Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was in a holly-jolly mood before Christmas Day, tweeting all sorts of holiday good cheer.
But his Christmas Day tweet: “On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642,” not only became his most retweeted ever, to date 77,000 (and also favorited about 77K), but also one of his most controversial yet.
Apparently, some folks took it as an anti-Christian comment.
He went to Facebook to explain the ordeal:
“Everybody knows that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th. I think fewer people know that Isaac Newton shares the same birthday. Christmas day in England – 1642. And perhaps even fewer people know that before he turned 30, Newton had discovered the laws of motion, the universal law of gravitation, and invented integral and differential calculus…If a person actually wanted to express anti-Christian sentiment, my guess is that alerting people of Isaac Newton’s birthday would appear nowhere on the list.”
He’s been pretty quiet on the Twitter front since then, but did post this on the 26th: “Imagine a world in which we are all enlightened by objective truths rather than offended by them.”
BTW, can we all just pause and give a huge mental kudos for his incredible Twitter profile pic? That vest is amazing.