Ted “Galileo” Cruz

Ted Cruz might first of all want to get his facts straight.

Speaking to the Texas Tribune on Tuesday, Cruz said that contemporary “global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers.”

“You know it used to be it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier,” he said.

Nuh-uh-uh. It was not accepted scientific wisdom that the Earth was flat in Galileo’s day. (Think about it. If it had been, why the hell would Cristoforo Colombo have sailed west in the expectation of reaching China?) It hadn’t been for a long time.

In Cruz’s opinion, when it comes to climate change, his denier position places him alongside 17th Century scientist Galileo Galilei, who was also considered to be denying the mainstream knowledge of his day. According to Cruz’s logic, he is taking the minority view that human-caused climate change is not happening, just as Galileo took the minority view that the scientific method should be trusted over the Catholic Church.

Yeah well, that’s related to the old “they laughed when I sat down at the piano” fallacy, aka the “they laughed at Beethoven” fallacy. In the demotic: just because they laugh at you doesn’t mean you’re Beethoven. A minority view isn’t automatically true by virtue of being a minority view. Also, of course, it’s highly debatable how “mainstream” the idea of climate change is.

As the website Skeptical Science points out, “the comparison is exactly backwards.”

“Modern scientists follow the evidence-based scientific method that Galileo pioneered,” the website reads. “Skeptics who oppose scientific findings that threaten their world view are far closer to Galileo’s belief-based critics in the Catholic Church.”

President Obama seems to have gotten the analogy correct when he said in 2013 that “we don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society” when it comes to doing something about climate change.

It’s more amusing, too.



  1. peterh says

    Cruz can be so wrong on so many topics in so short a time it’s difficult keeping track of his nuttery.

  2. RJW says

    The Ancient Greeks knew that the Earth is round and they actually calculated its circumference—where oh where does the ‘flat earth’ myth come from? Apparently Cruz doesn’t understand the difference between a geo-centric theory and belief in a flat earth.
    Agreed, ‘exactly backwards’. It’s extremely difficult to find climate change ‘sceptics’ who also have relevant scientific qualifications, most are lawyers, arts graduates or economists who really have no idea.

    BTW, Cristoforo Colombo was also scientifically illiterate.

  3. drken says

    “They laughed at Einstein, they laughed at Galileo, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown”.

    -Carl Sagan

  4. sonofrojblake says

    Reminds me of the late, great Bob Monkhouse joke:
    “They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. Well, they’re not laughing now.”

  5. sonofrojblake says

    @RJW, 2:

    The Ancient Greeks knew that the Earth is round and they actually calculated its circumference

    You’re underselling it. The guy who did the calculation measured using a hole in the ground and a stick and never left Egypt, and even the harshest interpretation of his estimate is less than 17% out from the actual value (some claim he got within 2%). Better than pretty good for 200BC

  6. alanuk says

    The guy who did the calculation measured using a hole in the ground and a stick and never left Egypt

    That’s nothing! Steven Hawking discovered Hawking radiation using nothing but a black hole and a really hot cup of tea.

  7. RJW says


    Yes, however we’ll really never know how accurate his calculations were, because apparently there’s no consensus on the length of a “stadium”, which was the measurement he used.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *