11 Times Neil deGrasse Tyson Shut Down Science Skeptics on Twitter in the Best Way

Neil deGrasse Tyson is not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need.
Saoirse Kerrigan
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The internet can be a great place, where ideas and information are shared freely for the benefit of everyone.


At the same time, it can also be a hub of misinformation, and a growing hotbed of skepticism when it comes to scientific theories that many would regard as no-brainers. 

A casual scroll through Twitter will show you that there are people who question everything, from the shape of the Earth to the validity of climate change. Luckily, one brave scientist has taken up the task of shutting down misinformation and educating the masses - Neil deGrasse Tyson. Here are just some of the American astrophysicists finest Twitter clapbacks.

1. The Infamous B.o.B. Incident: How to Deal With A Flat-Earther

Back in 2016 the media was quick to report on a series of tweets by rapper B.o.B. where he voiced his skepticism regarding the shape of our planet. Like a growing number of people on the internet, B.o.B. had come to believe that the earth was flat, and that his photograph showing no curvature on the horizon proved his point.

 Enter Neil deGrasse Tyson, who shot down these claims with his trademark wit. Sometimes a short and snappy response is the best way to go. 

2. But How Do We KNOW?!: Explaining Scientific Tools

There are a lot of users on Twitter who want to prove commonly accepted scientific facts wrong. Like this user, who questioned how we could possibly know anything about the sun for certain without having visited it.

Thankfully, deGrasse Tyson was online and ready to point out that tools are a thing. And that these tools allow us to stay a safe distance from the sun while observing its activity.

3. Moon Landing Skepticism: How Could We Hear the Landing?

One of the most enduring conspiracy theories is the supposed moon landing "hoax". Skeptics of the moon landing will point to many aspects of the footage which they consider to be proof that the entire achievement took place in a movie studio.

This user thought they had a real "gotcha" moment on their hands when they pointed out that sound doesn't travel in space. Unfortunately for them, as deGrasse Tyson pointed out, this doesn't prove that the landing was faked. If anything, it simply proves that we have some pretty cool technology at our disposal when it comes to the conversion of EM waves. 

4. Citations Needed: Shutting Down Misinformation

People occasionally accuse deGrasse Tyson of pedantry, especially when it comes to his critiques of science in major blockbuster films. But it's important to understand that he's a scientist, trying to make sure that pseudo-science and misinformation don't prevail online.

In this instance, the user was close to being correct, but not quite. The internet gives us the opportunity to spread information, but it's our responsibility to ensure that that information is correct and accurate.

5. Classroom Clapback: Calling Out Academic Perceptions of Science

There's a lot of talk nowadays about social constructs, and a lot of the discussions are valid and welcome. However, the suggestion that science is a social construct and not an empirical fact is a fairly dubious claim, and one that was certain to rustle a few feathers in scientific communities.

True to form, deGrasse Tyson shot back at this Twitter user's professor by pointing out that science is all around us. The gadgets we use every day are a direct result of scientific endeavor. Sometimes it's important to question what you're taught in class.

6. A Question of Time: The Suspicious Length of a Day

Science can often give us neat answers to complicated questions. To many, neat answers can seem a little bit too neat, almost as if they've been made up. Take, for instance, this Twitter user who questioned the length of a day on Earth due to 24 hours sounding like too round a figure.

He wasn't entirely wrong, as deGrasse Tyson pointed out. Though our rotation is slightly under 24 hours in relation to the stars, 24 hours is basically accurate in relation to our sun. Sometimes the simplest answer really is correct. 

7. Jurassic Hoax: Did Dinosaurs Really Exist?

It might seem incredible to think that, in the face of overwhelming physical evidence, that there are people who still don't believe that dinosaurs once roamed the earth. If anything, it's harder to believe that people have been designing and planting fake fossils for decades instead of just finding them naturally.

The idea is so preposterous, that deGrasse Tyson didn't even need to engage with it. Because if you believe someone who tells you that fossils are fake, it should be pretty obvious that someone's been pulling your leg. 

8. Moon Landing Part 2: The Problem With Dust Clouds

Another day, another moon landing skeptic. This time the detail under suspicion is the dust cloud (or apparent lack thereof) after landing on the moon's surface.

As usual, deGrasse Tyson was able to shut down this line of inquiry in a few short characters. The moon's surface simply isn't the same as that of Earth, and as such there are bound to be discrepancies in details between the two like, how dust moves and settles.

9. Pseudoscience At Its Finest: It Just Doesn't Work That Way

When one Twitter user suggested that humans are affected by the moon the same way as the tides are, someone stepped in to notify Neil deGrasse Tyson ASAP. Because when you need someone to drop some truth bombs in the face of ridiculous pseudoscience, he's your guy.

Rather than go into detail on how the OP was wrong, deGrasse Tyson kept it short and sweet. Basically, if you lack a fundamental understanding of physics, it makes sense that you'd think water in our bodies responds to the moon's gravitational pull in the same way seas do. But if you've done your homework, you should know this is just plain untrue.

10. We Don't Have Answers!: Why Planets Are Round

Occasionally, someone will make a broad and patently untrue statement when it comes to science. Like this user, who claimed that we just don't know why planets are round - before questioning whether or not they were round at all.

In a fine display of education (and self-promotion), deGrasse Tyson simply replied with an Amazon link to his book, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Because if you are unsure about something, just look it up in a book!

11. Never Assume: Always Do Your Homework First

One Twitter user attempted to discredit deGrasse Tyson's opinions on the importance of the Paris Climate Accord, and America's withdrawal, by suggesting that he needed a background in economics to grasp the situation. Unfortunately for him, deGrasse Tyson does have a background in economics.