Steak-umms and Tyson are beefing. Not the frozen chicken nuggets brand. Rather, it’s the famous (and infamously insufferable) astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and the two are hashing it out over matters of epistemology, the validity and scope of scientific fact, and its correspondence with objective truth.
The twitter feud began with Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeting “The good thing about Science is that it’s true, whether or not you believe in it." This declaration could be a dig at COVID-deniers or anti-vaxers or climate deniers. Or it could just be Tyson being a jerk. In comic fashion, the beef vendor decided to weigh in on the matter:
log off bro https://t.co/sf4zLm33Jm— Steak-umm (@steak_umm) April 13, 2021
Steak-umms further clarified their disagreement with Tyson’s stance:
the irony of neil’s tweet is that by framing science itself as “true” he’s influencing people to be more skeptical of it in a time of unprecedented misinformation. science is an ever refining process to find truth, not a dogma. no matter his intent, this message isn’t helpful https://t.co/sf4zLm33Jm— Steak-umm (@steak_umm) April 13, 2021
A Twitter User commented on the fact that a steak company responding to Tyson in such a manner seemed out of character and wrote “You must have changed social media personnel.”
Steak-umms served yet another impressive reply: “Nope. Science itself isn't "true" it's a constantly refining process used to uncover truths based in material reality and that process is still full of misteaks. Neil just posts ridiculous sound bites like this for clout and he has no respect for epistemology.”
The frozen cheesesteak brand makes a great point. Steak-umms eloquently calls out the harm and elitism of science absolutism so often displayed by types like Tyson. In the past, Tyson has completely discredited and questioned the intelligence of those who do not wholeheartedly subscribe to what he considers the unquestionable scientific truth, deeming them ‘irresponsible and willingly putting people’s lives at risk.’ His intolerant adherence to a scientific creed in actuality opposes the very nature of science.
The rest of the scientific community soon took notice and came to back Steak-umms up. A Dr. Tori Delaine and Kishore Hari, a science advocate and community organizer also chimed in:
Here I am, a certified Science Communicator* throwing my support behind Frozen Meat Sheets over the reigning Today's Most Famous Science Communicator.— Dr. Tori Delaine (@ToriDelaineFosh) April 13, 2021
*According to my 1099-NEC https://t.co/bggycaj31d
Science as a binary of "good" or "true" blurs how science is done and who its done by and for. Those are areas to explore if we want to build a scientific enterprise that is more trustworthy and equitable.— Kishore Hari (@sciencequiche) April 13, 2021
Also - I love this account. https://t.co/amrEnormYP
I wanted to come at Neil for that tweet, but I am not as brave as these meat sheets. https://t.co/dxBwp6dO2n— Hank Green (@hankgreen) April 13, 2021
Tyson referred Steak-umms to a scientific paper of his from four years ago which ultimately agrees with Steak-umms position, and he has not responded since.
if you have the urge to argue with my previous Tweet, before you do, please spend 4-mins reading this post:— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) April 11, 2021
[Text; 1000 words; 4 mins]https://t.co/VnIS6kuSkS
Steak-umms, though just a company that sells thinly-sliced frozen steaks, has administered with impressive flair a powerful criticism of someone whom many consider to be a scientific authority. Nor is it the first time. Steak-umms and Tyson have been engaged in “a beef three years in the making.”
Godspeed, Steak-umms. We salute you.
a beef 3 years in the making— Steak-umm (@steak_umm) April 13, 2021