There are questions that have bugged scientists and philosophers forever. Are we alone in the universe? Could a just God create a world with evil? Who would win in a fight: Batman or Superman?
Neil deGrasse Tyson is no stranger to tackling pop culture conundrums with hard science, so when he appeared on The Daily Show to talk about his new Star Talk TV show, Jon Stewart just had to ask him the Batman vs. Superman question.
But the scientist actually thought the question was more political than a battle of brawn. The two agree that Superman is the more powerful character (as Stewart put it, "Batman is just a guy with a nice belt"), but Tyson is more interested in who wins the fight over the hearts and minds of the people.
"[Superman] just behaves in whatever way he wants," Tyson said. "So at the end of the day what might matter is the public reception of a superhero's conduct. And if Batman executes our wishes in the city and Superman does what the hell he wants, that's a conflict. It's not a cage match."
To Tyson's credit, that's exactly the kind of thing that Warner Bros.'s upcoming Batman v. Superman film will probably tackle, judging by the first trailer.
Both men agree that the more interesting fight, though, would be Batman vs. Iron Man, as they're both non-super super heroes.