Bill Nye’s Big Think On Abortion Rights

Bastion of science and reason and buttress of all that is ‘fact,’ Bill Nye has come out in support of abortion rights.  In a video posted by ‘Big Think’ Nye ‘debunks’ the anti-abortion stance.  The absolute irony of the liberal/progressive position is the people who always claim science, reason, logic and facts are exclusively on their side.  Any opposition is, therefore, always preposterous and a position of ignorance held by idiots.  “Anti-science!,” they shout.

The fact is Bill Nye builds some impressive strawman arguments in his video and knocks them down effectively.  Too bad they aren’t really sound arguments.  What’s worse is the number of people who believe his arguments are rock solid.  He ‘debunked’ those ignorant ‘anti-choice’ arguments.  Right.   Let’s think critically and go through what Nye says.

1) First, he contrasts implantation and fertilization asking, “Who are you going to sue? [if fertilized eggs have rights] “Have all these people failed you?  You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

What is natural death compared to murder?  If an 85-year-old man dies after having a heart attack rather than being smothered to death by a nursing home orderly is there any distinction?   What’s the difference between natural selection and artificial selection/breeding?  The difference in each case is human intervention.   Lack of implantation and even miscarriages end human life.  They are natural death.  Otherwise, why would parents mourn a miscarriage?  Abortion, quite obviously, includes human intervention ending human life.  Yes, we believe a fertilized egg is a human life and has rights equal to the mother.  He/She has the right to not have his/her life ended by human hands at the very least.  If, however, life ends naturally how can that be called murder when no human intervention was involved?  This is an important distinction Nye ignores.

2) He also says to leave reproductive rights to women.   It’s the old, “Hey, we shouldn’t tell women what to do with their bodies!” argument.  But of course we outlawed prostitution didn’t we?  Isn’t that telling people what they can and cannot do with their bodies?  No ladies and gentlemen, you may not sell your bodies for money.  There are laws governing when one can get a tattoo as well.  The laws vary by state, but they all regulate what a person does with his/her body.  Also, a pregnant woman’s body refutes Nye’s thinking.  The mother’s body employs physiological barriers to protect the offspring from the mother’s immune system which sees the genetically unique organism growing inside her as a possible threat.  Her own body sees the baby as separate from itself.  But again, this isn’t fact-based science.  This is ridiculous.

3) Then, unbelievably, Nye plays the racist/sexist card!  Granted, he disguises it well.  “You have a lot of men of European descent passing these extraordinary laws based on ignorance.”   Then he attacks Christianity, which is nothing new for him and I’m not really going to address it here except to say I’m not a Roman Catholic and don’t believe all sex has to be procreative.  I support the use of condoms and/or any contraception that is not abortifacient.   I do find it astounding even Bill Nye stoops, “All these dumb, white men need to stop trying to own women’s uteri!”  What about the white, male doctor operating on her?  Should only women perform abortions?  Should only women deliver babies?   What about the percentage of black women who’ve had abortions compared to white women?  What about Margaret Sanger’s racist beliefs?   Those facts don’t matter I guess.

4) “Nobody likes abortion.”  Well, Mr. Nye you’re a bit out of the loop I’d say.  Over the past few weeks the ‘activist’ hashtag #shoutyourabortion has been trending on social media.  Women proudly chronicle their abortion stories for the cause of finally lifting the stigma of ending your baby’s life.  It seems amazing to me to advocate federally funding an institution (to the tune of $500,000,000) that is the number one facilitator of a procedure no one likes. Amazing.

“What if the woman doesn’t like the guy? Doesn’t want anything to do with his genes?”  Well, Mr. Nye she evidently likes something about his genes if she had sex with him.  How about not having sex with someone you don’t like?  (This would be a great segue way into the reasons why traditional marriage is important, but I digress)  On the issue of rape; I can’t imagine going through something like that with my mother, wife, or daughter.  I can say I don’t think adding evil to evil is good.  But again, that is an opinion untouched by experience.

5) “There are so many more important things to deal with!”  I realize this outlook is a direct result of believing an embryo isn’t a human life or has no rights compared to the mother, etc.   But don’t cases like the Kermit Gosnell case, and the fact Hillary Clinton advocates abortion in all stages of pregnancy show this is exactly what we need to be dealing with?  If what Gosnell did was so wrong, why aren’t we holding people like Clinton responsible for her insane stance??  Why aren’t we asking her harder questions if it’s a double homicide when a person kills a pregnant woman?

6) “You wouldn’t know how big a human egg was if it weren’t for microscopes and scientists. …at some point we have to respect the facts. …I’m just being objective”    Blah blah blah, why even point this out? Don’t you realize it was the advent of scientific advances like the sonogram that turned a lot of doctors away from performing abortions because they realized it was a living human being?  Don’t appeal to science to support your insane position.  Please don’t.  In this case you are the science-denier.  It is alive, and it is human.  Science says so.


Cells and Sales

It was once claimed in science texts that the cell was the smallest unit of all living organisms.  I have no idea what the school books say now, but it seems as if the old definition is continually ignored in favor of what’s ironically touted as “women’s health.”  The death of a cell or a few cells in exchange for the life of an actual person is what we’re to believe is the moral case for abortion.  Well, as a scientist, I have a few questions about this rather interesting argument.  Regarding an endangered species, the black rhino for example, if scientists had the last living zygote or embryo in a lab and there were no more actual rhinos alive; would the species be considered extinct?  Or, if we threw out that last living black rhino embryo would they then be extinct?  If a deadly disease caused by a bacteria was nearly eradicated except for one cell of the death-dealing bacterial species; what if that cell were introduced into a human host?  The power of one cell can be the difference between life and death.  Scientists know this.  Though, it seems the validity of empirical knowledge is selective based on one’s world view.  I know we Christians are accused of this (sometimes justifiably) all the time.  The destruction of a human embryo is the destruction of a human being.  There is absolutely no scientific or logical argument against this statement.   Some even admit this is true and still say there is a ‘justification’ for abortion.

“Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.”

–Mary Elizabeth Williams

Let’s talk about the virtues of slavery, shall we?  An institution in which one human owns another.  It’s despicable.  Right?  But a mother is always the boss of the human being inside of her merely by virtue of… well, what exactly??  Autonomy?  You people realize that the question of free will is still philosophically and scientifically unconfirmed, right?  Just throwing that out there.

Racism is an ever present cause of tension, but it always seems to float under the radar that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a racist and eugenicist.

The Negro Project was initiated in 1939 by Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. It was a collaborative effort between the American Birth Control League and Sanger’s Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau.1For a eugenist, it wasn’t controversial, it was integral to the implementation of eugenics to eliminate the ‘unfit’. Eugenics is “a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed”.2 Negative eugenics focused on preventing the birth of those it considered inferior or unfit. This was the foundation of Sanger’s Birth Control Policy and advocated throughout her writings, speeches, and her periodicals including “Pivot of Civilization”, “Plan for Peace” and countless Birth Control Review articles.

We desperately want to purge all historical symbols of racism and slavery while upholding them in abortion.

“In 1963 when Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream with the nation, he never envisioned an America where ”reproductive justice” would end 56 million innocent human lives.  His dream never pictured a nation where black boys and black girls would never be able to join hands with white boys and white girls, as sisters and brothers, because “freedom of choice” determined some humans are simply not equal.  …in NYC, more black babies are aborted than are born alive! The NY State Department of Health reports that in 2011 (latest year for available NYC stats) for every 1,000 black babies born alive, 1,223 are aborted. Compare that to 265 abortions for every 1,000 live births among whites and 614 live births for every 1,000 Hispanic live births.”

Even more disconcerting is the fact that in the wake of the release of damning video evidence that Planned Parenthood is selling aborted “products of conception” the media refuses to recognize it as a legitimate news story, and the DOJ is planning on investigating the group who released the undercover video. Meanwhile, these “products of conception” are called livers, extremities, hearts, and lungs.  But those names must just be codenames for clumps of cells in the shape of the referenced body part.  What kind of nonsensical, upside down cloud cuckoo land are we living in?

In one of the most powerful articles written after the release of these videos Rosaria Butterfield writes:

“In 1818 Shelley, the 17-year-old child wife of poet Percy Shelley and the classically educated daughter of natural philosopher William Godwin and first feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, wrote a novel on a dare. Deeply influenced by natural philosopher and English physician Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles),Frankenstein is about a bachelor who learns how to create life in a laboratory. The protagonist scientist, Victor Frankenstein, is raised by a progressive family, one that protects him from the foolish superstitions of organized Christian religion and affords him the best education in the natural sciences. He’s therefore unafraid to collect body parts from a church graveyard by dismembering bodies. The novel records how night after night he returns to the graveyard and hacks away until he has the bloody parts he needs. It’s base and gruesome work done in the name of higher-minded science. Frankenstein works hard to extract intact internal organs. He skimps on the skin, though, creating a creature whose skin doesn’t stretch to cover all his internal organs. Frankenstein’s “monster,” in spite of having natural science as its mother and receiving the very best Rousseauian education, is literally falling apart at the seams, his internal organs spilling out for the whole world to behold and ridicule.


Like Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood, Dr. Victor Frankenstein understood the need for intact hearts. 


Like Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Dr. Victor Frankenstein believed there’s no higher calling on the human body than the donation of tissue for scientific research…


…Before committing suicide, Victor Frankenstein’s “monster” diagnoses his problem. He laments, “I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on.”


Frankenstein is an abortion novel. The “monster” declares he is an abortion—a present-tense, walking-and-talking, breathing-and-reading embodiment of a culture that values intact hearts but not the children who need them, and that values the all-cleaned-up Proverbs 31 woman but not the Mary Magdalene who precedes her.”

In the name of human health we abrade our own humanity.  In the name of women’s rights we upend and demolish the meaning of womanhood.

The care of women and definition of womanhood should be of great importance to all who are anti-abortion.

A friend and pastor in Richmond, VA writes:

“The conditions that make abortion seem like a good idea are also heartbreaking: extreme poverty, bum husbands, absentee fathers, organizations cloaked in lies and misinformation, crooked politicians, and our culture’s collective worship of convenience. These factors must be addressed—they have to be—or else we’re carbon copies of the Pharisees who place heavy burdens on others without lifting a finger to help them (Matt. 23:4).

But as a friend of mine said the other day: whatever needs to happen to help poor women, overworked women, underpaid women, single moms, and mothers in abusive relationships, we must find a way to do so without helping them kill their children. Two wrongs will never make a right.”

Doug Ponder

This other side of the argument that often gets overlooked is imperative.  If, and this is a big if, Planned Parenthood were defunded we would undoubtedly celebrate.  There are, however, numerous women who would feel left alone as if no one cared about them, kicked aside in favor of fetuses who have never breathed air.  We, the church, cannot, cannot, CANNOT leave these women just to fend for themselves.  We hate government mandates for healthcare, but we need to realize that the church (local churches) need to love these women.  I’m not talking about praying for them.  I’m not talking about writing a check and then forgetting about them.  I’m talking about being there for them.   It’s tough.  I have three small children, I know.  I struggle to muster the motivation just to leave the house.   But we cannot sit behind our keyboards posting links and writing blogs knowing that a lot of women go to Planned Parenthood because they feel they have nowhere else to go.  Feeling cornered is never a good feeling.  If we proclaim the freedom of Christ, then we need to tell of it and display it.  I write this to myself most of all.   There is a great quote of William Wilberforce that others and myself have posted:

“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know.”

–William Wilberforce (speaking about slavery)

This could very well apply to the anti-abortion lot ignoring the plight of women.  But only if we let it.

Science Isn’t Necessarily Reality… And That’s a Good Thing

I was reading a blog that I like and came across a post that included the following two images:



The author inferred that the combination of these statements yields the conclusion that science = reality.  I’d like to politely but strongly disagree.

Philip K. Dick’s statement is one that I would regard as absolute truth.  It changes neither based on one’s perspective nor time. Tyson’s statement, however, is less than true.  I get what he’s saying.  If you have a specific allele that increases the likelihood of a specific illness, then that’s true whether you believe it or not.  If science says colors are differing wavelengths of light, then that’s true whether or not you believe it.  But the thing is science (especially nowadays when everything is at the micro or even nano level) isn’t at all that cut-and-dry and is way more fluid in the conclusions it draws. Science should be fluid.  As more data is generated previous conclusions and theories are adjusted.  This is a good thing.   There are have been many scientific theories that have fallen after further study.

Some people seem to want to put science on a pedestal it does not deserve and one that actually hinders the way we think about science and truth.  There are certain facts of science that are believed to be true now that are not true, and we will likely adjust those conclusions in the future.  I’d even go so far to say that true scientific innovation absolutely depends on some scientist or group of scientists out there who look at a paper or theory and say to themselves, “I’m not sure I believe that.  Let’s go further.  Let’s push against this well-established theory and really put it to the test.”  That is how truly amazing discoveries are made.   As soon as scientists start believing what they are doing is absolutely true, that it is reality rather than what reality reflects based on that specific test they’ve screwed themselves up.   Science is awesome.  But reality, in my opinion, is much less tamed by science than some people like to believe.