Not only is Bill Nye not a scientist, but he’s also not an historian or a student of the United States Constitution. Anybody can make any written document say anything if portions of it are taken out of context. It’s done with the Bible all the time. The second most misquoted and misapplied document is the Constitution.
In a recent interview with Vox, Bill Nye “the Science Guy” argued “that politicians who deny man-made global warming are violating their constitutional duties to the American people” by reinterpreting “a clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution to support his point.”
“When you have people denying this basic process, and how we all got here, it’s offensive to me intellectually. And I happen to think it’s unpatriotic. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution says the government shall ‘promote the progress of science and useful arts.’”
“So if you’re a politician looking to derail the progress of science, I think you’re not doing your job. I want voters and taxpayers to recognize this. Do you really want to vote for somebody who doesn’t believe in the scientific method — and doesn’t believe that we defeated smallpox? Do you really want that person running your government?”
Wow! Nye is counting on two things: (1) the general constitutional ignorance of the American people (there’s a lot of it) and (2) that most people will not actually read Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
How many times have you heard someone appeal to the constitutional doctrine of the separation of church and state even though the Constitution never uses the word “church” or “separation”? The First Amendment is about the relationship between the national government (Congress) and the various state governments that had their own constitutional provisions regarding religion.
Expenditures on many government programs have been supported by the misappropriation of the following: “The Legislature shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare” (Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 1).
“General welfare” has come to mean the welfare state.
Archie Jones writes in The Gateway to Liberty: The Constitutional Power of the Tenth Amendment:
“[James] Madison’s argument that those who look to the General Welfare Clause (and by implication like clauses in the Constitution: the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, the Supremacy Clause, etc.) as a constitutional basis for justifying the exercise of powers which are not stated in the Constitution are committing not only a grammatical but also a constitutional absurdity ought to be instructive to us when we are trying to understand the meaning of our Constitution, and when we are considering the unconstitutional things that men have tried, and still try, to force the Constitution to justify.”
“General welfare” has nothing to do with wealth redistribution. The semicolon following the clause defines what constitutes “general welfare.” There’s an actual list defining “general welfare.”
Bill Nye leaves out some important clarifying points from Article 1, Section 8. It would be like an atheist leaving out “the fool has said in his heart” from Psalm 14:1 and then claim that the Bible teaches atheism because it says “there is no God.”
Here’s Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 in its entirety: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
The clause has nothing to do with how we do science, “rather it allows lawmakers to create a system of patents and copyrights for inventors. In fact, this part of Section 8 is referred to as the ‘Copyright Clause.’”
It’s also called referred to as the:
- Copyright and Patent Clause
- Patent and Copyright Clause
- Patent Clause
- Intellectual Property Clause
- Progress Clause
It’s never referred to as the “Scientific Method Clause” or “How to do Science Clause.”
Bill Nye is as wrong about the Constitution as he is about Global Warming and evolution. Even so, liberal media outlets will continue to use him as an “expert” on the subjects.