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Bill Nye: Fertilized Eggs Are Not Humans

In a video for Big Think, Bill Nye, personal childhood hero and CEO of The Planetary Society, explains the science behind why fertilized eggs are not humans, and why lawmakers should stop telling women what to do.

Bill starts out by saying “Eggs get fertilized… a lot. But that’s not all you need.” He explains:

If you’re gonna say, ‘when an egg is fertilized, it has the same rights as an individual!’, who are you going to sue? Every woman who’s had a fertilized egg pass through her? Every guy whose sperm has fertilized and egg, and it didn’t become a human?

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Using similar logic, one could argue that every time a man masturbates, it’s akin to committing a mass murder. After all, the average male will ejaculate approximately 1.5 to 5 mL (0.05 to .17 fluid ounces) of semen, and each milliliter of semen contains about 20 to 100 million sperm cells. That means if you’re cranking one out a couple times a day, you could easily be slaughtering a billion cells every day.

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Nye continues:

These ideas reflect a deep lack of scientific understanding. You literally don’t know what you’re talking about. You wouldn’t know how big a human egg was if it weren’t for microscopes, if it weren’t for scientists, medical researchers looking diligently… You wouldn’t have the shots where the sperm are bumping up against the egg. You wouldn’t have that without science. So then to claim you know the next step when you obviously don’t, is trouble.

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Nye then tells himself to pull back and admits his frustration over the issue. He then points out that nobody likes abortion, but abstinence-only sex education has shown to be a complete failure.

The fact is, if you want to lower the rate at which women are having abortions, you need to treat young adults like adults and give them comprehensive sex education. The fact of the matter is, teens are engaging in sexual contact regardless of what adults tell them to do. You simply can’t fight or deny biology. Countless studies have shown that when teens are given abstinence-only sex education, the rate of teen pregnancy skyrockets.

“I would encourage you to not tell women what to do, and not pursue these laws that are really in nobody’s best interest.”

Watch the full video below:

Nye ends the video by saying “My mother was a woman. They’re everywhere!”

Read next: Woman goes into anaphylactic shock after swallowing partner’s semen

Written by Dan Broadbent

Science Enthusiast. Atheist. Lover of cats.

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