Bill Nye "The Science Guy" has come under fire after proposing an unusual solution to climate change: penalize American families for having "extra kids".
The episode "Earth's People Problem" is part of the Netflix series "Bill Nye Saves the World." During the 30-minute show, Nye asked one of the panelists if it would be a good idea to have the government penalize having "extra kids."
"Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?" Nye asked Travis Rieder, an academic for Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University.
"I do think we should at least consider it," said Rieder, who earlier in the show noted that children in developed countries use 160 times more resources than children in the developing world.
"Well, 'at least consider it' is like, 'do it,'" Nye replied.
Rieder replied, "One of the things that we could do that's kind of least policy-ish is we could encourage our culture and our norms to change, right?"
During the show, Nye, an abortion advocate, also explained how women who have access to educational and professional opportunities tend to have fewer children. Thus, more resources can be devoted to those children: "It's not rocket surgery. It's science!" he said.
However, Dr. Rachel Snow, chief of population development at the United Nations Population Fund, who was also on the panel, hit back at the suggestion:
"I would take issue with the idea that we do anything to incentivize fewer children or more children," she said. "I think it's all about ... human rights. People should have the number of children they want ... and if some families have five or six children, God bless them. That's fine. But most people end up with fewer."
Nye's comments sparked outrage on social media, with many accusing "The Science Guy" of promoting eugenics and abortion: "The replacement level fertility rate is 2.1 children per woman--something that most of the developed world hasn't seen in years," writes Town Hall reporter Christine Rousselle. "It's downright spooky and chilling to say that parents should be 'penalized' for daring to expand their families. If anything, one would think that parents should be encouraged to have more children."
Some countries already do penalize large families - with horrifying results. LifeNews notes that in China, families who have more than one or two children report being coerced or even forced to abort their unborn children, fired from their jobs and penalized with huge fines.
Reads a Reuters report: "For decades, China harshly implemented the one-child policy, leading to forced abortions and infanticides across the country. In recent years, however, the policy has been relaxed, and some couples are allowed to have a second child. Others are permitted a second child if they pay a fine."
While some have praised Nye's new Netflix show, the series has received a staggeringly low IMDb score of 4.4 out of 10: "More drivel from another Cultural Marxist thought bully," reads one review. "The writing is astonishingly simple minded, and the 'science' is puerile and near non existent."
During a February interview with The Gospel Herald, Ken Ham, founder, president, and CEO of the creationist organization Answers in Genesis, Creation Museum, and Ark Encounter, warned that Nye's show intentionally "brainwashes and indoctrinates" young people.
"Bill Nye might think he's the savior of the world, but I've got news for Bill Nye: Jesus is the Savior of the world," Ham said, quoting John 3:16 - "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
He added, "The Bible makes it clear - we can't save ourselves, we had to have someone come and save us because we're sinners."
Ham suggested that Nye will use his Netflix show to "brainwash and indoctrinate people" by stepping outside of observational science and going into the realm of belief.
"He'll do experiments and things will explode...and then he'll say, 'And science has shown us we evolved from animals millions of years ago,'" Ham said. "Totally different. That's the big danger of it all, that it indoctrinates generations [who believe] that because we do things that go 'poof' and 'bang' and make technology, therefore we've got to believe Bill Nye when he says everything came about by natural processes; that there's no God."