Miami Dolphins' Arian Foster: "Science is greatest accomplishment of human species"

By Alex Butler  |  Updated Aug. 17, 2016 at 10:52 PM
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DAVIE, Fla., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Amid NFL training camp fights and roster cuts this month, a wily Arian Foster is looking to regain his All-Pro form.

While many know him as the running back who vacuumed up yards from scrimmage for the Houston Texans and their fantasy football squads, less know him as the owner of one of the most introspective minds in the game.

Some see his short answers to most questions as remote or cold, but Foster ignites when asked about matters he feels closest too.

One scroll through his Twitter timeline lets you into the mind of the veteran. That stage is where he hangs his cleats up in favor of discussions regarding the cosmos, theories of Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton, and more.

"I think science is our greatest accomplishment as the human species," Foster said Wednesday at Miami Dolphins training camp. "It has been a pleasure to really start to read into it and discover the natural world as we know it to be."

Foster, 29, has more than 565,000 followers on his @ArianFoster Twitter account. He follows many of the NFL's elite players, but also personalities like Bill Maher, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Bill Gates, Richard Dawkins, and neuroscientists. He browses accounts with streaming astronomical photos, Fuse Science, Cosmos TV, NASA, and TED Talks. Still, somewhat introverted in his response, he refuses to go as far as promoting his passion to his fans.

"I don't know if I'm promoting it," Foster said. "I just express my passions. I don't think I'm accredited enough to promote science but it's just something that I'm passionate about and I love. I like to share my views with it."

Last month Foster wrote about how he enjoyed reading deGrasse Tyson's essay titled "Dark Matters." It detailed physicists and the police.

He tweeted "science is the [expletive]."

In early August he questioned: "I don't understand the disdain for Newton's interest in alchemy."

"I think he was just someone who wanted to push his knowledge to the limits. Some things worked, some things didn't."

Later Foster added "getting a good grasp on what we understand of gravity is what made me fall in love with science and the process of it."

"Einstein's thought experiments give me butterflies thinking of how he came to those conclusions," Foster said.

The self-proclaimed Atheist and vegan said that he believes "the best social structure would be full of artists and scientists."

With recent shooting deaths of police officers and civilians in the last year, even with one happening just miles from his new home stadium, Foster hasn't been mum on social progression.

"We've been screaming police brutality for decades," he tweeted on July 7. "And because we can drink out of the same water fountain as you, you think it's fair game. It's not. White privilege is real. Racism is real. Systemic oppression is real. Education is key in this."

He also had thoughts on other social issues, including the legalization of marijuana. But now he wrestles teammates, along with the throngs of thoughts tackling his brain. Foster is battling second-year running back Jay Ajayi for the top spot on the depth chart.

"I feel like it's something I didn't really know about him," Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Wednesday. "Him coming into training camp, not being here in the spring, and how fast he picked it up. I guess I wasn't anticipating that. Then you think veteran player, I remember being around him at the Pro Bowl. Thinking man, this guy is really sharp."

"When we got him in here, I felt like the time he came off PUP, he knew what to do. He's probably one of the guys that had the fewest amount of mental issues. It's really for him just fine tuning some of the details of what we are looking for. He's done a great job of...he's great when we meet as an offense, as far as the skill guys...going through routes and talking about things that happen in practice. You can tell, when you tell him something. It's like locked in there and you don't get that same mistake again."

Foster has 54 touchdowns, 6,472 rushing yards, and four Pro Bowl nods since 2009. He has 68 career starts, all coming for the Texans.

"Arian is just a veteran guy," Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "He's been around a long time. He's played a lot of football. He's seen a lot of football. Just that knowledge of helping those young guys in the room...as well as he's just a good football player. He's got a lot of experience in the zone running game. Great patience. You see he's had great patience, he sees a crease and hits it. He's definitely going to help us out a lot in the zone game as well as out of the back field. He has great hands and a good feel for the pass game."

Fans and foes alike will get to see that on display soon, as the Dolphins face the Dallas Cowboys at 8 p.m. Friday in preseason action.

Ajayi currently tops the depth chart, but nothing is concrete until week 1, when the Dolphins face the Seattle Seahawks Sept. 11 in Seattle.

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