When science adopts a political narrative it stops being science.
Like I said, I’m a big fan of Carl Sagan. There was a lot of merit in his history of science, his style was thoughtful, and he was adamant about the principle of tolerance for opposing ideas. People like Bill Nye who muse about imprisoning “climate deniers” are unworthy of claiming any part of his legacy. Yet that has been the trend.
Sagan clearly hoped that his stirring narrative about science would inspire young people to go beyond and beneath the narrative and learn the actual method of science. Instead, his successors saw the success of his approach—in terms of attention and celebrity and moral authority—and chose to use the narrative as a substitute for science.
If you don’t really need science so much as the narrative, then what you get is our own era’s official replacement for Sagan: Neil deGrasse Tyson. As the decades pass, Sagan’s imitators become less thoughtful and more propagandistic, less interested in conveying the actual scientific method and more concerned with just telling the public what to think. It’s also about making those who accept the approved “pro-science” political agenda feel they are superior to all of those ignorant, knuckle-dragging bigots who disagree with them. It equates science, not just with the politics of the Left, but with the Left’s attitude of smug condescension. That’s how you get Tyson’s fake-but-accurate narratives or the meme-swapping superficiality of the IFL Science crowd.