Bill Nye is back and, thanks to Netflix, millions will be able to watch the quirky scientist debunk myths across the globe in a show titled, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” which airs April 21, the day before Earth Day.
The timing of the show could not be more perfect.
The U.S. is currently facing an onslaught of fake news, alternative facts and glaringly obvious lies.
Nye is waltzing in with his sarcastic wit and thirst for unveiling the truth in a 30 minute segment that will undoubtedly have just as many adults watching as children.
“Each episode will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths, and refuting antiscientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry,” Netflix said in a statement.
The 13 episodes will address topics such as sex, global warming, GMOs, technology and alternative medicine, examining the substance behind each issue as well as misconceptions held regarding the topic.
Nye has never shied away from debate on controversial topics, like the famous Creation vs. Evolution debate in 2014 where Nye and Ken Ham, the creator of Answers in Genesis, had an ultimate battle of wits.
The debate was watched live by 500,000 viewers and the YouTube video has nearly 6 million views. He also toured the Ark Encounter, another of Ham’s creations, where Nye calmly, respectfully, but altogether savagely tore apart the science regarding Ham’s belief of a 6,000-year-old earth.
Nye, though often blunt, is not a bully. He often practices restraint regarding issues like climate change or evolution. He doesn’t disparage or resort to belittling those who refuse to accept facts as truth. Instead, he continues to drown out their arguments with tsunami-sized waves of scientifically proven facts.
“As good as it might make us feel to call other people names, it’s probably not in our medium- or long-term interest,” Nye said in an interview with the New York Times. “Optimism may be counter to divisiveness.”
Our society would be wise to adopt that mindset.
It seems the current answer for diverging opinions is to drag each other through the mud without pausing to consider how that viciousness promotes their own argument.
Nye taught us as children that there are truths, a foundation of proven beliefs upon which we can construct our understanding of the world.
As we matured, he began joining national discussions on controversial topics and we listened — and quietly chanted his name — as he, always calmly, would inform his opponent exactly why they were wrong with a scroll full of facts proving his stance.
He taught us how to think critically, and because of that, many of us are capable of watching the arguments taking place in the world today and realizing they are a complete, albeit clever, fabrication.
Nye is bringing on a team of sidekicks to help him “save the world” including Karlie Kloss, Emily Calandrelli, Joanna Hausmann, Derek Muller, Nazeem Hussain. Guest stars like Tim Gunn, Donald Faison and Wil Wheaton will join the scientist as celebrity guests
His devoted fan base and the abundance of high profile guests lined up for the show will guarantee it will be a huge hit. Hopefully, an immersion in true, non-alternative, facts will help bring some level of optimism back into the lives of those of us who feel we are constantly surrounded by falsehoods.
Breanne Williams is a senior majoring in mass communications.