Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson was on The Colbert Report last night and addressed a problem we run into all too often in these parts, namely the fact that there are so many people out there who think that scientific consensus is somehow like religion, that it’s something you can choose to believe in or not. “Ex-gay” charlatans and their anti-gay handlers misrepresent real studies and buy fake studies because they’re appealing to a segment of society that has been trained to view science and knowledge as a threat to their worldview. Tyson explains that the greatest thing about science is that, even if you deny its findings with your entire being (see: NARTH and others), it’s still true. Deal with it:
Host Stephen Colbert asked Tyson, who was promoting his new Fox documentary series, “Cosmos,” why he believed that opposing viewpoints were not necessary in every scientific debate.
“That would be a waste of everyone’s time,” Tyson said. “Once science has been established, once a scientific truth emerges from a consensus of experiments and observations, it is the way of the world. What I’m saying is, when different experiments give you the same result, it is no longer subject to your opinion. That’s the good thing about science: It’s true whether or not you believe in it. That’s why it works.”
Tyson, making his show-record 10th appearance on the program, told Colbert that Americans could make any arguments they wished, but he said no one has the right to be taken seriously.
“You get to say the world is flat because we live in a country that guarantees free speech, but it’s not a country that guarantees that anything you say is correct,” Tyson said.
There are not two sides to every story. The media’s obsession with “balance” has created a paradigm where journalists feel the need to invite Tony Perkins, who knows nothing about human sexuality or civil rights, to give an “opposing viewpoint,” when the reality is that the dictates of responsible journalism would state that people like him don’t have an opinion that deserves to be taken seriously. We don’t ask the Klan to comment every time a black person makes the news, and one day, the media will figure out that you don’t need to ask an anti-scientific wingnut to comment every time something involving real science is being discussed. Here’s the clip: