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Renown astrophysicist  Neil de Grasse Tyson (pictured) poked a little fun at Christmas yesterday raising both ire and admiration, reports the NY Daily News.

Quite a few folks were none too pleased about the tweets, with one tweeting “Hi @neiltyson, trolling Christians on Dec 25 is so EDGY. Please let me know when you troll Muslims on Ramadan. Merry Christmas!,” wrote one Twitter user, says the Daily News.

As is now stands, Tyson’s original Tweet has been favorited more than 66,000 times, and shared more than 68,000 times.

Tyson, who is best known for his hosting work on the Fox show “Cosmos” (based on the PBS show of the same name in the 1980s), took to his Facebook page on Christmas, crowing about his most popular tweet and setting his critics straight:

Everybody knows that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th.  I think fewer people know that Isaac Newton shares the same birthday.  Christmas day in England – 1642.  And perhaps even fewer people know that before he turned 30, Newton had discovered the laws of motion, the universal law of gravitation, and invented integral and differential calculus.  All of which served as the mechanistic foundation for the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries that would forever transform the world.

My sense in this case is that the high rate of re-tweeting, is not to share my enthusiasm of this fact, but is driven by accusations that the tweet is somehow anti-Christian.  If a person actually wanted to express anti-Christian sentiment, my guess is that alerting people of Isaac Newton’s birthday would appear nowhere on the list.

Some even called for me to delete the tweet.  But instead, earlier today, I tweeted this:

“Imagine a world in which we are all enlightened by objective truths rather than offended by them.”

Tyson is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium At the Rose Center for Earth and Space, and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Black Astrophysicist Pokes Fun A Little Fun At Christmas  was originally published on