Neil DeGrasse Tyson is probably one of the best-known scientists alive today. However, Tyson’s latest video ironically shows he has abandoned the scientific method.
Tyson demands you believe climate change pronouncements from his favored scientists rather than examine the data for yourself:
If you watch the whole thing, you probably saw him mention some people you tend to dislike. Maybe it’s the anti-GMO crowd, or the anti-vaxxers. It doesn’t matter. You have to watch the whole thing. Tyson decries how we — only now, apparently — have politicians and voters who have “lost the ability to judge what is true and what is not.” He adds that he doesn’t remember any other time in his life when “people were standing in denial of what science was.”
Tyson, a vocal climate change hysteric, is talking about climate change skeptics. When he says “science is an entire exercise in finding what is true,” he’s telling skeptics — who are getting their information from, you know, experimental conclusions produced via the scientific process — to shut up.
With his comment, Tyson is apparently revealing himself to be a terrible scientific observer. People have always believed false things as supported facts, and skepticism over scientific claims is not “standing in denial of what science [is],” but the definition of the scientific process.
Since its founding — and of course, during Degrasse Tyson’s life — the Democratic Party has been invested in the idea that racism is scientific truth: slavery, eugenics, and now the “social science” of “white privilege.”
When Tyson says, “It’s not something to say, ‘I choose not to believe E=mc^2.’ You don’t have that option,” he’s being anti-science. Comparing the breadth of data confirming Einstein’s discovery to “climate modeling,” which claims to predict the future yet failed miserably predicting the present or explaining the past, is an objectively terrible scientific observation.
Degrasse Tyson is employing the “appeal to authority” fallacy. He’s telling people to not question our betters in the white lab coats. He’s telling us that we don’t have the right to look at the evidence ourselves and remain skeptical. Tyson’s argument is to sit down, shut up, and to assume that sooner or later his preferred hypothesis will be shown to be correct.
Tyson admonishes viewers to become scientifically literate, then makes it clear that believing him, rather than the data, is how it’s done.
Einstein himself would probably give it right back to Neil — but Einstein would likely do so with the data rather than his esteemed name.