The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Bill O'Reilly on science: Why is Earth the only planet with a moon?

As my blogmate Jim Rainey has frequently pointed out, Fox News has its own unique view of the world, where the facts rarely get in the way, most recently in the way Fox pollster Frank Luntz used a strange brand of faux science to find a panel of people unimpressed by President Obama's recent State of the Union address. But when it comes to seeing the world through the wrong end of a telescope, no one tops Bill O'Reilly, who has been the butt of a thousand jokes after confronting an atheist on his show with irrefutable evidence of the existence of God--using as his evidence the fact that the tides come in and the tides go out. I mean, O'Reilly said with great certainty, who else could possibly be controlling that?

As any scientist could tell you, it's the moon that controls the tides. So Papa Bear has taken to the airwaves again to pursue a new wrinkle in his faux science agenda. He now acknowledges that the tides might indeed be controlled by the moon. But so what? As he says: "How'd the moon get there? Can you explain that to me? How come we have that? And Mars doesn't have it. Venus doesn't have it. How come?"

Actually, as any amateur astronomer knows, Jupiter has lots of moons, 63 in all, several of which you can see through a good pair of binoculars. One of them, Ganymede, is actually larger than Mercury. Saturn has 62 moons. Uranus has 27 moons. And hey, Bill, Mars actually has two moons of its own, that were discovered in 1877, long before even Roger Ailes was born. As far as I know, there's no evidence that either of them are made of green cheese either. I'm beginning to think that O'Reilly might have slept through quite a few of his fifth-grade science classes. But he sure is certain in his beliefs. Here, watch for yourself:

 --Patrick Goldstein


Comments () | Archives (159)

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As much as I dislike this D-bag and his horrific understanding of our solar system, he kind of in a dumb way has a point. Scientists can't dispute the fact that today, science has only take us so far. It can answer how the moon got to where it is, and taken to its extreme it can even describe the nature of the atoms that make up the moon, and the physics governing it's motion. It does however fall short of answering the overarching questions of the true nature of our universe with certainty. What caused the Big Bang? What happens to the Universe in the Extreme future? What was there Before the Universe? Why are the atoms of the Universe arranged with such precision, yet such uncertainty? How did the Universe come to be? etc. Bill chalks it up to the divine.....I consider myself agnostic at this point in my life. To say your atheist though, which means that you are certain that there is no god, is dumber then Bill's understanding of Mars and his TV show.

Sweet Jesus, I hate Bill O'Reilly.

Give a billion or so monkeys enough time, and they will invent God.

I used to be a Catholic before I started hearing people like this guy go off on rants like this. Yes, there are plenty of people on this planet who are closed minded, but there are others who are arrogant. There are hundreds of thousands of 100% flawless scientific research documents to back stuff like this up, people who spend their whole lives studying how the world works. For someone as influential as him to come along and argue "how'd it get there" five maybe six times in a row, it really shows a lot about what our world has come to. I understand believing in God, but I don't understand how you can stand by this brainwashing lunatic.

These comments are obviously a little biased as they must be reviewed by an author to get posted. Yayyyyy freedom of speech.

It's just too funny... here's irrefutable evidence of the stupidity of Bill O'Reilly, and in the comments section we have irrefutable evidence of the stupidity of the mind-numbed morons who make up the right-wing segment of our population. Can't honestly acknowledge O'Reilly got it wrong and behave like mature adults, oh, no... instead we have lots of sniveling about how the person posting this information "apparently has nothing better to do," more whines and moans about how awful liberals are, a bunch of excuses intended to protect poor Bill (by ranting and screeching about Nancy Pelosi, as these idiotic parrots have been programmed to do - hilarious to me, how they are just soooooo scared of women in power) and on and on and on.

Your boy got owned, Republicans. Time to stop the kicking and the screaming, get off the floor, dry your eyes, wipe your nose and deal with it. Just for a change, drop the nose-thumbing, sneering little tirades and DEAL... WITH... IT.

Naah, who am I talking to? A bunch of bawling little spoiled brats who run around shrieking with rage if the discussion isn't all about how great they are or their shrill little cries and demands aren't being attended to 24-7-365.

There are about on average 10-100 billion stars in the milky way galaxy. There's an estimated 100 billion galaxies. We have life on one planet, suspected life on another, and on two other moons. All this surrounds one star of medium mass, nothing special about it. There are over 500 planets found in the past 10 years by exoplanet searching and research, about 40 of those are in habitable orbital distance from the stars they orbit. The chances of us being the only unique life in the universe is not only improbable, but arrogant.

Actually, roughly speaking the moon's motion controls about two-thirds of the total tidal effect -- the sun controls the other third.

Bill O'Reilly has made me decide that old people are the problem with America. Don't listen to anyone over 40.

Wow, are you smug, Mr. Goldstein. And so are most of the posters on this blog. So sure of science but none of you can explain how the universe came into being. Out of nothing, nothing can come.
You folks would all rather believe in things like "chance."
The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.

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