Neil DeGrasse Tyson Tells Bill Maher That Anti-Science Liberals Are Full of Shit Too

Neil DeGrasse Tyson serving Bill Maher a big tall glass of Shut The Fuck Up. (screenshot from HBO)
Neil DeGrasse Tyson serving Bill Maher a big tall glass of Shut The Fuck Up. (screenshot from HBO)

Every Friday night comedian Bill Maher puts on a show with an interesting mix of guests. But this past Friday, Maher repeated a claim he often makes that was finally smacked down by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Namely, Maher said that conservatives are consistently more anti-science than liberals. That’s bullshit.


“Let’s not pretend that Democrats and Republicans equally deny science,” Maher said. But TV-scientist and friend of the show Neil DeGrasse Tyson quickly stepped in to correct Maher.

“Don’t be too high and mighty there,” Tyson said. “Because there are certain aspects of science denials that are squarely in the liberal left.”

Maher asked Tyson to elaborate.“I know one, but I don’t want to get into it,” Maher said.

What was “the one”? For viewers who are familiar with Maher’s bizarre belief that vaccines cause autism (they don’t), we could guess what he was talking about. But the panelists said it out loud anyway.

“Vaccines!” everyone said in unison. Maher simply pointed and said, “Yes.”

Tyson went on to explain that liberals also tend to be the ones who consistently scare people about what they believe are the dangers of genetically modified organisms. He also rightly pointed out that liberals tend to be big believers in “alternative medicine.”

Maher has been a great advocate for climate science. But when it comes to health and medicine, he gives liberals a really bad name.


When Maher recently had “Dr.” Samir Chachoua on his show to discuss his treatment of Charlie Sheen’s HIV, I wanted to throw my remote through the TV screen. Not because he had an idiot on the show (idiots make for great TV), but because Maher was treating this person like everything he said made sense. As a reminder, Chachoua is the Australian “doctor” who recently treated Charlie Sheen in Mexico with bullshit natural remedies. Sheen later went back on his HIV medication. Maher challenged Chachoua on precisely zero of his assertions and furthered Chachoua’s quack medicine agenda.

Anti-science Republicans really do need to pull their heads out of their asses. Climate change is real. The Earth isn’t 10,000 years old. Noah’s Ark is, at best, a good children’s story.


But liberals need to clean up their own house before they make blanket assertions about conservatives being the only anti-science assholes out there. And since Maher attests to being such a champion of rational thought, he really needs to wake up to the mountains of bullshit in his own backyard. The smell bleeds through my TV set every time he says the word “frankenfood” like a toddler who just learned a new curse word.


Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog


Yeah, I don’t know. I get it, but it’s really not comparable in terms of outcomes. There’s a ton of money being thrown at climate change denial. It’s a partisan issue, because of this and the fact that conservatives love big business even more than Democrats. So that has a real world impact.

Vaccine hysteria is stupid, but it’s not an industry. I know, measles outbreak at Disneyland, but I just don’t see this becoming a situation in which most Democrats/liberals/whatever are opposed to vaccines. There’s not a lot of money in it, aside from a few charlatan witchdoctors.

And if you don’t like GMOs, I don’t see the harm. Maybe you’re wrong, but who are you hurting? Monsanto? They’ll be fine.

In summation, think about scale and outcomes, not just “both sides are wrong.” While correct, it’s simplistic and myopic.