Bill Nye Boo'd In Texas For Saying The Moon Reflects The Sun

Bill Nye, the harmless children's edu-tainer known as "The Science Guy," managed to offend a select group of adults in Waco, Texas at a presentation, when he suggested that the moon does not emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun.

As even most elementary-school graduates know, the moon reflects the light of the sun but produces no light of its own.

But don't tell that to the good people of Waco, who were "visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence," according to the Waco Tribune.

Nye was in town to participate in McLennan Community College's Distinguished Lecture Series. He gave two lectures on such unfunny and adult topics as global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption.

But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: "God made two great lights -- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars."

The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.

At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled "We believe in God!" and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they'd always suspected.

This story originally appeared in the Waco Tribune, but the newspaper has mysteriously pulled its story from the online version, presumably to avoid further embarrassment.

Views: 1199621

Comment by archaeopteryx on April 30, 2012 at 10:37pm

Simple Shabaka - they are atheists, when it comes to any gods but their own.

Comment by archaeopteryx on April 30, 2012 at 10:49pm

@Mark - that's not how the verse reads - two lights, not one light and one reflection.

We're talking Semitic nomads here, with no knowledge of astronomy - why would you expect more? Divine inspiration?

Comment by agio on April 30, 2012 at 11:00pm

The moon in Gen 1:16 is: ha-ma'or ha-qaton, "the little light which rules the night" in contrast to the sun, "the big light which rules the day".  The two are spoken of together in the first half of the verse as "the two great lights" (sh'ne m'oroth hagadolim) so I think Nye is correct in describing the biblical understanding of the sun and the moon as two different luminous bodies, one for the day and the other for the night.

Comment by archaeopteryx on April 30, 2012 at 11:08pm

What aglo said --!

Comment by Eric Mazzone on April 30, 2012 at 11:48pm

Please, please, please someone tell me that they have a scan of the newspaper article.  It'd be proof enough of the stupidity down that way.

Comment by Pope Beanie on May 1, 2012 at 2:48am

I don't blame people for not reading 26 pages of comments here.

Meanwhile, Kim Cailteux mentioned that the paper explained to her why the link (which was already years old) didn't work any more, and posted a copy of the paper's response and the original story here.

Comment by Gregg Johnson on May 1, 2012 at 4:55am

No, the point of the article is that Bill Nye was booed for saying that the moon reflects the sun. That isn't what happened, though, judging from the scant few facts presented here. He was booed for claiming that man's science contradicted God's word. One can know that the moon reflects the sun and still take issue with his statement, especially since it is incorrect concerning the verse in question. He can, of course, be forgiven that as he is the Science Guy, rather than the Bible Guy, and perhaps their reaction was a little extreme (one wonders whether there were other statements of a similar kind leading up to this), but he brought it on himself.

Comment by Lauren Day on May 1, 2012 at 5:04am

Religious fundamentalists make me sad

Comment by Ken Hughes on May 1, 2012 at 10:13am

Fundamentalism in any religion, regardless of the guise, name or flag under which they operate are bad for all those not "in the fold" as it were.  I have always maintained that when one removes the suicide bombers, there's not a nickel's worth of difference between Jewish, Christian or Islamic fundamentalists; they make me sad and mad.

Comment by Michael hill on May 1, 2012 at 12:45pm
The Christian "Right" believes whatever they wish to believe, even bizarre, contradictory flat-earth lines that a second grader could nail them on. Ignorance is their only tool.


You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist


Torture Report release today

Started by Unseen in Ethics & Morals. Last reply by Davis Goodman 11 minutes ago. 121 Replies

Ear-piercing a baby

Started by Simon Mathews in Atheist Parenting. Last reply by Belle Rose 46 minutes ago. 6 Replies

Why do we tolerate this?

Started by Belle Rose in Crime and Punishment. Last reply by Pope Beanie 2 hours ago. 25 Replies

In Defense of ‘Islamophobia’

Started by Brian Daurelle in Society. Last reply by Virgil 4 hours ago. 202 Replies

My Grandpa died last week

Started by Physeter in Small Talk. Last reply by Erock68la 7 hours ago. 7 Replies

Blog Posts

Pabst Blue Ribbon to the rescue!

Posted by Ed on December 15, 2014 at 9:33pm 0 Comments

Finally, a cool billboard in Arkansas!

Posted by Ed on December 15, 2014 at 8:21am 2 Comments

Atheist Sites

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service