It’s a matter of almost religious faith on the left that conservatives are “#Science deniers.” Conservatives are skeptics of human-caused global warming, for example. Bill Maher, the HBO far left ranter, makes use of this meme frequently on his Friday night show. He repeated this trope recently, but unfortunately did so in front of an actual scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Tyson often has irritated people with tweets that sometimes makes Donald Trump’s seem reasonable. On this occasion, the celebrity astrophysicist called out Maher to his face.
Tyson’s point was that the left often “deny science” with as much gusto, if not more so, as the right. Leftists tend to be opposed to vaccinations and GMOs despite the demonstrable fact that both are of great benefit. Tyson’s rejoinder has been particularly irritating to Maher since he has often expressed the ideas that vaccinations and GMOs are harmful.
Tyson performed a public service by exposing a dirty little secret about the left. The left does not regard science as a means of looking at the world, of studying phenomena and dispassionately discussing and testing theories to push back the frontiers of knowledge. They tend to view science, as they everything else, as a political weapon to take down their enemies. The idea of human-caused global warming, for example, feeds into the desire of the left to seize more control of the economy by mandating the ending of fossil fuels and the promotion of renewable energy. The market may well cause this process to take place, but doing so by government fiat is a prescription for disaster.
On a more visceral level, the left uses “science” to make their opponents seem somehow less than intelligent, thus gaining a moral advantage over them. But Tyson has neatly exposed that scheme, by pointing out that the left is in no moral position to point fingers.
Tyson has not gone the next step and called out his own profession for its culpability in the politicization of science. The state no longer can turn over dissident scientists to the Inquisition. It does have the ability to deny them grant money. Thus, scientific theories that tend to support political agendas, such as global warming, tends to be bought and paid for. It is a problem that has eroded the credibility of science itself and needs addressing.