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To be clear, it isn’t Tyson’s science that is the point of contention here. Who doesn’t want to listen to him talk about supernovas and the large magellanic cloud?
The problem is the belief of his fans—encouraged by him—that science has all the answers; that anyone who believes in physics must adhere to a progressive secularism; that anyone not on board is—to borrow from the accusations of Tyson’s defenders—guilty of anti-intellectualism, climate “denial” and racism.
Properly understood, science is a tool, an incredibly powerful one, but still just a tool. G.K. Chesterton wrote long ago, “Science must not impose any philosophy, any more than the telephone must tell us what to say.”
The Bush quote controversy reminds us that the self-styled champions of science are, like anyone else, prone to sloppiness, pomposity and error. Just don’t tell the adherents of the Tyson cult. It’s not polite to scandalize the faithful.