Why Neil deGrasse Tyson is a philistine

The popular television host says he has no time for deep, philosophical questions. That's a horrible message to send to young scientists.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
(Image credit: (Facebook.com/CosmosOnTV))

Neil deGrasse Tyson may be a gifted popularizer of science, but when it comes to humanistic learning more generally, he is a philistine. Some of us suspected this on the basis of the historically and theologically inept portrayal of Giordano Bruno in the opening episode of Tyson's reboot of Carl Sagan's Cosmos.

But now it's been definitively demonstrated by a recent interview in which Tyson sweepingly dismisses the entire history of philosophy. Actually, he doesn't just dismiss it. He goes much further — to argue that undergraduates should actively avoid studying philosophy at all. Because, apparently, asking too many questions "can really mess you up."

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