I used to like Neil deGrasse Tyson. Not any more. He is, like Obama, a blowhard. An arrogant, pompous blowhard who plays fast and loose with facts. Over at The Federalist Sean Davis has written a number of articles that reveal just what a putz Tyson is. Tyson spends much of his time convincing people how intelligent he is and how much less intelligent than him you are. Tyson took a swipe at both members of Congress and journalists and that might have instigated the series of articles taking Tyson to task.
Tyson apparently fabricated a news headline and doubled down on it by abusing statistics:
Those are just minor beefs, though. My real beef is with his blatantly incorrect use of statistics. Take a look at the alleged headline one more time: “Half the schools in the district are below average.” The reaction that statement is supposed to elicit is something along the lines of “Well of course half are below average LOL that’s so stupid OMG.
”Except it’s not, because there’s a pretty big difference between a mean and a median. The mean is a mere average of a set of values. The median is the middle point of a set of numbers. It’s such an easy and basic distinction to grasp that one wonders why it so easily slipped through the fingers of the world’s greatest scientist.
Davis then discovered that Tyson engaged in a lot more than just that:
Neil deGrasse Tyson may be a fabulous scientist, and a consummate showman, but he’s downright terrible at accurately quoting people. Or, if you’re a “glass half full” kind of person, you might say that Neil deGrasse Tyson is pretty amazing at needlessly fabricating quotes and scenarios to showcase his own brilliance.
We’ve already established that a newspaper headline touted for years by Tyson likely doesn’t exist. We’ve also established that the exact quote he uses to bash members of Congressas being stupid also doesn’t exist. And then we established that the details within one of Tyson’s favorite anecdotes — a story of how he bravely confronted a judge about his mathematical illiteracy while serving on jury duty — seem to change every time Tyson tells the story.
Tyson routinely misquotes George W. Bush and then bashes Bush for the fabricated quotes;
Tyson butchered the quote. He butchered the date. He butchered the context. He butchered the implication. And he butchered the biblical allusion, which was to the prophet Isaiah, not the book of Genesis (you can tell Bush was alluding to Isaiah because he explicitly said he was referencing Isaiah).
Bush’s statement about the Creator had nothing to do with making “us” look better than “them”: it was an attempt to comfort the families who lost loved ones in the crash. They weren’t nameless creatures who passed anonymously; their ultimate Creator, the one who knit them together in their mothers’ wombs, mourned them by name. Heck, that same Creator even gave up his one and only Son that those lost souls might one day be reconciled to God through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. It was a message of hope and unity, not a message of division authored in the fog of war.
Tyson’s falsehoods didn’t stop there, though. After deliberately slandering Bush by attributing to him a quote he never made, Tyson launched into another tirade about how he was selected, by Bush, mind you, to be on a committee to select recipients of the National Medals of Science and Technology. The point of that story? That Tyson is way smarter than Bush, who Tyson intimated was too stupid to even read the citations of the awards. But if you watch the video of the event, you’ll notice that the reason Bush didn’t read the citations is because he was too busy personally awarding the medals and shaking the hands of the guests of honor while an emcee read the citations:
Tyson apparently responded and defended his inaccuracies as being acceptable when delivering his message to audiences, probably because he thinks they’re stupid as well.
Thanks for your interest in my work. Just some background: When I am invited to give a talk, especially to an audience that is not the general public, but to a specific gathering of people within a trade, I tune the contents for that audience, for that time, and for that place.
Well, he might fabricate stories but at least they’re personalized.
So, contrary to what Tyson claimed about how nuanced and subtle and unique and contextual his presentation last week was, we have evidence that he’s been recycling the same tired trope and same non-existent quotes for years. Like this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one. The most baffling aspect of the whole thing, though, is why he feels the need to manufacture proof of how journalists and politicians are bad at math. Of course they’re bad at math. Of course they’re not very bright at a whole host of things.Proving that water is wet, however, should not be this difficult. All you need to do to prove that politicians are stupid is pay attention. Or, if that’s too hard, you can spend 5 seconds on Google. Likely fewer if you know what you’re doing.
The sycophantic liberals at Wikipedia are permitting none of this to appear.
Honestly, this is offensive. Davis used the expression “moral preening” and it fits perfectly. It’s one thing to make up quotes and events. It’s another to cast someone else as stupid using that phony information. No self-respecting scientist repeatedly uses inaccurate information for any kind of message. Tyson proves himself to be just one more self-absorbed liberal blowhard and I will spend not one more minute watching or listening to him again.