Neil deGrasse Tyson — serial fabulist?


Posted on: March 4, 2017

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Serious questions: are *any* quotes/anecdotes highlighted by @neiltyson legitimate?

— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 15, 2014

Sean Davis of The Federalist has been fact-checking some of the more spectacular statements from celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and the result isn’t pretty.

For example, Davis highlighted this slide from one of Tyson’s recent presentations. Tyson’s source for the quote is literally, and unbelievably, listed as only a  “Newspaper Headline.”

"This is an example of journalists not understanding data" #data14 @neiltyson

— Alberto Cairo (@albertocairo) September 10, 2014

Davis goes on to write that no one can find a newspaper that ever ran that headline. Did Tyson just make it up?

And today, Davis finds another suspect Tyson quote, this time where the scientist, according to Davis, “slanders” President George W. Bush and allegedly takes something Bush said in 2003 about the Columbia space shuttle disaster and falsely attributes it to something Bush said directly after 9/11 in 2001.

Another Day, Another Quote Fabricated By Neil deGrasse Tyson

— The Federalist (@FDRLST) September 16, 2014

Neil de Grasse Tyson's larger point – that GW Bush spent time trash-talking Islam – is even falser than his "facts"

— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) September 16, 2014

And Tyson is still using this suspect Bush “quote”:

Neil Tyson peddled that bogus GWB line as recently as Sunday night. Let's see if he does it again tonight/tomorrow.

— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 16, 2014

Maybe Tyson should submit his presentations for peer review before giving them?

Which leads us to some pretty funny invented quotes from Twitter users to mock Tyson’s recent foibles:

“What do you call those knobby things on doors that help you open them?” -Neil deGrasse Tyson

— John Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) September 16, 2014

"The worst thing that ever happened to America was the 19th Amendment." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

— Leon Wolf (@LeonHWolf) September 16, 2014

“I put ketchup on my hot dogs” - Neil deGrasse Tyson

— John Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) September 16, 2014

"I dunno, I think Mary Lambert is kinda hot." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

— Leon Wolf (@LeonHWolf) September 16, 2014

“Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

— John Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) September 16, 2014

"Why does no one care that Neil deGrasse Tyson keeps doing what I got fired for?" -Jayson Blair, 1994

— Leon Wolf (@LeonHWolf) September 16, 2014

And from Sean Davis:

“I’m beginning to think this Neil deGrasse Tyson fellow is a serial fabricator of quotes.” — President Thomas Jefferson, “Stuff Jefferson Said: The Prequel,” Originally self-published at in 1573

Sorry, Sean. But we’re pretty sure that book is available only from Barnes & Noble. Please investigate and get back to us, and if appropriate, issue a correction.



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