Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator, according to Wikipedia. Since 1996, he has been the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City.
What Dr. Tyson describes as "naming rights" simply means that those who discover new things get to name them. Californians got the naming rights to some of the elements of the periodic table while the Arabs got to name vast majority of the stars in the Cosmos. In modern western astronomy, most of the accepted star names are Arabic, a few are Greek and some are of unknown origin.
|Alhazen 965-1040 AD|
The lesson Dr. Tyson draws from the rise and fall of of Muslims is as follows: Islamic civilization remained dominant in sciences and mathematics as long as Muslims practiced Ijtihad to ask questions and find answers to questions. What led to their decline was Taqlid, the unquestioning faith in Revelation.
Dr. Tyson credits the great Muslim philosopher Alhazen (Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham 965-1040 AD) with inventing the modern scientific method. Alhazen questioned everything, especially the things everyone took for granted, says Dr. Tyson. Alhazen's work was lavishly funded by the Muslim Caliphs. All of it changed when Imam Al Ghazali, or Algazel, a highly influential Islamic scholar of his time, succeeded in persuading Muslims to accept Taqlid that triggered rapid decline of the Islamic world.
Dr. Tyson has used the example of the great Islamic Civilization's decline to warn Americans against repeating it. He has particularly targeted those in America who denounce Darwin's theory of evolution or reject the validity of climate science.
Here are three important video presentations made by Dr. Tyson on the subject:
Islamic Golden Age of science يوم كانت العربية لغة العلم from Mahmoud Ibrahim on Vimeo.
How Imam Ghazali's teachings ended the Islamic... by zemtv
Muslims Have Few Nobel Prizes
Ibn Khaldun: The Father of Modern Social Sciences
Obama Speaks to the Muslim World
Lost Discoveries by Dick Teresi
Physics of Christianity by Frank Tipler
What is Not Taught in School
How Islamic Inventors Changed the World
Jinnah's Pakistan Booms Amidst Doom and Gloom