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Why are conservatives afraid of Neil deGrasse Tyson?

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 22:02 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment


“You’re a scientist, and a black one, who’s smarter than [conservatives] are,” Maher quipped.

The line got laughs, but it’s worth remembering that Tyson served the George W. Bush administration as a member of the Commission on Moon, Mars and Beyond in 2004. Conservatives have no problem harnessing Tyson’s intellect.

No, the danger Tyson brings to the political structure, as he gains an increasingly large foothold in the popular culture, is the threat of an informed populace.

“When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you,” Tyson wrote in 2011. “It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.”

That may not sound radical, but the promise of a large, nerdy, young voting block that subscribes to Tyson’s sentiment is a threat to the political status quo — certainly Republicans, but Democrats as well.

  1. By that logic, the Americans would never have gone to the moon.

    There was an article recently about Republicans understanding climate science (and knowing global warming to be true) but not accepting it because it didn’t fit with their religious/political beliefs. Cognitive dissonance, head in the sand.

    Have you read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality? (Caution: huge fanfic that’s not yet finished.) I wish J.K. R. had written that story and gotten the same popularity with it… then we’d have oodles of kids excited about science and rational thinking.

  2. Yes, I’m on the notification list for new episodes…

  3. @Desiato: Yes, it’s irrational. US conservatives are not actually conservative at all. You know the ideology of keeping government small and out of our faces? What will happen during climate diasters? Governments will get more power.

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