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Bill Nye the science guy gets Nobel Prize … okay, no wait … lemme check notes here …

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The story is a little more like this:

He should think about getting an adult job one day. The most laughable part of this pseudo-science babble is Nye’s claim that “the strong winds we had in California” are a result of climate change. For those unfamiliar with the region, they are called Santa Ana Winds and they have been a fact of life here for thousands of years.

My take on Nye is that he was a schoolroom celeb but didn’t really age into a guru role.

Fair? Unfair? Thoughts?

Update: From a recent interview with Nye (National Geographic) on Nye’s book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation:

It’s been said that a good way of convincing people of something is to appeal to their emotions. What do you think?

That’s my business! In the book, I purposely spend a lot of time in the first person. The reason is, we find stories compelling. Stories are how we remember things, how we organize things.

By telling a story in the first person, it’s hard to dismiss. If I say, “I remember the time I met Ivan the gorilla,” it’s really difficult for the listener or reader to go, “No, you don’t!”

When you say, “I feel,” it’s really hard for the reader to say, “No, you don’t.” Yes, I do. I did a lot of that in the book.

His book is doing well in the religion market at Amazon this afternoon:


#1 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Theology > Creationism
#2 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Science & Religion
#3 in Books > Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies

vs. Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt

#2 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Paleontology
#4 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Theology > Creationism
#11 in Books > Science & Math > Evolution > Organic

That feels significant. Again, thoughts?

Sorry for delayed serious coverage; have been dealing with local non-warming at the elite editorial offices of Uncommon Descent in prestigious downtown Dirtysnowpile.

Dam.

See also: Contemplating Bill Nye’s skulls slide

14 Replies to “Bill Nye the science guy gets Nobel Prize … okay, no wait … lemme check notes here …

  1. 1
    Moose Dr says:

    I have watched Mr. Nye’s laughable screed against creationism. His argument goes as follows: The earth is old, therefore evolution happened, therefore unguided evolution by natural selection happened, therefore there is no God, therefore all who believe in God are idiots.

    His lack of knowledge on the breadth of opinion regarding a topic he clearly believes he has mastered is, well pitiful.

    “he was a schoolroom celeb but didn’t really age into a guru role.” I sincerely hope that this guy doesn’t get held up as a guru. ‘Would love it if a real IDer publicly and formally challenged him to a broader based debate. The problem, of course, is that if the young earth position is abandoned he has no material.

  2. 2
    skram says:

    Moose Dr:

    His argument goes as follows: The earth is old, therefore evolution happened, therefore unguided evolution by natural selection happened, therefore there is no God, therefore all who believe in God are idiots.

    I am surprised at this characterization. Did Nye really call believers in God “idiots”? From what I know about him, this is rather unlikely. (He is an agnostic, not an atheist.)

    Would you care to provide some direct quotes from Nye confirming your summary?

  3. 3
    Moose Dr says:

    Consider this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....45891.html
    Here Nye claims to be “agnostic” because as he says “you can’t know” that there is no god. Later he goes on to describe the possibility that we find a superior race on another planet, and conclude that they have god-like attributes. He therefore claims himself to be “agnostic”, yet his position is no different than that of Richard Dawkins who declares that “there probably is no god”.

    Nye recognises that people get value out of their belief in god because of sense of community and other irrelevant social factors, but he holds no pretence that he doesn’t think that they in any way communicate to a deity when they pray.

    Darn close to “therefore all who believe in God are idiots” but not quite, so I take it back.

  4. 4
    tjguy says:

    Here is more on Nye.

    http://crev.info/2015/01/bill-.....evolution/

    Bill Nye Admits to Propagating Evolution Via Emotional Stories

    Read for details.

  5. 5
    skram says:

    Moose Dr,

    Can we see a direct quote from Bill Nye that can be summed up as “therefore all who believe in God are idiots”? Give us the quote. Just paste it.

  6. 6
    ppolish says:

    Bill Nye, or Neil Tyson or Richard Dawkins, are not scientists. They are science communicators. One needs to write peer reviewed science papers to be considered a scientist.

    Bill is a good rapper though:)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8yis7GzlXNM

  7. 7
  8. 8
    johnnyb says:

    Petrushka –

    I’m not big into saying you have to have so many publications to be a scientist (really, if you have 1 good one, that’s all that matters – and I don’t think peer review matters that much, either), but the Richard Dawkins bibliography pretty much proves ppolish’s point. Look at the titles. The last real research paper in the list was from 1980. That’s 35 years ago.

    NdGT is better, but not by a lot. I don’t know if that is a complete list, and in fact I would be surprised if it was. If it is a complete list, it shows that, except for a short period in 2007-2008 where it looks like he did a little pitching in, NdGT hasn’t done any real research in 17 years.

    The role that they function in is as spokespersons for science – much like Carl Sagan. I don’t think that’s a problem – the world needs roles like that (though it is unfortunate who tends to fill those roles). It is just important to note the difference. Knowing science is important, teaching science is important. Neither of them are the same thing as doing science. Dawkins and NdGT have at least done science in the past, but it would be a stretch to say that they have been a scientist in any time in the recent past.

  9. 9
    Robert Byers says:

    I appreciate Nye because he helped gain the biggest audience EVER for a YEC message. he put himself out there where others fear to tread.
    He lost the debate badly but his side is in the wrong.
    Once again you have a jack of all trades trying to defend complicated things.
    Origin subjects are very intellectually difficult.
    nye is some mechanic and general science presenter.
    The evolutionists must get well researched and well thinking people that can persuade.
    In fdact if it wasn’t for the PRACTICAL CENSORSHIP creationism gets in any medium that reaches large audiences the polls would show a serious loss to evolutionism.
    They smell this and try these bandaids on a serious leaking tent.
    They are in trouble.
    YEC/ID have now to deliver the knock out blows.

  10. 10
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: Bill Nye, or Neil Tyson or Richard Dawkins, are not scientists.

    Tyson and Dawkins have worked as professional scientists. Sagan published over 600 scientific papers. Nye worked in scientific engineering, but is primarily an educator.

    ppolish: Dawkins and NdGT have at least done science in the past, but it would be a stretch to say that they have been a scientist in any time in the recent past.

    Sagan hasn’t published much lately either.

  11. 11
    rvb8 says:

    johnnyb, Dawkins and NdGT are too old for doing new research, they are largely retired scientists, promoting reason. They are singularly successful at this.

    I’ve never listened to Nye, I’m not a fan of his brand of populism. However I do hear that visits to Ken Ham’s Creation Museum are annually declining, and that his pseudo-debate with ‘the Ham’ may have bolstered that decline; that’s good!

    NdGT made a cameo on Big Bang Theory; great, the kids can laugh and learn, extremely powerful. Dembsky has Judge Jones fart jokes.

    Dawkins is a great communicator, a gifted writer, and also shares that quality so magnetic to the young, he has a sense of humour and can laugh at himself. (See him on youtube reading his hate mail, bad grammar and all; very funny, also makes the point that the enemies of science can be incredibly violent thinkers. What happened to the forgiveness of the Lord?)

    Carl Sagan; what can one say? A man leaving this world dumber and darker without him, R.I.P. (Can I now get a lame unfunny joke that R.I.P stands for Roasting In Peace? Wouldn’t surprise me.)

  12. 12
    Petrushka says:

    Einstein published nothing new and useful after 1921. I doubt if he ever designed or carried out an experiment.

  13. 13
    Zachriel says:

    Petrushka: Einstein published nothing new and useful after 1921.

    EPR was published in 1935 (Einstein et al., “Can Quantum Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?”, Physical Review 1935). In any case, Einstein is still often cited. On the other hand, Beethoven hasn’t released a new single in years. The last was “Roll Over Beethoven”, wasn’t it? Then again, that Willy Shakespeare keeps putting out the movies.
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000636/

  14. 14
    Petrushka says:

    Einstein wrote stuff, but then so does Dawkins.

    Selfish Gene is still in print and still considered one of the top five books in Biology. Science has slots for researchers, for theorists, and for explainers.

    What matters is that you are right, or at least competent.

    Larry Moran considers Behe to have a serious position that needs to be addressed. He thinks Behe is demonstrably wrong, but he does not insult him or deny that he is a scientist.

    Douglas Axe is a scientist. Most people think he is wasting his time working on non-issues, but he is a competent researcher.

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