Bill Nye is not a Scientist (Blindspot)

So, I’m watching “Blindspot” in the background with my wife while I’m getting some work done. This is her show, not mine. In this this episode (Season 3 Episode 20) Bill Nye makes a guest appearance as himself. He is introduced as:

A really famous science.

Um…he is not a scientist. He has a masters in engineering, and is an actor that plays a scientist on TV. Except he is playing himself on TV. He is not a scientist. I object.

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The episode gets worse. He is pretending to be a professor, in a spat with his professor wife for collaborating with his academic rival. This is just painful to watch. People are going to walk out of this thinking he actually is a scientist, and that this is what academics is like. Absurd.

Oh well oh well. Ken Ham got his eighth honorary Doctorates of Science so if Ken Ham can call himself a scientist , I guess Bill Nye, the science guy can too.

I’d rather state the obvious. Both of them are puffing their titles. If you let Nye get away with it, so can Ham. Both of them are pretenders.

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Who is your favorite fictional scientist?

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Tempted to pick Farnsworth, but I’ll go with Contact. Great movie, and was actually a believable character, rather than merely an archetype or a cartoon.


Along with being a gifted scientist, Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway, from the book and movie Contact , has one of the world’s coolest jobs: working for the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Based on real life astronomer Jill Tarter – the director of SETI – Arroway struggles against the derision of other researchers who scoff at her work. In the movie version, Arroway (played by Jodie Foster) not only gets to listen to mankind’s first signal from an alien civilization, but she also travels the 26 light-years between Earth and Vega via wormhole. In Carl Sagan’s book, she also makes a startling simultaneous discovery: a signature from the alien architects of the universe hidden in the digits of pi. If that doesn’t earn her a Nobel Prize, nothing will. – Adam Mann


This, however, sounds absurd.

Yes, I picked Ellie (Jodie Foster) also. I enjoyed the religion/science undertow in Contact. Occam’s razor. And how at the end, the same religion/science questions remained as at the beginning. S. R. Haddon: First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price.


Yes, it is absurd as investigation of the digits of pi shown no regularity out to millions of places. No patterns whatsoever found. No predictability also.

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I was going to say Walter Bishop, but he is no Mr. Spock.

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Both are entertainers playing to their bases.

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Mr. Spock, by four parsecs.

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I agree unless a engineer is a scientist. i don’t think they are.
Yes he is famous. that means nothing in science accomplishment.
i’m glad he did the famous debate of late. it was great for YEC. a home run in so many ways.
He is useful in other ways for creationism too.
I think his aggresive pro evolution stance makes him welcome in left wing media/Hollywood circles.
ID and YEC have become in recent decades so threatening that the whole liberal establishment reacts/over reacts/reactionary (for our commie friends) .
They have no excellent champions and smell a problem getting worse.
We are living in a history of the demise of famous dumb conclusions in science.
I predict sciencedom everywhere will flee evolutionism and say WELL WE never knew about it anymore then anyone else. Scientists are specialists so blame us.
Nye is the best evolution scientist they got? Thats why HE did the debate.?
Put a fork in it. its done.

Nye is most definitively not the best evolution scientist. He is not a scientist. As I understand it Ham did not invite a scientist.

I totally agree.

Nye did the debate because he was paid to do so, and paid rather more than the tickets sales accrued. In that respect Nye is very much like any other entertainer. Ham staged the debate because it helped him secure funding from a wealthy donor to build his stationary Land Yacht.

I predict we will continue to see new applications of evolutionary science, and these will become a greater part of our lives. We are already seeing cancer treatments based on principles of evolutionary medicine, and it’s just getting started.

I have started a habit of recording predictions that I make or encounter, so that I can follow up on how these claims pan out. I will record these and follow up in 5 years or so. Would you like to be notified when I do?

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Ellie Arroway is certainly a worthy candidate. Allow me to also throw out Dr. Ally Hextall, Jennifer Ehle’s character in Contagion.

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Yes. I welcome any help in cancer. I don’t see evolutionism helping there EXCEPT in the minor cases of in-species selectionism. A YEC would go in this direction too. I hate Cancer especially before the decaying stages of elderlyness.
Nye is a sign of the evolution demise. It needs famous debates to defend itself from famous attacks.
Evolutionism is the only conclusion, said to be a scientific theory, that is popularily, famoiusly assaulted and taking bodyblows.
You said ham did the debate for a rich donor. I never heard that and its unlikely that he did it for money.
It was done to seek audience to make a creationist claim where usually its hard to reach non creationist audiences.
I doubt Nye did it for money. He did it for passionate belief in evolutionism himself.

Funny how many of you chose Ellie Arroway. In the radio astronomy circle she is one of, or perhaps the most mocked (good natured-ly!) fictional scientist :rofl:

Screenshots of this scene often appears in radio astronomy conferences to get easy humor points due to the absurdity of actually “listening” to radio telescopes with a pair of headphones:

I have yet to find a radio astronomer who does not like Contact though, despite its goofyness (or perhaps it is well loved because of its goofyness).


Just to make sure I understand you correctly, you are using “evolutionism” here is the same sense as scientism? - Is that correct?

Ham contracted Nye for the debate, paying Nye an appearance fee. IIRC this comes from Nye’s agent. I will let you google this one yourself, and I’ll get the next one…

The following are facts: Ham was well below his donation goal to start construction on his Ark Park. Ham lost money on the ticket sales from the debate itself, as they were not enough to cover Nye’s appearance fee (and Ham gave away a lots of tickets too). Ham/AiG is believed to have recouped the loss and probably turned a profit on DVD sales. Following the debate a wealth donor provided the money that allowed Ham to proceed.
— The details about the donor’s conditions leading to the debate I will need to look up, but it was much discussed at the time. I will google for sources when I have time, and edit to include these below.

edit1: This Wiki article confirms some (not all) of my claim, and is well sourced.


Those registering for the debate’s live online stream topped 800,000 two weeks before the event, for which the museum is paying Nye expenses plus a fee. The museum would not disclose the fee, but Nye’s normal speaking fee is $50,000 to $75,000, according to Celebrity Talent International [source linked].


In early January 2014, only $26.5 million in bonds had been sold; if at least $55 million in bonds were not sold by February 6, all of the bonds would be automatically redeemed.[33] On February 27, 2014, AiG founder Ken Ham announced that his February 4 debate on the viability of creationism with TV personality Bill Nye “the Science Guy” had spurred bond sales, and that the Ark Encounter had raised enough money to begin construction.[34][source] and another [source]

What remains to show for my claim is that a single wealthy donor contributed a substantial part of the $24 million needed at the time of the debate. I’m out of time to pursue this further at the moment.

edit4: This is not the smoking gun I was looking for, but may be as close as I can get:

A few weeks after the debate, Answers in Genesis held an online event in which they announced that they have or had raised the funds for their amazing “Ark Encounter” theme park, or “Ark Park.” I posted a tweet on the Twitter social media site, “Here’s hoping voters & journalists wonder: where did all those $ millions come so quickly? After a deadline?” Soon after that, Mark Looy of AIG sent an email to my office assuring me that the bonds had already been secured, before Feb. 4, i.e. before the debate—and before the unrated bonds’ deadline. I could not help but notice that Ken Ham made no mention of this during our encounter, i.e., during the debate itself. I also could not help but notice that his colleagues suggested that the debate helped close certain aspects of their Ark Park deal, later during their online event—at which not a single journalist, or anyone else for that matter, was present. These are details, but it does make me wonder, who donates those millions? I wonder if one project is leveraged against the other. I’ll leave it to the Kentucky journalism community to seek answers in this funding genesis.[source]
My emphasis added.


I just went to youtube to see the offending scenes. Man, are those scenes cringy… I can’t believe that they made him play “himself”, where himself is a person who looks and acts like him but has a totally different personal history.

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