I was recently pointed to a tweet by eminent black person Neil deGrasse Tyson that was so incredibly stupid that I first looked up his credentials. On paper, he is well qualified, but we all know that there are different standard for blacks. I certainly can’t picture a renowned white or Asian scientist tweet the following:
This statement is incredibly, incredibly stupid. Okay, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and state that he is either maliciously deceiving his audience, or he has some pretty glaring holes in his education. Seeing that he is part of the establishment, it’s certainly conceivable that he has to toe the party line on man-made global warming.
The more critical among my readers most certainly immediately spot the mistake Neil deGrasse Tyson makes. If not, then think about this: How do the models of planetary motion differ from our models of climate change? That’s right, the former is deterministic, while the latter is based on predictive analysis. It is furthermore based on partly questionable assumptions.
For the more visually oriented among my readers, compare these two cases: First, take a basketball, and drop it from the same height and with exactly the same force at exactly the same place in exactly the same conditions ten times in a row. There won’t be a difference with regards to how high it bounces off the ground. Of course, a proper experimental setup would need to be more precisely defined, but you get the point.
Now compare the previous experiment with attempting to predict how many points a particular freshman NBA player will score over the course of his entire career. You can take his NCCA college performance as the starting point and apply all the fancy predictive models you can get your grubby hands on. No matter how you turn it, this will be a much more challenging task. Even worse, no matter who well you think you will do, you are likely to be completely wrong. To put it in a different way: if Neil deGrasse Tyson was right, then we could accurately predict the stock market.
The difference between deterministic and predictive models is easy to see, right? Well, it’s apparently not easy for Neil deGrasse Tyson. Decide for yourself if he is deliberately misleading his audience or just doesn’t know what he is talking about.