Neil Degrasse Tyson: The 3 Phases of Scientific Truth

“Every great scientific truth goes through three phases. First, people deny it. Second, they say it conflicts with the Bible. Third, they say they’ve known it all along.” —Neil Degrasse Tyson



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  • JohnMWhite

    This simply isn’t true. The Vatican readily admits it got several scientific fundamentals wrong, like evolution and the theories of Copernicus and Galileo. Protestant churches are all over the place when it comes to how they deal with science, from fundamentalists who won’t ever admit the Bible got science wrong even when you fly them around the world in a plane full of six-legged insects while forcing them to watch a lecture on pi, to liberals who’ll throw out any line of the bible that makes them look a bit silly.

    • ZMP

      Someone doesn’t know their history! The catholic church didn’t admit that Galileo was right until 1992, a full 359 years after the inquisition forced him to recant his theory under threat of torture. Yeah, they sure did admit that one “readily”….

      • JohnMWhite

        I was talking in the present tense. They readily admit, right now, that they were wrong about that. And about evolution. What is your issue with not reading my comments correctly? It is quite clear what I meant, and I explained further in the other comment you responded so incorrectly to. I am no Catholic apologist but it’s simply not true that religions generally claim to have known science all along, for a variety of reasons.

  • mikespeir

    Well, sure. Every great truth is to be found in the Bible. It’s just that we don’t suspect it’s there until science tells us what to look for. Then, somehow, the Holy Spirit illuminates our understanding so we can interpret the Bible correctly. This is the Power Of Enlightenment, or __ __ __, for short.

    • ZMP

      Dude, pull your head out of your ass… There is nothing in the bible that can be called “truth”.

      • JohnMWhite

        Not sure if trolling or just incapable of detecting sarcasm…

      • mikespeir

        Dang! I thought I’d taken all the subtlety out of it.

  • Ken

    “The Vatican readily admits it got several scientific fundamentals wrong” after killing hundreds, if not thousands, for proclaiming those fundamentals in the first place. Does anyone truly believe the pope (and many fundie leaders) would not, right now, order the death penalty for people using contraception if he/threy could? The Enlightenment was a real, bloody war that had casualties. The church has always had to be forcibly restrained from abusing its spiritual authority, and is only restrained now because of mass media and their discovery that you CAN con people out of more money for years more efficiently than taking it all at once. Different tactics, same results. Remember, God loves you, or else.

    • JohnMWhite

      You’re quite right, but my point wasn’t that the Catholic Church has had a long-standing happy relationship with science, it is that the idea that churches always say they “knew all along” what great truths science demonstrates is not accurate.

      • ZMP

        The catholic church (and every other religion for that matter) has been dragged into the modern era kicking and screaming against science and scientific achievements the entire time. They don’t have anything close to a “happy relationship with science”.

        • JohnMWhite

          Yes, I know that. I *said* that. Am I not typing in English?

          • Sunny Day

            He might have clicked the wrong reply button. Custador has done it himself once or twice.

  • ender

    I like this (supposedly Planck’s) quote about scientific truths:

    A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

    • dmat

      VERY well said!

  • Joseph Hiddink

    Actually the three phases are: It cannot be done or ever invented.
    Then it is fought tooth and nail even when it is patented.
    Finally it is declared self-evident.
    I am in the second stage, when I found the Technology, used by a Flying Saucer and discovered Gravity Control, something that can be used for real Space Travel, Power Generation, Floating or Flying Cars, tapping energy out of the aether like a Saucer does and was used by Tesla for his 1931 Pierce Arrow Car demo.
    The Energy Corporations (Nuclear, Wind, Water and Solar) are advertising how good they are for the public and hate the invention. Just the same, Gravity Control willeventually displace all other systems. No fuel other than Gravity, no pollution, can be built anywhere , even on ships and can be buried so that it will not mar the landscape.
    No dams are recuired, no personnel making $150,000 per year. Power at 1 cent per KW or less.
    Look at >One Terminal Capacitor <