Can you trust Neil deGrasse Tyson?

It looks like atheist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who likes to posture as if he is the Ambassador of Science, has a track record of fabricating accounts and quotes:

At this point, I’m legitimately curious if any quotes or anecdotes peddled by Neil deGrasse Tyson are true. Over the last week, I’ve examined only four, and every single one appears to be garbage. The “above average” headline. The “360 degrees” quote from a member of Congress. The jury duty story. And now the bogus George W. Bush quote. These are normally the types of errors that would be uncovered by peer review. Blatant data fabrication, after all, is the cardinal sin of scientific publishing. In journalism, this would get you fired. In Tyson’s world, it got him his own television show. Where are Tyson’s peers, and why is no one reviewing his assertions?

Somebody seriously needs to stage an intervention for Neil deGrasse Tyson. This type of behavior is not acceptable. It is indicative of sheer laziness, born of arrogance. Please, somebody, help him before he fabricates again.

From:  Another Day, Another Quote Fabricated By Neil deGrasse Tyson

What’s even more hilarious is that several of the youtube videos showing Tyson telling his tall tales were made at skeptic’s meetings.  Just goes to show how arrogance can lead to gullibility.

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9 Responses to Can you trust Neil deGrasse Tyson?

  1. desha says:

    Tyson is just another example of a reputable scientist whose conception of religion is equivalent to a pothead teenager’s. Next.

  2. Dhay says:

    Here’s the more detailed criticism, in the journalist’s previous article:
    http://thefederalist.com/2014/09/15/did-neil-degrasse-tyson-just-try-to-justify-blatant-quote-fabrication/

  3. TFBW says:

    What story happened three years ago, Martin? Sean Davis only started blowing the whistle on Tyson’s misrepresentations last week. Did someone else beat him to it three years ago? Or are you saying that Tyson started getting fast and loose with facts three years ago? Or are you saying that we only have proof that his habit of fabricating evidence goes back three years? Or are you just imitating Tyson — adopting a patronising tone and citing a fabrication to justify it? Please clarify.

  4. @TFBW I’m saying the misquotings happened 3 years ago. That was enough time for anyone to research the errors, including Michael. But all he brings forth is others’ scoops. If one insists on being so upset by this, perhaps one could do one’s own investigatory journalism instead of cut-paste-add opinion.
    The fact also remains that Tyson’s errors occured outside his field of knowledge. I personally think he’s an ok entertainer, but he tries too hard to be better than his skills allow. He should hire a researcher/writer for his talks (or a new one if one exists) to avoid similar future occurences.

  5. Michael says:

    @TFBW I’m saying the misquotings happened 3 years ago. That was enough time for anyone to research the errors, including Michael. But all he brings forth is others’ scoops.

    That’s silly talk.

    If one insists on being so upset by this, perhaps one could do one’s own investigatory journalism instead of cut-paste-add opinion.

    I’m not upset; I’m laughing.

    The fact also remains that Tyson’s errors occured outside his field of knowledge.

    Yep. And the “errors” are examples of Tyson making things up.

    I personally think he’s an ok entertainer, but he tries too hard to be better than his skills allow.

    LOL! Like Dawkins. I agree that Tyson and Dawkins have more in common with a clown than a scientist.

    He should hire a researcher/writer for his talks (or a new one if one exists) to avoid similar future occurences.

    I agree. GIven his track record of making things up and being hoodwinked by urban legends, Tyson does not have the intellectual firepower to talk about anything outside his formal training.

    If one insists on being so upset by this, perhaps one could do one’s own investigatory journalism instead of cut-paste-add opinion.

  6. TFBW says:

    I’m saying the misquotings happened 3 years ago.

    That’s the earliest of the examples we’ve seen cited, but they also happened just over a week ago, and some number of times in between. And “misquotings?” What sources is he misquoting? Where and how do you draw the line between a misquote and a fabrication which has passing similarities to certain real-world events?

    That was enough time for anyone to research the errors, including Michael.

    Not to mention all his fans. And you. Why is it that it’s taken so long for someone to notice this? I’d say it’s because science is about facts, and he’s supposed to be a top-tier science communicator, and thus presenting the facts of science to us in an understandable way. Well, he had us all fooled for quite some time, didn’t he? It turns out that he’s not too fussy about the factual content of his presentations after all. In fact, he’s rather partial to fabricating his data.

    The fact also remains that Tyson’s errors occured outside his field of knowledge.

    Good grief, you’re really grasping at straws. Anyone with a PhD in any area knows how to cite their sources. And in what sense is the ability to quote something that someone else said a specialist field of knowledge? These aren’t “errors” — they are clearly the result of a wilful decision on Tyson’s part to sacrifice factual accuracy for rhetorical effect. If he were a politician, that would be no big deal — we can safely assume that politicians are doing that when their lips move. But Tyson? He’s supposed to be a science communicator, and we’re supposed to respect science because it’s all about the facts. He’s been abusing that air of reliability to hoodwink us with fabricated anecdotes. What other fabrications has be been passing off as fact?

  7. John B says:

    I’ve searched and found many examples where LOCAL schools are below NATIONAL AVERAGE in the headlines (or like this headline BELOW AVERAGE is quoted to indicate there’s something else going on). More often than not headlines discuss schools being below STANDARDS
    (This was Jan 2014)
    Half of North Devon schools ‘below average’ in latest league tables
    The latest figures show six of the 12 secondary schools in the area are still performing below the national average for GCSE results.
    http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/half_of_north_devon_schools_below_average_in_latest_league_tables_1_3257743

    And then there’s the 2007 WSJ article:

    Intelligence in the Classroom
    Charles Murray | Wall Street Journal
    January 16, 2007
    Where he says later

    You don’t have to sell me on Tyson being on the pompous side
    Hate what him and the producers did to COSMOS, though I’m sure Sagan today wouldn’t be much different

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