Bill Nye’s Pseudoscientific ‘Abacus of Sex’

Here’s another video of Bill Nye peddling social justice ideology as science:

At about 30 seconds into the video, he tells his audience that we” used to think” there were only two settings – male and female.  Yeah, just like there are two gametes – sperm and egg.

But at 1:25, he claims that biologically, not everybody fits into the categories of male or female.  He then misleadingly insists that by “everybody,” he means every living thing and then cites clown fish as having the ability to change their sex.   Since we are supposed to be talking about human sexuality, it is misleading to cite another species that is not relevant to human sexuality.  Besides, clown fish show the same two settings – male and female.  They are all born male and live in small communities where the dominant fish is a female.  When she dies, one of the males changes to female to become the new dominant member.

Nye then steps on his own message by acknowledging there are sex chromosome abnormalities in 1 out of 400 pregnancies.  Yes, sex chromosome abnormalities.  That is, such conditions are not part of some spectrum of normality.  They exist as abnormalities because of something that went wrong during meiosis, where the sex chromosomes failed to separate (nondisjunction) during anaphase 1 or 2 of the developing gametes.

A crystal clear example of his use of propaganda comes from the  “abacus of sex.”  At about 2 minutes, his helper arranges the abacus of sex to illustrate the supposed spectrum.  And what does the audience see?  What do you see?

Four balls for male, four balls for female, and 3 balls for something in between.

Do the percentages.  According to Nye, 36% of us are male, another 36% female, and 27% are somewhere in between.

Really?  Does that sound like the empirical reality you experience?

Once again, science does not support what Bill Nye’s abacus is selling. According to this study, sex chromosome abnormalities account for 1 in 448 births.   Nye also wants to add in disorders of sex development, but we can effectively cancel those out by noting that the abnormal chromosomal XXX states are clearly female and XYY states are clearly male.  I would also argue that XXY is male and XO is female, but let’s be generous to Nye and allow him these examples.

So 1 in 448 births translates as 0.2%.  According to science, this would mean that 49.9% of us are male, another 49.9% female, and 0.2% are somewhere in between.

If Nye’s  “abacus of sex” was truly scientific, it would have about 1,344 balls on it.  You would have 670 assigned to make, another 670 assigned to female, and about 3 or 4 in between.

In other words, if his abacus of sex was scientific, it wouldn’t be much help to him when it came to peddling social justice ideology as science.

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6 Responses to Bill Nye’s Pseudoscientific ‘Abacus of Sex’

  1. Ilíon says:

    I would also argue that XXY is male.

    I had a friend in college who was XXY, and he was was male. Sterile, but male.

  2. Dhay says:

    > “Attempts to deceive the public on climate change, and to consequently block any public policy to tackle it, contribute to roughly 150,000 deaths a year already…..Those denialists should face jail. They should face fines. They should face lawsuits from the classes of people whose lives and livelihoods are most threatened by denialist tactics.”

    [Adam Weinstein, quoted in

    I have just spotted that in April 2016 Bill Nye expressed similar views to Weinstein’s:

    Bill Nye “the science guy” says in a video interview released Thursday that he is open to the idea of jailing those who deviate from the climate change consensus. Asked about the heated rhetoric surrounding the climate change debate, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s previous comments that some climate skeptics should be prosecuted as war criminals, Mr. Nye replied, “We’ll see what happens.”

    “Was it appropriate to jail the guys from Enron?” Mr. Nye asked in a video interview with Climate Depot’s Marc Morano. “We’ll see what happens. Was it appropriate to jail people from the cigarette industry who insisted that this addictive product was not addictive, and so on?”

    Plainly Nye is a guy who thinks disagreement on the science of climate change is the same as fraud, and implies he agrees with Kennedy that skepticism is (is like?, or just is?) war crime.


    Where does this end? Will Nye (and other Social Justice Warriors) soon start advocating that disagreement on the science of sex and gender is the same as fraud and war crime, or that transgressors against Intersectional Justice should be jailed for the “violence” their words do.

    Will the “violent” “racist” Charles Murray escape jail? How about the “violent” “racist” Sam Harris? Their words are war crimes, you know.

    And their thoughts are presumably thought-crimes.


    The National Review’s Kyle Smith recently published a scathing review of the thirteen episodes of Bill Nye’s new show, entitled “Bill Nye, the Scientism Guy”:

    The new show (supposedly aimed at adults but still written at a grade-school level) …

    Is this the “Science and Reason” so eagerly promoted (without clarification of the definition) by the Reason Rally people? Count me out, if so.

    After a ludicrous skit in which the Victoria’s Secret model Karlie Kloss presents climate change as causing the imminent vanishing of coffee, chocolate, and fish (“Warming waters and ocean acidification are destroying all the fish supplies — like, all the fish,” she tells us)

    Nye presents as the role model for tomorrow’s intelligent, scientifically articulate future women scientists … presents a stereotypically girly-girly vacuous Barbie-type supermodel clotheshorse as that role model.

    I can see that when the SJWs gain full power, Nye will be the first against the wall after sexist violence like that.

  3. Ilíon says:

    When they gain control of the means of state violence, leftists *always* murder their “useful idiots” first.

  4. Ryu238 says:
    Yes, sex chromosome abnormalities. That is, such conditions are not part of some spectrum of normality. They exist as abnormalities because of something that went wrong during meiosis, where the sex chromosomes failed to separate (nondisjunction) during anaphase 1 or 2 of the developing gametes.”
    Please do the reaze before claiming propaganda.

  5. hikayamasan353 says:

    The gender binarism comes from the anatomical roles of male and female organisms: inseminator and gestator. Hermaphroditic system has both inseminative and gestative systems. But if it comes to what we should wear, how we should look, talk, what we should play with as kids etc – this has nothing to do with anatomy!!!

  6. Kevin says:

    What we wear, how we look and talk, and what kids play with are perhaps culturally based, though I suspect the vast majority of human cultures share commonalities in the differences between boy and girl interests. To be a woman, however, is to be a human female. To be a female means to be the egg producer. Barring an ovary problem, if you are not equipped to produce eggs, then you are not a woman.

    That a tiny fraction of people have a developmental disorder that has crossed wires is highly unfortunate, but to redefine man and woman based on a disorder is beyond delusion.

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