Rollin' Like Sisyphus

Supposing Neil deGrasse Tyson Is Of Two Minds

Posted in A Chronicle Of Decline by Huckleberry on May 9, 2014

Bask in the awe and wonder of how special you aren't.

Bask in the awe and wonder of how special you aren’t.


So there’s this “scientist” who is an awkward kind of guy, a guy whom – as already mentioned – is the poster child for everything wrong with the I Fucking Love Science crowd, and he recently exposed everything we know to be wrong with contemporary “science” in a podcart interview.
Allow me to introduce you to Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist by repute, yet woefully underpublished, without much of a research pedigree, and no notable contributions beyond being 1) black and 2) somewhat genial while discussing painfully basic concepts of “science” to the laymen.
Here he is discussing his role just prior to the launch of the FOX show COSMOS a few months ago:

As an educator, I try to get people to be fundamentally curious and to question ideas that they might have or that are shared by others.

Well Hell, that sounds downright reasonable. Question things. Be curious. Cogitate and employ the imagination and don’t just accept things at face value. Trite, but right. And don’t forget about that show, by the way, we’ll be circling back to it later.
Just a couple of months hence, Dr. Tyson was rhymin’ to a slightly different beat:

But now it’s been definitively demonstrated by a recent interview in which Tyson sweepingly dismisses the entire history of philosophy. Actually, he doesn’t just dismiss it. He goes much further — to argue that undergraduates should actively avoid studying philosophy at all. Because, apparently, asking too many questions “can really mess you up.”
Yes, he really did say that. Go ahead, listen for yourself, beginning at 20:19 — and behold the spectacle of an otherwise intelligent man and gifted teacher sounding every bit as anti-intellectual as a corporate middle manager or used-car salesman. He proudly proclaims his irritation with “asking deep questions” that lead to a “pointless delay in your progress” in tackling “this whole big world of unknowns out there.” When a scientist encounters someone inclined to think philosophically, his response should be to say, “I’m moving on, I’m leaving you behind, and you can’t even cross the street because you’re distracted by deep questions you’ve asked of yourself. I don’t have time for that.”

If the 21st century ever needed a tag line, this would be it: “I don’t have time for that.”
This neatly conjoins two of the points I’ve been making in my ever-expanding treatise – we’re getting dumber and we’re getting more impatient. But to be honest, it doesn’t overly surprise me that a scientist with little track record of published research in his own field would be overly enamored of people asking him questions and challenging his ideas. He would much prefer if you just accept the tenants of his orthodoxy at the expense of your own. It perfectly reflects the common practice of the so-called science performed today that assumes the material is all that matters while establishing sweeping fantastical confabulations to explain away the glaring gaps in their own maths.
And just from my own experience, few scientists are actually genuinely intellectually curious, just like few people in any field are. Most happened into science due to a high aptitude in higher math, or on the folly of figuring it would lead to an easier career path.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
As for COSMOS, I’ll hit it in another post.

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4 Responses

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  1. El Borak said, on May 9, 2014 at 11:46

    I don’t have time for that.

    Ain’t nobody got time for that.

  2. Giraffe said, on May 11, 2014 at 13:24

    I had just watched this guy on Netflix with a series on the Universe. He admits that science knows very little. He has no time for the idea of God. I find it strange that he knows his ignorance and is simultaneously so dismissive.


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