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That’s no moon, it must be God

Bill O’Reilly doesn’t know the gravitational effects of the sun and moon and the earth cause tides to flow. I shit you not:

O’REILLY: I’ll tell you why [religion’s] not a scam, in my opinion: tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that.
SILVERMAN: Tide goes in, tide goes out?
O’REILLY: See, the water, the tide comes in and it goes out, Mr. Silverman. It always comes in, and always goes out. You can’t explain that.

Maybe he and ICP should put their heads together and figure out this magnet business.

10 Responses to “That’s no moon, it must be God”

  1. boxty Says:

    Yeah, but aren’t there a lot of questions about gravity that haven’t been answered yet?

    I heard one lauded physics/math chick on NPR say that some string theorists say gravity is from another dimension. Oh, they say there is no God but there maybe 10, 11, or an infinite number of dimensions.

  2. comatus Says:

    Let me be the first to ask, in this context, effin magnets, how do they work?

    Answer me that, Mister smarty-pants materialist!

    A friend in Australia advises me that they have adopted a different toilet design, lest they be driven mad by the wrong-way swirl.

  3. bob r Says:

    I’m an atheist (little ‘a’) and, on top of that, I don’t much care for Bill O’Reilly, but he _is_ correct: no one can explain the tides. Saying they are *caused* by the moon and the sun, by way of “gravity”, is _not_ an explanation, it is merely assigning a label.

    Having said the above, assigning a label and characterizing the effect _does_ have value.

    A Richard Feynman quote:
    * God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you’re taking away from God; you don’t need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven’t figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don’t believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time life and death stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don’t think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out.
    o As quoted in Superstrings : A Theory of Everything (1988) Edited by Paul C. W. Davies and Julian R. Brown ISBN 0521354625

    A video of Richard Feynman explaining the difference between the “thing” and the label we assign to the “thing”.

  4. Hartley Says:

    Gee, boxty, I thought Einstein did a fairly good job of explaining gravity, and it had little to do with extra dimensions (tho he also expounded on those, too). And listening to NPR can rot your brain, so be careful.

  5. mikee Says:

    Articles of faith are by definition beyond explanation.

    I thought this whole issue was settled about the time of the Emperor Constantine by the Council of Nicea in 325AD, you argumentative heretics.

  6. dustydog Says:

    Actually, the tide going out and not coming back in has happened countless times. When the tide doesn’t come back in on time, a tidal wave is coming. O’Reilly is damned insensitive, when you consider how frequently tsunami diasters are in the news.

  7. JKB Says:

    Dare we mention that the soil rises and falls due to the pull of the sun and moon? Perhaps he shouldn’t dig a hole then refill it later only to discover their isn’t enough dirt to fill it up.

    BTW, Tsunami have no effect on tides. The Tsunami have a period of 20-60 minutes whereas the Tide has a period of 6-12 hours. The wave summing does alter the heights observed.

    Let us hope O’Reilly doesn’t read about the Magnetic North migration toward Russia that recently required Tampa Int’l airport to have to change the numbers on their runway.

  8. I-RIGHT-I Says:

    “Maybe he and ICP should put their heads together and figure out this magnet business.”

    Good luck with that. Nobody can explain magnetic force and gravity outside the theoretical and if string theory turns out to be something closer to the truth then you’d find it hard to tell O’Really he’s wrong.

  9. workinwifdakids Says:

    I’m a fundamentalist Christian, and the statements O’Reilly made are so blatantly stupid they make me wince. My beliefs can stand the sanitizing light from the marketplace of ideas. Rigorous intellectual debate is critical. Unlike most, I do believe that articles of faith are in fact observable, definable, and measurable.

    But saying the existence of tides proves the existence of God? I need his head size so I can properly find a dunce cap.

  10. Lyle Says:

    O’Reilly’s a good talker, but when the book, “Great Thinkers of the 20th Century” is written, his name won’t be in it.

    Roy Masters has figured out that gravity is a pushing force. He figured this out after hearing that the moon’s orbit has been getting farther from Earth. I don’t know how one gets from point A to point B there. I thought it was caused by the fact that Earth’s period of rotation is shorter than the moon’s orbital period, and so Earth is giving up momentum to the moon’s orbit.

    Come to think of it; I don’t know anything. OK, maybe a couple of things, like the fact that R.P. Feynman’s writing is fun to read.