Connection Combat: Space-Off: Stephen Hawking vs Neil deGrasse Tyson

+14 votes

Hi Connectors (and anyone else interested!), 

This month's Connection Combat is a Space-Off between cosmologists Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson. 

Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson is no slacker either - in 2008 Discover Magazine selected him as one of the 10 most influential people in science.

They've got lines going into England, Scotland and Puerto Rico. Should be fun!

Stephen Hawking


Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ready, set, blast-off!

The rules and guidelines are here, and post in this thread once you've made a connection so we can declare a winner! 

Remember, the goal is to connect one of these individuals to the previous month's winner -  Anne Frank.

If you need to be added to a Trusted List, let me know and I will add you.

The winning profile will be featured as one of our Special Connections (like AJ Jacobs and Kevin Bacon) so members can have a chance to see how they are connected.


WikiTree profile: Neil deGrasse Tyson
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)
Interesting challenge.

Note: There's also a line going into Nevis, British Virgin Islands.

5 Answers

–9 votes
Stephen Hawking's theories on the beginning of the universe are wrong. Gravity did not create the universe. Gravity is a subset of light, and God said "Let there be light!" I do not want to be related to Stephen Hawking!
by Living Troy G2G6 Pilot (157k points)

Sharon, that's a rather uncharitable and unrealistic attitude to take. Everyone is part of our family tree, whether scientist or saint, rebel or patriot, lawbreaker or justice. Even more so when we collaborate on teasing out the connections of the global family tree to get at the truth: we are all related, each and every human being on this small planet that we share. Whether one believes a certain understanding of the Genesis narrative or not, we are all cousins. Our trees are replete with people, who struggle with real good and evil. As one of our unconnected cousins wrote, “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Indeed, they're part of us: they're family.

Second, I would like to offer you the chance to correct your understanding of science: It is not a conclusion of scientists (Stephen Hawking nor otherwise) that gravity "created the universe"; we still do not know what caused the universe (whether scientist or philosopher). We do know however how gravity has shaped the Universe, at least in part. Moreover, gravity is not a subset of light. Science has not yet advanced to such a "grand unified theory". Only 5 months ago the first direct observation of gravitational waves was reported to the public (a beautiful, open access paper, by the way!), so there is much yet to learn. 

Stephen Hawking may be an atheist (or agnostic), but that's his personal conviction. You have your own beliefs as well. That's one of the wonders of learning about family (whether historical or contemporary): we enjoy the privilege of getting to know other people better! We learn how their experiences, their history, and their circumstances have shaped their life stories, their values, and their passions. You likely have other atheists in your family tree whether you know it or not. We, if you share my conviction, are called to love them no less on account of their beliefs. We are called to seek understanding and to feel empathy for others. Being "connected" to a great scientific theorist such as him, perhaps you will have the opportunity to grow in your understanding of his story, and to have some understanding of where he is coming from.

If you want to discuss this further, you're welcome to email me with your questions and thoughts, and I'll try to take the time to respond thoughtfully and with grace. After all, we're family... somehow. :) 

+7 votes
I'll work on Neil deGrasse Tyson.
by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (475k points)
+8 votes

Neil deGrasse Tyson should be connected now, just need to wait for the connections to update. The connection goes through his great aunt Viola Tyson.

by Matthew Cutler G2G3 (3.6k points)
Way to go, Matthew! I added several sources to the profiles in this chain.
Who is she connected to? Is it the Tatum branch?
I think so, yes - let's see how we connect tonight!

You are correct, the connection is through the Tatum line. Viola’s son‑in‑law is Narvel Tatum, he is a great great grandson of John Harvey Montgomery, who was already connected.

+2 votes

Here's a line that would connect Stephen Hawking to Neil Degrasse Tyson, but it's from Geni so it may not be accurate. Anyone want to explore?

  1. WikiTree Hannah Emeline (Moore) Montgomery → 
  2. Geni Jane Bane Sample (June 7, 1780, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA  - May 20, 1850, Bartow County, Georgia, USA), her mother 
  3. Geni Elizabeth (Alexander) Sample (November 17, 1746 
    Cecil, Maryland - August 1, 1822, North Carolina) her mother 
  4. Geni James "The Yeoman" Alexander (c. 1695 Manokin Hundred, Somerset County, Maryland 1779 Maryland)
    Wikitree James Alexander, her father 
  5. Geni Joseph Alexander
    WikiTree Joseph Alexander (1660 
    Raphoe, County Donegal, Ulster, Ireland - 1730Maryland), his father 
  6. Geni Reverend James A. Alexander of Laggan Presbytery
    WikiTree James Alexander, his father (this generation is disputed, as some sources believe our William Alexander is the more likely father) 
  7. Geni Lady Mary Hamilton
    Mary Hamilton (1600 Raphoe, Ireland - 1634 Maryland), his mother 
  8. Geni James Hamilton, 2nd Marquess of Hamilton
    WikiTree James Hamilton (1589 Scotland - 1625 England), her father 
  9. Geni Anne Stewart
    WikiTree Anne Stewart (aft. 1581 Scotland - 1669 Scotland), his wife 
  10. Sir William Stewart, 2nd Lord Blantyre
    WikiTree William Stewart (aft. 1581 Scotland - 1638 Scotland), her brother 
  11. Geni Helen Stewart
    WikiTree Helen Stewart (c. 1597 Fife - aft. 1631 Blantyre), his wife 
  12. Geni Eupheme, Lady Cochran
    WikiTree Eupheme (Scott) Cochrane (1610 Fife - 1686 Ayrshire), her sister 
  13. Geni: Sir John Cochran of Ochiltree, 2nd Earl Dundonald
    WikiTree John Cochrane, her son 
by Karen Lowe G2G6 Pilot (153k points)
edited by Karen Lowe
  1. Geni Margaret Cochrane
    WikiTree Margaret Strickland (c. 1630 England), his wife 
  2. Geni Frances Bourchier, her sister 
  3. Geni Barrington Bourchier, her son 
  4. Geni Ralph Boucher, his son
  5. WikiTree Samuel Boucher, his son (from here the Hawkings are on WikiTree as well)
  6. Deborah Hawking his daughter 
  7. Henry Hawking her son 

  8. John Hawking his son 

  9. Robert Hawking, his son 

  10. Frank Hawking, his son 

  11. Stephen Hawking, his son

+3 votes
Wow! Fantastic work you guys! I'll check the connection tomorrow after it updates!
by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)

I love this connection combat!! I suggested Neil deGrasse Tyson vs Carl Sagan back in December and I'm excited to see them both connected now : )

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