Quote# 118495

Neil deGrasse Tyson is, supposedly, an educator and a populariser of science; it’s his job to excite people about the mysteries of the universe, communicate information, and correct popular misconceptions. This is a noble, arduous, and thankless job, which might be why he doesn’t do it. What he actually does is make the universe boring, tell people things that they already know, and dispel misconceptions that nobody actually holds. In his TV appearances, puppeted by an invisible army of scriptwriters, this tendency is barely held in check, but in his lectures or on the internet it’s torrential; a seeping flood of grey goo, paring down the world to its driest, dullest, most colourless essentials. He likes to watch scifi films, and point out all the inaccuracies. Actually, lasers wouldn’t make any sound in space; actually a light year is a unit of space rather than time; actually, none of this is real, it’s just a collection of still images projected at speed to present the illusion of movement, and all the characters are just actors who have never really been into outer space. When the rapper B.o.B. started loudly declaring that there’s a vast conspiracy to hide that fact that the world is really flat, Neil deGrasse Tyson immediately jumped in to refute him, even featuring on a eye-stabbingly awful rap song insisting that ‘B.o.B. gotta know that the planet is a sphere, G’—a passionate, useless, and embarrassing defence of the blindingly obvious. In a world that’s simply given, brute fact, any attempt to imagine it into an entirely different shape must be stamped out. Why? The subject-matter is cosmic and transcendental, the object-cause is petty and stupid. Neil deGrasse Tyson strides onto stage to say that actually the Earth orbits the sun, that actually living beings gain their traits through evolutionary processes, that actually your hand has five fingers, that actually cows go moo, that actually poo comes out your bum—and you are then supposed to think yes, I knew that, and imagine someone else, someone who didn’t know it already, some idiot, and think: I’m better than that person, I’m so much smarter than everyone else.


A decent name for this tendency, for stars and spaceships recast as the instruments of a joyless and pedantic class spite, would be I Fucking Love Science. ‘Science’ here has very little to do with the scientific method itself; it means ontological physicalism, not believing in our Lord Jesus Christ, hating the spectrally stupid, and, more than anything, pretty pictures of nebulae and tree frogs. ‘Science’ comes to metonymically refer to the natural world, the object of science; it’s like describing a crime as ‘the police,’ or the ocean as ‘drinking.’ What ‘I Fucking Love Science’ actually means is ‘I Fucking Love Existing Conditions.’ But because the word ‘science’ still pings about between the limits of a discourse that depends on the exclusion of alternate modes of knowledge, the natural world of I Fucking Love Science is presented as being essentially a series of factual statements. There are no things, there are only truths. The fact that the earth is a sphere is vast and ponderous: you stand on its grinding surface, as that fact carries you on its heavy plod around our nearest star. The fact that the forms of organic life emerge through Darwinian evolution is fractal and distributed, so that little fragments of that fact will bark at you in the street or dart chirping overhead. The fact that there is no God, being a negative statement, is invisible, but you know for certain that it’s out there.

Sam Kriss, Wired 18 Comments [4/25/2016 2:12:35 PM]
Fundie Index: 8
Submitted By: Gabriel LaVedier

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Mathius_dragoon

If you don't want to learn about science from Neil deGrasse Tyson, there are literally millions of other resources you could choose from.

4/25/2016 3:53:58 PM

Admiral Nopants

That's a hell of a long-winded way to say "I failed 4th grade science and never got over it".

4/25/2016 4:06:24 PM

Kanna

Lousy review. Why didn't you just give him one star and move on with your life?

4/25/2016 4:14:16 PM

Old Viking

Why did it take you so long to work Jesus into this manure?

4/25/2016 5:17:29 PM

KingOfRhye

Cliff's Notes version of this: I find science boring. Yay Jesus.

(Do people even use Cliff's Notes anymore? lol)

4/25/2016 5:23:43 PM



huh?

4/25/2016 9:40:23 PM



You suck at science, just admit it

4/25/2016 10:00:47 PM

Skidie

" Neil deGrasse Tyson strides onto stage to say that actually the Earth orbits the sun, that actually living beings gain their traits through evolutionary processes, that actually your hand has five fingers, that actually cows go moo, that actually poo comes out your bum"

Yeah that could be funny IF not for the fact that apparently lots of you idiots are oblivious to most of these facts.

4/25/2016 10:32:56 PM

Kuno

I’m confused. You say NDT just tells us things everyone already knows to make us feel smarter than the people who don’t know them. Who are those people, if everyone already knows those things?

He likes to watch scifi films, and point out all the inaccuracies. Actually, lasers wouldn’t make any sound in space; actually a light year is a unit of space rather than time; actually, none of this is real, it’s just a collection of still images projected at speed to present the illusion of movement, and all the characters are just actors who have never really been into outer space.

I am a huge movie nerd, but I like to be reminded that many things you see on the screen can’t happen in real life. (This can be important, people have refused to help other people out of a burning car because they were afraid the car would explode. This is something that happens only in movies and pointing this out can literally save lives.)

4/25/2016 11:32:54 PM

Dyz

"alternate modes of knowledge" = the things you BELIEVE you KNOW when you suspend rational and critical thought.

4/26/2016 2:30:20 AM

Mister Spak

wat

4/26/2016 5:40:51 AM

Prager

Let me guess, Dr Tyson doesn't include Sam's mythology and belief in the supernatural so that makes everything the good Dr says wrong. Is that about it, Sam?

4/26/2016 7:57:24 AM

Don

Apparently you didn't pay close enough attention to Neil. A light year is not a unit of space. It is measurement of distance.

4/26/2016 8:23:11 AM

Doubting Thomas

And just who do you think we should replace him with? Sarah Failin?

4/26/2016 9:05:59 AM

nazani14

I hate the "spectrally stupid," too- whatever they are.

4/26/2016 11:34:10 AM

Mister Spak

@Doubting Thomas

"And just who do you think we should replace him with? Sarah Failin? "

Bill O'Rielly. He can tell us what causes tides.

4/26/2016 11:35:05 AM

Sasha

The fact that the forms of organic life emerge through Darwinian evolution is fractal and distributed, so that little fragments of that fact will bark at you in the street or dart chirping overhead.

See, I find that absolutely fascinating. I love how we're all related at some level on this planet. Maybe that's why I Fucking Love Science.

And if science challenges your Christian faith, the problem isn't with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

4/26/2016 2:29:03 PM

Anon-e-moose



...then in the words of the venerable Quantum Mechanic, 'Stop Using Computers'.

In all my time I've worked at a computer shop, at no time have I seen on any of the components used to build, upgrade or repair the computers the words 'Made by God' on them.

So why are there so many series on the Discovery/Quest channels of how things are made, how they work etc, if they're not interesting, then...?!

...ye gods, but those things are like crack to me! X3

4/26/2016 3:47:27 PM

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