Dear Bill Nye the Science Guy,
Yes, I remember your theme song. It still gets stuck in my head sometimes because I’m from a generation that thought you were the be all and end all of scientists just because you made some videos that we fell asleep watching during middle school science.
But today, I watched a video you did for the YouTube channel, Big Think. You asked, via the title, “Can we stop telling women what to do with their bodies?”
And I have a problem. With it, and with you.
Growing up, I was told to believe everything you said on that scripted, PBS Kids show. That it was sound science, that it was important to remember, that it would help me on my tests. You were the bulk of what I remember from elementary school science classes. I was led to believe you were infallible.
But let’s look at the facts: you went to Cornell (great job!) to get a degree in mechanical engineering. So I looked up the Cornell course requirements for mechanical engineering. And unless they were radically different in the 1970’s, you didn’t have to take a single biology course in college. And that degree is where you stopped your formal education. You don’t have a graduate degree in anything, let alone biology.
So what makes you qualified to tell me that I, someone against abortion, have a “deep lack of scientific understanding?” As far as biology, the very science of life, goes, I have the same level of education as you do: a high school diploma and all those Bill Nye: The Science Guy videos from back in the day.
So what makes you qualified to tell me that a fertilized egg attached to the uterine wall isn’t a person? That it is just a disposable part of a woman’s body?
What makes you qualified to determine exactly when some cells get their rights as an individual, not a part of a woman’s body? Can you give me that scientific definition, please?
Consider the following:
When you, I mean zygote you, were just a tiny group of cells clinging to that uterine wall, were you still Bill Nye? For the answer to that question, I turn to none other than, well, Bill Nye the Science Guy. In episode 83 of your trusted science show, you say to yourself: “Hey, nice genes!” To which you respond, “Thanks! I got them from my mom and dad! That’s what makes me (roll theme song) Bill Nye the Science Guy!”
So according to you, you’re Bill Nye because your genes say so. And since you had genes as a zygote, that means you were Bill Nye as a zygote. But if your mom had decided to abort little Bill Nye, the apparently not-yet-an-anything-guy, that would’ve been completely within her rights. Because killing a zygote, killing those few cells with definitive Bill Nye genes, totally wouldn’t be killing a person, wouldn’t have been killing you. Just looking at all those “facts” you say that anti-abortionists are so ignorant of.
So Bill, here’s the bottom line: I don’t have to listen to you. I know a bunch of people my age (and let’s face it, propaganda is targeted at young people because we’re easily influenced) will think you’re always right because that’s what grade school science taught us. But you’re not.
You want me to look at the facts, and I will. But those facts will come from a source that I trust, from a source that doesn’t tell me, “You’re ignorant, believe everything I have to say instead.”
I just hope that the nearly 400,000 other people who have watched your video do the same, because facts are not exclusively yours, and are certainly not made facts solely because they are spoken from the mouth of a man who claims they are true.
But in response to your question: no, I can’t tell a woman what to do with her body. But I can dang well fight as hard as I can against people like you who would take away the right of the body that grows inside her to do anything.
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss