Bill Nye Sucks


Photo by Mark Schierbecker via Wikimedia Commons.

Is there anyone in America worse than Bill Nye the Science Guy? Since Charles Manson died more than a year ago, I’m inclined to say no.

His career started out innocently enough. While working in Seattle as a mechanical engineer for Boeing, Nye volunteered on weekends at an educational science center and performed standup comedy at open-mic nights. In 1986, he quit Boeing to focus on standup full time. His big break came when the host of a local sketch comedy show called Almost Live! suggested that he perform science-based comedy (or comedy-based science, depending on your perspective) as a regular guest. Bill Nye the Science Guy was born, and the character was wildly popular.

Within a few years, Nye had his own show, and clips of Bill Nye the Science Guy were being played in almost every elementary school classroom in the country. From what I recall, they were mostly goofy experiments demonstrating simple concepts like Newton’s laws of motion. I remember enjoying the videos as a kid — the character was funny, and (silly little tyke that I was) I had not yet come to realize what a bumbling kook Isaac Newton had been.

After his show wrapped in 1998, Nye began trading on his celebrity status and the Science Guy character to pass himself off as an actual scientific authority. Between pontificating on various political issues and suggesting that people who disagree with him about anthropogenic climate change should be jailed, Nye pursued multiple new programs built on the Science Guy persona. In “The Eyes of Nye” (2005) and “Bill Nye Saves the World” (2017-present) the former standup comic presents his far-left opinions as undeniable scientific fact.

The lunacy of Nye’s indoctrination attempts reached its peak in the “Ice Cream Conversion Therapy” video, in which a vanilla ice cream cone — Nye’s stand-in for religious people and others who hold a view of sexual ethics founded in natural law — tries to convince all the other cartoon ice cream cones to conform to his views, only to succumb to temptation and initiate a wild orgy in which all the ice cream cones jump around and lick each other. Yes, it’s every bit as crazy and disturbing as it sounds. Nye’s mockery of religious faith and traditional morality cannot be considered science by any sensible person, and it is both wrong and gravely harmful to present it to children as such. (I am assuming that this cartoon about animate ice cream cones is aimed at children, but these days you can never be sure.)

This week, Nye — apparently bored by his intellectual overreaches into climate change, sexuality, etc. — decided to tackle abortion, releasing a video alleging, “It’s just a reflection of a deep scientific lack of understanding” to claim that a genetically unique fetus is an individual human being.

In keeping with his belief that anyone who disagrees with him is criminally stupid, Nye sharply and eloquently condemns those opposed to feticide: “And, uh, you, d—, (unintelligible), you literally are, apparently, literally, don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.”

He continues, “Sorry guys, I know it was written, or your interpretation of a book written five centur—, uh, five thousand years ago, 50 centuries ago.” The first problem here is historical inaccuracy — the Bible was certainly not written in the 16th century AD (five centuries ago), so we’ll be generous and call that a slip of the tongue, but even the correction of five thousand years is ludicrous; the most extreme estimates place the composition of the oldest parts of the Bible at about 1400 BC, or 3,400 years ago. For comparison, the difference between this and Nye’s estimate is about the same as the distance between the fall of the Roman Empire and the present day — substantial, maybe? We should not take accusations of anti-intellectualism too seriously when they come from a man so wholly uneducated on the historical and intellectual foundations of our faith and, incidentally, our civilization.

The Science Guy then describes pro-life beliefs as “inconsistent with nature,” apparently blind to the unnaturality of mothers killing their own children.  He trots out the tired “nobody likes abortion” line, which can’t be taken remotely seriously in the wake of the despicable Shout Your Abortion campaign.

The bulk of his argument falls back on the usual misinterpretation of bodily autonomy: “She has rights over this, especially if she doesn’t like the guy that got her pregnant.” The first half seems innocent enough until you realize that by “this” he means the body of another human being, and the bodily autonomy argument for abortion actually fundamentally undermines the right to autonomy because it bestows on one person the legal authority to destroy the body of another. The second half is even more obviously wrong because it buys into the ancient, ugly lie that a person’s worth is determined by genetic makeup. This is undoubtedly an anti-scientific view, as well as an immoral one.

Nye concludes his video, without having made any scientific or even substantial points, with the simple dismissal, “We have so many more important things to be dealing with.” This is only true if we reject either the scientific reality that a human life is a human life or the moral reality that a human life is valuable. If we accept both of these facts, however, then our most important endeavors are those undertaken for the protection of the right to life. But the Science Guy has no grasp of the scientific reality and no interest in the moral one.

There are plenty of people on all sides of these discussions who don’t know what they’re talking about, but Bill Nye is particularly problematic because he pretends to be an authority, and countless Americans — especially children — believe his claim. The goofy scientist character in a bow tie and lab coat, innocent as he may seem, has become a dangerous part of the left’s insidious efforts to push the worst of its ideology on our nation’s children, at the expense of truth, reason and, yes, science.

Please, Bill Nye, stick to the silly physics videos. When it comes to the big questions — as one of the great minds of our age once said — “you literally are, apparently, literally, don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.”