Hey Neil deGrasse Tyson! Here’s some cool facts:
1) The Mayan culture *still exists*. There are an estimated 7 million people who consider themselves Mayans still living in Central America, with their own unique culture, languages and traditions
2) Mayans never predicted the end of the world was going to come in 2012. Claims that they did were pretty much invented by people who didn’t understand their culture and wanted to sell shit. Perpetuating it is based on ignorant imperialist ideas.
3) A LOT of religions nowadays still practice animal sacrifice, including Hinduism and Islam. These alone take up approximately 40% of the world’s population. The contributions made by people of these religions to science in general have been immense. Dismissing an entire culture’s achievements because they perform animal sacrifice is bigoted, ignorant and gives an incredibly distorted view of the world
4) The wheel is not a mark of a “worthwhile” culture. It appears that the wheel was actually invented in one place and then spread throughout Eurasia and Africa, rather than being invented in multiple places, meaning by your metric it’s “hard to take science cues” from near every culture ever. Mesoamerican cultures had wheel-like objects but it’s likely they never developed it further because there were fewer uses for the wheel, as there was a lack of domesticateable animals that the wheel would be useful in conjunction with.
5) a) How could you *know* they didn’t predict their own *empire*’s (not culture) demise? We know virtually nothing about what people at the time thought and have too few examples of their writing to know. b) No empire ever has predicted its own demise as a mainstream view. What an absurd standard to hold
In conclusion, your comments are highly insulting and perpetuate racist myths about the Americas before the advent of European colonisation as well as the Native American populations today. Maybe do some research before you comment on these things again
Kill your idols.
Hahaha one of my favorite things to do is watch the Tumblr-cycle of people getting really excited about a public figure and then backlashing at them with equal enthusiasm.
I also love that it is Neil deGrasse Tyson—whom I have admired since childhood when he came and spoke at the school where my parents teach—who is one victim of this popularity cycle.
Twitter has done crazy things to our world.
n.b. Obviously as an anthropologist I agree with this critic, but still, LOL.
Posted on Sunday, 2 December 2012