First let’s address the fact that Bill Nye is not a scientist, he’s an actor. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell. Engineering is an important subject that requires a high degree of intelligence but engineers are not scientists. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, but that doesn’t make me an artist. Bill is also not a philosopher and clearly has never studied philosophy. If he did he would know that a straw-man argument is when you present your opponents argument falsely so you can tear it down. Maybe Bill should take a philosophy class then he would literally know what he is talking about since this debate has equally as much to do with philosophy as it does with science.
So why is his argument false? Bill Nye’s main argument is that fertilized eggs often do not implant and therefore are naturally terminated before implantation. I use the word naturally because there is no intent to end the life that has begun. Morally evil acts must have the intention behind them, this is the difference between manslaughter and murder. Murder is the intentional ending of a persons life, which is what I would argue abortion is. If someone dies of old age we don’t have a trial as Nye so disingenuously suggested we do when a fertilized egg does not implant. Secondly, Bill Nye does not offer an alternative explanation of when we should not abort. It seems to me he was suggesting that it is an important life once the fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall. So Bill let’s stop the 99% of abortions that happen after it implants.
My main criticism of Bill’s video is how arrogant he is to say “You literally don’t know what you’re talking about.” It is one thing to disagree with people and have a debate with them, it is another to insult their intelligence. I gave Bill Nye credit for discussing evolution in a debate with a creationist, because engaging in debate says “I don’t think you’re unworthy of my time, but I do think you’re wrong”. Saying people don’t know what they are talking about is ignorant and suggests that Bill thinks he’s “above” everyone pro-life. Engage in a debate Bill, and then you won’t be able to use ignorant straw-man arguments to prove you’re point. The ironic part of it is that he accuses white men of European descent of promoting these oppressive ideas from on high! Oh wait Bill, aren’t you a white male of European descent promoting your ideas from your elevated platform because you think you know more than everyone since you had a children’s show about science?
*I’d also like to add that Bill Nye turns this into a religious issue when there are many secular people who are pro-life. He claims the reasons of this “ignorance of science” is because of a 5000 year old book. My reasons for being pro-life have little to do with religion, but has a lot to do with philosophy, logic and science. Check out Secular Pro-Life on Facebook.
Here is a video that explains how science can explain how abortion is wrong, Catholic Answers – When Does Human Life Begin?