Michio Kaku takes a Greek spear


I am not a Michio Kaku fan. Kaku, Neil Degrasse Tyson, and Bill Nye included, all feel like actors, not scientists. It is something I intuitively sense, and I doubt I am the only one. I had the opportunity to engage with Michio Kaku years ago during an open science forum. Kaku was speaking on “speed of light vs. speed of sound,” that in fact, sound travels faster than light. To which I agree. However, Michio Kaku stated this was a relatively new discovery. This is untrue, and I casually mentioned to Michio Kaku ancient peoples knew that sound traveled faster than light as well. Kaku, in his “soft” condescending way, rebuffed me saying there is no evidence for this and I should study real history.

Right before Michio Kaku dismissed me completely, I asked him the following question, “who is the Greek God of light”? The question caught him with his mouth open, and he turned back at me with a quizzical look. I again asked him the same question, “who is the Greek God of light”?

“I believe it is Apollo, but what does that have to do with anything”? replied Kaku, slightly annoyed at my line of questioning.

“Right, it is Apollo, the fastest of the Greek Gods, correct”? I question him again.

Kaku was noticeably confused, then someone else chimed in with, “No, that is Hermes.”

“Oh, so it was Hermes, the God of speech who is the fastest of the Greek Gods, not Apollo, the God of light,” I said smiling and shooting a knowing look at Michio Kaku.  “Speech is sound…”.

I could see the realization come over his face. Kaku stammered a little, searching for a rebuttal, but nothing came. He quickly changed the subject and continued on, but all around me, I got nods of approval from people in attendance who understood, on a deeper level, what just happened. I had taken an intellectual spear to a modern-day “God-king” of science and reminded everyone that even a God-king can bleed.

-Kevin Wikse





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