Isn’t it amazing how all these militant atheists end up with God complexes? In the last instalment of my series looking at celebrity atheist drum-beaters who pass themselves off as “scientists,” I looked at Neil deGrasse Tyson, a progressive icon who puts even my own attention-seeking to shame. Today, I’ll be ruining your childhood with a deconstruction of Bill Nye.
Let’s get this out of the way at once. Bill Nye’s primary qualification for being “The Science Guy” is that his last name rhymes with the phrase. I like to imagine some brilliant scientist named Phil Frye drunkenly ranting in a bar: “It should have been me!”
Nye’s most “sciencey” qualification is an undergrad degree in mechanical engineering. One would hope that one of the world’s foremost finger-waggers on climate change would have at least spent some of his precious carbon footprint earning a Masters, or even stretched himself for a dubious doctorate like Tyson, but alas, no.
Still, it’s a welcome relic of the 1990s that they at least found a STEM major to be “The Science Guy.” His successor will surely be a feminist art history major, or perhaps even a fat studies graduate. After all, as Nye would surely agree, facts are just a construction of the patriarchy designed to keep women and ethnic minorities down.
After a career in aerospace, where he admirably made things and improved the world by enabling jet travel — well before his pearl-clutching carbon panic phase — Nye was introduced to the world of sketch comedy. Ironically, while his acting is pretty good, it was his science that would become the big joke.
As an actor playing the role of “The Science Guy,” Nye served an important purpose: getting children interested in science. It wasn’t an original idea, of course. Children of previous generations were entranced by science-themed entertainers like Mr. Wizard. At least Nye looked the part, though: he might charitably be considered a character actor for the quintessential pencil-neck geek.
As a science advocate, Nye would follow a now-familiar pattern. He would start out as a fun, harmless communicator — not a true scientist, but at least a good entertainer — and then he would get bored and turn to political grandstanding. The admirable goal of holding children’s attention with fun educational content would transform into the tedious business of appeasing liberal benefactors with barely-concealed progressive propaganda. And so it has been.
This has become so common among scientists with book deals that we really need a name for it. The best I could come up with was the title of this series, “Scientists Who Are Actually Really Stupid.”
In business, there’s something called the Peter Principle, which describes people who are promoted one level above their peak competence, thus making them incompetent. We need an equivalent for science, but with a more appropriate moniker.
Perhaps Crusher’s Law, named after the most dreary, incompetent and annoying Star Trek character of all time, Wesley Crusher. He was promoted to ensign and then constantly mucked everything up. The only time actor Wil Wheaton ever pleased an audience was being told to shut up by Picard and his mother.
Bill Nye’s Crusher moment came with “The Eyes Of Nye,” a science show for grown-ups. The programme comprised a brazen list of liberal hobby-horses: global warming, race and genetically-modified foods. Like a mind-numbingly tedious Pokemon, Nye evolved from a fun, endearing kids TV character into a moody partisan hack.
The show wasn’t nearly as popular as his earlier work, of course, running for only 13 episodes. A box set is now available for $499.00 — just the right price range for his exclusive audience of champagne socialists. Despite the show’s doomed trajectory, however, Nye caught the bug for berating Americans from on high.
One of Nye’s favourite pastimes is climate change fearmongering. “This isn’t something you should be debating or denying,” he said last year. Because as we all know, shutting down debate and scepticism is how real science works. Nye also signed a letter calling on media companies not to give airtime or column inches to climate sceptics.
Like most climate alarmists, Nye is a hypocrite. He spent earth day 2015 spewing tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere as he tooled around in Air Force One with Obama. How typical — lecturing Americans about their Sport Utility Vehicles from the comfort of a private plane. Once again, this sort of high-flying climate campaigner is now such a common sight that we really need a word for them. Advocates at Altitude? Mile-High Missionaries? Al’s Apostles?
— Bill Nye (@BillNye) April 21, 2015
Nye is also famous for playing to a number of other pet liberal causes. Surprising no-one, Bill Nye on abortion reads like an engineering undergraduate trying to explain biology. When it comes to abortion, the only thing Nye is qualified to do is manufacture the coat hangers, and even then he’d probably fuck it up by trying to make them out of sustainable “green plastic.”
Even when debating young-earth creationists, which should be a fairly easy task, Nye fails to meet expectations. The Daily Beast, hardly a conservative publication, admitted that Nye’s famous debate with creationist Ken Ham was a “nightmare for science.” Whereas atheists like Dawkins or Hitchens at least knew how to present an argument, Nye can do little but hurl abuse.
His attitude towards teaching evolution is that kids “need” to believe it, “or else.” (It’s the “or else” that gets me.) Weirdest of all is Bill’s wacky beliefs on GMO crops. For years, Nye held the fashionable — yet scientifically laughable — view that GMOs were dangerous.
At the height of 1990s environmentalism, this was a hugely popular progressive dogma. It has since gone out of fashion, and — lo and behold — Nye has changed his mind. The Washington Post said this change of heart was “proof he’s the Science Guy.” Nah. It’s proof that he’s the Fashionable Liberal Opinions Guy.
I’ve profiled a lot of insufferable people, but I’ve yet to encounter anyone quite as uniquely odious as Nye. It’s no wonder that he was married for a mere seven weeks before his marriage license was denied. Did he perhaps lecture the officials about their lack of faith in the church of climate change? If Kim Davis had denied Bill Nye a marriage licence instead of those gays she’d be a national treasure by now.
His former spouse then did the worst thing she could do: poured herbicide on his rose garden. All that environmental damage! He ended up filing for a protection order against her. Shouldn’t have married a SJW, Bill.
It’s truly a shame. In his early days, Nye was a brilliant, albeit intellectually limited, entertainer, entrancing kids across the country with genuinely delightful educational material. But like so many celebrity scientists, Nye has been drawn to the dark side.
Or at least the hectoring, nannying, fainting-couch progressive side. I started this column by saying I’d ruin one of your childhood heroes… but in reality, puritanical liberalism did that a long time ago. What a dummy!