Bill Nye booed for telling students the Moon only reflects light.

Here’s the link to the story:

and here’s an excerpt:

Gee, American students are already at the bottom when compared to the other industrialized countries. Maybe this kind of mentality will allow our students to get even lower scores than students in Lesotho?

Never mind that! The *Waco Tribune * has an online version? Well, I’ll be dipped!

What does he think he is? Some sort of Science Guy? That bastard!

While amusing in a sad sort of way, I’m not sure that the presentation has not been tailored a bit.

Rather than the story being “mysteriously pulled,” I note that the original story was printed on April 6, 2006 while the blog entry was posted on August 12, 2007–meaning the story, probably “borrowed” from one of several other blogs that had carried it, was well over a year old and had probably simply rolled off the paper’s open archive.

More recently, the paper has carried an ongoing story regarding financial cutbacks to the county’s community college that has curtailed the lecture series at which Nye had spoken. Those stories each mention that Nye drew an audience of 1,700 people, which seems significantly larger than the few goofballs mentioned in the story with its RO emphasis.

So, rather than the Waco paper suppressing a scary story of rampant Texan ignorance, it appears that we have a bunch of bloggers reporting over a year late on a couple of kooks (several people including one woman with three children) staging what appears to be a prepared walkout.

The newspaper mysteriously avoided reporting how Nye took revenge on the troublemakers by blasting them with his bow-tie-mounted disintegrator, presumably to avoid disintegration.

Ah, makes sense. I remember a similar story from last year and I thought ‘not again’. I remember because my son was outraged by the lady with the kids who stoop up and said, “We believe in God!” He threatened to go to her church and, in the middle of the sermon, stand up and shout, “I believe in science!”
Typing that made me think I typed it before. I think there was a thread on this when it happened.

Well, that’s kind of dumb anyway. Just because the photons it emits are those it has collected does not mean it is “not a light at all”. Even flashlights and lighthouses work by reflection.

I was under the impression that flashlights and lighthouses work by electricity.

If you define the word “light” to mean “any object that reflects photons,” then EVERY VISIBLE OBJECT is a light.

I submit that Bill Nye’s definition makes more sense.

What frustrates me, is the people on “my side” who give us a bad name, by not clearly understanding when the Bible is obviously using figurative language. If you want to believe that the Bible is the Inerrant Word of God ™, that’s fine, just know that there is figurative language in there…
…I mean, were the breasts of Solomon’s love really pomegranates?

Of course not, silly.

They were grapes.


Very true. But we should point out that it was Bill who missed the figurative language for the sake of a pot shot at Genesis; while the mom was seriously overreacting, that’s not a good way to communicate to a mixed audience.

Yes, further to Terrifel’s post, what the hell are you talking about? If the sun disappeared, the moon would be invisible because it doesn’t emit any photons of its own. But you would still be able to see the light of torches and lighthouses. So under the definition being discussed, it is easy to see why the moon is regarded as not being a “light” wheareas a lighthouse is.

This reminds me of the old paradox: “So how did God, according to Genesis, create light and dark on the first day? All Light on Earth comes from the Sun, and God didn’t create the Sun untill the fourth day!”

Little smart-ass that I was, I asked that question in fourth grade. Years later, I found it amusing to see the same smart-ass question asked by a kid, a character in a novel by Dostoyevski.

The paradox, with others from Genesis, is outlined here. . Hereis an IMHO rather strained attempt to reconcile Genisis with science.

Hey, the theory that the moon doesn’t generate its own light is just that, only a theory. We need to have schools teach both sides, and students make up their own mind. “Intelligent Illuminating” deserves to be in the textbooks just like any other theory.

Not just any grapes, but grapes that were like unto ‘two young roes that are twins’.
Yup, I likes me some soft, furry grapes. :smiley:

People actually question the relevance, timelessness, and wisdom of the Bible, and yet in that one book God predicts and shows the beauty of breast reduction surgery using just pomegranates and grapes. Hallelujah!

I wonder if Jesus had people asking him about breast reduction, or “Rabbi, can you perhaps take about ten, yea, even five, years off around the eyes?” or “Master, how about a tummy tuck?” Probably not so much when he was with the lepers, but maybe if he went to Caesarea for a weekend with wealthy friends (“The Litter-Set”) or attended fundraisers for the arts he probably got that a lot.

If the sun disappeared, “you” wouldn’t exist to ''be able to see"… :wink:

So are you going around correcting everyone who uses the word “moonlight”?

There’s actually an old joke used to demonstrate verisimilitudes/sophistry:

“The sun is glorious but the moon is by far the more important. The sun gives light during the daytime, when it is already bright, while the moon gives light at nighttime when otherwise it would be dark. Therefore the moon is more important Q.E.D.”

I wonder how many would agree with that in 2007.

My BS-Meter goes off when reading the linked article.

I would bet money, if I had money to bet, that people left because of their perception of his attitude toward the subject, not because they disagreed with what he said about the moon.