Neil deGrasse Tyson has a warning for politicians who cherry-pick science

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a warning for politicians who cherry-pick science August 29, 2015

Screenshot 2015-08-29 at 5.48.33 PM

Appearing on HuffPost Live, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson discussed politicians who pick and choose what science they want to believe or endorse as part of their political platform.

“If you start cherry-picking science, that’s the beginning of the end of an informed democracy,” Tyson said.

As he has in the past, he noted that President Abraham Lincoln founded the National Academy of Science to inform politicians with unbiased scientific evidence but said today politicians don’t want to listen to scientists.

“If today you’re gonna say, ‘I’m gonna pick that and not this because this blends with my political, social, cultural, religious philosophies and that doesn’t,’ I don’t know what kind of country that is, and I don’t know what kind of future world that would create,” Tyson said. “If you gain 10 pounds this month, you don’t say, ‘Repeal gravity. I object to gravity,’ No, you don’t blame gravity. Where do you draw the line here?”

When we think of political science denial we often think first to climate change in which almost the entire Republican Party has called a hoax and failed to enact policies to improve the environment. We also think about the battle to keep or even get evolution taught in the science classroom while creationist groups argue that schools should teach “all” beliefs on the origin of life, mainly that of Christian creationism.

But even the current Planned Parenthood debate on abortion is a clear result of science denial and the GOP not understanding pregnancy and when a fetus is viable or not and when it can or cannot feel pain.

Science is a part of our everyday lives and the evidence should dictate policy and actions. You don’t get to choose what you accept because it makes you feel good.

[Image: Huffington Post screen capture]

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