There’s quite a kerfuffle over a tweet by Miley Cyrus which was an image of Lawrence Krauss together with an inexact quotation of something he said. Here’s a picture of the tweet:
I was very impressed with Miley’s stance on marriage equality a while back. I’m now also impressed with her appreciation of physics, and her ability to appreciate the insightful and beautiful words of a physicist even though that scientist does not share her faith. Bravo, Miley. Keep it up!
Here’s the actual quote from Krauss:
The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics:
You are all stardust.
You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements — the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution — weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.
Keep in mind as well that talk of stars “living” and “dying” is just a metaphor. This is physics merged with poetry, and it is unfortunate that some modern-day religious expression engages in misguided clinging to ancient cosmology. Responding to our current understanding with awe and poetry can be viewed as, in a very real sense, a spiritual undertaking.