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How Did Bill Nye Become the Science Guy? 220

Posted by samzenpus
from the origin-story dept.
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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How Did Bill Nye Become the Science Guy?

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  • Re:John Keister (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:32PM (#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...

  • His debate (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArchieBunker (132337) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @10:02PM (#46540421) Homepage

    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.

  • Give Bill a break... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Brad1138 (590148) <brad1138@yahoo.com> on Thursday March 20, 2014 @10:43PM (#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:His debate (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2014 @11:14PM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dbIII (701233) on Friday March 21, 2014 @12:05AM (#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.
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  • Re:His debate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dmgxmichael (1219692) on Friday March 21, 2014 @07:21AM (#46542141) Homepage

    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.

    That's essentially the approach the modern Catholic church takes. Broadly speaking: Religion (overall) attempts to subjectively answer 'why?' Science attempts to objectively answer 'how?'. Objective and subjective reasoning methods are largely incompatible to begin with, and anyone used to thinking objectively at all times should find subjective reasoning infuriating and off-putting at best - but it's at the heart of the logic within theology.

    Personally, I see evolution as part of the creation, a mechanism no more consequential to the question of God's existence than the rainfall. Besides, if we are truly made in God's image, it should only be natural that we should attempt to understand how we were made on all levels of that question.

    The problem I think is small minds need a small God. Every time science pushes the boundaries of what we know about the size and complexity of the universe, ignorant rats scuttle about to stick their heads in the sand and deny the truth of what is observable in the universe, so that they may preserve their small God. If God did indeed make the universe, then the universe itself is the ultimate testament to truth (whatever that is) - not a book - for the universe alone was authored by the hand of God. To deny it is to call God a liar.

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