Let me tell you about this crazy dream that I had! I dreamed that Mon Mothma was delivering something to a settlement on some planet somewhere, but she couldn't make it so I and a small ragtag crew took the job. The something was a deflector shield to protect the settlement from orbital bombardment, and we got it there and set it up just in time. Seconds after the dome went up, with us observing from some distance outside, laser blasts came raining down from somewhere up in space - the Empire, I guess - hitting it and sliding onto the ground where they sent up showers of enormous white flowers. A few more volleys came, each spraying more flowers, until the dome was nearly covered with them. The blasts stopped. My companion - I guess he was supposed to be a cross between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo, so basically the coolest person in the universe - then decided it was our turn. He looked up at the sky, took aim with his blaster, calculated where the unseen enemy ship would be by the time his blasts got up that high, and returned fire.
Of course I expected the ship to just explode like they usually did. Instead, it burst into flame and came spiraling down, where it was revealed to be merely a rocket sled with two cartoon guys (one thin and one fat) perched on it right out in the open. They were yelling, but seemed more concerned about stabilizing the ship than about themselves also being on fire. One of them grabbed the burning engine and wanted to throw it overboard but the other one yelled back that that wouldn't do any good. The rocket sled was just spinning out of control all over the place like a balloon with the air let out. It skimmed the surface of a pond that was suddenly in front of us, then hit an enormous tree and flew up the length of its trunk, bending it nearly to the ground and snapping off most of its branches, then flipped back and crashed into the pond which was now covered with a large oil spill. Obi-Han was visibly quite pleased with himself, but I couldn't help thinking of the destruction our victory had cost. The guys somehow doused the flames that had engulfed them, Obi-Han grabbed the fat one by the throat for interrogation, and I woke up feeling disturbed by how vivid it had been.
I still remember when I was three years old or younger watching episodes of "Bill Nye the Science Guy" as they aired for the first time. While I've forgotten virtually all of the actual details, I remember a distinct fondness for the show. And I appreciated its host's debate performance against Ken Ham a few years ago (even though holding the debate in the first place gave the latter undue credibility and funds). So it's a rather poignant feeling to have to lose respect for him now. Bill Nye, as many people seeking to discredit the scientific consensus on climate change are quick to point out, is not a scientist. He is an entertainer with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Now of course, he is still very well-versed and trustworthy on many scientific matters. It's when he oversteps the bounds of science in disturbing ways, while still maintaining a veneer of scientific authority as far as most of the public is concerned, that we run into a problem. (Richard Dawkins, who actually is or was a scientist, has done this all the time too, but he's such a jerk these days that I don't think anyone actually likes him anymore and I'm not concerned about him.)
So Bill Nye's doing this new show called "Bill Nye Saves the World" and in one of the episodes he talked about chromosomes and gender and sexuality and what have you. I don't pretend to know anything about that so I'll assume for the sake of argument that all his science was correct according to our current understanding. But then he invited a sitcom actress (also not a scientist) to perform a song, and I haven't watched this segment but I skimmed over the frankly revolting lyrics, and it was all about (in way too much detail) how anything goes where sex is concerned because of evolution. Now look, I really couldn't care less what consenting adults do behind closed doors far away from me. But to claim that science morally justifies sexual anarchy, and to actually be serious about it and not a Poe making fun of liberals, is nothing short of lunacy. Other animals rape, cannibalize, kill their offspring, and defecate wherever they feel like; any consistent and honest person following Bill Nye's faulty reasoning would have to conclude that these are all okay for humans too.
Maybe he'd draw a line, as many do, between stuff that directly and noticeably harms other people and stuff that doesn't - but where's the "scientific" basis for doing so? There isn't one. No matter how much some atheists try to pretend otherwise, any and all arguments for morality are philosophical or theological in nature because they are not empirically verifiable. If I say morality dictates that I'm the only person who matters and everyone else should be my slaves, my claim is as scientifically valid as Bill Nye's or anyone else's. This disgusting song illustrates a big reason why otherwise intelligent Christians are afraid to accept evolution. They're wrong, but Bill Nye just validated them with his own wrongness. And despite the very loud and hateful minority that attempts to shame everyone else into silence, I think most people recognize garbage like this for what it is and are tired of it being shoved down our throats. "I know this doesn't have to be said," Amanda Prestigiacomo wrote, "but stuff like this is why Trump won." Because Trump stands for wholesome values like marriage and fidelity and hahahahaha I'm sorry, what was I talking about?
Oh, and if that weren't enough, in the final episode he hosted a panel discussion about overpopulation and science change and asked them, "So should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?" Wow. Just wow. If you aren't appalled by that suggestion, something's wrong with you. But maybe the Chinese government has an opening. Here's a news flash for Mr. Science Guy and his ilk: births in most of the developed world are already well below the replacement rate. This is not an obscure, complicated, or debatable fact. Policies that reward people for having children, while far from sufficient to solve the problem, make more sense and have been implemented in countries like Australia, Germany, Russia, and Japan. But Bill Nye doesn't seem to know much about reproduction anyway, as he once claimed that "Many, many, many, many more hundreds of eggs are fertilized than become humans." Really? What are they then, zebras?
RIP my childhood.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.