Monday, August 13, 2007

A Fundamental Definition of Lunacy?

A couple hundred years ago, it was widely believed in Europe and America that overexposure to moonlight would cause insanity. Hence, people living back then said of an insane person that he had been "moonstruck" or that he was a "lunatic". Of course, most folks no longer believe that insanity is caused by moonbeams. But they might want to reconsider their views once they hear this next story, reproduced here from ParentDish:

Bill Nye the Science Guy usually gets the biggest reaction from the experiments he performs on stage, but when speaking at McLennan Community College near Waco, Texas, he got quite a reaction when he brought up the Bible's description of the heavens. The scientist with a background in stand-up comedy who entertained millions for six years with his television show brought up the book of Genesis as an example of why the Bible should not necessarily be read literally.

Nye focused on 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.” Nye 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. At that point, a number of audience members stood out and dragged their kids out of the auditorium. “We believe in a God!” screamed one woman as she left the room with three young children.

It seems obvious at this point that shedding light on the moon is quite likely to drive Fundamentalists nuts, even if no one else. That seems to be the only reasonable explanation for why several members of the audience couldn't handle hearing the truth about moonlight from a reputable science figure. So, maybe it's time to redefine the word "lunatic" as meaning, "Someone who believes, in defiance of all evidence to the contrary, that the moon makes its own light." Yup, that's a lunatic.

Yet, there's a broader lessen in all of this. Anyone who insists on believing the Bible is literally true, condemns themselves to irrationality. We have already seen that in the irrational ways in which Fundamentalists dismiss the theory of evolution, the Big Bang, and even at times the round earth and the sun's central place in the solar system. Once a person chooses to be irrational there is no telling where their lunacy will stop -- if it ever stops.

2 comments:

amuirin said...

augggh.

I can't.. remember... the quote.

But I liked it so much. Something to the effect, 'The surest sign of insanity is an unblinking certainty that you, yourself are 100% sane."

Webs said...

Apparantly you don't know this Paul, so let me fill you in. Bill Nye is the WORK OF THE DEVIL!!!!!!!

:-p LOL this made me laugh. Some people really need to relax.