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What’s the Difference Between? – Neil deGrasse Tyson / Mike Tyson

June 19, 2011

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist.

He can explain life, the universe and everything.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson is a disgraced former professional boxer, convicted rapist and wife-beater.

He can explain nothing.


Neil deGrasse and Mike Tyson are not related. Here are just a few of their differences:


Neil deGrasse Tyson

Has a B.A. from Harvard and a PhD from Columbia. NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal is among deGrasse Tyson’s honors. He works at the Hayden Planetarium in his hometown of New York City.Easy-going enthusiasm for science and education makes deGrasse Tyson a popular guest speaker and panel member at forums, such as Beyond Belief and The Amazing Meeting.A supporter of the separation of religion and science, deGrasse Tyson has joined evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in public presentations on that subject.

deGrasse Tyson’s quick rundown of “Stupid Design” flaws in the human body is one of the best science videos on YouTube.

Mike Tyson

Attended a reform school, until he was removed by his coach/guardian. Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003 and says he lives paycheck-to-paycheck.Atom diagram

Popular Culture

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Hosts NOVA scienceNOW on PBS and is a frequent guest on current affairs programs such as Real Time with Bill Maher, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report.On Colbert, he explained Earth’s tides for the sake of Republican pundit Bill O’Reilly, who had declared such things beyond human understanding.deGrasse Tyson co-hosts a syndicated radio show with various comedians, called StarTalk.

Mike Tyson

A longtime favorite subject for biting satire and sarcasm on such shows as The Simpsons, MADtv and SNL, Tyson makes cameo appearances in low-brow movies, such as The Hangover. He told a reporter he took that bit-part to support his drug habit.Filmmaker James Toback released a sympathetic documentary, “Tyson,” in 2008.

Core Values

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Has no problem with people practicing religious beliefs, as long as they maintain boundaries.”If you knock on the door of my science classroom and tell me I’ve got to teach what you’re teaching in your Sunday school… that’s when we’re gonna fight.”

Mike Tyson

Although he converted to Islam while serving a prison sentence for rape, these days Mike Tyson says he is not sure “who would win” a fight to prove whose god is better — Jesus Christ or the Prophet Mohammad. “This is crazy, you know what I mean?”Atom

Career Highlights

Neil deGrasse Tyson

President Bush twice appointed deGrasse Tyson to commissions related to the U.S. space program, including “Moon, Mars and Beyond.” At the Hayden Planetarium, he defied tradition by removing Pluto from displays of the Solar System — garnering hate mail from kids in the process.When deGrasse Tyson goes ballistic, he’s talking about rockets.

Mike Tyson

Perhaps best known for being disqualified from a 1997 title rematch with Evander Holyfield. He bit off part of Holyfield’s ear.

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Famous Quotes

Neil deGrasse Tyson

On the coolest thing he has learned:
“We are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”

Mike Tyson

On the reportage of his time in prison:
“You really have to look at the science of the situation. The best thing that happened to those guys — and they should stand on their mother’s shoulders and kiss my ass because I went to prison — or they would not be existing right now.”


Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astronomer Carl Sagan; Physics genius Sir Isaac Newton

Mike Tyson

Boxing coach Cus D’Amato
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Recreation Activities

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Latin ballroom dance
Mike Tyson
Pigeon racing


The Voice

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Rich, smooth, clear enunciation, flawless pronunciation, oozing with sincere masculine enthusiasm.

Mike Tyson

Sounds like a distracted child with a mouthful of marshmallows. Disjointed, bizarre.

Same Universe, Different Worlds

Tyson10 Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson – Astrophysicist Tyson makes a faceMike Tyson talks about pigeons

Read more What’s the Difference?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2014 4:06 am

    The main difference is Neil DeGrasse Tyson is an arrogant self righteous a-hole. Mike Tyson is merely a boxer with no pretenses…

  2. December 29, 2014 6:58 pm

    Neil deGrasse Tyson and Mike Tyson do have one thing in common. You are never quite sure what will come out of their respective mouths.

  3. John Zarelli permalink
    March 25, 2014 8:31 am

    A more provocative and challenging question is “WHY the difference?

    • March 25, 2014 9:35 am

      That is a GOOD question, John. I’ll have to have a Cosmos episodes marathon, and hope to glean an answer. Or, perhaps, yet more provocative questions!

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