December 22, 2012 8:44 am

This Sunday’s Podcast: Cosmic Queries Holiday Edition

Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Chuck Nice in the studio

Cosmic Queries: Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Chuck Nice answering fan questions in the studio

We asked you for questions about winter and the holidays, and you came back with some great ones. Less than the over 800 questions you submitted for the Mayan apocalypse and other disasters, but really, how can a jolly fat man with a beard compete with a full-on apocalypse?

Naturally, there were questions about how Santa can possibly deliver toys to everyone on Christmas, and while StarTalk is always solidly grounded in reality and science, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are not above theoretical discussion when the season inspires it.

And speaking of seasonal subjects, one of you asked, “Should parents let their children believe in Santa?” Given Neil’s well-known position on religion, you may be surprised at how he answers that question, as well as what he told his own children about both Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

Find out which other questions Neil and Chuck chose right here on our website and on iTunes this Sunday night, December 23 at 7:00 PM ET.

  • 4ndrewCox

    Regarding the belief of Santa, I suspect Neil may agree with me, I personally believe young children should be allowed to believe in Santa. I am not a parent, but here is my reasoning:

    Allowing children to believe in a physical embodiment of the spirit of giving is something more solid for a child to latch onto than just being told by a parent “you should be giving because I said so”.

    Seeing other children, and adults perpetuate Santa was very re-affirming to myself as a child, instilling in me a belief that there was a man and his loyal elves out there so pure of heart, he freely gave of himself to others all over the world, bringing them joy, and that I wanted to emulate him.

    Of course now that I’m older, I really can’t support Santa’s existence, but I still feel that I want to be like old Saint Nick, even just a little, bringing smiles to others (which really should be the way of the world).

  • Mhari

    Andrew, what I like best about your comment is that the same can be said for God/s and why it is a good thing for people to believe in. Creating an allegorical figure who demonstrates compassion, charity, and love instills in us those same desires. That, I believe, is why “to love is divine” 🙂