politics and science, neil degrasse tyson

By politics, I don’t mean political parties.  I mean ideologies in general.  I should have been more specific.  By political, I mean taking a strong stance.

There’s modern science and then there is modern science politics.  There’s a difference between them but sometimes they get mixed together.

I love the man and I think he is doing marvelous things.  But I will give an example of the politification of science education:

Galileo.  I actually stopped watching the Science channel about two years, after a steady diet of it for about three years:

NdGT [love the shortening of his name btw :P ] – in recanting the tale of History, within a few sentences, he linked together:

a) the Spanish Inquisition
b) Salem Witch Trials
c) burning at the stake
d) The Catholic Church
e) Galileo’s house arrest and gag order, which was a political move and not an ideological one and wasn’t all that bad, considering that they were paying his bills and he was calling the current pope in idiot in veiled language.

He was making fun of his boss.  They didn’t stop his funding either. They paid for the scientific research.

Anyway, NdGT gave the same bad account of history that I learned in school in the 80s, which was wrong and ahistorical.

To hear it AGAIN, 35 YEARS LATER, after I’ve since learned a non-politicized account of the events (the one historicans believe – and HISTORY is their expertise) bothered me greatly…

Maybe the man made a mistake.  I’m not taking away from the good he does.  Maybe he opens his mouth without thinking sometimes.  We all do that.  But this was accompanied with graphics and illustrations, all to give this impression about the VICTORIOUSNESS of SCIENCE over… I dunno, whatever it is they didn’t like.

that’s the politics I’m referring to.

When history is distorted to serve a purpose, I don’t like it.  I’m sensitive to it, and expect a lot out of spokespeople for Science to get things correct.  Not just the science but also the history.

I don’t need your agreement with my thinking, but I hope for at least some understanding where I’m coming from.

In short, he was perpetuating this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_thesis
which is historically incorrect but it contains a popular set of myths.

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