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.

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Comment by Ken Hughes on June 14, 2011 at 7:58am

Is that "we" as in those of us who Think Atheist or "we" as in the other crowd?  Just wondering Mr. Big River. 


Speaking of rivers big or small, Texas rivers are getting smaller all the time from the global climate change that folks in the Perry camp and Perry himself vociferously deny is connected to human activities over the last 200-years when the scientists in the rest of the world have found and demonstrated ample evidence that it is.


What was/is Perry's solution?  He called for mass prayer of course, which reinforces his idiocy  and demonstrates his total unfitness to be the governor of Texas or any other state, except for Lower Sloblovia perhaps.

Comment by ladymoonage on June 20, 2011 at 10:57pm

that's texas for ya! just about everyone here is religious whether they practice it or not and also brought up to never question god. 

Comment by ARomeoH on June 21, 2011 at 5:41am
I lived in waco as a kid. Then Dallas. Then Santa Monica. Then Cleveland. Then Cincinnati. Oh and I was born in North Dakota. I have an IQ of 180 on a 160 scale and Im studying neuroscience. Its not as much about geographic location as it is about what we are taught and where. Exposure. I have found that with more intelligence comes a greater need to expand and learn and explore. But those that are content knowing little and just getting by until they die...they do just that. We all believe exactly what we need to believe.
Comment by Don on June 21, 2011 at 7:20am
The geographical attributes of a place may not, in themselves, have a bearing on "what we need to believe," but geography does influence culture in all kinds of ways, and it's the culture that holds sway over a person's world view.  Belief systems are generally imposed on people in childhood, and so religion is most often simply an accident of birth.  People assume the beliefs of their parents and of the subtly oppressive culture that, by chance, they inhabit.  In that sense we believe not what we "need to believe," but what we are taught to believe.  The "need" arises out of the steady pressure to conform, not out of some innate, personal outlook.  We're all atheists at birth.
Comment by Ken Hughes on June 21, 2011 at 9:04am

I was born 2/23/44 in a small North Carolina textile town then named Leaksville, since 1967 part of "Eden" of all things, that was saturated with Baptist culture/language/theology with a strong measure of fundamentalist BS mixed in as well.


My mom tried, desperately in fact, to inoculate me with the mental virus of the prevalent religious culture by dragging me to the family church, King's Memorial Baptist, as often as possible.  Her mom went there as did a lot of other family members and relatives.  I resisted as much as possible and when I was old enough and empowered by age to make my own decisions I opted out.  I was a skeptic from earliest memories arguing with cousins about the existence of Santa and all such myths that led me later in life to agnosticism and eventually confirming my atheism.


However, you are spot-on about essentially everyone being imbued with the religion of their specific geographic/religion location and it sucks!

Comment by Don on June 21, 2011 at 9:36am
Ken, thanks.  It's important and encouraging to keep in mind that everywhere in the world there are some like you--and like many members on this site, too--who are endowed with a strong and healthy skeptical urge to resist inculcation and to think rationally about how the world works.  What today's atheist movements seek to do, in part, is to give comfort and support to those people who, in decades past, have been too often alone in their resistance to all the cultural pressures to conform.  The Internet helps us.
Comment by Ken Hughes on June 21, 2011 at 12:13pm
The three tools in perverting the prevailing paradigm of implanting the religion virus in the brains of the young is education, more education and then more education.  Texas is the nation's leader in attempts to dumb down the state's education system by altering school textbooks in such a manner as to prevent the education virus from getting into the intellect of students.  I wrote letters to the state and local papers decrying the practice.  One reply to my letter to the local paper was "Science Lies!" and the idiot went on to talk about the dinosaur and human foot prints one may see in Glen Rose, TX.  It's hard to combat such willing self-imbued ignorance in an adult and especially that mentally crippled idiot.
Comment by ARomeoH on June 21, 2011 at 5:18pm
Simply what I was saying was that we all have the capacity for change and growth, and we all have people in our lives that differ in opinion. Exactly how open you are to those new ideas and how you let them affect you is a choice. Most people believe what they need to believe to keep living. To maintain hope. And culture, in relation to geography, grows, changes, and moves. Its not geography that influences culture, its the response and adaptation to it. After all you cant say that people in the south developed a draw accent simply because they were located in the south. It was a social evolution.
Comment by Don on June 21, 2011 at 5:53pm
Of course geography influences culture.  Geography, in fact, is one of the major factors in determining a region's economy, industry, and relative wealth, and all of these, tangentially, are aspects of culture.  A., you write, "It's not geography that influences culture, it's the response and adaptation to it [geography].  That's true--and that's exactly how geography influences culture--by requiring or encouraging human responses to its features.  Humans necessarily adapt themselves to the attributes and qualities that distinguish one place, climatologically and geographically, from another, and, as they adapt to them, those attributes help significantly to shape the region's culture.
Comment by Robert Taylor on June 21, 2011 at 7:01pm

Ken, let me respond to your comment about Glen Rose, TX.  Remember, I am an atheist...pure and simple, BUT there is a real possibility that humans have existed on this plant for millions of has nothing, however, to do with the religious crowd trying to support their belief system.  Some theists claim that the human race has only been here around 6,000 years and that the rocks and terrain were created originally by a god as to appear ancient.  Admittedly, a very stupid concept.  Other Christians believe that the time period between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 was millions or billions of years.  I'm not defending that concept as well.

 What I am saying is that there have been finds across the world from Central America to Europe and Asia (especially in coal beds in California and the mid-west) where very ancient artifacts have been found.  Some artifacts have been found in surrounding matrix that is millions and millions of years old.

 Science has a knowledge filter that does anything it can, at any cost, to defend Darwinism without keeping an open mind.  Personally, I believe Darwinism to be mostly correct, but I keep my mind open to the possibility that transpermia may also have something to do with mankind's beginning.  Nothing to do with religion or a god which I totally reject.  There is no magic-man-in-the-sky.

  But, I saw the actual film whereby in Glen Rose, TX. the primary archeologist involved had to have a crane remove an ancient slab of rock where these footsteps had ended hoping to find where the steps continued beneath a barrier rock formation.  He removed that barrier to the point where the footsteps "would have" continued.  And, guess what, once removed the footsteps of both beast and man continued.  It's a fact.

 So, just because this occurred in an exceptionally religious area as Texas does NOT discount the fact as to what was discovered.  Remember, the Bible belt extends much further than just Texas. I don't think the archeologist involved was, himself, on some kind of religious mission.  The facts speak for themselves.

 Let's keep an open mind about such discoveries without our anti-religious zeal (I admit that I'm such a zealot....religion mythology as it affect mankind makes me pukish), BUT I'm not blind as to real discoveries involving man and the earth he inhabits. 

 You might want to order the DVD hosted by Charleston Heston (just because he played .

Moses and also a devout religious Jew in two films has nothing to do with his being the host).  The film is not touting a religious viewpoint...just the opinion that mankind may have been here for millions of years...nothing to do with religion). It's called "The Mysterious Origins of Man" and originally appeared as an NBC Television Special. What I'm saying is let's not let our confidence in there being no god(s) or god-head obscure the possiblity of discoveries that challenge the scientific orthodoxy of the time. 


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