Monday, September 22, 2014

Conservatives suddenly notice Tyson

It's kind of odd that Neil Degrasse Tyson is suddenly getting noticed by conservatives in a way that Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens never really did. Obviously the Cult leadership was known by religious conservatives, but political conservatives seemed to take an entirely hands-off approach to the topic.

My guess is that, insofar as the others attacked conservative religious people, the typical talking heads of conservatism didn't care so much - call it some assistance in their desire to shed the social conservative wing of the party. Tyson, however, seemed to have made a mistake in deciding to go after people who are skeptical of global warming, which is tied into the more business-oriented end of the conservative talking head spectrum - so now his record is under scrutiny for anything mock-worthy. Lo and behold, it's not hard to find something to have a go at him over.

Speaking of "science", I notice the BICEP2 results came back negative on inflation, and therefore the latest multiverse rumblings. No matter - I'm sure in another universe the results were more positive.


Luke said...

Crude, do you have your finger on the pulse of conservative thought re: science funding? My impression is that funding is pretty tight these days, and the dogma is that science funding is very good for the economy if one is a long-enough-term-thinker. Hearsay is that deGrasse Tyson spends a lot of time attempting to drum up excitement and funding for basic research—the kind of stuff which will only become pragmatically useful in 20–100 years. Contrast this to the insane focus on next-quarter's-profits in the US these days—or so is my impression.

You might be just the person to comment on the above. :-)

The Deuce said...

I think part of it is also that Dawkins et al were always fringier characters in the US in particular, tied narrowly to the angry white male atheists of GNU movement, whereas Tyson is more of a cult figure for the Left and their delusions of intellectualism in general. He's more of a consistent shill for political correctness, he's black, and he spouts out lots of philosophically shallow inanities that sound deep and enlightening to dumb young liberal fanbois who crave the patina of being "pro-science."

Crude said...


No, I don't keep track of mainstream conservatives. Too much work deciding what I think than to figure out what others think.

Tyson seems to spend more time drumming up excitement for Tyson, at this point. Well, that and getting anti-religious and political, which seems as good a way to irritate people re: "science funding" as any. I'm not really onboard with the idea that science is the sort of thing that government principally funds anyway.


Sounds about accurate. Looks like a reaction is building which may ripple outwards.

ccmnxc said...

Speaking of "science", I notice the BICEP2 results came back negative on inflation, and therefore the latest multiverse rumblings. No matter - I'm sure in another universe the results were more positive.

Tomorrow's probable headline: This just in - scientists find multiverse not dependent on inflation as first thought.
See? all better now.

Crude said...

I have another prediction too: even though all the talk was about how BICEP2 finally provides evidence for inflation ('And thus the multiverse') has apparently gone bust, that won't hamper multiverse talk one iota.

Jakeithus said...

"that won't hamper multiverse talk one iota"

I think you can take your prediction to the bank. When a scientific theory is required to support a preconceived worldview, the fact that the evidence might not totally line up with the theory is irrelevant. Scientists have been looking for chemical pathways to support abiogenesis occurring early in earth's history for going on 75 years now, with nothing definitive to show for it, but the "fact" that it happened is never really doubted.

The alternative is simply too terrible to consider.

Crude said...

The thing is, I think an infinite multiverse A) is compatible with theism anyway, B) is compatible with Christianity, and C) is actually incompatible with atheism.

But oh well.