Friday, September 28, 2012

How and Why Neil Degrasse Tyson Went Astray

It seems that every generation needs a new prophet of pseudo-science to carry the sputtering torch forward.  This generation it is Neil Degrasse Tyson.  His message seems fresh and appeals to the indoctrinated but it is the same old nonsense which originated in the Vienna Circle n the early 20th Century.

The Vienna Circle was devoted to positivism, the doctrine that physical science, whose ultimate basis is sensory experience, exhausts what can be known, leaving philosophy to police the tendency of thought to pretend to more knowledge than can be delivered by science.
If you google The Vienna Circle be sure you
get the right one.  This is a picture of the founder
of The New Vienna Circle not The Vienna Circle

The odd thing about this is that the modern priesthood of science claims that without this divorce of  'science' and philosophy, 'scientific' progress is not possible.  That concept is just not valid based on the history of said progress.  For most of history science and philosophy were interrelated and progress was not stymied.  So, why was it necessary to rip them apart?  The answer had nothing to do with progress, it had to do with animosity toward religion.  But, the Circle's premise created a problem for itself.

The physical sciences are rigorous precisely to the degree that they were mathematical, yet mathematics is not a physical science. It is immune to the touchstone of sensory experience that forms the basis of physical science. Because of this positivism threatened to crumble under its own weight.

This is a short introduction.  I will post more soon.  I know I didn't answer the Why question yet about Tyson.  That answer takes positivism as a starting place but it has much more to do with other considerations as well.  The main point you should understand is that most of what you have been told about the necessity for pseudo-science to be separated from philosophy is a lie.  That much of what you have been told about The Middle Ages is a lie, much of what you have been told about the objectivity of science is a lie.

Reference to: A World Without Time by Palle Yourgrau
Revoking the Moral Order; The Ideology of Positivism and the Vienna Circle, by David Peterson

BTW, both Einstein and Kurt Godel were participants in the Vienna Circle however Popper and Wittgenstein were not.  The reason makes for an amusing story given the supposed logical bent of the group.  Popper was not invited because he detested Wittgenstein.  Wittgenstein, on the other hand, had refused the invitation.


  1. If you had not turtled up on FB you would know that Obama did not win reelection he bribed and lied his way to a popular and electoral college majority of the vote. By no stretch of the imagination did his group engage in a fair campaign. Now, in the future restrict your comments on this blog to the subject of the posts. If you had not blocked me on FB you would not have had to resort to sneaking a message in here. Time to grow up Kevin.

  2. I see you are unfamiliar with how elections take place in your own country. Typical of a teabagging Republitard. You're attempting to run a Military apologetic page, yet you delete comments? More evidence of your hypocrisy. I have some screen shots of people talking about how awful this blog is and how pathetic it is that anyone that comments should be subjected to your silly rules. The fact that no one reads your blog makes the rules even more ridiculous.

    And sorry, but your politics are about as awful as your belief in special creationism. Your statements sound as if the Obama campaign were the only campaign in history to be dishonest. You think the liar RMoney was any better? Any of the past candidates? Do you understand how politics work?? Romney is a stupid Mormon that believes the Garden of Eden was in Missouri. I'm quite thankful that imbecile lost the election due to his own stupid comments about American citizens. Pat Robertson told his audience that god told him Romney was going to win. What a disgrace.