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: 1192212

Comment by Strega on May 19, 2013 at 8:13pm

@Arch yes I'm sure.  But I liked the bite sized version you gave above, too

Comment by archaeopteryx on May 19, 2013 at 8:40pm

Here, wait, I may still have a picture of her --

Comment by archaeopteryx on May 19, 2013 at 8:47pm

@Brookelynn - apropos of what? RE: "Willet, who wrote before the birth of Newton" - that would imply that Newton lived in a more advanced time than Willet, yet newton was a lifelong virgin, believed women were "nasty," and spent the last years of his life dabbling in alchemy. While it's true he discovered some of the principles behind which the universe operates, his religious thinking was as deluded as any other of his time.

Comment by Albert Bakker on May 20, 2013 at 5:02am

And I thought it was such a big thing in Christian apologetics that cause precedes effect. But first making the light and after that a source from which that light emanated is perhaps more supernaturally elegant. Why not have it so that the Sun instead of radiating light is just sucking out the darkness from the Earth?

Comment by Ben Arnold on May 31, 2013 at 7:58am

I'm surprised that anyone in Waco understands the Hebrew language of 2,000 years ago, much less having read and understood the bible.  I know from personal experience that people get terribly upset when they find out that what their preacher has been telling them is totally at odds with what the bible is trying to Impart.  I so hope we never get another president from Texas or we're doomed.


Comment by archaeopteryx on May 31, 2013 at 11:37am

Actually, Ben, the Jewish people didn't speak Hebrew 2,000 years ago, after the Babylonian captivity, they spoke Aramaic. If you REALLY want to get the pants scared off, read this!

Comment by Joel Lee on November 3, 2013 at 11:49am

I don't think people were upset because they didn't know the moon reflects the sun's light.  I'm sure they were offended because Bill implied their religion is nonsense.  Of all the scriptures he could pick on, it was also an odd choice.  God created two lights in the sky, the bible says, but it doesn't mention that one of them is just reflecting light from the other.  So, should it mention that?  Is that important to the point being made?  They're both sources of light that God allegedly created.  It's kind of like he got up there and split hairs just for the sake of showing that the bible is flawed.  Was that even supposed to be his topic, or was it just an off the cuff remark?  Maybe he should put some material together so he can give a talk about how flawed the bible is or something.  All of this to say, I think this "reflects" poorly on all involved.  xD

Comment by SteveInCO on November 3, 2013 at 12:18pm

The problem with this thread is we have to rely on someone's summary of what happened, not the original source.

I believe it's entirely possible that what really happened here was that Bill Nye implied that "Christians" believed the moon did not shine by its own light and a bunch of people got bent out of shape at the implication that they'd believe such stupid things just because they are Xians.

Many Xians are scientifically semi-literate (they won't go so far as to accept a completely naturalistic view though), even accepting an "old earth", and find the literalists an embarrassment.

Comment by Dylan Martin on November 3, 2013 at 1:46pm

Them there Texas people dan't like facts.

Comment by Dan on November 3, 2013 at 2:07pm

Both parties are incorrect with the context involved in the interpretation...that's all. Why is everyone all mad? The Waco people are just ignorant on the interpretation as is Mr. Nye. Mr. Nye is correct in his scientific answer, but the bible isn't talking about the moon and the sun here. In fact the verse has nothing to do with electromagnetic radiation, it is symbolic.

Here is Scofield's commentary, and be sure to check surrounding verses:

"The "greater light" is a type of Christ, the "Sun of righteousness" Malachi 4:2 . He will take this character at His second advent. Morally the world is now in the state between ; Genesis 1:3-16 ; Ephesians 6:12 ; Acts 26:18 ; 1 Peter 2:9 . The sun is not seen, but there is light. Christ is that light John 1:4 John 1:5 John 1:9 but "shineth in darkness," comprehended only by faith. As "Son of righteousness" He will dispel all darkness. Dispensationally the Church is in place as the "lesser light," the moon, reflecting the light of the unseen sun. The stars Genesis 1:16 are individual believers who are "lights" ; Philippians 2:15 Philippians 2:16 ; John 1:5 "


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