Neil deGrasse Tyson fires back at B.o.B on "The Nightly Show"
Astrophysicist freestyle raps why flat Earth theory doesn't hold up
Spat started Monday when B.o.B tweeted "knowledge" to followers
It’s the story that just keeps on giving. First, rapper B.o.B launched into an incredibly bizarre Twitter rant insisting that the Earth is flat and we’ve all been lied to.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson felt compelled to politely point out the scientific inaccuracies in B.o.B.’s argument. In response, the rapper released a diss track, “Flatline” in which he compared himself to Malcolm X.
The bizarre song also suggested listeners research Holocaust denier David Irving and discussed conspiracy theories about Freemasons and “mirror lizards.” The track has since been taken down from Soundcloud, the site where it had been posted.
Tyson then hit back with his own track – laid down by his nephew, Stephen.
But he wasn’t done there. Tyson took the Twitter beef off the social media platform and into the real world. And now B.o.B may be regretting his tweet: “Once you go flat, you never go back.”
Tyson appeared on “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” and mercilessly ripped into the “Nothin’ on You” rapper.
“Listen B.o.B. – once and for all. The earth looks flat because 1) You’re not far enough away at your size 2) Your size isn’t large enough relative to Earth to notice any curvature at all.”
Freestyling in front of a screen of the night sky, Tyson continued: “It’s a fundamental fact of calculus and non-Euclidean geometry. Small sections of large curved surfaces will always look flat to little creatures that crawl upon it.”
The astrophysicist then changed tack to focus on prominent faces disseminating misinformation and passing it off as fact.
“There’s a growing anti-intellectual strain in this country. It may be the beginning of the end of our informed democracy,” said Tyson, while taking on the tone of a seasoned evangelist. “Of course, in a free society you can and should think whatever you want.
“If you want to think the world is flat, go right ahead. But if you think the world is flat and you have influence over others, as with successful rappers, or even presidential candidates, then being wrong becomes being harmful to the health, the wealth and the security of our citizenry.”
Raising his voice for the kicker, Tyson added: “Issac Newton, my man, said, ‘If I have seen farther than others, it’s by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ Can I get an amen?!’
“So that’s right B.o.B – when you stand on shoulders of those who came before you might just see far enough to realize the earth isn’t f**king flat.”
With a deep breath, Tyson paused before added his kicker: “And by the way, this is called gravity” before dropping the mic.
Your move, B.o.B.