When the indefatigable Davis queried Tyson about the provenance of his suspect material, the impressively factual scientist wrote an evasive, condescending point-by-point reply on Facebook.Tyson could have said of the Bush quote, “You know, I might have messed that one up, and will check it out. Thanks for raising it.” Instead, he said he had an “explicit memory” of Bush saying it, and of “making a note for possible later reference in my public discourse.” (Most people who do public speaking do public speaking; Tyson does “public discourse.”)Tyson helpfully informed Davis, “One of our mantras in science is that the absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.”Really? When it comes to presidential speeches? Just because there’s an absence of evidence that Obama said in a State of the Union address that he wants to nationalize the oil companies, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t said it?
For old time’s sake, here’s our Tyson cover from a couple of months ago: