There's been a mild amount of angst on the internet in recent days over a couple of well known science communicators espousing nonsense on matters outside of their field. The first was Bill Nye, who made comments about philosophy that most charitably could be described as uninformed. The second was Neil deGrasse Tyson's tweets about biology expressing … Continue reading The reliability hierarchy of expert opinion
The Fermi Paradox is the question that, if the conditions for life in the galaxy are as ubiquitous as they appear to be, so that there should be hundreds, if not thousands of alien civilizations out there, then where is everyone? Why have we found no evidence for any for those civilizations? And why aren't they here? … Continue reading Snowden’s answer to the Fermi Paradox and its assumptions
Neil deGrasse Tyson interviewed Elon Musk on Tyson's podcast, StarTalk. The interview covers a range of topics, and Tyson includes Bill Nye in a running commentary on the interview. (Chuck Nice is also there to add his usual laughs.) I found Nye's take on many things, such as the problems with the idea of colonizing … Continue reading Neil deGrasse Tyson interviews Elon Musk
HuffPost has an article up with quotes from various people on the dangers, or non-dangers of artificial intelligence. They include the usual suspects: Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, etc. Most of them express concern about the dangers. But I think Neil deGrasse Tyson's is the only answer from this group worth listening to. There are … Continue reading Should we fear AI? Neil deGrasse Tyson’s answer is the right one.
Tyson makes some imminently intelligent remarks about GMOs. Of course, it's become controversial and this video seems to be popping up all over the web. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ecT2CaL7NA He elaborates in a Facebook post, responding to some criticisms.
Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist, has a post up on his blog telling his fellow physicists to "stop saying silly things about philosophy". The last few years have seen a number of prominent scientists step up to microphones and belittle the value of philosophy. Stephen Hawking, Lawrence Krauss, and Neil deGrasse Tyson are well-known examples. To redress the balance a … Continue reading Sean Carroll defends philosophy
This video is just wrong on so many levels. If you haven't seen it yet, you must watch it immediately! (Unless you're at work or something, then almost immediately.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yis7GzlXNM
And speaking of the outer solar system, it seems that Neil deGrasse Tyson isn't interested in debating whether or not Pluto is a planet. If you were looking forward to seeing astrophysicist and "Cosmos" host Neil deGrasse Tyson debate how Pluto should be classified, don't hold your breath. Tyson says he's done debating. The planetary scientist in charge of … Continue reading Neil deGrasse Tyson Turns Down Pluto Debate Challenge
Following Neil deGrasse Tyson's wholesale dismissal of philosophy, there has been a lot of discussion on the value of philosophy. As I've said repeatedly, I think philosophy has a great deal of value, but some of its defenders are tending to overstate what it can do. I've already written a post on what I see as the … Continue reading Why philosophical conclusions are not reliable knowledge
Ethan Siegel weighs in on the Tyson / philosophy controversy. Siegel is a theoretical physicist, notably a cosmologist which I believe is Tyson's own specialty. But Siegel's views on philosophy appear to be much more informed. Now, philosophy doesn’t have the answers, but it does teach ways to consider the limits of our knowledge. And … Continue reading What Scientific Arrogance Really Looks Like — Starts With A Bang! — Medium