An anonymous viewer asked The Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye on an Internet forum whether humans' same-sex preferences make sense evolutionarily if it's true that the purpose of a species is to reproduce and survive. He responded with a disclaimer, giving a noncommittal answer.
Nye, who is most famous for the 90s TV show "Bill Nye The Science Guy," was asked this question on Big Think, an online forum. "Are humans the only ones who practice homosexuality? And if so does this mean that homosexuality is a product of human's personal whim as opposed to instinct?" the anonymous viewer added to his question.
Nye, who has criticized the teaching of creationism to young children, arguing it stifles innovation, said, "I'm not an authority on this. I'm an observer of the human condition."
However, he mentioned a book The Naked Ape, saying it documented chimpanzees and Bonobo exhibiting homosexual behavior. "Apparently there's a spectrum. Some people are more inclined to have sex with people of their same sex than others," he said.
Nye went on to say that being "somewhere on the spectrum of heterosexual with homosexual being on that" is not "genetically lethal." "You still have kids anyway. And you'll hear people talk about the feminine side. You'll hear people talk about the masculine side. You'll hear women use the expression, 'Well she's got a lot of balls which can't literally be true, if we're using balls in that conventional construction.'"
The book, the scientist added, claimed that there was more homosexuality in zoos than the author observed in nature. "And that may be just because we happen to capture a couple of homosexual Bonobos or whatever. In other words the sample size is way too small to extrapolate."
After his cautious answer, Nye concluded with this statement: "So let's celebrate being alive everybody. Apparently it's just something that happens in nature and look, we're all here."
Nye has criticized creationists, which he claims is intellectually destructive.
"If we raise a generation of students who don't believe in the process of science, who think everything that we've come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you're not going to continue to innovate," he said in a September 2012 interview with The Associated Press.
Nye's latest project is hosting a show, "Stuff Happens," on Planet Green, about environmentally responsible choices that consumers can make as they go about their day and their shopping.