A few days ago, Bill Nye the Science Guy released a video "scientifically" defending abortion. People in my generation remember him as the lanky dude who taught us how to make baking soda volcanoes when we were kids. Eventually, we all grew up, and he got lonely and started pretending to be a real scientist. It was kind of adorable at first, until he began using his "science" to attack Christians and conservatives. Now, old Bill, the lovable fake scientist from our childhood, has stooped to the level of propagandizing for the abortion industry.
Oh, how the moderately well-known have fallen.
Naturally, his 5-minute pro-abortion video has been trumpeted by liberals as some kind of drop-the-mic smack down of pro-lifers. Progressives said Nye "destroyed" and "debunked" pro-life arguments. They said he "used science" to embarrass and dismantle us.
I didn't bother watching it until yesterday. I knew it would be bad — every pro-abortion argument is bad — but man, it was worse than I even expected. It should tell you something about pro-aborts that this is what they consider a great "scientific" case for abortion.
I decided to take each of Bill Nye's points (in bold italics) one by one and explain why they're not only false but also fantastically stupid. There has never been an intelligent and honest case made for abortion, but of all the shallow and disingenuous ones, this might be among the worst.
Let's rip it apart, shall we? Here goes:
Many, many, many, many more hundreds of eggs are fertilized than become humans. Eggs get fertilized and by that I mean sperm get accepted by ova a lot. But that’s not all you need. You have to attach to the uterine wall, the inside of a womb, a woman’s womb.
Bill, the contention of pro-lifers — and scientists — is that a human being's humanity is not measured on some sort of spectrum. We are living humans from the moment we come into existence — at fertilization — until the moment we cease to exist. We don't acquire our humanity over time. We don't gradually ease into it. We are beings, actualities, and there can never be a point where we are actualities and merely potentialities at the same time. We don't linger about as living beings without a species or an identity up until an arbitrary point when "humanity" is infused into us through some mystical sorcery. That's our argument. Pointing out that "hundreds of eggs are fertilized' and "sperm get accepted by ova a lot" doesn't disprove or even address our thesis.
What would disprove our thesis is if an abortion fanatic — maybe you, Bill Nye, since you felt the need to jump into this debate — would suggest a different point in which humanity occurs and then present evidence to defend that proposition. But of course, abortion enthusiasts would rather mock the rational notion that a human is a human at the very early stages than offer any kind of answer to the question themselves. They want to center the conversation entirely around humans in the first second of development — preferably humans in the first second of development who were conceived in rape — but they still won't cede the argument in the 20th day or 30th or 90th or 120th. So while you insist that we explain why we think an embryo is human, the real question is why you think a viable child at 26 weeks isn't.
Nancy Pelosi turned into a sputtering, indignant mess today when a reporter asked her if a child with fully developed internal organs qualifies as human. She refused to answer the question. She refused to confirm that a "fetus" with a fully functional heart and liver is, in fact, human. And you think my side is anti-science. Tell me, Bill, do you believe an unborn human with a heart and a liver is anything other than human? Stop trying to hang around the edges of this debate like a frightened little coward and deal with the substance of it. Come on Science Guy, explain how the "science" supports the theory that a non-human creature could develop a human heart? When can I expect that video to be released?
Bill Nye the Science Guy speaks during a debate on evolution at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. (AP/Dylan Lovan)
But if you’re going to hold that as a standard, that is to say if you’re going to say when an egg is fertilized it’s therefore has the same rights as an individual, then whom are you going to sue? Whom are you going to imprison? Every woman who’s had a fertilized egg pass through her? Every guy who’s sperm has fertilized an egg and then it didn’t become a human? Have all these people failed you?
Wow. Just wow. I think it should be illegal to kill humans, so I must think it should be illegal for humans to die in general? How does that make any kind of sense at all?
To me, it seems quite obvious that it's immoral for a parent to actively cause the destruction of their child's life but not immoral to suffer the loss of a child accidentally or naturally. Do I really need to explain this concept, or can you just admit you're 14 seconds into your pro-abortion video and you're already reaching, Bill?
It’s just a reflection of a deep scientific lack of understanding, and you literally or apparently literally don’t know what you’re talking about.
Is there any way to metaphorically not know what I'm talking about? Someone get an English Guy in here.
And so when it comes to women’s rights with respect to their reproduction, I think you should leave it to women.
Leave what to women? Their reproduction? Well, if all men "left reproduction to women," I imagine there wouldn't be anymore reproducing going on at all. In fact, Bill, if your father hadn't imposed himself quite rudely into the procedure that produced Bill Nye the Science Guy, you wouldn't exist, and the world would be tragically deprived of these insights.
The question has nothing to do with reproduction. The question, Bill, is what to do once the human child has already been reproduced. Human reproduction is what happens when a male and female reproductive system interact and bring about the conception of another living being. To suggest that women be "left alone" in this process is to suggest they can complete it on their own. But provided we're discussing human females — and not, say, marbled crayfish or whiptail lizards who can reproduce without sexual contact — it's a matter of basic science that no woman can ever, has ever, or will ever reproduce without a man.
The discussion is about whether this produced life — which came about through the reproductive efforts of a man and woman working in tandem with one another — can be deliberately killed after reproduction? Can an already produced human be murdered because it is judged inconvenient or burdensome to the parents tasked with caring for it? I say no. Answer the question however you like, but don't pretend killing a human is "preventing reproduction." The time for that has passed.
Look at this. You're the Science Guy but I'm the one teaching you about the birds and bees. Awkward.
This is really – you cannot help but notice, I’m not the first guy to observe this — you have a lot of men of European descent passing these extraordinary laws based on ignorance.
Bill, put some effort into this, for goodness sake. If I didn't know any better, I'd think someone removed your brain and replaced it with a Left Wing Cliche Generator. I feel like I'm reading the stickers on a college feminist's book bag. "Men of European descent"? First of all, if white men really have a monopoly on the opposition to baby killing, I guess that proves we're smarter and more compassionate than everybody else. But second of all, we don't. Most women are pro-life. This meme is tired, boring, irrelevant, ridiculous and, for good measure, completely wrong.
Sorry, you guys. I know it was written, or your interpretation of a book written 5,000 years ago, 50 centuries ago, makes you think that when a man and a woman have sexual intercourse they always have a baby. That’s wrong, and so to pass laws based on that belief is inconsistent with nature. I mean it’s hard not to get frustrated with this, everybody.
What was written? What are you talking about? I've just addressed all your points without mentioning the Bible once. It's flattering that you think Christianity invented the idea that murder is wrong — just as you think white men are the only ones intelligent and ethical enough to hate abortion — but actually, as a proud Christian, I wouldn't make such a bold claim about my faith. Most every faith, and indeed most every civilization up until recently, has affirmed the immorality of taking innocent life, especially a child's life. Many societies and religions have then proceeded to kill humans anyway, but few, if any, have actually taught that murder, in principle, is acceptable.
I believe people are people because I'm a logical human being. I believe killing people is wrong because I have a modestly functional moral compass. I believe your arguments are terrible because I'm a grown up. I don't need to consult the Bible to confirm any of these things.
P.S. I can't keep up with you pro-abortion folks. One second you're admitting God condemns abortion, and the next you're insisting God created it. Which is it, Bill?
And I know nobody likes abortion, OK.
Really? Because you're sure bending yourself into some pretty unsightly shapes just to justify a thing "nobody likes." And why are you even saying nobody likes it if you believe it's totally OK and all of the objections are religious babble? Why do you feel the need to stipulate "nobody likes" a thing you won't admit is morally wrong in the first place?
Olivier Douliery/Getty Images
But you can’t tell somebody what to do.
OK, now I feel like I'm listening to a 6-year-old explain why he shouldn't have to eat his peas. "You can't tell somebody what to do"? Is that a serious assertion? Would you apply it universally? Would you say you "can't tell" somebody not to shoot your dog and burn down your house? Are you actually an anarchist who disagrees with all laws fundamentally, or are you simply pretending to be one in this case? Doesn't it concern you that you can't attack laws against abortion without attacking the very concept of law itself?
I mean, she has rights over this, especially if she doesn’t like the guy that got her pregnant. She doesn’t want anything to do with your genes, get over it, especially if she were raped and all this. So it’s very frustrating on the outside, on the other side.
Her rights increase as her affection for her mate decreases? Is that your scientific theory? They call that an inverse correlation, don't they? I don't know, I'm not a Science Guy.
It seems you've moved on from your one rather flimsy attempt to address the personhood of the child to flat out suggesting that the child ought to be subject to summary execution if the mother doesn't like the man who helped create him. This seems like a morally repugnant argument and certainly not a scientific one.
We have so many more important things to be dealing with.
I guess this is your way of saying, "Here's my argument on this topic but don't respond, because this topic doesn't matter." If I didn't know any better, I'd think you realize your arguments are godawful so you've thrown in these escape hatches — "nobody likes abortion," "this doesn't matter" — as a fall-back option. If I debunk all of your other points, which I have, you can always just claim none of this makes any difference and change the subject. Clever.
We have so many more problems — to squander resources on this argument based on bad science, on just lack of understanding.
I just had to explain human reproduction to a 60-year-old man. I'm not the one with the "bad science," Bill.
It’s very frustrating. You wouldn’t know how big a human egg was if it weren’t for microscopes, if it weren’t for scientists, medical researchers looking diligently. You wouldn’t know the process. You wouldn’t have that shot, the famous shot or shots where the sperm are bumping up against the egg. You wouldn’t have that without science.
OK? What's your point. DEAR GOD, MAN, WHAT IS YOUR POINT? Yes, "science" brought us all these great things. Science allowed us to understand the miracle of human creation, and some of us, enlightened with this knowledge about life, respond by feeling an even deeper respect and reverence for it. Pro-aborts respond by crushing its skull and selling it for parts. Who really loves science here?
So then to claim that you know the next step when you obviously don’t is trouble.
Let me do that again.
Let me just pull back. At some point we have to respect the facts. Recommending or insisting on abstinence has been completely ineffective.
Studies show handing out birth control doesn't decrease the rate of abortion. That makes sense when you consider how our society becomes more sexually promiscuous and reckless at the precise rate such recklessness and promiscuity is made easier by contraceptive technology. The easier it is to be reckless, the more reckless people are, the more "unwanted pregnancies" you end up with, the more abortion you end up with. Pretty logical.
Further, the more we divorce the sexual act from reproduction, the more we see sex as purely recreational and reproduction as, to use Obama's term, "punishment." And when we view pregnancy as a disease somewhere on the scale between AIDS and pubic lice, we're more likely to "terminate" the "disease" if ever we're afflicted by it. How can birth control minimize abortions while fostering the attitude that leads to them?
Also, what does this have to do with the "science" of abortion?
Just being objective here.
Ha. Me too.
Closing abortion clinics. Closing — not giving women access to birth control has not been an effective way to lead to healthier societies.
And killing children leads to a healthier society? You and I have drastically different definitions of that word.
I mean, I think we all know that.
You don't even know anything you've said so far, Bill.
And I understand that you have deeply held beliefs, and it really is ultimately out of respect for people, in this case your perception of unborn people. I understand that. But I really encourage you to look at the facts. And I know people are now critical of the expression "fact-based," but what’s wrong with that?
Yes, I would have loved to look at the facts. Unfortunately, you didn't get around to that part.
So I just really encourage you to not tell women what to do and not pursue these laws that really are in nobody’s best interest. Just really be objective about this. We have other problems to solve everybody.
Before you call the children "nobody" you have to prove they aren't somebodies. That, I thought, was the whole point of this video. Oddly, you spent only 12 or 13 seconds somewhere in the vague proximity of that argument before you started haphazardly listing pro-choice catchphrases. So I'm going to stick with my hypothesis that people are people, and therefore, laws against killing people are certainly in people's best interest. I would also argue they're in the woman's best interest, as abortion always leads to despair and guilt. I dare say not a single woman will ever reach the end of her life and on her deathbed lament all the abortions she never had. On the other hand, she will almost certainly regret the abortions she did have.
Come on. Come on. Let’s work together.
Yes, let's. But in order for us to work together, we all have to be, you know, alive.