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Bill Nye to flat Earthers and science deniers: 'It affects all of us'

Bill Nye has had it with flat-Earthers and other science deniers. 

While humanity is landing robots on Mars and breaking open the mysteries of the universe, there continues a social trend of "science denialism." From opposition to handwashing in the 1800s to modern climate deniers, anti-maskers and "flat-Earthers," or people who believe that planet Earth is actually flat ( it is not), "anti-science" movements aren't new, but they are a problem facing us all today, according to Nye..

"The flat-Earthers, the anti-vaxxers, the anti-maskers are not on board with the progress of science. And the thing is, it affects all of us," Nye told Space.com. "When you deny the body of knowledge that's been discovered through the process of science, you're holding all of us back, and this is why it's such an important time."

He added to this reporter: "Chelsea, are you gonna vote? Please vote. My goodness." (Reader — and Bill Nye —  fear not, I am voting.)

Related: Bill Nye Tackles Time Travel (and Pot) in 2nd Netflix Season

"There are people running around in the United States, or in the world, on the electric internet, thinking out loud ... that the Earth might be flat," Nye told Space.com. "What?! It's the 21st century … just that anybody would even joke about it is weird. And so this anti-science movement that we have in the United States, well, in the Western world right now, is bad for everybody."

"That's why I did, or we did, the show the Science Guy show years ago was out of concern for the future of the United States especially," Nye said. 

Nye referenced the importance of a number of science advances including relativity. "Your mobile phone depends on Einstein's theories of both special and general relativity to get the right answer, to get it to work. And so we take all that for granted," he said.

He added that we all also depend on the science behind genetically modified food, which stems back thousands of years and is as advanced as ever today. "I just like to remind everybody ... farming is not natural. If you stop farming, it goes back, the land goes back to something else … so this is all science."

Nye added that "it's the exploration of space that led to these profound, profound improvements for quality of life for so many of us."

"I'm excited about the future. I mean, when the young people are running the show ... things are gonna improve or change for the better very rapidly," Nye added. "But it's, you know, as we always say, it's going to be a close call ... if we go get the climate so far out of control." 

You can see Bill Nye discuss science and more online at tin a replay of this year's virtual New York Comic-Con. Nye talked about his book "Bill Nye's Great Big World of Science," with coauthor and science journalist Gregory Mone.

Email Chelsea Gohd at cgohd@space.com or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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  • rod
    This was fun to read. I watched Tucker Carlson show last night and heard a different view of mask wearing :) Bill Nye does lump together anti-maskers (along with other examples) with flat-earthers, both groups deny science. However, the science used to support the large round Earth, compared to the science of mask wearing, there may be some differences in measurement and verification that could be sorted out :)
    Reply
  • Helio
    His choice to use "anti-masking" as a case to argue for science is not helpful to his argument. It's not hard to find very contradictory evidence from scientists both for and against, though mostly against including from the W.H.O.
    Also, what percent of the population holds to a 'flat earth" world view? Are they really even a tiny threat to our society? Science is separate from philosophy so if we use science as a philosophy we do harm to science itself.

    His comment stating, "if we go get the climate so far out of control. " implies we once had it in control. Science is great but not that great... yet.

    I like Bill Nye, a fellow m.e., and what he does, but I hope what he supports won't compromise the importance of individual freedoms. We should all have the right to have free opinions, and that needs emphasis given so much cancelation of people's opinions today.
    Reply
  • Lynn Kempen
    Admin said:
    "The flat earthers, the anti vaxxers, the anti maskers are not on board with the progress of science. And the thing is, it affects all of us," Bill Nye said.

    Bill Nye to flat Earthers and science deniers: 'It affects all of us' : Read more

    Bill Nye is an actor, not a scientist. He believes in, and preaches, Scientism, not science.
    Actual science is measurable, repeatedly. If Earth is in fact a spinning, orbiting, hurling ball, then its topical curvature should be measurable, over not just one, but every large body of water, as water always seeks its level. Turns out, this alleged curvature is proving more evasive to find than Waldo. If Earth has a diameter of 7917.5 miles, per spherical geometry this alleged curvature will drop at 7.98 inches for every mile squared. That exponential factor will be increasingly noticeable with distance. What we find, however, when we take actual measurements, is that bridges, shorelines and other structures, which would be obscured by curvature on a spherical Earth, are clearly visible, defying his spinning ball Earth theory. Per the scientific method, when the evidence defies your theory, one must modify the theory accordingly, but Nye is the one who denies actual science.


    Nye is anti-science when it comes to masks, as well. The "corona virus" has not even been scientifically isolated to be properly identified. The man who developed the PCR test professed the test is not valid in diagnosing anything. Furthermore, viruses are not contained by cloth material, they are far smaller than the pores of cloth masks. The six foot distancing is another completely arbitrary, unscientific measure. So, go take your fake science and religious faith in Scientism, and stuff it Mr. Nye.
    Reply
  • AirFrank
    Bill Nye, contrary to his shows name, is not a science guy. He does not have a degree in science. So he's just another pundit selling a product.
    Reply
  • Helio
    AirFrank said:
    Bill Nye, contrary to his shows name, is not a science guy. He does not have a degree in science. So he's just another pundit selling a product.
    It's likely he does have a Bachelor of Science degree in mech. engineering.
    Reply
  • Helio
    Lynn Kempen said:
    Bill Nye is an actor, not a scientist. He believes in, and preaches, Scientism, not science.
    Actual science is measurable, repeatedly. If Earth is in fact a spinning, orbiting, hurling ball, then its topical curvature should be measurable, over not just one, but every large body of water, as water always seeks its level.
    Every concrete large slab contractor knows that when using lasers the rain will puddle in the middle of the slab due to Earth's curvature since laser beams don't bend with curvature, but gravity does, so to speak.

    When sewer lasers were first introduced, contractors had to adjust for curvature since the pipes only work when installed downhill.

    There are countless other empirical examples. Aristotle so effectively convinced readers that the Earth had to be a sphere that it became fused into Christian dogma during the Council of Trent.
    Reply
  • rod
    Helio, post #4 defending the flat earth uses a specific math formula to deny the curvature of the spherical Earth claiming observations do not match the prediction for its spherical shape. The examples provided in your post are good and easy to follow but do not specifically address this math argument, something I find common in flat earth circles defending the flat earth as *factual science* :) There is a simple method for testing this flat earth math presented. Does the math correctly predict the azimuth and altitude changes observed for the star Polaris, from different locations on Earth? Telescopes used by amateurs and software will show the correct values here for Polaris, whether in NYC, Miami, or below the equator like Sydney Australia. I have never seen a *flat earth* telescope do this correctly :)
    Reply
  • Helio
    rod said:
    Helio, post #4 defending the flat earth uses a specific math formula to deny the curvature of the spherical Earth claiming observations do not match the prediction for its spherical shape. The examples provided in your post are good and easy to follow but do not specifically address this math argument, something I find common in flat earth circles defending the flat earth as *factual science* :) There is a simple method for testing this flat earth math presented. Does the math correctly predict the azimuth and altitude changes observed for the star Polaris, from different locations on Earth? Telescopes used by amateurs and software will show the correct values here for Polaris, whether in NYC, Miami, or below the equator like Sydney Australia. I have never seen a *flat earth* telescope do this correctly :)
    The math isn't very difficult. Here is the geometry.

    If we know R, the radius of the Earth, and we know how far we are looking over a curved Earth, L, then we can easily calculate that angle from Earth's center (theta).

    Theta (angle) = L *
    So knowing theta, simple trig solves for both h and r, as noted in the image.

    I used 3959 miles for a radius and 1 mile for the distance, the drop equates to 8 inches, so what is stated in post #4 is correct.

    I didn't understand where the argument was going regarding shores and bridges. From shorelines one can see the tops of ships but not the bottoms even when it is relatively obvious that refraction isn't the issue. I prefer to look at cloud tops that only appear correctly when we assume a spherical Earth. I think I have a picture or two of that.
    Reply
  • imanoutkast
    Bill Nye is a fraud, and a particularly dangerous one, because he knows enough of the lingo, but he's clearly working with a group of people that are pushing an agenda of control. Bill is actually the one peddling junk science by equating a topic such as the usefulness of mask wearing, which has legitimate questions (and in fact much evidence that his position is wrong), with the belief that the earth is flat. I know and have heard of nobody (and I've researched this topic A LOT) that believes masks are useless or counterproductive or wasteful also believes the earth is flat, this is an extremely basic logical fallacy, he's clearly doing it deliberately. He wants to continue the destruction of society and the economies of nations by justifying draconian measures and anti-social behaviors for a virus that is less deadly than the flu for the vast majority of the population. He wants the perception of the average person to remain at a level of fear high enough to support the Great Reset, which is the obvious plan by global elites to remold the world as they see fit, and it's all about control.
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    All, as a gentle reminder, please maintain your civility and stick to the science aspects of the discussion. Thank you.
    Reply