WATCH: Bill Nye To Personhood Advocates: ‘You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About’


The Science Guy has done it again. His new video about how personhood is a flawed concept is sure to raise anti-abortion hackles. The video, entitled “Can We Stop Telling Women What to Do With Their Bodies?” is the latest on Nye’s YouTube channel. The Big Think is the YouTube Channel of Science® and not a place for deniers, as the comments will show.

This video is published with the blurb: “The Science Guy argues that most anti-abortion legislation is derived from outdated beliefs that predate smart science by fifty centuries.” And he’s correct.

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“Many, many, many, many more hundreds of eggs are fertilized than become humans. Eggs get fertilized… a lot. But that’s not all you need; you have to attach to the uterine wall. If you’re going to hold (fertilization) as a standard… if you’re going to say that when an egg is fertilized it… has all the same rights as an individual… then whom are you going to sue? Who are you going to imprison?”

Nye asks if every woman who has had a fertilized egg pass through her or any man who was involved with that egg have failed the personhood advocates. This attitude, he notes is symptomatic of a deep lack of scientific understanding. These advocates “apparently, literally don’t know what you’re talking about.”

His advice?

“When it comes to women’s rights, with respect to their reproduction… I think you should leave it to women… you have a lot of men of European descent passing these extraordinary laws based on ignorance.”

Well, that’s no lie. For centuries, men believed that a woman’s womb wandered around her body. This naughty body part was responsible for all illnesses suffered by women, according to Hippocrates:

 “The Hippocratics thought that the womb moved upward in the woman’s body when ever it became hot and dry from overwork, or lack of irrigation from male seed, searching for cool and moist places… Foul odors at the nose and sweet smells at the vagina were prescribed, to lure the uterus back to it’s seat.”

This ridiculousness was held to be true for centuries. Though it sounds (and is) stupid, old myths like this still exist. Just to prove that stupid myths die hard: the belief that a woman can’t get pregnant if she doesn’t orgasm, leads to the rape myth still held by many conservative men.

Nye concludes that…

“… at some point we have to respect the facts… Insisting on abstinence has been completely ineffective… not giving women access to birth control has not been an effective way to lead to healthier societies… I really encourage you to not tell women what to do.”

Amen, Bill Nye. Too bad the men who insist on this backwards and fact-free lawmaking will not listen.

Here’s the whole video:

Photo Credit: Screen Capture from video

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