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How Did Bill Nye Become the Science Guy?

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the origin-story dept.

Education 220

An anonymous reader writes "Whether he's debating creationists, taking selfies with President Obama, or 'Dancing with the Stars,' Bill Nye the Science Guy is no stranger to the spotlight. But what about the man behind the public persona? How did Bill Nye become the Science Guy?(video) Bill Nye has made his debut on the PBS series, The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers, to reveal the story of how he rose from being a young comedian from Seattle to becoming a science icon. In his profile, Bill Nye talks about his early days impersonating Steve Martin, why bow-ties are important in the lab (and with the ladies), and how Carl Sagan's advice helped to shape his hit television show."

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Bill Nye is creepy and weird (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540191)

And he's not much of a "science" guy, at least not in any real sense of the word.

His debate (2, Interesting)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 7 months ago | (#46540421)

Most scientists told him not to debate the creationists as it only brings more attention to them. Well it really happened and now the people he debated received enough money and even MUNICIPAL BONDS to build a life sized Ark. Thanks Bill Nye.

Re:His debate (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 7 months ago | (#46540483)

MUNICIPAL BONDS to build a life sized Ark

If a member of our community wants to set sail for the promised land, let them go with god, but just go! (A little funding was to give them a nudge on the way. ) ;)

Re:His debate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540707)

Hee hee yeah all religious people are a bunch of dumbass fucktards who can be circumsized by kicking their sisters or mamas in the jaw. Let's hate on them awhile. Man it sure feels good to be better than them!

Next we will hate on the blacks. Or the jews, your choice. Categorically hating people for being different makes us feel so secure and superior. Man I don't know how we could get by without it. Nah scratch the blacks and jews, it's not cool to hate them anymore. People will hate us for hating them nowadays. Not good, that doesn't serve our selfish interests at all. Let's just stick to the religious people, it's okay to hate them now and other people will congratulate us for it. Yes, that will work perfectly.

Then we can tell the religious people they are dogmatic and narrow-minded, you know, just for shits and giggles.

what about muslims? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540917)

are you sure you don't hate them? as a god fear christian you're required to hate heathens. If you don't hate them you're probably a closet athiest.

Re:what about muslims? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541463)

Truly fascinates me how atheists assume they are the authority on Scripture.

Re:what about muslims? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541781)

Why would you find this fascinating? There have been numerous studies showing a negative correlation between religiosity and intelligence. [wikipedia.org]

Atheists and agnostics are quite well equipped to read the fables I mean scripture and make a pronouncement. You might bleat 'context' and I might say 'as an agnostic, I don't have a dog in the fight, but from the objective point of view your religion looks like a load of horse shit to me.'

Re:His debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541699)

If you hate the Jews after you hate all religious people seems a pretty dumb move to me. (Not saying hating people is a smart move to start with)

And, well, I sincerely hope you can make the difference between creationists and moderate religious people.

Re:His debate (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46540485)

Most scientists told him not to debate the creationists as it only brings more attention to them.

They already have plenty of attention. More than half of Americans believe in some form of creationism (young earth creationism, intelligent design, or "evolution guided by God"). The percentage in many other countries is even higher. "Ignoring them" isn't working out so well.

Re:His debate (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46540587)

Yea, but Bill Bye fell into the same trap all sciency types do. He didn't argue evolution, he argued against the creationists idea of Intelligent design. There is nothing incompatible with Intelligent design and evolution. If there is a God that created the universe then, that God also created evolution and therefor science is simply discovering Gods work. He should have made that point and left it at that. You can't invalidate theology with logic. But you can validate science with it. Evolution is a fact. If you believe in god then evolution is his work, stop denying Gods work you pagan.

Re:His debate (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540827)

There is nothing incompatible with Intelligent design and evolution. If there is a God that created the universe then, that God also created evolution and therefor science is simply discovering Gods work.

I've never heard intelligent design described that way before. Intelligent design is the idea that biological organisms required an intelligent entity to create them, that it is unlikely that complex organisms could exist without a designer, which is an idea fundamentally contradicted by evolution. It sounds like you are describing deism, not intelligent design.

Re:His debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540981)

Because, Henry Ford creating a specific car, was design.

Henry Ford creating a factory, to create a multiplicity of cars, was not design.

Keep on keeping on with those linguistic contortions and arbitrary categorical exclusions...

captcha: creeds

Re:His debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541071)

Why does slashdot have so many terrible car analogies?

Of course creating a factory is design. Do you understand how it would be useful to have separate words for factory design and car design?

Basically, you want to redefine these terms to equivocate deism with intelligent design? I'm fine with that, as long as you make it clear that you are using these terms in nonstandard ways, different from how the Discovery Institute and other intelligent design proponents use the term, in order to avoid confusion. I don't know why you would want to do that when they are more useful when describing seprate distinct concepts.

Re:His debate (4, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46540855)

A few years ago there was a team of a Nobel prize winner and a leading Jesuit that toured the US arguing that creationism was bad theology as well as it pretending various rubbish is science. The various creationist lay preacher merchants in the temple tried to pretend that it was invalid by implying that Catholics are not real Christians. That's how ridiculous the situation is.
The only winning move is not to play.

Re:His debate (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540971)

Did you watch the debate? Nye was debating against Young Earth Creationism that Answers in Genesis was putting out; he himself pointed out that millions do reconcile a belief in God and evolution.

Re:His debate (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540705)

The percentage in many other countries is even higher.

Which countries?

Certainly my experience from growing up in New Zealand and living my adult life in Australia is that those two are not one of the "many other countries" - in fact, until the Internet showed me otherwise, I grew up believing Creationists were like flat-earthers, they pretty much didn't exist except as a couple of isolated crazies.

Nothing I've seen of the UK makes me think creationists are very prevalent there either. In addition both the Church of England and the Catholic church acknowledge the facts of evolution (They may believe the mechanism by which it happens is divine, but they don't dispute it does happen), and neither espouse a young earth view.
So if Catholics don't support creationism, then that's another huge chunk of the Christian world that doesn't.

So which countries other than the USA have a high percentage of young-earth creationists?

Re:His debate (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46540783)

So which countries other than the USA have a high percentage of young-earth creationists?

Nearly all Muslim countries, nearly all of Africa, most of Latin America, and much of Asia do not accept evolution by natural selection. Your three samples of NZ, Australia, and the UK are highly skewed data points.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541189)

You can safely add pretty much all of europe to those sample points. The northern europe doesn't even believe god exists. Religion is just something you can troll about in the internet. Church membership is something you get rid of if you are not too lazy. Most people around here consider true believers a bit silly around here. They also seem a bit scered, always going back to "god did it" if there isn't an explanation readily available for something. It's like they are scared of things they have no explanation for.

Re:Well (1)

tempmpi (233132) | about 7 months ago | (#46541813)

The northern europe doesn't even believe god exists.

Not really. Look at these statistics from the eurobarometer poll:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism#Europe [wikipedia.org]

Europe seems to be split between Theism, Pantheism and Atheism.

Re:His debate (3, Informative)

arjun.jrao (1976036) | about 7 months ago | (#46541613)

Much of Asia ?? Hallo, I believe most of the Asian population is made up of China and India. Hinduism, for one, has no problem with evolution. In fact, evolution nicely fits in with the theory of reincarnation and the evolution of a soul over many lifetimes into higher and higher life-forms. As for young-earthism, Hindu belief includes astronomical time scales in which the Universe is born and destroyed... this is not the first Universe created by the Creator, not will it be the last. This is not an endorsement of Hinduism, which includes such delightful things like casteism, unequality of women and other social evils. All I'm saying is, there is no conflict between orthodox Hinduism and Evolution and the true age of the Earth. As for China, I believe a signifcant part of their population is Buddhist.. which again, has no problems with evolution because their basic tenets speak of the evolution of a soul over many lifetimes. Perhaps somebody could shed light on what Taoism and Confucianism has to say on this matter.

Re:His debate (5, Informative)

pipedwho (1174327) | about 7 months ago | (#46540719)

Literal Creationism (or "Intelligent design") is primarily an American thing pushed by fundamentalist protestants.

The vast majority of old school mainstream christian religious people (eg. Catholics Anglicans, etc) hold that evolution is a scientifically established principle (supported by both observation and related scientific theories). As far as how a deity fits into their picture, it is generally understood that the biblical stories are allegorical and not literal tellings of an event.

The concept of 'evolution guided by God' is simply a restatement that scientific evidence guides the description of how the universe works, and the random events that coincided to an eventual outcome may have been influenced or set in motion by some divine force. And even then, that is the simplistic layman's way of interpreting the phrase 'you/people were created by god'. With a deep theological understanding, the physical and spiritual aspects of the human condition are not necessarily connected and therefore unconflicted when it comes to changes in how we understand the workings of the known universe.

In general, religious belief does not hinge on anything that can ever be proven/disproven by observation, and is purely the domain of spiritual fulfilment and ideas that exist outside of the physical universe. For these people, there is no need for debate or argument. Science is science. Religion is religion. Their minds are open.

For the biblical fundamentalists that treat their bible as literal tellings of actual events, the 'debate' will never end. Science is religion. Religion is science. Their minds are closed.

These 'debates' are not attention whoring by the religious right, it is attention whoring by the media. More eyeballs for all involved.

Re:His debate (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540949)

The vast majority of old school mainstream christian religious people (eg. Catholics Anglicans, etc) hold that evolution is a scientifically established principle (supported by both observation and related scientific theories).

But they don't believe in evolution, they believe in theistic evolution, that is, evolution guided by god, which is not really evolution. One of the fundamental aspects of evolution is that it does not require a guider, just chemistry, statistics, and time.

The concept of 'evolution guided by God' is simply a restatement that scientific evidence guides the description of how the universe works, and the random events that coincided to an eventual outcome may have been influenced or set in motion by some divine force.

It sounds like you are describing a god whose existence is indistinguishable from it's non-existense. How would you ever tell if that god exists? Why should anyone believe in it if you can't tell?

Re:His debate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541723)

But they don't believe in evolution, they believe in theistic evolution, that is, evolution guided by god, which is not really evolution.

But it clearly is not "creationism". Evolution does not require "guidance", but it could also tolerate small adjustments by a guider without turning into design by an intelligent creator.

But they don't believe in evolution, they believe in theistic evolution, that is, evolution guided by god, which is not really evolution. One of the fundamental aspects of evolution is that it does not require a guider, just chemistry, statistics, and time.

It also depends on the availability of a suitable environment. And many people consider the laws of chemistry also as a part of gods guidance of the world.

Re:His debate (2)

tempmpi (233132) | about 7 months ago | (#46541771)

More than half of Americans believe in some form of creationism (young earth creationism, intelligent design, or "evolution guided by God").

"Evolution guided by God" = Theistic Evolution is not creationism. That is just new atheist crap. The most common version of Theistic evolution does not make any testable predictions different from the scientific theory of evolution. It just adds a untestable metaphysical believe to it or as Francis Collins phrases it: "evolution is real, but that it was set in motion by God". Just because you disagree with this metaphysical claim it does not turn theistic evolution into creationism.

Re:His debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540501)

Perhaps if the life sized ark goes down on its maiden voyage it will at least be entertaining.

Re:His debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541045)

Perhaps if the life sized dork goes down on its maiden voyage it will at least be entertaining. TFTFY

Re:His debate (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 7 months ago | (#46540507)

I'm okay with this, as long as we can call it 'B'.

Re:His debate (4, Funny)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 7 months ago | (#46540613)

Do you know any telephone sanitisers to send on it?

Re:His debate (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 7 months ago | (#46540625)

I like how Bill Nye did it though. Bill Nye debated Ken Ham's Creationism which most Christians don't espouse. Ken Ham lost the debate because he said the flood deposited all the fossils which was disproven by Christian geologists of the 1800s. The way Bill Nye put it is that there are billions of others who hold their beliefs but don't claim the earth was 6000 years old.

Two weeks before the debate I asked the guy on twitter if he'd isolate Ken Ham's version of YEC away from the other actually possible theologies out there. I'm not sure if he got my message, but he did make the distinction that it isn't religion vs science. Because of this, I feel Bill Nye addressed the debate with a good degree of respect for other's beliefs. It is just that Ken Ham's YEC got proven false. I was very pleased with how the debate went. I knew Ken Ham was going to lose, but Bill Nye made it happen with class.

Re:Bill Nye is creepy and weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540533)

It seems to me the main reason is that hes smarter than most Americans and can dumb things down enough for some of them to understand.
He also fits their stereotype of a scientist.. tall & dresses funny (like Beaker).

Re:Bill Nye is creepy and weird (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46540913)

It seems to me the main reason is that hes smarter than most Americans

On the other hand that Ken Ham makes Australians look like idiots even if he has been infected by some sort of fringe American pentacostal rabies :(
An antidote to that is Dr Karl who's sort of our version of Bill Nye only from more of a medical background (http://www.drkarl.com).
How's this for funny?

In 2002, Dr Karl was honoured with the prestigious Ig Nobel prize awarded by Harvard University in the USA for his ground-breaking research into Belly Button Lint and why it is almost always blue.

Yes, it ridiculous - that was the entire point. It was a radio talkback thing that grew out of a question from a listener. Entertain people and make them think at the same time.

Re:Bill Nye is creepy and weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540621)

bet you don't like clowns, either, do you...

Totally agree (0, Flamebait)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#46540721)

I have always had an intense dislike for Bill Nye, who was propped up by Disney and started by riding the coat-tails of the way better Paul Zaloom in Beakman's World [wikipedia.org] .

How sad is it that Bill Nye is more creepy than a scientist with a guy in a giant rat costume for an assistant?

I would rather watch the giant rat guy for 100 years than watch a minute of Bill Nye.

Re:Totally agree (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540749)

Go fuck your little boyfriend. Bill is actually right. If you want rat fucking to win out, all you have to do is keep fucking rats, and at least we know they will be small (you have a tiny dick)

Re:Bill Nye is creepy and weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540919)

what makes a science guy, anyways? do i have to be not creepy and weird?

a bow-tie guy is Bill Nye (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 7 months ago | (#46540199)

captain obvious reporting for duty.

He didn't become the science guy. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540213)

He was created by God just as you see him now.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540215)

He's no scientist.
Scientists are open-minded and friendly, this guy is a freaky creaky dingbat I wouldn't want to be alone in a room with.

Re:WTF (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#46540345)

You just described 2/3 of Slashdot.

Re:WTF (1)

DrPBacon (3044515) | about 7 months ago | (#46540391)

*smiles*

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540589)

Only 2/3?

Re:WTF (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 7 months ago | (#46540697)

He's a science educator. Some science educators *are* bona fide scientists, like Carl Sagan; but science is not mysticism. String theory might be beyond most people, but there's a lot of basic stuff most people can explore and understand, and if you can do that you can explain it to others.

If you think about it, a background in comedy is a very good preparation for being an educator. First you have to get and hold their attention. Second, you have to make really, really sure they get your point. People don't laugh at jokes they don't understand -- at least not the kind of laughter they paid to come experience. So comedy is all about making sure people get the point and are entertained along the way.

Re:WTF (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541039)

He is a circus act, not an educator.

String theory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541155)

String theory isn't science, it's been what like 30 years and they still haven't come up with any testable hypotheses. It's time to just give up on that and just admit that there's nothing to it. If it doesn't produce testable hypotheses then it isn't science. Might as well let psychologists and anthropologists call themselves scientists while we're at it.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541675)

What makes someone a scientist is how they approach acquiring and validating their knowledge. "Freaky" and "scientist" are not mutually exclusive.

John Keister (4, Informative)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 7 months ago | (#46540221)

Almost Live - a weekly half hour comedy skit show in Seattle in the 80s is what made Bill Nye.

Re:John Keister (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 7 months ago | (#46540267)

Lame! Lame! Lame!

Not a Scientist (-1, Flamebait)

rdelsambuco (552369) | about 7 months ago | (#46540277)

Bill Nye the Attention Whore

Re:John Keister (3, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 7 months ago | (#46540281)

I remember the first season or so when Almost Live was hosted by Ross Shafer and was a lackluster Seattle-area clone of Letterman's Late Show on NBC.

But the reboot with John Keister and the rest of that gang was great! Speed Walker; Mind Your Manners with Billy Quan ("be like Billy - behave yourself!"); Worst Girlfriend in the World; and Bill Nye the Science Guy! The reruns are still pretty funny, although some of the old jokes don't work without the temporal political context. And also unfortunately, the old jokes about the Seattle Mariners being awful still work just fine...

Re:John Keister (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 7 months ago | (#46540325)

I grew up in Ballard, and remember the Ballard Driving School skit. And thinking "what, that's not a real school? That's how everyone drives!"

Re:John Keister (1)

bennet42 (1313459) | about 7 months ago | (#46540547)

Just remember: in Ballard, the rules of maritime navigation apply EVERYWHERE! So throw that seatbelt out the the door, get that turn signal on, and for god's sake slow down! Then you can earn your "Uff Da" sticker on your 64 Valliant. Best Almost Live BIll Nye the science guy skit was crushing a steam filled oil drum with a fire extinguisher. Almost didn't work, but hey, Almost Live TV. Also "Bill Nye - Stop the rock" was a fun early CD game.

Speed Walker! (3)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | about 7 months ago | (#46540237)

My favorite comedy from Bill Nye was Speeeeeeed Walker, a super hero that always adhered to the rules of the International Speed Walking Association: Heal Toe! Heal Toe!

Re:Speed Walker! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540537)

If your toe is injured, yelling "heal" at it won't make it heal any faster. Who told you that? Some kind of heel, I bet.

"Creationists" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540249)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:"Creationists" (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 7 months ago | (#46540461)

Okay, then, what do you think it means?

Re:"Creationists" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540993)

Well, like any other word, it cannot properly mean a conjunction of two disparate, not-mutually-dependent concepts, like "The concept that the universe was created by an intelligent being, AND the notion the universe is 6000 years old, or whatever the weakest Straw Man associated idea I can come up with is--accept both or neither, because I only used one word".

Even if that's pretty-much exclusively how atheists use the term.

Like "feminazi", the usage is wholly rhetorical and logically invalid. See Aristotle for the axioms of proper concept-formation.

Re:"Creationists" (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 7 months ago | (#46540999)

So you can only come up with a rambling and vaguely confrontational statement of what you think it doesn't mean? Nice.

Re:"Creationists" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541015)

Lie more about the perceptions of your own brain.

Properly used, "creationism" means "creation by an intelligent being", and -nothing else- is specified. This parallels every other functional word in existence. The meaning of a word and the concept it denotes, is its -essential- characteristic, and -nothing else-.

Because of this annoying linguistic disingenuousness, the discussion has been forced to use the terms YEC and OEC (Young-Earth Creationism and Old-Earth Creationism). It's an unfortunate waste of time, but since the atheist side, even were they correct, are actually offering no information about anything that exists, thus no information of value, even according to themselves, as "not-X" is not something, it is nothing... that's par for the course, for now.

Magic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540257)

Magic, that's how!

Bill Nye Is A Fraud (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540323)

Mr. Bill Nye is NOT and has NOTHING to do with science.

He is a Latter Day Fraud of the Church of Comedy.

Captain Obvious ! ... Just Captain Pisser.

Almost Live ... Mostly Dead ! Ha ha.

Really people. Bill Nye god bless his existence and I am an Atheist who visits Buddhist Temples in Asia and the Vatican in Rome really thinks that people should be a little more ... questioning of Bill Nye, just a bit, not some much, I do not want to imply that Bill Nye is Gay ... although Gay is the new "African American" in much of the Federal Government this hour and well as the new Obama Care health insurance category in which to win oodles of green backs in IRS Income Tax "adjustments" o the folly.

Re:Bill Nye Is A Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540351)

Dear Raging Queen:

Someone who ends their posts with "o the folly" is in no position to be questioning another man's sexuality.

HTH

Overrated (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540355)

Famous for being famous, and hailed as some sort of messiah of science. I find him to be so overrated.

Am I just being childish? (0)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 7 months ago | (#46540357)

Why the long face, Bill Nye? Does it help with science?

bit.ly links (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540385)

Please, editors, for the love of science, do not allow bit.ly links in summaries.
http://bit.ly/1gkfa7z [bit.ly]
is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KkKejZnazw [youtube.com]
"Bill Nye: Change The World" by user "NOVA's Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers".

BEAKMAN FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540407)

Enough said. Oh, and a guy in a rat suit.

Edit: and my captcha word is 'groping'. Perfect.

It rhymes! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540489)

How did he become "The Science Guy" Because nye rhymes with guy, and he probably has a penis.

He got kids interested. (4, Insightful)

Handover Phist (932667) | about 7 months ago | (#46540515)

Need I say more?

Other TV scientists can learn from Nye (1)

rainhill (86347) | about 7 months ago | (#46540525)

The fact is that the science is dull, boring and heavy to pay attention to, even for most adults, let alone kids. Bill Nye making that a bit easy and somehow funnier to watch, people watch. in the end, we want people to watch science programs more, don't we?

Re:Other TV scientists can learn from Nye (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541053)

Funny is Beakman's rat friend tossing a 2 litre pop bottle full of dry ice (or was it liquid nitrogen) into a trash can full of water in the background while Beakman does a very safe mix of vinegar and baking soda in a pop top pill bottle to explain explosions.

Origins in Comedy, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540583)

That explains his accuracy in dealing with science as a subject.

I always preferred Beakman's World. Beakman and his sidekicks, a rat and a girl, always presented the science much more correctly than Bill Nye ever did.

I always thought Bill Nye won out because he was associated with Disney.

Re:Origins in Comedy, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540649)

The rat was funny, and the girl was kinda hot. Where is she now?

Eliza has done a lot! (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#46540733)

Eliza Schneider [imdb.com] was Liza on Beakman's world, looking at her IMDB credits she has mostly done voice work in quite a lot of well known video games. Very impressive, though too bad we don't see her in person.

Re:Origins in Comedy, eh? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 7 months ago | (#46540859)

Bill Nye won out? Huh, that's interesting. Here in Brazil, back in the 90s, both shows were aired: Beakman's World was quite popular, while Bill Nye was completely ignored. In fact, I recall watching Nye once and thinking... "this Beakman-wannabe is much less fun."

Exactly right! (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#46541175)

Your feelings about the "Beakman wannabe" are exactly right.

However in the U.S, Nye was backed by Disney which meant he was pushed EVERYWHERE (including the Disney theme parks) while Beakman's show had a good run but then was cancelled. Disney just kept Nye going and going...

In Summary.. (5, Insightful)

formfeed (703859) | about 7 months ago | (#46540591)

...he's not much of a "science" guy, ...
... captain obvious ...
... He's no scientist. ...
... Bill Nye the Attention Whore ...
... Mr. Bill Nye is NOT and has NOTHING to do with science ...

This out of 31 posts so far.
This on a guy who makes science fun for kids.

Beta might not be Slashdot's biggest problem,
but going the way of kuro5hin is.

Re:In Summary.. (1)

Marginal Coward (3557951) | about 7 months ago | (#46540735)

Beta might not be Slashdot's biggest problem

Can we include indirect effects when measuring a problem's size? ;-)

Re:In Summary.. (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 7 months ago | (#46540957)

This on a guy who makes science fun for kids.

True. But much of what the person you quoted is true too. Denying the facts isn't going the way of kuro5hin, it's going the way of the creation "scientists".

Re:In Summary.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541241)

...he's not much of a "science" guy, ...

As opposed to a slashdot wannabe troll? Last I checked Engineering was a specific kind of applied science. I'm pretty sure the Carl Sagan wasn't teaching him a class on cross-stich.

... He's no scientist. ...

So a science guy now has to be a professional scientist? Where does he claim to be a scientist?

... Bill Nye the Attention Whore ...

As opposed to which celebrity? Isn't that the definition of celebrity? Building a profile?

... Mr. Bill Nye is NOT and has NOTHING to do with science ...

So teaching kids science concepts on an international TV show is "NOTHING to do with science" huh?

This out of 31 posts so far.

This on a guy who makes science fun for kids.

Beta might not be Slashdot's biggest problem,
  but going the way of kuro5hin is.

Right on!!! Mod parent up!

Give Bill a break... (5, Interesting)

Brad1138 (590148) | about 7 months ago | (#46540609)

I have always enjoyed Bill Nye. Watching him in his early days on his show and on a local Seattle show "Almost Live". He was witty and funny.

From Wiki: "He studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University (where one of his professors was Carl Sagan) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1977. Nye occasionally returns to Cornell as a professor to guest lecture introductory level astronomy and human ecology classes."

I would think that is sufficient education to be "the Science Guy". Why do we need to tear him down?

Re:Give Bill a break... (5, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 7 months ago | (#46540715)

Why do we need to tear him down?

Because, according to a bunch of Slashdot neckbeards, he's not a 'real' scientist.

Re:Give Bill a break... (0, Troll)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 7 months ago | (#46540977)

I would think that is sufficient education to be "the Science Guy". Why do we need to tear him down?

Because he isn't a scientist despite the semantic games you play with his degree - he's an engineer. He returns to Cornell to lecture not because he's qualified to lecture, but because he's a famous media personality.

We're not tearing him down - we're pointing to the truth. He's not a scientist, his name originates from a comedy routine, and he's pretty much nothing but a media personality. If your hero worship can't stand the truth, that's not the truth's problem.

Re:Give Bill a break... (2)

Brad1138 (590148) | about 7 months ago | (#46541027)

OK Sheldon...

Re:Give Bill a break... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541165)

I would think that is sufficient education to be "the Science Guy". Why do we need to tear him down?

Because he isn't a scientist despite the semantic games you play with his degree - he's an engineer. .

Show me where he claims to be a professional scientist? Anyone calling themselves a "science guy" has to be a scientist now? Buddy you're part of the problem.

Re:Give Bill a break... (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 7 months ago | (#46541649)

You don't need to have a degree to be a scientist - you simply have to apply the scientific method when studying a subject.

To continue the above you don't have to be using the scientific method 100% of the time to be a scientist. In fact many scientists doesn't use it in daily life and others have non-scientific views in areas where they aren't experts.

Re:Give Bill a break... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541711)

You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Re:Give Bill a break... (2)

Brad1138 (590148) | about 7 months ago | (#46541017)

In case anyone is curious, a taste of Bill Nye [youtube.com] on Almost Live [youtube.com] .

Re:Give Bill a break... (2, Insightful)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 7 months ago | (#46541169)

First of all, the Science in "Bachelors of Science" means nothing. Many scientists do not have Bachelor of Science degrees they have Bachelor of Arts degrees -- usually referred to as a BA. Many non scientists have Bachelor of science degrees. It mainly depends on where you get your degree.

Secondly, much of what Nye does is not science but engineering. Blurring the distinction like that is harmful to science.

For example an older child may try to build a robot using an Arduino and fail. He correctly deems his project a failure. But then he hears ( assuming of course that the Higgs did not exist ) that LHC failed to find the Higgs, and determines that the money on LHC was wasted. WHen the opposite is true, that proving the Higgs does not exist is just as important frrom a science view as showing it does.

"Bill Nye, the science..." (1)

Publiu5 (3542707) | about 7 months ago | (#46540723)

I miss his show so much (along with Beakman's World). That was some quality TV, since I have always loved science. I also loved how he appeared in that Star Gate: Atlantis episode!

fuck the beta! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46540773)

i thought they shitcanned this trash but it's back!

Why bow-ties? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46540775)

Because bow-ties are cool [knowyourmeme.com] .

Science Guy, Engineer Guy... (1)

jim_deane (63059) | about 7 months ago | (#46541081)

He was an engineer at Boeing before turning to comedy and then to science education. He also is at least partly responsible for a "marsdial" instrument that was both a cheap and interesting experiment/tool on a Mars lander/rover.

WTH is Bill Nye? (3, Insightful)

Martin Spamer (244245) | about 7 months ago | (#46541085)

Massive cultural assumption or what. What about international science presenters like David Attenborough or Brian Cox

Re:WTH is Bill Nye? (2, Insightful)

Ozoner (1406169) | about 7 months ago | (#46541195)

I totally agree. I had never heard of Bill Nye until this debate controversy blew up.

One thing I notice with Americans is that their whole conversation is based around U.S. TV shows.
Unless you watch USA TV, their conversations make very little sense.

In the rest of the world, TV just isn't that important. It certainly doesn't inform intelligent debate.

The man lost interest in science a long time ago (2, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46541247)

he's now more about harassing religious fundamentalists and flame baiting people in the climate change debate.

I have very little regard for any of the so called scientist media personalities that spend most of their time engaging in various topics that are unproductive and rarely about science.

Religious fundamentalists cannot be argued against with science. Its utterly pointless. Their interpretation of their religion means they will not agree. End of story.

Possibly they can be argued off of it on philosophical, ideological, or theological grounds. But science is utterly futile in dealing with this issue. Yet many do this, piss off the fundamentalists for no reason, accept the applause of some atheist supporters, and then take a victory lap like they accomplished something.

As to the climate debate, that isn't a scientific debate either at this point. Its a political, economic, and ideological debate. Science doesn't even really come into it.

You have one faction that says the solution to fixing the climate is to nationalize everything, give the government sweeping control over the economy, jack up taxes hugely, and grant lots of power to non-democratic international organizations.

So... spoiler alert... many people have a problem with that. If you removed all of that from the climate change rhetoric, most of the opposition would be gone tomorrow. Yet, it is pretended that the issue can be solved by explaining the science again. Waste of god damn time.

Bill Nye was fun once... when he explained little science experiments on tv. He was great. But he hasn't done that in a long time and frankly since he stopped doing that I fail to see why anyone should give a damn about him.

Now I'm about to get attacked by some people that think I'm supporting creationism or anti global warming science or both. Right off, anyone that makes that accusation after reading the above post is a fucking retard. But this site is full of them. So let me explain again, IT DOES NOT MATTER and THAT IS NOT MY POINT. My point is that indifferent to the science, science is often not a viable answer to various debates. In matters of belief, politics, or economics you can't just cite the science and expect everyone to fall into instant obedient lockstep with whatever you want. That's foolish.

If you ACTUALLY want to solve the creationism issue... you need to respect the religious rights of people that find evolution to be a threat to their theology. We have a freedom of worship in this country which means people can believe the universe came from a cooked potato if it makes them happy.

Yes... public schools and public money... well, that's a problem because the government isn't allowed to infringe on their beliefs. Which means you might need to give them money to run their own home schools or whatever. I know... you're not happy about that. But you'd only need to give them their share of the education money which after all came out of their own taxes. So they're hardly taking anything away from you.

That is how you coexist. You either are happy to grant that or you want to dominate people and force your own beliefs on people... yes, your beliefs are backed by science. Show me where in the constitution that matters. It doesn't. Being right doesn't mean you get to force people to agree with you. They're going to be contentious. Tolerate their differences and demand the same in return.

In regards to climate change... We really need to go over some solutions to the issue that don't instantly piss everyone off.

Obviously we need to reduce our usage of sequestered hydrocarbons. So... to that end, nuclear power really needs to be put back on the table. If only as a stop gap until energy storage systems become more practical.

Doubtless that makes some people unhappy... its called a compromise... you're not supposed to be happy. In addition to that, we should look at syngas/biogas to produce carbon neutral hydrocarbon fuel. That will further reduce our dependence on sequestered hydrocarbon fuel.

There has recently been a push for people to switch to wood pellets in the north eastern US because the cost of heating oil has gone up. Wood pellets are carbon neutral, locally sourced, and renewable. We can also look at things like rocket stoves to increase the efficiency of combustion thus making the emissions cleaner.

There is a solution to the differences. But you have to be interested in actually finding them rather then just weaponizing discussions and trying to humiliate the opposition. That makes everyone unwilling to compromise and nothing is accomplished.

Those are the options.

Now... tell me why its oh so much more productive to piss everyone off for no reason while offering nothing constructive to any discussion? Because that has largely been the result of both those debates and that is what I've seen Bill Nye involve himself in again and again to no purpose.

Re:The man lost interest in science a long time ag (1, Troll)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 7 months ago | (#46541497)

Now... tell me why its oh so much more productive to piss everyone off for no reason while offering nothing constructive to any discussion?

Most of the "pro-science" crowd doesn't give a damm about being productive or constructive. Being right is their goal, and because they're right anyone who doesn't believe as they do is completely wrong. (And even though they admit that "science isn't perfect" in the abstract.... they're loathe to deal with it in the concrete. It's all about the ego and the self image.) Anyhow, there isn't a real difference between the "pro-science" crowd and any other sub group. You could replace "right" in the above sentence with "blessed by God" or practically anything else and have an equally valid result.
 

In regards to climate change... We really need to go over some solutions to the issue that don't instantly piss everyone off.

The problem is, to not piss people off, you have to rewind the clock and undo years of fuckups by the climate change crowd - because they went political before they went scientific. It's been about weaponizing the discussion and humiliating the opposition from the very start.

Who the fuck is Bill Nye??? (2, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 7 months ago | (#46541605)

Really, news for nerds? I've never heard that name before in my life. And what is a "science guy" anyway? Sounds pretty stupid to me.

Anyway, got to go to work now - science calls.

Comparitive Contribution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541629)

He's contributed more to science than the averge slashdotter. Jealousy makes you nasty!

It went a little something like this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46541757)

"Bill Bill Bill Bill Bill..."
Bill Nye walks in
"Yes?"
"Bill Nye the science guy!"

Turns out they were looking for some other guy called Bill, but he just happened to be there.

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