Neil deGrasse Tyson goes all out against flat-earther B.o.B


Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.

Neil deGrasse Tyson goes all out against flat-earther B.o.B

Neil DeGrasse Tyson drops the mic on B.o.B.

Comedy Central/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You’ve probably been struggling with the concept of curvature this week.

Ever since rapper and producer B.o.B offered proof that the world is flat — his sort of proof, that is — it’s been tempting to look out at the horizon and wonder if it ever ends.

Famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson had tried to reason with B.o.B on Twitter. The rapper responded with a rap that slapped at conventional science and the big, fat, round lie we’ve all been sold.

Tyson responded with his own rap. But then, like many a Tyson, he went for the knockout punch.

He appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” on Wednesday, removed his jacket and offered some rhythmic words to B.o.B.

“The Earth looks flat because you’re not far enough away — at your size,” he hissed, as he dissed.

He continued: “Small sections of large curved surfaces will always look flat to little creatures that crawl upon it.”

Was he calling B.o.B a little creature? It seems so. But he’d only just started. Tyson sees B.o.B’s views as representing a larger problem.

“There’s a growing anti-intellectual strain in this country. It may be the beginning of the end of our informed democracy,” he said.

More Technically Incorrect
  • For Super Bowl, Mini wants you to stop calling it names
  • Watch Paul Rudd beat Stephen Hawking at quantum chess
  • Doctor who raged in Uber YouTube video says she’s ashamed

I’ve never thought of humanity as being particularly informed, even if humanity thinks otherwise. We put our blessed ignorance on display every day.

For Tyson, however, B.o.B’s views are harmful because — being a successful rapper — he has influence over others.

Tyson invoked Isaac Newton, who declared that he stood on the shoulders of giants in order to assist in the progress of science.

Addressing B.o.B, he concluded: “When you stand on the shoulders of those who came before you, you might just see far enough to realize the world isn’t f***ing flat.”

And then he went for the big finish — an exhibition of gravity that B.o.B will likely not forget.

B.o.B has not emerged on Twitter to respond. He may be lying low. Or he may be lying flat.