Neil DeGrasse Tyson ignorantly uses flat-earther myth to mock ignorance

C'mon Neil
C’mon Neil

I like science and I like Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I particularly like his cute little smile. Tyson recently chastised “Media For Giving ‘Flat-Earthers’ Equal Time in the Climate Change Debate.” He added that science is “not there for you to cherry-pick.”

Couple of questions:

What is a debate then-a self-reinforcing circle-jerk? To whom would you give equal time in a debate if not to someone who disagrees with you? Is Science always right? Has some kind of mantle of infallibility fallen upon the shoulders of men in lab coats? Do scientists themselves “cherry pick” projects based on what kind of grant funding is available? Why are questioners of any stripe labeled “Deniers,” as dissenters were once labeled heretics?

The truth is, people have known the earth was roundish since ancient times. No, Christopher Columbus didn’t have to overcome religiously-induced flat earth fears, that story comes from a book of historical fiction by Washington Irving.

Furthermore, the climate change narrative is not making one truth claim but four:

1.     The climate is warming. (OK, it’s always warming or cooling)

2.     Human beings are causing it. (What caused past climate changes?)

3.     We are all going to die, unless:

4.     We implement complex carbon-trading instruments. (Wall Street will save us?)

Follow the money.

Items 2-4 are questionable, especially the last two. If truth claim number 4 was: “Everyone plant a tree, which absorbs 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester one ton of carbon dioxide by the time it is 40 years-old,” I wouldn’t be as skeptical as I am. Oh, and I planted a tree three years ago and named him Tony. Tony is doing well, by the way.

But the climate change package deal must be swallowed whole, or you are ignorant. I submit that swallowing the four-part package whole, without asking any questions, is more akin to submitting to a religious dogma than anything like scientific thinking.

How could Tyson use the flat earth myth to bolster science? C’mon Neil you should know better.


  1. I believe you’ve oversimplified the claims of most scientists, the 97% who support current climate change observations. The reason they say humans are contributing factors to the destabilization of the weather is that it’s happening much more rapidly, with wider swings in both directions than it did in previous change cycles. That leads to increased tropical storms, hurricanes and drought, but also more snowstorms and cold vortices.

    If the ocean level rises and the weather instability continues we’re not “all going to die”. We will be paying more for fuel and shelter, and millions who reside near flood plains will have to move. No one knows how much increased cost it takes to implode economies or destabilize nations. That isn’t covered by “hard” sciences.

    Scientists aren’t always right, but unlike practitioners of other disciplines, scientists are happy to be proven wrong through measurable results. The scientific method requires constant re-examination and experimentation to empirically prove what is or isn’t true. Think how much better government would be if politicians practiced that as the core of their profession.

    1. Hey Invisible,
      I have oversimplified everything, simply because 1. folks are busy and 2. have short attention spans. I am quite sure climate is changing, because climate is always changing. Our ancestors survived a 6000 year Ice Age. Now that had to suck. Sea levels were 300 feet lower then. This peaked about 22,000 years ago-not that long geologically speaking. So its been warming, jaggedly ever since.

      Quite possible human actions are contributing, though no human action will STOP climate from changing. When an idea sweeps through a population like this has I suspect someone is promoting it-ideas seldom sweep, they trickle. Club of Rome, 1995 Al Gore in attendance: Club of Rome report

      “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill.”

      Then Al Gore makes a movie, then Al Gore starts a corporation in UK to profit from the whole thing. SUSPICIOUS.
      You see there are four parts to the climate change story-part four is highly suspect. We should not swallow the whole thing as a given.

      Thanks for the comment.

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