snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Science

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 23 April 2009, 06:15 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,625
Throw Tomato Bill Nye booed in Texas

Comment: Is it true that Bill Nye was boo'd in Texas for saying that the
moon reflected light off the sun?

I read about it here:

http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles...d-in-texas-for

linked from here:

http://www.johnlowry.com/johnny/2009...bood-in-texas/

The blogs state that there was originally an article in the Waco Tribune
which was pulled due to embarrassment. That seems like the source of a
rumor to me.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23 April 2009, 08:10 PM
TrekkerScout's Avatar
TrekkerScout TrekkerScout is offline
 
Join Date: 25 September 2005
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 519
Default

The original news article is archived, and can be retrieved from here. Viewing the full article requires a subscription, but the abstract does mention that Bill Nye "ruffled a few religious feathers along the way".
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 23 April 2009, 08:33 PM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 21,445
Default

I have a vague recollection of Nye getting some boos, perhaps in Texas, for statements about things like evolution, the Earth being more than htousands of years old, and/or tectonics, but not for the moon shining by reflected light. While there are verses of the Bible that refer to the moon shining in ways that suggest it has its own non-solar light source, that is a very rare issue to get even the staunchest of literalists het up about.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 23 April 2009, 09:47 PM
hambubba's Avatar
hambubba hambubba is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2000
Location: Gonzales, LA
Posts: 10,715
Default

We covered this about a year ago. Yes, it does say that Nye stated the moon reflects light, which it does. He viewed this as a contrast to Genesis 1:16:

Quote:
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.
This states, according to Nye, that the bible says both sun and moon are self-lit "lights". I've never heard this outside of this particular syntax, even in churches. It seems it's an attack on bible literalism that isn't really viewed as such. By anybody.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 23 April 2009, 09:47 PM
purpleiguana purpleiguana is offline
 
Join Date: 27 October 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 12,143
Default

I have a vague recollection of this supposing to have happened, but really, what's the big deal? Two thousand years ago, people didn't know light reflected from the sun. The moon appears to have its own light, so it stands to reason that that conclusion would be drawn. Time passes, we understand our universe more, we discover that the moon doesn't have its own light, but reflects light from the sun. This doesn't mean that religion's been turned on its ear or anything, just that the people who wrote the bible didn't know better.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 23 April 2009, 09:51 PM
hambubba's Avatar
hambubba hambubba is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2000
Location: Gonzales, LA
Posts: 10,715
Default

Well, Genesis doesn't exactly say by what method the light exists; moon phases seem to indicate that it isn't really self-lit. I have no idea what people in antiquity would think of this, but it sure doesn't seem like it has its own light.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 23 April 2009, 10:05 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
Join Date: 05 November 2005
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 6,658
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hambubba View Post
... I have no idea what people in antiquity would think of this, but it sure doesn't seem like it has its own light.
Aristotle knew that a lunar eclipse was the shadow of the earth on the moon (and he used this to argue for a spherical earth, because the earth's shadow was always circular). That implies that he knew the moon shone by reflected sunlight.

Nick
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 23 April 2009, 10:10 PM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
 
Join Date: 29 January 2006
Location: Portsmouth, UK
Posts: 1,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
Aristotle knew that a lunar eclipse was the shadow of the earth on the moon (and he used this to argue for a spherical earth, because the earth's shadow was always circular). That implies that he knew the moon shone by reflected sunlight.
I'm fairly certain that Aristotle doesn't appear in the Bible
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 23 April 2009, 10:13 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
Join Date: 05 November 2005
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 6,658
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I'm fairly certain that Aristotle doesn't appear in the Bible
No, but he's a person of antiquity.

Nick
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 23 April 2009, 10:19 PM
Chloe's Avatar
Chloe Chloe is offline
 
Join Date: 13 September 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 39,316
Neener, Neener

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
No, but he's a person of antiquity.
So's your momma!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 23 April 2009, 10:22 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
Join Date: 05 November 2005
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 6,658
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
So's your momma!
My mom's dead.

Nick
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 23 April 2009, 10:24 PM
Chloe's Avatar
Chloe Chloe is offline
 
Join Date: 13 September 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 39,316
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
My mom's dead.

Nick
Correction: So's g-your momma.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 23 April 2009, 11:25 PM
Natalie Natalie is offline
 
Join Date: 15 January 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 2,171
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by purpleiguana View Post
I have a vague recollection of this supposing to have happened, but really, what's the big deal? Two thousand years ago, people didn't know light reflected from the sun.
Not commenting on the OP, but the big deal for some people would be that it contradicts the Bible. If one believes the Bible is both divinely inspired and literally true, it wouldn't matter that people 2,000 years ago didn't know how the moon works - God should have known.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 23 April 2009, 11:28 PM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
Join Date: 24 November 2005
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 4,745
Default

Quote:
King James Bible, Genesis 1:16
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
It just says God made two great lights. No where does it say how it was done. If I see a source of light, does it really matter whether it is reflected or not. God did not bother to tell us if it was direct light or not. If it was that important to know you thing God would have mentioned it somewhere.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 23 April 2009, 11:33 PM
Silas Sparkhammer's Avatar
Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
Join Date: 22 September 2000
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 26,843
Whalephant

Quote:
Originally Posted by hambubba View Post
We covered this about a year ago. Yes, it does say that Nye stated the moon reflects light, which it does. He viewed this as a contrast to Genesis 1:16:

Quote:
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.
This states, according to Nye, that the bible says both sun and moon are self-lit "lights". I've never heard this outside of this particular syntax, even in churches. It seems it's an attack on bible literalism that isn't really viewed as such. By anybody.
Well, as we've learned on snopes, you can (almost!) never get away with saying "never." My cousin is not only a Biblical literalist, she's also one of those who exaggerates Biblical literalism. For example, she believes that all women, even today, have one more rib than men do. A literal reading of the Bible might indicate that Adam was short one rib -- but it doesn't indicate anything about Cain, Abel, or any of the men who follow! But her church insists on this -- even in the face of tons (literally!) of contradictory evidence (like, nearly every human skeleton!)

And...her church teaches that the moon is not visible in the daytime. Nope. Nuh-uh. Whatever it is you're looking up and seeing isn't the Moon! the Moon glows with its own light, and rules the night. Not the daytime. Never.

Talk about your "lunacy..."

Silas (also, the Apollo programs were faked...and blasphemous, because "apollo" was a demon who pretended to be a god...)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 24 April 2009, 01:07 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
Join Date: 24 November 2005
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 4,745
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
And...her church teaches that the moon is not visible in the daytime. Nope. Nuh-uh. Whatever it is you're looking up and seeing isn't the Moon! the Moon glows with its own light, and rules the night. Not the daytime. Never.
The bible only said the greater light to governs the day. Even if the noon is visible during the day, it does not govern it. Since day is defined the sun and night by its absents. Therefor the sun can never be seen in the night sky. The noon on the other had does not define day or night and therefore can be seen during the day.

That is the problem with churches they tend to make and/or want people to stop thinking for themselves. The can go to great lengths to add words are redefine them to make things meet their beliefs.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 24 April 2009, 02:35 AM
imjustasteph's Avatar
imjustasteph imjustasteph is offline
 
Join Date: 31 May 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,207
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by purpleiguana View Post
Two thousand years ago, people didn't know light reflected from the sun.
But God did. Or wait. No. God didn't know it, or else He would've had the mortals through whom he wrote the Bible write it that way. Except he made the moon. So surely he knew whether he made a lamp or a mirror. So if he had written about them, then he would've written about a lamp and a mirror, instead of two lamps. But he didn't write that. Or have his Sims write that. So either it isn't true, and both are light sources or God was wrong, or God didn't write that passage, or didn't oversee the writing of that passage. Sine God is infallible, that leaves either the moon is a lamp or the Bible has stuff in it that's wrong.

Which is the preferable conclusion? That depends on how badly gyou need every word of the Bible to be right.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 24 April 2009, 03:34 AM
Altered Statesman
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Didn't God 'make' 'light' on the 1st day before he 'made' the moon and sun on the 4th day? Obviously light doesn't come from the sun if light was around before the sun...

"“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church” -Ferdinand Magellan"
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 28 April 2009, 01:01 AM
me, no really's Avatar
me, no really me, no really is offline
 
Join Date: 02 June 2005
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 2,528
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altered Statesman View Post
Didn't God 'make' 'light' on the 1st day before he 'made' the moon and sun on the 4th day? Obviously light doesn't come from the sun if light was around before the sun...
I could be way wrong, but I always assumed a big bang theory of the origin of the universe implied that there would have been light somewhere in the universe way before our sun formed.

me
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 28 April 2009, 01:05 AM
Steve Steve is offline
 
Join Date: 19 October 2002
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 4,716
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altered Statesman View Post
"“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church” -Ferdinand Magellan"
Bit of a nitpick, but there's no evidence Magellan said that. It apparently originated with the late nineteenth century American orator Robert Ingersoll, who attributed it to Magellan.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.