Media Science Whiz Tyson Learns It’s
Okay to Mock Baby Jesus,
But Not At All Okay to Mock BB-8


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© Jack Cashill - December 28, 2015 

Neil deGrasse TysonA Yahoo News headline got it right: as Christmas 2015 approached, media superstar Neil deGrasse Tyson (left), an astrophysicist by training and a (selective) blasphemer by inclination, managed to “Annoy the Entire Internet.”

Tyson’s offense was to challenge the science of the surprisingly lame new “Star Wars” movie. Outraged, the “Force” and its media allies blasted back at Tyson in a merciless Twitter war.

A year earlier, Tyson used the occasion of Christmas 2014 to challenge Christianity, but he did so then with near impunity. The attack began on Christmas morning when Tyson tweeted, "On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642."

Later on that same day an unrepentant Tyson made sure no one misunderstood the target of his unholy swipe, “QUESTION: ThIs year, what do all the world's Muslims and Jews call December 25th? ANSWER: Thursday.”

Yes, Tyson received a fair share of criticism from Christian quarters, but the media almost universally sided with Tyson. Emboldened by this support, Tyson concluded his assault by pontificating, "Imagine a world in which we are all enlightened by objective truths rather than offended by them."

One objective truth is that Tyson is a serial fabricator. Like so many progressives, he compounds his dishonest attacks on Christianity with an unthinking elevation of the world’s least progressive religion. I refer here, of course, to Islam.

In the way of example, Tyson dined out for years on the story of how George W. Bush used the occasion of the September 11 terror attacks to slander Muslims and deny them their share of science history.

According to Tyson, Bush cited Genesis to claim, “Our God is the God who named the stars.” Bush’s goal, said Tyson, was a divisive one, namely “to distinguish we from they.” Bush further sinned by failing to acknowledge, “The Arabs named the stars, not God.”

“E very word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the,’” Mary McCarthy once famously said of fellow writer and crypto-communist Lillian Hellman. As the Federalist’s Sean Davis has pointed out, the same might fairly be said of Tyson.

Bush, in fact, made his reference to the stars not within a week of 9/11, as Tyson claimed, but in a February 2003 speech memorializing the ill-fated crew of the Columbia shuttle mission. He quoted Isaiah, not Genesis, and said as much. He used no potentially divisive phrases like “our God.” And he was not talking about what group of people named the Stars, but rather, as Isaiah did, “Who created all these?”

If that were not enough, Tyson’s use of Isaac Newton to trivialize Christianity shows how little he understands the history of science, starting with a pivotal twelfth century gathering in Toledo, the Spanish city repossessed by Christian knights of the Reconquista.

There, in the city’s cathedral, a polyglot crew of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars labored away in surprising harmony, translating into Latin the works of the great Greek philosophers that had earlier been translated into Arabic.

Richard Rubenstein, author of the impressive Aristotle’s Children and not likely a Catholic apologist, calls the eventual outcome of this gathering “an acute source of embarrassment” for many modernists.

As it happened, Muslims would turn their back on this treasure trove of admittedly pagan scholarship, and “farsighted popes and bishops therefore took the fateful step that Islamic leaders had rejected.” Not without a few speed bumps en route, the Catholic Church rode away with the goods. Historian Edward Grant calls the Medieval Christian renaissance that ensued “the best kept secret of Western civilization.”

Isaac Newton, the scientist who saw further “by standing upon the shoulders of giants,” was a grateful beneficiary of this happy gathering. A devout Christian, he would have been appalled by the Tyson tweet. He described in Principia the objective truth on which he centered his discoveries, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

Of course, none of this history matters to Tyson or the popular media that he offended by tweeting, "BB-8, a smooth rolling metal spherical ball, would have skidded uncontrollably on sand.” Time to get those tumbrils rolling for “The Grinch Who Ruined Star Wars.”


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