There’s another saying. There’s no such thing as gravity. Earth sucks. You ever hear that one? – Oh, okay. – So, the point is, when
there’s a source of gravity, all the air wants to go
to that source of gravity. And it leaves a vacuum everywhere else. So, a vacuum is simply
where there’s no air. And it’s not anything deep. The odd thing in the universe is that you have places where
gas molecules collect. Those are the unusual
places in the universe. And they’re called stars
and gaseous planets and the atmospheres of rocky planets. – [Chuck] Nice. – So, there you have a vacuum. So, Chuck, I want to put some closure on this vacuum question. – Okay. – Okay, this is the second. No, the third book I ever published. – Oh, okay. – It’s called Just Visiting This Planet. – [Chuck] All right. – And it’s a collection of Q and A. I had a column with the penname Merlin. People asked fun, really
playful questions. I collected. This was decades old. But there’s some timeless content here. Somebody asked about the vacuum. – [Chuck] Yeah, go ahead, please. You can’t read otherwise. – Okay, here we go. The best vacuum you will find anywhere. Forgot I wrote this. I wrote this 30 years ago. – That’s cool. – The best vacuum you will find anywhere, according to four out
of five vacuum retailers and five out of five astronomers, is the void of intergalactic space. What we can then ask is
intergalactic space nothing? No, it stills contains space. If you feel obliged to call
intergalactic space nothing, then you must invent a word to refer to the region
outside of the universe. In this location, where we
presume there to be no space, there can be no nothing. – Wow. – Let’s call it, we’re left
with no choice, nothing nothing. – Nothing nothing. – A place where there’s not even nothing. – It’s the nothing nothing. Wow, I like that. – I’m just saying. So, Chuck, you want some more vacuum talk? – Of course. I feel like you just showed up at my door and dumped some dirt on my carpet. (laughter) – More vacuum talk. – [Chuck] Okay, vacuum talk. – So, in Death by Black Hole. I don’t remember what
number of book this is. So, in the chapter on being dense. – Okay, something I
know a great deal about. – The range of measured
densities within our universe is staggeringly large. We find the highest
densities within pulsars where neutrons are so tightly packed that one thimbleful would weigh about as much as a herd of 50 million elephants. – 50 million. – And then a rabbit
disappears into “thin air” at a magic show. And nobody tells you that thin air already contains over 10
septillion atoms per cubic meter. – [Chuck] Wow. – Thin air. – [Chuck] Thin air. – Okay, the best
laboratory vacuum changers can pump down to as few as 10
billion atoms per cubic meter. Best vacuums. – That’s the best vacuums? – In a cubic meter vacuums. 10 billion air molecules
are still walking around. – Okay. – Interplanetary space gets down to about 10 million atoms per cubic meter. But, while interstellar space is as low as half a million atoms per cubic meter. – Wow, that is nothing. (laughter) Wow. – That is nothing. – A mere 500,000 atoms. – The award for nothingness, however, must be given to the space
between the galaxies. Intergalactic space. Where it is difficult to
find more than a few atoms for every 10 cubic meters. – Wow. – [Neil] That wins. – That’s almost nothing nothing. (laughter) That’s almost nothing nothing. – All right, we’re gonna go
into a deep lightning round. – Really? We only have five minutes left? – [Neil] Okay, let’s go. – Okay, here we go. This is Ja Soldana says, “Right now, what should be the priority in the field of space exploration? Searching for life, searching for potential threats
of another kind of search, or is there just no hurry
in this matter at all? Greetings from Mexico.” – Mexico. – So, what is it? Is it. Are we looking for life? – He wants my opinion? I got an opinion. – Exploration, life. Go ahead. – I got an opinion. – [Chuck] All right. Go ahead. – I want to do it all. – Why not do it all? All of the above. – All of the above. – [Chuck] E. – Because the moment you
do this and not that, they’d say, “Why are you
doing that and not that?” ‘Cause we voted that way. But maybe you don’t know
why you should do that and you want to do that. Some people want to do that. Here’s what you do. You don’t build a road
just from New York to LA. You build roads everywhere. So that, yeah, I want
to visit that forest. I want to visit this rocky monument. I want to do things that
are not prescribed by you. – I’m going to see the
biggest ball of yarn ever. – Exactly, so, what you
do is you make a spaceship that is modular. Strap on different
combinations of rockets. This combination gets you
to an asteroid to mine it. This gets you to the backside of the moon. This gets you to Mars. So, you don’t prescribe what it is you’re gonna do next in space. You let the creativity and imagination of all those who have ever looked up say, “This is what I want to do.” And you say, “Here you go. Two rockets from aisle B,
a booster from aisle C. You’re on your way.” – Can I put that on a credit card? (laughter) – That’s why I got it. – Here we go. All right, Adam on the
Airwaves wants to know this from Instagram. How far behind do you
think astronomy would be if the Earth didn’t have a moon? Wow. – Okay, so, it’s not
how far behind we’d be. It’s how far advanced we’d be. – Ooh, wow. – Okay, so, let me split this out. – Yeah. – I tweeted, during Space Week, the 50th anniversary
of the Apollo landing. There’s a saying that’s
common in the space circles. It’s if God wanted us to explore space, he would have given us a moon. – Right. – Okay, so. – That’s a good saying. – That’s a good saying. But that exploration is not
astrophysicists’ exploration. That one is people going into space. You build a rocket to go where? You don’t have a moon to visit. All right. If you’re talking about astrophysics, do you know how many stars the
naked eye can see at night? – More than I can count. – No, it’s about three to 4000. – [Chuck] Oh, really? – Unaided, yeah. Binoculars, it’s a hundred times that. Telescopes, it’s a billion times that. But eyes, three to 4000 stars. When it’s a full moon out, 300 stars. The moon wreaks havoc on our ability to see the rest of the universe. So, our observing schedules
with huge telescopes are split according to
dark time or bright time. And, if you kept bright time observations, it’s the moon is up and
you can only look at bright objects in the night sky. – Wow. – The deep universe only comes to us when the moon is not up. So, the moon is basically
a pain in the ass. – It’s a star blocker. Wow. – [Neil] Yes, star blocker. – Look at that. – That’s what it is. So, astronomy would be probably half again more advanced. Because we would have had these greatest telescopes in the world looking at the night sky twice as often. In the darkest parts of the night sky. There you go. – Wow. – Next. – That’s a damn good answer. Okay, this is eversinapore. I don’t what his. Who cares? I’m sorry. – Chuck, whoever that is cares. – Let me tell you something. – That’s the last time he’s
gonna be asking you a question. – All right, well, you
know what your name is. I’m gonna call you George. All right, so, George wants to know this. What is the shape of space itself? – Ooh. – [Chuck] That’s a good question. – Well, space can be curved in the presence of matter or energy. As prescribed by Einstein’s
General Theory of Relativity. Exactly. And there’s the oft repeated saying. Matter tells space how to curve. Space tells matter how to move. So, space has curvature in the presence of matter and energy. It curves in towards it. With the ultimate expression
of that, a black hole. Where it curves in and
it never curves back out. – Wow. – If you want to ask what is
the shape of all of space, that’s like saying what’s
the shape of the universe. The observable universe. It’s basically a perfect sphere. – Wow. – [Neil] Because it’s your horizon. – Right, okay. – It’s a perfect sphere the
way, when you’re at sea, your horizon is a perfect
circle around you. – That’s right. – The same distance in every direction. – That’s right. If you’re just out and there’s
nothing but water around you. – And so, what is the
three-dimensional version of a circle? – A sphere. – A sphere. So, in space, you can see to your horizon in every direction. – [Chuck] All at once. – Which is at the. It makes us think we’re
at the center of a sphere. But that’s no different from you thinking you’re in the center of the ocean. Just ’cause you’re in the
center of your horizon. Next. – That’s great. That’s good stuff right there. Here we go. – Go for it. – This is Chen Yuen. Who says, “If we were to
look in all directions billions of light years away, will we see a younger
universe in all directions enveloping our bigger one now?” – I have to rephrase that. ‘Cause, as you look out, you
see things not as they are, but as they once were. So, you are looking at
a younger and younger and younger universe. That’s the whole point of cosmology. It allows. The fact that it takes
light time to reach us allows us to see what the
universe was doing in the past. If light traveled at infinite speeds, you’d see the whole universe as it is now with no evidence of
what it was once doing. But, because it takes light time to move, you look out, you see
a younger and younger and younger universe until
you see the big bang itself. And that is 14 billion light
years time away from us in every direction. 20 billion years ago. And, if you calculate that distance through that changing time, it’s 14 billion light
years to that horizon. Okay, so, by the way, that horizon is much father away today. Because the universe has
been expanding ever since. But you don’t see it as it is today. You see it as it was. All right, so, I don’t know
what to say after that. – I say yeah. (laughter) – One last question. I feel like I can do a quickie. Go. – All right, I gotta find one that you could do really quick. – You don’t know how quick
I can answer a question. – Okay. – We’ll second judge that. – I’m gonna give you one here. Here we go. This is. Oh, why did I spell? This is basanti. Okay, I don’t care what this is. – Chuck, you have to at least try, Chuck. – Okay, basantin. Okay, forget it. – I will read the name. Give it. – Here’s the name right there. What’s that say? What’s that? – Basantsingh. – You’re right. That’s what it is. Basantsingh. It’s the singh. Yeah, okay. – Okay, go. – Yeah, all right, wow. – Give it to me. – I should have known that. That’s Indian. Okay, here we go. What if all the matter
that we see in the universe is just three-dimensional part of some four-dimensional matter and the dark gravity is just the gravity from the 4D part that we cannot see? – I love it. (bell ringing) (laughter) We are so blind to higher dimensions. It could be that all the mysteries in our three dimensions plus time are completely solved by looking at the stuff from a higher dimension. Right, right. Just, if you’d lived
in just a flat surface, there’d be stuff going on. You’d have no idea. And we say, “Can’t you just see? Just look up.” What is up? – What is that giant graphite
thing creating stuff? – [Neil] On that flat surface. – On that flat surface. What is that? – Where is he? It’s mysterious. He just shows up. Right, right. So, I love it. That’s the kind of
universe I want it to be. ‘Cause then, when we figure out how to see higher dimensions. – Boom, we figured everything out. – Bada bing. – There you go. – All right, Chuck, we got to run. I enjoyed that. We should do more Cosmic
Queries: The Deep Edition. – Deep Edition. – Chuck, now he’s
tweeting @chucknicecomic. – Thank you, sir. – Very good. I’ve been your host, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Your personal astrophysicist. And, as always, I bid you. – Oh, wait. What am I saying? (laughter) – I bid you to keep looking up. (exciting music)

68 thoughts on “Cosmic Queries – The Deep with Neil deGrasse Tyson

  1. Love this show! Answer me this how long say 3 years from now and we voted out Trump and got Bernie whom will fund NASA properly how long would it take to get to Kepler 9?

  2. What if we cant find alien life because they've already found how to ascend to higher dimensions or have travelled to parallel universes.

  3. You are now imagining all of Neil’s lines voiced over by his older brother, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.

  4. Used to be science-based; now this seems like just a giggle-fest. REALLY . . . EVERY SENTENCE CANNOT BE FUNNY! – j q t –

  5. Hello, there. My younger brother gave me an image showing a round earth & asked me how people from the far side of the earth [i.e the side of the earth that faces away from the sky (as indicated in the photo he gave me)] can see the sky. Since they are facing away from the sky, they shouldn't see the sky or any other celestial objects if the earth is really round. Doesn't this explain that the earth is flat? Please explain.

  6. Neil is not smart but, he is a Freemason. He's a fucking well paid lyer !!! The sooner you idiots realize this, the sooner we can all come together and save our flat realm. Wake up, they are all Freemasons !!! They're selling you a sci-fi movie, and you're buying it !!

  7. Has there ever been ANY patreon supporter on this show?
    Watched numerous episodes as of today. Have yet to see one.
    Perhaps I've missed an episode or 3, but I'm left wondering.

  8. Well is there an animal whose DNA difference is 1% from chimps? Because you don't know if the difference in intelligence is linear, it could be exponential… some could be smarter than 1%, or the intelligence might've been slowing down and they can only be a tad smarter than us.

  9. i tend to disagree about the intelligence saying "we don't need you"… ok, then "higher intelligence" go create your own electric power to power yourself then… I wanna see how an A.I. running on a supercomputer, when confronted with the idea that it's power will be shut down, will find an energy source to maintain it's existence. How can an A.I. that simply "talks" an calculates scenarios with outcomes, will build a solar panel for example to power itself… Like, giving to it the scenario that it's on it's own and there's no one there to help it. How will that A.I. respond? I don't need you? Please shut me down?
    Has anyone ever asked an A.I. "hey, if you had to find an energy source to maintain your existence, what would you use?"

  10. I think there is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to brain power. Something doubling physical brain capacity of a human will not necessarily have double the capacity for complex or deep thoughts.

  11. If heavy objects like son bend the space, why is it bending, what is the downward force that causing it to bend……please ans this in next episode 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏sir

  12. 1.Where do these cosmic rays that we talk about come from and why do we call them cosmic rays.
    2. why is it always Saturn that we talk about when we refer to life forms of different kind example Titan for example the movie interstellar had where sign for another life another planet was near wormhole in the precinct of Saturn???

  13. im worried laser propulsion of an armada of chips with sails at 200 million km/hr will start a galactic war if it hits 'someone'. E=mc2

  14. Speaking of creating intelligences greater than our own and of potentially malevolent intent, this sort to thing may have been fantasized first in "2001, A Space Odyssey", in which the spaceship's computer ("HAL", I think) rebels against his human controllers and refuses to continue to take orders from them.

  15. There is more difference in DNA between Chimps and Humans, more than 1%, well, it is 1.2% if you are talking about single-nucleotide changes to the genetic code. It's realistically more like 4-5% difference – this does not take away from the notion that chimps (and bonobos) and humans are very closely related – that said, mice for example are only about 7-8% different.

    We are all connected, we are all closely related, even us to plants share much, we are all made of the same stuff………. Star Stuff! 😉

  16. I can't take the 1% DNA difference between us and a chimp as the answer/theory of our greater intelligence,I think we are about 76% the same as a daffodil also,the frontal cortex is where all the difference lies,not DNA.

  17. Am I the only who has watched so many episodes and podcasts of NDGT that I can recite the "1% DNA difference" example line by line along with him!!?? 😂🙌

  18. The only reason i hated going to school, wasn't because i didn't like learning, it was because i hated having to get up so early in the morning.

  19. Anyone else IMMEDIATELY check their Patreon page to see how much it takes to come on Star Talk? That'd be cool as all hell!

  20. Are we lucky to not yet have found 👽 life, or to "be alone" in this universe? or, are we on a left behind/ stupid/ non intelligent planet and everyone else might've already ascended to a more advanced universe?

  21. Chuck, sulfur hexafluoride could help out with your deep tones ( 80Fitz as a nice video with beatboxing "under the influence").. Not sure how safe it is though =)

  22. Cool. I enjoy the show. But you forgot the Balkan / Yugoslavian war in 1990 (at around 25 min.) And radius of observable universe is 46.5 billion light years, not 14 (although it shows the past from almost 14 billion light years away). 🙂

  23. I love you guys but i live in Europe and you are wrong that there was no war in Europe for last 70 years unfortunately.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnian_War

  24. Neil please reconsider your statement that Europe has not been warring with each other for 70 years, there are CURRENT conflicts in Europe and have been many since World War II

  25. Mostly my thougts are about how little we know about dark energi and matter.
    whitch brings me back to we dont know nada and then i loose the interest in thinking further.

  26. Get that chuck off the show. he's not f ing funny I'm losing the will to live watching this mindless childish crap unsubscribe before we all go insane guys

  27. 45:00 wow I love out of date information … there is no big bang, just the cosmic membrane which gives matter to all space equally. The background radiation is just electromagnetic particles which have decade to …. BACK GROUND RADIATION!!!!!

  28. I imagine the chimp trying to communicate his thought to me and thinking I'm too stupid to understand.

    I think animals have a different kind of intelligence not necessarily lower or higher. Just different. Their needs as species are very different than ours, so investigating the universe it's not on they're mental framework and so they never developed the necessary mental capacity to do so.
    Human on the other and used deductive power and drive for discovery as mean of survival. That lead us in a mental framework where the need to understand, discover and predict translated in technology and science once the need of survival was satisfied.

  29. “Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”

    – Alan Watts

  30. Would it be possible to create a magnetosphere around a planet without one? For example using a net of satellites which each one generates a magnetic field.

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