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.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/content/news/stories/2006/04/06/040620...

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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.
Comment by Pope Beanie on May 1, 2012 at 1:46pm

I'm obviously the odd person here, because I think that both sides of this issue have turned it into an over-outraged, dialog killing "let's be offended" moment. I like Nye for saying what he said, although I'd be surprised if he was really expecting no reaction to his scientific opining about bible semantics in Texas.

The issue was then (predictably) escalated by parent(s), and then people here have (predictably) perpetuated the outrage, after the trollworthy comment "the newspaper has mysteriously pulled its story from the online version, presumably to avoid further embarrassment", which now seems unfounded. (I really wouldn't mind being corrected here.)

Sorry, I just think it's more effective in the long run to set the better example, and use the moment to enlighten the dialog. For example, maybe this incident is a simple example of how escalated emotions can lead to a breakdown of dialog. When the other side falls from grace by resorting to emotional responses, I think it's a good time for our side to show objectivity and wisdom.

OK, now that I've placed myself in TA's gunsights, fire away. I won't be offended! All I ask is that people consider more than one way to react to the 2006 story, after all these years.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 1, 2012 at 3:58pm

+1 Pope Paul!

Comment by Forcythia on May 1, 2012 at 5:15pm

While I agree with promoting scientific fact, if Bill Nye had just started talking about "the moon reflects the light of the sun" instead of debunking the Bible first, I bet no one would have noticed.

Comment by Carroll D. Hanks on May 2, 2012 at 12:56am

I am formally  from Texas and I am so ashamed of some of the people there that are so ignorant about science.

Comment by archaeopteryx on May 2, 2012 at 1:23am

Being ignorant about science may be excusable Carroll, choosing to be ignorant, is not.

Comment by Jesse VodkaPepper on May 2, 2012 at 5:14am

Waco. No surprising. That's as Deep South as it gets in Texas. 

Comment by Judith van der Roos on May 2, 2012 at 8:39am

And the reasons NOT to visit the USA just keep piling up :) ! Yet the same people who walked out use cellular phones, PCs etc, all manner of things developed by the very science they are walking out on there, did they leave all those gadgets at the door as they went I wonder !

Mind you my children like Bill, there are some of his (subtitled) DVDs available here.

Judith vd R.

Comment by ApresMoiDeluge on May 3, 2012 at 9:09am

well put@johnny

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