Continuing with our Let’s Make America Smart Again series, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice welcome astronomer and author David Helfand to discuss science literacy in the misinformation age and what you can do to find the facts.NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Skip. The commercials support star talk on patriarch to listen to every episode, commercial free. Welcome start on your place in the universe where science and pop culture dartle begin right now, welcome to start talk. Radio on your host, Neil digress, Thyssen, your personal astrophysicist and Johnny means my post today, professional comedian, startled veteran nice Alia it'll, tweeting, Chuck nice Comic! That's right, sir. At jackknife comic than someone else take chuck nice. Actually as a guy who has a followers, Lilienthal had looked him up. Like eight followers took my name and there's nothing you can do about it he's he's sitting on it that stuff Today, show is gonna, be all
of science literacy in them This information, a and once again, I never do this alone. I find I com the universe, finding people whose expertise can not only supplement this topic but become the topic itself, and we got with us in studio, Professor David Health and is actually a colleague of mine, a fellow Ashraf physicist fact. He was chairman of Colombia's Astronomy department when I entered as but you would student wow. So can I go way back as like a box, so he's got to survival guide to the misinformation age as this? Could there be anything more relevant at this particular time hands, my blurb, ok ray now the few of civilization may depend on it? Can I get a lot more urgent banana? We ok with that David. Welcome to start talk,
maybe your kneeled and in all fairness David, you Eve, and even though we just me statements about the timeliness of the book. You weren't, you were a bit for telling because this he wrote last year right. Couple years, helping years ago, came out less a little you're going to take out a year ago this week what you actually run a couple you so you are you. Third, I saw it was it was building you know, with building stock justice saw the writing on the wall a big step up in less than a couple months buddy, but I think it's been building for a while and adjusted for those who are only listening to this right, David Health and has a say
a clause, beard and and mustache just to be clear. It is cool down here. I keep. I just keep we wanted this elaborate. You must you must get someone, that's any smell, Jim S, egg eyes, always you workin more worthy of the North pole, we're up so David, how it? How do you characterize? Are there some signs that you point two and say here is the best example of this age that we ve just entered. Well, the first problem with this age is the amount of information or misinformation The estimated recently that we generate about two point: five quintilian bites of information per day while on earth, and if you are, The queen, you are Neil and that to point out some quintile awed by eighteen, zero us printed out. It would fill a bookcase that stretched around the earth. The equator was half a kilometer high. If you printed up that information that will be generated per day day. Ok, that's a hundred. Eighty five thousand pages per person per day, if it is meaningful,
For me I'll give you added a hundred eighty five thousand pages per day, the produce no problem. So that's part of the problem there, and so it's absent curious fashion. It's completely absent career when we were living in Hunter gatherer groups there of thirty people, information was very limited. Me never lotta. Libraries and stubborn, but it was accurate, because if you were the guy led the hunting party to Bonn Reliance instead of the zebras, you know you didn't you. Became back emanating from the gene pool. Will now be the stupid Jean exactly, but now those were the days now, if you don't know who your propagating information, do you just presented out to millions of people right? You do in our time right millions
and it was if you dont know those people than you have no investment in their survival, and so if misinformation enhances you're a fame or power or wealth or something or fear, politician, you're, famous power and wealth, then why not provide misinforming. Maybe not, regardless of its impact on those who receive the information, because you don't know the meat okay, so this What you're saying is we are victims of something that was quite useful in the past and now has in a way become our enemy. That's our evolutionary enemy thoroughly That did not happen. I must say that as a greater through its common legally really does. Your fat was like wholly it's like Identity, calorie, exaggerated rival was your friend so David. So it's once so it's a survival guide. So is this the beginning of a movement to recognise yes
there is. This information is not going to go away so now here's a recipe how to sift through it and make sense of it and judge what is and what is not true LAO. Precisely because you know your browser's not gonna. Do that for you, when you, Google, something it just bits back whatever that. Why can't it? Well, that's an interesting question. Why doesn't it is might be the question I give just a fast references. Before browsers John Alan policies, a friend and mathematician. I heard him one say innocent before Lee era of search engines he said the internet is great. The problem is all the books are scattered on the floor. At that time you didn't know how to access information filtered by interest? Now we have search engine, that's not a problem anymore. You can sit through it billions of pages in a fraction of a second. Is it handed to you on a silver platter and who would have thought that that created this next level,
challenge that perhaps we need some next level a brow to handle for us what it these it on the horizon or not. Well. I don't know it to be a challenge to write one I think now. Of course everybody assumes the filters that are put on by various internet companies are all politically motivated right. We need one that Sir Science motivated, I think, or science filter science browser science brunettes What you really mean is: is a bullshit filter? That's what I think. Really that's what that's what you were there. I am so detector, but that's that's what the browser could do. I think we still have to have some judgment involved in how to assess the evidence. That's but the book tries to do a try to give you those tools, like I say it, installs those which are crucial for top top three tools. Top three tools, first, is being able to make estimates just
using simple arithmetic being able to estimate whether something make sense or not almost every day, in the established media, the gray lady? Even there are mistakes by a factor of a thousand by a factor of a million. You know and no one pays any attention because then they don't How does it look at the little? You know how to think about how to think about it, but I don't care what you say. Millions of people there it's aperture, so that would be a failure of an estimate. In that case. Ok, Filter is having some idea of the way the physical world works mean. The problem is that we live in an age of magic right, Arthur see clerks at any sufficiently advanced technologies indistinguishable from match one of his edict. Yes right and with his third lie bleak. So what are we live and let live in this world is little box on the car and speak to you and knows exactly where you are at all times were grandma lives. Nobody may arise and how to get there right. So why should talking to your dead relatives be reasonable know, and this guy.
Try to light in your eye for thirty seconds. You don't need glasses anymore by choosing magnets curio arthritis, so it's all just magic and in a world of magic who knows about, Jack. You know, astrologers psychics, all new paths and this means This has been a little too successful, well, insights, to successful necessities, change things too fast to access for us to be able to so it so. What you're saying in essence is in order for us actually understand size? where we said we have to create. Society filled with little scientists like we are after we literate besides litter, and we all have to be scientists in some way, shape or form, and we all are until we're about five or six years old go exploring, but David. I want to see I try to evaluate every statement. I make hoping that never make a statement that trays, some kind of old man on the porch point of view, may you ve never tweet,
you, kids get off my back or you can you kids go play. We want a lot of he that old man, and so you just said information to discover to happening to quickly for us. Let me limit perhaps get you the old man syndrome and say: maybe it's not that discoveries are happening to quickly because my kids, are not complaining about being overwhelmed by data, its older folk who come from, everywhere there weren't wasn't that much data may do. What you want to say is we in tandem educational curricula. So that we understand how the world works rather than just beef, fed volumes of of science information thinking that makes you scientifically letter it when the real source of size. Literacy is not what you know, but how do you think about the world? Is that fair, that's exactly right. So the whole model of education, as in for me,
in transfer makes no sense makes no sense right bad. You ve thought about you, founded you call frowned at a university, a brand new University in Canada, and I hear you added again in some other place where the Uk in the UK to tell me what you would cause you need just come out of nowhere out of a cave to say this, you put you you, you did it. What did you do and are? being sued by the New York attorney general is now, go him, that's the other guy I'll get. Well yeah, so the idea is instead of feeding people information, you have them construct knowledge construct their own knowledge out of what they know and a little bit of guidance shoving them down a path takes much longer, much harder. It's much harder takes much longer. It doesn't matter. If you dont have to transfer always information, provided they are much longer and harder. I'm gonna take you up on that. Because of that sort find a stand. You mean what you say: construct your own knowledge. Ok, I'll, give you a good example: we're we're throttle
dog, but astronomy, I'll portsea. So when we discover all these planets around other stars- and that's that's your planet so planets amazed residents twenty years ago we know planets except hours. No, not so. How do we do that? While we have no, how planets move so Kepler figure this out and sixteen ten, you know it's out of print works right down three laws of planetary motion. So Colombia. I gotta black reared right down the three laws of planetary motion and my students or copy em down, even though it sitting in the under fifty dollar textbook next to them, and then I say how does take the earth the ground, the sun, and they saw look at me and finally, someone says a year, It won't see if that works and plug in the numbers of the period in the semi major actors of the eclipse, and they write that down
then you sent him home and they do it for how long it takes more than around the sun right. And you know that on the test you make it real tricky. So I won't take Europa go round Jupiter. You know, earnings are grab to change the mask, but they get the rays and go away in their happy. That's is feeding information to people ratchet right, so that takes twenty minutes. A quest questioning labour, the university in Canada right a three hour classes five days a week three hours a day of working class, I give them the civil simulation about planets going around other stars, fifteen parameters that are no one any of the more cash machine of a few questions the site, but see what this see. What happens if you change this and keep this one fixed, I gotta figure out what this I means here and then I ll simply got two and three and a half hours later they stayed a half hour after class. Someone got up and wrote down couplers three loss. I never Kepler. We never mention three laws that they had come. What do the rigging amazing. So therefore they will not be susceptible to being
ended information. Eight others see how they will remember. Law? As I remember capital, you remember the process matters where the process may remember, he's really look at information. You can look for patterns in it. You can cast those patterns in a mathematical form. You can use that too. Predictably, something else behaves. That's all you. And then you testing and those are tools that a toolkit for learning how the work works in construction for biology and chemistry, and the reason is because you already know how the world works but helps What it does is it it put words in David's mouth, but what it does is he sustained already knows how the world's work right, one, which he knows that the work the world can be figured out from this set of her limits down on a day, and so there is a lot
knows about how the world works. Eight way more than many people would even recognize height is, is the lab. Tourism is so it's on those two, so you have thirty one. What did we go through three already? I don't I'll kick out there so one is estimate to do is how the world works. In other words, three well, I've, I've a bunch probability and statistics, nice more. Will you hang on idea that, whether something's likely or not, I likely recognising that the plural of anecdote is not data. You know, there's something had to see you. It doesn't mean that is highly significant I'm sorry! It's just you send a chill down my back, as I gotta tell you that is. The thing right now that it seems is, though anecdotal evidence seems to be taken as fat for so many people, and I don't get it it's like you did that happen to you, there's another one of the cleanest exam
So this I remember, was back in the day when Japan cars were, much safe. What would much more reliable right that american cars so who you Are you ready to buy Honda Accord because consumer reports, highly rated, ok and dead, hardly ever fails on the road and and like, and when walks out of the dealership an end. Looking frustrated- and you say, matter. Why just return my my hundred accord? It was day was otherwise it would have. I was the worst I've ever driven ox. It broke three miles agitated and then you who decide to not bite honour court because it is one her services, not the volume of data from consumer reports, by the way they made seven million other cars that year not sure if that may probably evolutionary as well? You want to pay of your beer friend your own, in some way. You know that the tiger cases you up the tree, you know that's, that's that gets lodge in Europe.
You don't live there. That's that something that's going to trigger a response all the time right but, and it happened and then it probably mattered, but you know when you walk into the subway and well it so using the book right. So I was I have to see my mother alone Staten Island and on the train and the train when a few stops then stopped and someone had fallen under the tracks right, and so I think chee. How often does that happened in New York? You know so I later looked it up, but I've never seen it happen let me say that I have about ass. It happened not how we set up coming back. The same weekend happened again: oh if you like the odds in the books, twenty two million to one. So, if you're on a jury and I'm charge, with killing two people by Sean in front the subway cause. It happened, twenty two minutes, the one against you'd go to convict right, but I had nothing to do with a it's completely random occurrence and thence forty times a year.
Julian billion million people rather Subway. I write. By the chilean avelion pay a premium paying customers, bankers we're being billion fares, that's amazing, but you're right, it's probably the safest thing you could do statistically with respect to that anecdote. Well, that's amazing! Well, this is back to cosmic query version of STAR Talk, which we will begin to solicit firm chuck. Gotta may waited ready dressed after this commercial break. When we come back You start talking. I've got no secret for you when I consider singing all of the ads on this shell. There just one way to get out of hearing there go to patriarch arms last startled and Porthos at the five dollar level or higher to listen. The star talk ad free you can download all current episodes into your favorite pack has player and
ever hear another commercial on star talk ever again. You will definitely not after hear me saying if you support us at patriarch dot com last our talk I mean I'm just redress, I mean just saying we're back on startup ideal addressed ice in your personal astrophysicist, I'm here with Jackknife S, meat, co, host greater and we I've got in studio, not only a few An astrophysics colleague he's written a book on signs. Letters you call a survival guide to the misinformation. Eight David Health, an professor David Health and greater heavy on the show. Great beer. Alright, all right right, right! Back into the conversation we have cosmic wearies, his We do and by the way, this is the second instalment of cosmic queries. Let's make America smart again it s, just a sub category of cosmic queries.
I salute. Let's do it give it to her and, of course, we always first what we get them from all over. So whenever you see the call go out, make sure you answer it, whether its on Twitter, Facebook or what have you but term We also take questions from our patreon patrons first. You know that so cheap so I will give you money will give us money. I will. I will never get we priorities on your case. Every time you are now male doesn't like it, but I think it's great hundreds money will reject what leavers reach a class is so American can argue very good. Let's start with market Miller from patriarch who says this in a world of alternative facts: we're taking the social media to confront the source of the quota, unquote, alternative facts be at all constructive or helpful.
And mark is coming to us from Halifax Nova Scotia. It's it's just that my sense is it's not that there is a false fact, because someone happen to get it wrong, that there false facts is because that's how they want it to be true. Have you actively want a false fact to be true? I don't, I wonder does your book have any access to that mind at all? That's a good question. It's been social media designed to construct echo chambers regularly all of your beliefs. Reinforced, and as does a Google search you the most the weirdest non true thing and you'll find the website dedicated to that. You have a say in the book of. If you do, a Google search on age of the earth radioactive dating some night greater, might get a sign that topic great six of the first ten things that come up proved that radio activity is nonsense and the earth is ten thousand years old. Really
Go go. You tried it now, Peter out, I'm trying right now. That's ok! So so, therefore, having correcting from in the face of misinformation, clearly doesn't work. It's a problem, its problem. That's! No! I don't have you want to show to tell me to problem, I'm going to show to tell me how to solve its dissolve. The solution is changing the education to educate, so we're not. Ok. You have to give up on the Holy up beside that irish I'm actually would David said I I believe the crap that is coming up what Google right now this is I'm, the level boy would have. No scientific method can prove the age of the earth and the universe, and that includes the ones that are listed here. Holy crap. You are allowed to say that so that a free country, it's the democratization of information- is a good. It just comes with this big baggage.
Through its with their responsibility, is how many different measurable processes are used to. Oh, my god and its and I got it's only want to say where the sources from cause. I don't even want to get into that, but this is nice. So what you have been advertising, but this is what you have to do. So what you have to do, it seems, is everyone always a goner? You gotta then change the educational curricula gonna change that the philosophy behind education that is no longer transfer of information. It's teaching kids, how to keep their curiosity. First of all, so they did so they question everything that you do, that for free. You have preferred their young. Another vote would be out of them right where you are completely and then construed learn how to construct knowledge for themselves. So they can use these tools. I call them the little apps to install on your prefrontal cortex that filter this information in a way that is g. Does that make any
How can I figure out that makes its love that? So what do you do when you are confronted with with wouldn't touch column world views of? What would you call it a we say, political bias, where the most, what yep They look, but they wouldn't think they're biased when you're in it. So I want to call that at an end and echo chambers been banned bandied about, but then that's almost still I know you're saying what do you call it from the perspective of the person who actually believes it? Ok, so exactly so, it would just be. What is your cultural, political, religious philosophy there? It is, and if that conflicts with fact with objectively true facts, they just doesn't matter to people. Well, that's right, but but but you can, if you work at it, you can get people usually to agree on
few facts? They they liked like earth round. That's been hard won lately body, but it also here in this room, which is given then last representative was getting so depressing here. Take it. And that was the day science combine already really gotta bar drake. Ok, sorry, we interrupted gone. Could you burma me out here begone thinking, we're making progress, we got our own bubble, did we think we're making progress in our own bubble? We we our feeds appeal, you do it, job where you know have to boy, you know, and we say hey and then you can at us with this and you gotta go, look you gotta, Google, the damn age of the universe I did. I did. I tell ya, know I d better go
it's never been the case that the entire global population all seven point, four billion of these homo sapiens, understood we think about the universe right, it's never been. The case problem an hour in the wherein the death of expertise. Right I mean expertise is leading, lead is evil and therefore we have to abolish all by the way I blame some of that on site. On the elite, the intellectual elite, because I think there is an there's, an attitude involved that others are just not with them and if they, how could they possibly even want to vote for someone who the elite does not vote all right, and I think it came back and freedom in the ass now, it's exactly right in and scientists are also responsible and the level of hype that goes out with press releases when you published some paper is completely out of proportion to the result, see the reproduce civility crisis and only about the reproducible ability crisis right so in and by the way now time at a problem in the
I can start an incitement to let the public along for the moment, write them, as is my own house. Ok, go so Amgen some years ago. Did a study so that by the pharmaceutical five by a Bio biochemical, company right- and they took fifty three studies- that we're not just published in peer review journals is on cancer for cancer. Looking for cancer drugs, if these three studies not just published but highlighted in the editorial of the issue of the journal, they were in as potential major breakthrough and they put a whole bunch of people on it, but a whole bunch of money and tried to reproduce them. Eighty, nine percent of those studies were a reproducible well as bad as bad as it is not a good number. So here just to be clear for people know how, when scientists use of the word a reprehensible that doesn't mean they couldn't figure out. The experimental means they did. The experimental things did not get the same result famous. Oh that's what reproducible means, and so, if you look at the same result, then One is wrong: the other's right there
Is wrong, headed right order both wrong right? They both came right. That's right, and so this is a problem. This problem just recently very energetic psychologist, rounded up couple hundred of his colleagues and tried to reproduce hundred and somebody freer. How many there were experiments there'd been publishing, behavioral psychology, Canada of Water, half of them, Could not be reproduced after them can be reproduced, so so, and what is this attributable till I mean as as it is it a matter. I would just to be clear that have to be clear and David round this out, but I'm gonna be. There is no requirement cosmic requirement that you're research will ultimately be shown to be correct. Ok, most, research is shown to be either? partner, interesting or sometimes wrong, right, there's no wrong doing there, but When you want to assert a new emerging scientific truth, you cannot
link it to a single researchers out at sea, because we reckon this is a community that we can have biased where human, like anybody else- and I can advise- I didn't know about Now I get, I do an experiment day becomes in it, so you know I love love you neo, but let me just doubled Q, any gets a different result finds out. I made an error or maybe we ultimate areas and you need a third person to come in and show that that happens too. So you don't give your thesis that will not be broached in this programme, so knots- we so Is there a solution here, because the ones highlighted by the editor at the beginning of the journal of this is good. For the ten year prospects of potential. Researchers in its feeding exactly it's. These publication bias. You get a negative result. You don't public is not interesting, get a positive result. Well, if you do anything, twenty two
you like to get one positive results would even not even troops, not even true registers on statistical distribution, just a fluctuation, that's, none of them looks like what you wanted it to be, so they lack the outlets area of family got there. So that's verse. Problem second problem is whether you know that's called is called the this: the the book, the sharp Tudor effect or the bulls. I fact we're so you you are you fire arrows into the sight of a barn, Look we're all they were they collected, and then you trouble like this grouping here. We need to target
good? My aim was ok, go on, and then is that you say there's this pressure to get grand sincerely to produce positive results to get your next grant and you have to get grants. Could you have to get tenure and you ve got a ten year by publishing and prestigious journals. We end. There's no currency for duplicating someone else's result. Well, of course, that in in the scientific method, there is that's, that's the ultimate way of showing something is more probable rather than less probable. Reproducing you always publish the methods you use such that someone else could reproduce your results. If you put your money where your mouth is, you, chairman of the Astronomy Department at Columbia, for twenty years, how many some some order, something like that! Ok and you are- air young. You a chairman before you have forty so Would you have tenured someone that to vote is your career just duplicating other people's research. Will interesting question
glaciers call you out, I'm just just just keep it as well as the Lord Wilmore would say, keep a hundred felt it. It is the fact that you guys have made the whole thing to sexy. To begin with, as Neil knows, I refuse to accept tenure when it was offered to me- and I am not a fan the ten year system, Laval over their demands- and I kind of course, against the right of access, so gangs is academic gangs that we give. You tell your now needs us can you give a five year contract and only from good after five years that renew it, my god you're, like my wife and She was that you can leave me anytime. You want this one of us in this relationship that won't have a problem. Farmers. Somebody should take a look in the mirror and find out who daddy, I would at least give you a five year. Contrary awesome, so so you agree to this
yeah. So that's a challenge. I mean it just simply. We reducing someone else's results, no reproducing them in a different way. That comes out from a slightly different tack that supports or refutes the rest. Sure I think you don't know in advance. If it's gonna refute, I would it committed five years of my life to choice, years of my life would being reviewed for for hiring and for ten years, and I These three research results are spot on now. Give me tenure, I'm last in your line of hires. Well, you want some thirty estimate in my line in, but I agree that that's the general view. Yes, that that is the general view and insight. Ok, so interesting, so what it also means that limit. Let me try to fix this. If more than half of all research papers are not reproducible that is this could be a new cottage industry. It certainly good and in fact what has been proposed in psychology which are really like is you have to publish your methods and your hypotheses in it
thanks in advance before you can view, is very dramatic as well. We know your motivate, where you're, coming from all your funders to your funders, it's all out on the table, it so transparent that you can not. Once you have your results, you cannot, you can no longer ultra those ordinary budget figure out or draw the bulls I within Europe, through the bulls. I say as some by falling down the steps and go, I meant to do that. We have to say I mean to fall down the steps in this nice Zactly very good ice, so in our field of this also Courson bias from funding source. Which we are less susceptible to as astrophysicist goose. Nobody's funding you period, not it's. Why what you say
astrophysicist I'll get out like a third Pfizer, doesn't care what the black hole exact space time continuum is doing unless, unless there is a big zip inside it's got, I got something for their black spots where those astrophysics now that this. You're no clear fail, so is there so getting back to our own, we'll have set our own, our own community of scientists, the bias that would result from one source having some expectation that's, obviously stronger in other fields in an hour's, but in your survival to misinformation. The scientists are participants in the misinformation when you are biased by your funding sources. That certainly true, I think in our feel it's really easy. First of all there there is easy to others the record
the sky right, you can't. I mean you can't mess with Roger S room, so someone else can guess I'll, just discovered comet between here and here now and of any there there's ramrod elevators. We have these views repositories where you take data, it goes repository anybody else and go in there and look at that just a raw data that the raw data is true. We don't it's with very hard to manipulate raw data. Just comes out of the telescope, the detector it goes in. We are more data like gold to us and its public. It ain't right That's a bit emergent fact about our field that the brought your raw data when its publicly funded public or all the time goes public right off the bat rather bad. You know cells We like this. We should just be, though, ok yeah, but as yet we don't know. What do you do your data by under the table? I hate my right. We got it, we got it would take a quick break
when we come back more of science, literacy, age misinformation with my friend and colleague, they would help and start talking to you're back Radio Dartmouth, sides, illiteracy and its. To these miss information. We got this book written by It would help and published by Columbia, university press. I got funny man nice here, Sir awry. This is a cosmic queries. Yes, these sub category of cosmic wary, which we call, let's make America smart again absolutely and I You gotta give me another question at a great question here from Rob, Paul Davis coming to us from Facebook, and he says This I have a hard time, except in dark matter, utterly undetectable matter by direct means that
not be any substance that we already know of one of the possible outcome. Are there to explain this suppose it miss gravity. David. Let me let me shaped our question for you into your interior centre there. So you said earlier in the broken in the show, there's crazy things that we, as scientists are saying, is true, and then we chanced I someone for thinking that crystals rubbing them together will heal them which sounds way more possible. Then the existence of dark matter so wit, would you come out with it? So it's basically
hard to believe science truths and false believable truth about that. I try to avoid the word truth. When it comes to science, the mathematicians can prove things. True. Scientists just make ever better approximation to the way the universe works. So dark matter is a current approximation and it is detectable in that we can detect its gravitational influence on things that move around in it. So it's it would just can't see it with our eyes, but seeing our eyes is not the only way you can. The text up it is is a hypothesis and there are also at a matter that is not right right or alternative hypotheses that newtons Laws or Einstein was gravity on scales vastly greater than we can directly experience. A slightly different then also be little time at different and then that'll explained the way stores move around instead of the postulating that there's six times,
more. Men ran right now. The regular gravity right is what it what it fundamentally, as is an apps. It's dark gravity rights, really what it should have been called crime that is it an observational fact. The fact that we call it dark matter is like using the term right reason, because it's this deleted leads the the listener. Makes me think that it's not that you say that you ve gone away from talking about gravity right right rose. Still talking about gravity is no matter. We merrily merrily right, so you have a way to get around that cause in your lectures. They would. It when you say the whole universe once fit inside of a marble and why We gonna believe that at all, how do you where's leave ability they're out there again, it's a model right, that's what we do. We killed models of the way things work, so we have a model that makes predictions a dark matter? You know we ve been going through various hypotheses: are they dead stars? Are they missing runaway planets and we knock those off one?
I know no outfit reliably, I would add reliably. There are some things we haven't knocked off, yet our they little subatomic particles from some other part of the particles, zoo, parental zoo that we are familiar with yet more at people are working really hard. Spend a lot. I'm in money and effort to try to find them the over under on matters that that's where people are leaning. If you had to lean, if you're betting scientist you'd lean towards a new family particles that don't interact with ours- ok, that's it! That's that's where the most money is being spent right. Rights- are an M m M, how much validity, which is not the right word. What kind of dense is showing us that that may be where we need to continue the search again, it's what we keep eliminating. So we, the limited huge numbers of these fair past the coal subatomic particles are correct
fifth the camp at the mill? Ok, so we narrow and narrow a narrow, if we did, we shrink and all the way down to zero, like there's no face base left, is no there's no possible range of masses and energies and things for these particles. Well, then, we will limit, and that is a possibility, would actually little harder. So that's, basically, how they have had is how we were all right on that when it's done sensibly and end with a directed mission statement. So yeah. I mean it's it's it's I'd like the idea when you say it's, it's it's a model, because what we describing fits the data available to us right or the or it is not violated in the absence of data, yet right right. So all of this is this: is this contest on the frontier of knowledge that goes on every day, so rob Rob should Know- is that this is an ongoing process. Ongoing projects went no one is saying definitively. This is the deal. What we're is in our best knowledge. This is where we are now and I'd like David,
second opinion on this. I would say that No longer is science reporting in the news of major weak point in this problem. And I've seen this hugely talented science reporters out there that bind Aren't you get it right or they get it right enough, so that not the ones that we can point to in this. But a little last peeve I have is when oh this new discovery about dark matter, could send scientists back to the drawing board We are always at the drone, always as if you were not of the joy boy, you are not on the frontiers. Not like you went dead matter, might eyes for every hidden. The pool right, not just Gub Gub, a gadget, ok, cool! gimme would have on Christopher Lean and Christopher says this fact colon
a noun thing that is indisputably the case may be We should stop calling things that are disputable bats. So I think his his point in this, as there is a lot of fact, talk being bandied about about things that may be are not facts indeed. So in science is a fact, something that is indisputable here for any Davis LAD how'd, you do what I've a definition of the fact that my talks on climate change, for example, a fact is a measurement of some physical quantity done, with the best available equipment vetted through skeptical review and provisional, with an uncertainty associated with it. Ok, all right, so wait, wait so Chuck is sitting to my left. Is that a fact that is a fact, because I can make
that was left, depends on the point of view to my left. I said yes, yes, I do not question. There are three of us sitting here: that's ok, so measurement matters as went mad measure a matter. So it's not a fact. If Jesus is my Saviour, that's it personal is a very personal thing that you cannot measure by these tools. Are we so just don't you use whatever you want to call it? You just don't use that word fact right right! Ok, I agree with ok guys you, ok, good otter. Swayed is amazing fact Opinion. Ok, all right agree with me rather harsh, but I think most we true statement that, after the laws of physics, everything else is opinion Well, that's really! It's it's! It's audacious! Its audacious depends a year. How broader definition of physics is? I mean I don't think it's physics at the three of us sitting here. We can count up to three. I mean that's not really, physics right for yourself. There, David, if you're counting,
measuring there's an important distinction. That's why there's no measurement era when you're counting. Well, it's not three plus or minus half right. This is three exactly yeah, but it's it's sixty seven million votes plus or minus few hundred thousand. Could you can count on perfectly right, so you counting that case right right, ok at yoga, that's it All right, it will go, I keep going, it would go. This is Jeff Mumia. After this, we gotta lightning round their little. Anyone after this girl's, gentlemen, near who says what the? U S, only representing four point. Four percent of the world's population does try to legislate climate really do any good. Rabbit for four. It's like I'm in the United States now about below Nano? He? If we we do so. We only the where I presume. Ok, now that he met there, because we're such as insignificant portion of the world's population should had the right to tell the world I don't think that's where I understand what you're saying you're saying he sing sing
such a small portion of the population. If we do. Something will it make a difference at all over how about both of those questions. Firstly, we produce twenty two percent of the greenhouse gases, so what they have, in fact or five, and there used to be a concept of american leadership in the world to be, is the right word there and so taking your leadership position would be addressing a problem which ninety nine point, something per cent of the scientific communities and consensus that you make sense. Don't so we go to a lightning around. Ok here we go. This is where all answers must be in sound bite form, so we can get through as many questions as possible, and this is reminiscent David. My Phd thesis defence, you served on my Mary and where I get I give my most in you know my best thesis defence the end, you said: ok, now, Would you explain this to order from the New York Times is the last night.
Two minutes of the thing and I'm deep in the style right now, I'm deep in the stuff and he's been requiring that of any one to graduate from the Astro Department at Columbia so now this is my version of this- we went through the details. Now can you, to turn it into a sound bite. Alright, there's the bell: let's do got me how the worm has turned up William Fullerton from Facebook? Is there any merit or a good idea of global space agency? Science is almost the internationally connected anyway on the planet. Send space agencies all over the world are already collaborating on dozens of projects. How long will it be eventually before we are able to do things like send people out of the solar system? Just like you want to United Federation accident? I have tried to raise our planet's. I think it'll be a long time and it will come about when the notion of a nation,
disappears o won't know, there's a part that out of the park, there was great, that's very einsteinian by Albert Einstein. Imagine a world a world government easier has it we'll be all says this with reference to W F nine? I know people are worried about. It will hit the earth. However, we won't see a close enough approach until December twenty fifty five, even if that is the case, close enough to do anything about January, twenty sixty three, it comes real close. What can we do and should we do about it now they require accurate worry. Not another little kid let me finish assent ready. We're enough to put into play. What we already know to do under that situation, but do not yet have the wisdom or the foresight to act. Right Derek see
Europe wants to know this sea bert, wants to know this. How much further ahead? Would we be it? The dark ages were avoided, and do you think the dark ages are making up come back David Clark, ages are definitely He had come back again, but we wouldn't be any further ahead because the dark ages were only in a little isolated part of the world that we use to worry about that other places. At the same time, we are experiencing a wonderful flowering of intellectual Ok, that's a good answer, but let me come back at you. We think of the dark ages as closing off the intellectual technological environment of the roman empire, so the roman empire did not fall. And their interest in architecture- and engineering had continued, we didn't do you think that would have of eventually fall for some other reason or might debt of still stuck with Europe yeah. I think empires are designed for
David just kidding. I think, has recently aside the girl her a king, Roquat Tina says this, since your professor David, as science teacher and a public school, how do I balance teaching inquiry and questioning without being politically correct about my students bill very well. I think they are two separate beliefs from facts and questioning is the critical component of it. But but if someone has a belief system that conflicts with facts as they are, From a scientific community, then we're teaching something that is directly in the face of their beliefs. Then what do you do? Don't challenge their beliefs, people's belief, serve. You know, that's really, tough guy, just let let them! their beliefs that leaves finally globally what they want their size. We can do in lieu exercise now, but we grew exercise in the playground we lose exercise with their brains and we're going to see where this chain of logic leads
but I have one more and I think it gives want go. I ever Mitchell wants to know this house's society. Government teachers deal with the anti science folks or what ever you want? A label them teaching these things their children, listen at home I would imagine many unknown o home schoolers. What he's talking about school boards that get worse, gluing x, Ray children. I would imagine telling their children the things that their textbooks and teachers tell them are out right lie. So what do you do today with this information? Forget mission for active different from this information educators go again. I think you teach people to construct their own knowledge. You dont pass them information, this information or disinformation. You teach them how to construct their own knowledge and that will make them question this parents wow, I bet
David S, you killed, it do killed it. You killed it David Health and special yesterday old friend, o professor looks like Santa Claus. If you know it you're gonna, have to subscribe to start all access dot com? You can see what they Looks like the aerial mercenaries, vibrio version, so this closes this addition of cosmic worries, which is, special sub category called. Let's make America smart again, the czech nice. Here's my co host, where this is David Health, Facebook, survival guide to the misinformation age published by Columbia, university press, it subtitled scientific habits of my name- is on it he's in it, because that's how he, David thanks for being on the show, and I hope it's not too long between now and the next time we see you, I look
I've been Neil Degrasse Tyson and, as always, I bid you. We should listen. The star talk, commercial, free, joint star, talk on pay for as little as five dollars per month and the ads will disappear. Learn more at patriarch dot com slap star talk, radio,
Transcript generated on 2020-01-22.