This is science, Bill Nye?

It’s no secret that I am not a big fan of Bill Nye, regarding him as a buffoon who will engage in any shenanigans that keep him in the public eye and help him retain the fame he desires—fame accrued as “The Science Guy”. I never saw the old show, and realize that many people liked it and it seemed to promote good science to kids; but his activities since I became aware of him have largely caused me embarrassment since he’s supposed to represent and burnish my own profession of science.

Well, Nye has a new show humbly called “Bill Nye Saves the World“, which apparently still has the goal of promoting science.

Here’s a new video from the show. Featuring comedian and actor Rachel Bloom singing “My vagina has its own voice,” it’s an arrant travesty:

Seriously, “butt stuff”? Now this may be social justice stuff, but it ain’t science—not even if you construe it as promoting a “spectrum of sexuality,” which is misleading because most people bunch at either end of the “spectrum.” In fact, I’m not sure what this is doing on a science show. It’s not even funny,

Nye, of course, was one of the honorary chairs of the March for Science, and this shows why I wasn’t keen on that choice. Defend this travesty if you want, but I’ll never admit it promotes anything but ideology. What’s next, Bill?:

“Do it before the paparazzi:
for the sake of Science, punch a Nazi!”

107 Comments

  1. Barry Lyons
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    “Shenanigans” is an appropriate word here. Nye generally means well, but he annoys me because of his seemingly unquenchable desire to entertain.

    Jerry, the day you go on television to do goofball stuff is the day I will stop paying attention to you. I’m going to go out on a limb here with a guess: that day will never arrive.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Not funny, not good. How old is Nye, mentally?

  3. Jacob
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    What’s up with the comments on this video though? I mean, it should be excoriated, but the comments on YouTube are viciously anti-Semitic… Almost every single comment I saw had some kind of slur or reference to anti-Semitism. What’s going on with that?

    • Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t look at the comments. I never do on YouTube unless it’s for music videos. I have no idea what the anti-Semitism is about but I decry it.

      • Jacob
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Probably a good idea to not scroll to the comments on most Youtube videos…

      • mrclaw69
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        As I understand it Rachel Bloom is Jewish. Therefore, to the denizens of the YooToob comments section, she must be evil or something….

        • chaim
          Posted April 24, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          It’s because Jews have a long history of social justice.

      • Posted April 25, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        The reason for this is that among certain quarters of the internet it is believed that the Jewish Conspiracy (TM) has an intentional program of promoting degeneracy in the general populace–that they are behind efforts to normalize homosexuality, gender fluidity and (next up) pedophilia. The idea is that this is one of their methods for keeping everyone else fragmented and maintaining dominance.

        I hate to repeat something like this, but you asked–this is why.

  4. Austin Johnson
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I watched some of the show this weekend, and was not impressed. Nye does a poor job of promoting skepticism, and his support of science comes off as dogmatic. The discussion panels were pretty weak as well.

  5. Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    wow. That’s certainly was …something.
    I’ve often been of two minds about Bill Nye. I truly believe that he does try to advocate for science in the best ways that he knows how.
    Unfortunately, he does engage in a number of practices, such as his trip to the Ark in Kentucky (or where-ever), in which he did as much harm as good by not maintaining a clear message that could possibly hook his critics into practicing clear thinking.
    I won’t even touch the video you presented other than to say, perhaps he was trying to be overbroad in his ‘world-saving.’
    Look away.
    -Jack

  6. Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Um…ew? Creepy old dude going for the awkward hug with kids old enough to be his after a bad song-and-dance routine promoting sexual promiscuity?

    Maybe I’m just showing my own age…but Nye certainly isn’t acting his….

    Cheers,

    b&

  7. Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Nye, of course, was one of the honorary chairs of the March for Science, and this shows why I wasn’t keen on that choice.

    I don’t know Nye. On this evidence his humour doesn’t seem to translate.

    Areomagazine have gone full regressive over the Science March using the arguments pushed by the lunatic fringe of the organisers to attack science itself.

    https://areomagazine.com/2017/04/24/the-march-for-science-is-the-problem-not-the-solution/

    • dph
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I don’t read that article as being regressive.

      • Posted April 24, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        What part of this ISN’T regressive?

        Shay Akil McLean, a Ph.D. student University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has rejected this notion. “[T]o think there are universal truths,” he argues, “perpetuates a particular kind of able bodied white cisgender male logic, a world where everything is measured in comparison to them as the ideal type of human that everyone else aberrates from.”[15] Shay studies the intersection between science and social justice, and has little need for objectivity or truth. These scholars believe that “science without a strong social-justice bedrock — that is, without politics — is a myth, and that embracing this myth will only led to hardship and oppression.”[16]

        • Starr
          Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          The article is one of the poorer ones I’ve seen on Areo, but you are seriously misrepresenting it with that quote. That is like one paragraph of the article, and it is simply the author quoting someone else as a counterpoint to arguments made by others, in other paragraphs, about the “truth” of science.

          • Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            Its not just one paragraph used to balance out pro-science quoates, it’s an entire section devoted to demolishing a very short quote from one scientist. There are other paragraphs attacking the scientific consensus on climate change.

            • dph
              Posted April 24, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

              “There are other paragraphs attacking the scientific consensus on climate change.”

              Actually there are not. And if there were paragraphs attacking the consensus view on climate change(which there are not) that would not be an example of going what you called “full regressive” but rather an example of leaning toward the opposite extreme on the spectrum. It is the right who deny climate change, not the regressive left.

              The point the author is making is one of inconsistency among the activists. They (according to the author) denigrate scientific consensus when it is counter to their position (as in genetically modified foods) and accept consensus when they agree. You can buy the author’s argument or not–but it is definitely not an attack on the scientific consensus on climate change.

              • Posted April 26, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

                This back and forth has spurred me to read the article in question. While I don’t know if “regressive” is the right adjective, it is certainly very confused.

        • Brian Salkas
          Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          I was unaware that I possessed a unique kind of logic as a white cisgendered male. I guess I thought that people can have various sexual orientations and skin colors but the views of these individuals should be viewed independently from the group these people “belong” to. I guess I need to start being more prejudiced.

          • Posted April 26, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            Yes, maybe you should develop white cis male consciousness ;-).

  8. BobTerrace
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    That is well beyond worng! It is execrable.

  9. docbill1351
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I can’t stand watching Bill Nye. Too much clown, too little science.

    He was on a panel discussion with climate crackpot William Happer and totally failed. Happer was going on about how CO2 was good for plants and therefore OK and Nye totally missed an opportunity of an easy debunk.

    The thing about these climate change denialists is that they are all one trick ponies. For example, with Happer it’s plants, with J. Curry it’s “uncertainty.” Each of them should be easy to “put away” in a discussion, yet Nye was totally ineffective and embarrassing.

    Where’s the hook? Get him off the stage!

  10. mikeyc
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    What did I just watch?

  11. manwhoisthursday
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    a “spectrum of sexuality,” which is misleading because most people bunch at either end of the “spectrum.”

    It’s worse than that, if you look at function. You either have a body which includes parts that have as their function the growing and nourishing of a child inside you (and the nourishing of the child outside you), or you have a body which includes parts that have as their function the growing and nurturing of a child inside someone else. If you end up with some combination of both kinds of parts, that tends to impede the function.

    The suite of psychological traits that you have as a male or female flows from that bodily function towards the successful production of offspring. There are variety of suites that will do equally well towards that end, which is why we have a lot of different ways to be male or female. But the suites of psychological traits that lead to successful reproduction in men and women differ in highly predictable ways and only somewhat overlap.

    Roughly speaking.

    • zugzwanged
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. And, although many would like to deny the fact, sexuality itself is a gender difference. If there is a ‘spectrum’ of sexuality from gynephiles to androphiles, men are overwhelmingly clustered at one end and women overwhelmingly clustered at the other.

  12. GBJames
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    That’s just weird.

  13. cruzrad
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Still cringing…

  14. mrclaw69
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    The main crime here is that it’s just not funny.

  15. Posted April 24, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    What age is this programme aimed at?

    • Posted April 24, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Nye seems to have aimed for the Age of Aquarius…but instead landed squarely in the Eternal Age of Creepy Old Perverts.

      Cheers,

      b&

      >

  16. skiptic
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that the morals of our entire culture, INLUDING IT”S SCIENTISTS, is deeply tainted by unhealthy, oppressive Abrahamic, Judeo-Christian sexual standards. Bill Nye is right-on with this one. As Sinead O’Connor had the guts to say 20 years ago, live on SNL, “Fight the real enemy” – religious sexually-based oppression.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      The message might be right, but the way he’s doing it, and in a science show, is all wrong imo.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      You do not think that the extreme opposite of repressive sexuality is also unhealthy?
      As an atheist I think this show was uncivilized.

  17. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Unlike the SG show, Nye is not a credited writer nor co-creator nor producer for the new show. The main writer is astronomer Phil Plait, and Mike Drucker.
    They basically paid Nye for the use of his name.

    By contrast, Nye WAS co-creator and co-producer of SciGuy and DID write 22 (out of 100) episodes

    This puts him in a position somewhat akin to Rod Serling who had NO creative control over the mediocre but eponymously titled horror anthology “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery”, but who was the main creative genius behind the justly acclaimed classic “The Twilight Zone”. (The comparison is not exact since Nye’s name appears in both this new show and in “Science Guy” and BNtSG is not quite as superb a classic as The Twilight Zone.)

    Still, it does at least seem that Nye is prostituting himself here, even if he not the writer-producer of this silliness.

    Nye’s most significant achievement may still be developing a hydraulic resonance suppressor tube used on Boeing airplanes and the color-coded sundial used on the Mars Rover.

    Hard to believe he won a Steve Martin look-a-like contest as a young man.

    • eric
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Well I am not sure which thought I like less, Nye writing a crappy show or Phil Plait writing a crappy show. I think I would’ve been happier thinking Nye was creatively to blame. Oh well.

      • Posted April 27, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Crap is just what one would expect from Phil Plait.

  18. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    That’s so bad, it’s … not ready for public-access tv … not even as an off-hours replacement for Wayne & Garth.

    It’s so bad, it’s … funny, but a cruel, mean-spirited kinda funny — an Oscar Wilde/Evelyn Waugh cutting and sarcastic kinda funny — the kinda funny where you (almost! 🙂 ) feel dirty for laughing at its utter atrociousness. Almost.

    How long will we have to wait for another episode of BNSW?

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      All 13 episodes of Season 1 are up on Netflix right now.

  19. Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t watch much of that. It was simply stupid and dreadful.
    Oh, and not even funny.

  20. Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    “regarding him as a buffoon who will engage in any shenanigans that keep him in the public eye”

    I can’t see any way of arguing with that.

    I usually find it objectionable when people talk about a scientific priesthood, but I actually think that’s exactly the kind of thing Nye is trying to become, with all this “The Science Guy” stuff. As if science is something special and he has it especially.

    I think the underlying message is something quite foreign to science. You don’t become a “science guy” in the same way as you become a priest. You either do good science or crappy science.

  21. darrelle
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Bill Nye has never appealed to me entertainment-wise or science advocate-wise. To me he seems to try too hard to try and create a certain character and to not ever quite pull it off. Hearing from Jerry of Nye’s apparently conceited behavior really brought him down a notch in my estimation as well.

    But, I’ve gotta say, I agree more with skiptic on this one. That skit wasn’t really my style and Nye, as usual, just doesn’t pull off the cool, hip, up-to-speed character he’s trying for, but I think the message is appropriate for the same reasons skiptic stated. Could have done it better, but I approve of the message.

    While I understand many don’t think science should be combined with politics or social issues, such as the recent March For Science (and I agree with that), politics and social issues in science, and science in politics and social issues are things that are important to consider and talk about in the appropriate time and place. I think a talk show is an appropriate place.

  22. GBJames
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    While this performance is cringeworthy I want to add that I don’t think that “Is this science?” is a reasonable criticism. After all, here on WEIT we have frequent non-science posts on everything about music, food, feline comedy, and (in days past) cowboy footwear.

    None of which makes that video clip any less cringeworthy, though.

    • Posted April 24, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Umm. . . .I’ve long ago said that I write about a bunch of different stuff. The Roolz says this right at the top:

      Here are “Da Roolz,” guidelines and strictures for posting on this website. The site has evolved since it was created in 2009 to provide evidence for evolution, and now covers a variety of topics that strike me as interesting or newsworthy. I like readers to have fun, weigh in with their opinions, learn, educate, but also respect the personal integrity of other readers.

      I don’t pretend that this site is there to promote science, nor do I say I’m purporting to “Save the World” (Bill Nye presumably means that he’ll do it through promoting science.) I don’t get why you’re comparing this site to Nye’s show, which on its site says this:

      Emmy-winning host Bill Nye brings experts and famous guests to his lab for a talk show exploring scientific issues that touch our lives.

      • GBJames
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Well I know the roolz and think I abide by them reasonably well. I enjoy this site, in part, because of the variety of the posts. I’m just saying that TV shows aren’t inherently different than web sites when it comes to including material beyond the primary emphasis of the show/site.

        To me the real “crime” is not that it was on the wrong venue but that it was on at all. It is cringeworthy in any venue.

      • Jim Smith
        Posted April 25, 2017 at 12:40 am | Permalink

        Jerry, if you were given a major cable show about ‘science’ and we were to find a show about you and your fascination with cats, we would have a right to be pissed. The crazy new left thinks it is great to have a ‘science’ show that is all about crazy new left propaganda talking points. Because to the crazy new left that is all science or anything is good for, advancing teh cause of the crazy new left. Truth is whatever advances teh cause. Fuck em, fuck em all. As a member of the old left, god I hate them.

  23. Posted April 24, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    It is nigh time that Nye retired his schtick. He is an embarrassment. And he is no good on science anyway. In his recent debate with climate change denier William Happer Nye responded to Happer’s claim that humans exhaling CO2 was a source of emissions by saying it was a matter of rates. In fact it is the fact that human exhaled CO2 is wholly recycled and already accounted for that makes it not matter. He missed a chance to educate the public on this and instead attacked CNN for inviting Happer. This feeds the view on the right that climate change skeptics are being censored.

  24. Posted April 24, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I think that Nye once did some good things for kids, but has since passed into the realm of irrelevant spectacle. It’s a shame, as he could be a strong voice for science with a popular appeal.

    That is not Rachel Bloom’s best work. I’m a fan of her early material (pre-Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), but this was pretty poor. I would guess that she didn’t actually write the piece.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      He did that (for kids). My own grew up to have very science-friendly with science-related careers in part due to his shows when they were little. I suspect part of his current appeal is a bit of nostalgia he triggers in millennials.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        As a kid, I liked Stephen Gould but as an adult I realized how he was really wrong sometimes and a bit annoying.

        • GBJames
          Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          I had a similar experience with Gould. I was very impressed as a young man and only later came to appreciate how off-base he was. I think his writing style got the better of my critical thinking. Eventually critical thinking won, though. 😉

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted April 24, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, sometimes I think Gould’s writing because it’s own living thing 🙂 He did inspire me to learn about science though even though I became an arts grad because of math.

        • Posted April 24, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          I never got any science really as a child. But as a teenager I stumbled onto Sagan one night on TV and was spellbound, and have been ever since.

      • FuzzyPuffin
        Posted April 25, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        I am a millennial, and nostalgia is why I watched this show. I credit Nye as one of the chief reasons for my interest in science.

        I think Rachel Bloom is hilarious, but this is not her best work, and neither is the other song she has on this show, but it’s not as bad. But most of the comedy skits on this show were much worse (Joel McHale as an astronaut.)

        This episode was probably the worst. They made one basic point and repeated it over and over without, you know, going into the actual science. Instead they spent ten minutes moving balls around with a stick.

        I didn’t not “like” it, but the show was definitely not great (and I am free to admit that my liking may be due to pure nostalgia). I got excited when Nye called it an “adult” show in the first episode, but it sure didn’t feel like one. Nothing was explored in any depth. I get that it’s a “talk show” that’s more about how science informs our lives, but if there’s a season two they need to seriously revamp the format, perhaps a fewer amount of hourlong shows. I felt like the show was on speed. One thing to the next. The panels were so short to be almost pointless.
        Get rid of the shoehorned celeb sections (no, we don’t need five minutes of a 30-minute show dedicated to showing an NBA player and a kid what moon gravity is like.) Then they put Will Wheaton on a panel about astrobiology. I don’t care what Wheaton thinks just because he was on Star Trek, I want to know what astrobiologists think. It felt like major millennial pandering.

        I don’t know. In some sense I can imagine the show being what old people might think millennials would want out of a science show.

  25. zugzwanged
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    ‘Science’ has become one of those tribal code words, like ‘America’ or ‘white’. It has become a tribal flag for the Blue Tribe, as we see in the Science March.

    As such, it is attached to the rest of the Blue Tribe’s identity. So to be pro-Science is to favour immigration. Being pro-Science involves affirmation of ‘social justice’ orthodoxies on LGBT, feminist, race, and other issues, even when the positions in question are deeply suspect.

    The obvious tribalism of it all and the hypocrisy of shouting for science while upholding deeply questionable shibboleths that cannot be openly challenged by science merely discredit and undermine actual science.

    The word ‘Science’ has developed a weird mythology around it, but people easily forget that at the heart of the healthy operation of science is a large network of social trust. Researchers need to be able to trust each other’s work. Methods, social norms, and the social patterns of scientific enquiry (peer review, publication, replication, etc.) need to be both trustworthy and inspiring of trust. Truth goes nowhere if it doesn’t have the rails of trust to run upon.

    The tribalization of ‘Science’ directly undermines this trust, especially with the public. The public begins to believe that the pro-Science crowd isn’t really committed to the scrupulous and transparent pursuit of truth, but to the fashionable orthodoxies of the Blue Tribe.

    Trust is an incredibly fragile thing. The more that we allow science to be politicized (even really solid science), the more that trust is jeopardized.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      I largely agree with you but I think you miss an important point. Science wasn’t politicized by “the left”. It became political because conservatives largely abandoned it in favor of pandering to the religious (and to the fossil fuel industry and other corporate interests). Trust in science has evaporated on the right because “alternative facts” are believed to be equivalent to actual facts.

      It is the attack on science, from the right, that is responsible for the tribal nature of our current environment. (And yes, I recognize left-of-center science denialism exists among some anti-vaxxers, etc.)

      • colnago80
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Actually, the anti-vax movement started on the far left (Jenny McCarthy) but has now been adopted by the far right (e.g. dummkopf Donald and vice-president Pence for starters). Pence, of course is also a YEC and a cigarette smoking/lung cancer denialist.

    • Posted April 24, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think I would agree that science is a tribal codeword for the blue tribe. Scientist themselves are more likely to be on the left and I wouldn’t characterize the left as a whole as anti-science, but there are major groups within the left coalition that have a fairly negative attitude towards science.

      On global warming, the left is supportive of science and the right is not, but anti-vaxxers come from both the left and the right. Postmodern leftists are very hostile to any science that indicates gender or genetics can impact human behavior. Even outside these topics, postmodernists are often skeptical of science in general and give it the same level of credibility as folklore.

      I would agree that the left as a whole is mildly more supportive of science than the right, but both sides contain pro- and anti- science subgroups.

      • colnago80
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Yes but the anti-science subgroups on the right are far more influential and far better funded.

        • Posted April 26, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          The way I see it in the USA, part of the right attacks science while part of the left discredits science. I think the latter is more harmful.

    • Posted April 26, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      I think the same.

  26. BJ
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    This may be a sign that the end is Nye.

  27. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Yeeesh. That’s just bad entertainment. If it at least had witty lyrics but it’s awful, like when you were a kid and your mom tried to say something hip.

    • darrelle
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      That’s it in a nutshell.

    • Colin McLachlan
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      It’s just embarrassing.
      Cheers,
      Haggis.

  28. Posted April 24, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    “It’s no secret that I am not a big fan of Bill Nye, regarding him as a buffoon who will engage in any shenanigans that keep him in the public eye and help him retain the fame he desires—fame accrued as “The Science Guy””

    Yeah, a lot of the stuff Nye has done in the global warming field, I felt was over-exaggeration in service of a good cause (he’s made some claims real climate scientists have had to rebuke him for, as I recall). But this is what made me just lose respect for him, period. And this is an entire show, called “Bill Nye saves the world”? There’s some egotism for you. Oh, and

    “I never saw the old show, and realize that many people liked it and it seemed to promote good science to kids”

    Yeah, that’s why I always classified him as a science educator rather than a scientist, which considering his lacking credentials is a fair assessment. Being able to translate a textbook into a fun video doesn’t mean you can start writing your own material though, and sadly that’s what he is doing.

  29. Stephen Barrett
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I love Neil deGrasse Tyson’s podcast, StarTalk Radio, on which Nye is a frequent guest. I find that Nye often is more ‘Bells & Whistles’ than offering anything of substance.

    Myself, I like my science to be about science. I don’t need to be constantly distracted with poorly done music videos.

  30. Posted April 24, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Curious that Coyne has harsher words for Bill Nye than he ever had for Milo Yiannopolous. That he’s more offended by a well-intentioned skit about vaginas than by racism, misogyny, and attacks on child rape victims is as telling as it is disappointing.

    • Posted April 24, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      You know who else Jerry has never criticized? Literally everybody currently in Illinois prisons with murder convictions. Clearly, Jerry is a murderer-lover!

      …either that, or he has limited bandwidth and only posts about that which catches his attention. The fact that Nye is a much better-known figure with a far longer career in a field much more closely related to Jerry’s own specialty might have something to do with it, too….

      Cheers,

      b&

      >

      • Posted April 24, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Lol. Jerry spent plenty of time defending Milo, not just not criticizing him. Nice try though.

        • GBJames
          Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          I think you are confusing defense of free expression on campus with defense of specific ideas (Milo’s in this case). Not the same things.

          • Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            Jerry said repeatedly that he thought Milo had a lot of important things to say. Yet he has no such tolerance for Nye.

            • barael
              Posted April 25, 2017 at 3:39 am | Permalink

              So what, Milo hasn’t said a single non-terrible thing in his life? As bad he is on most issues (of which an unknown portion is just pure provocation), he’s also at least somewhat good on a select few such as free expression, political correctness gone haywire etc.

          • Posted April 25, 2017 at 5:01 am | Permalink

            GBJ is absolutely on point here, One issue is about free speech (and I defy you to find where I said Milo had a “LOT OF important things to say”: I said that some if what he said was worth CONSIDERING, but concentrated largely on why he should not be banned. I also called him out for his behavior toward the transgender student and said he was largely odious.

            Here I call out Nye for self-serving behavior and other missteps in popularizing science,

            But I have no need to defend my behavior; both have irritated me, but Milo is defended on free speech grounds, not his views, You don’t seem able ti grasp the difference,

            By the way, I haven’t criticized Kim Jong-Il enough, either, I suppose, or Assad in Syria.

        • Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          Not defending Milo, but defending his right to free speech.

          …unless you’ve also got a problem with the ACLU defending the rights of the Nazis to march in Skokie? Maybe you think the ACLU is a bunch of Nazi-lovers…?

          Cheers,

          b&

          >

          • Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            No, also defending Milo himself. as having a lot of important things to say. But he has no such charity for Bill Nye? Smells like sour grapes to me.

            • darrelle
              Posted April 25, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

              I think you are allowing your predispositions to warp your interpretations of what Jerry has written about Milo. You are mischaracterizing what he has written in a way that allows you to characterize him as being, or having been, morally dubious, and you are continuing to do so even when it is pointed out to you. That is a fallacy and it isn’t very commendable either.

    • flmvdvsrg
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      Milo was a troll, though. It was better to treat him as another nutty conservative. You know Jerry couldn’t leave his computer if he went after all of them. He only talked about him when it became relevant. Bill on the other hand is a science popularizer, and one that had a good reputation. Context is key.

    • Jim Smith
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      Coyne commented about the overblown reaction by crybaby lefties to Milos. This does not mean he agrees with Milos. Classic asshole Stalinist move. I mean new left move.

      And take comments about Nye’s awful show and make it about Milos. Talky the Toaster.

      • barael
        Posted April 25, 2017 at 3:46 am | Permalink

        Between being a troll, provocateur and just terrible, Milo also defends some liberal principles such as free speech. Are we now supposed to forsake everything that this bete noir also supports in order to remain in good standing?

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 4:32 am | Permalink

      I am offended that you do not find Bloom’s performance disgusting.

    • Posted April 26, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      As far as I know, Milo has never had any claims to science. Bill Nye has such claims, therefore whatever garbage he accumulates is garbage in Prof. Coyne’s “house”, i.e. science.

  31. Kevin
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Whacked aesthetics. Nye has one of those engineering hubris attitudes. He does not really promote science. Hitchens did a better promoting science.

  32. flmvdvsrg
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I was expecting Jerry to explain it to me. I didn’t even understand what they were trying to say. I’m still very confused.

    • Posted April 25, 2017 at 5:03 am | Permalink

      If you mean the video, it’s about how people are complex sexually, they fall on a spectrum between simple male behavior and simple female behavior, and we should accept all forms of sexxuality,

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted April 25, 2017 at 5:22 am | Permalink

        “and we should accept all forms of sexuality”
        I am not sure I understand what you mean by “all forms”.

        I think we would agree that we should not regard all forms of sexual expression as normal, desirable or as “civilized”.

        For example, one could argue that Ephebophilia (grown men who are attracted to adolescents) is normal, but it is something society should discourage or frown upon.

        • Posted April 27, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          … one could argue that Ephebophilia (grown men who are attracted to adolescents) is normal, but it is something society should discourage or frown upon.

          Ha — try telling that to Secular Student Alliance!

  33. finderskeepers
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    “Science” to the adroit modern progressive is nothing more than a form of trendy class signalling.

    They don’t like science, they like the idea of “science” => progressive => me.

  34. Jim Smith
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    If it’s an article about why shouldn’t we eat dead people, it’s probably written by a member of the new left. And probably paid for by tax dollars. Same with feminist glaciology, or the sexism of prosthetics or rape by octopus being really really sexy, or free-bleeding, or an art show where members of the audience are asked to daub their fingers in a women’s menstrual blood and paint on the women’s body. Bill is just staying with the times. He’s a hip and cool kind of new left kind of guy. Otherwise he’d be a nazi.

    And who wants to be a nazi?

    • Jim Smith
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      Forgot to add hiring by merit is fascist. Yeah, who doesn’t love the new left?

  35. Steve Barnes
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    But the show isn’t billed as pure science – its publicity has always characterized it as exploring ways in which science might inform current issues.

    “Emmy-winning host Bill Nye brings experts and famous guests to his lab for a talk show exploring scientific issues that touch our lives.”

    “The Eyes of Nye” was similar, but not a talk show.

    The original Science Guy show was (intentionally) much more pure science, and there Bill excelled at quickly explaining basic scientific concepts (electrical circuits, chemical reactions, the climate, evolution, all that) in a short period with the aid of quick supporting live demonstrations that made for comprehension within five or ten minutes – the rest of each episode was dedicated to reviewing the basic concept while fleshing it out. I think he’s the only other guy I’d rank with Dawkins for explanatory power.

    He still manages to accomplish this on these frustratingly brief news interviews about climate change and so forth, and in my mind his genuine intention to clear up confusion cuts through the media theatre paradigm in a way barely anyone else seems to manage.

    So, I don’t know. I’m sure you don’t need the information from the shows, but they’re worth taking in. And the newer shows purposely are not those by design.

  36. Amy
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    I never like Bill Nye’s style. Today I feel probably I do have a keen sense on judging people.

  37. Eric Grobler
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    I do not think people who watch trash like this will be interested or understand science.

  38. Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I am not surprised Phil Plait is involved in this. A buzzfeed astronomer.

  39. Posted April 25, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I don’t know, I rewatched it and just paid attention to the lyrics. I think the message is a welcome one about sexuality.

    As an artistic piece, however, her voice and the music didn’t capture me at all. YMMV as with all things art.

    It happened on Nye’s show and I suppose I’d have to say that I’m appreciative that it’s out there, rather than not being out there.

    So good on him.

    Mike

  40. Posted April 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Experimentation in learning how people come to learn things (sexuality?) is a good thing, but …

  41. Smegma
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I tried to give the show a good shot and watch two episodes back-to-back. I was sooo disappointed. It was just awful. Just cringe-worthy. It was just a case of preaching to the choir the same old arguments. I thought they would work harder on the science and less on the campy crap.

  42. Pierre Savoie
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Totally repulsive, no real music just chanting to a beatbox. This contentious talk about genders presented to youth with NO evidence must be a secret plot on the part of Donald Trump to discredit ALL scientists to make it easier to do what he wants to do.

    …and the worst was the way they forced Q*bert to scratch disks for them.

  43. Posted April 26, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Am I the only person who confuses Bill Bye with Matthew Lesko the guy with the jacket covered in question marks who used to sell those books about getting everything free from the government?

    They both act like clowns to me

  44. Posted April 30, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Ok. Can we just bask in the fact that someone, somewhere, thought this was a good idea? It gives me great hope to know that 1) I am not the most clueless person on the planet and 2) people more clueless than me are getting their material out on wildly popular Netflix shows. If Rachel Bloom can make it all of us can make it.

  45. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Defend this travesty? Challenge accepted. 🙂

    While I’m no fan of rap / hip-hop in any form, this video wasn’t that bad. Body dysphoria is apparently a thing with considerable evidence behind it.

    The fact that such a high fraction of LBGTQ kids kill themselves in their teens and early 20s can and should be mitigated by increased acceptance of that evidence.

    The same folks who get their metaphorical panties in a bunch about traditional family values and about how unnatural “deviant” sex and gender is are those who are most anti-science, so there is something to be said for attempting by whatever non-violent means necessary to increase the general acceptance in society of those minority sexual proclivities and genders. Obviously, there is still a lot to be learned about how gender and self-image in general works in humans, but meanwhile, we should go with the best evidence we have… so there is some science in that.

    I too sometimes find Nye’s over the top shenanigans a bit cringe worthy but he is, IMHO, doing his bit to promote interest in science and in general acceptance of the value of critical thinking and human progress. His work as CEO of The Planetary Society is of great value in that regard.

    Bloom, is hilarious in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, one of the most clever, funny, and even heart-warming sitcoms out there, rivaling “The Big Bang Theory” in those characteristics. Her performance in this video wasn’t up to those standards, but still, far from a travesty.

    • Ullrich Fischer
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      For the record, this is the first time I’ve disagreed with anything Dr. Coyne has posted here. 🙂 Now for the 2nd point of disagreement: SJW should not be used as a pejorative, nor should it be applied to the regressive left. Do any of us really oppose the idea that Social Justice is a Good Thing? The regressive left is problematic not because they espouse social justice causes, but because their mendacity about some of the more pressing issues facing the world today (notably Islam) is actively undermining the world’s progress toward more social justice. Instead, I propose we use IBE as a more accurate pejorative: Ideology Before Evidence — which accurately reflects the IBEs’ attempts to ignore or even demonize discussions of hot button scientific questions which are still not settled, or which are settled, but which undermine some points of the IBE left’s (or the batshit crazy ignorant Christian right’s for that matter) ideology.


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*

%d bloggers like this: