Bill Nye, the Science Guy’s nosedive into politics proves a bellyflop
Bill Nye , once known for teaching science tidbits to children as “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” is now known for his mixing of science and politics. One of the issues Nye has spoken out about is abortion, making him sounds not so very scientific in his pro-abortion advocacy. His 2015 video on the subject is memorably full of straw men and false assumptions.
Nye’s new program on Netflix, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” which premiered April 21st, is not much better. The last two episodes of this season take a decidedly ableist and pro-population control stance.
Episode 12, “Designer Babies,” is just as concerning as the casual use of its title. Nye casually admits that “it sounds creepy.” In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex issue, scientifically and morally, but you wouldn’t know that from the start of this episode, which utilizes sand dollars, complete with a casual attitude and lame jokes, in an attempt to make a point.
Throughout the episode, Nye obsessively focuses on how IVF can ensure “healthy children.” Using sand dollars for illustration, he says, “in a few days we can test the DNA for each sand dollar embryo and find out if they’re healthy.” And what if they’re not healthy? What becomes of these embryos then? “This is just the latest tool available in sand dollar family planning,” Nye gushes.
As Nye did in the 2015 video mentioned above, he again dehumanizes embryos by referring to them as “fertilized eggs.” At fertilization, however, is a newly created human being — a zygote — which has his or her own DNA, regardless of what genetic screening is involved and of what scientists do or don’t do.
Nye mixes humor and a casual approach to bring up the process of genetic screening, discussing preborn children as if they are a commodity. Nye says, “Until recently when parents had a child they couldn’t know what they’d get, genetically speaking.” He also speaks of how “parents can decide how to proceed,” leaving open the possibility of discarding a newly created human embryo because it may have “an undesirable set of genes.”
It was eventually revealed that Nye has a sort of personal stake in this — a family “health issue.” Ataxia, a genetic disorder which involves the loss of control of movement, runs in Nye’s family and affects his older sister. So the question is, would Nye advocate for his sister having never been born? With his obsessive focus on “healthy children,” it seems he is concerned with future children being affected.
This article continues at [Live Action] Bill Nye’s Netflix show discusses IVF with jokes about ‘Aryan race’ and a fashion show