Back when I was in grade school, science was not my favorite subject. The terminology was difficult and the testable projects were not easy to come up with without plucking them straight out of the class textbook. About the only thing I found enjoyable about the subject was the occasional clips shown to us of the Bill Nye the Science Guy television show during class. Clearly, Nye is a great child entertainer – just look at his current audience – and his show did have good points about scientific issues. But he just seems to not care anymore about some of the science he once seemed to care so passionately about.
Here are four things Bill taught on his program that he apparently no longer believes.
1. Bill taught human life and personhood started at conception.
In a clip depicting how a “person” is made, Bill explains, “You and me, and every person, became a person the same way,” when a sperm cell fertilizes an egg cell. Bill even goes so far as to say the resulting zygote from fertilization was his baby picture. (relevant segment: 9:50 to 11:10)
Bill now claims human life starts when the embryo attaches to the uterine wall, but it has no rights. For a “science guy,” Bill relies on many emotion-driven arguments for abortion rights. For some reason pro-lifers have a “deep lack of scientific understanding” in his view, even though he made the same scientific case pro-lifers make every day.
2. The program taught that there are only two genders.
Below is a skit that explains that one's genetic code is made up of X and Y chromosomes, which determine the gender of the child. An X inheritance from the father makes a person female, and a Y inheritance makes a person male. It's just science. Bill now claims gender is a spectrum, and My Sex Junk is important and interesting. No need for further comment.
3. Nye preached the idea that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Yet nowadays he has no problem straw-manning conservatives as "anti-science" and puppets of Big Oil if they even slightly disagree with his Big Government solutions on climate change. (relevant segment: 1:30 to 3:40)
In a skit describing how car insurance works, Bill talks about how the probability of something bad happening to a car, e.g., accidents or grand theft auto, determines insurance prices. Bill goes on to say that if everyone got their car stolen, it would be impossible to insure because the insurance companies would make no money. Now just replace car insurance with life insurance and theft with pre-existing conditions, and you have a conservative case against universal health care. Oddly, I don’t see Bill Nye standing with conservatives on that issue. (relevant segment: 8:36 to 9:30)