Bill Nye the pseudo-science guy

bill nye

“Remember, either I’m right or you go to jail.”

Recently America dealt with yet another social justice haemorrhoid in the form of the “March for Science”, in which far-left ideologues try to convince ordinary people that if you like science, you must be anti-Trump, and of course they failed miserably because no sane person wants anything to do with social justice anymore. The face of that endeavour was Bill Nye, the so-called “science guy” who most people only remember for a PBS children’s show back in the 1990’s, but the March for Science isn’t why I’m talking about him.

On Saturday, Netflix put out a TV show entitled “Bill Nye Saves the World”, a late night talk show in which he talks about how sciences supposedly “intersects with politics, pop culture and society”. In other words, it’s Nye’s own entry in an overcrowded market dominated by the likes of fellow propagandists like John Oliver and Trevor Noah. One of the episodes (which were all released at the same time) focused on promoting myth of “sexuality is a spectrum” as hard science, and he even summoned a barely known actress Rachel Bloom to do one of the worst musical numbers of all time (don’t believe me? click here if you dare).

Picture this for a moment. Bill Nye, a man who the establishment media in America has proclaimed to be the one of the go-to scientific experts, is on the “sexuality is a spectrum” bandwagon, even though the only “evidence” for it is on Tumblr, a site with as much scientific credibility as a crazy cat lady. He’s also the same person who apparently is such a fervent apostle of the cult of global warming that he believes climate skeptics should be jailed for their heresy, a sentiment also shared by Bernie Sanders and, of all people, Eric Idle.

Of course, the thing you need remember is that the so-called “science guy” isn’t even an actual scientist. His bachelor degree is in mechanical engineering, though his main trade seems to be a science educator, and before his TV show was even conceived, he was a comedian. Of course, the only reason people treat him as a scientist is because his mere presence fuels people’s nostalgia for his PBS series, which I presume works well for the editors of Buzzfeed, a fake news site that practically runs on a constant 90’s boner.

The reason why he’s so keen on promoting Tumblrisms as credible science is obvious – it’s in vogue. You see, Bill Nye is pretty much a shyster. He appeals to the left’s proclaimed love of science (except when it goes against their narrative of course) by branding himself as “the science guy” and presenting himself as a cheerleader of scientific inquiry. That’s how he managed to become a celebrity, and appealing to the left-wing establishment has gotten him rich. It’s a sham, and all around the world leftists will for it because they’ve bought into the idea that all conservatives are just science hating nutjobs who suck the cock of the oil industry all the time. People like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson know that.

The problem, however, is that Bill Nye believes that science is political, and he practically confesses this in a CNN panel discussion on climate change, wherein his facade is broken by William Happer, an actual scientist whose findings contradict Nye’s agenda-driven fearmongering. It’s generally not hard to pick apart Bill Nye’s positions. In fact, the only debate that I’m sure he won was the debate he had with Ken Ham, the famous peddler of Young Earth Creationism. Of course he would win, though doesn’t it sound rather odd that he decided to take on Ken Ham in 2014, long after creationists already lost the culture war? On the other hand it’s not surprising. After all, creationists are ridiculously easy targets for people who would just as easily be ripped apart anyone whose actually done even so much as cursory research on climate science.

Personally, I think the rise of Bill Nye can be attributed to the left’s years of elevating the prestige of the scientist, which they only did in order to make themselves look like the smart ones when compared to the religious right, who in the olden days were busy demanding that creationism should be taught as fact in schools. As a result, the scientist became sort of a priestly class within the left, someone no leftist is allowed to question, particularly if they’re talking about “global warming. When scientists are treated as people who are beyond criticism, you inevitably get flashy conmen who come to take advantage of people’s good faith. In that regard, people like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson (whose proposed government I explored in a previous post here) are no different to the likes of Ching Hai or Al Gore, and yet they garner more respect because they have the correct political views.

That Nye enjoys this prestige is dangerous because he uses this to peddle pseudo-science, and whenever he argues with an opponent who actually calls him out for his nonsense, he reveals his true nature as a shill for the green lobby. This is a guy who wants people to believe that man-made global warming is settled science, even though any idiot can point out that the ice caps haven’t completely melted, and that the Antarctic ice sheets are actually growing (though that’s not the only thing they got wrong). The alarmists have time and time again been proven wrong, and yet people like Bill Nye, with his clear leftist agenda, want us to ignore the skeptics and submit to big government climate regulations that will do far more harm to society than could ever help the planet.

Fortunately there may be a silver lining. Eventually frauds like him are eventually exposed for the liars they are, and that shouldn’t be too far away in this case because more and more people are being skeptical of him. It also helps that most people aren’t even buying the global warming scam anymore, especially in America, where most Americans don’t even trust the “consensus of scientists” that believe in man made global warming. The green gravy train is grinding to halt, and people like Bill Nye hate that, and tasteless, degenerate stunts like what we saw on Netflix won’t change people’s attitudes towards him. If anything, it’ll only make it worse.

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Rationalia: A technocratic folly

rationalia

Utopia or bust?

Throughout the 20th century, many science fiction writers would write about seemingly impossible utopian outcomes for the world in the often not too distant future. Naturally, this enticed the imaginations of those who read them, and depending on the reader, these utopian visions would either be an orderly paradise or a totalitarian hellhole, but where there are sci-fi visions of the future, you inevitably have scientists thinking of ways to try and bridge the gap between fiction and reality. Among those is Neil deGrasse Tyson, who in June proposed a new kind of government called “Rationalia”, to much ridicule from the scientific press. At least he stands by his nonsense, as he recently decided to double down on the idea in a lengthy Facebook post entitled “Reflections on Rationalia”, perhaps indicating that he is not as wise as he’d like you to believe.

What exactly is “Rationalia”? It’s basically the name Neil deGrasse Tyson gave to his planned virtual country, which he initially defined with a single tweet-length post that read “all policy shall be based on the weight of evidence”. You might think that doesn’t sound bad, but it’s simply impractical. Mr. Tyson apparently doesn’t understand that politics and science are completely different realms. Yes, in politics you are supposed to prove your argument with evidence to support your case, but in politics there is no objective answer, or at least not in the same way that it would ideally be in the case of the scientific method.

Almost immediately Mr. Tyson’s proposal comes across as the manifesto of some pompous liberal arts student who thinks he knows all the answers because his teachers gave him stellar grades, but that’s not all. He decided to expand on it some more, and it doesn’t necessarily make the idea any less laughable. In a lengthy Facebook post, he writes:

“Consider further that the original Tweet specifically references Policy, which can itself become laws, but more broadly, Policy sets frameworks for thinking about laws. Examples of Policy would be a government’s choice to invest in R&D, and if so, by how much. Or whether a government should help the poor, and if so, in what ways. Or how much a municipality should support equal access to education. Or whether or not tariffs should be levied on goods and services from one country or another. Or what tax rate should be established, and on what kinds of income. Often these policies stall between political factions arguing loudly that they are right and their opponent is wrong. Which reminds me of the mostly-true adage, “if an argument lasts longer than five minutes then both sides are wrong.”

Obviously this comes from the perspective of a man who looks at American politics and only sees the arguments. Given how much of a circus American politics tends to be, I can understand why he and many Americans who consider themselves rational might think this way, but the reality of politics is often far more complex than that. There are many reasons why policies don’t get implemented, but most commonly is the simple fact that it lost the congressional vote. Also, the political factions “arguing loudly” has been a thing ever since mankind first engaged in politics, and I highly doubt that you’re going to get rid of it, because to not have multiple arguing parties would mean not having a true democracy.

I’ve read through the entire post, and I have to say, it reeks of the kind pomposity and intellectual dishonesty that one might generally expect to find in somebody who’s desperate to defend a failed idea (in that regard, he has much in common with the Marxists). For example:

“A common critique was the question of where such a country would get its morals, and how other other ethical issues might be established or resolved. The last I reviewed the US Bill of Rights, there was no discussion of morals there either. Nowhere does it say “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. Meanwhile, there’s an entire Amendment — Number 3 — that prevents the military from bunking in your home without your permission.”

Okay, this part attempts to create an equivalency between two entirely different laws and ethical dilemmas where there is none. This is what we call intellectual dishonesty, but I digress. The reason why the Third Amendment was written was because at the time of America’s founding, it was a colony under the tyrannical rule of the British Empire. Much of what was written into the constitution, and this includes the Second Amendment by the way, was written with the intent of enabling the American people to stand up to oppressive powers, which would include the government should it ever become too tyrannical. It was designed to place limits on government, which I would argue is morally just. You don’t need scientific evidence to argue that either. You need only to look through the history books to show how tyrannical governments can be if given too much power to control the people.

Wait a minute, is he attempting to refute the idea of morality because it isn’t mentioned in the Bill of Rights? Why would anyone do that? Not even the most bat-shit insane fundamentalist Christians ever attempted to argue that, and they’re the ones how insist that God should be a part of our everyday life. By contrast, Mr. Tyson is arguing for a nation founded on the idea of the scientific method as the basis of government, and somehow he sounds even stupider than a tambourine-shaking Baptist in New Orleans, and yet that somehow isn’t all there is.

We haven’t even gotten to the crux of the matter, which is his policy.

“In Rationalia, the Constitution stipulates that a body of convincing evidence needs to exist in support of an idea before any Policy can established based on it. In such a country, data gathering, careful observations, and experimentation would be happening all the time, influencing practically every aspect of our modern lives. As a result, Rationalia would lead the world in discovery, because discovery would be built into the DNA of how the government operates, and how its citizens think.”

Again, this sounds nice on paper, but in practice, there would be no way to implement it, at least not in a democracy anyway. How would he go about acheiving this? I’ve actually read through the whole post, and he doesn’t say anything about how he plans to implement any of this.

“the sciences that study human behavior (psychology, sociology, neuroscience, anthropology, economics, etc) would be heavily funded since much of our understanding of how we interact with one another derives from research within subfields of these disciplines. Because their subjects involve humans, these fields are particularly susceptible to social & cultural bias. So the verifiability of evidence will be of highest concern.”

How exactly would you give the human behaviour sciences as much funding as Mr. Tyson desires? He doesn’t tell you, but I can almost guarantee that to get what he wants, you’d have to raise taxes, and that’s when Rationalia starts looking like a barmy socialist nightmare, as that’s what inevitably happens when you try and create a society where the government funds all the nice things people want. Also, if he’s complaining about “social and cultrual bias”, let’s consider that once anything is subsidised by government, it is controlled by the government. Therefore, if you hand the human behaviour sciences over to the government, what inevitably happens is that they can only publish the findings that the government approves. This is true in the European Union, which gives generous funding to the sciences as long as it makes them look good.

“since weight of evidence is built into the Constitution, everyone would be trained from an early age how to obtain and analyze evidence, and how to draw conclusions from it.”

This is basically code for indoctrination. There is no other way to describe it, and it’s especially jarring because you have a scientist, a man who should be opposed to the kind of authoritarian religious indoctrination that atheists universally condemned, but he’s apparently alright with it if his government is doing the indoctrination. Isn’t it bad enough that young people are being indoctrinated in left-leaning campuses all across America? Is he willing to address the fact that Marxist ideology is being taught in prestigious universities, despite the fact that they have no basis in fact? I thought not. In summation, indoctrination is bad and evil unless the good guys do it. That’s what Neil deGrasse Tyson is saying.

“you would have complete freedom to be irrational. You just don’t have the freedom to base policy on your ideas if the weight of evidence does not support it. For this reason, Rationalia might just be the freest country in the world.”

That’s basically a self-contradictory statement. You can’t say that you have the freedom to be irrational if the weight of evidence is the prime determiner of policy. Therefore, Rationalia cannot be the freest country in the world.

“for example, if you want to introduce capital punishment you’d need to propose a reason for it. If the reason is to deter murder, then an entire research machine would be put into place (if it did not already exist) to see whether, in fact, capital punishment deters murder. If it does not, then your proposed policy fails, and we move on to other proposals.”

We already debate policies like capital punishment in a democracy, and in a healthy democracy, you would have people arguing for or against capital punishment, and the proposal would be subject to a vote by Congress, and if more people vote “nay” than “yea”, then the proposal is rejected. Since I assume Rationalia would do away with that process entirely, the only way to prove whether or not capital punishment is a good idea is to execute someone, which would require implementing the death penatly regardless of popular opinion. What if that “experiment” produces inconclusive results? You’d have to kill another person, and another person, and at some point, how many people need to die to prove a point?

“if you want to fund art in schools, you simply propose a reason why. Does it increase creativity in the citizenry? Is creativity good for culture and society at large? Is creativity good for everyone no matter your chosen profession? These are testable questions. They just require verifiable research to establish answers. And then, the debate ends quickly in the face of evidence, and we move on to other questions.”

I don’t think you need a reason to teach art in school. It’s just one of those things that we would be culturally poorer without, and it’s not something that the scientific method could prove or disprove. As an artist, I can tell you about the value of art, and I can guarantee that in Rationalia, art would be dismissed if they thought it was “irrational”.

“citizens would pity newscasters for presenting their opinions as facts. Everyone would have a heightened capacity to spot bullshit wherever and whenever it arose.”

Newsflash: media outlets have been using news to push their ideological agenda for a very long time, and it still happens to this day. I don’t like it either, but you can’t make a law against it without sacrificing freedom of the press, which is one of the fundamental pillars of a free society. If you punish news outlets for deviating from “the facts”, then congratulations, you do not live in a free society.

“In Rationalia, a diverse, pluralistic land, you are free to practice religion. You would just have a hard-time basing policy on it. Policy, by most intended meanings of the word, are rules that apply to everyone, but most religions have rules that apply only to themselves.”

Just because right-wing Christians try to push “family values” policies doesn’t mean they are successful. In fact, nowadays they are ridiculed for it. If you are free to practice a religion, you can also choose to follow its rules. Also, I think the “weight of evidence” policy would turn against the idea of freedom of religion if the weight of evidence judged it to be bad.

“research in psychology and neuroscience would establish what level risks we are all willing to take, and how much freedom we might need to forfeit, in exchange for comfort, health, wealth and security.”

Ah the mantra of the statist. How predictable, and now I know that Mr. Tyson is a statist.  It also speaks volumes about how he thinks psychology and neuroscience can shape how society functions, but he doesn’t go into how it would establish the risks we all are willing to take. What he actually wants is for people to be comfortable with being in a dictatorship, because that is the only thing Rationalia could be.

“you could create an Office of Morality, where moral codes are proposed and debated. What moral codes would the citizens of Rationalia embrace? That is, itself, a research project. Countries don’t always get it right, of course. And neither will Rationalia. Is slavery moral? The USA’s Constitution thought so for 76 years. Should women vote? The USA’s Constitution said no for 131 years.”

If you needed further proof that Rationalia can be nothing other than an Orwellian nightmare, here it is, complete with brainless conjecture. For the record, morality is completely subjective. 1000 years ago we would have tolerated slavery, but now we don’t, because at some point in history we decided that slavery was wrong. You can’t regulate morality. Many have tried, and all of them have failed miserably.

There you have it, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s vision of the future is nothing more than a laughable brain fart, but it suddenly becomes more abhorrent once you actually look into what he’s suggesting. If this were a real country, Rationalia would be a technocratic dictatorship with scientism (the belief that all we need to solve the world’s problems is science) as its core value. Politics and science don’t mix. They never can, and Neil deGrasse Tyson has essentially proven why it shouldn’t. The current system isn’t exactly perfect, but I would certainly prefer it to an authoritarian nightmare where my life was governed by those who claim to be enlightened, but are ultimately blinded by their pursuit of utopia.

Smart thinking

science and religion

“Science and Religion” by Chris Johnston

Whenever I go into Waterstone’s, I always get at least one glance at the so-called “smart thinking” section, and as you might expect it’s filled with books about science, but they share this category with books about politics, economy, and popular ideology. They’ve got books by Richard Dawkins, Charles Darwin and Michio Kaku in the same group as books by Noam Chomsky, and an assortment of left-wing authors. Back when I was in school, there used to be separate shelves for politics, science and economy, or at least that’s how I remember it. To me, it seems like the store seems to have given in to the common mentality that scientific thinking and left-wing philosophy are automatically intelligent. By that logic anything else must be balderdash, except that’s not entirely true.

The modern mentality appears to be that science is the new religion, and liberalism the new conservatism. Of course, it was bound to happen. They both offer a path to enlightenment that requires you to have some form of trust in it, and its advocates. In today’s world, science is assumed to have all the answers, and people who don’t trust it are generally assumed to be morons. A thousand years ago, it was thought that God knew everything, and since the church claimed to know the word of God, anyone who didn’t trust or follow the church was shunned, and sometimes condemned as a heretic.

In a liberal society, most conservatives are often labelled as morons. Often, this is purely because of the political narrative of the times. The common folk have shifted towards liberal values, and so the conservatives must be evil (and in fairness, there are many conservative politicians who really are evil). In the past, conservatism would have been considered smart thinking, and liberalism was considered the domain of the working poor. At this point, what we would now call “smart thinking” is merely a difference in narrative. For me, it’s getting to be a worrying case of people using legitimate ideas and philosophies to make themselves sound intelligent.

It has often been argued that modern society is getting dumber, often in a very debatable context (often pointing only to America as an example). In my opinion, that would certainly explain why science is touted so highly by anyone who wants to look smart, but the problem is that most people like science only because of the flashy facts. They never think about the little things, or about the various kinds of sciences that don’t sound as attractive (arachnology, urology, and neuroparasitology come to mind). When it comes to science, I think most people don’t love science as much as it can seem. They just look at its butt while its walking by. Somehow, I think it’s the same with left-wing politics.

Another problem is that most people aren’t listening to real science. They’re listening to scientific theories that have been deliberately sensationalized for the purpose of drawing mass appeal. That is what we would call “pop science”, and it usually manifests in the form of news outlets reporting studies that sound either too good to be true, or too exaggeratedly terrifying to be real. You usually find this being trotted out on morning news shows desperate for filler material, and it’s bad when you consider that many viewers have continually confused pop science with real science, and even after it’s proven false, people continue to believe newer and more bizarre claims passed off as scientific studies.

At this point, I could probably make the argument that people tend to take things out of hand, and this case, science has been put on the same pedestal as God, and established theory the new holy writ. The only difference is that most of the Western world don’t go about killing those who disagree with us. However, I think we should ask ourselves – is it really smart thinking just because it sounds like the right thing? Furthermore, is it really smart thinking if it’s just popular philosophy? I realize that I may have opened more questions than I answered here tonight, but these are questions I’d prefer people to answer themselves, because if anything, smart thinking would require one to think independently.

Why should I save the planet?

earth hour

Will you give me a break?

For those who actually give a damn, Earth Hour is on tonight. Earth Hour is a farcical yearly event aimed at raising awareness of climate change. If you want me to be honest, I’ve had enough of hearing about climate change. I never liked having to care about it, but I’m not a climate skeptic.

I do believe there is scientific evidence to support the theory of global warming, but I also believe that the influence of environmentalism in society has created a grave injustice: innocent people are picking up the tab for something they didn’t do.

When I was a kid, the “save the planet” credo was everywhere. They were trying to install the environmentalist view into my head all through my time in Pembroke Dock. For a time, it worked. I was often consistently scared into caring for the environment. But often, that would slip my mind, and now, I don’t give a damn. Now, I actually hate environmentalism.

Why? It’s just another ideology, except this one goes about demonizing humanity and technology. The environmentalists are perfectly willing to ignore logic and reason, which I find seriously odd considering that global warming is a scientific phenomenon which wouldn’t have been discovered without the rationality or logic that science requires.

Now I should describe the injustice. It is true that the rate in which the planet is warming has increased faster in our time than it ever did. There is evidence to point that it is man-made, but has anyone ever stopped to consider that maybe ordinary people didn’t cause the majority of the pollution? I think most of the environmental damage was done by large corporations. How are they to blame? Well:

  • Their factories were the things spewing those classic black clouds of smoke into air
  • They were the ones dumping toxic waste into the ocean
  • The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 practically speaks for itself
the oil spill

What a mess.

What I’m saying is that corporations are to blame for most of the pollution, and the government has done nothing to stop them. Instead, they seek to solve the problem while absolving the corporations of any responsibility by blaming the rest of us for global warming. Using the power of liberal guilt, they’ve been trying to make us clean up the mess we didn’t make. If you think I’m wrong, I’d like to hear why.

Finally, Earth Hour? I’ve never heard of something so ridiculous. Why would anyone switch off their electrical appliances, and everything entertaining because of the foolish notion that it’s the right thing to do? In fact, the whole thing is just a demonizing of everything good that the Industrial Revolution has brought us. There are many scientific ways to save the planet being contemplated by actual scientific thinkers. Earth Hour is nothing more than a shambolic display of environmental idiocy.

What about the street lights? Are they non-essential? No! They’re there so people can see where they’re going at night (if they plan on having a night out). If we turned off the street lights, criminals would have a better advantage, because there’s no lights around for people to spot them.

In conclusion, I believe that our lifestyles don’t have to be changed so long as they aren’t doing any actual harm to the planet. Why should I obey the cries of a bunch of zombie-brained hippies who do nothing but blame human progress for all our problems. I acknowledge that global warming is a real problem, but it’s not an apocalypse scenario, as the mainstream media has tried so hard to convince us.

No matter how hard people can try and convince me otherwise, I won’t live my life based on whether or not the planet is dying. If I never wanted to care about it in the first place, then I won’t care now. Even if we saved the planet, what difference would it make anyway? We’d just go back to the status quo, and if we came up with a quick fix for global warming, we’d just repeat the same mistakes, and then nobody would have learned anything.