Scientist and educator William Sanford Nye, a.k.a. "Bill Nye the Science Guy," spoke out against creationism in a YouTube video published on Thursday, Aug. 23. Three days later, rumors of Nye's death became a trending topic on Twitter, which sparked a massive outpouring of support for the allegedly dead PBS children's show host.
"WAIT, WHAT! WHY IS R.I.P. BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY TRENDING?! No way man. I loved Bill Nye. He was the only good part of science class," tweeted Joe Santagato
"Damn RIP Bill Nye the science guy that's crazy thanks for making science fun," tweeted Mark Rodriguez.
"RIP Bill Nye... You were the best science guy out there! #TaughtMeSoMuch," tweeted Kalona Gryskwicz.
"Damn, RIP to the coolest science guy growing up, Bill Nye! If you were born '87-'92 he was probably a big part of your science curriculum," tweeted ANT_206.
A handful of Twitter users may have been able to convince enough followers to RT their bogus message, but rest assured, Bill Nye is not dead. He is currently alive and well with residences in Los Angeles and Seattle.
We have reached out to Nye for comment, and we will update the page once we get official word from his representatives of Nye's well-being. However, no news organizations are reporting Nye's death.
In the meantime, no news organizations have reported Nye's alleged death. Furthermore, GossipCop, known for "busting bad dish" on the 'net, confirms the Twitter rumors were in fact a hoax.
"The sick rumor was started on Twitter late Sunday until a "R.I.P. Bill Nye The Science Guy" topic began trending, which in turn spawned thousands of messages mourning his supposed death," wrote The Gossip Cop. "It is 100% false. Nye is not dead."
It's possible Nye's false death was created in reaction to Nye's recent comments on creationism, which can be a touchy subject, given the widespread popularity of Christianity in the U.S.
"People still move to the United States. And that's largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science," Nye said in the clip. "When you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in that, it holds everybody back, really."
Nye said the "world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution."
"Here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they're at a different point in their lifecycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent," he said.
Nye used the remainder of his video to urge parents not to withhold the information of evolution from their children, even if creationism and the Bible are important in their own lives.
"And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can - we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems... It's just really a hard thing, it's really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I'm sure, will be, it just won't exist. There's no evidence for it."
This is actually the third time Nye has been rumored dead on Twitter, but many celebrities are regularly declared dead on that particular social network. Twitter has claimed the deaths of Tiger Woods, Denzel Washington, Sylvester Stallone, Miley Cyrus, Robin Willliams, Reese Witherspoon, Drake, Eddie Murphy, Pitbull, Rowan Atkinson, Usher, Keke Palmer, Vanilla Ice, and Justin Bieber, just to name a few.