January 10, 2019 9:18 pm

Friday, Investigate the Science of Fighting, Philosophy, and the Mysteries of the Universe with Joe Rogan and Neil deGrasse Tyson

On this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, we step inside the ring and explore the science of fighting. Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with returning guest Joe Rogan, comedian, MMA commentator, and host of the wildly popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. In-studio, Neil is joined by comic co-host Sasheer Zamata, Jonathan Gottschall, literary scholar and author of The Professor in the Cage: Why Men Fight and Why We Like to Watch.

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

Before we start throwing punches, first we explore Joe’s early exposure to science and how it shaped his world view. Joe tells us why he thinks it’s weird that we’re floating in space and no one’s really talking about it. Find out why storytelling is a great method to convey science. Joe shares his thoughts on the under-appreciation of teachers and the over-appreciation of celebrities, and Sasheer hands out some “Teachies” awards.

After that, the punches start flying. Learn about Joe’s upbringing in martial arts and how it served as a gateway for him to study his own psychology and anxiety. Discover more about the “riddle of the duel.” You’ll hear about Jonathan’s experiences joining a cage fighting gym and what it was like to get knocked out. Dive into the philosophies of teaching different forms of martial arts. Why is Brazilian jiu-jitsu the most scientific form of martial arts? Should MMA fighters take physics classes? We answer these questions and more.

Unpack the physics of a punch and the kinetic energy transfer that occurs. We also debate the effectiveness between a punch and a kick. Then, StarTalk correspondent Chuck Nice heads to an MMA gym to get choked out in the name of science.

Next, Joe sheds some light on mental and physical wellness and why he’s a big fan of sensory deprivation therapy. Dr. Leah Lagos, sports psychologist, stops by to help us understand how we can connect and feel the world more deeply. All that, plus, Joe gets to ask Neil a question about the universe that’s been burning in his brain.

Please join us tomorrow night for Fighting, Philosophy, and the Primal Mind, with Joe Rogan at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen