Posted Apr 13th, 2006 at 7:19 am in Science, Religion & Faith, Culture
Last week, Bill Nye (The Science Guy) gave a talk at McLennan Community College in Waco, TX. Everything went well at first, until…
The Emmy-winning scientist angered a few audience members when he criticized literal interpretation of the biblical verse 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.”
He pointed out that the sun, the “greater light,” is but one of countless stars and that the “lesser light” is the moon, which really is not a light at all, rather a reflector of light.
A number of audience members left the room at that point, visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence.
“We believe in a God!” exclaimed one woman as she left the room with three young children.
What’s funny to me is that people would get angry at this, when there are two creation stories. Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 is the first, and a new story begins in Genesis 2:4. In the second story, man is made before anything else, including women. This is in total conflict with the creation order given in the first account, and seems rather in conflict with Genesis 1:27 which, with a close literal interpretation implies that men and women were created at the same time.
You know, when I’m reading literature and I see two different stories back to back, I usually recognize a literary style other than literal history. But it seems that some, like the attendees to Nye’s lectures, wear their sensitivies on their sleeve, looking for their opportunity to cause a scene. Man, it’s embarrassing.
Nye’s website (warning, it’s the most annoying website ever, turn off your speakers or puncture your eardrums) opens with a flash animation of the evolution of man. Perhaps those audience members who got angry should have Googled him first. Then they could have gotten angry at home.