Sometimes it’s spelled “Waco” but we all know that it should be Wacko. Yet Another Zany Thing (YAZT) has happened there which you may find amusing.
Bill Nye the Science Guy gave a talk there in which he made the claim that the Moon does not emit its own light. Rather, he said, it reflects the light of the Sun. Now, that probably wouldn’t have bothered anyone in the audience because most of them were what you might call situationally informed. In other words, they would not know a thing unless it was pointed out to them, so without any added information they would not know that a thing they knew to be true, based on belief, was being contradicted. But, in an apparent effort o be helpful, Bill Nye made the effort to point out to the good people of Wacko that the Bible says that God made two lights in the sky, a bright one and a dim one. The dim one would be the Moon. But, of course, we now know that the Moon does not actually make light, but rather, merely reflects the Sun’s light.
Now that the audience knew because Bill Nye told them both the Biblical Truth that they were to cling to, and the way in which Science disproved it, rather than just the latter, they could get all mad and storm out and shout things like “We believe in God, dammit” and so on and so forth. There is a fun writeup of the event here, which notes that the local Wacko paper had reported the event but then, apparently out of sheer embarrassment, pulled it.
This all reminds me of a story. When I was a kid, we did not have Bill Nye the Science Guy. Instead, we had Mr. Science.
“Hi kids. My name is Mr. Science. I have a Masters Degree in Science!”
Mr. Science had a TV show in which he did pretty much the same kind of thing Bill Nye the Science Guy does but with less production value. And, that is where I learned some of my childhood astronomy, there and from copies of Scientific American I used to lift from my brother’s room.
So one day I was walking down the street with my ‘friend’ Joey. I put ‘friend’ in quotes there because Joey came from a troubled background and took it out on everyone else, so being his ‘friend’ also meant being beaten up by him a couple of times a week. Anyway, we were walking along and he looked up and noticed a partial moon in the daytime sky, as sometimes happens, pointed at it, and said “Look at that.”
I said “Yeah, the Moon,” and wondered why he was pointing it out.
“That’s not the Moon, it’s the other side of the Earth,” he replied, anger in his voice, his hands starting to form fists.
“It’s the Earth,” I replied, more than a little worried about what was likely to happen next.
“My brother said it is the other side of the Earth, are you calling him a liar?”
“It’s the Moon, you can’t see the other side of the Earth. The Earth is a sphere, and the moon goes around the Earth, and …..”
WACKO … right in the nose!! As usual.
That, of course, was just Joey being an idiot, but in a way, the situations are somewhat similar. My ‘friend’ Joey was sticking to his guns, his information having been passed on to him from a higher authority, his older brother, whom as I recall to have been a total dick. I was merely stating a scientific fact. Bill Nye was merely stating as scientific fact, and his audience was sticking to their guns, their information having been passed on by a higher authority, God, also a total dick by all accounts.
I’m just glad Bill Nye did not get a bloody nose. And I wonder how long the Wackos of Waco will loll around in the 14th century.