Intelligent Design

Devastating take-down of Bill Nye, the science guy

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Jurisprudence Professor Robert George and bioethicist Patrick Lee have written a devastating take-down of Bill Nye in an article for National Review titled, Back to Science Class for the Science Guy, after Nye published a video on YouTube, claiming to tell us what science says about abortion. As take-downs go, this one is about as good as it gets, and I warmly recommend it to readers. The authors write:

…[H]e (Nye) misrepresents the facts from top to bottom in an embarrassingly transparent effort to hijack science in the cause of pro-abortion ideology.

The authors’ conclusion is also worth quoting:

At several points in his video, Nye expresses frustration with people who don’t share his support for the moral and legal permissibility of abortion. One can, perhaps, be forgiven for indulging a chuckle at his exasperation, given the level of scientific ignorance on display from a guy whose whole message to those he disagrees with is “Listen to me, you rubes; I know the science.”

See also Mollie Hemingway’s highly illuminating article, A Quick And Easy Guide To The Planned Parenthood Videos in the Federalist. Videos are embedded for ease of reference. Well worth reading.

Comments are welcome.

45 Replies to “Devastating take-down of Bill Nye, the science guy

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    The point that both Nye and his critics miss is that science is about what is and the debate about abortion is a moral issue – is this something we ought to be doing – and you cannot derive ‘ought’ from ‘is’.

    The video “stings” on Planned Parenthood, the harassment of their staff and facilities and the campaign to withdraw federal funding are Alinskyite tactics at their most blatant. Whatever we might think of abortion, they are performing a legal procedure that has survived a Supreme Court challenge. If you want to stop abortion you must change the law. That means convincing enough people that the law should be changed which I think is not an unachievable goal but it means carrying a debate about what we mean by a human individual – the concept of personhood is a distraction – and the rights that we assign thereto.

  2. 2
    chris haynes says:

    Thank you for reminding us that Abortion is legal, by decree of the United States Supreme Court.

    Just as the Holocaust was legal, under the provisions of the Enabling Act of 1933, passed in accordance with the Weimar Constitution.

    Anyhow, regarding a “Human Individual”, AKA a Human Being, Science tells us when a Human’s life begins. Just as it tells us when a doggies life begins, as well as the life of a kitty, a zebra, or a giraffe. It begins, when the sperm fuses with the ovum to produce a new organism with distinctive DNA that….. blah blah blah.

    Therefore, abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent Human Being. That is the definition of “murder”. Thus Abortion is state sanctioned, legal, Mass Murder like the Holocaust, only 10 times worse according to my figures.

    I’m sorry you find these facts to be a distraction, are unhappy that Planned parenthood’s staff is “harassed” for crushing the head of babies, and that you disapprove of the tactics of those who wish to stop Mass Murder.

  3. 3
    ymeynot says:

    The main point of the videos was to highlight the “for profit” trafficing in human body parts by PPH. Deal with that Mr. Seversky instead of trying to deflect the conversation to abortion.

  4. 4
    Physteach says:

    Seversky @ 1 That means convincing enough people that the law should be changed
    Absolutely! But that means there needs to be freedom of all available information so that people can make an informed decision. Far from being “Alinskyite tactics,” the videos are in the best tradition of Nellie Bly and other American journalists who exposed abuses of their time.
    For years Planned Parenthood has been masquerading as purely a women’s health and care clinic. Now facts emerge that severely question those claims. If these truths are inconvenient, so be it. But if we are interested in legitimate debate we should welcome transparency and we should welcome facts. Do you welcome those items? Are you willing to consider them with an open mind?

    The real shame is on the US Media, who got scooped and duped. Worldview blinders can do that to all of us, I guess.

  5. 5
    EDTA says:

    I’m only sorry that we discovered those Alinskyite tactics about 40 years too late. Because when a society (or Western civ as a whole) gets past a certain point, all you can do is slow down the rot by engaging in the only remaining effective tactics, which are destructive in some way.

    (Sorry to be so upbeat…)

  6. 6
    Mung says:

    Seversky:

    The point that both Nye and his critics miss is that science is about what is and the debate about abortion is a moral issue – is this something we ought to be doing – and you cannot derive ‘ought’ from ‘is’.

    Why not? Are you some sort of dualist?

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, Ought of course is founded in reality, at its root. An inherently good, thus moral root that is also the source of creation. KF

  8. 8
    Mapou says:

    Why don’t we have a national referendum on abortion?

  9. 9
    Andre says:

    Seversky

    And if you actually knew the science you would immediately know that Bill Nye even got that wrong. But since you think descent with modification and survival of the fittest is also science you can be forgiven for your ignorance and the only advice I can give you is to study the subject in question to evaporate that ignorance.

    I’ll help you;

    http://www.princeton.edu/~prol.....otes2.html

  10. 10
    Robert Byers says:

    I’m thasnkful to nye for giving the debate with HAM. I never knew Nye before.
    Yet he showed me he was a jake of all trades and master of none.
    He didn’t do well in defending evolution and just repeated stock points.
    such a person should not presume to be able to defend conclusions claimed by him to be scientific.
    Abortionism is another flaw.
    ay least he shows the issue of when a kid has arrived on the planet IS THE ISSUE. Better then a lot of them.

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    Seversky in 2015:

    Whatever we might think of abortion, they are performing a legal procedure that has survived a Supreme Court challenge.

    Slavery apologist in 1858:

    Whatever we might think about enslaving a man, the masters are exercising their legal right that has survived a Supreme Court challenge.

    Sev, you must be so proud.

  12. 12
    Bob O'H says:

    Barry, are you advocating armed conflict? Or would changing the law be sufficient?

  13. 13
    Axel says:

    Imagine being a surviving child of a PP mother, one of their leading lights, perhaps; the recurring thought: ‘That could have been me…

  14. 14

    Seversky said:

    The video “stings” on Planned Parenthood, the harassment of their staff and facilities and the campaign to withdraw federal funding are Alinskyite tactics at their most blatant.

    No. Portraying those who are against abortion as conducting a “war on women” and those who wish to defund PP as trying to take away women’s health care are Alinsky tactics at their most blatant. Legal, peaceful demonstrations and lawful process to defund are not “Alinsky” tactics at all. Taking undercover video and releasing it to the public is hardly in itself an “Alinsky” tactic. They just happen to reveal some very disturbing practices and attitudes.

  15. 15
    Andre says:

    The most disturbing for me of all those videos was when the technician exclaimed! It’s a boy!

    I thought according to liberals that fetuses are not human so how did they know its a boy?

  16. 16
    Zachriel says:

    Physteach: For years Planned Parenthood has been masquerading as purely a women’s health and care clinic.

    Planned Parenthood does provide women’s health care. That they provide abortion has never been secret. Abortion represents about 3% of their services provided.

    Physteach: Now facts emerge that severely question those claims.

    The claim is that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue, when the facts indicate that the organization works within laws which prohibits the sale of fetal tissue, but which do allow for the reimbursement of costs. Tissue donation by Planned Parenthood only occurs in four states.

    The videos are very questionable, but tissue donation is certainly a gruesome procedure.

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    The 3% figure is an obscene lie.

    No surprise that Zachriel parrots it like a good little leftist zombie.

  18. 18
    Virgil Cain says:

    Planned Parenthood does provide women’s health care.

    There are doctors and hospitals for that. We don’t need Planned Parenthood.

  19. 19
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: The 3% figure is an obscene lie.

    Nothing in the article substantiates the accusation that the figure is in error. You could cite a different statistic, such as that about 12% of Planned Parenthood patients receive abortions, however, many clinics refer out for prenatal care which skews the figure.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Read the following only if you have a strong stomach

    Eight Things We Learned from Planned Parenthood’s ‘Proud’ Boss
    Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards testified before Congress Tuesday.
    By Al Perrotta Published on September 30, 2015
    https://stream.org/learned-planned-parenthoods-proud-boss/

  21. 21
    SteRusJon says:

    Zachriel,

    “Figures don’t Lie, but Liars Figure.”* You make the Liar’s Club proud.

    While the 3% figure may be true, it doesn’t mean what you purport it does. You completely ignored the corrective Barry pointed us to in order to enforce your no-concession policy. That’s OK. You have again shown where you heart really is.

    Stephen

    *Mark Twain

  22. 22
    Zachriel says:

    SteRusJon: You completely ignored the corrective Barry pointed us to in order to enforce your no-concession policy.

    We addressed the so-called corrective, and to further the discussion provided an alternative statistic; about nine in ten Planned Parenthood patients do not receive an abortion.

  23. 23
    Heartlander says:

    The 3% abortion stat touted by Planned Parenthood is meaningless – many of these ‘services’ would not be provided if it wasn’t for the abortion. Furthermore, handing out a condom, a pill, a pregnancy test, or STI/STD testing for men is obviously not equivalent to an abortion – the fact that Planned Parenthood receives 86% of its revenue from abortions highlights this point.

    The human brain constitutes approximately 2% of the total body weight. That said, those who calculate stats based on Planned Parenthood’s math are merely 2% intelligent.

  24. 24
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: the fact that Planned Parenthood receives 86% of its revenue from abortions highlights this point.

    That is incorrect.

  25. 25
    Heartlander says:

    FYI

    But I’m curious, what do you think the number is?

  26. 26
    Phinehas says:

    Z can argue for the “non-government” caveat, but that’s about it. PPH receives 86% of its non-government revenue from abortions.

  27. 27
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: FYI

    Not 86% of revenue, but 86% of non-governmental revenue, which is less than a quarter of their total revenue.
    https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/6714/1996/2641/2013-2014_Annual_Report_FINAL_WEB_VERSION.pdf

    Planned Parenthood works primarily with low-income families. Abortion services can’t be paid for with government funds; so while the bulk of Planned Parenthood services are funded by government programs, such as Medicaid, abortions have to be paid with non-government funds. Abortions, of course, will then make up the vast majority non-governmental revenue.

  28. 28
    Seversky says:

    chris haynes @ 2

    Thank you for reminding us that Abortion is legal, by decree of the United States Supreme Court.

    Just as the Holocaust was legal, under the provisions of the Enabling Act of 1933, passed in accordance with the Weimar Constitution.

    The Enabling Act of 1933 effectively made Hitler a dictator. He did not have to pass Holocaust legislation through the German parliament. He did not have to defend it against challenge before a German supreme court with the power to overturn it. There was no possibility of funding for the program being allocated or withdrawn except with his approval. The situation was nothing like the United States today.

    Therefore, abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent Human Being. That is the definition of “murder”. Thus Abortion is state sanctioned, legal, Mass Murder like the Holocaust, only 10 times worse according to my figures.

    Murder is the deliberate and unlawful killing of another human being. PP is doing nothing illegal under current law. If you want to stop abortion, change minds, change the law.

    ymeynot @ 3

    The main point of the videos was to highlight the “for profit” trafficing in human body parts by PPH. Deal with that Mr. Seversky instead of trying to deflect the conversation to abortion.

    The purpose of the heavily-edited videos was to allege that PP is trafficking in body parts for profit – which would be illegal. That is propaganda, not evidence. So far, no one has produced evidence that PP are doing anything illegal.

    Physteach @ 4

    Absolutely! But that means there needs to be freedom of all available information so that people can make an informed decision. Far from being “Alinskyite tactics,” the videos are in the best tradition of Nellie Bly and other American journalists who exposed abuses of their time.

    The video “stings” are heavily-edited versions of the original interviews whose purpose is to sway public opinion. That is propaganda. Releasing the raw footage of the interviews so that we could all judge for ourselves would have been information. These are Alinskyite tactics pure and simple.

    kairosfocus @ 7

    Mung, Ought of course is founded in reality, at its root. An inherently good, thus moral root that is also the source of creation. KF

    No, ought cannot be founded in what is, especially if that “inherently good” “moral root” is the one whose exploits are recounted in the Old Testament.

    Barry Arrington @ 11

    Seversky in 2015:

    Whatever we might think of abortion, they are performing a legal procedure that has survived a Supreme Court challenge.

    Slavery apologist in 1858:

    Whatever we might think about enslaving a man, the masters are exercising their legal right that has survived a Supreme Court challenge.

    Sev, you must be so proud

    No, that was a disgrace and a stain on the Court’s reputation ever since.

    But I remind you that an act abolishing slavery in the British Empire was passed in 1833 largely as result of a successful campaign to mobilize public opinion against it. This was well before the United States abolished it and achieved without the need to fight a bloody civil war. That is surely a better model for a campaign to ban abortion: change minds, change the law.

    William J Murray @ 14

    No. Portraying those who are against abortion as conducting a “war on women” and those who wish to defund PP as trying to take away women’s health care are Alinsky tactics at their most blatant. Legal, peaceful demonstrations and lawful process to defund are not “Alinsky” tactics at all. Taking undercover video and releasing it to the public is hardly in itself an “Alinsky” tactic. They just happen to reveal some very disturbing practices and attitudes.

    Both sides have adopted “Alinskyite tactics” in the propaganda war over abortion. If it’s wrong for one side then it’s wrong for both unless you take the view that the end justifies the means.

    I agree that the videos and testimony suggested some disturbing attitudes and practices but taking undercover video, editing it to convey a particular impression with the purpose of influencing public opinion is propaganda not information. If they wanted to inform public opinion they could have released the raw footage and allowed us to judge for ourselves and they could have offered PP a chance to give their side of the story. That they weren’t prepared to do that speaks for itself.

  29. 29
    EvilSnack says:

    It’s true that you cannot get an ought from an is.

    But you can get an ‘ought’ from an ‘if’.

    If you want a society in which innocent human life is valued, you ought not to make any exceptions.

  30. 30

    Seversky said:

    Both sides have adopted “Alinskyite tactics” in the propaganda war over abortion.

    You have yet to make the case that the conservative side has engaged in any such tactics.

    I agree that the videos and testimony suggested some disturbing attitudes and practices but taking undercover video, editing it to convey a particular impression with the purpose of influencing public opinion is propaganda not information.

    You are making an assumption about the motives of those who took the videos that is convenient to your accusation. How do you know that the footage was shot and edited for the purpose you claim? How do you know whether or not it is a faithful in-context representation? How do you know that the purpose was not simply to reveal to the public some of the disturbing things going on at Planned Parenthood?

    If they wanted to inform public opinion they could have released the raw footage and allowed us to judge for ourselves and they could have offered PP a chance to give their side of the story. That they weren’t prepared to do that speaks for itself.

    Did you not know that the full footage has been up at Youtube since late July?

    It seems to me that you’re using a lot of convenient, biased assumption and motive mongering in order to support your contention that any of this represents an “Alinsky” style of attack, whereas calling conservatives out for a “war on women” and being “against women’s health” is a patent Alinsky tactic.

  31. 31
    Andre says:

    Seversky is not disturbed and Seversky does not really care that babies are torn limb by limb out of their mothers wombs. Seversky is also not disturbed that money is made from this practice do you want to know why? Seversky clearly does not value human life because for Seversky human life is meaningless just like his own life is meaningless with no rhyme or reason for it. He just is.

  32. 32
    Andre says:

    Seversky has never considered that other human beings are exquisitly designed and that perhaps they don’t belong to anyone else to destroy tear up or sell or enslave. Perhaps Seversky has never really grappled with why we are here? Perhaps Seversky has never considered the intrinsic value of human life including his own..

    Seversky did you know that you are valued?

  33. 33
    tjguy says:

    Zachriel @ 16

    The videos are very questionable,…”

    Why?

    Even the investigators rejected the claim that they were heavily edited. Have you watched them Zach? What made you think they were questionable?

    Are you just parroting what others have claimed or do you have inside evidence that the investigators missed on which you base your claim?

    A forensic analysis of undercover videos about Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices are “authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing,” according to a report released Tuesday by Alliance Defending Freedom.

    The analysis was completed by Coalfire, a digital security and forensics firm that has worked on civil and criminal investigations. The firm had access to all audio and video investigative footage recorded by the Center for Medical Progress.

    “Analysts scrutinized every second of video recorded during the investigation and released by CMP to date and found only bathroom breaks and other non-pertinent footage had been removed.”

    According to the report, the videos only omit footage irrelevant to the allegations such as bathroom breaks.

  34. 34
    Zachriel says:

    tjguy: Even the investigators rejected the claim that they were heavily edited.

    “A thorough review of these videos in consultation with qualified experts found that they do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08.....ideos.html

    For instance, the depiction of a fetus accompanied by a narrative about abortion was probably a premature delivery.

    tjguy: “A forensic analysis of undercover videos about Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices are “authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing

    Of course they were edited. The edited video cut out exculpatory statements in order to create the false impression that Planned Parenthood engaged in the illegal sale of fetal tissue.

    Being against abortion is one thing. Deliberately misrepresenting the facts is something else.

  35. 35
    Andre says:

    Aah

    So the lady thar wanted to buy a Lamborghini was edited? Crushing above and below to harvest the liver was edited? A matter of lune it’s edited? It’s a boy was edited? Zachriel if you are defending this in any way I’m going to call you at as a dispicible human being.

    Absolutely dispicible

  36. 36
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: So the lady thar wanted to buy a Lamborghini was edited? Crushing above and below to harvest the liver was edited? A matter of lune it’s edited? It’s a boy was edited?

    The claim concerns illegal sale of fetal tissue. Abortion itself is generally legal. (States may restrict after viability.)

  37. 37
    LarTanner says:

    Zachriel, this statement of yours is spot on.

    If you want to stop abortion, change minds, change the law.

    One imagines that eventually some enterprising jurist/politico will formulate a compelling anti-choice argument that confronts the actual legal issues of reproductive rights.

    Of course, one shouldn’t bet the proverbial farm on it: from Kim Davis to SSM to Dover/Kitzmiller, the ‘conservative’ track record for cogent arguments has been abysmal .

  38. 38
    Barry Arrington says:

    Z and LT

    If you want to stop abortion, change minds, change the law.

    I could change the minds of all 310 million Americans save 5 and it would not matter one wit if those 5 constitute a majority on the Supreme Court.

    The Supreme Court has (illegitimately) removed the abortion issue from the political process. You either do not know this, in which case your little jibe can be ascribed to breathtaking ignorance, or you do know this, in which case your jibe is a bad faith pouring of salt on political wounds.

    Either way, you two don’t come out looking too good.

  39. 39
    LarTanner says:

    You admit you have no compelling legal argument and no compelling popular argument. Fine, but we knew that already. No need for your confirmation.

  40. 40
    Virgil Cain says:

    It’s murder- THAT is the compelling legal argument.

  41. 41
    Zachriel says:

    LarTanner: Zachriel, this statement of yours is spot on.

    The statement was Seversky’s.

    Barry Arrington: I could change the minds of all 310 million Americans save 5 and it would not matter one wit if those 5 constitute a majority on the Supreme Court.

    That is incorrect. Perhaps you are not familiar with the U.S. legal system. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on constitutional grounds. As such, a change to the U.S. Constitution is required. The process is outlined in Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
    http://www.archives.gov/exhibi.....ution.html

    There have been twenty-seven amendments to the U.S. Constitution, including amendments protecting free speech, abolishing slavery, and enacting women’s suffrage. Roe v. Wade allows the states to restrict abortion after viability, as long as there are exceptions to protect the health of the mother.

  42. 42
    Barry Arrington says:

    Z,

    Look up the phrase “rhetorical hyperbole.” You don’t seem to understand the concept.

    Yes, we would have to amend the constitution. That was my point. The Supreme Court has put the matter beyond the political arena absent drastic measures such as that. So your “change minds” canard is exposed as a cynical distraction.

  43. 43
    Barry Arrington says:

    LarTanner

    You admit you have no compelling legal argument and no compelling popular argument.

    I admit no such thing. I admit that five members of the Supreme Court have made my compelling legal and popular arguments irrelevant, because they have removed the issue from the people, where it should be.

  44. 44
    bornagain77 says:

    Barry Arrington, seeing as you were deeply involved in the Columbine massacre, this may interest you personally:

    Oregon gunman singled out Christians during rampage
    http://nypost.com/2015/10/01/o.....g-rampage/

    Flyleaf – Cassie – Lyrics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPL-jKz5Vuw

  45. 45
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Look up the phrase “rhetorical hyperbole.”

    Good. Then we agree that there is a process in place to change the law.

    Barry Arrington: I admit that five members of the Supreme Court have made my compelling legal and popular arguments irrelevant, because they have removed the issue from the people, where it should be.

    You just agreed that the people have a democratic remedy by amending the constitution. It only takes convincing enough people.

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