Thursday, 27 April 2017

Dear Bill Nye, We're Not Fucking Stupid.

written by S.D
For a start let me open this up by saying that I am NOT anti-science. I have post-graduate qualifications and hold a degree in science from a well-regarded university. I was even briefly a science teacher who taught science to high school students so science is something I am passionate about but the new Netflix show "Bill Nye Saves the World" made me cringe so bloody hard that I honestly don't know how any adult with any sense of pride and intelligence can honestly enjoy watching this. I am not from America and my interest in science derived from reading my mother's university and high school science and mathematics books in primary school as well as self-teaching myself other topics such as computer programming and astronomy using the internet as a resource so I did NOT go into this show with any nostalgia factor. I am also not a climate denier BUT considering publication bias exists in the scientific community (something anyone with any knowledge of academia and science should be aware about) - if anyone has convincing evidence to the contra - I am willing to keep an open mind.
& If you REALLY want to watch something about climate change I would say stick with the classics such as Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, Chasing Ice, the 11th Hour, etc. Even Captain Planet, whilst aimed at kids, is more informative and nowhere near as patronising as Bill Nye.


Bill, I know you made this show to try and get a bunch of people such as climate change deniers to side with you and change their mind but, if anything, you've just made them even more set in their views. For a start, the use of simplistic (and wholly cherry-picked) scientific principles to explain climate change and adopting a patronising and condescending tone of voice is NOT the way to go if you want to get a bunch of adults to agree with you. Studies even in young children found that they they are LESS likely to agree with or respect you if you adopt a hostile and/or condescending tone. Considering most climate change deniers and people who would consider themselves anti-vaxxers and to be homophobic ARE IN THE ELDERLY demographic all one has to do is consider the numerous studies which has found that elderly people who are being talked down upon are viewed with LESS RESPECT than the ones who are being talked to as being on the same cognitive level as caregivers and others around them (Ryan et al., 1994). It's science so I'm sure you know this, Bill! (& yes, I am deliberately condescending you in this context to give you a taste of your own medicine).

So in addition totreating people who disagree with him on climate change as petulant schoolchildren, Bill Nye goes on further to patronise people who don't share his views as 'suffering from psychological delusions' and even calls to jail climate deniers. Ummmm... I'm not even a climate change denier but if anything this sounds like Nye is having a major histrionic episode and throwing a temper tantrum which further hurts the cause he is supposedly fronting (Pro-Science, Pro-Earth) by treating the general public as if they are all fucking stupid, mentally unstable and deviant.

To top it all off this song called "Sex Junk" (or something along those lines) was included as part of the episode and what the actual fuck does it have to do with pure science?? If anything this is obvious pseudo-science-laced left wing political indoctrination and panders more to sociological gender THEORY than hard science and FACT.
So Bill, I am sure you are an intelligent man but let me remind you of the difference between a theory and fact just in case you've forgotten (which it seems to be the case):

FACT:
fakt
noun
noun: fact; plural noun: facts
a thing that is known or proved to be true.



THEORY:
ˈθɪəri/
noun
noun: theory; plural noun: theories
a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.




The Bill Nye "Sex Junk" song (which was a major cringefest by the way so please click at your own discretion) seems to draw a lot on the current gender schema cognitive THEORY which draws a lot on the idea of gender being a spectrum and was originally proposed in 1981 by Sandra Bem. By claiming it as pertaining to actual scientific FACT, Bill, you are either intentionally (or out of your own ignorance) misleading the public. Gender theory is simply a THEORY meant to try and explain things but is NOT a proven FACT.
Psychology and sociology (including theories of gender) are seen belong in domain of pseudo-science as many of the theories do not have tangible proof and until they do, pushing them upon your audience as FACT is  just as DANGEROUS (not to mention as hypocritical) in some ways as blasting people who think vaccines cause autism! As both are theories and have yet to have SOLID PROOF, neither of them are at the stage where they can be considered cold hard facts. End of story!

In conclusion, this show is a major cringefest and if you really want to learn about climate science (or any science for that matter) I would suggest checking out any of the documentaries on this list, reading widely on the topic from a number of different sources and not listening to a condescending children's show host try telling you how and what to think.


References:


Bem, S. L. (1981). Gender schema theory: A cognitive account of sex typing. Psychological Review, 88, 354–364

Ryan, E. B., Hamilton, J. M., & See, S. K. (1994). Patronizing the old: How do younger and older adults respond to baby talk in the nursing home?. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 39(1), 21-32.