A lovely, colorful profile of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” in this week’s New York Times:
Mr. Nye had come to talk to them, and a few thousand of their friends, at Iowa State University. If he were a politician, college students would be his base. Instead, he is something more: a figure from their early days in front of the family TV, a beloved teacher and, more and more these days, a warrior for science. They, in turn, are his fans, his students and his army.
They have gone from watching him explain magnetism and electricity to defending the scientific evidence for climate change, the age of the earth and other issues they have seen polemicized for religious, political and even economic reasons.
He takes on those who would demand that the public schools teach alternative theories of evolution and the origins of the earth — most famously, in a video clip from the site BigThink.com that has been viewed some five million times. In it, he flatly tells adult viewers that “if you want to deny evolution and live in your world — in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe — that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it, because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.”
This was a great piece of trivia:
He tried his hand at stand-up comedy — his first time onstage was during a Steve Martin look-alike competition, which he won.
When I was in my early teens, Bill’s science program was one of my favorites! It’s great to see him stay such a strong advocate for science (while at the same time pushing back on the ultra-religious folks):
The earth’s not 4,000, 6,000, 10,000 years old…I’ve got no problem with anybody’s religion. But if you go claiming the earth is only 10,000 years old, that’s just wrong.