The following tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson is ignorance, distilled:
Neil deGrasse Tyson is not a scientist. He is a social commentator. He is distinct in that his opinion is delivered with a flavor of science.
What’s interesting about his above statement is that it’s almost true, if one would only make a simple word substitution. If one were to replace the word “Science” with “truth”, he would be entirely correct.
There are three great things about truth:
- The truth exists regardless of whether anyone accepts it.
- The truth exists independent of anyone’s opinion of it.
- The truth exists whether “Science” agrees with it, or not.
The implication that “Science” must always be agreed with is dangerous to actual science. Real science is not about determining something to be true, then refusing to further question it. Actual scientists are skeptical, even when it comes to observations that have been repeated and are taken for granted.
Again, Neil deGrasse Tyson is not a scientist, regardless of what his accolades or diplomas actually are, or how he got them. He is a social commentator. He has an opinion, it is an opinion that is central to his commentary, his opinion is not difficult to figure out, and once you know what it is, you already know much of what there is to know about him.
Real science requires skepticism, and Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn’t have any.