Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Joe Rogan.
Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Joe Rogan.

Fighting, Philosophy, and the Primal Mind, with Joe Rogan

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Joe Rogan. Photo Credit: Brandon Royal.

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About This Episode

Why do we fight? Is sensory deprivation a viable mental health option? Isn’t it weird we’re all floating in space right now? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we answer these eclectic questions and a lot more as Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down Joe Rogan, comedian, MMA commentator, and host of The Joe Rogan Experience. In-studio, Neil is joined by comic co-host Sasheer Zamata, and Jonathan Gottschall, literary scholar and author of The Professor in the Cage: Why Men Fight and Why We Like to Watch. You’ll learn about Joe’s early science and martial arts influences that shaped his worldview. Jonathan tells us about his experience joining a cage fighting gym and explains why storytelling is a good device for spreading science. Dive into the philosophy of the different teaching forms of marital arts. Ponder the “riddle of the duel” and why Brazilian jiu-jitsu is the most scientific form of fighting. Jonathan takes us inside the ring as he shares what it was like to be knocked unconscious. Find out if fighters think about physics during a fight. Investigate the physics and kinetic energy transfer that take place during a punch. Join us as we debate the effectiveness of a punch vs a kick. Discover why the introduction of gloves made fighting more dangerous. You’ll hear StarTalk correspondent Chuck Nice visit an MMA gym to get choked out in the name of science. Shifting gears, we step inside the brain to explore mental health. We also discuss the underappreciation of teachers and why Joe thinks society over-values celebrities. Sasheer leads the panel in handing out “Teachies” to influential teachers. All that, plus Joe shares his love for sensory deprivation therapy, Dr. Leah Lagos stops by to share techniques to help us connect and feel the world more deeply, Joe gets to ask Neil his own Cosmic Query about the beginning and end of the universe, and Neil ponders the future of fighting against the backdrop of the cosmic perspective.

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