The science apparently wasn’t settled on one issue for Bill Nye ‘the Science Guy.’Following a particularly cringe-worthy episode of his new Netflix show, “Bill Nye Saves the World” on gender identity (including a bizarre attempt at a transgender themed rap — watch below at your own risk), footage from a 1996 episode of his former show “Bill Nye the Science Guy” aired, showing him contradicting himself.
Also compared gender to a “kaleidoscope” in the episode.
While he’s now hopped on the social justice bandwagon of treating gender as a spectrum, on his older show he accurately explained how chromosomes determine one’s sex and gender (and he didn’t try to pretend that there were more than two).
In the episode “Probability,” eight minutes in a girl comes on screen to say “I’m a girl. Could have just as easily been a boy, though, because the probability of becoming a girl is always 1 in 2. See, inside each of our cells are these things called chromosomes, and they control whether we become a boy or a girl.”
That’s of course a much different take than when Bill said in the second video above, “Take sex, we used to think it was pretty straightforward. X and Y a chromosome for males, two Xs for females. But we see more combinations than that in real life. And even for people with just two sex chromosomes, hormones can differ quite wildly.” So instead of taking this as an opportunity to explain why he changed his mind in favor of pseudoscience, Netflix merely cut that clip in question.
According to The Federalist:On Netflix’s collection of episodes of “Bill Nye,” the 23rd episode, entitled “Probability,” is identical to that which originally aired in 1996—except that the segment on sex and chromosomes has been excised completely. The episode offers no explanation whatsoever. The show simply moves from the segment immediately prior the deleted clip to the segment immediately following it.
It is unclear if any other episodes of “Bill Nye” were edited or changed for distribution on Netflix. In the third episode in the fifth season of the series, entitled “Genes,” Nye claims that “the way you are…[is] determined by your genes.”
This “genes” remark has not been excised from the episode’s run on Netflix. Of course, the reason that one may have not been excluded is because it simply wasn’t a clip people were drawing attention to in highlighting Bill’s contradiction.
[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]