Years ago when television actor Bill Nye participated in a widely-watched debate with the founder and president of the Christian apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, there was something bizarre about the media coverage. While the debate focused on the scientific validity and viability of the Bible’s Genesis account of creation, a quieter debate on credibility was being conducted.
On numerous mainstream outlets, Ham was derided as a mere layman with a Bible while Nye was hailed as the “Science Guy” – a moniker he actually gave himself when marketing his TV show for Disney. But the truth was that while Ham holds a degree in applied science from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, with an emphasis on environmental biology, Bill Nye boasts an engineering degree.
In other words, Bill Nye’s foray into environmental and biological science is an act. He wears a lab coat and a bow tie, clings to the “Science Guy” nickname, but is the furthest thing from an expert on science that you’ll find being allowed to participate as an expert witness for environmental and scientific public policy questions.
And as you would expect from such a fraudulent background, Nye has made some historically boneheaded observations that, had they been made by someone like Ham, would have earned the eternal dunce cap of scientific shame.
We’re talking things like thinking hurricanes are caused by heat in the atmosphere rather than the ocean, misattributing mega snowstorms and hurricanes in America to the work of African waves, arguing that time travel was indeed a possibility, and that human eggs fertilized by human sperm aren’t human.
Thankfully, some folks are beginning to see the light and eviscerate Nye for the fraud he continues to perpetrate:
“If I walked around in scrubs, hung a stethoscope around my neck, and called myself ‘The Medicine Guy,’ I would be considered a complete fraud, would I not? Even though some of my opinions and observations might be correct, I’m still not a physician…Nor should I be considered one. I’m simply not qualified to speak in that realm, let alone make decisions, let alone attempt to guide public policy. Would you let your kids listen to me, and what I had to say? Nope. You are to science what Betsy DeVos is to education. Perhaps worse; your fraud has spanned decades. Hers, only a few months.”
With all due respect to Ms. DeVos, this Nye critic is exactly right. It’s not that Nye isn’t allowed to have an opinion or share it. Nye’s offense isn’t that he is always wrong or that he has no right to believe what he wants to believe. It’s that he fraudulently markets himself as an expert in a field that he holds no expertise in. When he’s invited on news shows or round tables, he isn’t going as an actor. He’s going as a scientist. But he’s not a scientist. He’s an actor. He’s like Pat Sajak going on a show to talk public policy – totally legitimate for him to have opinions and views, but under the guise of his actual profession.
That’s the fraud of Bill Nye. That’s the deception. And that’s why he really just needs to go away.