Neil DeGrasse Tyson is an prick who routinely misrepresents the nature of science to feed his ego. Bill Nye is a buffoon who, I assume inadvertently, misrepresents science in glaringly obvious way. I just had to get that out of the way because of a discussion going on in the forums for the online class the Skeptical Science group is teaching titled, "Making Sense of Climate Science Denial." This discussion began when a user made a post saying:
I thought that was funny so I pointed out:
Neither Bill Nye nor Neil DeGrasse Tyson are experts in climate science. You say one should "consult a physician to diagnose your illness," but suggesting people should rely on either of those two is like saying you should consult an orthopedic surgeon for your heart condition.
The response I got seemed somewhat unhinged:
I tried to be civil and helpful when I responded, but the responses just got more and more crazy. I said, in part:
The reality is there is far more room for debate than you say. Even climate scientists would say so. You can trust media scientists like Tyson and Nye who routinely do disservice to science simply because they're popular, and you can mock people who disagree with you all you want, but the reality is your position is not supported or agreed upon by the climate scientists you say everyone should depend upon.
Which triggered this response:
The user actually believes we're all going to die because of global warming. The user believes global warming will kill us all before the debate ends if people like me keep speaking up. I struggled to respond without making fun of the user, writing a comment which concluded:
If you want to know more about why people don't agree with you on global warming, I'd suggest you stop paying attention to media figures like the ones you cite and try looking at something like the latest IPCC report. It's generally promoted as explaining the consensus position on global warming. If you read it, you'll find it doesn't say anything like you describe.
I thought things were crazy before, but I never expected what came next. The user quickly wrote a comment saying:
I don't know why the user thinks that NASA statement means global warming will kill us all. It doesn't say anything like that. I'm not sure how much it matters though. Look at what the user said at the start of his or her comment:
Really? I got this info from the NASA climate science website, perhaps you should go there...I will go to this IPCC report whatever that is, but I bet it's a right wing site.
This user thinks global warming will kill us all but hasn't even heard of the the IPCC. That's pretty weird, but what's bizarre is what came next. Almost immediately after that comment, the user posted another to say:
The IPCC... "a conglomeration of worldwide right-wingers." The IPCC doesn't know "diddly." And because I dare to cite it, I am a "blind, and selfish" person who doesn't "give a hoot about future generations."
But even that wasn't enough for this user. The user then quickly proceeded to make another comment:
And okay, sure. This person is unhinged. That's not a big deal. It's hilarious I got insulted as some immoral denier for daring to recommend people look at the latest IPCC report, but it's not a big deal, right? I mean, anyone can sign up for an online class. It's not surprising a crazy person or two might.
Except for one thing. This user insulted me, repeatedly making absurd and offensive remarks which had no basis in reality. That's the sort of thing you'd think wouldn't be allowed in a classroom. So what do the instructors of the class have to say?
I highly recommend everyone sign up for this course. It's a fascinating experience.