Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Hey Bill Nye! I Have an Inheritable Disease. Should I Have Kids?

William wants to have kids someday. William has cystic fibrosis, an inheritable disease. How should he approach this dilemma?

William: My name is William and I have cystic fibrosis. I’ve always been really excited about the idea of becoming a father in the future but given I would definitely pass on these faulty carriers CF gene if I have children, do you think it would be irresponsible to do so? Thank you very much.

Bill Nye: I don’t have cystic fibrosis, although I studied it, you know, a while ago. Maybe that’s why you sought me out on this. I did a video about cystic fibrosis. And I guess somebody passed it on to you and you’re okay or you’re doing okay. It’s up to you. It’s really your decision. And by you, I mean you and your wife or the woman you choose to have kids with. It’s obviously on your mind, but I’ll say just objectively, stepping back, people who have kids that’s the greatest thing they ever do. Kids are the most important thing to anybody. So if you really want to have kids and you have a woman who’s in with you, then I guess who am I to tell you you can’t do it. But we on the outside, we who do not have cystic fibrosis want you to think about being able to support the kid. You might feel worse if you have everybody else judging you badly for having had a kid that you couldn’t support because of this extraordinary condition. But it’s also very reasonable to me that in the next even — we’ll pick a number — 10 years would be extraordinary, but 30 would not be extraordinary. In the next 15 years, someone has a way to have something akin to a virus carry a repair, a gene repair into your cells that would make this condition go away. That’s very reasonable. And you seem able bodied and hearty and I hope you’re in studies so that people can better understand that disease. Really it’s a mystery. So it’s really up to you, sir; it really is. But we really appreciate the question. It’s a burden to carry. For myself personally talking about myself, my family has something that is not fully understood yet called ataxia, which is just a symptom. It’s not the actual disease. There’s over 40 different styles of ataxia. And that really affected my life decisions. It certainly had a big effect on my family. So it’s up to you man and your gal, the woman. Carry on.

William wants to have kids someday. William has cystic fibrosis, an inheritable disease. How should he approach this dilemma?


This week's #TuesdaysWithBill video features Bill Nye at his most personal. In the end, he offers the following advice to William: Do what you feel is right for you, but make sure you can support the kid with your condition.

Of course, there's also the fact that, for all we know, cystic fibrosis might have a cure in the coming decades. There's always hope that medical science will swoop in and save the day.

LIVE TOMORROW | Jordan Klepper: Comedians vs. the apocalypse

Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

LGBTQ+ community sees spike in first-time depression in wake of coronavirus​

Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Coronavirus
  • Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
  • Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
  • The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Keep reading Show less

The mind-blowing science of black holes

What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.

Videos
  • When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
  • A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
  • Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less

Space travel could create language unintelligible to people on Earth

A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.

Credit: NASA Ames Research Center.
Surprising Science
  • A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
  • Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
  • This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast