Monday, September 28, 2015

Bill Nye is WRONG about Abortion

Lately it seems Bill Nye has become the "go-to guy" for anything related to science, even though he's not even a real scientist, and even if the topic is more about philosophy than science. First of all, he is a mechanical engineer. No one ever calls an engineer a scientist. Anyway, he recently released a video about abortion for Big Think.

He is wrong on virtually every point. Many of his statements will leave any educated person wondering how someone who even pretends to be a scientist could make them. I will break down what he says one-by-one to show how utterly absurd his statements are:

1. Many many many hundreds more eggs are fertilized for each that becomes a human.
Where does this information come from? It's a complete exaggeration. It is estimated that around 40-65% of conceptions end in miscarriage. Bill Nye is off by hundreds of times. It's more like 50/50.

2. If you're going to say after an egg has been fertilized it has the same rights as an individual, then whom are you going to sue/imprison? Every woman who has had a fertilized egg pass through her? Every guy whose sperm fertilized an egg then didn't become a human? Have all these people failed you? It's just a reflection of a deep scientific misunderstanding.
Not even sure where to begin with this one. Bill asks a rhetorical question. The question itself is very unclear. Who is being sued? And for what? I'm not even sure his question. But the point is no one has killed an embryo or fetus that miscarries. If a person naturally dies, no one is sued. It's a simple open and shut case. So how does he jump from that to saying this reflects a deep scientific misunderstanding? About what? We've already established that it is he who has deep scientific understanding since he knows nothing about human reproduction. He also seems to have no understanding of law, murder, or anything related to those.

3. He continues to say pro-lifers have a deep-seated scientific misunderstanding, then says "we should leave it to women". Then he says "we have a lot of men of European descent (another way of saying white) passing these laws based on scientific ignorance.
First of all, the makeup of the pro-life movement is about 50/50 men and women. There are probably more laws passed by men simply because there are more male lawmakers. Non-whites are also more pro-life on average than whites. So Bill is wrong on both counts. Not surprised. And the only scientific misunderstanding I have observed so far is Bill's.

4. It's based on your interpretation of a book written "5000 years ago, 50 centuries ago".
I can only assume he is talking about the Bible here, since this is a continuation of his previous statements about men of European descent. Once again, he is completely wrong. Doesn't seem there's been a single correct statement in this entire video so far. On a side-note, why does Bill constantly use code words. "European descent" instead of white, "Book written 5000 years ago" instead of Bible. Maybe it's so that later he can claim he was talking about something else. It's also interesting that he repeats the alleged age of this book in two different ways. The bottom line is the oldest book of the Bible, according to scholars, was written no more than about 800BC, meaning the Bible is at most 2800 years old.

Also, Bill implies that the only reason people are pro-life is because the Bible tells them to be. Well, the Bible also condemns murder in the 5th commandment. Does this mean people only believe that because it's in the Bible? Why did so many other systems of ethics also condemn abortion, including in Ancient Greece, Japan, India, etc? Did they also have access to the Bible?

5. Then it gets absurd. Bill Nye seems to say some people think this "book" as he calls it, tells people every time you have sex you have a baby, and somehow the laws reflect this.
It's difficult to address sheer lunacy. The Bible doesn't say that, and laws don't reflect that. Case closed.

6. "Nobody likes abortion."
My question whenever someone says this or a variant of it is "why not?" If the fetus has no rights, is not human but a clump of cells, then why would anyone care about abortion? Unless he's simply saying people don't particular enjoy going to clinics for medical procedures?

7. "You can't tell her what to do. She has rights over this. Especially if she doesn't like the guy who got her pregnant."
So we can't tell women they can't kill their child? Then by extension, laws are a violation of privacy in general. And the comment about not liking the guy? What if she stops liking him a few weeks or a few months later, does this child's life then go from safe to in danger? Plus, if this logic holds up, then if a mother doesn't like the father of a child who is now 4 moths old, why can't she just kill this child then also?
He also mentions rape. Rape is a terrible crime and ought to be persecuted. But having an abortion after a rape doesn't erase the rape, it just creates a new victim. It's also false that women are reminded of their rape every time they see their child. The opposite is true, women see the baby as something good that came from a tragedy.

8. We have so many more important things to be dealing with. To squander resources on this issue, on "bad science", from this lack of understanding, it's very frustrating.
Oh yeah, like what? Is there something happening where more people are killed than the 55 million since 1973 Roe vs. Wade in the US, or the almost 2 BILLION worldwide? Please Bill Nye, enlighten us as to the greater tragedy than this.
What resources are being "squandered"? If each abortion costs an average of $1000, that's almost $2 trillion that has been squandered in the last 40 years. Again, is the pro-life movement wasting more than this?
Also, Bill keeps going back to what he calls "bad science". But the "bad science" is just his original mistake, which logically wouldn't make a difference anyway. Even if he were right about 100 miscarriages per born baby, that wouldn't make killing a person okay.

9. You wouldn't know how big a human egg was if it weren't for microscopes, if it weren't for scientists. So you shouldn't make assertions about abortion because that's scientific and you don't accept science because you reject what I said above.
I sort of paraphrased. But Bill Nye's entire point rests on the idea that he presented some kind of scientific truth (which turns out to be totally false) and therefore if you claim to use science, you have to accept what he said and be pro-choice. Again, makes little to no sense. His information is patently wrong, and therefore should not be believed. But even if he were correct, his conclusion does not follow and is illogical.

10. Recommending abstinence has been completely ineffective.
Shockingly he does not provide evidence for this assertion. But I fail to see how it's even related. Whatever method works best for preventing pregnancy is one thing. Once the female is pregnant, that's another story altogether. So it really is unrelated.

11. Not giving women access to birth control and abortion has not been an effective way to healthier societies. I think we all know that.
Well, reducing abortion is clearly healthier for some members of society. Plus, abortion does not treat a medical ailment. It subjects a healthy woman to an unnecessary procedure. Giving access o birth control doesn't really seem to help much at all. Look at research by Edward Green of Harvard University.

12. I understand you have deeply held beliefs ... but I encourage you to look at the facts.
Again, Nye goes back to the idea that anti-abortion people arbitrarily base their ideas on the Bible, and in reality it's just a matter of opinion. But there are also groups of pro-life atheists which disproves this theory. But this part is very patronizing. It implies that while he "looks at the evidence", pro-lifers just blindly follow a doctrine that has no scientific basis, which is false.

13. We are now critical of the term "fact-based".
First I heard about this. Again, he just sets up a straw-man argument here, that pro-lifers don't listen to the facts, while he, on the other hand, is a logical, unemotional, rational entity who does.

14. I encourage you not to tell women what to do, and to not pursue these laws which are really in nobody's best interest.
Again, we tell people what to do all the time. To be consistent, he would have to advocate an end to all laws. Secondly, laws which prevent abortion are certainly in the best interest of many people, especially the unborn.

Overall, Bill Nye presents a fact-less emotional diatribe directed at those he believes to be inferior to him. He consistently tells everyone to "check the facts", yet provides few himself and what he does present are completely false. If Bill were a true scientist (which he isn't), he would tell people that by the time a woman decides to have an abortion the embryo has a heartbeat and brainwaves, has its entire genetic code, is a unique individual. The only thing he/she needs is nutrition and time. To kill such a person is murder, and it's not just because it's in the Bible. We also must have compassion for women who have undergone abortion. Many were unaware of the gravity of their actions and we must pray for them.

No comments:

Post a Comment