Somehow I missed a bit of unbridled brilliance that made a minor splash in the headlines about half a year ago. It turns out Bill Nye, the television scientist from my youth, has started believing buffoonery on the level of the buffoonery he normally rails against.
He legitimately believes that terrorism in areas like Syria, is the result of climate change. Yes, you read that correctly, and I typed it correctly. Bill Nye the “Science” guy believes in nonsense on par with flat-Earth theory and chemtrails.
In a Huffington Post Live™ interview, available to view on youtube™, Mr Nye states: “It’s very reasonable that the recent trouble in Paris [Bataclan Massacre] is a result of climate change.” No, Bill, that’s not reasonable on any rational level, but I’ll let you continue.
He goes on to state that due to a water shortage in Syria, farmers have been hit hard, and the “disenfranchised youth” who can no longer farm for a living then decide to join terrorist organizations. The next thing you know, “they end up part way around the world in Paris, shooting people.”
I guess that’s a rational chain of events, Bill. Every time there is a drought out in the Iowa farmlands, we notice a rash of terrorism in the U.S. I mean, what other choice do these farmers have but to start yelling “The Lord is Great!” while shooting up non-Christians in some other country. Keep up the great science-based science work, Bill.
It’s as if the guy has a complete lack of understanding of the human condition. People do malicious, reprehensible things, not because of a skewed moral compass, but because they are going through a bit of a rough time. Just got dumped by my girlfriend; guess I’ll go set a bus full of school children on fire. Got passed over for that partnership at the law firm; time to go behead a bunch of Mormons. Completely logical chains of cause and effect there.
If terrorism exists in higher concentrations in certain areas, it’s couldn’t possibly be because of any cultural or ideological reasons. That’s too far fetched. Terrorism being linked to slight changes in livelihood is the only logical explanation. By this reasoning, a concentrated pocket of KKK activity in particular area must mean that there were layoffs at the local Chipotle™. You can make a baseless correlation between any two things if you desperately want to believe there is a connection.
The complete lack of scientific method being employed here is staggering. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise however, being that Billy Nye isn’t even a scientist. He’s a scientist in the same way that Larry the Cable Guy is a cable guy. In name only.
Bill Nye holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering. “But engineering sounds fancy though… That must be science, right?” you might be asking. Not according to an endless list of articles from universities and organizations that show up on google, when one enters “is engineering a science”, then hits the Enter button. Bill Nye the Engineering Guy doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though.
If this man had an opinion on how to produce a more efficient engine, or to better produce sustainable energy, I would be more than happy to listen to him. If he has an opinion on human behavior however, I’ll rightfully accept it with a grain of salt. Mr. Nye and myself are on the same playing field on that topic. We are two non-experts merely hypothesizing about what the motivations of violence in a particular situation are. I however, am not trying to tie this violence to something unrelated, in an attempt to validate having the word “science” in my title.
Bill Nye the Engineering Guy has jumped to snap judgements on other topics before, only to later reversed his stance. He was outright against GMOs, until he actually did some research on the subject, only to change his stance entirely. He came to understand that GMOs are largely beneficial, and not worthy of all the fear that the anti-science types attribute to them. I can respect that he was willing to admit he was wrong, and hopefully he realizes that climate change has nothing to do with murderous rampages.