Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson denies being anti-Christian

(Photo: SoulBring)

Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and director of Frederick P Rose's Hayden Planetarium, got much attention when he sent a Christmas tweet that was misinterpreted as anti-Christian.

Last December 25, he tweeted: "On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec. 25, 1642."

The also popular and multi-awarded cosmologist defended himself, saying that his tweet should not be interpreted as anti-Christian, which obviously hit some nerves.

The message was re-tweeted 80,000 times – 40 times more than his podcasts messages.

According to ABC News, Tyson's intention was not to insult Christians but offer his followers a cosmic perspective.

"We know Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day," he said at a television conference. "Who knows when Jesus was born?"

Tyson was surprised about the reactions he got from people and responded: "It's free speech, so I'm an observer of this, almost as an anthropologist."

Tyson is scheduled to host a late-night talk show on National Geographic Channel this April. The show 'Star Talk' will feature his podcasts on mixing pop culture with science. This will be the first late-night series for the network. The show will be taped in front of a live audience at the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium in New York.

"We bring science to people who didn't know they liked science, or thought they didn't like science," Tyson said.