If you an old fart, such as myself, you might remember the house scientist for the Tonight Show,  the late, famous but not great, Carl Sagan, a theoretical astronomer.   Sagan would come on the show and babble, give his opinion, about everything and then expect all his various opinions to treated as if they were scientific.

In response, I developed what I called the Sagan Principle, which holds that a person’s expertise is inversely proportion to his opinion’s distance from his core competency.   Sagan was an theoretical astronomer.  His opinions on astronomy were well formed.   Sadly for Dr. Sagan is did not restrict his pontifications to astronomy.   He gave his opinion on everything, which typically amounted to mere babble. from Collapsed Wave Function:

The so called “Sagan effect” is the belief that contact with the public is inversely proportional to academic achievement – those who have risen to the top of the “ivory tower” of academia wouldn’t need to speak with the public. Therefore, if a scientist is spending time popularizing science he must not be a real scientist.

Since Sagan’s passing, other have stepped up to mantle of spreading organic fertilizer and calling it scientific wisdom,  and among these we have Neil deGrasse Tyson and one William Nye, Phd,Scripd:

  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, License # 21531Cornell University, Ithaca NY 1977
  • PhD Honoris Causa, Doctor of Humane Letters, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD 2000
  • Honorary PhD, Goucher College, Washington DC 2008
  • Honorary PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Troy NY 1999

From CNN

Bill Nye:  Climate change is the reason for the Louisiana floods, and it is going to happen again

No shat Sherlock.  The problem is not that the state of Louisiana is a freeping flood plain.  The problem that idiots, like Dr. Nye, build a city in an historic flood plain.   Without flooding there would be Louisiana.  With idiots like Dr. Nye, there would be no New Orleans.

Reax from Real Science:

The entire Gulf Coast was built from sediments deposited by floods on the Mississippi River and other rivers. Louisiana wouldn’t exist without regular flooding. That is why they call it a flood plain.

Maybe, just maybe, if Dr. Nye had actually studied and earned his only one of his three PhD’s he might know more about geological science than say Al Gore.

Hat tip: Ace