Naw. Can’t be. Look, we dunno. But …
But a site I don’t usually follow (time issues), Politico , has pretty much captured what went wrong with astronomer Neil deGrassse Tyson’s Cosmos remake, in reference to an incidental claim about a quote from a US prez:
In fairness to Tyson, it’s always easy to fall for quotes that are too good to check and to rely on fuzzy material in speeches, especially when you are playing for laughs. But when you are assuming a position of intellectual superiority based on your rigor, it’s especially important to resist these tendencies (which should be resisted, regardless).
(Here’s The Federalist’s story.) But what happened later is informative:
Tyson helpfully informed Davis, “One of our mantras in science is that the absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.”
Really? When it comes to presidential speeches? Just because there’s an absence of evidence that Obama said in a State of the Union address that he wants to nationalize the oil companies, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t said it?
This is such self-evident nonsense that Tyson finally tweeted at a professor who suggested he simply admit error and apologize, that he would indeed apologize — as soon as he found an appropriate medium and occasion. No one to this point had realized that Tyson lacks for mediums and occasions to express himself.
No indeed. Note this also:
his bullheaded gracelessness has extended to Tyson’s acolytes. They have worked to keep any mention of the controversy off of the Wikipedia page on Tyson, and tried to exact revenge against the Federalist on its Wikipedia page, for daring to expose a mistake by Tyson the Magnificent.
A media person’s view (mine): Tyson’s team messed up big time on the Cosmos remake.
I’m not saying it was Tyson individually, unless someone can show me that he wrote the script himself (which would be unusual in that industry).
His story mavens grandfathered all kinds of crackpot materialist atheist causes—including nasty 16th century non-science crackpot Giordano Bruno. They just didn’t seem to get the fact that no one except them now even cares.
Which is odd, because if there is one thing Carl Sagan knew how to do, it was grab an audience about things the audience believed in. Or could believe in.
See also: Wikipedia’s Darwinized Lincoln was historically impossible, it turns out But that makes no difference once airheads believe it.
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By the way, Sagan on ET before ET was fashionable, or before he was: