Monday, October 7, 2013

Neil deGrasse Tyson Is a Horrible Scientist


In this YouTube video, Neil deGrasse Tyson shows that he is more celebrity than he is scientist. The logical inconsistencies are so infantile I can't believe this was presented to scientists and wasn't even questions.

Right around 8:40, he begins the often heard but never taken seriously assertion that only two Muslims have received Nobel prizes ("But he's not middle eastern Muslim, he's Pakistani Muslim" as if that mattered for anything???). Therefore, Muslims must not be as smart or something culturally is holding them back. This should strike any thinking person as bigotry. And it is.

Nasim Nicholas Taleb has already pointed out that when Richard Dawkins made the same argument, he was pointing out his own glaringly horrific understanding of statistics. I would link to Taleb's comments, but I can't find them. Luckily, there is this concise summary along with a Taleb video explaining it.

So Taleb has taken Dawkins to task for the Muslim/Nobel anecdote. It is now time for yours truly to take NDT to task for the same anecdote. NDT ends the anecdote with a slightly different moral.

"Now . . . how many Nobel prizes are won by Jews? It's like . . . a fourth of the Nobel prizes." He then goes on to point out that there are around a billion Muslims in the world but only 15 million Jews "tops." Therefore, the statistics prove that Jews are smarter than Muslims (according to NGT's asinine logic which Taleb rips to shreds).

But here's the kicker: "I don't want to know why 85% of the Academy [of Sciences] rejects God, I want to know why 15% DON'T."

Hold on there brainiac . . . didn't you just say Jews are overrepresented in Nobel prizes? So if you wanted to be a good scientist, using NDT's own data, wouldn't you want to be a JEW rather than an atheist?

Neil deGrasse Tyson, you are not a scientist. You are an ideologue. You lack the basic rationality that our children so sorely need. And here you are the de facto spokesman for "science." It's embarassing.

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