Climate change and evolution are as undeniable as E=mc2, says celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, but "people have lost the ability to judge what is true and what is not." "The sooner you understand that, the faster we can get on with the political conversations about how to solve the problems that face us," he says in a Facebook video, viewed more than 7.7 million times in less than 24 hours. Introduced by Tyson as "containing what may be the most important words I have ever spoken," the four-minute video attacks a decline in scientific literacy in the US, per Business Insider, with Tyson noting that the result could be catastrophic.
"Every minute one is in denial" of a scientific truth, "you are delaying the political solution that should have been established years ago," he continues in what Mashable calls an "emotional and raw" tirade. His message is broken up by news reports about skepticism around vaccinations and climate change denial, and a clip of Mike Pence asking that US educators teach evolution as theory. "When you have people who don't know much about science, standing in denial of it, and rising to power, that is a recipe for the complete dismantling of our informed democracy," Tyson says. Science is "in the service of civilization," he adds. "It's in our hands." (Read more Neil deGrasse Tyson stories.)