Saturday, May 18, 2019

Bill Nye, the Non-Science Guy

Alex Berezow, of the American Council on Science and Health, writes that Bill Nye is a terrible spokesman for science.  He writes:
It was clear that something was amiss a few years ago when, amid Nye's renewed celebrity status, it came to light that he aired an episode of Eyes of Nye that perpetuated anti-GMO propaganda. Nye was subsequently criticized by the scientific and (especially) science writing communities. Not long thereafter, Nye had a change of heart.
Good! Better late than never. But was this "conversion" based on a new understanding of biotechnology or simply a calculated marketing move? Evidence points toward the latter. As late as 2015, Nye was still pushing anti-GMO nonsense. That year, he published a book called Undeniable, which promoted evolution over creationism. The book entirely lacked references (quite bizarre for a science book)...
Yes, it was bizarre. I read the book. It was awful, filled with vague arguments, invective and special pleading. Probably the low point for Nye, however, has to be a complete 180° turn around on sex and gender.  In the original show, he had a segment on people that were XY and people that were XX and he described them accurately as men and women and argued that you couldn't change that.  Now, with Bill Nye 2.0 we get “My Sex Junk” (warning: do not watch if you do not have a strong stomach).  Berezow continues:
Ultimately, it seems that Bill Nye just panders to whatever he thinks the audience wants to hear. He thought (incorrectly) that they wanted to hear why GMOs were bad, so he altered his message when he got pushback. He won't get pushback for exaggerating climate change, so it's likely he'll keep this up for a while.
I don't think Nye actually believes the climate hysteria. Because if he did, Nye would support whatever means necessary to stop it, like nuclear power. After all, he's a mechanical engineer. But lo and behold, Nye is opposed to nuclear power. Big surprise. Audiences don't like nuclear power.
Nye is disdainful and contemptuous of young-earth creationism, yet employs exactly the same shtick that they do: pontificate in areas of which they have knowledge.  Unfortunately, now, people will remember Nye for the new show and not the informative old one, where he seemed to know his limitations. 

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