Bill Nye the ‘pious’ guy

Published by • November 4th, 2007 RSS News Feed

I graduated from Cornell University almost a decade ago. I remember hearing about the legendary Bill Nye. He was the pride of Cornell University at the time, even in a way that not even Carl Sagan could claim. The man (Nye) is noted for his ability to simplify science and teach it to children in a way they’d understand. Even kids ‘get’ simple concepts like “the moon reflects the light of the sun” yet a few months ago, some parents in Waco, Texas disagreed!

Bill Nye said: “the Moon doesn’t emit light, it reflects the light of 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

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emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun.

Bill Nye quoted bible passage Genesis 1:16, that sparked the controversy

”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.”

Christians in the audience scoffed. They were offended, how could Bill Nye know something that authors of the bible did not? A woman made a scene and grabbed hold of her children while screaming “We believe in God!” They abruptly left the demonstration.

Bill Nye is a harmless guy, what was that about?

Bill Nye wasn’t trying to preach to Christians on their turf! He wasn’t attempting to convert Christians into atheists, he wanted to teach science the best way he knew how. His style is to teach people in a way that they can relate. In the ‘bible belt’, it seems perfectly logical to use concepts that the audience is familiar with. Of course, the bible is no laughing matter for some, and any semblance of ‘questioning’ God or religion is unacceptable.

In my view, it’s a wonderful thing that Mr. Nye went the extra mile to bring religion into the discussion. It is a great way to help educate children! Yet for some Christian fundamentalists, the end product of

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this kind of teaching results in ignorance and hostility towards ‘the truth’.

The ‘outraged’ in this case, was entirely a product of preconceived notions about science and those willing to promote it. It could be that the woman who stormed out of the audience, suffered from mental illness. Bipolar types are prone to religiosity, so who knows. If it is something other than an illness, then I’d dare say it’s a problem that is hurting society and slowing human advancement.

Itola Author

is an Attorney, Entrepreneur, and Blogger from the Silicon Valley.
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