The Discovery Institute seems to have a never-ending grudge against Neil deGrasse Tyson. They posted a number of rants about him when the television series Cosmos: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY was being shown.
This just appeared at their creationist blog: #Rationalia? Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Authoritarian Daydream. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. The graphic above this post is in his honor. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Dr. Tyson of Cosmos fame has come in for mockery after proposing a “virtual country” called #Rationalia.
A “virtual” country? That means it’s a suggestion for an internet phenomenon, not a real country. What’s Klinghoffer’s problem with that? He quotes something that looks like a tweet from Tyson:
Earth needs a virtual country: #Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence.
Seems harmless enough — but not to Klinghoffer. He says:
He’s even got some pictures of friends posing in what looks like a mash-up between police mug shots and The Hollywood Squares. That’s Dawkins at two down, three across, as a “Citizen of #Rationalia.”
Egad — one of the dozen people in the composite pic at Klinghoffer’s post is Richard Dawkins! He’s another of the Discoveroids’ numerous adversaries. Let’s read on:
Look, I know Tyson for all his popularity is not exactly a serious thinker, for better or worse, so I wouldn’t take this too seriously. It doesn’t, by itself, represent a move to authoritarianism on the part of the New Atheist or “skeptic” community.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! How could Tyson’s cyber country ever represent “a move to authoritarianism”? Klinghoffer continues:
It’s merely a daydream for Tyson, but as daydreams go, it is disturbing. “A one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence,” if it were imaginable in practice, would be a formula for scientistic quasi-fascism.
“Scientistic quasi-fascism”? Can Klinghoffer be serious? Well, such a policy would certainly exclude creationism, so we can understand the Discoveroids’ concern. Here’s more:
The problems are obvious. Who would weigh the relevant “evidence”? What about questions — the vast majority in government — that turn upon the application of values once the “evidence,” whatever there may be, is available?
Values? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Science is a process for learning about reality. Values are the province of moral philosophy. Moving along:
What about questions — extremely common — where the “evidence” is ambiguous?
That’s not unusual in science. In such cases, we look for more evidence. Why is Klinghoffer having so much of a problem with this? Another excerpt:
Tyson’s imaginary republic is an invitation to arbitrary, undemocratic rule.
Science isn’t a democracy. It isn’t arbitrary either. Klinghoffer’s post is truly bizarre, and it isn’t over yet:
Absolutely, follow the evidence where it leads, as you understand it, in your own intellectual and spiritual life. But to picture imposing that on others is a dictator’s impulse.
There’s so much wrong with that paragraph that we won’t even bother to expound on it. It would take too long and it isn’t necessary. Hey — if Klinghoffer wants to follow the evidence as he understands it in his spiritual life, he’s free to do so — wherever that leads him. But we don’t want to go there.
There’s more to Klinghoffer’s rant, but we’ll quit here. It’s fun to see how Tyson affects him.
Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.