Watch The ‘Science Guy’ Implode

Bill Nye plays a smart guy on T.V.

He plays the role well enough that some people believe he’s an actual authority on all things ‘science’.

Here, Nye weighs in on one of my favorite topics, the existence of free will.

(By ‘weighs in’ I mean he says words after being asked about the topic.)

Hard core fans of Bill Nye probably didn’t notice that he never answers the question.

Instead, he furrows his brow and talks about brain scans.

So I am so compelled by these tests where they have brain scans going on, working real time, and then the subject is asked to make a choice. And they can see on the brain scan that the choice has already been made before the person is able to articulate it …

I’ll put this in layman’s terms for you Bill Nye fans:


Is Nye looking at a brain scan or a crystal ball?

This is a brain scan.


You think Bill Nye can tell us what this brain is thinking?

I don’t.

And even if he COULD read these thoughts…

…it says NOTHING about free will.

So Nye says more science-sounding things.

So in other words if there really were absolutely no free will could you then predict what every single person in the universe or on Earth is going to do and where he or she will end up. And then furthermore can that not be influenced by some cosmic force or forces that we can’t assess? It could be. It just doesn’t seem reasonable.

For you Bill Nye fans, let me summarize:


He has simply defined what it would mean if free will doesn’t exist.

Which wasn’t the question.

Then he explains that it “doesn’t seem reasonable” that there might exist “cosmic forces we can’t assess”.

Why is that unreasonable?

We can’t assess the forces inside our own heads (see brain scan above).

But Billy saved the funniest line for last:

I think much more reasonable is: our brains are complicated, and they got this big or as big as they are organically through evolution, with layer being added upon layer.
So our ability to choose is often confused. Our ability to make choices is often affected by the environment, by our experiences and by biochemistry, the shape of our brain. So I think the answer is clearly “some of each.”

Our brains are complicated!

That’s a profound insight, Science Guy.

Of course, evolution is the most reasonable explanation.

When Nye says “evolution” he means a cosmic force that we can’t assess.

Bear in mind that our ability to make choices is affected by environment, experiences, biochemistry and even the shape of our brains!

So clearly the answer to whether or not we have free will is…

…some of each.


No wonder atheists are so smug.

9 thoughts on “Watch The ‘Science Guy’ Implode

  1. Matthew Cross says:

    The moment when you take a “yes or no” question and say “The answer is clearly a ‘it depends on what you mean'” as a reply- without offering the options on what the person could mean when he says “free-will”. That is why he is not “Bill Nye the Philosophy Guy”.

    I came across this Neil DeGrasse Tyson video recently by a friend on Facebook that concerns a few of my favorite topics- one being the problem of evil. I gave my criticism and response. Great material that these scientists are tossing about lately.

  2. mrsmcmommy says:

    “Surely your Science is the SCIENCE of sciences, and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery…” Daniel 2:47

  3. Silence of Mind says:

    I use the “When Shall I Take a Crap?” conundrum to explain the capacity for freewill in human beings.

    It goes like this:

    I am watching a great movie on Netflix when all of a sudden I get this tremendous urge to take what may turn out to be a massive, yet supremely satisfying crap.

    So I ask myself…

    …do I want to interrupt my enjoyment of this great Netflix movie right now and go take what may turn out to be a massive, yet supremely satisfying crap?…

    …if so, do I go in my pants or take the time to pull down my pants and take what may turn out to be a massive, yet supremely satisfying crap in my seat or on the floor or outside in the backyard?…

    …so many choices…

    …or maybe I’ll honor all of Mom and Dad’s time and effort spent on potty training me and take what may turn out to be a massive, yet supremely satisfying crap in the bathroom toilet.

    Thank God I have the power of reason to decide how best to solve the “How Shall I Take a Crap?,” conundrum.

    Since we have the power to reason, it follows that we also have freewill.

  4. R says:

    It is astounding how, though some may disagree based on varied experiences and the infliction of societal norms, throughout a prolonged dialog, purposed to overcome the conundrums of the human mind, individuals use the institution of language (largely due to the culture in which they were raised their language is one they were born into) seek to reach conclusions on subjects, not limited to any particular branch of knowledge, by the implementation of flapping gums, in an exhibition of reason of a spherical variety, exampling themselves in a similar manner to animals of a canine breed who seek to dislodge their tails from their rear ends.

    • Matthew Cross says:

      What astounds me is the amount of fragments that you put into that word-cluster. What are you trying to say, again?

  5. Megan says:

    Bill Nye knows as much about science as Donald Trump does about being a president. They are two sides of the same wooden nickle.

    • John Branyan says:

      Trump has a least a little experience being President. Don’t think Nye has ever actually been an intellectual.

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